THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF KNOWING EVERYONE
A profiteer, a Priest of Nebt-het, from Heliopolis, and a Fool were
walking together one day, when they met the grim figure of War belching
flame and fury.
‘Who is that?’ asked the fool and the priest of each other, quickening
their pace. But the profiteer raised his hat, bowed humbly, and stayed
to chat for a few moments with the terrible figure, before rejoining his
Presently, they came upon Death, mumbling to himself by the roadside.
The fool and the profiteer raised their eyebrows, and passed on, but the
priest of Nebt-het touched his forehead and made certain strange signs
with his hands, to which Death replied in like manner.
Then the three spied a beautiful woman who sat among the wildflowers. It
was Love, combing her hair and singing all the love-songs of the world.
‘That is a fine woman,’ said the profiteer, staring hard.
‘I do not know her,’ said the priest, somewhat sadly. But the fool ran
forward and caught her hands in his, and they laughed together. So the
priest and the profiteer walked on, but when they had gone a little way,
they turned round, and there was the fool sitting at her feet and
looking into her eyes as she sang and combed her hair.
‘The fool has all the luck,’ they grumbled.
being Tales Travesties and Epigrams by
J. B. PRIESTLEY