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LAW
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[ Also see Anarchy Authority Civil Disobedience Constitution Contracts Courts Crime Equality Equity Evidence Government Guilt Injustice Judges Judgment Juries Justice Lawyers Legal Maxims Legislation Mercy Murder Necessity Obedience Occupations Order Pardon Patents Police Politics Power Precedent Precepts Principles Prison Proof Punishment Rules Statesmanship Thieving ]

For as laws are necessary that good manners may be preserved, so there is need of good manner that laws may be maintained.
  [It., Perche, cosi come i buoni costumi, per mantenersi, hanno bisogno delli leggi; cosi le leggi per ossevarsi, hanno bisogno de' buoni costumi.]
      - Niccolo Machiavelli (Macchiavelli),
        Dei Discorsi (I, 18)

The law is a sort of hocus-pocus science, that smiles in yeer face while it picks yeer pocket: and the glorious uncertainty of it is of mair use to the professors than the justice of it.
      - Charles Macklin, Love a la Mode
         (act II, sc. 1)

In almost every case except the very plainest, it would be possible to decide the issue either way with reasonable legal justification.
      - Hugh Macmillan, Lord Macmillan

Measures should be enacted which, without violating the rights of property, would reduce extreme wealth towards a state of mediocrity, and raise extreme indigence towards a state of comfort.
      - James Madison

All tings obey fixed laws.
  [Lat., Certis . . . legibus omnia parent.]
      - Manilius (Manlius or Mallius) (Marcus or Caius),
        Astronomica (I, 479)

The law speaks too softly to be heard amidst the din of arms.
      - Gaius Marius,
        in Plutarch's "Life of Caius Marius", when complaint made of granting freedom to Camerians

The law is not so much carved in stone as it is written in water, flowing in and out with the tide.
      - Jeff Melvoin

Who loves law, dies either mad or poor.
      - Thomas Middleton

As the case stands.
      - Thomas Middleton, Old Law (act II, sc. 1)

Laws can discover sin, but not remove it.
      - John Milton

Litigious terms, fat contentions, and flowing fees.
      - John Milton, Prose Works
         (vol. I, Of Education)

The clatter of arms drowns the voice of the law.
  [Fr., Le bruit des armes l'empeschoit d'entendre la voix des lois.]
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Essays
         (III, I)

There is no man so good, who, were he to submit all his thoughts and actions to the laws would not deserve hanging tem times in his life.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne,
        Essays--Of Vanity

All beings have their laws; the Deity has His laws, the material world has its laws, superior intelligences have their laws, the beasts have their laws, and man his laws.
      - Charles de Montesquieu (Charles-Louis de Secondat)

Law should be like death, which spares no one.
      - Charles de Montesquieu (Charles-Louis de Secondat)

No brilliance is needed in the law. Nothing but common sense, and relatively clean fingernails.
      - John Mortimer, A Voyage Round My Father
         (act I)

The law seems like a sort of maze through which a client must be led to safety, a collection of reefs, rocks, and underwater hazards through which he or she must be piloted.
      - John Mortimer, Clinging to the Wreckage
         (ch. 7)

The people's safety is the law of God.
      - James Otis

Petty laws breed great crimes.
      - Ouida (pseudonym of Marie Louise de la Ramee)

Nor is there any law more just, than that he who has plotted death shall perish by his own plot.
  [Lat., Neque enim lex est aequior ulla,
    Quam necis artifices arte perire sua.]
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Ars Amatoria
         (I, 655)

The gods have their own laws.
  [Lat., Sunt superis sua jura.]
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Metamorphoses
         (IX, 499)

Where law ends, there tyranny begins.
      - William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham,
        Case of Wilkes--Speech (last line)

Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.
      - Plato (originally Aristocles}

You little know what a ticklish thing it is to go to law.
  [Lat., Nescis tu quam meticulosa res sit ire ad judicem.]
      - Plautus (Titus Maccius Plautus),
        Mostellaria (V, 1, 52)

The prince is not above the laws, but the laws above the prince.
  [Lat., Non est priceps super leges, sed leges supra principem.]
      - Pliny the Younger (Caius Caecilius Secundus),
        Panegyr--Traj (65)


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