Colonia, you who wish to have a long bridge on which to celebrate your games, and are quite ready to dance, but fear the ill-jointed legs of your little bridge, standing as it does on old posts done up again, lest it should fall sprawling and sink down in the depths of the marsh;—so may you have a good bridge made for you according to your desire, one in which the rites of Salisubsilus himself may be undertaken, as you grant me this gift, Colonia, to make me laugh my loudest. There is a townsman of mine whom I wish to go headlong from your bridge over head and heels into the mud;—only let it be where is the blackest and deepest pit of the whole bog and stinking marsh. The fellow is a perfect blockhead, and has not as much sense as a little baby of two years old sleeping in the rocking arms of his father. Now whereas he has for a wife a girl in the freshest flower of youth—a girl too, more exquisite than a tender kidling, one who ought to be guarded more diligently than the ripest grapes,—he lets her play as she will, and does not care one straw, and for his part does not stir himself, but lies like an alder in a ditch hamstrung by a Ligurian axe, with just as much perception of everything as if it did not exist anywhere at all. Like this, my booby sees nothing, hears nothing; what he himself is, whether he is or is not, he does not know so much as this. He it is whom I want now to send head foremost from your bridge, to try whether he can all in a moment wake up his stupid lethargy, and leave his mind sprawling there on its back in the nasty sludge, as a mule leaves her iron shoe in the sticky mire.
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