Honesty is the best policy. "Mercury and the Woodsman"

Essay by jdamer28Junior High, 8th gradeA-, April 2006

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"Honesty is the rarest wealth anyone can possess, and yet all the honesty in the world ain't lawful tender for a loaf of bread." Josh Billings. Josh billings was a humorist whose sayings and writings were very popular because they were delivered in a very aqward manner. That quote if broken down means to me that honesty is the best thing anyone can own although all the honesty in the world is still not worth a penny. So the quote is saying if you are honest or not you still don't have anything to show for it, except respect and moral rightness in your conscience. I think this quote is show the best through a fable named Mercury and the woodsman.

A woodsman was cutting down a tree on the bank of a river. When his axe hit the trunk it flew out of his hands and into the water.

He stood by the edge of the water mourning his loss. Mercury appeared and asks him why he was sad. The woodsman told mercury the story and out of pity mercury dove into the water and brought up a golden axe. Is this your axe asked mercury? No the woodsman replied. Mercury dove in again bringing up a silver axe. Is this it mercury ask. Again the woodsman replied with a No. Once more mercury dove into the water bringing up the missing axe. The woodsman was happy to get his axe back and thanked mercury. Mercury was so pleased with the woodsman's honesty that she presented him with all three of the axes as a gift. The woodsman later told the story to his friends. One friend decided to try it for himself. The man went to the river and dropped his axe in the water. Mercury appeared...