Kriloff’s Original Fables
Wielding a long sharp switch, a peasant
Once drove in haste some Geese to town for sale, And, truly to recount my tale, His cackling flock scarce found him pleasant
;
The market only he’d in view,
And, where the pocket is in danger,
Not only geese fare worse, but friend or stranger.
The peasant I don’t blame, do you ? But our poor Geese on that point otherwise commented,
And meeting with a traveller by the way, To him their sad lot thus lamented
:
“What geese unhappier are than we to-day?
That peasant is a scurvy master,
And drives us, just like simple geese, still faster, faster j It enters not the head of that dull clown,
That he might somewhat knuckle under
Before descendants of the geese that once saved Rome’s
great town. —Those noble geese were founders of our stock—from
plunder
;
To honour them e’en days were sacredly observed.” — But you, for what should your names be with theirs preserved ? ”
Did ask the traveller then. —” Our ancestors * *


” I know it,
I’ve read it all; but tell me, can you show it, The good that you’ve been to the State ? ” —” Our sires averted Rome’s sad fate ! ”
—”Just so, but you, what have you done save boasting ? ” —” We ? naught ourselves ! “—” Then is your worthless- ness confessed
;
Go, let your father’s well-won honours rest, For you, my friends, are only good for roasting.”
This fable might have been more clearly still explained
;
But then, how many geese it must have pained.

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