Charles Lamb

The Men And Women, And The Monkeys

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A FABLE

When beasts by words their meanings could declare,
Some well-dressed men and women did repair
To gaze upon two monkeys at a fair:


And one who was the spokesman in the place
Said, in their countenance you might plainly trace
The likeness of a withered old man's face.


His observation none impeached or blamed,
But every man and woman when 'twas named
Drew in the head, or slunk away ashamed.


One monkey, who had more pride than the other,
His infinite chagrin could scarcely smother;
But Pug the wiser said unto his brother:


"The slights and coolness of this human nation
Should give a sensible ape no mortification;
'Tis thus they always serve a poor relation."

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Charles Lamb