Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors.
Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.

Download links will be available after you disable the ad blocker and reload the page.

Fables of La Fontaine - a New Edition, with Notes

Download options:

  • 364.42 KB
  • 1.15 MB
  • 588.39 KB



THE FLY AND THE GAME. A knight of powder-horn and shotOnce fill'd his bag--as I would not,Unless the feelings of my breastBy poverty were sorely press'd--With birds and squirrels for the spitsOf certain gormandizing cits.With merry heart the fellow wentDirect to Mr. Centpercent,Who loved, as well was understood,Whatever game was nice and good.This gentleman, with knowing air,Survey'd the dainty lot with care,Pronounced it racy, rich, and rare,And call'd his wife, to know her wishesAbout its purchase for their dishes.The lady thought the creatures prime,And for their dinner just in time;So sweet they were, and delicate,For dinner she could hardly wait.But now there came--could luck be worse?--Just as the buyer drew his purse,A bulky fly, with solemn buzz,And smelt, as an inspector does,This bird and that, and said the meat--But here his words I won't repeat--Was anything but fit to eat.'Ah!' cried the lady, 'there's a flyI never knew to tell a lie;His coat, you see, is bottle-green;He knows a thing or two I ween;My dear, I beg you, do not buy:Such game as this may suit the dogs.'So on our peddling sportsman jogs,His soul possess'd of this surmise,About some men, as well as flies:A filthy taint they soonest findWho are to relish filth inclined.

THE DOG AND CAT. A dog and cat, messmates for life,Were often falling into strife,Which came to scratching, growls, and snaps,And spitting in the face, perhaps.A neighbour dog once chanced to callJust at the outset of their brawl,And, thinking Tray was cross and cruel,To snarl so sharp at Mrs. Mew-well,Growl'd rather roughly in his ear.'And who are you to interfere?'Exclaim'd the cat, while in his face she flew;And, as was wise, he suddenly withdrew.It seems, in spite of all his snarling,And hers, that Tray was still her darling.

THE GOLDEN PITCHER. A father once, whose sons were two,For each a gift had much ado.At last upon this course he fell:'My sons,' said he, 'within our wellTwo treasures lodge, as I am told;The one a sunken piece of gold,--A bowl it may be, or a pitcher,--The other is a thing far richer.These treasures if you can but find,Each may be suited to his mind;For both are precious in their kind.To gain the one you'll need a hook;The other will but cost a look.But O, of this, I pray, beware!--You who may choose the tempting share,--Too eager fishing for the pitcherMay ruin that which is far richer.'Out ran the boys, their gifts to draw:But eagerness was check'd with awe,How could there be a richer prizeThan solid gold beneath the skies?Or, if there could, how could it dwellWithin their own old, mossy well?Were questions which excited wonder,And kept their headlong av'rice under.The golden cup each fear'd to choose,Lest he the better gift should lose;And so resolved our prudent pair,The gifts in common they would share.The well was open to the sky.As o'er its curb they keenly pry,It seems a tunnel piercing through,From sky to sky, from blue to blue;And, at its nether mouth, each seesA brace of their antipodes,With earnest faces peering up,As if themselves might seek the cup....