Erewhon Revisited

Erewhon Revisited


"Go on," said George softly. That was enough for my father, so on he went.

"You are already doing part of what I wish. I was delighted with the two passages I heard on Sunday, from what you call the Sunchild's Sayings. I never said a word of either passage; I wish I had; I wish I could say anything half so good. And I have read a pamphlet by President Gurgoyle, which I liked extremely; but Inever said what he says I did. Again, I wish I had. Keep to this sort of thing, and I will be as good a Sunchildist as any of you.

But you must bribe some thief to steal that relic, and break it up to mend the roads with; and--for I believe that here as elsewhere fires sometimes get lighted through the carelessness of a workman--set the most careless workman you can find to do a plumbing job near that picture."Hanky looked black at this, and George trod lightly on my father's toe, but he told me that my father's face was innocence itself.

"These are hard sayings," said Dr. Downie.

"I know they are," replied my father, "and I do not like saying them, but there is no royal road to unlearning, and you have much to unlearn. Still, you Musical Bank people bear witness to the fact that beyond the kingdoms of this world there is another, within which the writs of this world's kingdoms do not run. This is the great service which our church does for us in England, and hence many of us uphold it, though we have no sympathy with the party now dominant within it. 'Better,' we think, 'a corrupt church than none at all.' Moreover, those who in my country would step into the church's shoes are as corrupt as the church, and more exacting. They are also more dangerous, for the masses distrust the church, and are on their guard against aggression, whereas they do not suspect the doctrinaires and faddists, who, if they could, would interfere in every concern of our lives.

"Let me return to yourselves. You Musical Bank Managers are very much such a body of men as your country needs--but when I was here before you had no figurehead; I have unwittingly supplied you with one, and it is perhaps because you saw this, that you good people of Bridgeford took up with me. Sunchildism is still young and plastic; if you will let the cock-and-bull stories about me tacitly drop, and invent no new ones, beyond saying what a delightful person I was, I really cannot see why I should not do for you as well as any one else.

"There. What I have said is nine-tenths of it rotten and wrong, but it is the most practicable rotten and wrong that I can suggest, seeing into what a rotten and wrong state of things you have drifted. And now, Mr. Mayor, do you not think we may join the Mayoress and Mrs. Humdrum?""As you please, Mr. Higgs," answered the Mayor.