Author: Jean de La Fontaine
Release Date: March, 2004 [EBook #5291] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on June 21, 2002]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of the project gutenberg Ebook tales and novels of Fontaine, V17 ***
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 Progress of Wit
The Sick Abbess
The progress of wit
Diverting in extreme there is a play,
Which oft resumes its fascinating sway;
Delights the sex, or ugly, fair, or sour;
By night or day:—’tis sweet at any hour.
The frolick, ev’ry where is known to fame;
Conjecture if you can, and tells its name.
Thisplay’s chief charm to husbands is unknown;
’Tis with the lover it excels alone;
No lookers-on, as umpires, are required;
No quarrels rise, though each appears inspired;
All seem delighted with the pleasing game:—
Conjecture if you can, and tell its name.
Bethis as ’twill, and called whate’er it
No longer trifling with it I shall stay,
But now disclose a method to transmit
(As oft we find) to ninnies sense and wit.
Till Alice got instruction in this school,
She was regarded as a silly fool,
Her exercise appeared to spin and sew:—
Not hers indeed, the hands alone would go;
For sense or wit had in it no concern;
Whate’er the foolish girl had got to learn,
No part therein could ever take the mind;
Her doll, for thought, was just as well designed.
The mother would, a hundred times a day,
Abuse the stupid maid, and to her say
Go wretched lump and try some wit to gain.
Thegirl, quite overcome with shame and pain;
Her neighbours asked to point her out the spot,
Where useful wit by purchase might be got.
The simple question laughter raised around;
At length they told her, that it might be found
With father Bonadventure, who’d a stock,
Which he at times disposed of to his flock.