The Woman and the Secret book cover

The Woman and the Secret

"The Woman and the Secret" by Jean de La Fontaine is a collection of fables that revolve around the theme of secrets and the consequences that arise from holding or revealing them. The stories gracefully integrate humor, wit, and twist of fate with a profound insight into human nature and the societal norms of the time. Within these compositions, the author expertly and eloquently presents an exploration of human vanity, folly, and the countless ironies of life.


Genre: Fable
Year:
1668
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A secret is a dreadful weighty thing: Few women carry secrets very far; And this remark doth to my memory bring Some men, too, born beneath the female star. To try his wife, a husband one night cried, "Ye gods, I perish! spare me, spare, I pray: For, lo! I have just laid an egg." "An egg?" she sighed. "Here it is--newly laid: but do not say A single word, or they will call me 'hen.' Be silent, darling." Then, in full belief, She swore by all the gods to keep all men Quite in the dark, so she assured her chief. But with the shadows pass those words of hers. Foolish and indiscreet, at earliest dawn, She seeks her neighbour, and she thus avers: "My gossip, such a thing took place last night! You must say nothing, or I shall be beat. My husband laid an egg, yes, large and white. And big as any four; but don't repeat, In Heaven's name, nor mention anywhere This strange occurrence." "Now, I see you mock," The other said. "What! mention the affair! You know me not. Go, I am like a rock!" The hen's wife hastened homeward presently; The other spreads the tale in twenty places. The one big egg she quickly turns to three; Nor was this all: to many startled faces Another chatterer makes the number four. Whispering is no more needful--all is known. Before the day was over there had flown A rumour that the man had forty score Of chickens of his own all cackling round his door.
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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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