Samuel Butler: The Way of All Flesh

61. CHAPTER LXI (continued)

But with all the best wishes in the world neither Towneley nor I could do much to help beyond giving our moral support. Our attorney told us that the magistrate before whom Ernest would appear was very severe on cases of this description, and that the fact of his being a clergyman would tell against him. "Ask for no remand," he said, "and make no defence. We will call Mr Pontifex's rector and you two gentlemen as witnesses for previous good character. These will be enough. Let us then make a profound apology and beg the magistrate to deal with the case summarily instead of sending it for trial. If you can get this, believe me, your young friend will be better out of it than he has any right to expect."

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