Tales and Novels of J. de La Fontaine — Volume 02 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 16 pages of information about Tales and Novels of J. de La Fontaine — Volume 02.
that the garlick may Be taken in the account, for as to pelf, Where can an humble lab’rer, like myself, Expect the sum of thirty pounds to seize?  Then, said the peer, be cudgelled if you please; Take thirty thwacks; for naught the garlick goes.  To moisten well his throat, and ease his woes, The peasant drank a copious draught of wine, And then to bear the cudgel would resign.

          A Single blow he patiently endured;
          The second, howsoe’er, his patience cured;
          The third was more severe, and each was worse;
          The punishment he now began to curse;
          Two lusty wights, with cudgels thrashed his back
          And regularly gave him thwack and thwack;
          He cried, he roared, for grace he begged his lord,
          Who marked each blow, and would no ease accord;
          But carefully observed, from time to time,
          That lenity he always thought sublime;
          His gravity preserved; considered too
          The blows received and what continued due.

          Atlength, when Greg’ry twenty strokes had got,
          He piteously exclaimed:—­if more’s my lot
          I never shall survive!  Oh! pray forgive,
          If you desire, my lord, that I should live. 
          Then down with thirty pounds, replied the peer,
          Since you the blows so much pretend to fear;
          I’m sorry for you; but if all the gold
          Be not prepared, your godfather, I’m told,
          Can lend a part; yet, since so far you’ve been,
          To flinch the rest you surely won’t be seen.

          Thewretched peasant to his lordship flew,
          And trembling cried—­’tis up! the number view! 
          A scrutiny was made, which nothing gained;
          No choice but pay the money now remained;
          This grieved him much, and o’er the fellow’s face;
          The dewy drops were seen to flow apace. 
          All useless proved:—­the full demand he sent,
          With which the peer expressed himself content. 
          Unlucky he whoe’er his lord offends! 
          To golden ore, howe’er, the proud man bends: 

          ’Twasvain that Gregory a pardon prayed;
          For trivial faults the peasant dearly paid;
          His throat enflamed—­his tender back well beat—­
          His money gone—­and all to make complete,
          Without the least deduction for the pain,
          The blows and garlick gave the trembling swain.


Who, born for hanging, ever yet was drowned?

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Tales and Novels of J. de La Fontaine — Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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