The World of Law: A Treasury of Great Writing about and in the Law, Short Stories, Plays, Essays, Accounts, Letters, Opinions, Pleas, Transcripts of Testimony; from Biblical Times to the Present - Vol. 2

By Ephraim London | Go to book overview

Jonathan Swift


ON THE SCIENCE OF THE LAW
from Gulliver's Travels

There was another Point which a little perplexed him at present. I had said, that some of our Crew left their Country on Account of being ruined by Law: That I had already explained the Meaning of the Word; but he was at a Loss how it should come to pass, that the Law which was intended for every Man's Preservation, should be any Man's Ruin. Therefore he desired to be farther satisfied what I meant by Law, and the Dispensers thereof, according to the present Practice in my own Country: Because he thought, Nature and Reason were sufficient Guides for a reasonable Animal, as we pretended to be in shewing us what we ought to do, and what to avoid.

I ASSURED his Honour, that Law was a Science wherein I had not much conversed, further than by employing Advocates, in vain, upon some Injustices that had been done me. However, I would give him all the Satisfaction I was able.

I SAID there was a Society of Men among us, bred up from their Youth in the Art of proving by Words multiplied for the Purpose, that White is Black, and Black is White, according as they are paid. To this Society all the rest of the People are Slaves.

For example. If my Neighbour hath a mind to my Cow, he hires a Lawyer to prove that he ought to have my Cow from me. I must then hire another to defend my Right; it being against all Rules of Law that any Man should be allowed to speak for himself. Now in this Case, I who am the true Owner lie under two great Disadvantages.

-664-

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The World of Law: A Treasury of Great Writing about and in the Law, Short Stories, Plays, Essays, Accounts, Letters, Opinions, Pleas, Transcripts of Testimony; from Biblical Times to the Present - Vol. 2
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