In order to make the children sensible of the pitiable condition of these men, Grandfather singled out Peter Oliver, chief justice of Massachusetts under the crown, and imagined him walking through the streets of Boston on the morning before he left it forever.
Old Chief Justice Oliver threw on his red cloak, and placed his three- cornered hat on the top of his white wig.
The argument of the Republic is the search after Justice, the nature of which is first hinted at by Cephalus, the just and blameless old man– then discussed on the basis of proverbial morality by Socrates and Polemarchus–then caricatured by Thrasymachus and partially explained by Socrates–reduced to an abstraction by Glaucon and Adeimantus, and having become invisible in the individual reappears at length in the ideal State which is constructed by Socrates.
The natural divisions are five in number;–( 1) Book I and the first half of Book II down to the paragraph beginning, “I had always admired the genius of Glaucon and Adeimantus,” which is introductory; the first book containing a refutation of the popular and sophistical notions of justice, and concluding, like some of the earlier Dialogues, without arriving at any definite result.
She had lately remitted the trespass of a stage-coachman, who had overturned her post-chaise into a ditch; nay, she had even broken the law, in refusing to prosecute a highwayman who had robbed her, not only of a sum of money, but of her ear-rings; at the same time d–ning her, and saying, “Such handsome b–s as you don’t want jewels to set them off, and be d–n’d to you.” But now, so uncertain are our tempers, and so much do we at different times differ from ourselves, she would hear of no mitigation; nor could all the affected penitence of Honour, nor all the entreaties of Sophia for her own servant, prevail with her to desist from earnestly desiring her brother to execute justiceship (for it was indeed a syllable more than justice) on the wench.
But luckily the clerk had a qualification, which no clerk to a justice of peace ought ever to be without, namely, some understanding in the law of this realm.
No, he said, he could give no such liberty; I might ask it when I came before the justice of peace; and seeing I threatened him, he would take care of me in the meantime, and would lodge me safe in Newgate.
‘Good, sir,’ says the mercer to him tauntingly, ‘are you a justice of peace or a constable?