The Volokh Conspiracy

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Volokh Conspiracy

Words of wisdom on litigation, from Alexander Pope



Alexander Pope's translation of a poem by Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux:

Once (says an author; where, I need not say)
Two Trav'lers found an Oyster in their way;
Both fierce, both hungry; the dispute grew strong,
While Scale in hand Dame Justice passed along.
Before her each with clamor pleads the Laws,
Explained the matter, and would win the cause.
Dame Justice weighing long the doubtful Right,
Takes, opens, swallows it, before their sight.
The cause of strife remov'd so rarely well,
"There take" (says Justice), "take ye each a shell
We thrive at Westminster on Fools like you:
'Twas a fat oyster—live in peace—Adieu."