Page:English Law and the Renaissance.djvu/41

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
29
and the Renaissance

When the middle of the century is past the signs that English law has a new lease of life become many. The medieval books poured from the press, new books were written, the decisions of the courts were more diligently reported, the lawyers were boasting of the independence and extreme antiquity of their system62. We were having a little Renaissance of our own: or a gothic revival if you please. The Court of Requests in which Prof. Smith and Prof. Haddon had done justice was being tried for its life. Its official defender was, we observe, Italian by blood and Parisian by degree: Dr Adelmare, known to Englishmen as Sir Julius Caesar63. That wonderful Edward Coke was loose. The medieval tradition was more than safe in his hands. You may think it pleasant to turn from this masterful, masterless man to his great rival. It is not very safe to say what Thomas More did not know, less safe to say what was unknown to Francis Bacon, but I cannot discover that either of these scholars,