J. F. Well, Bill, it won’t much matter. He can’t hurt us; so we will hope the best for him.
M. P. Should we hurt his feelings by being a little merry in his presence now?
J. F. Well, I think we may risk it. Let those of you who are not too lazy to dance, as I am, do so to the tune that sprang up at the dawn of freedom in the days of our great-grandfathers.
[They dance round CITIZEN NUPKINS, singing the following words to the tune of the “Carmagnole”:
What’s this that the days
and the days have done?
Man’s lordship over man hath gone.
How fares it, then, with high
Equal on earth, they thrive and grow.
Bright is the sun for
Dance we, dance we the Carmagnole.
How deal ye, then, with pleasure
Alike we share and bear the twain.
And what’s the craft whereby
Earth and man’s work to all men give.
How crown ye excellence of worth?
With leave to serve all men on earth.
What gain that lordship’s
past and done?
World’s wealth for all and every one.
[FREEMAN and NUPKINS come to the front.
* * * * *
J. F. Well, Nupkins, you see you have got the better of us damned Socialists after all. For in times past you used to bully us and send us to prison and hang us, and we had to put up with it; and now you and yours are no longer masters, there are no masters, and there is nobody to bully you. How do you like it, old fellow? (clapping him on the shoulder.)
C. N. (bursting into tears). A world without lawyers!—oh, dear! oh, dear! To think that I should have to dig potatoes and see everybody happy!
J. F. Well, Nupkins, you must bear it. And for my part, I can’t be very sorry that you feel it so keenly. When scoundrels lament that they can no longer be scoundrels for lack of opportunity, it is certain that THE TABLES ARE TURNED.
Printed and Published at the COMMONWEAL Office, 13
WORKS BY WILLIAM MORRIS.
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THE EARTHLY PARADISE: A Poem in four parts.
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