Samuel Butler quote about death from The Note-Books of Samuel Butler - The dead should be judged as we judge criminals, impartially, but they should be allowed the benefit of a doubt.
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The dead should be judged as we judge criminals, impartially, but they should be allowed the benefit of a doubt.
 Samuel Butler, The Note-Books of Samuel Butler (1912). copy citation

Context

“Very likely, but the fact that we shall not remember much about a dinner forty years hence does not make it less agreeable now, and after all it is only the accumulation of these forgotten dinners that makes the dinner of forty years hence possible.
Judging the Dead The dead should be judged as we judge criminals, impartially, but they should be allowed the benefit of a doubt. When no doubt exists they should be hanged out of hand for about a hundred years. After that time they may come down and move about under a cloud. After about 2000 years they may do what they like. If Nero murdered his mother—well, he murdered his mother and there's an end.” source

Meaning and analysis

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