Jean de La Fontaine Fables
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You, Iris, it were an easy task to praise;
Far north, it's said, the people live
But I go farther in the case.
But what shall one reply
Were I commissioned to bestow
 Madame de la Sabliere.See the following note.
 Perhaps you have not heard of it?Madame de la Sabliere was one of the
most learned women of the age in which she lived, and knew more of the philosophy of
Descartes, in which she was a believer, than our poet; but she dreaded the reputation of a
"blue-stocking," and for this reason La Fontaine addresses her as if she might be ignorant
of the Cartesian theory.Translator. Moliere's Femme Savante, the object of
which was to ridicule the French "blue-stockings," had been only recently produced on the
stage (1672), hence Madame de la Sabliere's fears, and La Fontaine's delicate
 Beasts are mere machines.At this time the discussion as to the mind in
animals was very rife in the salons of Paris. Madame de Sevigne often alludes to it in her
Letters. La Fontaine further contends against the "mere machine" theory in Fable 9, Book
 One of truly royal race.John Sobieski.Translator. At the time this
was written, Sobieski's great victory over the Turks at Choczim (1673) was resounding
throughout Europe, and had made him King of Poland (1674). Sobieski had previously been a
frequent visitor at the house of Madame de la Sabliere, where La Fontaine had often met him.
Sobieski is again alluded to as a guest of Madame de la Sabliere, in Fable XV., Book 12.
 Old Epicurus' rival.Descartes.Translator.
 Perhaps you have not heard of it?Madame de la Sabliere was one of the most learned women of the age in which she lived, and knew more of the philosophy of Descartes, in which she was a believer, than our poet; but she dreaded the reputation of a "blue-stocking," and for this reason La Fontaine addresses her as if she might be ignorant of the Cartesian theory.Translator. Moliere's Femme Savante, the object of which was to ridicule the French "blue-stockings," had been only recently produced on the stage (1672), hence Madame de la Sabliere's fears, and La Fontaine's delicate forbearance.
 Beasts are mere machines.At this time the discussion as to the mind in animals was very rife in the salons of Paris. Madame de Sevigne often alludes to it in her Letters. La Fontaine further contends against the "mere machine" theory in Fable 9, Book 11.
 One of truly royal race.John Sobieski.Translator. At the time this was written, Sobieski's great victory over the Turks at Choczim (1673) was resounding throughout Europe, and had made him King of Poland (1674). Sobieski had previously been a frequent visitor at the house of Madame de la Sabliere, where La Fontaine had often met him. Sobieski is again alluded to as a guest of Madame de la Sabliere, in Fable XV., Book 12.
 Old Epicurus' rival.Descartes.Translator.
An adder coiled on the ground,
"To do a very grateful deed
For all the world, I shall proceed."
On this the animal perverse
(I mean the snake;
Pray don't mistake
The human for the worse)
Was caught and bagged, and, worst of all,
His blood was by his captor to be spilt
Without regard to innocence or guilt.
However, to show the why, these words let fall
His judge and jailor, proud and tall:
"You type of all ingratitude!
All charity to hearts like thine
Is folly, certain to be rued.
You foe of men!
Your temper and your teeth malign
Shall never hurt a hair of mine."
The muffled serpent, on his side,
The best a serpent could, replied,
"If all this world's ingrates
Must meet with such a death,
Who from this worst of fates
Could save his breath?
On yourself your law recoils;
I throw myself on your broils,
Your graceless revelling on spoils;
If you but homeward cast an eye,
Your deeds all mine will justify.
But strike: my life is in your hand;
Your justice, all may understand,
Is but your interest, pleasure, or caprice:
Pronounce my sentence on such laws as these.
But give me leave to tell you, while I can,
The type of all ingratitude is man."
By such a lecture somewhat foiled,
The other back a step recoiled,
And finally replied,
"Your reasons are abusive,
And wholly inconclusive.
I might the case decide
Because to me such right belongs;
But let's refer the case of wrongs."
The snake agreed; they to a cow referred it.
Who, being called, came graciously and heard it.
Then, summing up, "What need," said she,
"In such a case, to call on me?
The adder's right, plain truth to bellow;
For years I have nursed this haughty fellow,
Who, but for me, had long ago
Been lodging with the shades below.
For him my milk has had to flow,
My calves, at tender age, to die.
And for this best of wealth,
And often reestablished health,
What pay, or even thanks, have I?
Here, feeble, old, and worn, alas!
I'm left without a bite of grass.
Were I but left, it might be weathered,
But, shame to say it, I am tethered.
And now my fate is surely sadder
Than if my master were an adder,
With brains within the latitude
Of such immense ingratitude.
This, gentles, is my honest view;
And so I bid you both adieu."
The man, confounded and astonished
To be so faithfully admonished,
Replied, "What fools to listen, now,
To this old, silly, dotard cow!
Let's trust the ox." "Let's trust," replied
The crawling beast, well gratified.
So said, so done;
The ox, with tardy pace, came on
And, ruminating over the case,
Declared, with very serious face,
That years of his most painful toil
Had clothed with Ceres' gifts our soil
Her gifts to menbut always sold
To beasts for higher cost than gold;
And that for this, for his reward,
More blows than thanks returned his lord;
And then, when age had chilled his blood,
And men would quell the wrath of Heaven,
Out must be poured the vital flood,
For others' sins, all thankless given.
So spake the ox; and then the man:
"Away with such a dull declaimer!
Instead of judge, it is his plan
To play accuser and defamer."
A tree was next the arbitrator,
And made the wrong of man still greater.
It served as refuge from the heat,
The showers, and storms which madly beat;
It grew our gardens' greatest pride,
Its shadow spreading far and wide,
And bowed itself with fruit beside:
But yet a mercenary clown
With cruel iron chopped it down.
Behold the recompense for which,
Year after year, it did enrich,
With spring's sweet flowers, and autumn's fruits,
And summer's shade, both men and brutes,
And warmed the hearth with many a limb
Which winter from its top did trim!
Why could not man have pruned and spared,
And with itself for ages shared?
Much scorning thus to be convinced,
The man resolved his cause to gain.
Said he, "My goodness is evinced
By hearing this, it's very plain;"
Then flung the serpent bag and all,
With fatal force, against a wall.
So ever is it with the great,
Tired of her hole, the world would see.
Prone are all such, self-banished, to roam
Prone are all cripples to abhor their home.
Two ducks, to whom the gossip told
The secret of her purpose bold,
Professed to have the means whereby
They could her wishes gratify.
"Our boundless road," said they, "behold!
It is the open air;
And through it we will bear
You safe over land and ocean.
Republics, kingdoms, you will view,
And famous cities, old and new;
And get of customs, laws, a notion,
Of various wisdom various pieces,
As did, indeed, the sage Ulysses."
The eager tortoise waited not
To question what Ulysses got,
But closed the bargain on the spot.
A nice machine the birds devise
To bear their pilgrim through the skies.
Athwart her mouth a stick they throw:
"Now bite it hard, and don't let go,"
They say, and seize each duck an end,
And, swiftly flying, upward tend.
It made the people gape and stare
Beyond the expressive power of words,
To see a tortoise cut the air,
Exactly poised between two birds.
"A miracle," they cried, "is seen!
There goes the flying tortoise queen!"
"The queen!" ('twas thus the tortoise spoke;)
"I'm truly that, without a joke."
Much better had she held her tongue
For, opening that whereby she clung,
Before the gazing crowd she fell,
And dashed to bits her brittle shell.
Imprudence, vanity, and babble,
But paid a certain cormorant
Its contribution from its fishes,
And stocked his kitchen with good dishes.
Yet, when old age the bird had chilled,
His kitchen was less amply filled.
All cormorants, however grey,
Must die, or for themselves purvey.
But ours had now become so blind,
His finny prey he could not find;
And, having neither hook nor net,
His appetite was poorly met.
What hope, with famine thus infested?
Necessity, whom history mentions,
A famous mother of inventions,
The following stratagem suggested:
He found on the water's brink
A crab, to which said he, "My friend,
A weighty errand let me send:
Go quicker than a wink
Down to the fishes sink,
And tell them they are doomed to die;
For, before eight days have hastened by,
Its lord will fish this water dry."
The crab, as fast as she could scrabble,
Went down, and told the scaly rabble.
What bustling, gathering, agitation!
Straight up they send a deputation
To wait on the ancient bird.
"Sir Cormorant, whence have you heard
This dreadful news? And what
Assurance of it have you got?
How such a danger can we shun?
Pray tell us, what is to be done?
"Why, change your dwelling-place," said he,
"What, change our dwelling! How can we?"
"O, by your leave, I'll take that care,
And, one by one, in safety bear
You all to my retreat:
The path's unknown
To any feet,
Except my own.
A pool, scooped out by Nature's hands,
Amidst the desert rocks and sands,
Where human traitors never come,
Shall save your people from their doom."
The fish republic swallowed all,
And, coming at the fellow's call,
Were singly borne away to stock
A pond beneath a lonely rock;
And there good prophet cormorant,
Proprietor and bailiff sole,
From narrow water, clear and shoal,
With ease supplied his daily want,
And taught them, at their own expense,
That heads well stored with common sense
Give no devourers confidence.
Still did the change not hurt their case,
Since, had they staid, the human race,
Successful by pernicious art,
Would have consumed as large a part.
What matters who your flesh devours,
Of human or of bestial powers?
In this respect, or wild or tame,
All stomachs seem to me the same:
The odds is small, in point of sorrow,
Of death today, or death tomorrow.
Beyond the room his till afforded.
His avarice aye growing ranker,
(Whereby his mind of course grew blanker,)
He was perplexed to choose a banker;
For banker he must have, he thought,
Or all his heap would come to nothing.
"I fear," said he, "if kept at home,
And other robbers should not come,
It might be equal cause of grief
That I had proved myself the thief."
The thief! Is to enjoy one's pelf
To rob or steal it from one's self?
My friend, could but my pity reach you,
This lesson I would gladly teach you,
That wealth is weal no longer than
Diffuse and part with it you can:
Without that power, it is a woe.
Would you for age keep back its flow?
Age buried "neath its joyless snow?
With pains of getting, care of got
Consumes the value, every jot,
Of gold that one can never spare.
To take the load of such a care,
Assistants were not very rare.
The earth was that which pleased him best.
Dismissing thought of all the rest,
He with his friend, his trustiest,
A sort of shovel-secretary,
Went forth his hoard to bury.
Safe done, a few days afterward,
The man must look beneath the sward
When, what a mystery! behold
The mine exhausted of its gold!
Suspecting, with the best of cause,
His friend was privy to his loss,
He bade him, in a cautious mood,
To come as soon as well he could,
For still some other coins he had,
Which to the rest he wished to add.
Expecting thus to get the whole,
The friend put back the sum he stole,
Then came with all despatch.
The other proved an overmatch:
Resolved at length to save by spending,
His practice thus most wisely mending,
The total treasure home he carried
No longer hoarded it or buried.
Chapfallen was the thief, when gone
He saw his prospects and his pawn.
From this it may be stated,
With humanity sweet,
(A trait not much suspected,)
On his cruel deeds,
The fruit of his needs,
Profoundly thus reflected.
"I'm hated," said he,
"My brethren have fled,
"And there's not a squire
"And all for what?
"Well, henceforth I'll strive
"What of carcass warm?
"Look out for your wool
Shall animals not
 Founded on one of Philibert Hegemon's Fables.
 King Edgar put them to rout.The English king Edgar (reigned 959-75)
took great pains in hunting and pursuing wolves; "and," says Hume, "when he found that all
that escaped him had taken shelter in the mountains and forests of Wales, he changed the
tribute of money imposed on the Welsh princes by Athelstan, his predecessor, into an
annual tribute of three hundred heads of wolves; which produced such diligence in hunting
them, that the animal has been no more seen in this island."Hume's England,
vol. 1, p. 99, Bell's edit., 1854.
 King Edgar put them to rout.The English king Edgar (reigned 959-75) took great pains in hunting and pursuing wolves; "and," says Hume, "when he found that all that escaped him had taken shelter in the mountains and forests of Wales, he changed the tribute of money imposed on the Welsh princes by Athelstan, his predecessor, into an annual tribute of three hundred heads of wolves; which produced such diligence in hunting them, that the animal has been no more seen in this island."Hume's England, vol. 1, p. 99, Bell's edit., 1854.
By odd obstetrics freed from pain,
Bore Pallas, erst my mortal foe,
Pray listen to my tale of woe.
This Progne takes my lawful prey.
As through the air she cuts her way,
And skims the waves in seeming play.
My flies she catches from my door,
"Yes, mineI emphasize the word,
And, but for this accursed bird,
My net would hold an ample store:
For I have woven it of stuff
To hold the strongest strong enough."
It was thus, in terms of insolence,
Complained the fretful spider, once
Of palace-tapestry a weaver,
But then a spinster and deceiver,
That hoped within her toils to bring
Of insects all that ply the wing.
The sister swift of Philomel,
Intent on business, prospered well;
In spite of the complaining pest,
The insects carried to her nest
Nest pitiless to suffering flies
Mouths gaping aye, to gormandize,
Of young ones clamouring,
With unintelligible cries.
The spider, with but head and feet.
And powerless to compete
With wings so fleet,
Soon saw herself a prey.
The swallow, passing swiftly by,
Bore web and all away,
The spinster dangling in the sky!
Two tables has our Maker set
 Pallas.An allusion to the birth of Pallas, or Minervagrown and
armedfrom the brain of Jove.
 Mortal foe.Arachne (whence the spider (aranea) has its name) was
a woman of Colopho who challenged Pallas to a trial of skill in needlework, and, being
defeated, hanged herself. She was changed into a spider: vide Ovid, Metam.,
Book 6, etc.
 Progne.The sister of Philomela, turned into a swallow, as mentioned in
note to Fable XV., Book 3.
 Pallas.An allusion to the birth of Pallas, or Minervagrown and armedfrom the brain of Jove.
 Mortal foe.Arachne (whence the spider (aranea) has its name) was a woman of Colopho who challenged Pallas to a trial of skill in needlework, and, being defeated, hanged herself. She was changed into a spider: vide Ovid, Metam., Book 6, etc.
 Progne.The sister of Philomela, turned into a swallow, as mentioned in note to Fable XV., Book 3.
That deserved for their noise to be put in the stocks,
A partridge was placed to be reared.
Her sex, by politeness revered,
Made her hope, from a gentry devoted to love,
For the courtesy due to the tenderest dove;
Nay, protection chivalric from knights of the yard.
That gentry, however, with little regard
For the honours and knighthood wherewith they were decked,
And for the strange lady as little respect,
Her ladyship often most horribly pecked.
At first, she was greatly afflicted therefor,
But when she had noticed these madcaps at war
With each other, and dealing far bloodier blows,
Consoling her own individual woes,
"Entailed by their customs," said she, "is the shame;
Let us pity the simpletons rather than blame.
Our Maker creates not all spirits the same;
The cocks and the partridges certainly differ,
By a nature than laws of civility stiffer.
Were the choice to be mine, I would finish my life
In society freer from riot and strife.
But the lord of this soil has a different plan;
His tunnel our race to captivity brings,
He throws us with cocks, after clipping our wings.
It's little we have to complain of but man."
To make my master maim me so?
A pretty figure I shall cut!
From other dogs I'll keep, in kennel shut.
You kings of beasts, or rather tyrants, ho!
Would any beast have served you so?"
Thus Growler cried, a mastiff young;
The man, whom pity never stung,
Went on to prune him of his ears.
Though Growler whined about his losses,
He found, before the lapse of years,
Himself a gainer by the process;
For, being by his nature prone
To fight his brethren for a bone,
He'd often come back from sad reverse
With those appendages the worse.
All snarling dogs have ragged ears.
The less of hold for teeth of foe,
The cause of Reason from her homestead fleeing;
No heart but on their altars kindles flames.
If you demand their purposes and names,
The one is Love, the other is Ambition.
Of far the greater share this takes possession,
For even into love it enters,
Which I might prove; but now my story centres
On a shepherd clothed with lofty powers:
The tale belongs to older times than ours.
A king observed a flock, wide spread
 Bidpai (The Hermit). Also in Lokman.
Made music with his flute and voice,
Which might have roused the dead to hear,
And in their silent graves rejoice
Sang once the livelong day,
In the flowery month of May,
Up and down a meadow brook,
While Annette fished with line and hook.
But never a fish would bite;
So the shepherdess's bait
Drew not a fish to its fate,
From morning dawn till night.
The shepherd, who, by his charming songs,
Had drawn savage beasts to him in throngs,
And done with them as he pleased to,
Thought that he could serve the fish so.
"O citizens," he sang, "of this water,
Leave your Naiad in her grot profound;
Come and see the blue sky's lovely daughter,
Who a thousand times more will charm you;
Fear not that her prison will harm you,
Though there you should chance to get bound.
It's only to us men she is cruel:
You she will treat kindly;
A snug little pond she'll find you,
Clearer than a crystal jewel,
Where you may all live and do well;
Or, if by chance some few
Should find their fate
Concealed in the bait,
The happier still are you;
For envied is the death that's met
At the hands of sweet Annette."
This eloquence not effecting
The object of his wishes,
Since it failed in collecting
The deaf and dumb fishes,
His sweet preaching wasted,
His honeyed talk untasted,
A net the shepherd seized, and, pouncing
With a fell scoop at the scaly fry,
He caught them; and now, madly flouncing,
At the feet of his Annette they lie!
O you shepherds, whose sheep men are,
On roastings from a royal fire.
Two demigods, a son and sire,
These parrots pensioned for their fun.
Time tied the knot of love sincere:
The sires grew to each other dear;
The sons, in spite of their frivolity,
Grew comrades boon, in joke and jollity;
At mess they mated, hot or cool;
Were fellow-scholars at a school.
Which did the bird no little honour, since
The boy, by king begotten, was a prince.
By nature fond of birds, the prince, too, petted
A sparrow, which delightfully coquetted.
These rivals, both of unripe feather,
One day were frolicking together:
As often befalls such little folks,
A quarrel followed from their jokes.
The sparrow, quite uncircumspect,
Was by the parrot sadly pecked;
With drooping wing and bloody head,
His master picked him up for dead,
And, being quite too wroth to bear it,
In heat of passion killed his parrot.
When this sad piece of news he heard,
Distracted was the parent bird.
His piercing cries bespoke his pain;
But cries and tears were all in vain.
The talking bird had left the shore;
In short, he, talking now no more,
Caused such a rage to seize his sire,
That, lighting on the prince in ire,
He put out both his eyes,
And fled for safety as was wise.
The bird a pine for refuge chose,
And to its lofty summit rose;
There, in the bosom of the skies,
Enjoyed his vengeance sweet,
And scorned the wrath beneath his feet.
Out ran the king, and cried, in soothing tone,
"Return, dear friend; what serves it to bemoan?
Hate, vengeance, mourning, let us both omit.
For me, it is no more than fit
To own, though with an aching heart,
The wrong is wholly on our part.
The aggressor truly was my son
My son? no; but by Fate the deed was done.
Before birth of Time, stern Destiny
Had written down the sad decree,
That by this sad calamity
Your child should cease to live, and mine to see.
"Let both, then, cease to mourn;
 Bidpai. In Knatchbull's English edition the fable is titled "The King
and the Bird, or the emblem of revengeful persons who are unworthy of trust." It is also in
the Lokman collection.
 The talking bird, etc."Stygia natabat jam frigida
 The talking bird, etc."Stygia natabat jam frigida cymba."VIRG.Translator.
A hunter stole it from the vale;
The forests and the mountains rung
Responsive to her hideous wail.
Nor night, nor charms of sweet repose,
Could still the loud lament that rose
From that grim forest queen.
No animal, as you might think,
With such a noise could sleep a wink.
A bear presumed to intervene.
"One word, sweet friend," said she,
"And that is all, from me.
The young that through your teeth have passed,
In file unbroken by a fast,
Had they nor dam nor sire?"
"They had them both." "Then I desire,
Since all their deaths caused no such grievous riot,
While mothers died of grief beneath your fiat,
To know why you yourself cannot be quiet?"
"I quiet!I!a wretch bereaved!
My only son!such anguish be relieved!
No, never! All for me below
Is but a life of tears and woe!"
"But say, why doom yourself to sorrow so?"
"Alas! It's Destiny that is my foe."
Such language, since the mortal fall,
This truth no better voucher needs
Than Hercules, of mighty deeds.
Few demigods, the tomes of fable
Reveal to us as being able
Such weight of task-work to endure:
In history, I find still fewer.
One such, however, here behold
A knight by talisman made bold,
Within the regions of romance,
To seek adventures with the lance.
There rode a comrade at his ride,
And as they rode they both espied
This writing on a post:
"Would see, sir valiant knight,
A thing whereof the sight
No errant yet can boast?
You have this torrent but to ford,
And, lifting up, alone,
The elephant of stone
On its margin shored,
Upbear it to the mountain's brow,
Round which, aloft before you now,
The misty chaplets wreathe
Not stopping once to breathe."
One knight, whose nostrils bled,
Betokening courage fled,
Cried out, "What if that current's sweep
Not only rapid be, but deep!
And grant it crossed,pray, why encumber
One's arms with that unwieldy lumber,
An elephant of stone?
Perhaps the artist may have done
His work in such a way, that one
Might lug it twice its length;
But then to reach yon mountain top,
And that without a breathing stop,
Were surely past a mortal's strength
Unless, indeed, it be no bigger
Than some wee, pigmy, dwarfish figure,
Which one would head a cane withal;
And if to this the case should fall,
The adventurer's honour would be small!
This posting seems to me a trap,
Or riddle for some greenish chap;
I therefore leave the whole to you."
The doubtful reasoner onward hies.
With heart resolved, in spite of eyes,
The other boldly dashes through;
Nor depth of flood nor force
Can stop his onward course.
He finds the elephant of stone;
He lifts it all alone;
Without a breathing stop,
He bears it to the top
Of that steep mount, and sees there
A high-walled city, great and fair.
Out-cried the elephantand hushed;
But forth in arms the people rushed.
A knight less bold had surely fled;
But he, so far from turning back,
His course right onward sped,
Resolved himself to make attack,
And die but with the bravest dead.
Amazed was he to hear that band
Proclaim him monarch of their land,
And welcome him, in place of one
Whose death had left a vacant throne!
In sooth, he lent a gracious ear,
Meanwhile expressing modest fear,
Lest such a load of royal care
Should be too great for him to bear.
And so, exactly, Sixtus said,
When first the pope's tiara pressed his head;
(Though, is it such a grievous thing
To be a pope, or be a king?)
But days were few before they read it,
That with but little truth he said it.
Blind Fortune follows daring blind.
 Bidpai; also in Lokman.
 Sixtus.Pope Sixtus 5, who simulated decrepitude to get elected to the
Papal chair, and when elected threw off all disguise and ruled despotically.
 Sixtus.Pope Sixtus 5, who simulated decrepitude to get elected to the Papal chair, and when elected threw off all disguise and ruled despotically.
While watching man in all his phases,
Are not mankind well pictured here?
I add another common case.
 This fable in the original editions has no other title save"An
Address," etc. Later editors titled it "Les Lapins."
 Rochefoucauld.See Fable 11, Book 1, also dedicated to the duke, and the
On shore, not far from naked, thrown
By furious waves,a merchant, now undone,
A noble, shepherd, and a monarch's son,
Brought to the lot of Belisarius,
Their wants supplied on alms precarious.
To tell what fates, and winds, and weather,
Had brought these mortals all together,
Though from far distant points abscinded,
Would make my tale long-winded.
Suffice to say, that, by a fountain met,
In council grave these outcasts held debate.
The prince enlarged, in an oration set,
On the mis'ries that befall the great.
The shepherd deemed it best to cast
Off thought of all misfortune past,
And each to do the best he could,
In efforts for the common weal.
"Did ever a repining mood,"
He added, "a misfortune heal?
Toil, friends, will take us back to Rome,
Or make us here as good a home."
A shepherd so to speak! a shepherd? What!
As though crowned heads were not,
By Heaven's appointment fit,
The sole receptacles of wit!
As though a shepherd could be deeper,
In thought or knowledge, than his sheep are!
The three, however, at once approved his plan,
Wrecked as they were on shores American.
"I'll teach arithmetic," the merchant said,
Its rules, of course, well seated in his head,
"For monthly pay." The prince replied, "And I
Will teach political economy."
"And I," the noble said, "in heraldry
Well versed, will open for that branch a school"
As if, beyond a thousand leagues of sea,
That senseless jargon could befool!
"My friends, you talk like men,"
The shepherd cried, "but then
The month has thirty days; till they are spent,
Are we on your faith to keep full Lent?
The hope you give is truly good;
But, before it comes, we starve for food!
Pray tell me, if you can divine,
On what, tomorrow, we shall dine;
Or tell me, rather, whence we may
Obtain a supper for today.
This point, if truth should be confessed,
Is first, and vital to the rest.
Your science short in this respect,
My hands shall cover the defect."
This said, the nearest woods he sought,
And thence for market fagots brought,
Whose price that day, and eke the next,
Relieved the company perplexed
Forbidding that, by fasting, they should go
To use their talents in the world below.
We learn from this adventure's course,
 Bidpai, and Lokman.
 Belisarius.Belisarius was a great general, who, having commanded the
armies of the emperor, and lost the favour of his master, fell to such a point of
destitution that he asked alms on the highways.La Fontaine. The touching story of the
fall of Belisarius, of which painters and poets have made so much, is entirely false, as
may be seen by consulting Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," chap.
 Belisarius.Belisarius was a great general, who, having commanded the armies of the emperor, and lost the favour of his master, fell to such a point of destitution that he asked alms on the highways.La Fontaine. The touching story of the fall of Belisarius, of which painters and poets have made so much, is entirely false, as may be seen by consulting Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," chap. 43.Translator.
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