of violence and iniquity, are incapable of stealing a halfpenny."
"But after all," said Monsieur Goubin, "there are just laws."
"Do you think so?" inquired Jean Marteau.
"Monsieur Goubin is right," said Monsieur Bergeret. "There are just laws. But law having been instituted for the defence of society, in its spirit cannot be more equitable than that society. As long as society is founded upon injustice the function of laws will be to defend and maintain that injustice. And the more unjust they are the worthier of respect they will appear. Notice also that, ancient as most of them are, they do not exactly represent present unrighteousness but past unrighteousnesses which is ruder and crasser. They are monuments of the Dark Ages which have lingered on into brighter days."
"But they are being improved," said Monsieur Goubin.
"They are being improved," said Monsieur Bergeret. "The Chamber and the Senate work at them when they have nothing else to do. But the heart of them remains; and it is bitter. To be frank, I should not greatly fear bad laws if they were administered by good judges. The law is unbending, it is said, I do not believe it. There is no text which may not