Tales and Novels of J. de La Fontaine — Volume 07 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 25 pages of information about Tales and Novels of J. de La Fontaine Volume 07.

          Thusmetamorphosed to a pretty boy,
          The judge proceeded in the black’s employ. 
          Within a corner hidden, Argia lay,
          And heard what Anselm had been led to say. 
          The Moor howe’er was Manto, most renowned,
          Transformed, as oft the fairy we have found;
          She built the charming palace by her art,—­
          Now youthful features would to age impart.

          Atlength, as Anselm through a passage came,
          He suddenly beheld his beauteous dame. 
          What! learned Anselm do I see, said she,
          In this disguise?—­It surely cannot be;
          My eyes deceive me:—­Anselm, grave and wise;
          Give such a lesson?  I am all surprise.

          ’Tisdoubtless he:  oh, oh! our bald-pate sire;
          Ambassador and judge, we must admire,
          To see your honour thus in masquerade:—­
          At your age, truly, suffer to be made
          A—­modesty denies my tongue its powr’s
          What!—­you condemn to death for freaks like ours? 
          You, whom I’ve found *** you understand—­for shame
          Your crimes are such as all must blush to name. 
          Though I may have a negro for gallant,
          And erred when Atis for me seemed to pant,
          His merit and the black’s superior rank,
          Must lessen, if not quite excuse my prank. 
          Howe’er, old boy, you presently shall see,
          If any belle solicited should be,
          To grant indulgencies, with presents sweet,
          She will not straight capitulation beat;
          At least, if they be such as I have viewed:—­
          Moor, change to dog; immediately ensued
          The metamorphose that the fair required,
          The black’moor was again a dog admired. 
          Dance, fav’rite; instantly he skipped and played;
          And to the judge his pretty paw conveyed. 
          Spaniel, scatter gold; presently there fell
          Large sums of money, as the sound could tell. 
          Such strong temptation who can e’er evade? 
          The dog a present to your wife was made. 
          Then show me, if you can, upon the earth,
          A queen, a princess, of the highest birth,
          Who would not virtue presently concede,
          If such excuses for it she could plead;
          Particularly if the giver proved
          A handsome lad that elegantly moved.

          I, truly, for the spaniel was exchanged;
          What you’d too much of, freely I arranged,
          To grant away, this jewel to obtain
          My value ’s nothing great, you think, ’tis plain;
          And, surely, you’d have thought me very wrong,
          When such a prize I met, to haggle long. 
          ’Twas he this palace raised; but I have done;

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Tales and Novels of J. de La Fontaine — Volume 07 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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