Histoire, contes et littérature



Daphnis And Alcimadure

An Imitation Of Theocritus. To Madame De La Mesangere. Offspring of her to whom, today, While from your lovely self away, A thousand hearts their homage pay, Besides the throngs whom friendship binds to please, And some whom love presents you on their knees! A mandate...


The English Fox

To Madame Harvey. Sound reason and a tender heart With you are friends that never part. A hundred traits might swell the roll; Suffice to name your nobleness of soul; Your power to guide both men and things; Your temper open, bland and free, A gift that draws friends to...


The Fool and the Sage

A fool pursued, with club and stone, A sage, who said, "My friend, well done! Receive this guinea for your pains; They well deserve far higher gains. The workman's worthy of his hire, It's said. There comes a wealthy squire, Who has wherewith your works to pay; To him...


The Scythian Philosopher

A Scythian philosopher austere, Resolved his rigid life somewhat to cheer, Performed the tour of Greece, saw many things, But, best, a sage, one such as Virgil sings, A simple, rustic man, that equaled kings; From whom, the gods would hardly bear the palm; Like them...


The Elephant and the Ape Of Jupiter

"Between elephant and beast of horned nose About precedence a dispute arose, Which they determined to decide by blows. The day was fixed, when came a messenger To say the ape of Jupiter Was swiftly earthward seen to bear His bright caduceus through the air. This monkey,...


The Ape

There is an ape in Paris, To which was given a wife: Like many a one that marries, This ape, in brutal strife, Soon beat her out of life. Their infant cries, perhaps not fed, But cries, I believe, in vain; The father laughs: his wife is dead, And he has other loves...


The Fox and the Turkeys

Against a robber fox, a tree Some turkeys served as citadel. That villain, much provoked to see Each standing there as sentinel, Cried out, "Such witless birds At me stretch out their necks, and gobble! No, by the powers! I'll give them trouble." He verified his...


The Fox, the Wolf, and the Horse

A fox, though young, by no means raw, Had seen a horse, the first he ever saw: "Ho! neighbour wolf," said he to one quite green, "A creature in our meadow I have seen, Sleek, grand! I seem to see him yet, The finest beast I ever met." "Is he a stouter one than we?" The...


The Woods and the Woodman

A certain wood chopper lost or broke From his axe's eye a bit of oak. The forest must needs be somewhat spared While such a loss was being repaired. Came the man at last, and humbly prayed That the woods would kindly lend to him A moderate loan a single limb, Whereof...


The Raven, the Gazelle, the Tortoise, and the Rat

To Madame De La Sabliere. A temple I reserved you in my rhyme: It might not be completed but with time. Already its endurance I had grounded On this charming art, divinely founded; And on the name of that divinity For whom its adoration was to be. These words I should...


Love And Folly

Love bears a world of mystery His arrows, quiver, torch, and infancy: It's not a trifling work to sound A sea of science so profound: And, hence, explain it all today Is not my aim; but, in my simple way, To show how that blind archer lad (And he a god!) came by the loss...


The Fox, the Flies, and the Hedgehog

A fox, old, subtle, vigilant, and sly, By hunters wounded, fallen in the mud, Attracted, by the traces of his blood, That buzzing parasite, the fly. He blamed the gods, and wondered why The Fates so cruelly should wish To feast the fly on such a costly dish. "What! light...


The Eagle and the Magpie

The eagle, through the air a queen, And one far different, I believe, In temper, language, thought, and mien, The magpie, once a prairie crossed. The by path where they met was drear, And Madge gave up herself for lost; But having dined on ample cheer, The eagle bade her,...


The King, the Kite, and the Falconer

To His August Highness, Monseigneur The Prince De Conti. The gods, for that themselves are good, The like in mortal monarchs would. The prime of royal rights is grace; To this even sweet revenge gives place. So thinks your highness, while your wrath Its cradle for its...


The Lobster And Her Daughter

The wise, sometimes, as lobsters do, To gain their ends back foremost go. It is the rower's art; and those Commanders who mislead their foes, Do often seem to aim their sight Just where they don't intend to smite. My theme, so low, may yet apply To one whose fame is very...


The Wolf and the Fox

Whence comes it that there lives not A man contented with his lot? Here's one who would a soldier be, Whom soldiers all with envy see. A fox to be a wolf once sighed. With disappointments mortified, Who knows but that, his wolfship cheap, The wolf himself would be a...


The Quarrel of the Dogs And Cats, And That of the Cats And Mice

Enthroned by an eternal law, Has Discord reigned throughout the universe. In proof, I might from this our planet draw A thousand instances diverse. Within the circle of our view, This queen has subjects not a few. Beginning with the elements, It is astonishing to see How...


The Sick Stag

A stag, where stags abounded, Fell sick, and was surrounded Forthwith by comrades kind, All pressing to assist, Or see, their friend, at least, And ease his anxious mind An irksome multitude. "Ah, sirs!" the sick was fain to cry, "Pray leave me here to die, As others...


The Bat, the Bush, and the Duck

A bush, duck, and bat, having found that in trade, Confined to their country, small profits were made, Into partnership entered to traffic abroad, Their purse, held in common, well guarded from fraud. Their factors and agents, these trading allies Employed where they...


The Old Cat and the Young Mouse

To Monseigneur, The Duke De Bourgogne; Who Had Requested Of M. De La Fontaine A Fable Which Should Be Called "The Cat And The Mouse." To please a youthful prince, whom Fame A temple in my writings vows, What fable answers to the name, "The Cat and Mouse?" Shall I in verse...


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