The Fruits of Former Civilizations and the Blossoms of the Contemporary

“Thus it was that those two communities arose there, which afterwards, as it often happens there, became very solid and powerful for a definite period. And the history of their further maleficent ‘prepared inheritance’ for the beings of subsequent generations is as follows:

“According to the investigations of our mentioned countryman, it seems that the earliest ancestors of the beings of the community, which was later called ‘Greece,’ were often obliged, on account of the frequent storms at sea which hindered them in their marine occupations, to seek refuge during the rains and winds, in sheltered places, where out of boredom, they played various ‘games’ which they invented for their distraction.

“As it later became clear, these ancient fishermen amused themselves at first with such games as children now play there—but children, it must be remarked, who have not yet started contemporary schooling—because the chil- dren there who do go to school have so much homework to do, consisting chiefly of learning by rote the ‘poetry’ which various candidate Hasnamusses have composed there, that the poor children never have time to play any games.

“Briefly, these poor bored fishermen played at first the ordinary children’s games already established there long before; but afterwards when one of them invented a new game called ‘pouring-from-the-empty-into-the-void,’ they were all so pleased with it that thereafter they amused themselves with that alone.

“This game consisted in formulating some question al- ways about some ‘fiddle-faddle’ or other, that is to say, a question about some deliberate piece of absurdity, and the one to whom the question was addressed had to give as plausible an answer as possible.