Upton Sinclair, ed. (18781968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest. 1915.
(French philosopher and poet, 16941778; a skeptic and bitter satirist, imprisoned and exiled to England. One of the great intellectual forces which prepared the French Revolution)
|THE LORD of the castle was one of those Arabians who are commonly called robbers; but he now and then performed some good actions amidst a multitude of bad ones. He robbed with furious rapacity, and granted favors with great generosity.|| 1|
| May I take the liberty of asking thee, said Zadig, how long thou hast followed this noble profession?|| 2|
| From my most tender youth, replied the lord. I was servant to a petty, good-natured Arabian, but could not endure the hardships of my situation. I was vexed to find that fate had given me no share of the earth which equally belongs to all men. I imparted the cause of my uneasiness to an old Arabian, who said to me:|| 3|
| My son, do not despair; there was once a grain of sand that lamented that it was no more than a neglected atom in the deserts; at the end of a few years it became a diamond, and it is now the brightest ornament in the crown of the king of the Indies.|| 4|
| This discourse made a deep impression on my mind. I was the grain of sand, and I resolved to become the diamond. I began by stealing two horses. I soon got a party of companions. I put myself in a condition to rob small caravans; and thus, by degrees, I destroyed the difference which had formerly subsisted between me and other men. I had my share of the good things of this world; and was even recompensed with usury for the hardships I had suffered. I was greatly respected, and became the captain of a band of robbers. I seized this castle by force. The satrap of Syria had a mind to dispossess me of it; but I was too rich to have anything to fear. I gave the satrap a handsome present, by which I preserved my castle, and increased my possessions. He even appointed me treasurer of the tributes which Arabia Petraea pays to the king of kings. I perform my office of receiver with great punctuality; but I take the freedom to dispense with that of paymaster.|| 5|