Daniel webster and mr. Scratch



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(Revised essay 18 November 2015)

DANIEL WEBSTER AND MR. SCRATCH

Donald R. Fox


Revised Note: I do not remember when I wrote this essay; however, I believe it was at least eight years ago. Today is 18 November 2015 and the news for the past few days is the Islamic attack on France. As I pondered this uncivilized, barbaric attack on France, evil is always a step away. The Devil and Daniel Webster may be valuable to give thought to this short story. No matter, whenever we lived the Devil with wicked acts has been with mankind since the beginning of time.
The classic short story, “The Devil and Daniel Webster," written by Stephen Vincent Benet (1898-1943), gives us a fictional battle between humans and the devil. A screenplay, movie was released in 1941. The excellent character actor Edward Arnold played Daniel Webster. As for the Mr. Scratch, actor Walter Huston had a field day in this role. The theme of the story was the selling of one's soul to the devil. The farmer Jabez Stone, around the year of 1840 in New Hampshire is running into very bad times. He encounters the devil, also known as Mr. Scratch and sells his soul for this world's riches. Jabez Stone’s allotted time is now up, and the devil comes to collect Jabez’s soul. Daniel Webster enters the fight to save the soul of Jabez Stone.
Daniel Webster states, “I stand on the Constitution! I demand a trail…” Mr. Scratch agrees to a trail, and a motley crew such as the likes of Captain Kidd and General Benedict Arnold are picked as the jurors.
In his closing argument, Daniel Webster states, “Let Jabez Stone keep his soul---this soul, which doesn’t belong to him alone, which belongs to his son---his family---his country. Gentlemen of the jury---don’t let this country go to the devil! Free Jabez Stone! God save the United States and the men who have made her free!” The jury sets Stone free, retains his soul and the devil losses!
What a line, “don’t let this country go to the devil!” If the gay rights movement, the libertarians, the secularist, the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism, the Man-Boy Love Movement, the ACLU, Federal, State Judges who have a secular agenda, the overall anarchism, and on and on gets their way----this country will go to the devil. A return to a God-Fearing country is the answer and solution to most if not all of our national problems!
Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)

Don’t let this country go to the devil!”


End Note: Islam and France, see: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/17/world/europe/after-paris-attacks-a-darker-mood-toward-islam-emerges-in-france.html?_r=0
NOTE: See review of this old movie: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Devil_and_Daniel_Webster_(film)


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