The Monkey And The Leopard
: A Hundred Fables Of La Fontaine
A monkey and a leopard were
The rivals at a country fair.
Each advertised his own attractions.
Said one, "Good sirs, the highest place
My merit knows; for, of his grace,
The king hath seen me face to face;
And, judging by his looks and actions,
I gave the best of satisfactions.
When I am dead, 'tis plain enough,
n will make his royal muff.
So richly is it streak'd and spotted,
So delicately waved and dotted,
Its various beauty cannot fail to please."
And, thus invited, everybody sees;
But soon they see, and soon depart.
The monkey's show-bill to the mart
His merits thus sets forth the while,
All in his own peculiar style:--
"Come, gentlemen, I pray you, come;
In magic arts I am at home.
The whole variety in which
My neighbour boasts himself so rich,
Is to his simple skin confined,
While mine is living in the mind.
For I can speak, you understand;
Can dance, and practise sleight-of-hand;
Can jump through hoops, and balance sticks;
In short, can do a thousand tricks;
One penny is my charge to you,
And, if you think the price won't do,
When you have seen, then I'll restore
Each man his money at the door."
_The ape was not to reason blind;_
_For who in wealth of dress can find_
_Such charms as dwell in wealth of mind?_
_One meets our ever-new desires,_
_The other in a moment tires._
_Alas! how many lords there are,_
_Of mighty sway and lofty mien,_
_Who, like this leopard at the fair,_
_Show all their talents on the skin!_