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

Part II

Of the Benefit of Justice

181. Justice is a great Support of Society, because an Insurance to all Men of their Property: This violated, there ’s no Security, which throws all into Confusion to recover it.

182. An Honest Man is a fast Pledge in Dealing. A Man is Sure to have it if it be to be had.

183. Many are so, merely of Necessity: Others not so only for the same Reason: But such an honest Man is not to be thanked, and such a dishonest Man is to be pity’d.

184. But he that is dishonest for Gain, is next to a Robber, and to be punish’d for Example.

185. And indeed there are few Dealers, but what are Faulty, which makes Trade Difficult, and a great Temptation to Men of Virtue.

186. ’T is not what they should, but what they can get: Faults or Decays must be concealed: Big Words given, where they are not deserved, and the Ignorance or Necessity of the Buyer imposed upon for unjust Profit.

187. These are the Men that keep their Words for their own Ends, and are only Just for Fear of the Magistrate.

188. A Politick rather than a Moral Honesty; a constrained, not a chosen Justice: According to the Proverb, Patience per Force, and thank you for nothing.

189. But of all Justice, that is the greatest, that passes under the Name of Law. A Cut-Purse in Westminster-Hall exceeds; for that advances Injustice to Oppression, where Law is alledged for that which it should punish.