Matthew Hale, fully Sir Matthew Hale

Hale, fully Sir Matthew Hale

English Barrister, Judge and Lawyer, noted for his treatise "The History of the Pleas"

Author Quotes

Be careful that you believe not hastily strange news and strange stories; and be much more careful that you do not report them, though at the second hand; for if it prove an untruth (as commonly strange stories prove so), it brings an imputation of levity upon him that reports it, and possibly some disadvantage to others.

Opinion is, when the assent of the understanding is so far gained by evidence of probability that it rather inclines to one persuasion than to another, yet not altogether without a mixture of uncertainty or doubting.

The sagacities and instincts of brutes, the spontaneousness of many of their animal motions, are not explicable without supposing some active determinate power connected to and inherent in their spirits, of a higher extraction than the bare natural modification of matter.

When rogues fall out, honest men get into their own.

Certain passive strictures, or signatures, of that wisdom which hath made and ordered all things with the highest reason.

Prudence is principally in reference to actions to be done, and due means, order, reason, and method of doing or not doing.

The thread and train of consequences in intellective ratiocination is often long, and chained together by divers links, which cannot be done in imaginative ratiocination, by some attributed to brutes.

When the wisest counsel of men have with the greatest prudence made laws, yet frequent emergencies happen which they did not foresee, and therefore they are put upon repeals and supplements of such their laws; but Almighty God, by one ample foresight, foresaw all events, and could therefore fit laws proportionate to the things he made.

Considering the casualties of wars, transmigrations, especially that of the general flood, there might probably be an obliteration of all those monuments of antiquity that ages precedent at some time have yielded.

Run not into debt, either for wares sold or money borrowed; be content to want things that are not of absolute necessity, rather than to run up the score.

The vanity of loving fine clothes and new fashion, and placing value on ourselves by them is one of the most childish pieces of folly.

Contemplation of human nature doth by a necessary connection and chain of causes carry us up to the Deity.

Scholars sometimes in common speech, or writing in their native language, give terminations and idiotisms suitable to their native language unto words newly invented.

The vanity of loving fine clothes and new fashions, and valuing ourselves by them, is one of the most childish pieces of folly that can be.

For if you look over the State of Religion as it standeth in Christendom, there is no Church whatsoever which will accept you as a Member of its Communion, but upon some particular terms of Belief, or Practice, which Christ never appointed, and it may be such as an honest and a wise Christian cannot consent to. I am not more able to give up my Reason to the Church of England, than to give up my Senses to the Church of Rome; it looks like a Trick in all Churches to take away the use of Men’s Reason, that they may render us Vassals and Slaves to all their Dictates and Commands.”

Talk unbelief, and you will have unbelief; but talk faith, and you will have faith. According to the seed sown will be the harvest.

The various dialects of the English in the north and west render their expressions many times unintelligible to the other, and both scarce intelligible to the midland.

Hither conscience is to be referred: If by a comparison of things done with the rule there be a consonancy, then follows the sentence of approbation; if discordant from it, the sentence of disapprobation.

Talk well of the absent whenever you have the opportunity.

The will is not a bare appetitive power, as that of the sensual appetite; but it is a rational appetite.

Implanted instincts in brutes are in themselves highly reasonable and useful to their ends, and evincible by true reason to be such.

The animal soul sooner expands and evolves itself to its full orb and extent than the human soul.

There is a certain magic or charm in company, for it will assimilate, and make you like to them, by much conversation with them: if they be good company, it is a great means to make you good, or confirm you in goodness; but if they be bad, it is twenty to one but they will infect and corrupt you. Therefore be wary and shy in choosing and entertaining, or frequenting any company or companions; be not too hasty in committing yourself to them; stand off awhile till you have inquired of some (that you know by experience to be faithful) what they are; observe what company they keep; be not too easy to gain acquaintance, but stand off, and keep a distance yet awhile, till you have observed and learnt touching them. Men or women that are greedy of acquaintance, or hasty in it, are oftentimes snared in ill company before they are aware, and entangled so that they cannot easily loose from it after, when they would.

Jurors are not bound to believe two witnesses, if the probability of the fact does reasonably encounter them.

The due contemplation of the human nature doth, by a necessary connection and chain of causes, carry us up to the unavoidable acknowledgment of the Deity; because it carries every thinking man to an original of every successive individual.

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Hale, fully Sir Matthew Hale
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English Barrister, Judge and Lawyer, noted for his treatise "The History of the Pleas"