Madam How and Lady Why eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 221 pages of information about Madam How and Lady Why.
he went on to bully his elder brother, and locked him up in prison, and starved him, till for many hundred years poor Analysis never grew at all, but remained dwarfed, and stupid, and all but blind for want of light; while Synthesis, and all the hasty conceited people who followed him, grew stout and strong and tyrannous, and overspread the whole world, and ruled it at their will.  But the fault of all the work of Synthesis was just this:  that it would not work.  His watches would not keep time, his soldiers would not fight, his ships would not sail, his houses would not keep the rain out.  So every time he failed in his work he had to go to poor Analysis in his dungeon, and bully him into taking a thing or two to pieces, and giving him a few sound facts out of them, just to go on with till he came to grief again, boasting in the meantime that he and not Analysis had found out the facts.  And at last he grew so conceited that he fancied he knew all that Madam How could teach him, or Lady Why either, and that he understood all things in heaven and earth; while it was not the real heaven and earth that he was thinking of, but a sham heaven and a sham earth, which he had built up out of his guesses and his own fancies.

And the more Synthesis waxed in pride, and the more he trampled upon his poor brother, the more reckless he grew, and the more willing to deceive himself.  If his real flowers would not grow, he cut out paper flowers, and painted them and said that they would do just as well as natural ones.  If his dolls would not work, he put strings and wires behind them to make them nod their heads and open their eyes, and then persuaded other people, and perhaps half-persuaded himself, that they were alive.  If the hand of his weather-glass went down, he nailed it up to insure a fine day, and tortured, burnt, or murdered every one who said it did not keep up of itself.  And many other foolish and wicked things he did, which little boys need not hear of yet.

But at last his punishment came, according to the laws of his grandmother, Madam How, which are like the laws of the Medes and Persians, and alter not, as you and all mankind will sooner or later find; for he grew so rich and powerful that he grew careless and lazy, and thought about nothing but eating and drinking, till people began to despise him more and more.  And one day he left the dungeon of Analysis so ill guarded, that Analysis got out and ran away.  Great was the hue and cry after him; and terribly would he have been punished had he been caught.  But, lo and behold, folks had grown so disgusted with Synthesis that they began to take the part of Analysis.  Poor men hid him in their cottages, and scholars in their studies.  And when war arose about him,—­and terrible wars did arise,—­good kings, wise statesmen, gallant soldiers, spent their treasure and their lives in fighting for him.  All honest folk welcomed him, because he was honest; and all wise folk used him, for, instead of being a conceited tyrant like Synthesis, he showed himself the most faithful, diligent, humble of servants, ready to do every man’s work, and answer every man’s questions.  And among them all he got so well fed that he grew very shortly into the giant that he ought to have been all along; and was, and will be for many a year to come, perfectly able to take care of himself.

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Madam How and Lady Why from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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