By Robert Louis Stevenson
Public Domain Books
IX - The Four Reformers.
FOUR reformers met under a bramble bush. They were all agreed the world must be changed. “We must abolish property,” said one.
“We must abolish marriage,” said the second.
“We must abolish God,” said the third.
“I wish we could abolish work,” said the fourth.
“Do not let us get beyond practical politics,” said the first. “The first thing is to reduce men to a common level.”
“The first thing,” said the second, “is to give freedom to the sexes.”
“The first thing,” said the third, “is to find out how to do it.”
“The first step,” said the first, “is to abolish the Bible.”
“The first thing,” said the second, “is to abolish the laws.”
“The first thing,” said the third, “is to abolish mankind.”
X. - THE MAN AND HIS FRIEND.
A MAN quarrelled with his friend.
“I have been much deceived in you,” said the man.
And the friend made a face at him and went away.
A little after, they both died, and came together before the great white Justice of the Peace. It began to look black for the friend, but the man for a while had a clear character and was getting in good spirits.
“I find here some record of a quarrel,” said the justice, looking in his notes. “Which of you was in the wrong?”
“He was,” said the man. “He spoke ill of me behind my back.”
“Did he so?” said the justice. “And pray how did he speak about your neighbours?”
“Oh, he had always a nasty tongue,” said the man.
“And you chose him for your friend?” cried the justice. “My good fellow, we have no use here for fools.”
So the man was cast in the pit, and the friend laughed out aloud in the dark and remained to be tried on other charges.