Le Pot de Terre et le Pot de Fer / The Earthen Pot and the Iron Pot

oil on canvas
90 x 75 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 Pot de Terre et le Pot de Fer

Le Pot de fer proposa
Au Pot de terre un voyage.
Celui-ci s'en excusa,
Disant qu'il ferait que sage
De garder le coin du feu ;
Car il lui fallait si peu,
Si peu, que la moindre chose
De son débris serait cause.
Il n'en reviendrait morceau.
Pour vous, dit-il, dont la peau
Est plus dure que la mienne,
Je ne vois rien qui vous tienne.
Nous vous mettrons à couvert,
Repartit le Pot de fer.
Si quelque matière dure
Vous menace d'aventure,
Entre deux je passerai,
Et du coup vous sauverai.
Cette offre le persuade.
Pot de fer son camarade
Se met droit à ses côtés.
Mes gens s'en vont à trois pieds,
Clopin-clopant comme ils peuvent,
L'un contre l'autre jetés,
Au moindre hoquet qu'ils treuvent.
Le pot de terre en souffre ; il n'eut pas fait cent pas
Que par son Compagnon il fut mis en éclats,
Sans qu'il eût lieu de se plaindre .

Ne nous associons qu'avecque nos égaux ;
Ou bien il nous faudra craindre
Le destin d'un de ces Pots .

The Earthen Pot and the Iron Pot

"Neighbour," said the Iron Pot,
"Let us go abroad a little."
"Thank you, I would rather not,"
Was the answer that he got.
Earthenware, you know, is brittle;
And the weaker Pot was wiser
Than to trust his bad adviser.
"Mighty well for you" said he;
"Skin like yours can hardly suffer
Very much by land or sea,
That is clear; but, as for me,
Stop till I′m a little tougher.
You may roam the wide world over;
I shall stay at home in clover."
"Friend!" the Iron Pot replied,
"Don′t let such a fear affect you;
I shall travel at your side:
So, whatever may betide,
Cling to me, and I′ll protect you."
Having won his friend′s compliance,
Off they started in alliance.
Jigging, jogging, on they went,
Knocking one against the other;
Till the Earthen Pot was sent
(Past the powers of cement)
Into atoms by his brother.
′Twas his own imprudence, clearly,
That was paid for very dearly.

With our equals let us mate,
Or dread the weaker vessel′s fate.

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