“The Quartette”, Fable by Ivan. A. Krylov

Russian Fable

Krylov and his fables

Russian LiteratureChildren BooksRussian PoetryIvan. A. KrylovContents

< < < The Poor Man Enriched
The Inquisitive Man > > >

The Quartette

THE tricky Monkey, the Goat, the Ass, and bandy-legged Mishka the Bear, determine to play a quartette. They provide themselves with the necessary pieces of music — with two fiddles, and with an alto and a counter-bass. Then they sit down on a meadow under a lime-tree, prepared to enchant the world by their skill. They work away at their fiddlesticks with a will; and they make a noise, but there is no music in it.

” Stop, brothers, stop ! ” cries the Monkey, ” wait a little !

How can we get our music right ? It ‘s plain, you mustn’t sit as you are. You, Mishka, with your counter-bass, face the alto. I will sit opposite the second fiddle. Then a different sort of music will begin : we shall set the very hills and forests dancing.”

So they change places, and recommence ; but the music is just as discordant as before.

” Stop a little,” exclaims the Ass; ” I have found out the secret. We shall be sure to play in tune if we sit in a row.”

They follow its advice, and form in an orderly line. But the quartette is as unmusical as ever. Louder than before there arose among them squabbling and wrangling as to how they ought to be seated. It happened that a Nightingale came flying that wау, attracted by their noise. At once they all intreat it to solve their difficulty.

” Be so kind,” they say, ” as to bear with us a little, in order that our quartette may come off properly. , Music we have; instruments we have: tell us only how we ought to place ourselves.”

But the Nightingale replies,

” To be a musician, one must have a quicker intelligence and a finer ear than you possess. You, my friends, may place yourselves just as you like, but you will never become musicians.”

< < < The Poor Man Enriched
The Inquisitive Man > > >

Russian LiteratureChildren BooksRussian PoetryIvan. A. KrylovContents

Copyright holders –  Public Domain Book

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