(That is to say, those of you that are.
For, even in the most altruistic mood, there are some I bar.)
Workers, shirkers, writers, skiters, philosophers and others,
Attend. I address myself only to those
Of the class that habitually looketh even beyond its nose.
To him I speak who shrewdly seeketh for the milk in the cocoanut, while his fellows are repeating the bald assertion that 'The fruit is not yet ripe!'
Him I address who knoweth the sheep from the goats, the chaff from the oats,
the half-quid from the gilded sixpence, and the common sense from common tripe.
To the 'Man in the Street' I speak not, nor to the 'Right-thinking Person,'
nor 'Constant Subscriber,' nor 'Vox Populi,' nor 'The Bloke on the Train,'
nor any of their band.
For of the things I write they wot not, neither may they hope to understand.
But ye whom I, even I, presume to address as brother:-
Journalists, politicians, burglars, company promoters, miners, millers,
navvies, shearers, confidence-men, piano-tuners, paling-splitters,
bookmakers, process-workers, judges, brass-fitters, policemen and others.
Attend. Him who looketh for the hall-mark on every link, and taketh not the say-so of the label, nor the sworn affidavit of the pill advertisement
him who hath it in him to discern the fair thing from that which is over the odds, and shaketh the new-laid egg that he may know what is within it
Him I address. For lo, my brothers, maybe there is one of us born once a week or thereabouts, but we know it is written that one of the others is born every minute.
An ear; for I have planned for you a pleasing diversion.
Come with me, my brothers, and let us make a little excursion
Out over the land, through the cities and the country places, even to the farthest limit of Back-o'-beyond. Hearken brothers! What are these sounds we hear?
Say, what is all this babbling and gabbling, this howling and growling, this muttering and spluttering, that smites the ear?
Listen again. Do you hear them, brothers? Lo, they are the Echoes calling.
They are the multitudinous echoes that sound up and down the land; crying and sighing, squalling and bawling.
In all places they sound; in the city and in the country; upon the high mountains and along the plains, wherever man hideth; and at all times, for the night is loud with the sound of them even as is the day.
Listen again, brothers! What is it that they say?
Lo, this one shouteth. 'The Time is Not Yet Ripe!' And another bawleth.
'Capital is fleeing the Land!' And yet another howleth, 'It is
Inimical to Private Enterprise and Thrift!' And yet another screameth.
'It will Bust up the Home and ruin the Marriage Tie!'
Why do they howl these things, my brothers? I ask ye, why?
For lo, even as they shout, still other Echoes take up the cry till it is increased and multiplied even unto 70,000 times seven;
And a howl, as of 1400 she-elephants simultaneously robbed of their young, assaileth Heaven.
What say ye, brothers? What is the inner significance of these Echoes, and why do they make these divers sounds? What say ye, brothers; is it because they think?
Aha! I apprehend ye! I say ye - nay, verily, I heard ye wink.
For the noise of the falling - of the flapping of your collective eyelid was even as the banging of the bar door what time the clock telleth of eleven thirty p.m., and the voice of Hebe murmureth through the night 'Good-bye, ducky.'....But I digress.
Which is a characteristic failing I must confess!
It hath its compensations, as is plain to any noodle,
When matter is paid for at space rates, for it pileth up the boodle....
However, to resume. Let us isolate a case, my brothers. Let us sample an
Echo. Take Brown.
We all are well acquainted with Brown. Mayhap his name is Smith or Timmins, but no matter. He is the Man in the Street. He hath a domicile in the suburbs and an occupation in town.
This Brown riseth in the morning and donneth the garments of civilisation. In hot socks he garbeth his feet, and upon his back he putteth a coat which hath
a little split in the tail for no sane or accountable reason.
Except that it is an echo of the first and original split that set the fashion for the season.
Then he proceedeth to feed.
And simultaneously to read
His solemn, though occasionally hysterical, morning sheet, which he proppeth
against the cruet.
Remarking to his spouse, inter alia. 'I wish to goodness, Mirabel, you wouldn't cook these things with so much suet!'
(Which rhyme, though labored, is remarkably ingenious and very rare. For you will find, if you try to get a rhyme for cruet - But let that pass. This is more digres
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