The Green Bag
so obligingly have retained the rest to furnish evidence for his captors — or how his possession of any part of it was to be accounted for after the stripping and search when he was first awakened? Against all this there was little except Boldy's word. If he were capable of manufacturing the story of his loss and afterward hiding the purse in the timber, everything was explained; and the jury may have known him well enough to estimate the chances of this, and even to follow his nice calculation, reminiscent of Kipling's "Gemini," of the exact amount which should be named as miss ing from the purse. . But it was one thing to weigh the opposing considerations with a free mind, as a jury might do today, and another to stand where Wynscott's jury stood, with a choice between his safety and their own. An acquittal very likely meant imprisonment and ruin for them; and these they chose to face rather than compromise with their consciences. The Englishman's stubbornness in de fense of his rights is proverbial. Even when no more than his selfish interest is involved it has received tribute from high quarters.6 And in its nobler mani•A famous passage from Ihering's "Struggle for Law" (Lalor's Translation, pp. 61, 94), is worth quoting once more: "The best proof of this is afforded by the English people. Their wealth has caused no detriment to their feeling of legal right; and what energy it still possesses, even in pure questions of property, we, on the Continent, have frequently proof enough of, in the typical figure of the traveling Englishman who resists being duped by inn-keepers and hackmen, with a manfulness which would induce one to think he was defending the law of Old England — who, in case of need, postpones his departure, remains days in the place and spends ten times the amount he refuses to pay. The people laugh at him. and do not understand him. It were better if they did understand him. For, in the few shillings which the man here de fends, Old England lives. At home, in his own country, everyone understands him, and no one lightly ventures to overreach him. Place an Aus trian of the same social position and the same means in the place of the Englishman — how would he act? If I can trust my own experience in this
festations, when it was a question of standing for the truth and the rights of others, the same trait is to be seen on many pages of our legal history. Sir James Hales was soon to write one of these pages. Though he had risked his life by standing out alone among the judges against disinheriting the Princess Mary, he was marked for punishment on her accession to the throne, for he had been no less loyal to the law in enforcing the statutes concerning religious wor ship. This is the dialogue which took place when he was called to account for his judicial conduct by Gardiner, now become Lord Chancellor: — Chan. Master Hales, ye shall understand that like as the queen's highness hath heretofore conceived good opinion of you, especially for that you stood both faithfully and lawfully in her cause of just succession, refusing to set your hand to the book among others that were against her grace in that behalf; so now, through your own late deserts against certain her highness's doings, ye stand not well in her grace's favour; and therefore before ye take any oath, it shall be necessary for you to make your purgation. Hales. I pray you, my lord, what is the cause? Chan. Information is given, that ye have indicted certain priests in Kent for saying mass. Hales. My lord, it is not so, I indicted none; but indeed certain indictments of like matter were brought before me at the last assizes there holden, and I gave order therein as the law re quired. For I have professed the law, against which in cases of justice I will never, God willmatter, not one in ten would follow the example of the Englishman. Others shun the disagreeableness of the controversy, the making of a sensation, the possibility of a misunderstanding to which they might expose themselves, a misunderstanding which the Englishman in England need not at all fear, and which he quietly takes into the bargain; that is, they pay. But. in the few pieces of silver which the Englishman refuses and which the Austrian pays, there lies concealed more than one would think, of England and Austria; there lie concealed centuries of their political development and of their social life. ... In the shilling for which he stub bornly struggles the political development of Eng land lives. . No one will dare to wrest from a people who. in the very smallest matters, bravely assert their rights, the highest of their possessions."