A TRUE PARABLE: THE PARABLE OF THE SLAVES

Then shall the kingdom of Satan be likened unto a grain of tobacco seed; which, though exceedingly small, being cast into the ground grew and became a great plant; and it spread its leaves rank and broad, so that huge vile worms found a habitation thereon. And it came to pass that in the course of time the sons of men looked upon it and thought it beautiful to look upon, and much to be desired to make lads look big and manly. So they put forth their hands and did chew thereof. And some it made sick; and others to vomit most filthily. And it came further to pass that those who chewed it became weak and unmanly, and said. "We are slaves and cannot cease from chewing it." And the mouths of all who were enslaved became foul; and they were seized with violent spitting and they did even spit in ladies parlors, and in the house of the Lord of Hosts. And the saints of the Most High were greatly plagued thereby. And it came to pass that in the course of time that others snuffed it; and were taken suddenly with fits and they did sneeze, insomuch that their eyes did fill with tears and they did look exceedingly silly. And yet others did most cunningly wrought the leaves thereof into rolls and did set fire to one end thereof, and did suck most vehemently at the other end thereof, and did look very grave and calf-like and the smoke of their torment ascended up forever and forever.

And the cultivation thereof became a great and mighty business in the earth; and the merchant waxed rich by the commerce thereof. And the saints of the Most High God defiled themselves therewith; even the poor who could not buy shoes, nor bread, nor books for little ones, spent their money for it. And the Lord was greatly displeased therewith and said, "Wherefore this waste, and why do these little ones lack bread and shoes and books? Turn now your fields into corn and wheat, and put this evil thing from you; and be separate, and defile not yourselves anymore. And I will bless you and cause my face to shine upon you. But with one accord they exclaimed: "We cannot cease from chewing, snuffing, puffing, WE ARE SLAVES!"