The Water Babies

Illustrated Online Children's Book by Charles Kingsley

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always looked behind him, and did not boast at all; but said humbly, like the Irishman, that he had sooner prophesy after the event.
“Well, Prometheus was a very clever fellow, of course, and invented all sorts of wonderful things. But, unfortunately, when they were set to work, to work was just what they would not do: wherefore very little has come of them, and very little is left of them; and now nobody knows what they were, save a few archaeological old gentlemen who scratch in queer corners, and find little there save Ptinum Furem, Blaptem Mortisagam, Acarum Horridum, and Tineam Laciniarum.
“But Epimetheus was a very slow fellow, certainly, and went among men for a clod, and a muff, and a milksop, and a slowcoach, and a bloke, and a boodle, and so forth. And very little he did, for many years: but what he did, he never had to do over again.
“And what happened at last? There came to the two brothers the most beautiful creature that ever was seen, Pandora by name; which means, All the gifts of the Gods. But because she had a strange box in her hand, this fanciful, forecasting, suspicious, prudential, theoretical, deductive, prophesying Prometheus, who was always settling what was going to happen, would have nothing to do with pretty Pandora and her box.
“But Epimetheus took her and it, as he took everything that came; and married her for better for worse, as every man ought, whenever he has even the chance of a good wife. And they opened the box between them, of course, to see what was inside: for, else, of what possible use could it have been to them?
“And out flew all the ills which flesh is heir to; all the children of the four great bogies, Self-will, Ignorance, Fear, and Dirt—for instance:
Measles, Famines,
Monks,          Quacks,
Scarlatina, Unpaid bills,
Idols,          Tight stays,
Hooping-coughs, Potatoes,
Popes,          Bad Wine,
Wars,            Despots,
Peacemongers, Demagogues,
And, worst of all, Naughty Boys and Girls.
But one thing remained at the bottom of the box, and that was, Hope.