320 Concerning the Carnival of Crime in Connecticut
your devoted Conscience, go sound asleep! Sound? It is no name for it. I couldn't hear it thunder at such a time. You have some few other vices — perhaps eighty, or maybe ninety — that affect me in much the same way."
" This is flattering; you must be asleep a good part of your time."
"Yes, of late years. I should be asleep all the time, but for the help I get."
"Who helps you?"
" Other consciences. Whenever a person whose conscience I am acquainted with tries to plead with you about the vices you are callous to, I get my friend to give his client a pang concerning some villainy of his own, and that shuts off his meddling and starts him off to hunt personal consolation. My field of usefulness is about trimmed down to tramps, budding authoresses, and that line of goods now; but don't you worry — I'll harry you on them while they last! Just you put your trust in me."
" I think I can. But if you had only been good enough to mention these facts some thirty years ago, I should have turned my particular attention to sin, and I think that by this time I should not only have had you pretty permanently asleep on the entire list of human vices, but reduced to the size of a homoeopathic pill, at that. That is about the style of conscience I am pining for. If I only had you shrunk down to a homoeopathic pill, and could get my hands on you, would I put you in a glass case for a keepsake? No, sir. I would give you to a yellow dog! That is where you ought to be — you and all your tribe. You are not fit to be in society, in my opinion. Now another question. Do you know a good many consciences in this section?"
" Plenty of them."