Fantastic Fables, Ambrose Bierce: The Party Manager and the Gentleman
The Party Manager and the Gentleman
A PARTY Manager said to a Gentleman whom he saw minding his own business:
"How much will you pay for a nomination to office?"
"Nothing," the Gentleman replied.
"But you will contribute something to the campaign fund to assist in your election, will you not?" asked the Party Manager, winking.
"Oh, no," said the Gentleman, gravely. "If the people wish me to work for them, they must hire me without solicitation. I am very comfortable without office."
"But," urged the Party Manager, "an election is a thing to be desired. It is a high honour to be a servant of the people."
"If servitude is a high honour," the Gentleman said, "it would be indecent for me to seek it; and if obtained by my own exertion it would be no honour."
"Well," persisted the Party Manager, "you will at least, I hope, indorse the party platform."
The Gentleman replied: "It is improbable that its authors have accurately expressed my views without consulting me; and if I indorsed their work without approving it I should be a liar."
"You are a detestable hypocrite and an idiot!" shouted the Party Manager.
"Even your good opinion of my fitness," replied the Gentleman, "shall not persuade me."