The Miller

Kriloff’s Original Fables
The water through a mill-dam once on a time did ooze : And no great harm done, if they choos.e In time a helping hand to lend
But to such boring trifles the Miller can’t attend,
And day by day the leak doth wider grow, As from a tub the water pours. ” Miller, look out ! “—he yawns, or snores

” ‘Tis time thy readiness to show !

Our Miller thinks : ” No harm at all to fear,
I want no seas of water here
More than enough for all my time to last.” He sleeps, and all the while doth run, As from a cask unplugged, so fast The stream, that all the harm is done : The grindstones of the mill stand still. The Miller roused himself, the air to fill With grief, and angry cries : To think of means to stop the flood he tries. Behold him on the dam, searching to find the leak : His thirsty fowls he saw come to the river’s brink. ” Ye cackling fools ! ” he cried, ” ye draggled brutes, that
Though without you so little water’s left, Your greedy fill to drink !

And on them with a log he fell, to punish theft. What good by that he did remains a question still
Water and fowls both gone, he—went back to his mill !
It sometimes chanced to me
People of this same kind to see (And ’tis for them that I this fable handle),
Who for their follies will their thousands spend,
Yet think their home affairs to mend,
By saving now and then the end
Of some poor candle,
Glad, for its sake, their servants to row like any clown. And is it odd, that ruin should ever quickly crown The care that thus a house turns upside down ?
[Pletneff, with the evident approbation of Kenevitch,
supposes this fable to have been meant for Kriloff himself,
whose character- was careless and uncalculating. It is related of him that he would, having to go a long distance,
walk half the way rather than pay a reasonable price to a
Tzvorstchick (a Russian cabman), and then, when tired, be forced to take the first equipage he could find, and pay
almost as much as he was asked at first. This he used to
call economy. He was, however, at times aware of his own weakness, and pleasantly laughs at it in this fable.]

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