The Arousing of Thought – p18.1

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While writing and cogitating how to explain this idea to Mr. Printer, there arose unsought in this madcap brain of mine, another idea quite disadvantageous for me personally, namely, the idea to be sure to assign a definite sum of money for the misunderstandings which may arise when the uncut books are returned to the bookseller.

The disadvantage to myself in this idea which has spontaneously arisen in my madcap brain consists chiefly in this; that I shall be forced to take this money from a fund, dependent solely on my own will, free from the advice or disagreement of others, misbegotten busybodies, always around me, and, namely, from what is called my “Crayfish-fund.”

Now that I happen to be speaking of this fund of mine, which depends solely on my independent will, objective justice demands that I should not fail, first of all, to praise and extol with an impulse of great affection and sentiment the names of the noble “Uncle Sam” and “John Bull,” and then, with an impulse of gratitude, to remark that during several years, genuine sprigs of those names I have just extolled, who for various objective merits have become worthy to rank as “Crayfish-idiots,” have hitherto always punctually and even with unction kept supplied and so far still supply this solitary hearth of my, so to say, hopes and expectations.

It must be allowed that by reducing the number of my so to say “crayfish-parasites,” who have become indispensable assistants in what has lately become, as it were, a necessity for my recreation, I ought to be able also to provide that sum of money from this fund, but owing to that specific and moreover terrible disease, always chronic and, lately, on the increase among the poor and wretched money-changers, which disease has become well known on the Earth under the description of being “hell-bent,” not even such a self-deprivation can save me, because on account of this terrible disease, it has already now become extremely difficult for me to make both ends meet.

Eh . . . Ekh! . . . unfortunate me, hapless victim of a combination of planetary influences at the moment of my appearance here below!