- Death and the Dying
- The Cobbler and the Financier
- The Lion, the Wolf, and the Fox
- The Power Of Fables
- The Man and the Flea
- The Women and the Secret
- The Dog That Carried His Master’s Dinner
- The Joker and the Fishes
- The Rat and the Oyster
- The Bear and the Amateur Gardener
- The Two Friends
- The Hog, the Goat, and the Sheep
- Thyrsis And Amaranth
- The Funeral of the Lioness
- The Rat and the Elephant
- The Horoscope
- The Ass and the Dog
- The Pashaw and the Merchant
- The Use Of Knowledge
- Jupiter and the Thunderbolts
- The Falcon and the Capon
- The Cat and the Rat
- The Torrent and the River
- The Two Dogs and the Dead Ass
- Democritus and the People Of Abdera
- The Wolf and the Hunter
Between two citizens
A controversy grew.
The one was poor, but much he knew:
The other, rich, with little sense,
Claimed that, in point of excellence,
The merely wise should bow the knee
To all such moneyed men as he.
The merely fools, he should have said;
For why should wealth hold up its head,
When merit from its side has fled?
“My friend,” said Bloated-purse,
To his reverse,
“You think yourself considerable.
Pray, tell me, do you keep a table?
What comes of this incessant reading,
In point of lodging, clothing, feeding?
It gives one, true, the highest chamber,
One coat for June and for December,
His shadow for his sole attendant,
And hunger always in the ascendant.
What profits he his country, too,
Who scarcely ever spends a sou—
Will, haply, be a public charge?
Who profits more the state at large,
Than he whose luxuries dispense
Among the people wealth immense?
We set the streams of life a-flowing;
We set all sorts of trades a-going.
The spinner, weaver, sewer, vender,
And many a wearer, fair and tender,
All live and flourish on the spender—
As do, indeed, the reverend rooks
Who waste their time in making books.”
These words, so full of impudence,
Received their proper recompense.
The man of letters held his peace,
Though much he might have said with ease.
A war avenged him soon and well;
In it their common city fell.
Both fled abroad; the ignorant,
By fortune thus brought down to want,
Was treated everywhere with scorn,
And roamed about, a wretch forlorn;
Whereas the scholar, everywhere,
Was nourished by the public care.
Let fools the studious despise;
There’s nothing lost by being wise.
Keichu, the great Zen teacher of the Meiji era, was the head of Tofuku, a cathedral in Kyo ...
The Use of Knowledge by Jean de La Fontaine’s Fables in Book 8
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