THE MEANING OF "ss." 1 To the Editor of the Green Bag: — Sir: I read with interest your article by Mr. Charles Mann, A.M., upon "The Mysterious SS." in legal process and pleadings,2 and was much disappointed at the outcome, without questioning the erudition of the gentleman. And bear ing in mind that English Kings in early days sat in person as Chancellors in a movable court, and dispensed justice, I can give you a better meaning for the letters "ss." placed upon each side of the Chancellor's collar than scilicet, or to wit, which I gathered from the perusal of a small volume entitled "Courts and Lawyers of England." In view of the profound reverence the English people pay to their superior judges, and the rule which obtains.with the British bar, that no lawyer, or bar rister rather, can be too talented to be a judge, the reason appeals to me, and I believe it will to you when it is dis closed. The letters "ss." upon all legal process stand for the words Sovereign Salvator, which I construe to mean, in the connection used, a constant re minder to all litigants, and persons having business in courts, that through the discharge of the King's duties, through his judges, alone, shall they have right and justice awarded to them, the English Government always recog nizing that there is such a character as a patriot King. Bearing in mind the hard practical common sense of the English i See 25 Green Bag 59, 386. — Ed. 'September number, 1913, p. 386.
people, and their adhesion to reason able force upon all occasions to enforce established order, this is the most com mon-sense and reasonable explanation I have ever met. And whether it is the true cause or not, which I certainly believe it is, it should be written as a mystery solved. It accords with our judgment of right, and the eternal fit ness of things. As we have discovered a reasonable and plausible reason, fur ther discussion is as useless as the attempt to rob Shakspere of his repu tation by certain Baconian fanatics. Shakspere wrote and fathered his words, he was praised and abused therefor, as their author and father. Johnson praised him, his contemporaries Web ster, Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher, recognized his ability and conceded his worth. Voltaire riddled his crudeness with his shafts of raillery. Two hun dred years after his death Ignatius Don nelly and Dr. Orville Owen attempt to paint him as a Jackdaw, a futile task. Therefore let "ss." be a mystery no longer, either in America or England. In America the people's power reigns, through that power justice is adminis tered and relief given. In England it is theoretically through the power and good will of the King. With the mean ing I assign the letters are symbolical of a proper sentiment. It is to be hoped that they may remain forever upon the court's process as representing something intelligible and not a mere jumble. James H. Pound. Detroit, Mich.