Page:Conventional Lies of our Civilization.djvu/162

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148

THE POLITICAL LIE.

near, if he were a married soldier, but all that is not to the point, he is obliged to wait until he has taken off his uniform for good. This finally comes to pass. Now can he take his sweetheart home with him? Certainly, if both he and she are provided with all the necessary papers, and a goodly lot of them is required. If even one of them is lacking, it is all up with the wedding. Hans manages to sail around this dangerous reef by skill and good fortune at last, and now he would like to open a wine-house. This he can not do without the permission of the authorities, and they will or will not grant this permission as they happen to think best. He would meet with the same experience in many other trades which he might select, even if they did not interfere in the slightest with the rights of others, nor could possibly be construed as a nuisance, as injurious to the health of others or as immoral. Hans wishes to rebuild his house. He must not stir in the matter unless he has the requisite certificate of permission from the authorities in his hand. This is easily understood. The street belongs to everybody, his house stands on the street—consequently he must submit to the usual regulations. He has also an extensive garden, and in the centre of it, far from the public street, sheltered from all eyes and where no stranger's foot would ever enter, he wishes to erect some building. Even this is not allowable without the indispensable permit from the authorities. He perhaps has a store, and feels no need of a day of rest in every seven. He would like to sell goods Sundays as well as other days. This he must not do, unless he wishes to be arrested by the police and fined or imprisoned. The shop may be a restaurant. Hans suffers from sleeplessness and rather prefers than otherwise, to keep his establishment open all night. The police appoint a time to close and if he attempts to suit his own