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When a corpse falls out of the confessional at St. Andrew's Catholic Church in the small village of Pine Creek, MN, it's up to Sheriff Billy Fontaine and his new.
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Told from four different points of view, this original and affecting novel weaves past and present in a suspenseful narrative that unveils the truth behind a terrible tragedy. When Triss wakes up after an accident, she knows something is very wrong. She is insatiably hungry, her sister seems scared of her, and her parents whisper behind closed doors.

She looks through her diary to try to remember, but the pages have been ripped out. Soon Triss discovers that what happened to her is more strange and terrible than she could ever have imagined, and that she is quite literally not herself. Written in searing prose, this is the story of two boys: Erik, who performs miracles, and Thorn, who hears voices.

The book chronicles their lives as their minds devolve into hallucinations, and shows the way their worlds intersect, culminating in a final stand-off. This debut novel offer a raw, insightful look at the forces that compel us to act against our will. In the year , after decades of gender selection, India now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, making women an incredibly valuable commodity.

Tired of marrying off their daughters to the highest bidder and determined to finally make marriage fair, the women who form the country of Koyanagar have instituted a series of tests so that every boy has the chance to win a wife. As the tests advance, Sudasa and Kiran thwart each other at every turn until they slowly realize that they just might want the same thing. Love is real in the town of Grimbaud, and Fallon Dupree has dreamed of attending high school there for years. Fallon is determined to take control of her own fate—even if it means working with a notorious heartbreaker like Sebastian.

Montana and her sister, Arizona, are named after the mountainous states their mother left them for. Karissa is bold, imperfectly beautiful, and unafraid of being vulnerable. In the midst of her uncertainty, Montana finds a heady distraction in Bernardo. For the first time, Montana understands how you can become both lost and found in somebody else.

But when that love becomes everything, where does it leave the rest of her imperfect life? Soon she meets Peter, a man unlike anyone she has ever known. Peter believes that Frances is a messenger, too. Where women are created for the pleasure of men, beauty is the first duty of every girl.

Freida and Isabel are best friends. Now, aged sixteen and in their final year, they expect to be selected as companions—wives to powerful men. All they have to do is ensure they stay in the top ten beautiful girls in their year. The alternatives—life as a concubine, or a chastity teaching endless generations of girls —are too horrible to contemplate. But as the intensity of final year takes hold, the pressure to be perfect mounts.

Isabel starts to self-destruct, putting her beauty—her only asset—in peril. And then into this sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride. Freida must fight for her future—even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known. When seventeen-year-old Liva came to New York City, all she wanted was to escape the painful memories of her past and finally find a fresh start. Her hopes for a new future were dashed the moment she became the sole witness to a brutal murder. With the help of a sexy car thief that she met at the station, Liva manages to get away from the massacre unharmed, but now the two of them are alone in New York, trying to outrun and outwit the two killers who will stop at nothing to find them.

Beaufrand Amulet, May In Portland in , girls are disappearing. When the PfefferBrau Haus opens its doors for a battle of the bands, Noah pulls his band, the Gallivanters, back together in order to get to the bottom of the mystery. And secrets other than where the bodies are buried will be revealed. Whatever you want to call them, Harper and Lily were born to be besties. With high school just around the corner, casual-cool Cali girl Harper and awkward, always-costumed Lily make sure to text each other every day about their bond:.

Can BFF-ship survive the tidal wave of HS drama, or does growing up mean leaving some friends behind? Cooper Katherine Tegen Books, May Kalah knows better than to fall for Beth Taylor. She skips town on her eighteenth birthday, leaving behind a flurry of rumors and a string of broken hearts. But Brit clearly believes it—and before Kalah can sort out the truth, Britney is dead.

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all. But Braden got it wrong: Braden has always measured himself through baseball. He is the star pitcher in his small town of Ornette, and his ninety-four-mile-per-hour pitch al- ready has minor league scouts buzzing in his junior year. Braden faces an impossible choice, one that will define him for the rest of his life, in this brutally honest debut novel about family, faith, and the ultimate test of conviction.

Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. This sweeping, cinematic tale of an apprentice scientist desperate to save his family—and his world—is The Night Circus meets Pixar.

Now, teaming up with Duquette is the only way for Ana to chase down Clayton in the sea of orcs, zombies, bikini-clad princesses, Trekkies, and Smurfs. After all, one does not simply walk into Washingcon. As long-buried memories begin to surface, Sam wonders if she and Remy accurately registered everything they saw. The more they re-examine the events of that fateful night, the more questions they discover about what really happened to Turtle.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally her little sister , Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

Meet Scarlett, a smart, sarcastic, kick-butt, Muslim American heroine, ready to take on crime in her hometown of Las Almas. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. Or so their parents think. In truth, Headmistress Emma Stranje, the original unusual girl, has plans for the young ladies—plans that entangle the girls in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war. But Georgie has no intention of being turned into a simpering, pudding-headed, marriageable miss. She plans to escape as soon as possible—until she meets Lord Sebastian Wyatt.

Thrust together in a desperate mission to invent a new invisible ink for the English war effort, Georgie and Sebastian must find a way to work together without losing their heads—or their hearts. Smith Katherine Tegen Books, May Like how her relationship with her mom is wearing and fraying. For years, Noe has anchored Annabeth and set their joint path. Michael is unsure about most things. Enlist in the military? Break up with his girlfriend? All big question marks. He is living for the moment and all he wants is a few days at the biggest concert of the summer. Cora lives in the town hosting the music festival.

But there is something in the air at this concert and suddenly Cora finds herself wanting to push her own boundaries. When Michael and Cora meet, sparks fly, hearts race, and all the things songs are written about come true. And all the while, three days of the most epic summer await them. Which makes it hard for him to be in love with his straight best friend. The problem with living a lie is that the lie can slowly become your life. The girl at the local bookstore has no clue how off-base her crush on him is. Because like love, a true self can rarely be contained.

As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. Four other teenagers have also been taken: None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets.

As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans. As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind.

Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? Frank Atheneum, May As a teen girl in Newark, New Jersey, lost in the foster care system, Dime just wants someone to care about her, to love her. It seems a fair enough exchange for love. Dime never meant to become a prostitute. And will Daddy let her? Reyes Katherine Tegen Books, May The good girl, the bad boy, the diva, the hustler, the rock star, and the nerd. Six teens legally liberated from parental control for six different reasons, all with one thing in common: As they cling to a fantasy of freedom and slowly let down their guards, the past creeps up on them.

In this steamy, drama-filled series, relationships are tested and secrets revealed as lies threaten to destroy their perfect setup. Everything in this city seems magical. Suddenly, statues of Cupid and ancient works of art come to life before her eyes. Earthquakes rumble and a cloud of ash forms in the sky. A dark-eyed boy with wings on his heels appears and gives her a message.

Laura soon realizes she is at the center of a brewing battle — a battle between the gods and goddesses, one that will shake modern-day Rome to its core. Only she and her group of friends can truly unravel the mystery behind what is happening. As tensions mount and secret identities are revealed, Laura must rely on her own inner strength to face up to what may be a fight for her life. At seventeen, overachieving Lane finds himself at Latham House, a sanatorium for teens suffering from an incurable strain of tuberculosis.

There, Lane encounters a girl he knew years ago. Instead of the shy loner he remembers, Sadie has transformed. At Latham, she is sarcastic, fearless, and utterly compelling. Her friends, a group of eccentric troublemakers, fascinate Lane, who has never stepped out of bounds his whole life. And as he gradually becomes one of them, Sadie shows him their secrets: But there are consequences to having secrets, particularly at Latham House.

And as Lane and Sadie begin to fall in love and their group begins to fall sicker, their insular world threatens to come crashing down. Told in alternating points of view, Extraordinary Means is a darkly funny story about doomed friendships, first love, and the rare miracle of second chances. Once upon a time, two best friends created a princess together.

Libby drew the pictures, May wrote the tales, and their heroine, Princess X, slayed all the dragons and scaled all the mountains their imaginations could conjure. Once upon a few years later, Libby was in the car with her mom, driving across the Ballard Bridge on a rainy night.

When the car went over the side, Libby passed away, and Princess X died with her. Once upon a now: May is sixteen and lonely, wandering the streets of Seattle, when she sees a sticker slapped in a corner window. When May looks around, she sees the Princess everywhere: And that means that only one person could have started this phenomenon—her best friend, Libby, who lives.

Mina is top of her class, girlfriend to the most ambitious guy in school, able to reason and study her way through anything. But when she suddenly finds herself pregnant—despite having never had sex—her orderly world collapses. Her father assumes that her boyfriend is responsible; her boyfriend believes she must have cheated on him. There are those who brand her a heretic.

Unfortunately, after Eva falls head-over-heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the west coast to see Will again. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love.

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Pagan was behind the wheel and driving drunk. But all of that is about to change. Pagan will be released from juvenile detention if she accepts a juicy role in a comedy directed by award-winning director Bennie Wexler. The shoot starts in West Berlin in just three days.

What could go wrong? Sixteen-year-old Delilah is finally united with Oliver—a prince literally taken from the pages of a fairy tale. There are, however, complications now that Oliver has been able to enter the real world. In this multilayered universe, the line between what is on the page and what is possible is blurred, but all must be resolved for the characters to live happily ever after.

Includes twelve full-color illustrations, and black-and-white decorations throughout. Robin Loxley is seven years old when his parents disappear without a trace. Years later the great love of his life, Marian, is also taken from him. Driven by these mysteries, and this anguish, Robin follows a darkening path into the ancient heart of Sherwood Forest. What he encounters there will leave him transformed. Jane is ready for a fantastic summer. This past winter, Jane was held at knifepoint during an armed robbery and the specter of that night still haunts her.

Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama.

The Hampstead Mystery (FULL Audiobook)

Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.

Claire Takata has never known much about her father, who passed away when she was a little girl. But on the anniversary of his death, not long before her seventeenth birthday, she finds a mysterious letter from her deceased father, addressed to her stepfather. Claire never even knew that they had met. In search of answers, Claire combs through anything that will give her information about her father.

The discovery opens a door that should have been left closed. Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie is allergic to electricity. Contact with it causes debilitating seizures. If they ever did meet, Ollie would seize. But Moritz would die without his pacemaker. Both hermits from society, the boys develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline during dark times—as Ollie loses his only friend, Liz, to the normalcy of high school and Moritz deals with a bully set on destroying him.

A story of impossible friendship and hope under strange circumstances, this debut is powerful, dark and humorous in equal measure. These extraordinary voices bring readers into the hearts and minds of two special boys who, like many teens, are just waiting for their moment to shine. In Paris, family and friends gather to mourn the tragic passing of Charlie Price—young, handsome, charming, a world-traveler—who is presumed dead after an explosion.

At the funeral, two teens who are perfect strangers, Lena Whitney and Aubrey Boroughs, make another shocking discovery: Over the next week, a mind-bending trip unfolds: Is he still alive? What did their love for him even mean? The truth is out there, but soon it becomes clear that the girls are harboring secrets of their own. Before, I was never the life of the party. I was the reliable one. The one no one had to worry about. The one no one had to think about. I was the one that everyone could ignore. But the cost of being someone is more than anyone can imagine. For every choice made. In the wake of the devastating destruction of the luxury yacht Persephone , just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying.

Even if it means taking down the boy she loves and possibly losing herself in the process. Genetically engineered identical twins Kyle and Connor McAdams were born two years apart. Their parents figured it was safer that way, to increase their odds of survival. Connor was born first, paving an impossibly perfect path for Kyle to follow. He was the best at everything—valedictorian, star quarterback etc.

Mueller conducted experiments on them. Mueller really, and what did he do to cause their hearts to stop at eighteen? He must unravel the clues quickly, before, he too, becomes another perfect, blue-eyed corpse. Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family.

So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions. Rachel Walker is devoted to God. She prays every day, attends Calvary Christian Church with her family, helps care for her five younger siblings, dresses modestly, and prepares herself to be a wife and mother who serves the Lord with joy.

But Rachel is curious about the world her family has turned away from, and increasingly finds that neither the church nor her homeschool education has the answers she craves. A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico. Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school.

He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects. All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. She casts off her old reputation, grows close with her four rowdy cast-mates, and kisses the extremely handsome Charlie Lamb onstage.

But the on and off-stage drama of the cast is eclipsed by a life-altering accusation that threatens to destroy everything…even if some of it is just make believe. Like after his father committed suicide in their one bedroom apartment. Then Thomas shows up. There are nicknames, inside jokes. Which is frustrating in a world of absolutes. Villains, like the one who killed her father, are bad. Heroes, like her mother and best friend, are good. And Kenna, unlike everyone else around her, is completely ordinary— which she hates. After all…not all strength comes from superpowers.

It was the perfect summer of first kisses, skinny-dipping, and bonfires by the lake. That is, until the fateful flash of a photo booth camera transports the four of them back in time, to the summer they were fifteen—the summer everything changed. The girls must recreate the past in order to return to the present. As they live through their second-chance summer, the mystery behind their lost friendship unravels, and a dark secret threatens to tear the girls apart all over again.

Mira is just beginning her senior year of high school when she discovers her father with his male lover. Her world—and everything she thought she knew about her family—is shattered instantly. A shocking health scare brings to light his battle with HIV. Told in raw, exposed free verse.

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  • Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future. An ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one. Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming.

    He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. The luxurious celebrity cruise launching the trendy new diet sweetener Solu should be the vacation of a lifetime. Tom knows that he should be grateful for this job and the chance to shed his former-child-star image. But as things on the ship start to get wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl.

    Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: Everyone at Singer, a boarding school for underprivileged kids, knows the urban legend of the Society of Seven. Or so the story goes. To take his mind off it, he accepts a mysterious invitation to join a group calling itself the Sevens. He expects pranks, parties, and perks. Miriam Feldman was always attracted to the artists, the musicians, the boys who wore broken-down cardigans. Their relationship was intense, passionate, all consuming. But then it ended, and Miriam had to move on.

    Even after Elliot started seeing someone else. Even after she impulsively destroyed a priceless work of art. Even after she was blackmailed by the mystery girl who saw her do it. After all this, Miriam had to go on with her life. If only she knew how. Then, miraculously, Stella receives the transplant she needs to survive. Determined to embrace everything she came so close to losing, Stella throws herself into her new life. But her recovery is marred by strange side effects: A recurring pain that flares every day at the exact same moment. Stella has never felt more drawn to anyone in her life, and soon she and Levi are inseparable.

    Stella is convinced that Levi is her soul mate. Why else would she literally ache for him when they are apart? All he wants his senior year is to play basketball and make something happen with the girl of his dreams. An old childhood friend, she knows his worst secrets. The things he longs to forget. Haunted is a good word for fifteen-year-old Miles Tate.

    Miles can see the future, after all. And he knows his vision of tragic violence at his school will come true, because his visions always do. The one who listens to him. The one who recognizes the darkness in his past. But can Miles stop the violence? Or has the future already been written? Maybe tragedy is his destiny. Another year of living in the shadow of her best friend, Lila. Another year of hiding behind the covers of her favorite novels. Another year of navigating her tense relationship with her perfectionist mom. But everything changes when she meets her new English teacher.

    She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. She connects with him. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start. But can Grace ignore her attraction to Jason and her undeniable pull of the music she was born to write?

    Sweet, fun, and romantic, this young adult novel explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process. Kelsey and David became best friends the summer before freshman year and were inseparable ever after. Until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke, and everything around her crumbled—including her friendship with David. Her life is perfect. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never truly let him go. And maybe she never wants to. Together, Ethan and Rachel are about to discover just how far a man will go to protect his kingdom.

    The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: As she languishes in juvenile detention, she struggles to un-learn everything she has been taught to believe, adjusting to a life behind bars and recounting the events that led up to her incarceration.

    Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie? She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her. Junior year, the suburbs of Philadelphia.

    Alex, Mollie and Veronica are those girls: But how well does everybody know them—and really, how well do they know one another? Alex is secretly in love with the boy next door and has joined a band—without telling anyone. Mollie suffers from a popular and possibly sociopathic boyfriend, as well as a serious mean streak. And Veronica just wants to be loved—literally, figuratively, physically…. Will this be the year that bonds them forever…. Far to the north of the magical Old Kingdom, the Greenwash Bridge Company has been building a bridge for almost a hundred years.

    It is not an easy task, for many dangers threaten the bridge builders, from nomad raiders to Free Magic sorcerers. Despite the danger, Morghan wants nothing more than to join the Bridge Company as a cadet. But the company takes only the best, the most skillful Charter mages, and trains them hard, for the night might come when only a single young cadet must hold the bridge against many foes. Will Morghan be that cadet? Paloma Rose is sixteen and already a major TV star. She has money, franchises, adoring fans—and an agent and parents who are dependent on her success to sustain their very comfortable lives.

    So a plan is born: What if they send Paloma to a brat camp to become a better person and put the malleable and much nicer Oona in her place? What does she have to lose? Tips—the high-stakes game based on dares. Whoever completes the most dares wins the collected money. A sum that could change a wasted summer into a Summer to Remember. Isa is the new girl with an embarrassing secret, and as long as she stays on top of her game, she sees no reason why anyone could ever find out. Finn is in the game just for the thrill. He has enough tips coming in to keep him happy…even if those tips come with some conditions.

    From seduction to stealing to threats, the dares are a complete free-for-all, and only the best can win. The sophisticated Waterside Cafe is anything but classy behind the scenes…and things are about to get dirty. As things get to the breaking point, Ivy turns to her music, some unlikely new friends, and the trusting heart of her disabled little brother. She may be surprised that not everyone is who she thought they were. How is this even possible? Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself.

    Before Matt, Ella had a plan. He lacked all that outside care and prudence, — that constant looking out for breakers, — which obstruct the growth and ripening of the reflective faculties. The vulgar, by a queer mistake, call a man absent-minded , when his mind shuts the door, pulls in the latch-string, and is wholly at home. It was nowhere but at home when, riding from Paris to Chateau-Thierry, a bundle of papers fell from his saddle-bow without his perceiving it.

    The mail-carrier, coming behind him, picked it up, and overtaking La Fontaine, asked him if he had lost anything. On another occasion he was equally at home. Stopping on a journey, he ordered dinner at an hotel, and then took a ramble about the town. On his return, he entered another hotel, and, passing through into the garden, took from his pocket a copy of Livy, in which he quietly set himself to read till his dinner should be ready.

    The book made him forget his appetite, till a servant informed him of his mistake, and he returned to his hotel just in time to pay his bill and proceed on his journey. It will be perceived that he took the world quietly, and his doing so undoubtedly had important bearings on his style. We give another anecdote, which illustrates this peculiarity of his mind as well as the superlative folly of duelling. Not long after his marriage, with all his indifference to his wife, he was persuaded into a fit of singular jealousy. He was intimate with an ex-captain of dragoons, by name Poignant, who had retired to Chateau-Thierry; a frank, open-hearted man, but of extremely little gallantry.

    Some person took it in his head to ask La Fontaine why he suffered these constant visits. He is my best friend. It was not, as we have said, till his twenty-second year, that La Fontaine showed any taste for poetry. The occasion was this: La Fontaine listened with involuntary transports of joy, admiration, and astonishment, as if a man born with a genius for music, but brought up in a desert, had for the first time heard a well-played instrument.

    He set himself immediately to reading Malherbe, passed his nights in learning his verses by heart, and his days in declaiming them in solitary places. He also read Voiture, and began to write verses in imitation. Happily, at this period, a relative named Pintrel directed his attention to ancient literature, and advised him to make himself familiar with Horace, Homer, Virgil, Terence, and Quinctilian.

    He accepted this counsel. His great delight, however, was to read Plato and Plutarch, which he did only through translations. The copies which he used are said to bear his manuscript notes on almost every page, and these notes are the maxims which are to be found in his fables.

    Returning from this study of the ancients, he read the moderns with more discrimination. His favourites, besides Malherbe, were Corneille, Rabelais, and Marot. In Italian, he read Ariosto, Boccaccio, and Machiavel. In he published his first work, a translation of the Eunuch of Terence.

    It met with no success. But this does not seem at all to have disturbed its author. He cultivated verse-making with as much ardour and good-humour as ever; and his verses soon began to be admired in the circle of his friends. No man had ever more devoted friends. Verses that have cost thought are not relished without thought.

    When a genius appears, it takes some little time for the world to educate itself to a knowledge of the fact. By one of his friends, La Fontaine was introduced to Fouquet, the minister of finance, a man of great power, and who rivalled his sovereign in wealth and luxury. It was his pride to be the patron of literary men, and he was pleased to make La Fontaine his poet, settling on him a pension of one thousand francs per annum, on condition that he should produce a piece in verse each quarter, — a condition which was exactly complied with till the fall of the minister.

    Fouquet was a most splendid villain, and positively, though perhaps not comparatively, deserved to fall. But it was enough for La Fontaine that Fouquet had done him a kindness. He took the part of the disgraced minister, without counting the cost. The good-hearted poet rejoiced exceedingly in its success. Bon-homme was the appellation which his friends pleasantly gave him, and by which he became known everywhere; — and never did a man better deserve it in its best sense.

    He was good by nature — not by the calculation of consequences. Indeed it does not seem ever to have occurred to him that kindness, gratitude, and truth, could have any other than good consequences. He was truly a Frenchman without guile, and possessed to perfection that comfortable trait, — in which French character is commonly allowed to excel the English, — good-humour with the whole world. Boileau hired a small chamber in the Faubourg Saint Germain, where they all met several times a week; for La Fontaine, at the age of forty-four, had left Chateau-Thierry, and become a citizen of Paris.

    Here they discussed all sorts of topics, admitting to their society Chapelle, a man of less genius, but of greater conversational powers, than either of them — a sort of connecting link between them and the world. Four poets, or four men, could hardly have been more unlike. These meetings, which no doubt had a great influence upon French literature, La Fontaine, in one of his prefaces, thus describes: The first thing which they did was to banish from among them all rules of conversation, and everything which savours of the academic conference. When they met, and had sufficiently discussed their amusements, if chance threw them upon any point of science or belles-lettres, they profited by the occasion; it was, however, without dwelling too long on the same subject, flitting from one thing to another like the bees that meet divers sorts of flowers on their way.

    Neither envy, malice, nor cabal, had any voice among them. They adored the works of the ancients, never refused due praise to those of the moderns, spoke modestly of their own, and gave each other sincere counsel, when any one of them — which rarely happened — fell into the malady of the age, and published a book. The absent-mindedness of our fabulist not unfrequently created much amusement on these occasions, and made him the object of mirthful conspiracies. Once, after having done so, he privately told a stranger, who was present with them, the wits would have worried themselves in vain; they could not have obliterated the bon-homme.

    La Fontaine, as we have said, was an admirer of Rabelais; — to what a pitch, the following anecdote may show. The latter took it upon him to set forth the merits of St. Augustin in a pompous eulogium. La Fontaine, plunged in one of his habitual reveries, listened without hearing. At last, rousing himself as if from a profound sleep, to prove that the conversation had not been lost upon him, he asked the doctor, with a very serious air, whether he thought St. Augustin had as much wit as Rabelais. It was in that La Fontaine published his first collection of fables, under the modest title Fables Choisies, mises en Vers , in a quarto volume, with figures designed and engraved by Chauveau.

    It contained six books, and was dedicated to the Dauphin. Many of the fables had already been published in a separate form. The success of this collection was so great, that it was reprinted the same year in a smaller size. Fables had come to be regarded as beneath poetry; La Fontaine established them at once on the top of Parnassus. The ablest poets of his age did not think it beneath them to enter the lists with him; and it is needless to say they came off second best.

    To her he wrote verses abundantly, as he did to all who made him the object of their kind regard. Indeed, notwithstanding his avowed indolence, or rather passion for quiet and sleep, his pen was very productive. The prose is said to be better than the verse; but this can hardly be true in respect to the following lines, in which the poet under the apt name of Polyphile, in a hymn addressed to Pleasure, undoubtedly sketches himself: The characteristic grace and playfulness of this seem to defy translation.

    To the mere English reader, the sense may be roughly given thus: The same Polyphile, in recounting his adventures on a visit to the infernal regions, tells us that he saw, in the hands of the cruel Eumenides,. We were charmed with them the other day at M. And the Pumpkin — and the Nightingale — they are worthy of the first volume!

    He seemed himself not insensible where his strength lay, and seldom ventured upon any other ground, except at the instance of his friends. With all his lightness, he felt a deep veneration for religion — the most spiritual and rigid which came within the circle of his immediate acquaintance. He admired Jansenius and the Port Royalists, and heartily loved Racine, who was of their faith. To this work he pressed La Fontaine, whom he called his particular friend, to lend his name and contributions.

    He was born in , and died a voluntary exile in Belgium, Boileau wrote his epitaph. His chief work in moral theology was published in seven vols. He died in Thus does the Bon-homme treat the subtle Escobar, the prince and prototype of the moralists of expediency. To translate his artless and delicate irony is hardly possible. The writer of this hasty Preface offers the following only as an attempted imitation: The verses of La Fontaine did more for his reputation than for his purse.

    His paternal estate wasted away under his carelessness; for, when the ends of the year refused to meet, he sold a piece of land sufficient to make them do so. His wife, no better qualified to manage worldly gear than himself, probably lived on her family friends, who were able to support her, and who seem to have done so without blaming him. But his purpose strangely vanished. He called at his own house, learned from the domestic, who did not know him, that Madame La Fontaine was in good health, and passed on to the house of a friend, where he tarried two days, and then returned to Paris without having seen his wife.

    Racine, not hearing from him, sent to know what he was about, when La Fontaine wrote as follows: All this is no more than half true: This confession, the immortality of which was so little foreseen by its author, liberally rendered, amounts to the following: It is clear that a man who provided so little for himself needed good friends to do it; and Heaven kindly furnished them. He did all honour to the sincerity of his amiable hostess; and, if he ever showed a want of independence, he certainly did not of gratitude.

    Compliments of more touching tenderness we nowhere meet than those which La Fontaine has paid to his benefactress. He published nothing which was not first submitted to her eye, and entered into her affairs and friendships with all his heart. He was then seventy-two years of age, had turned his attention to personal religion, and received the seal of conversion at the hands of the Roman Catholic church. In his conversion, as in the rest of his life, his frankness left no room to doubt his sincerity.

    The writings which had justly given offence to the good were made the subject of a public confession, and everything in his power was done to prevent their circulation. The death of one who had done so much for him, and whose last days, devoted with the most self-denying benevolence to the welfare of her species, had taught him a most salutary lesson, could not but be deeply felt. He had just left the house of his deceased benefactress, never again to enter it, when he met M.

    A reply could not have more characteristic. The fabulist had not in him sufficient hypocrisy of which to manufacture the commonplace politeness of society. His was the politeness of a warm and unsuspecting heart. He never concealed his confidence in the fear that it might turn out to be misplaced. His second collection of fables, containing five books, La Fontaine published in , with a dedication to Madame de Montespan; the previous six books were republished at the same time, revised, and enlarged.

    The twelfth book was not added till many years after, and proved, in fact, the song of the dying swan. The eleven books now published sealed the reputation of La Fontaine, and were received with distinguished regard by the king, who appended to the ordinary protocol or imprimatur for publication the following reasons: For this purpose he repaired to Versailles, and after having well delivered himself of his compliment to royalty, perceived that he had forgotten to bring the book which he was to present; he was, nevertheless, favourably received, and loaded with presents.

    But it is added, that, on his return, he also lost, by his absence of mind, the purse full of gold which the king had given him, which was happily found under a cushion of the carriage in which he rode. In his advertisement to the second part of his Fables, La Fontaine informs the reader that he had treated his subjects in a somewhat different style.

    In fact, in his first collection, he had timidly confined himself to the brevity of Aesop and Phaedrus; but, having observed that those fables were most popular in which he had given most scope to his own genius, he threw off the trammels in the second collection, and, in the opinion of the writer, much for the better. His subjects, too, in the second part, are frequently derived from the Indian fabulists, and bring with them the richness and dramatic interest of the Hitopadesa.

    Of all his fables, the Oak and the Reed is said to have been the favourite of La Fontaine. But his critics have almost unanimously given the palm of excellence to the Animals sick of the Plague, the first of the seventh book. Its exquisite poetry, the perfection of its dialogue, and the weight of its moral, well entitle it to the place.

    That must have been a soul replete with honesty, which could read such a lesson in the ears of a proud and oppressive court. Indeed, we may look in vain through this encyclopaedia of fable for a sentiment which goes to justify the strong in their oppression of the weak. Even in the midst of the fulsome compliments which it was the fashion of his age to pay to royalty, La Fontaine maintains a reserve and decency peculiar to himself.

    By an examination of his fables, we think, we might fairly establish for him the character of an honest and disinterested lover and respecter of his species. But it is not the purpose of this brief Preface to criticize the Fables. It is sufficient to say, that the work occupies a position in French literature, which, after all has been said that can be for Gay, Moore, and other English versifiers of fables, is left quite vacant in ours.

    Our author was elected a member of the French Academy in , and received with the honour of a public session. In that distinguished body of men he was a universal favourite, and none, perhaps, did more to promote its prime object — the improvement of the French language. We have already seen how he was regarded by some of the greatest minds of his age. I believe that, of all authors, La Fontaine is the most universally read. He is for all minds and all ages. He instructs while he sports, persuades men to virtue by means of beasts, and exalts trifling subjects to the sublime; a man unique in his species of composition, always original, whether he invents or translates, — who has gone beyond his models, himself a model hard to imitate.

    La Fontaine, as we have said, devoted his latter days to religion. In this he was sustained and cheered by his old friends Racine and De Maucroix. Death overtook him while applying his poetical powers to the hymns of the church. For these two months I have not gone abroad, except occasionally to attend the Academy, for a little amusement. Yesterday, as I was returning from it, in the middle of the Rue du Chantre, I was taken with such a faintness that I really thought myself dying.

    O, my friend, to die is nothing: You know how I have lived. Before you receive this billet, the gates of eternity will perhaps have been opened upon me! If, however, you have not strength to write, beg M. Racine to do me that kindness, the greatest he can ever do for me. Adieu, my good, my old, and my true friend.

    May God, in his infinite, goodness, take care of the health of your body, and that of your soul. Gilles Corrozet was one of the French fabulists immediately preceding La Fontaine. He was a Parisian bookseller-author who lived between and One, oats; the other, silver of the tax. Martin of Tours wore mirrors on their shoes, even while officiating in church.

    He is said to have applied the fable to the Great Mogul and his innumerable dependent potentates. Lokman is said to have flourished about B. Rabelais also has a version of the story of this fable, vide Gargantua , Book I. Flavius Avianus lived in the fifth century. His Aesopian Fables were written in Latin verse. The plants and trees, 2 with smiling features,. This is in reply to certain of his critics who pronounced his work puerile, and pretended to wish him to adopt the higher forms of poetry. Some of the fables of the first six Books were originally published in a semi-private way before See the Translators Preface.

    Gabriel Faerno was an Italian writer who published fables in Latin. Perrault translated these into French verse, and published them at Paris in Faerno was also a famous editor of Terence. Laurentius Abstemius, or Astemio, was an Italian fabulist of the fifteenth century. After their first publication his fables often appeared in editions of Aesop. No other than a villain could be fined. The wisdom of each decision lies in taking advantage of a doubtful case to convict two well-known rogues of — previous bad character. Diogenes Laertius tells the story of this fable of Thales of Miletus.

    Which graced the chin of Polyphemus; The peacock 25 to the queen of heaven. It is said to have been called Areiopagos the Hill of Mars because, according to tradition, the first trial there was that of Mars for the murder of Halirrhotius. Malherbe was born in , and died in As a poet he was a pupil of Malherbe.

    His works were praised by Boileau, and he was one of the earliest members of the French Academy. Faire le fault, sans delay, ou mourir. Perhaps the fable finds a more appropriate application in the relation of employer to employed. I leave the fabulists and the political economists to settle the question between them. Progne was Queen of Thrace, and was changed into a swallow. Her sister was changed into a nightingale; vide Ovid, Metamorphoses. According to Herodotus, I. He asked to be allowed to play a tune; and as soon as he had finished he threw himself into the sea.

    It was then found that the music had attracted a number of dolphins round the ship, and one of these took the bard on its back and conveyed him safely to Taenarus. At his death Juno either transformed him into the peacock, or transferred his hundred eyes to the tail of that, her favourite, bird. Saith Merlin, 16 who bamboozled are. For this I quote the Phrygian slave. Which Titans waged against the Thunder-king. Old Dindenaut, 25 in sheep who dealt,. Its owner has not ceased to wear.

    The character in Rabelais is a sheep-stealer as well as a sheep-dealer. This is Babrias, the Greek fabulist, to whom La Fontaine gives the older form of his name. It was not till a century after La Fontaine wrote, that the fame of Babrias was cleared by Bentley and Tyrwhitt, who brought his Fables to light in their original form. The last line refers the reader to the following fable for comparison. See note to preceding fable.

    Thence till the kalends of the Greeks, This fable in its earlier form will be found in Phaedrus, I. Thence lodged the goddess to her mind. This collection was published in , ten years after the publication of the foregoing six Books. Of wedding thorns from wooing roses. The intention of the fable is to recommend prudence and good nature, not celibacy.

    So the peerless Granville understands it, for his pencil tells us that the hero of the fable did finally recall his wife, notwithstanding his fearful imprecation. It seems that even she was better than none. The two last lines refer the reader to the next fable. See note to next fable. Boufflers has killed a man since his death: He was the eldest brother of the Duke de Boufflers. There was something very extraordinary in the affair itself: I do not understand the Milk-pot.

    And found her sitting at his door. Also in the Lokman Collection. Another 28 swears, in plainest terms,. Thus when the water crooks a stick, Sir Paul Neal, whose lapsus suggested this fable, thought he had discovered an animal in the moon. The European powers then found themselves exhausted by wars, and desirous of peace.

    England, the only neutral, became, of course, the arbiter of the negotiations which ensued at Nimeguen. All the belligerent parties invoked her mediation. Can soften hearts, and lull this war to sleep, 5. De Barillon was a great friend of La Fontaine, and also of other literary lights of the time. When pointing at the object dear. See also Fable XIX. Hence La Fontaine makes his capon, who knew how to shun a similar fate, le Normand et demi — the Norman and a half.

    To swim, with wind against your face.

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    That sculptor fell in love with his statue of the nymph Galatea, to which Venus gave life at his request. And leave the parties — purse and cards. The last-mentioned character is a farmer, but, like the others, he is a species of incapable; and the word dandin in the old French dictionaries is given as signifying inaptness or incapacity. The Hornet and the Bees.

    On Mount Hymettus, 15 first, they say,. He is further credited with the vanity of wishing to be thought a god, and hence of throwing himself into Mount Etna to conceal his death. Unfortunately for the success of this scheme, says one story, he convicted himself of suicide by inadvertently leaving his slippers at the foot of the volcano. The former, having invited the Spanish court to a splendid entertainment in his palace, had it set on fire, that he might personally rescue the said lady from its flames.

    More power to some mightier king. They say that beasts are mere machines; 3. Bore Pallas, 13 erst my mortal foe, This Progne 15 takes my lawful prey. She was changed into a spider: The talking bird had left the shore; It appeared for the first time in the edition of The duke was the son of Louis and Madame de Montespan. He caused his brother Theyestes to banquet on the flesh of his own children. And Lambert 10 loses half his fame.

    Lulli, who was chapel-music master. A bird the Fates 14 had kept in fee,. His commentators, however, think the observers must have been in some measure mistaken, and I agree with them. All Europe to our sovereign yields, With power to conquer Fate and Time. Louis to some extent negotiated the treaty of this peace in person, and having bought the support of the English king, Charles II. He was the son of Louis de Bourbon, the Dauphin, to whom La Fontaine had dedicated the first collection of his Fables.

    See note, Dedication of Book I. The Dauphin was then in command of the army in Germany. He lived between and See note to Epilogue of Book XI. Indeed, variations of text are common to most of the fables of the XIIth Book, on making the same comparison, viz.

    The custom also prevailed in Italy. Such terror did Patroclus 17 spread,. See Note to Table IV. The context shows that La Fontaine was over seventy when this fable was written. So Fate and Louis 19 would seem able. One age entire with you would Hymen dwell: He was born in Paris, , and died in To serve for aye as guide to Love. He was by no means such a fool. The heart, so far as in my judgment lies. The text of the later issue is slightly abridged. Your prince 37 once told you, I have heard,. She was a visitor at the English embassy in Paris, and moved in the highest circles generally of that city; a circumstance which enabled La Fontaine to make her acquaintance and secure her as one of his best friends and patrons.

    She died in She was at this time in England, where she died at Chelsea in She married the Duke de la Meilleraie, but it was stipulated that she should adopt the name and arms of Mazarin. He had adopted the sun as his emblem. With Notes by J. This web edition published by eBooks Adelaide. Last updated Wednesday, December 17, at Preface to the Present Edition, with some account of the Translator.

    The Fly and the Game. With merry heart the fellow went Direct to Mr. Centpercent, Who loved, as well was understood, Whatever game was nice and good. The lady thought the creatures prime, And for their dinner just in time; So sweet they were, and delicate, For dinner she could hardly wait.

    But now there came — could luck be worse? Such game as this may suit the dogs. A filthy taint they soonest find Who are to relish filth inclined. The Dog and Cat. A dog and cat, messmates for life, Were often falling into strife, Which came to scratching, growls, and snaps, And spitting in the face, perhaps. A neighbour dog once chanced to call Just at the outset of their brawl, And, thinking Tray was cross and cruel, To snarl so sharp at Mrs. It seems, in spite of all his snarling, And hers, that Tray was still her darling. A father once, whose sons were two, For each a gift had much ado.

    At last upon this course he fell: These treasures if you can but find, Each may be suited to his mind; For both are precious in their kind. But O, of this, I pray, beware! Out ran the boys, their gifts to draw: Or, if there could, how could it dwell Within their own old, mossy well? The well was open to the sky. The mystery is clear to me; That richer gift to all is free. Be only as that water true, And then the whole belongs to you.

    That truth itself was worth so much, It cannot be supposed that such. A pair of lads were satisfied; And yet they were before they died. Among the beasts a feud arose.

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    The lion, as the story goes, Once on a time laid down His sceptre and his crown; And in his stead the beasts elected, As often as it suited them, A sort of king pro tem. The horse, the stag, the unicorn, Were chosen each in turn; And then the noble bird That looks undazzled at the sun. But party strife began to run Through burrow, den, and herd.

    Some beasts proposed the patient ox, And others named the cunning fox. The quarrel came to bites and knocks; Nor was it duly settled Till many a beast high-mettled Had bought an aching head, Or, possibly, had bled. The fox, as one might well suppose, At last above his rival rose, But, truth to say, his reign was bootless, Of honour being rather fruitless. All prudent beasts began to see The throne a certain charm had lost, And, won by strife, as it must be, Was hardly worth the pains it cost.

    So when his majesty retired, Few worthy beasts his seat desired. Especially now stood aloof The wise of head, the swift of hoof, The beasts whose breasts were battle-proof. The Cat and the Thrush. A thrush that sang one rustic ode Once made a garden his abode, And gave the owner such delight, He grew a special favourite. And yet his song was still the same; It even grew somewhat more tame. Professing search of mice and moles, He through the garden daily strolls, And never seeks our thrush to catch; But when his consort comes to hatch, Just eats the young ones in a batch.

    The sadness of the pair bereaved Their generous guardian sorely grieved. But yet it could not be believed His faithful cat was in the wrong, Though so the thrush said in his song. And Gaffer Thrush directly found His throat, when raised above the ground, Gave forth a softer, sweeter sound. New tunes, moreover, he had caught, By perils and afflictions taught, And found new things to sing about: New scenes had brought new talents out. Let Genius tell in verse and prose. How much to praise and friends it owes. Good sense may be, as I suppose, As much indebted to its foes.

    Advertisement To the First Edition of this Translation. What will ye say, ye future days, If I, for once, in honest rhymes, Recount to you the deeds and ways Of our abominable times? Delight, Delight, who didst as mistress hold The finest wit of Grecian mould, Disdain not me; but come, And make my house thy home. Thou shalt not be without employ: Je vous le dis: Good cause has Rome to reprobate The bishop who disputes her so; His followers reject and hate All pleasures that we taste below. Seek we the better world afar? Indeed, if circumstances drive, Defraud, or take false oaths you may, Or to the charms of life give way, When Love must needs the door unbar.

    Now, would to God that one would state The pith of all his works to me. What boots it to enumerate? As well attempt to drain the sea! To Monseigneur The Dauphin. With me all natures use the gift of speech; Yea, in my work, the very fishes preach, And to our human selves their sermons suit. Of meat or of bread, Not a morsel she had! So a begging she went, To her neighbour the ant, For the loan of some wheat, Which would serve her to eat, Till the season came round. Well, your coat, sir, is a brave one! So black and glossy, on my word, sir, With voice to match, you were a bird, sir, Well fit to be the Phoenix of these days.

    Down fell the luncheon from the oak; Which snatching up, Sir Fox thus spoke: Two mules were bearing on their backs, One, oats; the other, silver of the tax. Well with the silver pleased, They by the bridle seized The treasure-mule so vain. A prouder, fatter, sleeker Tray, No human mortal owns.

    For all your fellows here, I see, Are shabby wretches, lean and gaunt, Belike to die of haggard want. With such a pack, of course it follows, One fights for every bit he swallows. Come, then, with me, and share On equal terms our princely fare. Again, as the bravest, the third must be mine.

    Redress shall instantly be given to each. Come, monkey, now, first let us have your speech. You see these quadrupeds, your brothers; Comparing, then, yourself with others, Are you well satisfied? Is not my visage comely as the best? Not he; — himself he lauds without restraint. The elephant he needs must criticize; To crop his ears and stretch his tail were wise; A creature he of huge, misshapen size.

    The elephant, though famed as beast judicious, While on his own account he had no wishes, Pronounced dame whale too big to suit his taste; Of flesh and fat she was a perfect waste. The little ant, again, pronounced the gnat too wee; To such a speck, a vast colossus she. Each censured by the rest, himself content, Back to their homes all living things were sent. Such folly liveth yet with human fools. For others lynxes, for ourselves but moles.

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    Great blemishes in other men we spy, Which in ourselves we pass most kindly by. The pouch behind our own defects must store, The faults of others lodge in that before. Though such a bird as I Knows how to hide or fly, You birds a caution need. See you that waving hand? It scatters on the land What well may cause alarm. Great multitudes I fear, Of you, my birdies dear, That falling seed, so little, Will bring to cage or kettle! But though so perilous the plot, You now may easily defeat it: All lighting on the seeded spot, Just scratch up every seed and eat it.

    To pull this field a thousand birds are needed, While thousands more with hemp are seeded. Upon a Turkey carpet They found the table spread, And sure I need not harp it How well the fellows fed. Our rats but fairly quit, The fearful knocking ceased. The strongest reasons always yield To reasons of the strongest. A lamb her thirst was slaking, Once, at a mountain rill. Your impudence I shall chastise!

    A lamb that has not seen a year, A suckling of its mother dear? Sheep, men, and dogs of every nation, Are wont to stab my reputation, As I have truly heard. The Duke De La Rochefoucauld. More than contented in his error, He lived the foe of every mirror. What could our dear Narcissus do? From haunts of men he now withdrew, On purpose that his precious shape From every mirror might escape. But in his forest glen alone, Apart from human trace, A watercourse, Of purest source, While with unconscious gaze He pierced its waveless face, Reflected back his own. Incensed with mingled rage and fright, He seeks to shun the odious sight; But yet that mirror sheet, so clear and still, He cannot leave, do what he will.

    From such mistake there is no mortal free. That obstinate self-lover The human soul doth cover; The mirrors follies are of others, In which, as all are genuine brothers, Each soul may see to life depicted Itself with just such faults afflicted; And by that charming placid brook, Needless to say, I mean your Maxim Book. It brings to mind a tale both strange and true, A thing which once, myself, I chanced to view.

    While musing deeply on this sight, Another dragon came to light, Whose single head avails To lead a hundred tails: The question was, to sell, or not to sell; But while our sturdy champions fought it well, Another thief, who chanced to pass, With ready wit rode off the ass.

    This ass is, by interpretation, Some province poor, or prostrate nation. These powers engaged in war all, Some fourth thief stops the quarrel, According all to one key, By riding off the donkey. See how the gods sometimes repay it. The gods than I are rather debtors To such a pious man of letters. But still I shall be greatly pleased To have your presence at my feast, Among a knot of guests select, My kin, and friends I most respect.

    While at the feast the party sit, And wine provokes the flow of wit, It is announced that at the gate Two men, in haste that cannot wait, Would see the bard. The gossip Fame, of course, took care Abroad to publish this affair. No more could god-beloved bard be slighted.

    His verse now brought him more than double, With neither duns, nor care, nor trouble. From which these serious lessons flow: Again, To sell the product of her pain Is not degrading to the Muse. Indeed, her art they do abuse, Who think her wares to use, And yet a liberal pay refuse. I pray thee to retire!

    A gentleman of note In Rome, Maecenas, 20 somewhere wrote: To joy a stranger, since his hapless birth, What poorer wretch upon this rolling earth? On Death he calls. Forthwith that monarch grim Appears, and asks what he should do for him. Death ready stands all ills to cure; But let us not his cure invite. By virtue of his ready, A store of choices had he Of ladies bent to suit his taste; On which account he made no haste. To court well was no trifling art. Each aiming to assimilate Her lover to her own estate, The older piecemeal stole The black hair from his poll, While eke, with fingers light, The young one stole the white.

    Between them both, as if by scald, His head was changed from grey to bald. By being thus well shaved, I less have lost than saved. Of Hymen, yet, no news at hand, I do assure ye. Thanks, ladies, for the lesson. The fare was light, was nothing, sooth to say, Requiring knife and fork.

    That sly old gentleman, the dinner-giver, Was, you must understand, a frugal liver. Its punctuality and plenty, Its viands, cut in mouthfuls dainty, Its fragrant smell, were powerful to excite, Had there been need, his foxish appetite. All arts without avail, With drooping head and tail, As ought a fox a fowl had cheated, The hungry guest at last retreated.

    This story hits more marks than you suppose. No matter what the task, Their precious tongues must teach; Their help in need you ask, You first must hear them preach. So did a dunce inherit A manuscript of merit, Which to a publisher he bore. Their title did the bees dispute, And brought before a wasp the suit. The judge was puzzled to decide, For nothing could be testified Save that around this honey-comb There had been seen, as if at home, Some longish, brownish, buzzing creatures, Much like the bees in wings and features.

    But what of that? Meanwhile the honey runs to waste: The parties, sure, have had sufficient bleeding, Without more fuss of scrawls and pleading. The wasp at length their title sees, And gives the honey to the bees. Would God that suits at laws with us Might all be managed thus! That we might, in the Turkish mode, Have simple common sense for code! The smallest bird that flits in air Is quite too much for you to bear; The slightest wind that wreathes the lake Your ever-trembling head doth shake.

    The while, my towering form Dares with the mountain top The solar blaze to stop, And wrestle with the storm. Unhappily you oftenest show In open air your slender form, Along the marshes wet and low, That fringe the kingdom of the storm. To you, declare I must, Dame Nature seems unjust. The wildest wind that ever blew Is safe to me compared with you. I bend, indeed, but never break. Thus far, I own, the hurricane Has beat your sturdy back in vain; But wait the end.

    The North sent forth her fiercest child, Dark, jagged, pitiless, and wild. A bard might brighten up their glories, No doubt. I try, — what one more wise must do. Who says, that this is not enchanting? From one whose work, all told, no more is Than half-a-dozen baby stories. Which well its crafty authors did repay. And, more than that, it fits you ill To wield the old heroic quill. Know I not how to end my song? Of time and strength what greater waste Than my attempt to suit your taste? The few that did remain, To leave their holes afraid, From usual food abstain, Not eating half their fill.

    No better plan, they all believed, Could possibly have been conceived, No doubt the thing would work right well, If any one would hang the bell. And many a council I have seen, Or reverend chapter with its dean, That, thus resolving wisely, Fell through like this precisely. To argue or refute Wise counsellors abound; The man to execute Is harder to be found. Their words and wrath expended, Their strife at length was ended; When, by their malice taught, The judge this judgment brought: Come at it right or wrong, the judge opined No other than a villain could be fined.

    One bull was beat, and much to their expense; For, quick retreating to their reedy bower, He trod on twenty of them in an hour. Of little folks it oft has been the fate To suffer for the follies of the great. Are you not really a mouse, That gnawing pest of every house, Your special aim to do the cheese ill? Who told you such a lie? Long live the mice that cleave the sky! Your eyesight strange conclusions gathers.

    What makes a bird, I pray? Great Jupiter confound the cats! This ruin partly by myself was brought! But mock us not, ye cruel race, For you must often take our place. The work of half the human brothers Is making arms against the others. At proper time the lender came Her little premises to claim.

    Her little pups, she said, could hardly walk. In short, the lender yielded to her talk. The second term expired; the friend had come To take possession of her house and home. The creditor, from whom a villain borrows, Will fewer shillings get again than sorrows. I leave you all to think If such a little chink Could to a rabbit give protection thorough. But, since no better could be got, John Rabbit there was fain to squat. Of course, in an asylum so absurd, John felt ere long the talons of the bird.

    Her wrath in vain, that year it was her fate To live a mourning mother, desolate. And no one did. Their enemy, this time, Upsoaring to a place sublime, Let fall upon his royal robes some dirt, Which Jove just shaking, with a sudden flirt, Threw out the eggs, no one knows whither. Poor Jupiter in silence heard The uproar of his favourite bird. The god pronounced the eagle in the wrong. The gnat declared immediate war. Think you I tremble at your power or fame? The ox is bigger far than you; Yet him I drive, and all his crew.

    With foaming mouth, and flashing eye, He roars. With constant change of his attack, The snout now stinging, now the back, And now the chambers of the nose; The pigmy fly no mercy shows. He beat the harmless air, and worse; For, though so fierce and stout, By effort wearied out, He fainted, fell, gave up the quarrel. The gnat retires with verdant laurel. Now rings his trumpet clang, As at the charge it rang. We often have the most to fear From those we most despise; Again, great risks a man may clear, Who by the smallest dies.

    The sponger, like a sequent sheep, Pursuing through the water deep, Into the same hole plunges Himself, his rider, and the sponges. All three drank deeply: A helper came, no matter who. I quote two fables for this weighty creed, Which either of them fully proves. By time and toil we sever What strength and rage could never. Just as his deadly bow he drew, Our ant just bit his heel.

    This upshot of a story will suffice To give a useful hint to most; For few there are in this our world so wise As not to trust in star or ghost, Or cherish secretly the creed That men the book of destiny may read. But from the purposes divine, The deep of infinite design, Who boasts to lift the curtain? Whom but himself doth God allow To read his bosom thoughts? And all for what? To exercise the wit Of those who on astrology have writ? To help us shun inevitable ills? The choicest blessings to destroy, Exhausting, ere they come, their joy?

    How tallies this revolving universe With human things, eternally diverse? Return we now, bethinking Of our poor star-man, whom we left a drinking. Besides the folly of his lying trade, This man the type may well be made Of those who at chimeras stare When they should mind the things that are. Myself, for one, am forced by cursed fear To sleep with open eye as well as ear.

    Grows fear, by such advice, the wiser? Indeed, I well enough descry That men have fear, as well as I. Full soon, his melancholy soul Aroused from dreaming doze By noise too slight for foes, He scuds in haste to reach his hole. The sight of even me, a hare, Sufficeth some, I find, to scare.

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    And here, the terror of my tramp Hath put to rout, it seems, a camp. I bear the news: So much the tidings do concern all, That I must spread them far to-day. Now you and yours can take your walks Without a fear or thought of hawks. Now, sooth to say, This sheep would weigh More than a cheese; And had a fleece Much like that matting famous Which graced the chin of Polyphemus; 23 So fast it clung to every claw, It was not easy to withdraw. The shepherd came, caught, caged, and, to their joy, Gave croaker to his children for a toy.

    Is there a bird beneath the blue That has more charms than you? No animal in everything can shine. By prayers, and tears, and magic art, The man got Fate to take his part; And, lo! In wedded state our man was seen The fool in courtship he had been. He praised her beauties, this and that, And saw there nothing of the cat. Excited by the noise, The bride sprang at them in a trice; The mice were scared and fled.