Tales and Novels of J. de La Fontaine — Volume 06 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 37 pages of information about Tales and Novels of J. de La Fontaine — Volume 06.

          Butfirst, by reason let me prove, I pray,
          That evil such as this, and which you say,
          Oft weighs you down with soul-corroding care;
          Is only in the mind:—­mere spright of air: 
          Your hat upon your head for instance place,
          Less gently rather than’s your usual case;
          Pray, don’t it presently at ease remain? 
          And from it do you aught amiss retain? 
          Not e’en a spot; there’s nothing half so clear;
          The features, too, they as before appear? 
          No difference assuredly you see? 
          Then how can cuckoldom an evil be? 
          Such my conclusion, spite of fools or brutes,
          With whose ideas reason never suits.

          Yes, yes, but honour has, you know, a claim: 
          Who e’er denied it?—­never ’twas my aim. 
          But what of honour?—­nothing else is heard;
          At Rome a different conduct is preferred;
          The cuckold there, who takes the thing to heart,
          Is thought a fool, and acts a blockhead’s part;
          While he, who laughs, is always well received
          And honest fellow through the town believed. 
          Were this misfortune viewed with proper eyes,
          Such ills from cuckoldom would ne’er arise.

          Thatadvantageous ’tis, we now will prove: 
          Folks laugh; your wife a pliant glove shall move;
          But, if you’ve twenty favourites around,
          A single syllable will ne’er resound. 
          Whene’er you speak, each word has double force;
          At table, you’ve precedency of course,
          And oft will get the very nicest parts;
          Well pleased who serves you!—­all the household smarts
          No means neglect your favour to obtain;
          You’ve full command; resistance would be vain. 
          Whence this conclusion must directly spring: 
          To be a cuckold is a useful thing.

          Atcards, should adverse fortune you pursue;
          To take revenge is ever thought your due;
          And your opponent often will revoke,
          That you for better luck may have a cloak: 
          If you’ve a friend o’er head and ears in debt: 
          At once, to help him numbers you can get. 
          You fancy these your rind regales and cheers
          She’s better for it; more beautiful appears;
          The Spartan king, in Helen found new charms,
          When he’d recovered her from Paris’ arms.

          Yourwife the same; to make her, in your eye,
          More beautiful ’s the aim you may rely;
          For, if unkind, she would a hag be thought,
          Incapable soft love scenes to be taught. 
          These reasons make me to my thesis cling,—­
          To be a cuckold is a useful thing.

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Tales and Novels of J. de La Fontaine — Volume 06 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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