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From The Wit and Humor of America, edited by Marshall P. Wilder, Volume IV, New York and London: Funk and Wagnalls and Company, 1911; p. 603.




Once on a time there were two Men, one of whom was a Good Man and the other a Rogue.

The Good Man one day saw a Wretched Drunkard endeavoring to find his way Home.

Being most kind-hearted, the Good man assisted the Wretched Drunkard to his feet and accompanied him along the Highway toward his House.

The Good Man held fast the arm of the Wretched Drunkard, and the result of this was that when the Wretched Drunkard lurched giddily the Good Man lurched too.

Whereupon, as the Passing Populace saw the pair, they said: “Alas! Another good man gone wrong,” and they Wisely Wagged their Heads.

Now the Bad Man of this tale, being withal of a shrewd and canny Nature, stood often on a street corner, and engaged in grave conversation with the Magnates of the town.

To be sure, the Magnates shook him as soon as possible, but in no wise discouraged he cheerfully sauntered up to another Magnate. Thus did he gain a Reputation of being a friend of the Great.


This Fable teaches us that A Man is known by the Company he Keeps, and that We Must not Judge by Appearances.

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