Thursday, October 21, 2010

La Fontaine: The Doctors

The selfsame patient put to test
Two doctors, Fear-the-worst and Hope-the-best.
The latter hoped; the former did maintain
The man would take all medicine in vain.
By different cures the patient was beset,
But erelong cancell'd nature's debt,
While nursed
As was prescribed by Fear-the-worst.
But over the disease both triumph'd still.
Said one, 'I well foresaw his death.'
'Yes,' said the other, 'but my pill
Would certainly have saved his breath.'

Source: Wright's translation of La Fontaine, Fable 5.12.

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