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their return from hunting, they saw a couple of owls 1 upon a tree that grew near an old wall out of a heap of rubbish. “I would fain know,"2 says the sultan, “what those two owls are saying to one another ; listen to their discourse, and give me an account of it.”3 The vizier approached the tree, pretending 4 to be very attentive to the two owls. Upon his return to the sultan : “Sir,” says he, “I have heard part of their conversation, but dare not tell you what it is.” The sultan would not be satisfied with 5 such an answer, but forced him to repeat, word for word, everything 6 the owls bad said. “You must know then," said the vizier, " that one of these owls has a son and the other a daughter, between whom they are now upon a treaty of marriage. The father of the son said to the father of the daughter, in my hearing, 8 * Brother, I consent to this marriage, provided you will settle upon your daughter fifty ruined villages for her portion.'9 To which the father of the daughter replied,
Instead of fifty, I will give her five hundred, if you please. God grant a long life to Sultan Mahmoud ; whilst he reigns over us we shall never want 10 ruined villages.'”
The story says, 11 the sultan was so touched with the fable that he rebuilt the towns and villages which had been destroyed, and from that time forward consulted the good of his people.—(Spectator.)
i un couple de hiboux. The 3 rends-m'en compte. French substantive couple is femi- 4 feignant de; or, faisant semnine when it simply means two of blant (or, mine) de. the same species, or kind, and near 5 ne voulut pas se conter in place, or considered together; 6 See page i, note 8. but it is masculine when it refers 7 et il s'agit des conditions d'un either to two individuals, male mariage entre ces derniers; or, et and female, or to any two beings ils sont en pourparler sur les conunited by a common will or ditions &c. sentiment, or any other cause 8 assez haut pour que je l'entenwhich fits then to act in concert, disse. Thus, une couple de pommes, 9 pourvu que vous constituiez d'oeufs, l'a couple of apples, of (or, assigniez) pour dot à votre fille eggs ;') and un couple de fripons, cinquante &c. ('a couple of rogues.')
10 nous ne manquerons jamais de. ? Je voudrais bien savoir.
11 See page 1, note 5.
TIT FOR TAT.1 A FRIEND of Dean? Swift one day sent him a turbot, as a present,3 by a servant who had frequently been on similar errands, but who had never received the most trifling mark of the dean's generosity. Having gained admission, he opened the door of the study, and abruptly putting down4 the fish, cried very rudely, “ Master has sent you 5 a turbot.” “Young man,” said the dean, rising from his easy chair, “is that the way you deliver? your message ? Let me teach you better manners ;8 sit down in my chair, we will change situations, and I will show you how to behave in future.” The boy sat down; and the dean, going to the door, came up to 10 the table with a respectful pace, and making a low bow, 11 said, “ Sir, my master presents his kind compliments,12 hopes you are well,13 and requests your acceptance of 14 a small present.” “Does he ?" 15 replied the boy ; “ return him my best thanks,16 and there's halfa-crown for yourself.” 17 The dean, thus drawn into an act of generosity, laughed heartily, and gave the boy a crown for his wit.—* * *)
1 A bon chat, bon rat. (PRO- 9 See page 2, note 7. VERB. EXPRESS.)
10 s'avança vers. 2 du doyen. Nouns of title (such il une profonde révérence. as 'Dean,' 'Doctor,' 'Colonel,' 12 vous fait ses amitiés. *Captain,' &c.), used before proper 13 que vous vous portez bien. names, are preceded, in French, 14 et vous prie d'accepter. by the definite article.
15 Vraiment! or, Ah, bah! (fam.) *3 en présent; or, en cadeau (fam.) 16 remerciez-le bien de ma part. 4 déposant.
17 et voilà une demi-couronne 5 Mon maitre (Monsieur) vous pour vous. The adjective demi is envoie.
invariable when placed before the 6 son fauteuil.
substantive, but agrees with it in 7 est-ce ainsi que vous rendez. gender when after, as une couronne
8 Laissez-moi vous donner une et demie, "a crown and a half.') leçon de politesse (or, de savoirvivre).
RABELAIS A TRAITOR.1 This celebrated witwas once at a great distance from Paris, and without money to bear his expenses thither. The ingenious author being thus sharp set, got together 4 a convenient quantity of brickdust, and having disposed of it into several papers, wrote upon one, Poison for Monsieur ; 5 upon a second, Poison for the Dauphin ;6 and on a third, Poison for the King. Having made this provision for the royal family of France, he laid his papers so that the landlord, who was an inquisitive man and a good subject, might get a sight of them. The plot succeeded as he desired ;8 the host gave immediate intelligence to the secretary of state. The secretary presently sent down 10 a special messenger, who brought up the traitor to court, and provided him, at the king's expense, with proper accommodations on the road. As soon as he appeared, he was known to bell the celebrated Rabelais, and his powder, upon examination, being found very innocent, the jest was only laughed at ;12 for which a less eminent droll would have been sent to the galleys.—(Spectator.) 1 coupable de trahison.
8 comme il le désirait. The pro2 bel-esprit.
noun le (“it'), which is used in 3 affamé.
French in such cases as this, car4 rassembla.
ries back the mind to the fact men5 Monsieur, used absolutely, was tioned before, namely, that it' said of the eldest of the brothers (the plot) should succeed. of the king of France.
9 en informa (or, instruisit) aus6 Dauphin was the title origin- sitôt; or, en donna aussitôt avis d. ally borne by the princes of the pro- 10 envoya sur les lieux. vince of France called Viennois, 11 on reconnut en lui. See page or Dauphiné, and which was after. 1, note 2. wards transferred to the eldest son 12 ayant été examinée, on s'aperof every French king, from the çut qu'elle était très innocente (or, annexation of that province to the inoffensive) et l'on ne fit que rire crown up to the time of the first de cette plaisanterie. The student Revolution, in 1789.
will notice this use of ne before a 7 pat les voir.
verb, and que after it.
THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE. A HARE jeered at a tortoise for the slowness of his pace. But he laughed and said that he would run against her and beat her any day she should name.2 “ Come on," said the hare, “you shall soon see what my feet are made of.”3 So it was agreed that they should start at once. The tortoise went off jogging along, without a moment's stopping, at his usual steady pace. The hare, treating the whole matter very lightly, said she would first take a little nap, and that she should soon overtake the tortoise. Meanwhile the tortoise plodded on, and the hare oversleeping herself, arrived at the goal only to see that the tortoise had got in before her. Slow and steady wins the race.?
(JAMES's Fables of Æsop).
MULY MOLUC. WHEN Don Sebastian, king of Portugal, invaded the territories of Muly Moluc, emperor of Morocco, in order 1 raillait une tortue sur.
in full the idea implied in the 2 qu'elle le vaincrait à la course English words. Thus, 'read on,' quand il voudrait.--A la course, continuez à lire; 'tó refine one Tórunning ;') in the same way we out of his veracity,' (HERVEY,) say, passer une rivière à la nage, polir quelqu'un au point de lui ('swimming ;') tuer un oiseau au faire perdre sa véracité, &c. vol, ('flying,') &c.
6 See page 5, note 12. 3 ce que peuvent mes jambes. In 7 Hatez-vous lentement. This subordinate sentences, like the proverbial expression, which has present, it is more elegant to put been used by Regnard, Boileau, the nominative (mes jambes) after and La Fontaine, is nothing more the verb (peuvent).
than the old Greek proverb, 4 se mit en route, tout douce- 'oneŪde Bpadéws,' which the Latins ment, de son pas ordinaire et régu- took from the Greeks, and trans- · lier, et ne s'arrêta pas un instant. lated by festina lente, and which
5 continua d s'évertuer. When the English often render by 'most translating into French, English haste, worst speed.' Sometimes expressions, like the present, we use in French the old saying, formed with a verb and a prepo- doucement le gagne, which corsition, we are compelled to render responds to 'slow and sure.'
to dethrone him, and set his crown upon the head of his nephew, Moluc was wearing away with a distemper which he himself knew was2 incurable. However, he prepared for the reception of so formidable an enemy. He was, indeed, so far spent with4 bis sickness that he did not expect to live out the whole day ;5 but, knowing the fatal consequences that would happen to him and his people, in case he should die before he put an end? to that war, he commanded his principal officers, that, if he died during the engagement, they should conceals his death from his army, and that they should ride uplo to the litter in which his corpse wasll carried, under pretence of receiving orders as usual. Before the battle began, he was carried through all the ranks of his army in an open litter, as they stood drawn up in array,12 encouraging them to fight valiantly in 13 defence of their religion and country. Finding 14 afterwards the battle to go 15 against him, though he was very near his last agonies, 16 he threw himself out of his litter, rallied his army, and led them on to the charge, which17 afterwards ended in a complete victory on the side of the Moors. He had no sooner brought his men to the engagement, but 18 finding himself utterly spent, I se mourait de.
9 d. 2 savait être. This turn is 10 de se rendre. French (in the case when, as here, 11 son corps serait. the subjects, or nominatives, of the 12 pendant que les troupes étaient two verbs are different), only after rangées en bataille. a relative pronoun, as in the pre 13 pour la. sent instance. But we could not
14 Voyant. say, Je le sais être savant, ('I know
15 tourner. him to be learned ;) it should be, 16 son agonie. Je sais qu'il est savant. See page 17 ce qui. Whenever which' 1, note .
does not relate to a particular 3 d recevoir.
word, as its antecedent, in the 4 si épuisé par.
preceding sentence, but rather to 5 à passer la journée.
the whole sentence, or to a fact 6 résulteraient pour.
enumerated therein ; in short, 7 avant de mettre fin. Contrary whenever it can be turned by a to the case mentioned above (note thing which,' or 'a fact which ;' 2), this turn is the only one al- the French for it is ce qui, instead lowed, in French, when the subject, of qui (nominative), and ce que or nominative, is the same for the instead of que (accusative). It two verbs thus following each corresponds to the Latin id quod, other.
similarly used. 8 officiers, s'il mourait ...., de 18 que.