“That reminds me, sir,” said the young chap—but his employer waved him off.
“Do as I tell you,” he said sternly, “or—”
At the end of another week the old man called them both into his office.
“Neither of you seems to be improving in the way I want. But I have an idea. I’m going to put your desks next to each other. That ought to do it. You’re both good men, but you lean too far in the opposite directions. Run away now and act on each other.”
At the end of still another week, however, when once more they both stood in front of him, he betrayed his disappointment.
“It doesn’t seem to work,” he exclaimed. “What’s the matter with you boys, anyway? I thought my experiment would cure both of you, but it doesn’t seem to work.”
Turning to Mr. Sunshine, he said:
“Look here; why hasn’t he done you any good?”
Mr. Sunshine beamed and chuckled.
“Well, sir,” he said, “I can’t help it. Why, that fellow over there hasn’t got a thing in the world to worry him. He isn’t married, his salary is really more than he needs. He has no responsibilities, and if he should die to-morrow nobody would suffer. But he hasn’t got sense enough to have a good time. He strikes me as being such a joke that it makes me laugh harder than ever.”
Turning to Mr. Gloom, the old man said:
“Well, how about you? Why hasn’t this chap done you any good?”
Mr. Gloom looked more sour than ever.
“He hasn’t the slightest idea of the problems that confront me,” he said, “or what I suffer. But what really makes me mad is this: He has a wife and four young children on his hands, on the same salary I get. How they manage I don’t know. It isn’t living at all. And when I see a fellow like that, who ought to be worried to death all the time—and who would be if he looked the facts squarely in the face—grinning and telling stories like a minstrel, it makes me so d——d mad that I can’t see straight.”
There are certain family privileges which we all guard jealously:
An attorney was consulted by a woman desirous of bringing action against her husband for a divorce. She related a harrowing tale of the ill-treatment she had received at his hands. So impressive was her recital that the lawyer, for a moment, was startled out of his usual professional composure. “From what you say this man must be a brute of the worst type!” he exclaimed.
The applicant for divorce arose and, with severe dignity, announced: “Sir, I shall consult another lawyer. I came here to get advice as to a divorce, not to hear my husband abused!”
At one time in his varied career Mark Twain was not only poor, but he did not make a practice of associating with millionaires. The paragraph which follows is taken from an open letter to Commodore Vanderbilt. One paragraph of the “Open Letter” is worth embalming here: