Kriloff’s Original Fables
A vain young Spark a stately house did buy,
Old-fashioned, it is true, but on a scale quite splendid
Both strength and comfort : everywhere the eye Was pleased, in nought the owner’s taste offended,
Except that it Too far from off the water’s edge did sit. ” Well, what of that ! I of my goods am master
And this my house, just as it stands,
Move to the river shall machines and hands. (Our Spark, thus on mechanics mad, feared no disaster)
I sledges under it will lay, Digging at first beneath it the foundation,
And then on rollers will I give it way, So that a pulley, at a word I say,
Shall slide it, as on butter, to its station. And what is more, a thing ne’er seen on earth,
When the house thither shall be borne along,
Then with a jovial set, a band, and song, High feasting at a table long,
I’ll keep in it a rare house-warming’s mirth.”
Enchanted with his stupid freak,
To work our Mechanician set, to seek Out labourers, who under all the house went digging
No money spared, nor trouble ; all in vain : The house moved not, though shoved and pushed
And all he gained, his workmen wigging,
Was that his house fell—crash
In ruins, with a dreadful smash !
How often do we find Freaks of a kind
More dangerous in a dull man’s mind !
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