A Piquant Trait of the Peculiar Psyche of Contemporary Man
“First of all, for this ‘solemn council’ of theirs, they would select from among themselves what is called a ‘president’ and only then would they proceed with their ‘trial.’
“To begin with, they would, as they say there, ‘pick you to pieces,’ and not only you, but your father, your grandfather, and perhaps even all the way back to Adam.
“If they should then decide—of course, as always, by a majority of votes—that you are guilty, they would sentence you according to the indications of a code of laws collated on the basis of former similar ‘puppet plays’ by beings called ‘old fossils.’
“But if they should happen, by a ‘majority of votes’ to find nothing criminal in your action at all—though this very seldom occurs among them—then this whole ‘trial’ of theirs, set out on paper in detail and signed by the whole lot of them, would be dispatched—you would think into the wastepaper basket? Oh, no!—to appropriate specialists; in the given instances to what is called the ‘Hierarchy’ or ‘Holy Synod,’ where the same procedure would be repeated; only in this case you would be tried by ‘important’ beings there.
“Only at the very end of this true ‘pouring from the empty into the void’ would they come to the main point, namely, that the accused is out of reach.
“But it is just here that arises the principal danger to your person, namely, that when they are quite certain beyond all doubt that they cannot get hold of you, they will then unanimously decide nothing more nor less than, as I have already said, to ‘anathematize’ you.
“And do you know what that is and how it is done?
“Then listen and shudder.