Fantastic Fables HTML version
A MORAL Principle met a Material Interest on a bridge wide enough for but one.
"Down, you base thing!" thundered the Moral Principle, "and let me pass over you!"
The Material Interest merely looked in the other's eyes without saying anything.
"Ah," said the Moral Principle, hesitatingly, "let us draw lots to see which shall retire till
the other has crossed."
The Material Interest maintained an unbroken silence and an unwavering stare.
"In order to avoid a conflict," the Moral Principle resumed, somewhat uneasily, "I shall
myself lie down and let you walk over me."
Then the Material Interest found a tongue, and by a strange coincidence it was its own
tongue. "I don't think you are very good walking," it said. "I am a little particular about
what I have underfoot. Suppose you get off into the water."
It occurred that way.
The Crimson Candle
A MAN lying at the point of death called his wife to his bedside and said:
"I am about to leave you forever; give me, therefore, one last proof of your affection and
fidelity, for, according to our holy religion, a married man seeking admittance at the gate
of Heaven is required to swear that he has never defiled himself with an unworthy
woman. In my desk you will find a crimson candle, which has been blessed by the High
Priest and has a peculiar mystical significance. Swear to me that while it is in existence
you will not remarry."
The Woman swore and the Man died. At the funeral the Woman stood at the head of
the bier, holding a lighted crimson candle till it was wasted entirely away.
The Blotted Escutcheon and the Soiled Ermine
A BLOTTED Escutcheon, rising to a question of privilege, said:
"Mr. Speaker, I wish to hurl back an allegation and explain that the spots upon me are
the natural markings of one who is a direct descendant of the sun and a spotted fawn.
They come of no accident of character, but inhere in the divine order and constitution of