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In 14th century Germany this unsatisfactory state of the law, making justice dependent upon subtlety of quibbling was apparently unfamiliar. It is to be noted that the Anglo-TisAin and the English Gesta uphold the rule of strict interpretation without reference to an other time and country: "Constat omnibus imperii quod lex est posita quod siquis sicut libera voluntate se obligat, sic recipietur". "Sirs, ye know welle it is the law of the Emperour that yf onye man bynde him by his own free wille, he shall Resseyve as he servithe". Prof. Paul Huvelin1 explains that this literal execution of even immoral contracts was Common Law in England, as distinct from Equity, until the 18th century. "Les Courts of Common Law jugent at law, en droit strict, en s'asservissant a la lettre de la loi et des contrats .... Les contrats formels sont des contrats de droit strict, d'interprétation rigoureuse. Le juge a qui ils sont soumis doit les interpréter a la lettre, sans pouvoir en rien retrancher, sans pouvoir y rien ajouter, pas même ce que le bons sens ou 1'équité devraient y impliquer. La bonne foi n'est pas sousentendue dans les contrats de droit strict." By Prof. Huvelin's exposition, the Trial-scene in the Merchant of Venice gains enormously from the Elizabethan English point of view. In the Italian novella it is also assumed that there was no overriding "Shylocke's" bond in Venice.2

1 Le Procés de Shylock, in the Bulletin de la Société des Amis de rUniversité de Lyon 1902.

* Prof. Huvelin overlooks that exactly the same points are made by the LadyIntercessor in H Pecorone. I do not see how he can be correct in saying: "Malgré les allusions répétées au droit de Venise, le eonflit qui nous intéresse ne correspond a rien de ce que nous savons de ce droit."

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