Page:Crainquebille, Putois, Riquet and other profitable tales, 1915.djvu/218

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204
JEAN MARTEAU

receive various interpretations. The law is dead. The magistrate is living: he possesses this great advantage over the law. Unfortunately he seldom uses it. Generally he schools himself to be colder, more insensible, more dead than the code he applies. He is not human; he knows no pity. In him the caste spirit stifles all human sympathy.

"I am only speaking now of honest judges."

"They are in the majority," said Monsieur Goubin.

"They are in the majority," replied Monsieur Bergeret, "if we refer to common honesty and everyday morals. But is an approach to common honesty sufficient equipment for a man who, without falling into error or abuse has to wield the enormous power of punishing? A good judge should possess at once a kind heart and a philosophic mind. That is much to ask from a man who has his way to make and is determined to win advancement in his profession. Leaving out of account the fact that if he displays a morality superior to that of his day he will be hated by his fellows and will arouse universal indignation. For we condemn as immoral all morality which is not our own. All who have introduced any novel goodness into the world have met with the scorn of honest folk. That is what happened to President Magnaud.