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The Duty of Superiors as they are Judges.

1. Princes in judgment and their delegate judges must judge the causes of all persons uprightly and impartially, without any personal consideration of the power of the mighty, or the bribe of the rich, or the needs of the poor. For although the poor must fare no worse for his poverty, yet, in justice, be must fare no better for it; and although the rich must be no more regarded, yet he must not be less. And to this purpose the tutor of Cyrus instructed him, when in a controversy, where a great boy would have taken a large coat from a little boy, because his own was too little for him, and the other’s was too big, he adjudged the great coat to the great boy: his tutor answered, “Sir, if you were made to judge of decency or fitness, you had judged well in giving the biggest to the biggest; but when you are appointed judge, not whom the coat did fit, but whose it was, you should have considered the title and the possession, who did the violence, and who made it, or who bought it.” And so it must be in judgments between the rich and the poor: it is not to be considered what the poor man needs, but what is his own.

2. A prince may not, much less may inferior judges, deny justice, when it is legally and competently demanded: and if the prince will use his prerogative in pardoning an offender, against whom justice is required, he must be careful to give satisfaction to the injured person, or his relatives, by some other instrument; and be watchful to take away the scandal, that is, lest such indulgence might make persons more bold to do injury: and if he spares the life, let him change the punishment into that which may make the offender, if not suffer justice, yet do justice, and more real advantage to the injured person.

These rules concern princes and their delegates in the making or administering laws, in the appointing rules of justice, and doing acts of judgment. The duty of parents to their children and nephews is briefly described by St. Paul.

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