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THE FOX AND THE BUST. Jean de La Fontaine

The great too often wear the actor′s mask;
The vulgar worshippers the show beguiles;
The ass looks on the surface; ′tis the task
Of the wise Fox to go far deeper; full of wiles,
He pries on every side, and turns, and peeps,
And watches—Reynard never sleeps.
And when he finds in many a place
The great man nothing but a pompous face,
Repeats, what once he subtly said
Unto a hero′s plaster head—-
A hollow bust, and of enormous size—
Praising it with contemptuous eyes,
"Fine head," said he, "but without brains."
The saving′s worth the listener′s pains;
To many a noble lord the mot applies.

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