There is a Society of men among us,
bred up from their youth in the art of proving by words
that white is black, and black is white,
according as they are paid.
GULLIVER DESCRIBES LEGAL SYSTEM
To this Society all the rest of the people are slaves.
PART 1, CHAPTER 7 - Gulliver in Lilliput:
...It was a Custom introduced by this Prince and his Ministry (very different, as I have been assured, from the Practices of former Times) that after the Court had decreed any cruel Execution, either to gratify the Monarch's Resentment, or the Malice of a Favourite, the Emperor always made a Speech to his whole Council, expressing his great Lenity and Tenderness, as Qualities known and confessed by all the World. This Speech was immediately published through the Kingdom; nor did anything terrify the People so much as those Encomiums on his Majesty's Mercy; because it was observed, that the more these Praises were enlarged and insisted on, the more inhuman was the Punishment, and the Sufferer more innocent. And as to myself, I must confess, having never been designed for a Courtier either by my Birth or Education, I was so ill a Judge of Things, that I could not discover the Lenity and Favour of this Sentence, but conceived it (perhaps erroneously) rather to be rigorous than gentle. I sometimes thought of standing my Tryal... But having in my Life perused many State-Tryals, which I ever observed to terminate as the Judges thought fit to direct, I durst not rely on so dangerous a Decision, in so critical a Juncture, and against such powerful Enemies...
PART 4, CHAPTER 5 - Gulliver speaking to leader of the Houyhnhnms:
...There was another Point which a little perplexed him at Present. I had informed him, that some of our Crew left their Country on account of being ruined by Law; that I had already explained the Meaning of the Word; but he was at a Loss how it should come to pass, that the Law which was intended for every Man's Preservation, should be any Man's Ruin. Therefore he desired to be further satisfied what I meant by Law, and what sort of Dispensers thereof it could be by whose Practices the Property of any Person could be lost, instead of being preserved. He added, he saw not what great Occasion there could for this thing called Law, since all the Intentions and Purposes of it may be fully answered by following the Dictates of Nature and Reason, which are sufficient Guides for a Reasonable Animal, as we pretended to be, in shewing us what we ought to do, and what to avoid.
I assured his Honour, that Law was a Science wherein I had not much conversed, further than by employing Advocates, in vain, upon some Injustices that had been done me: however, I would give him all the Satisfaction I was able.
I said there was a Society of Men among us, bred up from their Youth in the Art of proving by Words multiplied for the Pleasure, that White is Black, and Black is White, according as they are paid. To this Society all the rest of the People are Slaves.
For Example, if my Neighbour hath a Mind to my Cow, he hires a Lawyer to prove that he ought to have my Cow from me. I must then hire another to defend my Right, it being against all Rules of Law that any Man should be allowed to speak for himself. Now in this Case, I who am the right Owner lie under two great Disadvantages. First, my Lawyer being practiced almost from his Cradle in defending Falshood; is quite out of his Element when he would be an Advocate for Justice, which as an Office unnatural, he always attempts with great Awkwardness if not with Ill-will. The second Disadvantage is, that my Lawyer must proceed with great Caution: Or else he will be reprimanded by the Judges, and abhorred by his Brethren, as one that would lessen the Practice of the Law. And therefore I have but two Methods to preserve my Cow. The first is, to gain over my Adversary's Lawyer with a double Fee; who will then betray his Client by insinuating that he hath Justice on his Side. The second way is for my Lawyer to make my Cause appear as unjust as he can; by the Cow to belong to my Adversary; and this, if it be skilfully done, will certainly bespeak the Favour of the Bench.
Now, your Honour is to know that these Judges are Persons appointed to decide all Controversies of Property, as well as for the Tryal of Criminals; and picked out from the most dextrous Lawyers who are grown old or lazy: And having been byassed all their Lives against Truth and Equity, are under such a fatal Necessity of favouring Fraud, Perjury, and Oppression; that I have known some of them refuse a large Bribe from the Side where Justice lay, rather than injure the Faculty, by doing any thing unbecoming their Nature or their Office.
It is a Maxim among these Lawyers, that whatever hath been done before, may legally be done again: And therefore they take special Care to record all the Decisions formerly made against common Justice and the general Reason of Mankind. These, under the Name of Precedents, they produce as Authorities to justify the most iniquitous Opinions; and the Judges never fail of decreeing accordingly.
In pleading, they studiously avoid entering into the Merits of the Cause; but are loud, violent, and tedious in dwelling upon all Circumstances which are not to the Purpose. For Instance, in the Case already mentioned: They never desire to know what Claim or Title my Adversary hath to my Cow; but whether the said Cow were Red or Black; her Horns long or short; whether the Field I graze her in be round or square; whether she was milked at home or abroad; what Diseases she is subject to, and the like. After which they consult Precedents, adjourn the Cause from Time to Time, and in Ten, Twenty, or Thirty Years, come to an Issue.
It is likewise to be observed, that this Society has a peculiar Cant and Jargon of their own, that no other Mortal can understand, and wherein all their Laws are written, which they take special Care to multiply; whereby they have gone near to confound the very Essence of Truth and Falsehood, of Right and Wrong; so that it may take Thirty Years to decide whether the Field, left me by my Ancestors for Six Generations, belongs to me, or to a Stranger three hundred Miles off.
In the Tryal of Persons accused for Crimes against the State the Method is much more short and commendable: The Judge first sends to sound the Disposition of those in Power; after which he can easily hang or save the Criminal, strictly preserving all due Forms of Law.
Here my Master interposing, said it was a Pity that Creatures endowed with such prodigious Abilities of Mind as these Lawyers, by the Description I gave of them, must certainly be, were not rather encouraged to be Instructors of others in Wisdom and Knowledge. In Answer to which, I assured his Honour, that in all Points out of their own Trade, they were usually the most Ignorant and stupid Generation among us, the most despicable in common Conversation, avowed Enemies to all Knowledge and Learning; and equally to pervert the general Reason of Mankind in every other Subject of Discourse, as in that of their own Profession...
My Master was yet wholly at a Loss to understand what Motives could incite this Race of Lawyers to perplex, disquiet, and weary themselves, and engage in a Confederacy of Injustice, merely for the Sake of injuring their Fellow-Animals; neither could he comprehend what I meant in saying they did it for Hire...
22.Doublethink and 21.Crimestop and 10.The Rulers
GULLIVER'S TRAVEL TRUTHS
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