“The Cannon And The Sails”, Fable by Ivan. A. Krylov

Russian Fable

Krylov and his fables

Russian LiteratureChildren BooksRussian PoetryIvan. A. KrylovContents

< < < The Wolf And The Cat
The Eagle And The Bee > > >

The Cannon And The Sails

A FIERCE quarrel arose on board a ship between its Cannon and its Sails. Poking their muzzles out of the port-holes, the Cannon thus murmured heavenward :

” О ye gods ! was ever such a thing seen, as that a set of trumpery linen fabrics should have the insolence to set up for being as useful as we are ? In the whole course of our laborious voyage, what have they done? The moment a breeze begins to blow, they proudly swell out their breasts, carrying themselves above the waves as pompously as if they were really of great importance, but yet do nothing more than show off their airs. But, as for us, -we thunder in battles. Is it not due to us that our ship rules the waves ? Do not we carry with us everywhere terror and death ? No ; we do not wish to live any longer with the Sails. We can do everything for ourselves without them. Fly, then, to our aid, mighty Boreas, and quickly tear them into rags.”

Boreas heard, and, flying thither, breathed on the sea. Immediately the waters were overcast and turned black, a heavy cloud covered the sky, and the waves ran mountams high. Thunder deafened the ear ; lightning blinded the eye. Boreas roared, and tore the sails into shreds. When nothing was left of them, the tempest ceased. But what followed ?

Deprived of its sails, the ship became a sport to the winds and waves, and drifted about at sea like a log. And in the first encounter with a hostile vessel, which thundered terrible broadsides along its whole length, our ship, now unable to move, was soon riddled like a sieve, and went down to the bottom like a stone — Cannon and all.

Every state is strong when its elements are wisely balanced. By its Cannon it is terrible to its foes ; but its civil powers play the part of the Sails.

< < < The Wolf And The Cat
The Eagle And The Bee > > >

Russian LiteratureChildren BooksRussian PoetryIvan. A. KrylovContents

Copyright holders –  Public Domain Book

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