World-Wide Fables

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Dublin Core


World-Wide Fables


ONCE on a 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 showed his breeding and his wit; He did his best to seem to eat, And cried, "I vow you’re mighty neat. But la! 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, I learn'd at court.’ The veriest hermit in the nation May yield, Heaven knows to strong temptation. Away they come, through thick and thin, To tall house near Lincoln's Inn. Now let it in word, be said, The moon was up, and men abed, The napkins white, the carpet red, The guests withdrawn, had left the treat And down the mice sat tete-a-tete. Our courtier walks from dish to dish, Tastes for his friend of fowl and fish, "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 ashamed—’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 chaplain, butler, dogs and all: A rat, A rat! clap to the door’- The cat comes bounding on the floor. An’t please your honor, ’quoth the peasant, 'This same desert is not so pleasant: Give me again my hollow tree, crust of bread, and liberty!’


Carlson Fable Collection


McLoughlin Brothers




Illustrator Unknown


borrows from Alexander Pope (43) which makes it very similar to (16) and (34) which also borrow from this version








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