Upton Sinclair, ed. (18781968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest. 1915.
|The Lawyer and the Farmer|
From the Egyptian
(Egyptian; B.C. 1400, or earlier. A letter from a father to his son, exhorting him to stick to the study of his profession)
|IT is told to me that thou hast cast aside learning, and givest thyself to dancing; thou turnest thy face to the work in the fields, and castest the divine words behind thee.|| 1|
| Behold, thou rememberest not the condition of the fellah (farmer) when the harvest is taken over. The worms carry off half the corn, and the hippopotamus devours the rest; mice abound in the fields, and locusts arrive; the cattle devour, the sparrows steal. How miserable is the lot of the fellah! What remains on the threshing-floor, robbers finish it up. The bronze
are worn out, the horses die with threshing and plowing. Then the scribe (lawyer) moors at the bank, who is to take over the harvest for the government; the attendants bear staves, the negroes carry palm sticks. They say, Give corn! But there is none. They beat the fellah prostrate; they bind him and cast him into the canal, throwing him headlong. His wife is bound before him, his children are swung off; his neighbors let them go, and flee to look after their corn.|| 2|
| But the scribe is the leader of labor for all; he reckons to himself the produce in winter, and there is none that appoints him his tale of produce. Behold, now thou knowest!|| 3|