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Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/393

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THINKING JUSTICE, SPEAKING TRUTH.

three-year-old poplar tree. Their supremacy is such that they have a language of their own. In heraldic style, black, which is called sable for gentry, is called saturne for princes, and diamond for peers. Diamond powder! a night thick with stars, such is the night of the happy! Even among themselves these high and mighty lords have their distinctions. A baron cannot bathe with a viscount without his permission. These are indeed excellent safeguards for the nation. What a fine thing it is for the people to have twenty-five dukes, five marquises, seventy-six earls, nine viscounts, and sixty-one barons; making altogether a hundred and seventy-six peers, some of whom are "your grace," and some "my lord." What matter a few rags here and there; everybody cannot be dressed in cloth of gold. Let the rags be. Can you not gaze on the purple? One counterbalances the other. Of course, there are the poor; what of them? They are made to add to the comfort of the opulent. Devil take it! our lords are our glory! The pack of hounds belonging to Charles, Baron Mohun, costs him as much as the hospital for lepers in Moorgate, and Christ's Hospital, founded for children, in 1558, by Edward VI. Thomas Osborne, Duke of Leeds, spends yearly on his liveries five thousand golden guineas. The Spanish grandees have a guardian appointed by law to prevent them from ruining themselves. That is cowardly. Our lords are extravagant and magnificent. I honour them for it. Let us not abuse them like envious folks. I feel happy when a beautiful vision passes. I do not possess the light myself, but I have the reflection. A reflect on thrown on my ulcer, you will say. Go to the devil! I am a Job, happy in the contemplation of Trimalcion. Oh, that beautiful and radiant planet up there! But the moonlight is something! To suppress the lords was an idea