The Two Men and the Treasure book cover

The Two Men and the Treasure

The Two Men and the Treasure is a fable by Jean de La Fontaine that tells the story of two friends who discover buried treasure in a field. Ecstatic, they vow to share it equally. However, as greed seizes them, they plot against each other with the aim of getting the entire treasure for themselves. This tale serves as a timeless warning about the destructive power of greed and dishonesty on relationships and personal integrity.

Genre: Fable

Submitted by davidb on September 28, 2023

A Man of cash and credit shorn (The Devil only in his purse), Resolved to hang himself one morn, Since death by hunger might be worse: A king of death which pleases not Those curious in their final taste. A rope and nail he quickly got, And fixed them to a wall in haste. The wall was weak and very old, With the man's weight it crumbling fell; When out there came a stream of gold, The Treasure that he loved so well. He did not stay to count, but ran; Pale Penury no more he feared. When in the miser came--poor man! To find his wealth had disappeared. "Gold gone! This cord's my only wealth!" He cried; "now I have lost all hope:" And so straightway he hanged himself. How changed the fortunes of that rope! The miser saves his wealth for those Who may be prudent, may be thieves; Into the grave perhaps it goes: Who knows the changes Fortune weaves? For Lady Fortune mocks outright At human nature's dying pangs; And if by you or me made tight The rope, she laughs that some one hangs!
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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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