If you look at romantic comedies as pieces of commerce, the audience is looking for wish fulfillment.
So may the outward shows be least themselves:The world is still deceived with ornament.In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,But, being seasoned with a gracious voice,Obscures the show of evil? In religion,What damned error, but some sober browWill bless it and approve it with a text,Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?There is no vice so simple but assumesSome mark of virtue on his outward parts.
And if you would know God, be not therefore a solver of riddles.Rather look about you and you shall see Him playing with your children.And look into space; you shall see Him walking in the cloud, outstretching His arms in the lightning and descending in rain.You shall see Him smiling in flowers, then rising and waving His hands in trees.
The fantastical idea of virtue and the public good being a sufficient security to the state against the commission of crimes...was never mine. It is only the sanguinary hue of our penal laws which I meant to object to. Punishments I know are necessary, and I would provide them strict and inflexible, but proportioned to the crime. Death might be inflicted for murder and perhaps for treason, [but I] would take out of the description of treason all crimes which are not such in their nature. Rape, buggery, etc., punish by castration. All other crimes by working on high roads, rivers, gallies, etc., a certain time proportioned to the offence... Laws thus proportionate and mild should never be dispensed with. Let mercy be the character of the lawgiver, but let the judge be a mere machine. The mercies of the law will be dispensed equally and impartially to every description of men; those of the judge or of the executive power will be the eccentric impulses of whimsical, capricious designing man.
The doctor seemed especially troubled by the fact of the robbery having been unexpected, and attempted in the night-time; as if it were the established custom of gentlemen in the housebreaking way to transact business at noon, and to make an appointment, by the twopenny post, a day or two previous.