The Broom

Kriloff’s Original Fables
A dirty Broom to honours once did leap : The kitchen floor no longer he’s to sweep ; His master’s clothes are given him in a trunk
(The servants, as it seemed, were drunk),
And on them he sets eagerly to work : Upon the coats he beats with ceaseless blows,
And, like a flail on corn, o’er trousers goes. Truly his task he does not shirk. The one thing wrong was, he was dirty, soiled : What was the good of all his trouble ? The more he brushed, the more the clothes he spoiled.
The selfsame harm there is, if not the double,
When, rough as stubble,
An ignorant man, in others’ business meddling,
Corrects a learned labour with his peddling. — —

[This fable, like ” The Swine under the Oak,” is another
proof, if any were needed, that Kriloff attacked ignorance
and presumption, and not true learning.]