IN dire Contest the Rats and Weazles met


The Battle between the Rats and the Weazles.

Primary Text:

No MS; 1713 Misc, 283-4*.

Secondary Ed:

Rpt of 1713: 1903 Reynolds, 207.


La Fontaine, "Le Combat des Rats et des Belettes," IV, 6, 112-3.


Extremely good. Finch returns to closely paraphraing La Fontaine's free verse narratives while at the same time by changing the visibilia (now English and realistic/historical) she transforms his archetypal battle into a wry picture of the defeat of the vain cavaliers ("Among the Rats the Officers appear'd,/With lofty Plunage on their Foreheads ... Unthinking they ...") at the hands of the puritans. Both sides are animals, both cut down to size by fable metaphor.
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