Satan, Etc.

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To dine, drink champagne, make a racket, and deliver speeches about national consciousness, the conscience of the people, freedom, and such things, while slaves in tail coats are running round your tables, veritable serfs, and your coachmen wait outside in the street, in the bitter cold –that is lying to the Holy Ghost.

Chekhov, Diary, February 19, 1896

Do you see that bruise blooming out there along the western horizon? I do believe that is the darkness coming on, fellas. Dutch, old boy, while we wait for them beans to boil why don’t you tune up that geetar of yours and favor us with one of them old hellhound yodels of yours? I might suggest the one about Satan and the fat little baby, where the bird carries away the baby and hides it under a bush and a badger finds it there and offers to trade it to Satan for the chance to walk upright like a man; and though Satan eventually agrees to this particular arrangement, he finds himself over time increasingly embittered by the hard bargain the badger drove with him so he makes that little baby grow up to be a great tyrant, and the tyrant one day orders the execution of the badger, who has been going about the world as an investment banker.

I love that song.