Page:English Law and the Renaissance.djvu/19

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
7
and the Renaissance

if an event in the history of religion, was also an event in the history of jurisprudence. A current of new life was thrilling through one Corpus Juris10; the other had been sore stricken, and, if it escaped from violent death, might perish yet more miserably of a disease that becomes dangerous at the moment when it is discovered.

A few years afterwards an enlightened young humanist, of high rank and marked ability, a man who might live to be pope of Rome or might live to be king of England, was saying much evil of the sort of law that Rede had administered and taught; was saying that a wise prince would banish this barbaric stuff and receive in its stead the civil law of the Romans. Such, so we learn from one of his friends, was the talk of Reginald Pole, and a little knowledge of what was happening in foreign countries is enough to teach us that such talk deserves attention11.

This was the time when Roman law was