Two cats, having stolen some cheese, could not agree about dividing their prize. In order, therefore, to settle the dispute, they went to court, to try the case before Mr. Justice Monkey.
His honor readily consented to hear the cause, and producing a balance, put a part of the cheese into each scale.
“Let me see,” said he; “ay, this lump outweighs the other,” and immediately bit off a large piece in order, he observed, to make them equal. The opposite scale was now become the heaviest, which afforded our judge another reason for a second mouthful.
“Hold, hold,” said the two cats, who began to be alarmed for the event,”give us our shares, and we are satisfied,” returned the monkey, “justice is not; a case of this intricate nature is by no means so soon determined.”
Upon which he continued to nibble first one piece, and then the other, till the poor cats, seeing their cheese gradually diminishing, entreated him to give himself no further trouble, but deliver to them what remained.
“Not so fast, not so fast, I beseech you, friends,” replied the monkey; “we owe justice to ourselves as well as to you: what remains is due to me in right of my office:” upon which he crammed the whole into his mouth, and with great gravity dismissed the court.The scales of the law are seldom poised, till little or nothing remains in either.
Lesson Eigthteenth from The Young Reader