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all judges had rather that ten innocent should suffer, than that one guilty should escape

Victor's bitterness over the law may reflect Godwin's teachings about its arbitrary nature and conformist tendencies, as well as Percy Bysshe Shelley's own legal problems with his father during Mary's first years living with him. We see similar sentiments in Elizabeth's aversion to the law as a profession for Ernest, which is expressed in a passage in the first edition (1.5.2 and note).