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,

My sk
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!_