Fantastic Fables

by Ambrose Bierce

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Two in Trouble

MEETING a fat and patriotic Statesman on his way to Washington to beseech the President for an office, an idle Tramp accosted him and begged twenty-five cents with which to buy a suit of clothes.

"Melancholy wreck," said the Statesman, "what brought you to this state of degradation? Liquor, I suppose."

"I am temperate to the verge of absurdity," replied the Tramp. "My foible was patriotism; I was ruined by the baneful habit of trying to serve my country. What ruined you?"


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It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.