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

All other knowledge merely serves the concerns of this life, and is fitted to the meridian thereof: they are such as will be of little use to a separate soul.

Many things that obtain as common law had their original by parliamentary acts, or constitutions made in writings by the king, lords, and commons.

The moral of that poetical fiction, that the uppermost link of all the series of subordinate causes is fastened to Jupiter’s chair, signifies … that Almighty God governs and directs subordinate causes and effects.

Though sometimes effected by the immediate fiat of the divine will, yet I think they are most ordinarily done by the ministration of angels.

All the laws of this kingdom have some monuments or memorials thereof in writing, yet all of them have not their original in writing; for some of those laws have obtained their force by immemorial usage or custom.

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 get loose from it after, when they would.

The more business a man has to do, the more he is able to accomplish, for he learns to economize his time.

Though this vicinity of ourselves to ourselves cannot give us the full prospect of all the intrigues of our nature, yet we have much more advantage to know ourselves than to know other things without us.

All the notions we have of duration is partly by the successiveness of its own operations, and partly by those external measures that it finds in motion.

Neither the divine determinations, persuasions or inflections of the understanding or will of rational creatures doth deceive the understanding, pervert the will, or necessitate either to any moral evil.

The more business one has, the more you are able to accomplish, for you learn to economize your time.

To the present impulse of sense, memory, and instinct, all the sagacities of brutes may be reduced; though witty men, by analytical resolution, have chemically extracted an artificial logic out of their actions.

Among the objects of knowledge two especially commend themselves to our contemplation: the knowledge of God and the knowledge of ourselves.

Next to the knowledge of God this knowledge of ourselves seems most worthy of our endeavour.

The proper acts of the intellect are intellection, deliberation, and determination or decision.

We must remember that laws were not made for their own sakes, but for the sake of those who were to be guided by them; and though it is true that they are and ought to be sacred, yet if they be or are become unuseful for their end, they must either be amended, if it may be, or new laws be substituted, and the old repealed, so it be done regularly, deliberately, and so far forth only as the exigence or convenience justly demands it; and in this respect the saying is true, Salus populi suprema lex esto. He that thinks a state can be exactly steered by the same laws in every kind as it was two or three hundred years ago, may as well imagine that the clothes that fitted him when a child should serve him when he was grown a man. The matter changeth, the custom, the contracts, the commerce, the dispositions, educations, and tempers of man and societies, change in a long tract of time, and so must their laws in some measure be changed, or they will not be useful for their state and condition; and, besides all this, time is the wisest thing under heaven. These very laws which at first seemed the wisest constitution under heaven, have some flaws and defects discovered in them by time. As manufactures, mercantile arts, architecture, and building, and philosophy itself, secure new advantages and discoveries by time and experience, so much more do laws which concern the manners and customs of men.

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.

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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"