Two in Trouble
from Fantastic Fables
by Ambrose Bierce
MEETING a fat and patriotic Statesman on his way to Washington to beseech the President for an office, an idle Tramp accosted him and begged twenty-five cents with which to buy a suit of clothes.
"Melancholy wreck," said the Statesman, "what brought you to this state of degradation? Liquor, I suppose."
"I am temperate to the verge of absurdity," replied the Tramp. "My foible was patriotism; I was ruined by the baneful habit of trying to serve my country. What ruined you?"