The problem was that each time we found an equilibrium it lasted for only a moment before something shifted and we had to start over again, adding another plate or removing one candlestick: there were always too many things on one side of the scale or too few on the other; there were always pieces missing, cracks in their design, elements that did not correspond with one another and prevented them from balancing. So we stopped adding things to the scales and tried instead to remove some objects that were already there: first we removed all the ribbons and candelabra; then all except two plates; then one plate, but with all the canaries; then one candlestick, with all the candles and holders. But nothing helped: even if we managed to remove most of the objects from the scales, at some point there always seemed to be too much on one side or too little on the other; an imbalance always appeared somewhere.