Tomlinson "The Sin They Do By Two And Two They Must Pay For One By One"
by Rudyard Kipling

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"The Sin They Do By Two And Two They Must Pay For One By One"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: In Tomlinson Kipling relates the story of a man who dies and is confronted by St. Peter, who asks what good he did for the sake of man. Unable to tell of any good, Tomlinson is sent to Hell, where the Devil asks him what harm he did to men while he lived. But Tomlinson is unable to tell of any positive evil that he has done. He is, therefore, returned to life again in order that he can determine what path he wishes to take, for he has never yet followed any positive road, either for good or for evil. His only ideas, good or bad, he has gotten from books.

"Go back to Earth with a lip unsealed–go back with an open eye,
"And carry my work to the Sons of Men or ever ye come to die:
"That the sin they do by two and two they must pay for one by one,
"And . . . the God that you took from a printed book be with you, Tomlinson!"