Le Coq et le Renard / The Rooster and the Fox

oil on canvas
100 x 81 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 Coq et le Renard

Sur la branche d’un arbre était en sentinelle
Un vieux Coq adroit et matois.
« Frère, dit un Renard, adoucissant sa voix,
Nous ne sommes plus en querelle :
Paix générale cette fois.
Je viens te l’annoncer ; descends que je t’embrasse ;
Ne me retarde point de grâce :
Je dois faire aujourd’hui vingt postes sans manquer.
Les tiens et toi pouvez vaquer
Sans nulle crainte à vos affaires :
Nous vous y servirons en frères.
Faites-en les feux dès ce soir.
Et cependant, viens recevoir
Le baiser d’amour fraternelle.
— Ami, reprit le Coq, je ne pouvais jamais
Apprendre une plus douce et meilleure nouvelle
Que celle
De cette paix.
Et ce m’est une double joie
De la tenir de toi. Je vois deux Lévriers,
Qui, je m’assure, sont courriers
Que pour ce sujet on envoie.
Ils vont vite, et seront dans un moment à nous.
Je descends ; nous pourrons nous entrebaiser tous.
— Adieu, dit le Renard : ma traite est longue à faire.
Nous nous réjouirons du succès de l’affaire
Une autre fois. » Le Galant aussitôt
Tire ses grègues, gagne au haut,
Mal content de son stratagème ;
Et notre vieux Coq en soi-même
Se mit à rire de sa peur ;

Car c’est double plaisir de tromper le trompeur.

The Rooster and the Fox

Upon a branch a crafty sentinel,
A very artful old bird, sat.
"Brother," a Fox said, "greet you well" (He speaks so soft—there′s guile in that);
"Our quarrel′s over, peace proclaimed:
I bring the news; come down, embrace:
Do not delay: I shall be blamed
If soon not twenty stages from this place.
Now you and yours can take your ease:
Do what you please,
Without a fear;
We′re brothers now, you know, my dear.
Light up the bonfires everywhere:
Dismiss all care;
But let us first, to seal the bliss,
Have one fraternal, tender kiss."
"Friend," said the Cock, "upon my word,
More glorious news I never heard.
This peace.
May it increase;
It′s double joy to hear it, friend, from thee.
Ha! there I see
Two greyhounds—couriers, doubtless, as you are—
Coming fast down yonder scaur:
They′ll be here in a minute,
Ah! yes, there′s something in it—
I′ll come down quick:—we′d better kiss all round."
"Adieu," the Fox said; "Sir, my business presses;
We shall meet shortly, I′ll be bound:
Another time we can exult
Over this end of our distresses."
Then off the rascal ran to ground,
Full of chagrin and discontent.
The Cock laughed loud, to see his fear,
And clapped his wings, his wives to cheer.

It is a pleasure doubly sweet
To trick the scoundrel and the cheat.

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