30 THE FABLES OF LA FONTAINE. To whom the urchin cried, * Save, or I 'm drowned ! ' The master, turning gravely at the sound, Thought proper for a while to stand aloof, And give the boy some seasonable reproof.
- You little wretch ! this comes of foolish playing,
Commands and precepts disobeying. A naughty rogue, no doubt, you are, Who thus requite your parents' care. Alas ! their lot I pity much, Whom fate condemns to watch o'er such.* This having coolly said, and more, He pulled the drowning lad ashore. This story hits more marks than you suppose. All critics, pedants, men of endless prose, — Three sorts, so richly blessed with progeny, ' The house is blessed that doth not lodge any, — May in it see themselves from head to toes. No matter what the task, Their precious tongues must teach ; Their help in need you ask, You first must hear them preach.