Pay, Pay, Pay!

Whatever you get you pay for, one way or another.

The cheapest plan is to pay cash.

There is a sort of satisfaction in giving money down for anything. Then you feel the matter is settled. No mortgage on your future happiness “heavy, heavy, hangs over your head.”

Think over all the things you ever got for nothing. You’ve paid for them every one; paid perhaps in lowered self-respect, restricted liberty, an embarrassing sense of obligation — something that has cost you more than if you had handed over the price at once.

Stolen waters are sweet. The trouble is, nobody ever got away with them. Every ounce of sweetness made a pound of nausea.

Self-indulgence tastes good. But remember the price — self-loathing.

Pride is a comfortable sensation. But its price is a fall, which is not comfortable.

When you do what you know is shady, in order to gain money or other advantage, you get your desire maybe, but it is prostitute’s pay. You’ve sold yourself, and that is always a fool’s bargain.

Nature keeps books pitilessly. Your credit with her is good, but she collects; there is no land you can flee to and escape her bailiffs.

You can cheat Nature, abuse her, lie to her, overreach her, she is very complaisant; you may do your will with her, but she never forgets; she sees to it that you pay her every cent you owe, with interest.

Every day her bloodhounds track down the men and women who owe her. The newspapers are full of their shrieks of pain, their gestures of horror.

Every generation a new crop of fools comes on. They think they can beat the orderly universe. They conceive themselves to be more clever than the eternal laws. They snatch goods from Nature’s store and run. They enjoy the booty, laugh, and cackle at their skill.

And one by one they all come back to Nature’s counter and pay — pay in tears, in agony, in despair; pay as fools before them have paid.

There is a perpetual, persistent ignorance, as eternal as wisdom.

So, enjoy yourself, youth; eat, drink, and be merry, and let your soul delight itself in fatness and wine, pluck the bloom of beauty, and gather the fruits of laughter; but count the cost, beware of the insidious credit system, and pay cash.

At least then you’ll know what it costs.


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