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"Thou Shalt Hear The Judgment Of The Dullard…."
by [?]

Translated From The Russian
By Isabel Hapgood


“Thou shalt hear the judgment of the dullard….” Thou hast always spoken the truth, thou great writer of ours; thou hast spoken it this time, also.

“The judgment of the dullard and the laughter of the crowd.”… Who is there that has not experienced both the one and the other?

All this can–and must be borne; and whosoever hath the strength,–let him despise it.

But there are blows which beat more painfully on the heart itself…. A man has done everything in his power; he has toiled arduously, lovingly, honestly…. And honest souls turn squeamishly away from him; honest faces flush with indignation at his name. “Depart! Begone!” honest young voices shout at him.–“We need neither thee nor thy work, thou art defiling our dwelling–thou dost not know us and dost not understand us…. Thou art our enemy!”

What is that man to do then? Continue to toil, make no effort to defend himself–and not even expect a more just estimate.

In former days tillers of the soil cursed the traveller who brought them potatoes in place of bread, the daily food of the poor man…. They snatched the precious gift from the hands outstretched to them, flung it in the mire, trod it under foot.

Now they subsist upon it–and do not even know the name of their benefactor.

So be it! What matters his name to them? He, although he be nameless, has saved them from hunger.

Let us strive only that what we offer may be equally useful food.

Bitter is unjust reproach in the mouths of people whom one loves…. But even that can be endured….

“Beat me–but hear me out!” said the Athenian chieftain to the Spartan chieftain.

“Beat me–but be healthy and full fed!” is what we ought to say.

February, 1878.