S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.
General rules are wisely established for attaining justice with ease, certainty, and dispatch; but the great end of them being to do justice, the Court will see that it be really obtained. The courts have been more liberal of late years in their determinations, and have more endeavoured to attend to the real justice of the case, than formerly.
The arguments on the other side [that is, arguments against admitting the testimony in question from the novelty of the case] prove nothing. Does it follow from thence that no witnesses can be examined in a case that never specifically existed before, or that an action cannot be brought in a case that never happened before? Reason (being stated to be the first ground of all laws by the author of the book called Doctor and Student) must determine the case. Therefore the only question is, whether upon principles of reason, justice, and convenience, this witness be admissible. Cases in law depend upon the occasions which give rise to them.
Lord Mansfield: (when Solicitor-General Murray): Ormichund v. Barker, 1st Atkyns.
It has been imputed to me by the noble Earl [Chatham] on my left hand that I, too, am running the race of popularity. If the noble Earl means by popularity the applause bestowed by after-ages on good and virtuous actions, I have long been struggling in that race,to what purpose all-trying time can alone determine: but if he means that mushroom popularity which is raised without merit and lost without crime, he is much mistaken. I defy the noble Earl to point out a single action in my life where the popularity of the times ever had the smallest influence upon my determination. I thank God I have a more permanent and steady rule for my conduct,the dictates of my own breast. Those who have foregone that pleasing adviser, and given up their minds to the slavery of every popular impulse, I sincerely pity: I pity them still more if vanity leads them to mistake the shouts of a mob for the trumpet of Fame. Experience might inform them that many who have been saluted with the huzzas of a crowd one day have received its execrations the next; and many who, by the fools of their own times, have been held up as spotless patriots, have, nevertheless, appeared on the historians page, when truth has triumphed over delusion, the assassins of liberty. Why, then, can the noble Earl think I am ambitious of present popularity,that echo of flattery and counterfeit of renown?
Lord Chief-Justice Mansfield: In the House of Lords, May 9, 1770: 16 Parl. Hist., 974978: Lord Campbells Chief Justices, ii. 475.
What bloodshed and confusion have been occasioned from the reign of Henry IV., when the first penal statutes were enacted, down to the revolution in this kingdom, by laws made to force conscience! There is nothing certainly more unreasonable, more inconsistent with the rights of human nature, more contrary to the spirit and precepts of the Christian religion, more iniquitous and unjust, more impolitic, than persecution. It is against natural religion, revealed religion, and sound policy. Sad experience and a large mind taught that great man the President De Thou this doctrine. Let any man read the many admirable things which, though a papist, he hath dared to advance on this subject, in the dedication of his History to Henry IV. of France (which I never read without rapture), and he will be fully convinced not only how cruel, but how impolitic, it is to prosecute for religious opinions.
Chief-Justice Mansfield: Lord Campbells Chief Justices, ii. 513: Life of Lord Mansfield.
All evidence is according to the subject-matter to which it is applied. There is a great deal of difference between length of time that operates as a bar to a claim and that which is used only by way of evidence. Length of time used merely by way of evidence may be left to the consideration of the jury, to be credited or not, or to draw their inferences one way or the other, according to circumstances. I do not know an instance in which proof may not be supplied.
Lord Mansfield: Mayor of Hull v. Horner: Cowpers Reports, 109.