The Cat said, ‘They have related that in one of the villages of Fárs there was a Farmer of the utmost experience and the most abundant good sense. He had often tasted the bitters and sweets from the cup of fortune, and had experienced many hardships and pleasures in the struggles of life.

A world-wide traveler, a man of sense,
Gifted with shrewdness, wit, and eloquence.

Now this farmer had a wife whose countenance was the taper of his bed­chamber, and whose sweet and ruby lips were as olives* to the drinkers of wine. She blended a hundred colors like the early spring, and, like fortune, indulged in a thousand coquettish artifices.

Some blessed spirit, it may be, her body did compose;
Such grace and beauty could not spring from water and the rose.

Notwithstanding all the skill that the old Farmer possessed, he passed his time in want and poverty, and sowed the seed of reliance on God in the field of ‘Consign the affair to the Almighty’; and, indeed, it is always the habit of perfidious fortune to exclude the deserving and meritorious from her favors, and to exalt to the summit of success and honor the worthless and undeserving.

The devious meet with ample measures,
Straight-goers get but blades of grass.
Flies feast on sweets and candied treasures,
And glorious Humás filthy bones amass.

Thus the old Farmer, though famous for his perfect skill in agriculture, not having the implements for following the business, passed his life in want of employment and penury. One day his Wife, from excessive distress, loosed the tongue of reproach, saying, ‘How long is this abiding in the corner of our hovel to continue, and how long is precious life to be wasted in want and scarcity of means. Surely from motion comes promotion;* and although, from the tribunal of bounty, they have written the free passport, ‘Sustenance is from God,’* yet the signature which they have impressed on the corner thereof is also ‘The industrious is the friend of God.’ Wherefore industry must be regarded as the means of support, but we must recognise the Lord God as the true provider.

’Tis true the cause whence comes thy food is industry, but yet
We must not Him, the Source of Food, Causer of Cause, forget.

It therefore appears to me advisable that thou shouldest step forward in the path of industry and acquire supplies by every means in thy power.’ The Farmer replied, ‘My dear life! what thou hast said approximates to the truth, nay, is beyond all manner of doubt or imputation of selfishness. But I have for a long time acted as master in this village, and most of the farmers of this place have been at some time my laborers. Now that my estate is ruined, and that I have parted with the implements of agriculture, there is no resource left me but to work as a common laborer, but I cannot bring myself* to endure the disgrace of working for those who were once my own laborers.

I cannot eat the crumbs of those who once upon my leavings fed,
Nor bear their burthens who for me once toiling gained their hireling bread.

But if I must needs make choice of some profession, it is best to pack up and depart from this place.

O’er us in foreign lands no foes exult.

Come! let us emigrate to some other place and there support ourselves as best we can.’ The Wife was driven to extremity by poverty and destitution, and consented to the hardships of exile. Joining, therefore, in the purpose of her spouse, they set their faces thence towards the neighborhood of Baghdád. One day, in the midst of their journey, tired and weary, they took refuge under the shade of a tree, and, to dispel their fatigue, conversed on a variety of subjects. The Farmer said, ‘Dear friend! we have chosen the pains of exile, and are proceeding towards a country where no one is acquainted with us, and where we are acquainted with no one. And it is possible that the men of that country may be oppressive, and tyrannical, treacherous and deceitful, and God Most Holy and Most High has adorned the tablet of thy incomparable beauty with the inscription, ‘In the most perfect symmetry.’ Heaven avert that by craft and subtlety, or by force and violence, they should assail thee; and thou, too, through the pride of youth and the hope of conquest, should incline to them and turn away from this poor old man, and consume my aged head in the flame of absence; and if, which God forbid! things should turn out in this manner, it would be no longer possible for me to survive.

I fear not death, but when I’m dead, I fear,
That thou shouldst be the life of others here.’

The Wife replied, ‘What words are these which pass thy lips? and what is this thought which has entered thy heart?

Long as I live I’ll be thy willing slave,
And prove thy handmaid e’en beyond the grave.

Had I entertained such thoughts as these I would not have undertaken the fatigues of the journey, nor would I have impressed on my suffering heart the brand of separation from my country. And my desire is to preserve [inviolate] till the day of resurrection, the vow of the first night when I placed my foot in the chamber of thy society.

Till the last day I will my troth fulfil,
Lest thou shouldst say I kept that promise ill.

And if thou wishest it I will pledge my faith anew, and promise that so long as the peacock of life adorns the garden of my body, the parrot of my tongue shall not sweeten its palate save with the sugar of gratitude to thee; and while the Humá of vitality continues to canopy my head with the shade of prosperity, I will never suffer the bird of my heart to be caught in the net of any one. Should I precede thee in traveling the last journey, I shall then have fulfilled my engagements, and if my fate should be to linger some days after thee, my promise is unaltered and my faith unchanged.

If fate a few days’ respite should allow,
Stedfast my word, unchanged will be my vow.’

The Farmer was tranquilized by these words, and his Wife having plighted her faith in the manner that has been related, confirmed her promise with oaths; and the old man laid his head contentedly on the knee of his beloved spouse, and fell asleep. Shortly after this, a cavalier arrived there, mounted on a horse of Arabian breed, and clad in princely apparel. The Farmer’s Wife looked up and beheld a youth, such that if the pupil of the eye had beheld his countenance in the darkest night, it would have supposed that the true morn had arisen from the curtain of the eastern horizon; and if the human sight had cast a glance, through the veil of darkness, on his beautiful cheek, it would have imagined that the world-illuminating sun had displayed itself glittering from behind the veil [of the clouds]. His cheeks were like the damask* rose, and his beard like the twisted hyacinth. One would say that the limner of divine wisdom had drawn, on the page of his cheek, a circle of liquid amber with the compasses of invention, or that through the culture of the husbandman of nature, a delightful verdure had grown up round the fountain of his life.

O’er the bright moon of thy visage thou hast drawn a club of musk,*
And in the hollow of the club hast caught that fair moon, like a ball.
Round the margin of thy spring of life grows up a herbage dusk,
That is the young down of thy cheek, which we may well, then, Khiẓr call.
With thy black ringlets thou hast made a canopy of loveliness,
And o’er thy face’s glittering sun hast drawn this ebon-colored dress.’

When the Farmer’s Wife beheld the perfect beauty of that cavalier, the sovereign of love occupied with his conquering forces the kingdom of her heart, and reason, which is the lord of the mansion of the body, packed up its goods to depart; and the tongue of her condition began to warble this couplet,

‘Thou hast a mounted hunter come, and of my soul and frame made prey,
The reins of patience thou hast snapped, and led the steeds of sense astray.’

On the other side the youth looked and beheld a beautiful woman, such that the tire-woman of the Divine skill had adorned her enchanting face with the cosmetic of grace, and the polisher of the decree of the Holy One had lent illumination to her cheeks through the light of beauty. Her countenance was such that the radiant sun was consumed* with envy at it, and so dark were her locks that the musk of Cathay was tortured with jealousy at them.

Silver her breast, fir-like her stature tall,
Her every limb seemed lovelier than the rest.
Both eyes with arrows pierced the hearts of all,
And sugar from her lips acquired new zest.
With extracts of the cane those lips were rife,
Say rather, sweetened from the spring of life.

The neck of his soul became instantly bound with the chain of love, and the foot of his heart entangled with the noose of desire.

When love led on its forces my heart life’s banner furled,
And patience, back retreating, took refuge in the world.

Now that youth was the son of the king of that country, who had come out with the intention of hunting, and had got to a distance from his retinue. When his eyes fell upon the two captivating gazelles* of that disturber of cities, a piercing shaft from the bow of her eyebrows reached the target of his breast. Thus, though himself pursuing the chase, he was caught in the snare of love. Hereupon he exclaimed, ‘O envy of fairies! and O point of adoration to the idols of ’Aẕur!* who art thou? and by what chance camest thou hither?

O thou fruit thus fairly ripened! from whose garden mayest thou be?
O thou verse* anew descended! on whom bestowest thou dignity?’

The Farmer’s Wife heaved a cold sigh from her afflicted heart, and said, ‘O wakeful Fortune! dost thou inquire after the state of one whose happiness slumbers, or dost thou ask the story of these sleepless eyes?

A secret, cureless grief have I,
A heart’s pang without remedy.

The partner of my fortunes is this infirm old man, and my distracted heart is linked with sorrow and melancholy. The origin of my distress* is this that thou beholdest, and the conclusion of my career must be such as thou seest. I pass my time in hardships, and have no enjoyment in life.’ The youth replied, ‘O desire of the hearts of the afflicted! and solace of the minds of distracted lovers!

Fie! that such hawk as thou should thus be caged.

Is it to be tolerated that thou with this enchanting countenance shouldst choose to be the companion of a used-up old dotard; and possessed as thou art of such a stock of loveliness and beauty, shouldst pass thy time in poverty and want? Come with me! that I may seat thee on the throne of honor, and make thee the queen of this country, and set up the banner of thy glory and greatness throughout the confines of this realm.

To days gone by, now bid adieu!
Fortune and life begin anew.
Enter the door of bliss with me,
Fate smiles: let us, too, mirthful be.
Be gay! my life, my soul, is thine,
Fill thou the cup, I’ll drink the wine.’

As soon as the Farmer’s Wife heard the happy tidings of union with her lover, she forgot the promise she had that moment made; and shattered the cup of compact with the stone of inconstancy and untruthfulness. When the youth saw that she was inclined to him, he said, ‘Life of the world! look on this opportunity as a blessing, and rise and come to me, that I may mount thee [on my steed]; and before the farmer awakes we shall have traversed a considerable distance.’ The Farmer’s Wife lifted her husband’s head from her knee, and rested it on the ground; and, mounting nimbly behind the youth, clasped the girdle of his affection with the hand of reliance. At this moment, the Farmer awoke, and beheld the youth mounted and standing there, and his wife clasping with the hand of union the waist of his desire. A sigh issued from his breast, and he said,

‘My love has torn her heart away, the heart that to her friend was given:
The ties, the ties of former days are all, alas! asunder riven.

Prithee, faithless one! what plot is this that thou hast devised, and what stratagem is this that thou hast ungratefully concocted?’ His Wife answered, ‘Cease thy persuasions and waste not thy breath in trying to lure me from my purpose. For to expect fidelity from the fair, is like attempting to unite the star Canopus with the Pleiades; and to look for constancy from those who make a practice of dealing cruelly, is like planting a rose-bush in the fire of a lime-kiln. But, perhaps, thou hast never heard what they have said,

‘Learn constancy,’ I cried, ‘from lovers.’ ‘Nay!’
Said she, ‘’tis not the moon-faced fair one’s way.’

The old man rejoined, ‘Thou hast stepped beyond the limits of right dealing, and hast opened the door of cruelty with the key of injurious conduct. Fear lest thou shouldest be overtaken with the retribution of thy broken vows, and the disastrous consequences of thy breach of promise should descend upon thee.

Forbear! lest thou repent at last, when penitence is vain.’

His wife, paying no attention to his words, said to the youth, ‘Make haste! that having escaped from the tortures of the desert of separation, we may convey ourselves to the halting-place of union.’ The prince then began to gallop through the waste his fleet, desert-crossing, river-passing steed, which was such, that the fierce northern blast was unable to keep up with it, nor could swift-winged fancy arrive at its traces.

Rose-hued* like lovers’ tears, it, swift of pace,
More fleet than Khusrau’s Shabdíz,* sped along.
Like lightning-flash, its one bound could efface
The limits that to east and west belong.

In the twinkling of an eye they were lost to the Farmer’s sight, yet the hapless old man, in spite of the anguish of exile and the pangs of separation, set off after them.

The afflicted ask the road, and follow on.

And he thought to himself, ‘The promises of women are devoid of faith, and their faith of continuance.

Forget their memory, for they faithless are.

And I, relying on her words, have abandoned my well-known country and my familiar fatherland, and now I have not the face to return, nor the power to pursue them. What, then, is to be the conclusion of my career, and what the end of my unhappy state?

Without or head or foot I seek my heart the wide world round,*
What shall I do? for my affairs nor head nor foot is found.’

However, after the lovers had gone to the distance of three farsakhs,* they came to a fountain and a shady tree. The lady was tired, and the youth, too, felt fatigued. They said, ‘Let us rest here a moment, and, after we are refreshed, let us begin our journey again.’ They then dismounted from the horse, and took refuge under the shade of the tree, and sate some time at the brink of the water, and talked of various matters. The youth gazed with expanding eyes on the lovely countenance and musky ringlets of that enchanting fair one, and beholding the curls of perfumed hair falling on the roseate cheeks of his mistress, like the braid of the hyacinth on the leaf of the jasmine, he exclaimed,

‘Those musky tresses on thy cheek, a resting-place of roses find,
I know not how thus wondrously they night with day have thus combined.’

On the other hand, that enchanting beauty, casting her eyes on the fascinating stature of that stripling—who was a plant in the garden of loveliness, more luxuriant than the branch of the Ṭúba-tree, and surveying the loftiness of that graceful cypress and the attractions of that branch of joy, uttered this verse,

‘How have they thus symmetrical the date-tree of thy stature made!
How to one spot thus dextrously a hundred thousand charms conveyed!

In the midst of these speeches the importunities of nature seizing the collar of the Farmer’s Wife—she wished to renew her ablutions, and, through delicacy, she went some distance from under the tree, and proceeded to the side of a jungle which was near the fountain; but before she could get there, a ferocious lion—from dread of which the celestial lion dared not to move a step in the heavenly mead, and Taurus in the pasture-ground of the sky, was afraid to breathe, through terror of his claws,

Onward advanced with savage roar and rush.
Through fear of him the heavenly lion fled.
Beneath his talons poisoned torrents gush;
His sword-like teeth a gory deluge shed.

No sooner did the lion get sight of her, than he carried her off and bore her into the jungle. When the youth heard the terrible roaring of the lion, and beheld his mistress carried off into the jungle, he threw himself, with all haste, upon his swift steed, and galloped into the desert,

He saw the danger, and forsook his love.

In terror of his life, the prince sped on, nor looked behind him; and the fair one, a prisoner in the claws of the lion, reaped the seed which she had sown in the field of infidelity.

All reap at last the actions they have sown.

Meanwhile, the old Farmer, who was following them, came up limping and halting; and having reached the edge of the fountain, and finding no trace of them, uttered a cry of distress and said,

‘Alas! my love has gone away, nor calmed my bosom’s storm,
A hundred promises she gave, nor yet did one perform.’

He then bethought himself of the time when they were united, and called to mind the feelings of their early wedded life; and, weeping bitterly, steeped his cheeks in the tears of regret.

How fair the day when first we met in union’s flowery ground;
And Rose and Bulbul-like the power of laughing converse found.

Alas! that the rays of the brightness of union have been exchanged for the gloomy impressions of separation; and that the spring of mirth and happiness has faded under the scorching blast of the autumn of inconstancy and affliction.

But yesterday a union with such blissful transports rife,
A parting that the world consumes to-day.
Alas! that fate did enter in the volume of my life,
These joys one day should bloom, the next, decay.

After much weeping and infinite lamentation, he observed the footsteps of his beloved leading towards the desert. Instantly he fearlessly followed the track, and arrived at the moment* when, the lion having torn open her belly and devoured part of her entrails, had departed. The old man at this sight was distracted with grief, and perceived that the disastrous results of her infidelity had reached her and that she had been overtaken with retribution for her perfidy and with punishment for her breach of faith. For a while he looked at her and wept over their attachment and his own forlorn state.

From his lips his sighs arose to the starry Pleiades,
From the lashes of his eyes tears flowed streaming to the seas.

And the moral of this story is, that whoever lets slip from his hand the thread of good faith, places on his own feet the fetters of punishment, and puts the chain of calamity round his neck.

When to a spot ingratitude has passed,
It makes a dreary desert there at last!’

The Rat said, ‘I am aware that hypocrisy and deceit are altogether at variance with the sincere disposition of the benevolent and the practice of the good. Moreover, the advantages of thy friendship and the benefits of thy amity, have this very moment accrued to me, and the desires of my enemies, by the salutary influence of thy friendship, have just now been averted from me. Therefore it is most in accordance with honorable feeling, that I should look upon it as a duty, to requite this and loose thy bonds. But a difficulty has occurred to me and a doubt has risen up before me; and, until the dust of this anxiety is removed from the eye of my deliberation, it is impossible for me to loose all thy bonds.’ The Cat rejoined, ‘It appears, then, that thou hast still some apprehension of me; and yet the fact is, that I have pledged myself to good fellowship with thee, and have recited to thee a volume of reproaches against breach of faith; be assured, then, that it is impossible for me to act contrary to my promises and engagements. And relinquish the distrust that formerly existed between us; for the obligation of this new alliance has removed the principle of our former enmity, and my expectation of thy sincerity and anticipations of thy gratitude, are confirmed. Do not approach, therefore, to the ruinous practice of deceit and fraud, nor impair and deform the beauty of thy virtues and the mirror of thy good qualities with the rust of fraud and perfidy.

Keep pure the mirror of thy heart, for nought can rival purity,
Break not thy plighted word, for nought with truthful principles can vie.

A man of upright nature and good disposition, on receiving so much as a single gracious look from any one, steps forward in the plain of sincere attachment, and raises the foundation of friendship and special regard to the pinnacle of the sky, and moistens and refreshes the plant of courtesy with the drops of sincere kindness. If by chance any suspicion or alarm should spring up in his mind, and the rankling of doubt develope itself in his heart, he immediately effaces it and does not suffer the thought of it again to approach the area of his imagination. Especially, too, when a compact has been ratified between him and his friend, and confirmed by solemn oaths. And it should be understood that the end of the faithless is infamous, and punishment soon descends on the perfidious; and a false oath lays waste the foundation of life, and to act contrary to promises speedily overthrows the sub-structure of existence.

Man’s promise is the root, himself the tree,
The root with carefulness must cherished be.
A broken promise is a rotten root,
Struck from the list of gracious trees its shoot.*
Unfaithful dealing is an idiot’s act,
The pious keep their oaths* and guard their pact.

And I am in hopes that thou, with a right feeling of gratitude, wilt forget former injuries, and wilt not exert thyself to break the promise which thou hast made.’ The Rat replied,

‘Whoever breaks his oath of faith to thee,
His heart and soul by mishaps wounded be!

But the mental scruples, which I have before mentioned to thee, cause me to ponder and hesitate; otherwise, God forbid! that I should not fulfil my promise, or fail to release thee from these bonds.’ The Cat rejoined, ‘Explain to me the purport of thy thoughts, that I, too, may look into the matter with the eye of deliberation, and be able to judge of the solidity of thy reasoning, and the extent of thy wisdom.’ The Rat answered, ‘My doubts arise from this, that friends are of two kinds. First, there are those who contract friendship with perfect sincerity, and the utmost ardor and eager­ness, without any admixture of self-interest or cupidity, or the debasement of hypocritical or feigned intentions. Secondly, there are those who make advances in some emergency with a view to some object they covet or are interested in. Now, the first class, who with pure faith and sincere intentions open the doors of friendly intercourse, are in every respect worthy of confidence, and at all times one may feel secure of them, and to whatever gratification they may point, there will be no swerving from the path of wisdom.

Like soothing, grateful ointment, is a friend;
But to the worthless no attention lend,
A friend thy venom will as sugar prize,
And in thy failings merit recognize.

But as for those who in some exigency make friendship a shield to repel injury, or the means of attracting and drawing to themselves advantage, their feelings will not preserve an even tenor. At one time in the season of enjoyment they will spread the carpet of pleasure, and anon at a critical moment, when their wishes are thwarted, they will look askance at their friend.

Like milk and sugar now they friendship shew,
Anon more cruel than the axe or bow.

A sagacious man, therefore, should delay the accomplishment of some of the wishes of such persons, and not all at once surrender to the grasp of their power the reins of his own option. But in the execution of their affairs he ought to hang back under some plausible pretexts, and bring them to a close by slow degrees. He is bound also to look to his own safety, for self-preservation is a duty. And provided he acts in this manner, he will both be celebrated for the lustre of his kind deeds, and will also be conspicuous for the excellence of his judgment and prudence. Now, I shall act towards thee in the manner that has been pointed out. I will in no wise hold back from releasing thee, to which I have pledged myself; but I shall employ the utmost caution in taking care of my own person, and in guarding myself; for the enmity between me and thee exceeds even that of the parties from whose assaults I have been preserved by thy favor. My object in making peace with thee was to get rid of them, and I regarded it as a duty; and the gentleness which thou, too, didst display, arose from the exigency of the moment, and to avert evil. It is now, therefore, indispensable for me to look to the issue of the matter, and not all at once to neglect caution and foresight: for they have said,

‘Be careful, aye, to make thyself secure,
And ne’er aside the rules of prudence fling.
Who rears his actions on a basis sure,
Will reason’s structure to perfection bring.’

The Cat said, ‘O Rat! thou art* exceedingly sagacious and wise, and up to this time I was ignorant of the extent of thy intelligence, nor did I know that the amount of thy knowledge and skill was of such a degree. I have derived advantage from these words of thine, and thou hast given into my hand the keys of the doors of experience and wisdom. I wish, now, that thou wouldest disclose to me in what manner both my bonds may be loosed and thou, too, mayest remain safe. Tell me how it is possible that this can be effected?’ The Rat laughed and said,

‘For every pain they have a cure too fixed.

My idea is to sever thy bonds, but to retain as a security for my own life the principal knot, and to look out for an opportunity when thou hast something in hand of more importance than an attack upon me, and when thou art not able to attend to me, and hast no leisure to do me an injury. I will then sever that knot also, in order that thou mayest be delivered from confinement, and I may escape from harm.’ The Cat perceived that the Rat was perfect master of his own affairs, and would not be moved from his course by flattery or deceit. He therefore unwillingly consented to that arrangement. So the Rat severed the knots, but one that was the principal one he left as it was. Thus they brought that night to an end with conversation. As soon as the ’anḳá of the morning came flying forth in the eastern horizon,* and spread its light-bestowing pinions over the regions of the world,

The sky its sword, the sun, from scabbard drew,
Night gathered in her skirt of sable hue,

and the hunter appeared in the distance. Then the Rat said, ‘The time is come to release myself from my promise, and to fulfil completely what I had engaged to do.’ The Cat, too, when his eyes lighted on the hunter, made sure of his own destruction, and expected to be put to death, when at that moment the Rat divided the remaining knot. The Cat, in terror for his life, forgot the Rat; and running off,* mounted to the top of a tree; and the Rat, having escaped from such a danger, crept into a hole. The hunter beheld the meshes of the net broken and the knots severed, and was overpowered with astonishment. He took up the remains, and went away disappointed. After some time had passed the Rat put his head out of the hole, and seeing the Cat at a distance, was afraid to go near him. The Cat called out to him,

‘Since thou hast seen me, feign not the reverse.*

Wherefore dost thou fly me? and why dost thou think fit to shun me? Art thou not sensible that thou hast acquired a dear friend, and hast gained a valuable store for thy children and descendants, and companions and friends? Come forward, that I may requite thy goodness by my kind behaviour, and that thou mayest experience in the most approved fashion the recompense of thy courage and humanity. For my part, I know not with what tongue to express my acknowledgments of thy favors, or in what words to discharge my thanks for thy compassionate kindness.

I smile, anon I blush; am glad, yet in a pensive mood;
For for thy gifts I cannot pay my debt of gratitude.’

The Rat, however, just as before, kept to the border of the carpet of separation, and, avoiding the court of companionship, turned his countenance towards solitude and timidity, and inscribed the legend of this proverb on the register of his mind, ‘This is an age of refractoriness, not a season of gratitude;’ and repeated in a mournful voice, ‘How beautifully have they said,

‘Such is the age, that from excess of wrong,
The life or goods of none secure can be.
To whom can we attribute kindness mid a throng
Who think they do a favor not to injure thee?’

It appears to me that this is a season for retirement and a time for divesting oneself of business, and after this I will have no intercourse with any one, but relinquish all converse with my contemporaries.

Would my friend me as comrade have?
No! let him be his own.’

The Cat replied, ‘Act not so, nor withhold from me thy presence. Neither destroy the claims of friendship and the respect of old acquaintance. For whoever, by much exertion, has acquired a friend, and, without cause, supinely permits him to pass beyond the circle of friendship, will remain excluded from the happy results of companionship, and his other friends, having lost all hope in him, will abandon his alliance.

Think poorly of the man who friends has none,
But worse of him who loses those he won.

Now thou hast conferred on me a vital obligation, and I owe to thy kindness the blessing of life. The vow, therefore, of friendship which I have pledged to thee is safe from the incidents of change, and the amicable compact which I have formed is secure from the damage of being broken.

Thou mayst scent the gale of faithfulness and of truth without decay
Till the final judgment, from each flower that blossoms from my clay.

And as long as my life lasts I shall not forget thy claims, and I will use all possible efforts to shew thee kindness and honor in requital of what thou hast done for me.

Thanks for thy favors, clust’ring roselike, which upon thee rest so well:
And am I not a lily, too, them with a hundred tongues to tell?’

Although the Cat made use of speeches of this description, and confirmed what he said by the most solemn oaths, wishing to raise the curtain of separation from between them, and to open the path of intercourse, it was all, in fact, of no avail, and the Rat replied, ‘Whenever enmity arises from accident, it may be removed simply by intercourse and urbanity manifested by both parties. In such cases there is no fault to find with persons mixing cheerfully together. But when there is an inherent hostility, though they may, to outward appearance, lay the foundation of friendship, there is no reliance to be placed thereon, and caution and circumspection must not be a jot abated, for the harm thereof is great and the result disastrous. Where­fore it is best that as the connection of homogeneousness does not exist between us, thou shouldest wean thy heart from my society, for I naturally flee from thy society with all my soul. And whoever associates with those of a different species will meet with what befell the Frog.’ The Cat asked, ‘How was that?’