Speeches of Lord Erskine, when at the Bar, on Miscellaneous Subjects

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J. Ridgway, 1812 - 246 pages

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Page 189 - Neither was it mine adversary, that did magnify himself against me : for then peradventure I would have hid myself from him. 14 But it was even thou, my companion : my guide, and mine own familiar friend.
Page 75 - ... upon the very same title that I am. I really think, that for wise men this is not judicious; for sober men, not decent; for minds tinctured with humanity, not mild and merciful.
Page 11 - ... who for the most part discover their defect in excessive fears and griefs, and yet are not wholly destitute of the use of reason...
Page 16 - ... are the cases which frequently mock the wisdom of the wisest in judicial trials ; because such persons often reason with a subtlety which puts in the shade the ordinary conceptions of mankind : their conclusions are just, and frequently profound ; but the premises from which they reason, WHEN WITHIN THE RANGE OF THE MALADY, are uniformly false : not false from any defect of knowledge or judgment ; but, because a delusive image, the inseparable companion of real insanity, is thrust upon the...
Page 46 - There have, indeed, been unhappy lunatics who, from ideas too often mixing themselves with insanity, have intruded themselves into the palace, but no malicious attack has ever been made upon the King to be settled by a trial. His Majesty's character and conduct have been a safer shield than guards, or than laws. Gentlemen, I wish to continue to that sacred life that best of all securities. I seek to continue it under that protection where it has been so long protected. We are not to do evil that...
Page 177 - He does not know at what time this heavy calamity fell upon him he is tortured with the most afflicting of all human sensations. When he looks at the children, whom he is by law bound to protect and to provide for, and from whose existence he ought to receive the delightful return which the union of instinct and reason has provided for the continuation of the world, he knows not whether he is lavishing his fondness and affection upon his own children, or upon the seed of a villain sown in the...
Page 184 - This wise and politic restraint beats down, by the habits of the mind, even a propensity to incestuous commerce, and opposes those inclinations which nature, for wise purposes, has implanted in our breasts at the approach of the other sex. It holds the mind in chains against the seductions of beauty. It is a moral feeling in perpetual opposition to human infirmity. It is like an angel from heaven placed to guard us from propensities which are evil.
Page 181 - ... he enjoyed before the adultery, and which the adulterer has deprived him of? You know that it will not. Ask your own hearts the question, and you will receive the same answer. I should be glad to know, then, upon what principle, as it regards the private justice which the plaintiff has a right to, or upon what principle, as the example of that justice affects the public and the remotest generations of mankind, you can reduce this demand even in a single farthing.
Page 16 - Such patients are victims to delusions of the most alarming description, which so overpower the faculties and usurp so firmly the place of realities, as not to be dislodged and shaken by the organs of perception and sense; in such cases the images frequently vary, but in the same subject are generally of the same terrific character.
Page 11 - is very difficult to define the invisible line that divides perfect " and partial insanity; but it must rest upon circumstances duly " to be weighed and considered both by the judge and jury, lest on " the one side there be a kind of inhumanity towards the defects of " human nature, or, on the other side, too great an indulgence

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