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The Wolf Accusing The Fox Before The Monkey

(Recueil 1, Livre 2, Fable 3)

 

 

A wolf, affirming his belief

That he had suffered by a thief,

Brought up his neighbour fox

Of whom it was by all confessed,

His character was not the best

To fill the prisoner's box.

As judge between these vermin,

A monkey graced the ermine;

And truly other gifts of Themis

Did scarcely seem his;

For while each party plead his cause,

Appealing boldly to the laws,

And much the question vexed,

Our monkey sat perplexed.

Their words and wrath expended,

Their strife at length was ended;

When, by their malice taught,

The judge this judgment brought:

"Your characters, my friends, I long have known,

As on this trial clearly shown;

And hence I fine you both the grounds at large

To state would little profit

You wolf, in short, as bringing groundless charge,

You fox, as guilty of it."

Come at it right or wrong, the judge opined

No other than a villain could be fined.

Jean de La Fontaine

Book 2, Fable 3

 

 

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