March 2, 2021
“Where it’s miles in reality the proprietors that are to blame, they should be proven up. The selfishness of the riparian owner grows with every year. If those men had their way they would close the river Thames altogether. They genuinely do that along the minor tributary streams and within the backwaters. They drive posts into the bed of the movement, and draw chains throughout from financial institution to bank, and nail massive signboards on each tree. The sight of these signboards rouses such evil intuition in my nature. I feel a need to rip each one down, and hammer it over the top of the head of the man who placed it there, till I have killed him and then I could bury him, and put the signboard up over the grave as a tombstone.
“I noted those feelings of mine to Harris. He said he had them worse than that. He said he not only felt the desire to kill the person who induced the board to be put up, but that he must want to slaughter the whole family, and any pals the man might have, along with sundry family members, then burn down his residence, and sing comic songs as he danced a jig over the ruins.
“This seemed to me to be going quite some distance. We by no means need, I counseled, to allow our instincts of justice to degenerate into mere vindictiveness, I reasoned. It became a protracted while before I could get Harris to take a more charitable view… however, in closing, I succeeded in extracting from him a promise to spare the family and friends of the culprit, and that he would not sing comic songs and dance over the ruins of the family estate.”
–Excerpt from Three Men in a Boat, by Jerome K. Jerome
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