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Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/388

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THE MAN WHO LAUGHS.

cave; and guard your star, spider! You have Venus in your web. Do me the favour to be satisfied. I see your dreams are troubled. It is idiotic of you. Listen, I am going to speak to you in the language of true poetry. Let Dea eat beefsteaks and mutton-chops, and in six months she will be as strong as a Turk; marry her immediately, give her a child, two children, three children, a long string of children. That is what I call philosophy. Moreover, it is happiness, which is no folly. To have children is a glimpse of heaven. Have brats: blow their noses, spank them, wash them, and put them to bed. Let them swarm about you. If they laugh, it is well; if they howl, it is better,—crying is healthy. Watch them suck at six months, crawl at a year, walk at two, grow tall at fifteen, fall in love at twenty. He who has these joys has everything. For myself, I lacked the privilege, and that is the reason why I am such a brute. God, a composer of beautiful poems and the first of men of letters, said to his fellow-workman, Moses, 'Increase and multiply.' Such is the text. So multiply, you beast! As for the world, it is as it is; you cannot make nor mar it. Do not trouble yourself about it. Pay no attention to what goes on outside. A comedian is made to be looked at, not to look. Do you know what there is outside? The happy, by right. You, I repeat, are one of the happy by chance. You are the pickpocket of the happiness of which they are the rightful proprietors. They are the legitimate possessors; you are an interloper. You live in concubinage with luck. What do you want that you have not already? Shibboleth help me! This fellow is a rascal. Such happiness is a swindle. Those who possess happiness by right do not like folks below them to have so much enjoyment. If they ask you what right you have to be happy, you will not know what to an-