Wednesday, 26 November 2014

'The Old Man with a Nose' (repose)


'The Old Man with a Nose' (repose), an illustration by John Vernon Lord 
in The Nonsense Vesrse of Edward Lear, Jonathan Cape, 1984 and reprinted in 2012, page 8.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

'The Old Man with a Nose' (suppose)




'The Old Man with a Nose' (suppose), an illustration by John Vernon Lord 
in The Nonsense Vesrse of Edward Lear, Jonathan Cape, 1984 and reprinted in 2012, page 8.

Monday, 24 November 2014

'The Owl and the Pussy-cat'


'The Owl and the Pussy-cat', an illustration by John Vernon Lord 
in The Nonsense Vesrse of Edward Lear, Jonathan Cape, 1984 and reprinted in 2012, page 2.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

'The Old Derry down Derry'


'The Old Derry down Derry', an illustration by John Vernon Lord 
in The Nonsense Verse of Edward Lear, Jonathan Cape, 1984 and reissued in 2012, page 1.

(Note: this is a portrait of Edward Lear himself with the children at Knowsley Hall where the poet invented his first set of nonsense limericks that were first published in 1846.)

Thursday, 20 November 2014

The Belly and the Members

'The Belly and the Members', an illustration by John Vernon Lord 
in Aesop's Fables, Jonathan Cape, 1989, page 151.
The Text:


The Belly and the Members
THE members of the Body rebelled against the Belly, and said, “Why should we be perpetually engaged in administering to your wants, while you do nothing but take your rest, and enjoy yourself in luxury and self-indulgence?”  The Members carried out their resolve and refused their assistance to the Belly.  The whole Body quickly became debilitated, and the hands, feet, mouth, and eyes, when too late, repented of their folly.

Moral: United we stand; divided we fall.

Text: George Fyler Townsend (p54, 1868).

Selected parallels: Alluded to in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 12/11-27. Said to have been told by Menenius Agrippa to the poor citizens of Rome, who had revolted against the Senate when they had been oppressed by taxes and severe laws against debtors.  Plutarch, Coriolianus 6. Livy 1/30;3. Caxton, Romulus 3.16. Shakespeare, Coriolanus 1/2. La Fontaine 3/2. L’Estrange 1/50. Chambry 159. Perry 130. Daly 130. TMI J461.1.

Note:
The person on the bed looks suspiciously like the one who drew the illustration!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

'The Fox and the Grapes'

'The Fox and the Grapes', an illustration by John Vernon Lord 
in Aesop's Fables, Jonathan Cape, 1989, page 114.
The Text:

The Fox and the Grapes
Bunches of grapes were hanging from the vines in a vineyard. A fox came across them and was tempted to acquire some. The purple grapes looked delicious and they were perfectly ripe to eat. The fox jumped up and down trying to reach a bunch but failed after many attempts. Finally he gave up and declared that they were probably sour anyway.

Moral: Sour grapes!

Text: JVL (2014)

Selected Parallels: Phaedrus 4/3. Babrius 19. Caxton, Romulus 4/1. La Fontaine 3/2. L’Estrange 129. Chambry 32. Perry 15. Handford 3. TMI J871.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

'The Fox with a cropped Tail'

'The Fox with a cropped Tail', an illustration by John Vernon Lord 
in Aesop's Fables, Jonathan Cape, 1989, page 149.
The Text:

The Fox with a cropped Tail
A CUNNING old fox, of plundering habits,
Great crauncher of fowls, great catcher of rabbits,
Whom none of his sort had caught in a nap,
Was finally caught in somebody’s trap.
By luck he escaped, not wholly and hale,
For the price of his luck was the loss of his tail.
Escaped in this way, to save his disgrace,
He thought to get others in similar case.
One day that the foxes in council were met,
‘Why wear we,’ said he, ‘this cumbering weight,
Which sweeps in the dirt wherever it goes?
Pray tell me its use, if anyone knows.
If the council will take my advice,
We shall dock off our tails in a trice.’
‘Your advice may be good,’ said one on the ground;
‘But ere I reply, pray turn yourself round.’
Whereat such a shout from the council was heard,
Poor bob-tail, confounded, could say not a word.
To urge the reform would have wasted his breath.
Long tails were the mode till the day of his death.

Moral: Distrust those who give advice out of self-interest,  particularly when they try to turn a defect into a fashion.

Text: Elizur Wright (La Fontaine 5/5, 1841).

Selected Parallels: La Fontaine 5/5. L’Estrange 101. Chambry 41. Perry 17. Daly 17. TMI J758.1.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

The Flea and the Man


'The Flea and the Man', an illustration by John Vernon Lord 
in Aesop's Fables, Jonathan Cape, 1989, page 135.
The Text:

The Flea and the Man
A FLEA bit a Man, and bit him again, and again, till he could stand it no longer, but made a thorough search for it, and at last succeeded in catching it. Holding it between his finger and thumb, he said - or rather shouted, so angry was he - “Who are you, pray, you wretched little creature, that you make so free with my person?” The Flea, terrified, whimpered in a weak little voice, “Oh , sir! pray let me go; don’t kill me! I am such a little thing that I can’t do you much harm.” But the men laughed and said, “I am going to kill you now, at once: whatever is bad has got to be destroyed, no matter how slight the harm it does.”

Mortal: The persistent aggravations by the small on the powerful can result in destruction.

Text: V.S. Vernon Jones (p32, 1912).


Selected Parallels: Caxton, Remicius 15. L’Estrange 1/139. Chambry 357. Perry 272.

Friday, 14 November 2014

'The Ape and the Dolphin'


'The Ape and the Dolphin', an illustration by John Vernon Lord 
in Aesop's Fables, Jonathan Cape, 1989, page 135.
The Text:


The Ape and the Dolphin
People were us’d in the Days of Old to carry Gamesome Puppies and Apes with ’em to Sea, to pass away the Time withall. Now there was One of these Apes, it seems, aboard a Vessel that was cast away in a very great Storm. As the Men were Paddling for their Lives, and the Ape for Company, a Certain Dolphin that took him for a Man, got him up on his Back, and was making towards Land with him. He had him into a Safe Road call’d the Pyraeus, and took occasion to Ask the Ape, whether he was an Athenian or not? He told him Yes, and of a very Ancient Family there. Why then (says the Dolphin) You know Pyraeus: Oh! exceedingly well says T’other. (taking it for the name of a Man) Why Pyraeus is my very Particular Good Friend. The Dolphin, upon This, had such an Indignation for the Impudence of the Buffoon-Ape, that he gave him a Slip from between his Legs and there was an End of my very Good Friend, the Athenian.

Moral: Braggarts and liars are likely to be dropped by their one-time supporters.

Text: Roger L’Estrange 1/169 (1692)
Selected parallels: La Fontaine 4/7. TMI M205.1.1.3. Perry 73. 

Thursday, 13 November 2014

The Dog in a Manger

'The Dog in a Manger', an illustration by John Vernon Lord 
in Aesop's Fables, Jonathan Cape, 1989, page 133.


The Text:

The Dog in a Manger
A DOG lay in a manger, and by his growling and snapping prevented the oxen from eating the hay which had been placed for them. “What a selfish Dog!” said one of them to his companions; “he cannot eat the hay himself, and yet refuses to allow those to eat who can.”

Moral: Even if they have the means to give, the envious and spiteful will refuse anybody anything rather than allow people their just deserts.

Text: George Fyler Townsend (p25, 1868).

Selected Parallels:  Lucian Adv. Indoctum c.30. Caxton , Extravagantes 11. L’Estrange 76.  Perry cf 702. TMI W156