Saturday, June 25, 2011

What John Adams Wrote In The Margin -- Quoting Cicero

I mentioned below that John Adams wrote a note in the margin of his copy of Blackstone's Commentaries.  Since it was in Latin, I also indicated that I would try to get a translation of it -- and I did.  It turns out that he was quoting Cicero:

"For this is not a written but an innate law -- which we have not learned, received, or read of, but have obtained, imbibed, and derived from nature herself; which we have not been taught, but formed with; not trained in, but imbued with -- that if our life should fall into any danger, if into violence and the weapons either of robbers or of our enemies, everyone is justified in every expedient for salvation."

This was from Cicero's Oration for Milo.

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