in such cases speakers fall into the frequent error of
assuming that certain persons say one thing and
mean another: this is more especially the case where
it is assumed that a man asks permission to die.
Take, for example, the following controversial theme.
“A man who had shown himself a heroic soldier in
the past, on the occasion of a subsequent war
demanded exemption from service in accordance
with the law, on the ground that he was fifty years
of age, but exemption being refused owing to the
opposition of his son, he deserted on being compelled to go into the fight. The son, who had borne
himself like a hero in the same battle, asks for his
father's pardon as a reward. The father opposes
his choice.” “Yes,” they say, “that is due not to
his desire to die, but to bring odium on his son.”
For my part,