Fantastic Fables

by Ambrose Bierce

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The Hardy Patriots

A DISPENSER-ELECT of Patronage gave notice through the newspapers that applicants for places would be given none until he should assume the duties of his office. "You are exposing yourself to a grave danger," said a Lawyer. "How so?" the Dispenser-Elect inquired. "It will be nearly two months," the Lawyer answered, "before the day that you mention. Few patriots can live so long without eating, and some of the applicants will be compelled to go to work in the meantime. If that kills them, you will be liable to prosecution for murder." "You underrate their powers of endurance," the official replied. "What!" said the Lawyer, "you think they can stand work?" "No," said the other - "hunger."

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