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PARSIMONY v. ECONOMY.

TO THE EDITOR.

Sir,—As this question has been freely discussed, perhaps the following little fiction (founded on fact) may be acceptable. Three men lived in the town of Dunedin, and each of them had a horse and cart. They were expressmen, who carry a box or pircel for any distance from five yards to five miles, and always charge for five miles. All their carts were of the same size, all their sets of harness in the same state of repair, and it was a mattor of difficulty for the owners themselves to distinguish each particular horse after the animals hid been turned out in the paddock which was commen to the three. In fact, put all the horses, the carts, and their owners together, and you would have said there was nothing remarkable about any of them. But one morning tho three expressmen had to grease the wheels. Now M'lntosh was extravagant, and he put such a lot of grease on the axle that, after driving a short distance, it melted and fell on the stones of the street and was wasted. M'Kcan, on the contrary, was extremely " near," and he put so little on his axle that it was squeaking out for more before he had got half way down the street. M'lndoe, however, just put the right quantity on the axle, so that the grease did not drop off, and yet there was quite enough to make his wheels run easily and quietly without further attention.

And it happened that M'lntoßh had to come home sooner than he had expected, and on reaching the line of grease he had left in the morning his horse slipped on the greasy stones and fell, dislocating his shoulder. M'Kean's wheels, on the other hand, grew so loud in their request for more grease, that their yells frightened his horse, which bolted and smashed up the cart against a lamp-post, while M'Kean received a " blue-black " eye. Now, that's the story. And what's the moral ? " Hoots, mun," replies an ancient Scot, " onybody can see that. The M'lndoe body jist came hame and kissed his wife an' weans, and gaed tae his bed like an honest man after his tumler o' toddy." "No, sir," was the reply, " your keen sense of poetical justice has misled you. M'lndoe did not return until after midnight." " Drunk again, I'm thinkin'!" " No, sir, not drunk, but it took him all that time to pick up the remains of the other two carts. He was a good fellow, M'lndoe, and did all he could to help his neighbors. So you see your idea of poetical justice has prevented you from grasping the moral." The ancient Scot fidgeted a little in his warm arm chair, stirring his toddy pensively with a troubled expression on his face, After ten minutes' reflection, however, his countenance lit up with the solution of the problem he had been working at. •' But eh, mon !" he said with enthusiasm, " M'lndoe wud charge them." " Quite right, sir," was the reply, " that's a moral." —I am, etc., A. W. Horsbrugh. Dunedin, May 27.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890527.2.45.3

Bibliographic details

PARSIMONY v. ECONOMY., Issue 7917, 27 May 1889

Word Count
519

PARSIMONY v. ECONOMY. Issue 7917, 27 May 1889

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