Title: The Tales and Novels, v4: The Old Man’s Calendar and Others
Author: Jean de La Fontaine
Release Date: March, 2004 [EBook #5278] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on June 14, 2002]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of the project gutenberg EBOOK tales and novels of Fontaine, V4 ***
This eBook was produced by David Widger firstname.lastname@example.org
[Note: There is a short list of bookmarks, or pointers, at the end of the file for those who may wish to sample the author’s ideas before making an entire meal of them. D.W.]
J. De La Fontaine
The Old Man’s Calendar
The Avaricious Wife and Tricking Galant
The Jealous Husband
The Gascon Unpunished]
The old man’s calendar
Oft have I seen in wedlock with surprise,
That most forgot from which true bliss would rise
When marriage for a daughter is designed,
The parents solely riches seem to mind;
All other boons are left to heav’n above,
And sweet Sixteen must sixty learn to love!
Yet still in other things they nicer seem,
Their chariot-horses and their oxen-team
Are truly matched;—in height exact are these,
While those each shade alike must have to please;
Without the choice ’twere wonderful to find,
Or coach or wagon travel to their mind.
The marriage journey full of cares appears,
When couples match in neither souls nor years!
An instance of the kind I’ll now detail:
The feeling bosom will such lots bewail!
(Richard), as the story goes,
Indulged his wife at balls, and feasts, and shows,
Expecting other duties she’d forget,
In which howe’er he disappointment met.
A judge in Pisa, Richard was, it seems,
In law most learned: wily in his schemes;
But silver beard and locks too clearly told,
He ought to have a wife of diff’rent mould;
Though he had taken one of noble birth,
Quite young, most beautiful, and formed for mirth,
Bartholomea Galandi her name;
The lady’s parents were of rank and fame;
Our judge herein had little wisdom shown,
And sneering friends around were often known
To say, his children ne’er could fathers lack:
At giving counsel some have got a knack,
Who, were they but at home to turn their eyes,
Might find, perhaps, they’re not so over-wise.