Kriloff’s Original Fables
“Whither so fast, good friend, so blindly running?”
Questioned a Marmot of a Fox one day.
” Alas, dear coz, behold in me the prey Of calumny,” replied the old rogue cunning.
” I suffer innocent, discharged for theft. Thou know’st I was within a henroost left To judge and rule : and soon, of health and quiet
Deprived by the eternal riot, To munch a morsel I had not a minute,
And as to sleep, vain thought to win it
Yet for my pains unto disgrace I’m brought
Now, tell me, cousin, what shouldst thou have thought?
Is there a blameless one where slander’s free ? What I to steal ! Have I then lost my wits ? But say thyself, I can rely on thee,
Hast thou e’er seen me in such sinful fits ? Speak out the truth ! “—” No, friend, enough : Upon thy snout too oft I’ve seen the fluff.”
Full many a man well placed, that goes on sighing
He’s forced to spend the last groat by him lying,
And yet the whole town sees him buying
Now here, now there, first house, and then estate. Not in his own name do they stand
Not in his wife’s—nor house nor land
But still men ask,
How he can make expense on income wait ? To prove how legally a hopeless task : Take thou though care, commit some other sin, But do not say his snout hath fluff been in.
[This alludes to the many notorious cases in Russia of men, whose position could never bring them wealth, unless dishonestly acquired, becoming possessed of large fortunes,
which they owed to ” a warm place.”]
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