Author: Jean de La Fontaine
Release Date: March, 2004 [EBook #5284] [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, V10 ***
This eBook was produced by David Widger email@example.com
J. De La Fontaine
The Two Friends
The Country Justice
The Kiss Returned
An Imitation of Anacreon
Another Imitation of Anacreon
The two Friends
AXIOCHUS, a handsome youth of old,
And Alcibiades, (both gay and bold,)
So well agreed, they kept a beauteous belle,
With whom by turns they equally would dwell.
It happened, one of them so nicely played,
The fav’rite lass produced a little maid,
Which both extolled, and each his own believed,
Though doubtless one or t’other was deceived.
Butwhen to riper years the bantling grew,
And sought her mother’s foot-steps to pursue,
Each friend desired to be her chosen swain,
And neither would a parent’s name retain.
Saidone, why brother, she’s your very shade;
The features are the same-:-your looks pervade.
Oh no, the other cried, it cannot be
Her chin, mouth, nose, and eyes, with your’s agree;
But that as ’twill, let me her favours win,
And for the pleasure I will risk the sin.
The country justice
Twolawyers to their cause so well adhered,
A country justice quite confused appeared,
By them the facts were rendered so obscure
With which the truth remained he was not sure.
At length, completely tired, two straws he sought
Of diff’rent lengths, and to the parties brought.
These in his hand he held:—the plaintiff drew
(So fate decreed) the shortest of the two.
On this the other homeward took his way,
To boast how nicely he had gained the day.
Thebench complained: the magistrate replied
Don’t blame I pray—’tis nothing new I’ve tried;
Courts often judge at hazard in the law,
Without deciding by the longest straw.