The excerpt represents the core issue or deciding factor on which you must meditate, and is drawn from Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain:|
Every time the lightning glared I caught my breath, and judged I was gone.
In my terror and misery, I meanly began to suggest other boys,
and mention acts of theirs which were wickeder than mine, and peculiarly
needed punishment--and I tried to pretend to myself that I was simply
doing this in a casual way, and without intent to divert the heavenly
attention to them for the purpose of getting rid of it myself.
With deep sagacity I put these mentions into the form of sorrowing
recollections and left-handed sham-supplications that the sins of those
boys might be allowed to pass unnoticed--'Possibly they may repent.'
'It is true that Jim Smith broke a window and lied about it--
but maybe he did not mean any harm. And although Tom Holmes