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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 12 pages of information about Tales and Novels of J. de La Fontaine Volume 22.

THE PACK-SADDLE

A Famous painter, jealous of his wife;
Whose charms he valued more than fame or life,
When going on a journey used his art,
To paint an ass upon a certain part,
(Umbilical, ’tis said) and like a seal: 
Impressive token, nothing thence to steal.

A brother brush, enamoured of the dame;
Now took advantage, and declared his flame: 
The Ass effaced, but God knows how ’twas done;
Another soon howe’er he had begun,
And finished well, upon the very spot;
In painting, few more praises ever got;
But want of recollection made him place
A saddle, where before he none could trace.

          Thehusband, when returned, desired to look
          At what he drew, when leave he lately took. 
          Yes, see my dear, the wily wife replied,
          The Ass is witness, faithful I abide. 
          Zounds! said the painter, when he got a sight,—­
          What!—­you’d persuade me ev’ry thing is right? 
          I wish the witness you display so well,
          And him who saddled it, were both in Hell.

The ear-maker and the mould-Mender

When William went from home (a trader styled): 
Six months his better half he left with child,
A simple, comely, modest, youthful dame,
Whose name was Alice; from Champaign she came. 
Her neighbour Andrew visits now would pay;
With what intention, needless ’tis to say: 
A master who but rarely spread his net,
But, first or last, with full success he met;
And cunning was the bird that ’scaped his snare;
Without surrendering a feather there.

          Quiteraw was Alice; for his purpose fit;
          Not overburdened with a store of wit;
          Of this indeed she could not be accused,
          And Cupid’s wiles by her were never used;
          Poor lady, all with her was honest part,
          And naught she knew of stratagem or art.

          Herhusband then away, and she alone,
          This neighbour came, and in a whining tone,
          To her observed, when compliments were o’er:—­
          I’m all astonishment, and you deplore,
          To find that neighbour William’s gone from hence,
          And left your child’s completing in suspense,
          Which now you bear within, and much I fear,
          That when ’tis born you’ll find it wants an ear. 
          Your looks sufficiently the fact proclaim,
          For many instances I’ve known the same. 
          Good heav’ns! replied the lady in a fright;
          What say you, pray?—­the infant won’t be right! 
          Shall I be mother to a one-eared child? 
          And know you no relief that’s certain styled? 
          Oh yes, there is, rejoined the crafty knave,

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