Thought for the Day

The Leech replied with dignity that he excused the expression, though it hurt his feelings (on this he rubbed his eyes with the tip of his tail.) He was no quack, as the editor would perceive by reading the advertisement he desired to insert. It began thus:

“Mankind has been afflicted with colds in the head, it is believed, ever since the expulsion from Paradise. It may, indeed, be a question whether Adam was or was not afflicted in this manner previous to the fall; but as in all things we perceive a beautiful and unerring fitness, the chances are that he was not, as there were evidently no pocket-handkerchiefs at the time, and a fig-leaf can not be thought of as a substitute in this case. However this be, there is little room for doubt, considering the costume of our early parents, that they must have taken cold at a very early period of their sinful career. It harrows every sensitive mind to reflect that the beauteous Eve–whose picture is so admirably drawn by the divine Milton–must have spoken at times through her nose, and been compelled to use her apron for purposes which we shrink from describing. Nor can it be questioned but Cain–”

“Sir,” said the Editor to the Leech, after glancing at the remaining portion of the manuscript, “what on earth have you to do with Eve’s nose? What will it profit you to publish a history of colds in the head, at ten cents per line?”

“My worthy friend,” replied the Leech, fastening on him, “that is my business, not yours. Be careful to publish my address in small caps, cast side of the frog-pond, hole No. 496. So long as you are paid your price, you don’t care what you publish, do you?”

“Oh! certainly not,” replied the Editor, who knew his trade.

The Animal Declaration of Independence Harper’s January 1857 [edited extract being part 14 in a series of 19]

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