Martin Farquhar Tupper

The Height Of Honesty

Martin Farquhar Tupper was an English writer and poet

'Three friends once, in the course of conversation,
Touch'd upon honesty: 'No virtue better,'
Says Dick, quite lost in sweet self-admiration,
'I'm sure I'm honest;--ay--beyond the letter:
You know the field I rent; beneath the ground
My plough stuck in the middle of a furrow
And there a pot of golden coins I found!
My landlord has it, without fail, to-morrow.'
Thus modestly his good intents he told:
'But stay,' says Bob,' we soon shall see who's best,
A _stranger_ left with me uncounted gold!
But I'll not touch it; which is honestest?'
'Your honest acts I've heard,' says Jack, 'but I
Have done much better, would that all folks learn'd it,
Mine is the highest pitch of honesty--
I borrow'd an umbrella and--_return'd it!!