One Hundred Fables in verse; by various authors

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Dublin Core


One Hundred Fables in verse; by various authors


ONCE on time (so runs the Fable) a Country-Mouse, right hospitable, Received a Town-Mouse at his board, Just as Farmer might a Lord, a frugal Mouse, upon the whole, Yet loved his friend, and had a Soul, Knew what was handsome, and would do it, Or just occasion, and be mute. He brought him bacon, nothing lean, Pudding that might have pleased a dean; Cheese, such as men in Suffolk make, Yet wished it Stilton for his sake, Yet, to his guest though no Way sparing, He eat himself the rind and paring. Our courtier scarce could touch bit, But shewed his breeding and his wit; He did his best to seem to eat, And cried, "Indeed you’re mighty neat. But change, my friend, this savage scene! Leave it, and come and live with men: Consider, mice, like men, must die, Both small and great, both you and I: Then spend your life in joy and sport," (This doctrine, friend, learn'd at court.)’ The veriest hermit in the nation May yield, we know, to strong temptation. Away they come, through thick and thin, To tall house near Lincoln's Inn: ('Twas on the night of a debate, When all their Lordships had sat late.) Behold the place, where, if poet Shined in description he might shew it; Tell how the moon-beam trembling falls, And tips with silver all the walls; Palladian walls, Venetian doors, Grotesco roofs, and stucco floors: But let it, in word, be said, The moon was up, and men a-bed, The napkins white, the carpet red, The guests withdrawn, the vacant seat Had left the mice to share the treat. Our courtier walks from dish to dish, Tastes for his friend of fowl and fish, Descants on every thing he saw, Tells all their names, lays down the law, That jelly’s rich, this malmsey healing, Pray dip your whiskers and your tail in.’ Was ever such happy swain, He stuffs, and swills, and stuffs again. I’m quite asham'd—’tis mighty rude To eat so much—but all’s so good -, I have a thousand thanks to give, My Lord above knows how to live.’ No sooner said, but from the hall, Rush servants, butler, dogs and all: A rat, A rat! clap to the door’- The cat comes bouncing on the floor. An’t please your honour, ’quoth the peasant, 'This same desert is not so pleasant: Give me again my hollow tree, crust of bread, and liberty!’


Poem by Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope


Google Books






Edited and Selected by James Plumptre


Adds some material to Alexander Pope's version (43)
Similar material is borrowed by Rose (19) and Aunt Louisa Series (44)








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