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resteth much in myself, and that is in my manner of giving orders. For I have seen an affectation of dispatch turn utterly to delay at length: for the manner of it is to take the tale out of the counsellor at the bar his mouth, and to give a cursory order, nothing tending or conducing to the end of the business. It makes me remember what I heard one say of a judge that sat in chancery; that he would make forty orders in a morning out of the way, and it was out of the way indeed ; for it was nothing to the end of the business : and this is that which makes sixty, eighty, an hundred orders in a cause, to and fro, begetting one another; and like Penelope's web, doing and undoing. But I mean not to purchase the praise of expeditive in that kind; but as one that have a feeling of my duty, and of the case of others. My endeavour shall be to hear patiently, and to cast my order into such a mould as may soonest bring the subject to the end of his journey.
As for delays that may concern others, first the great abuse is, that if the plaintiff have got an injunction to stay suits at the common law, then he will spin out his cause at length. But by the grace of God I will make injunctions but an hard pillow to sleep on; for if I find that he prosecutes not with effect, he may perhaps, when he is awake, find not only his injunction dissolved, but his cause dismissed.
There be other particular orders, I mean to take for non prosecution or faint prosecution, wherewith I
will not trouble you now, because “summa sequar fastigia rerum." And so much for matter of expedition.
Now for the fourth and last point of the king's commandment; for the cutting off unnecessary charge of the subject, a great portion of it is fulfilled in the precedent article; for it is the length of suits that doth multiply charges chiefly; but yet there are some other remedies that do conduce thereunto.
First, therefore, I will maintain strictly, and with severity, the former orders which I find my lord chancellor hath taken, for the immoderate and needless prolixity, and length of bills, and answers, and so forth; as well in punishing the party, as fining the counsel, whose hand I shall find at such bills, answers, etc.
Secondly, for all the examinations taken in the court, I do give charge unto the examiners, upon peril of losing their places, that they do not use any idle repetitions, or needless circumstances, in setting down the depositions taken by them; and I would I could help it likewise in the country, but that is almost impossible.
Thirdly, I shall take a diligent survey of the copies in chancery, that they have their just number of lines, and without open and wasteful writing.
Fourthly, I shall be careful there be no exaction of any new fees, but according as they have been heretofore set and tabled.
As for lawyers fees, I must leave that to the conscience and merit of the lawyer; and the estimation and gratitude of the client: but this I can do ; I know there have used to attend this bar a number of lawyers that have not been heard sometimes, and scarce once or twice in a term; and that makes the client seek to great counsel and favourites, as they call them, for every order that a mean lawyer might as well dispatch, a term fitter for kings than judges. And therefore to help the generality of lawyers, and therein to ease the client, I will constantly observe that every Tuesday, and other days of orders, after nine o'clock strucken, I will hear the bar until eleven, or half an hour after ten at the least. And since I am upon the point whom I will hear, your lordships will give me leave to tell you a fancy. It falleth out, that there be three of us the king's servants in great places, that are lawyers by descent, Mr. Attorney son of a judge, Mr. Solicitor likewise son of a judge, and myself a chancellor's son.
Now because the law roots so well in my time, I will water it at the root thus far, as besides these great ones, I will hear any judge's son before a serjeant, and any serjeant's son before a reader, if there be not many of them.
Lastly, for the better ease of the subjects, and the bridling of contentious suits, I shall give better, that is greater, costs where the suggestions are not proved, than hath been hitherto used.
There be divers orders for the better reglement of this court; and for granting of writs, and for granting of benefices and others, which I shall set down in a table. But I will deal with no other to
day but such as have a proper relation to his Majesty's commandment; it being my comfort that I serve such a master, that I shall need to be but a conduit only for the conveying of his goodness to his people. And it is true, that I do affect and aspire to make good that saying, that “Optimus magistratus præstat optimæ legi ;" which is true in his Majesty. And for myself, I doubt, I shall not attain it. But yet I have a domestic example to follow. My lords, I have no more to say, but now I will go on to the business of the court.
THE SPEECH WHICH WAS USED BY THE LORD KEEPER OF THE GREAT SEAL,
IN THE STAR-CHAMBER, BEFORE THE SUMMER CIRCUITS, THE KING BEING
THEN IN SCOTLAND, 1617.
The King, by his perfect declaration published in this place concerning judges and justices, hath made the speech of his chancellor, accustomed before the circuits, rather of ceremony than of use.
For as in his book to his son he hath set forth a true character and platform of a King ; so in this his speech he hath done the like of a judge and justice : which sheweth, that as his Majesty is excellently able to govern in chief; so he is likewise well seen and skilful in the inferior offices and stages of justice and government; which is a thing very rare in Kings.
Yet nevertheless, somewhat must be said to fulfil an old observance; but yet upon the King's grounds, and very briefly : for, as Solomon saith in another case, “ In these things who is he that can come after the King ?"
First, You that are the judges of circuits are, as it were, the planets of the kingdom, I do you no dishonour in giving you that name, and no doubt you have a great stroke in the frame of this government, as the other have in the great frame of the