Page:English Law and the Renaissance.djvu/28

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
16
English Law

government as 'papists' was surprisingly large and it included the great Plowden34. But we must go back to our main theme.

A Reception there was not to be, nor dare I say that a Reception was what our Regius Professor or his royal patron desired. As to Smith himself, it is fairly evident that some time afterwards, when he had resigned his chair and was Elizabeth's ambassador at the French court, he was well content to contrast the public law of England with that of 'France, Italy, Spain, Germany and all other countries which' to use his words 'do follow the civil law of the Romans compiled by Justinian into his Pandects and Code35.' The little treatise on the Commonwealth of England which he wrote at Toulouse in 1565—a remarkable feat for he had no English books at hand36—became a classic in the next century, and certainly did not underrate those traditional, medieval, Germanic and parliamentary elements which were still to be found in English life and law under the fifth and last of