Le Cochon, la Chèvre et le Mouton / The Pig, the Goat, and the Sheep

oil on canvas
81 x 100 cm
signed and dated 'W Aractingii 89' (lower right)


The Artist's Estate

Condition Report
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Beirut, Lebanon

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About this artwork

Le Cochon, la Chèvre et le Mouton

Une Chèvre, un Mouton, avec un Cochon gras,
Montés sur même char s’en allaient à la foire :
Leur divertissement ne les y portait pas ;
On s’en allait les vendre, à ce que dit l’histoire :
Le Charton n’avait pas dessein
De les mener voir Tabarin.
Dom Pourceau criait en chemin
Comme s’il avait eu cent Bouchers à ses trousses.
C’était une clameur à rendre les gens sourds
Les autres animaux, créatures plus douces,
Bonnes gens, s’étonnaient qu’il criât au secours ;
Ils ne voyaient nul mal à craindre.
Le Charton dit au Porc : Qu’as-tu tant à te plaindre ?
Tu nous étourdis tous, que ne te tiens-tu coi ?
Ces deux personnes-ci plus honnêtes que toi,
Devraient t’apprendre à vivre, ou du moins à te taire.
Regarde ce Mouton ; a-t-il dit un seul mot ?
Il est sage. Il est un sot,
Repartit le Cochon : s’il savait son affaire,
Il crierait comme moi, du haut de son gosier,
Et cette autre personne honnête
Crierait tout du haut de sa tête.
Ils pensent qu’on les veut seulement décharger,
La Chèvre de son lait, le Mouton de sa laine.
Je ne sais pas s’ils ont raison ;
Mais quant à moi qui ne suis bon
Qu’à manger, ma mort est certaine.
Adieu mon toit et ma maison.

Dom Pourceau raisonnait en subtil personnage :
Mais que lui servait-il ? Quand le mal est certain,
La plainte ni la peur ne changent le destin ;
Et le moins prévoyant est toujours le plus sage.

The Pig, the Goat, and the Sheep

A Goat, a Sheep, and a fat Pig were sent
To market, to their mutual discontent;
Not for the pleasures of the noisy fair,
But just to sell—the farmer′s only care.
Not to see jugglers′ tricks drove on the carter,
Bent only on his traffic and his barter.
Sir Porker screeched, as if he felt the knife,
Or heard ten butchers plotting ′gainst his life.
It was a noise to deafen any one:
His mild companions prayed him to have done.
The carter shouts, "Good heavens! why this riot?
You′ll drive us silly; fool! can′t you be quiet?
These honest folks should teach you manners, man;
So hold your tongue, you coward, if you can.
Observe this sheep, he has not said a word,
And he is wise." "Now, fool! you talk absurd.
If he the dangers knew as well as I,
Till he was hoarse and blind he′d bleat and cry.
And this my other friend, so calm and still,
Would scream his life out, as I, carter, will.
They think you′re only going, on the morrow,
From this his milk, from that his wool to borrow:
They may be right or wrong, I do not know;
But I am certain of the deadly blow:
I′m good but for the spit. Farewell to you,
My house, and wife, and children! now, adieu."

Sir Porker reasoned with sufficient skill;
But all was useless: he was fit to kill.
Fear nor complaint could change his destiny:
He who looks forward least will wisest be.

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