The Child and the Schoolmaster book cover

The Child and the Schoolmaster

"The Child and the Schoolmaster" is a collection of short poetic stories enriched with moral lessons. In this book, Jean de La Fontaine, one of the most famous fabulists in history, uses anthropomorphic characters and situations relatable to children to teach crucial life lessons. The main narrative centers on the interaction between the child and the schoolmaster, using their dynamic to convey meaningful lessons about learning, morality, and growth. It is a valuable resource for teaching children about virtues and personal development.

Genre: Fable

This fable serves to tell, or tries to show A fools remonstrance often is in vain. A child fell headlong in the river's flow, While playing on the green banks of the Seine: A willow, by kind Providence, grew there, The branches saved him (rather, God's good care); Caught in the friendly boughs, he clutched and clung. The master of the school just then came by. "Help! help! I'm drowning!" as he gulping hung, He shouts. The master, with a pompous eye, Turns and reproves him with much gravity. "You little ape," he said, "now only see What comes of all your precious foolery; A pretty job such little rogues to guard. Unlucky parents who must watch and thrash. Such helpless, hopeless, good-for-nothing trash. I pity them; their woes I understand." Having said this, he brought the child to land. In this I blame more people than you guess-- Babblers and censors, pedants, all the three; Such creatures grow in numbers to excess, Some blessing seems to swell their progeny. In every crisis theories they shape, And exercise their tongues with perfect skill; Ha! my good friends, first save me from the scrape, Then make your long speech after, if you will.
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Jean de La Fontaine

Jean de La Fontaine was a renowned French fabulist and one of the most famous poets during the French classical period. He was born on July 8, 1621, and died on April 13, 1695. Known for his literary style, he is best known for his "Fables", which are considered classics of French literature. His works were marked by his sophisticated style and moral substance, and his fables provided a scathing critique of French society during his time. more…

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