A PURITAN LITTLE TALE fROM rHYTHM 2.10 p.262
There was once an earnest puritan who held it wrong to dance. And
for his principles he laboured hard, his was a zealous life. And there
loved him all of those that hated the dance, and those that loved the
dance respected him too; they said "H e is a pure, good man, and acts
according to his lights."
He did much to discourage dancing and helped to close several Sunday entertainments. Some kinds of poetry he said he liked, but not the fanciful kind, as that might corrupt the thoughts of the very young. He always dressed in black.
He was interested in morality and was quite sincere, and there grew to be much respect on Earth for his honest face and his flowing pure- white beard.
One night the Devil appeared unto him in a dream and said, "Well
"Avaunt, " said that earnest man.
"No , no, friend," said the Devil.
"Dar e not to call me 'friend,'" he answered bravely.
"Gome, come, friend," said the Devil. "Hav e you not done my work ? Have you not put apart the couples that would dance ? Have you not checked their laughter and their accursed mirth ? Have you not worn my livery of black ? O friend, friend, you do not know what a detestable thing it is to sit in Hell and hear people being happy, and singing in theatres, and singing in the fields, and whispering after dances under the moon," and he fell to cursing frightfully.
" It is you," said the puritan, "tha t put into their hearts the evil desire to dance; and black is God's own livery, not yours."
And the Devil laughed contemptuously and spoke.
" He only made the silly colours," he said, "and useless dawns on hill-
slopes facing South, and butterflies flapping along them as soon as the sun
rose high, and foolish maidens coming out to dance, and the warm mad
West wind, and worst of all that pernicious influence Love."
And when the Devil said that God made Love, that earnest man sat up in bed and shouted, "Blasphemy! Blasphemy!"
"It's true," said the Devil. "It isn't I that send the village-fools muttering and whispering two by two in the woods when the harvest-moon is high, it's as much as I can bear even to see them dancing."
Then said the man, " I have mistaken right for wrong; but as soon as I wake up I will fight you yet."
" O, no you don't," said the Devil "You don't wake up out of this
And somewhere far away Hell's black steel doors were opened and arm in arm those two were drawn within, and the doors shut behind them and still they went arm in arm, trudging further and further into the deeps of Hell, and it was that puritan's punishment to know that those that he cared for on Earth would do evil as he had done.