C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.
Precedents are the disgrace of legislation. They are not wanted to justify right measures, are absolutely insufficient to excuse wrong ones. They can only be useful to heralds, dancing masters, and gentlemen ushers.
One precedent creates another. They soon accumulate, and constitute law. What yesterday was fact, to-day is doctrine. Examples are supposed to justify the most dangerous measures; and where they do not suit exactly, the defect is supplied by analogy.