same given time. But let us proceed to our French lesson. We will study the following Fable of La Fontaine ; it yields many idiomatic expressions.


Deux Mulets cheminoient, l'un d'avoine chargé,
L'autre portant l'argent de la gabelle,
Celui-ci, glorieux d'une charge si belle,
N'eut voulu pour beaucoup en être soulagé.
Il marchoit d'un pas relevé,

Et faisoit sonner sa sonnette ;
Quand l'ennemi se présentant,

Comme il en vouloit à l'argent,
Sur le mulet du fisc une troupe se jette,

Le saisit au frein, et l'arrête.

Le mulet, en se défendant,
Se sent percer de coups; il gémit, il soupire :
Est-ce donc là, dit-il, ce qu'on m'avoit promis ?
Ce mulet qui me suit du danger se retire,

Et moi, j'y tombe, et je péris !

Ami, lui dit son camarade,
Il n'est pas tonjours bon d'avoir un haut emploi ;
Si tu n'avois servi qu'un Meunier, comme moi,

Tu ne serois pas si malade.


Two mules were travelling on the road, one loaded with oats, the other carrying the money of the salt-tax. The latter, proud of such a noble load, would not for ever so much have been relieved of it. He walked with a baughty gait, and made his bell tinkle, when the enemies showed themselves, and as they wanted to get at the money, a troop of them threw themselves upon the mule of the Exchequer, seized him by the bridle, and stopped him. The mule, on defending himself, felt himself pierced with blows; he groaned, he sighed: Is this then, said he, what I have been promised? The mule that follows me withdraws himself from danger, and I, I fall into it, and I perish! Friend, said his companion to him, it is not always good to hold a high office: hadst thou, like me, only served a miller, thou wouldst not be so badly of.

Les deux Mulets, the two Mules. Deux, the cardinal number two, which, in pronunciation, does not differ from d'eux, of or from them. Mulet, m.

cheminoient, 3d pers. pl. imp. ind. r. v. n. 1. cheminer, to walk on the road, from le chemin, the road. It also means to advance, to proceed, fig. l'affaire chemine, the matter goes on well. l'un, the one, one, m. l'une, f.; les uns, some.

d'avoine chargé, a poetical inversion, for chargé d'avoine, loaded of oats, loaded with oats; charger, r. v. a. 1. to load, to charge, to commission, to magnify. Mon frère m'a chargé de vous dire, my brother commissioned me to tell you. Avoine, oats, f. is pronounced in some parts of France, “ avoane,” in others, “avène.” The latter, however, seems more general. In pl. les avoines, standing oats; faites faucher vos avoines, get your oats cut.

l'autre, m. and f. the other; les autres, the others ; l'un et l'autre, both.

portant l'argent de la Gabelle, carrying the money of the salt-tax; portant, part. act. of porter ; but l'un portant l'autre, means, one with the other, on the average. l'argent, m. money, silver ; argent blanc, silver coin, in contradistinction to gold and copper coin ; un bourreau d'argent, a spendthrift; argent comptant, ready money; la Gabelle, formerly a very oppressive tax on salt in France; it also denoted the royal salt magazine or storehouse.

celui-ci, pron. dem. m. this here, the latter; celle-ci, f. ceuxci, pl. m.: glorieux d'une charge si belle, proud of a load so handsome, proud of such a noble load; glorieux, euse, adj. proud, haughty, vain-glorious; charge, f. like all words in arge, except le large, m. the offing, a sea-term.

n'eut voulu pour beaucoup en être soulagé, would not have for much of it be relieved, would not for ever so much have been relieved of it. Vouloir, to be willing, is a verb which requires the greatest attention ; it is irregular, and must be carefully learnt in the grammar. Je le veux, may signify, “ I will have it so," or simply “ I will have it.”

“ I will have it.” The connexion must show the true meaning. Si vous voulex, if you like; si vous le voulez, if you chuse it. drois, I should like ; je le voudrois bien, mais, I should like it very much, but; je voudrois qu'il vint, I should wish him to come.

Voudriez-vous ? would you? voudriez vous

Je vou

bien? would you be so good as - ? je le veux bien, I have no objection; je lui veux du bien, I wish him well; il veut du bien à tout le monde, he wishes every one well; il veut le bien de tout le monde, he wants to get every one's wealth. You see what attention this verb requires ; and in the eighth line we shall have to introduce you to two more very important significations. pour beaucoup, for much ; in English, “ for ever so much.” en, the ind. pron. of it; because the verb soulager, of which it is the gov., requires the genitive. Soulager, r. a. 1. to relieve, to alleviate, to assist. In the latter sense, we say, il aime à soulager les pauvres, he delights in relieving the poor. In the former, it has the accusative of the person, and the genitive of the thing. En prenant soin de la boutique, il soulage son père d'un très grand fardeau ; by taking care of the shop, he relieves his father of a great burthen. Soulager un vaisseau, to lighten a vessel.

Il marchoit, he walked. marcher, r. a. 1. to walk, to move on foot, to march like soldiers, to go on, to advance, in the sense of cheminer, which we had before, and which is growing rather obsolete. Hence the late Prince de Ligne, speaking of the Congress at Vienna in 1814, said, le Congrès danse, mais il ne marche pas.

d'un pas relevé, of a lifted up step, with a proud step; un pas, (m. like all the words in as) a pace, step, footstep, threshold, precedency, trouble, scrape.

retourner sur ses pas, to retrace one's steps. Il demeure à deux pas d'ici, he lives close by. Perdre ses pas, to take much fruitless trouble. relevé, part. past, m., of the r. a. 1. relever, to lift up, to heighten. The participle, used adjectively, is high, proud, noble. Une mine relevée, a noble countenance.

et faisoit sonner sa sonnette, and caused to tinkle his little bell, and made his bell tinkle. Again, faire, followed by an infinitive, sonner, to ring, r. a. 1. Sonnez, s'il vous plait, ring the bell, if you please, there is no occasion to add the word sonnette; but when you say in English, “ they are ringing in for church.” it must be, on sonne les cloches. quand l'ennemi se présentant, when the enemy

himself pre

senting, when the enemy presenting themselves, appearing. l'ennemi, m. a collective word, the enemy, is indifferently used in the sing. or pl. présenter, r. a. 1. to present, to offer, to place in the presence of, to introduce. Se présenter, refl. to present one's self, to appear, to occur. Je vous écrirai quand l'occasion s'en présentera, I will write to you whenever an opportunity occurs ; il se présente bien, he has an easy graceful demeanour.

Comme il en vouloit à l'argent, as he of it willed to the money, as be wished to get at the money, as they wanted the . money. Now, observe, en vouloir à quelque chose, and en vouloir à quelqu'un, are two very different ideas. The former is, “ to wish to get at something for the sake of laying bold of it.” Thus, walking in your garden, and seeing some very fine ripe apricots, you may say, j'en veux à ces abricots ; but observing something that you had ordered, and that has been neglected by your gardener, you say, j'en veux à mon jardinier, I am vexed at, I am angry with my gardener; je vous en veux, I am angry with you; pourquoi n'en voulezvous.? why are you angry with me? je vous en veux de m'avoir fuit attendre, I am angry with you for having kept me waiting

Sur le mulet du Fisc une troupe se jette, on the mule of the Exchequer a troop itself throws, is a poëtical inversion; in prose we say, une troupe se jette sur le mulet, a troop fell upon the mule. Le Fisc, m. the public treasury, the exchequer; hence confisquer, r. a. 1. to confiscate.

Une troupe, (f. like all the words in oupe, except un groupe, a group,) a troop, a company, a gang, a set.

In the pl. it is troops, forces, soldiers, an army, but of a small corps it is still used in the sing. Se jetter, from jetter, r. a. 1. to throw, to cast; se jetter, refl. to throw one's self, to rush, to fall upon. Many of the modern writers spell it with one t only. In the sense of rushing upon, it is always construed with sur. Se jetter à la tête de quelqu'un, is to offer one's services intrusively.

Le suisit au frein, et l'arrête, him seizes by the bridle, and him stops ; seizes him by the bridle, and stops bim. Again,

You pro

the pron. pers. conjunctive before the verb. bably begin to be familiarized with this difficulty. Saisit, from saisir, r. a. 2. to seize, to understand without difficulty; to attack, (speaking of an illness.) On a saisi le coleur, the thief has been taken ; elle saisit tout de suite ce que je lui enseigne, she understands immediately what I teach her. La fièvre l'a saisi, he has had an attack of fever. The refl. se saisir, to hold of, is always construed with de. On s'est saisi de ses biens, they have laid hold of his goods and chattels.

“ To seize by,” is expressed by the dative only. Saisir au frein, to seize by the bridle. Le frein, m. is properly, the bit, the curb. All the words in ein are m.

Le mulet en se défendant, the mule in himself defending, the mule on defending himself.

se sent percer de coups, himself feels pierce of blows; feels himself pierced with blows. Se sentir, refl. to feel one's-self, from the irr. sentir, to feel, to smell, which, on account of this second signification, must be employed with discrimination. To say to a lady, " je sens combien vous êtes bonne," I feel, I am sensible, how kind you are, though grammatically correct, would cause a smile, because it also means, “ I smell how kind you are;” in such cases say, je suis sensible à vos bontés, pénétré de vos bontés.

se sent percer, the inf. act. instead of the part. past in English. percer, r. a. 1. to pierce, to boar, to broach, to penetrate; when it is neut. it is to open, to get opened, to show itself. le talent perce dans cet ouvrage, there is some talent in that work. un coup, m. a blow, a push. The p is not heard. It is one of those French words which have a variety of significations in themselves, and confer still a greater variety on the verbs, with which they are construed; for instance, boire un coup, to drink once, to take something to drink. nous aurons soin de nos chevaux, et puis nous boirons un coup, we will take care of the horses, and then we'll bave a drop of something.

il gémit, he groans, from gémir, r. n. 2. to groan. il soupire, he sighs, from soupirer, r, n. 1. to sigh.

est-ce donc , dit-il, ce qu'on m'avoit promis, is this then there, said be, that which one me had promised; is this then

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