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THE FOX AND THE BUST. Jean de La Fontaine

THE FOX AND THE BUST. Fable by Jean de La Fontaine. Illustration by Grandville

THE FOX AND THE BUST. Fable by Jean de La Fontaine. Illustration by Grandville

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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