The Wolf Accusing The Fox Before The Monkey.

A poem by Jean de La Fontaine


A wolf, affirming his belief
That he had suffer'd by a thief,
Brought up his neighbour fox -
Of whom it was by all confess'd,
His character was not the best -
To fill the prisoner's box.
As judge between these vermin,
A monkey graced the ermine;
And truly other gifts of Themis[2]
Did scarcely seem his;
For while each party plead his cause,
Appealing boldly to the laws,
And much the question vex'd,
Our monkey sat perplex'd.
Their words and wrath expended,
Their strife at length was ended;
When, by their malice taught,
The judge this judgment brought:
'Your characters, my friends, I long have known,
As on this trial clearly shown;
And hence I fine you both - the grounds at large
To state would little profit -
You wolf, in short, as bringing groundless charge,
You fox, as guilty of it.'

Come at it right or wrong, the judge opined
No other than a villain could be fined.[3]

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