The Ape (Prose Fable)

A poem by Jean de La Fontaine

There is an ape in Paris to whom a wife was once given; and he, imitating many another husband, beat the poor creature to such an extent that she sighed all the breath out of her body and died.

Their son uttered the most doleful howls as a protest to this terrible business.

The father laughs now. His wife is dead and he already has found other lady companions, whom, no doubt, he beats in the same way; for he haunts the taverns and is frequently tipsy.

Never expect anything good from people who imitate, whether they be apes or authors. Of the two the worst kind is the imitating author.

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