The Eagle and the Magpie book cover

The Eagle and the Magpie

"The Eagle and the Magpie" is a captivating folktale by Jean de La Fontaine, a renowned French fabulist. A story centred around the association of a noble eagle and a cunning magpie, it uses the relationship and interactions of these two vastly different characters to deliver profound morals and life lessons. A well-written, thought-provoking narrative, it very subtly reflects on human society and behaviours through the representation of these birds.

Genre: Fable

The Eagle, queen of the broad sky, Met, one day, in a field, the Pie-- In mind and language different, In plumage, and in every bent. Chance brought them into a by way: The Magpie was afraid to stay. The Eagle, having dined but lately, Assured her calmly and sedately. "Come, let's be social," said the Eagle, then; "And if the lord of gods and men Sometimes is weary of the king Who rules the universe, the thing Is clear, that ennui may e'en vex One who serves Jove. Amuse me!--come, And chatter as you do at home; It is not me you will perplex." The Pie began at once to gabble On this and that, on lords and rabble; Just like the man in Horace--just, Good, bad, indifferent, all on trust; Talking incessant, and still worse Than the poor fool in the famed verse. She offers, if it please his grace, To skip about, and watch each place He wishes. Jove knows that the Pie Was well constructed for a spy. The eagle answers, angrily, "Don't leave your home, my tattling friend. Adieu! I have no wish to send A gossip to corrupt my court, And spread each lying, false report: I hate a gossip." Quite content, Maggy cared little where she went. To dwell among the gods or kings Is not the pleasantest of things; That honour has its pangs also. Detractors, spies, and many a foe, Gracious and bland enough in face, But false in heart, infest each place, And make you odious. In courts wear Coats of two colours, or take care.
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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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