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May 13 , 2008

Those Other Days



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A Bump in the Night

Being dead can be hard.In the past, it was all rattling chains and white sheets. Now, it is all mortgages and unpaid bills.Mr Snaggle and Mr Snuffle, Arbitrators for the Quick and the Dead, find themselves coming to the aid of an old friend, Mr Bump, formerly known as Mr Grym, Lurker-under-the-Bed-and-Frequenter-of-Wardrobes (or…

Only a few days ago, whilst turning over a musty collection of aged volumes, I came across an old philosophical treatise—a translation from the German—and as I carefully turned over its pages, preparatory to throwing it aside, I stumbled across an idea which struck me forcibly. The writer, for the purpose of following out some argument, was ignoring the possibility of any future state, and was emphasizing the idea that in a human life happiness and unhappiness are far more equally balanced than the cursory observer would credit or imagine. If a man was afflicted with great trials, he was either gifted with great religious faith or fortitude of disposition sufficient to annihilate them, or they were followed or preceded by a period of correspond, ing happiness. Desires and dispositions were most often in accord with the local surroundings of the person, and that altogether the principles of happiness were founded upon a retributory basis, evil and good, happiness and unhappiness, existing in proportionate quantities, and giving place to each other at regular intervals.

E. Phillips Oppenheim (b. 1866, d. 1946) was a British author who wrote nearly 150 novels during his career. He styled himself as the “prince of storytellers,” and is credited with creating the ‘rogue male’ genre of adventure thrillers and was one of the earliest writers of spy fiction.

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