THE STEEL FLEA
we have examined it thus and thus, and have placed it under the melkoscope, and can descry nothing noteworthy?"
And the left-handed man replied: "Did Your Majesty deign to look at it in the right way?"
The grandees made signs to him, "Don't speak so!" but he did not understand that one must express one's self in the Court fashion, flatteringly, or with craft, and he spoke simply.
The Emperor said: "Stop your prudent interference with him; let him answer as he pleases."
And immediately he said to him: "This is the way we placed it," and laid the flea under the melkoscope. "Look for yourself," said he, "there is nothing to be seen."
The left-handed man replies: "In that manner it is impossible to see anything, Your Majesty, because our work
[ 57 ]