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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

Rebelliousness                  345

thing about it or we may be put to other work. You see, we
must be doing something, and now we know how to do this,
we don't want the bother of learning something new. You
may be right, but we have not got to make our living by it,
and what in the name of reason can it matter whether the
sieves ever get full or not ? "

My traveller reported much the same with regard to the
eternal happiness on Mount Olympus. Hercules found Hebe
a fool and could never get her off his everlasting knee. He
would have sold his soul to find another ^gisthus.

So Jove saw all this and it set him thinking.

" It seems to me," said he, " that Olympus and Hades are
both failures."

Then he summoned a council and the whole matter was
thoroughly discussed. In the end Jove abdicated, and the
gods came down from Olympus and assumed mortality.
They had some years of very enjoyable Bohemian existence
going about as a company of strolling players at French and
Belgian town fairs ; after which they died in the usual way,
having discovered at last that it does not matter how high
up or how low down you are, that happiness and misery are
not absolute but depend on the direction in which you are
tending and consist in a progression towards better or worse,
and that pleasure, like pain and like everything that grows,
holds in perfection but a little moment.