Gateway to the Classics: Stories from Plato and Other Classic Writers by Mary E. Burt
Stories from Plato and Other Classic Writers by  Mary E. Burt


The Pockets of Good and Bad Deeds

When Jupiter watched the earth and did what he could to make men happy, he noticed that, while they wore cloaks and coats, they had no pockets; nor had they any record of their good and bad deeds.

So this all-wise father made them two pockets, one at each end of a long scarf which they might hang around their necks to hold their good and bad actions.

At first the people were delighted and wore the pockets dangling where every one might see them. But by and by the pocket that held the bad actions grew so large, and the one that held the good actions looked so flat, that most of the people grew ashamed and did not like to carry them.

But Jupiter said they must carry them, and this is the way they managed: they covered the pocket of the good deeds with ornaments, until it looked large and beautiful and full, and they hung it in front where everybody could see it.

But the pocket of the bad deeds they hung underneath the cloak, where no one could see it and where it might grow very fat and yet cause them no shame.

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