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ἦν] ‘there are, as we said’, viz. in § 2. This however was not ‘said’ precisely as it is here; there, laws were divided into universal and special, and then the special subdivided into written (or positive law) and unwritten: and we now learn that the universal law is also unwritten, and that the special branch of the unwritten law, which must now be distinguished from the other, is to be found in that spirit of fairness and mercy and consideration, which consists in an inclination to relax the unnecessary rigour of the written code arising from its own imperfections, and at the same time to make due allowance for human errors and infirmities: all which is contained in the principles of equity, the unwritten law which prescribes such a course of conduct in matters of doubt. I have observed in the Introduction p. 244 that we are probably to extend this subordinate kind of ἄγραφοι νόμοι so as to include all the prevailing feelings and opinions as to propriety and right and wrong in general which prevail in each special state (and are therefore a kind of ἴδιος νόμος, distinguished from the universal): of which indeed the views and feelings represented by equity form a very considerable part.
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