The Madman and the Philosopher book cover

The Madman and the Philosopher

"The Madman and the Philosopher" is a collection of fables by Jean de La Fontaine. Typically told by animals with human characteristics, the stories are accompanied by moral lessons. The book explores themes of wisdom, folly, and the complexities of human nature, often showcasing both a madman and a philosopher, which represent the irrational and rational aspects of humanity. This work is one of La Fontaine's masterpieces in satirical and philosophical literature.

Genre: Fable
Year:
1668
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A Certain Madman, as the story goes, Threw stones at a Philosopher, one day. The latter said, "My friend, I don't suppose You care to work so hard, without your pay. Here, take this crown; how deeply I regret I cannot better recompense your trouble! Go, pelt yon gentleman, and you may get A larger sum--perhaps as much as double." Pleased at the chance, our fool begins to throw Big stones at a patrician; but, instead Of giving gold, the lackeys mauled him so, That they departed leaving him half dead. Such fools there are in kingly courts, Who raise the laugh at your expense; But can you check their silly sports, Or stop their loud impertinence? If any words or any blows Of yours are powerless to hush them, Just get them to be rude to those Who have sufficient force to crush them.
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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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