The Spaniel and the Cameleon

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Fable II

A spaniel, bred with all the care
That waits upon a favourite heir,
Ne'er felt correction's rigid hand;
Indulged to disobey command,
In pampered ease his hours were spent;
He never knew what learning meant.
Such forward airs, so pert, so smart,
Were sure to win his lady's heart;
Each little mischief gained him praise;
How pretty were his fawning ways!

   The wind was south, the morning fair,
He ventured forth to take the air.
He ranges all the meadow round,
And rolls upon the softest ground:
When near him a cameleon seen,
Was scarce distinguished from the green.
   'Dear emblem of the flattering host,
What, live with clowns! a genius lost!
To cities and the court repair:
A fortune cannot fail thee there:

Preferment shall thy talents crown,
Believe me, friend; I know the town.'
   'Sir,' says the sycophant, 'like you,
Of old, politer life I knew:
Like you, a courtier born and bred;
Kings leaned an ear to what I said.
My whisper always met success;
The ladies praised me for address,
I knew to hit each courtier's passion,
And flattered every vice in fashion.

But Jove, who hates the liar's ways,
At once cut short my prosperous days;
And, sentenced to retain my nature,
Transformed me to this crawling creature.
Doomed to a life obscure and mean,
I wander in the sylvan scene.
For Jove the heart alone regards;
He punishes what man rewards.
How different is thy case and mine!
With men at least you sup and dine;

While I, condemned to thinnest fare,
Like those I flattered feed on air.'



The Fables, Volume 1 (1727)
Introduction The Shepard and the Philosopher
Fable I The Lion, the Tiger, and the Traveller
Fable II The Spaniel and the Cameleon
Fable III The Mother, the Nurse, and the Fairy
Fable IV The Eagle, and the Assembly of Animals
Fable V The wild Boar and the Ram
Fable VI The Miser and Plutus
Fable VII The Lion, the Fox, and the Geese
Fable VIII The Lady and the Wasp
Fable IX The Bull and the Mastiff
Fable X The Elephant and the Bookseller
Fable XI The Peacock, the Turkey, and the Goose
Fable XII Cupid, Hymen, and Plutus
Fable XIII The Tame Stag
Fable XIV The Monkey who had seen the World
Fable XV The Philosopher and the Pheasants
Fable XVI The Pin and the Needle
Fable XVII The Shepherd's Dog and the Wolf
Fable XVIII The Painter who pleased Nobody and Everybody
Fable XIX The Lion and the Cub
Fable XX The Old Hen and the Cock
Fable XXI The Rat-catcher and Cats
Fable XXII The Goat without a Beard
Fable XXIII The Old Woman and her Cats
Fable XXIV The Butterfly and the Snail
Fable XXV The Scold and the Parrot
Fable XXVI The Cur and the Mastiff
Fable XXVII The Sick Man and the Angel
Fable XXVIII The Persian, the Sun, and the Cloud
Fable XXIX The Fox at the point of Death
Fable XXX The Setting-dog and the Partridge
Fable XXXI The Universal Apparition
Fable XXXII The Two Owls and the Sparrow
Fable XXXIII The Courtier and Proteus
Fable XXXIV The Mastiffs
Fable XXXV The Barley-mow and the Dunghill
Fable XXXVI Pythagoras and the Countryman
Fable XXXVII The Farmer's Wife and the Raven
Fable XXXVIII The Turkey and the Ant
Fable XXXIX The Father and Jupiter
Fable XL The Two Monkeys
Fable XLI The Owl and the Farmer
Fable XLII The Jugglers
Fable XLIII The Council of Horses
Fable XLIV The Hound and the Huntsman
Fable XLV The Poet and the Rose
Fable XLVI The Cur, the Horse, and the Shepherd's Dog
Fable XLVII The Court of Death
Fable XLVIII The Gardener and the Hog
Fable XLIX The Man and the Flea
Fable L The Hare and many Friends
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