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Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/394

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THE MAN WHO LAUGHS.

which Orestes, mad as he was, would not have dared to entertain. To say that the lords are mischievous or useless, is to say that the State should be revolutionized, and that men are not made to live like cattle, browsing the grass and bitten by the dog. The field is shorn by the sheep, the sheep by the shepherd. It is all one to me. I am a philosopher, and I attach just about as much importance to life as a fly. Life is only a lodging-house. When I think that Henry Bowes Howard, Earl of Berkshire, has in his stable twenty-four state carriages, of which one is mounted in silver, and another in gold,—good heavens! I know that every one does not possess twenty-four state carriages; but there is no need to complain for all that. Because you were cold one night, what was that to him? It concerns you only. Others besides you suffer from cold and hunger. Don't you know that but for the cold Dea would not have been blind; and if Dea were not blind, she would not love you? Think of that, you fool! Besides, if all the people who are unhappy were to complain, there would be a pretty tumult! Silence is the rule. I have no doubt that Heaven imposes silence on the damned, otherwise Heaven itself would be spoiled by their everlasting wailing. The happiness of Olympus is ensured by the silence of Cocytus. Then, good people, be silent! I do better myself; I approve and admire.

"Just now I was enumerating the lords, and I ought to add to the list two archbishops and twenty-four bishops. Truly, I am quite affected when I think of it! I remember to have seen at the tithe-gathering of the Rev. Dean of Raphoe, who combined the peerage with the church, a great tithe of beautiful wheat taken from the peasants in the neighbourhood, and which the dean had not been at the trouble of growing. This left him time to say his prayers. Do you know that Lord