Page:Crainquebille, Putois, Riquet and other profitable tales, 1915.djvu/190

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176
UPRIGHT JUDGES

to administer it according to the letter. For the letter is fixed, the spirit is fleeting.

Second judge. Law is wholly of man. It was born foolish and cruel in the early glimmerings of human reason. But were it of divine essence, it should be followed according to the spirit not according to the letter, for the letter is dead and the spirit is living.

Having thus conversed, the two upright judges dismounted and with their escort approached the Tribunal, whither they must go, in order to render unto each man his due. Their horses, tied to a stake, under a great elm, conversed together. The first judge's horse spoke first:

"When horses inherit the earth," he said (and the earth will doubtless belong to them one day, for the horse is obviously the ultimate end and the final object of creation), "when the earth is the horse's and we are free to act as we will, we will live under laws like men and we will take delight in imprisoning, hanging and breaking on the wheel our fellow creatures. We will be moral beings. It shall be proved by the prisons, the gibbets and the strappados which shall be erected in our towns. There shall be legislative horses. What do you think, Roussin?"

Roussin, who was the second judge's steed, replied