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William Penn. (1644–1718). Fruits of Solitude.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Part I


404. Impartiality, though it be the last, is not the least Part of the Character of a good Magistrate.

405. It is noted as a Fault, in Holy Writ, even to regard the Poor: How much more the Rich in Judgment?

406. If our Compassions must not sway us; less should our Fears, Profits or Prejudices.

407. Justice is justly represented Blind, because she sees no Difference in the Parties concerned.

408. She has but one Scale and Weight, for Rich and Poor, Great and Small.

409. Her Sentence is not guided by the Person, but the Cause.

410. The Impartial Judge in Judgment, knows nothing but the Law: The Prince no more than the Peasant, his Kindred than a Stranger. Nay, his Enemy is sure to be upon equal Terms with his Friend, when he is upon the Bench.

411. Impartiality is the Life of Justice, as that is of Government.

412. Nor is it only a Benefit to the State, for private Families cannot subsist comfortably without it.

413. Parents that are partial, are ill obeyed by their Children; and partial Masters not better served by their Servants.

414. Partiality is always Indirect, if not Dishonest: For it shews a Byass where Reason would have none; if not an Injury, which Justice every where forbids.

415. As it makes Favorites without Reason, so it uses no Reason in judging of Actions: Confirming the Proverb, The Crow thinks her own Bird the fairest.

416. What some see to be no Fault in one, they will have Criminal in another.

417. Nay, how ugly do our own Failings look to us in the Persons of others, which yet we see not in our selves.

418. And but too common it is for some People, not to know their own Maxims and Principles in the Mouths of other Men, when they give occasion to use them.

419. Partiality corrupts our Judgment of Persons and Things, of our selves and others.

420. It contributes more than any thing to Factions in Government, and Fewds in Families.

421. It is prodigal Passion, that seldom returns ’till it is Hunger-bit, and Disappointments bring it within bounds.

422. And yet we may be indifferent, to a Fault.