The Pavior
from Fantastic Fables by Ambrose Bierce

AN Author saw a Laborer hammering stones into the pavement of a street, and approaching him said:

"My friend, you seem weary. Ambition is a hard taskmaster."

"I'm working for Mr. Jones, sir," the Laborer replied.

"Well, cheer up," the Author resumed; "fame comes at the most unexpected times. To-day you are poor, obscure, and disheartened. and to-morrow the world may be ringing with your name."

"What are you giving me?" the Laborer said. "Cannot an honest pavior perform his work in peace, and get his money for it, and his living by it, without others talking rot about ambition and hopes of fame?"

"Cannot an honest writer?" said the Author.

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