The Middle-Aged Man and the Two Widows book cover

The Middle-Aged Man and the Two Widows

"The Middle-Aged Man and the Two Widows" is a poignant narrative written by Jean de La Fontaine. The story revolves around a middle-aged man who finds himself entangled in relationships with two recent widows. Each woman offers a unique lifestyle and possesses distinct characteristics that cause the man to question his perception of love and morality. The book explores themes of love, desire, and the dilemmas faced when one has to choose between two seemingly ideal partners.

Genre: Fable

A Man of middle age, Fast getting grey, Thought it would be but sage To fix the marriage day. He had in stocks, And under locks, Money enough to clear his way. Such folks can pick and choose; all tried to please The moneyed man; but he, quite at his ease, Showed no great hurry, Fuss, nor scurry. "Courting," he said, "was no child's play." Two widows in his heart had shares-- One young; the other, rather past her prime, By careful art repairs What has been carried off by Time. The merry widows did their best To flirt and coax, and laugh and jest; Arranged, with much of bantering glee, His hair, and curled it playfully. The eldest, with a wily theft, Plucked one by one the dark hairs left. The younger, also plundering in her sport, Snipped out the grey hair, every bit. Both worked so hard at either sort, They left him bald--that was the end of it. "A thousand thanks, fair ladies," said the man; "You've plucked me smooth enough; Yet more of gain than loss, so quantum suff., For marriage now is not at all my plan. She whom I would have taken t'other day To enroll in Hymen's ranks, Had but the wish to make me go her way, And not my own; A head that's bald must live alone: For this good lesson, ladies, many thanks."
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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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