From dogs by Fame the most commended,
Who falling, in their puppyhood,
To different masters anciently,
One dwelt and hunted in the boundless wood;
From thieves the other kept a kitchen free.
At first, each had another name;
But, by their bringing up, it came,
While one improved upon his nature,
The other grew a sordid creature,
Till, by some scullion called Lapluck,
The name ungracious ever stuck.
To high exploits his brother grew,
Put many a stag at bay, and tore
Full many a trophy from the boar;
In short, him first, of all his crew,
The world as Caesar knew;
And care was had, lest, by a baser mate,
His noble blood should e'er degenerate.
Not so with his neglected brother;
He made whatever came a mother;
And, by the laws of population,
His race became a countless nation--
The common turnspits throughout France--
Where danger is, they don't advance--
Precisely the antipodes
Of what we call the Caesars, these!
Oft falls the son below his sire's estate:
Through want of care all things degenerate.
For lack of nursing Nature and her gifts.
What crowds from gods become mere kitchen-thrifts!
Source: Wright's translation of La Fontaine, Fable 8.24.
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