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Lavengro; the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest
written by "Borrow, George Henry, 1803-1881"
...prove that such people exist.’ ‘What people, dear?’ ‘You and I.’ ‘Lord, child, you are mad; that book has made you so.’ ‘Don’t abuse it,’ said I; ‘the book is an excellent one, that is, provided it exists.’ ‘I wish it did not,’ said the old woman; ‘but it shan’t long; I’ll burn it, or fling it into the river—the voices at night tell me to do so.’ ‘Tell the voices,’ said I, ‘that they talk nonsense; the book, if it exists, is a good book, it contains a deep moral; have you read it all?’ ‘All the funny parts, dear; all about taking things, and the manner it was done; as for the rest, I could not exactly make it out.’ ‘Then the book is not to blame; I repeat that the book is a good book, and contains deep morality, always supposing that there is such a thing as morality, which is the same thing as supposing that there is anything at all.’ ‘Anything at all!  Why ain’t we here on this bridge, in my booth, with my stall and my—’ ‘Apples and pears, baked hot, you would say—I don’t know; all is a mystery, a deep question.  It is a question, and probably always will be, whether there is a world, and consequently apples and pears; and, provided there be a world, whether that world be like an apple or a pear.’ ‘Don’t talk so, dear.’ ‘I won’t; we will suppose that we all exist—world, ourselves, apples, and pears: so you wish to get rid of the book?’ ‘Yes, dear, I wish you would take it.’ ‘I have read it, and have no farther use for it; I do not need books: in a little time, perhaps, I shall not have a place wherein to deposit myself, far less books.’ ‘Then I will fling it into the river.’ ‘Don’t do that; here, give it me.  Now what shall I do with it? you were so fond ...

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