Damian’s Fishsoup – Jataka Tales

Kriloff’s Original Fables
” Well, neighbour, now you are a brick ! Come, try some more.” —” Neighbour, I’m bursting quite.”—”No humbug,
quick

One plateful let me pour :
Real fishsoup, see what soup, done to a t.” —”But that’s my third.”—”Hush! here we count nor
plates nor glasses

With a good appetite all passes : Digestion’s good for sleep you see. Tis tempting, ’tis a very jelly;
Look at the amber that its surface coats, Indulge, old chum, unto thy heart’s content
!
See there, ’tis bream, here sterlet choice that floats ! That liver there for thee was meant. Another spoonful ! —Wife, thy reverence make !

One small one more, and for my sake !

Thus feasted Damian once his old friend Neddy
;
No time to breathe or talk, kept to it steady.
Down Neddy’s face had long been trickling rain,
But, yielding unto fate, his plate he hands again
;
And, summoning his strength remaining,
He swallows all. —” Now, that a friend I call,” Exulting Damian cries ; ” why on excuses fall To spare mycheer? Then oncemore showyourtraining.”
Then hapless Neddy, who
Doted on fish, at this aggression new,
Seizing his coat,
Stick, and capote,
Ran straight and swiftly to his own street door,
And ne’er set foot in Damian’s parlour more.
Good author, happy thou in gift beyond dispute
;
But, if thou hast not learned yet to be mute,
Boring unwilling ears to suit
Nor time nor place, be sure—thy verse or prose More sickening e’en than Damian’s fishsoup grows.
[Kriloff read this fable at a meeting of the literary
society alluded to in ” The Quartett.” He purposely came late, and read the fable at the close of a long and
dry paper which had wearied every one.]