The Very Saintly Ashiata Shiemash, Sent from Above to the Earth

“For having invented this means of transmitting information, we must give the beings of the continent Atlantis their due; this means was indeed very wise and did indeed attain their aim.

“This is the sole means by which information about certain events that proceeded in times long past has accurately reached the beings of remote later generations.

“As for the information which passed from generation to generation through the ordinary mass of beings of that planet, it has either completely disappeared, having been soon forgotten, or there remains of it, as our dear Mullah Nassr Eddin expresses it, only the ‘tail-and-mane-and-food-for-Scheherazade.’

“Hence it is that when a few scraps of information about some event or other do happen to reach the beings of remote later generations, and the learned beings of new formation there concoct their ‘hotchpotch’ out of these scraps, there then occurs a most peculiar and most instructive ‘phenomenon’; namely, when the cockroaches there chance to hear what is in this hotchpotch, ‘the-evil-spirit-of-Saint-Vitus’ existing there immediately enters their common presences and begins to rage quite merrily.

“How the contemporary learned beings of the planet Earth concoct their hotchpotch from scraps of information which reach them is very well defined in one of the wise sentences of our dear Mullah Nassr Eddin, which consists of the following words: ‘A flea exists in the World just for one thing—that when it sneezes, that deluge should occur with the description of which our learned beings love so much to busy themselves.’