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A company of People that were walking upon the Shore, saw somewhat come Hulling toward them a great way off at Sea. They took it at first for a Ship, and as it came nearer, for a boat only; but it prov’d at last to be no more than a Float of Weeds and Rushes: Whereupon they made this Reflection within themselves, We have been waiting here for a mighty Bus’ness, that comes at last to be just Nothing.

THE MORAL. We Fancy Things to be Greater or Less at a Distance, according to Our Interest or Inclination to have them either the One or the Other.


191. ASSES TO JUPITER (Perry 185)

The Asses found themselves once so Intolerably Oppressed with cruel Masters and heavy Burdens, that they sent their Ambassadors to Jupiter, with a Petition for Redress. Jupiter found the Request Unreasonable, and so gave them this Answer, That Humane Society could not be preserv'd without carrying Burdens some way or other: So that if they would but join, and Piss up a River, that the Burdens which they now carried by Land might be carried by Water, they should be Eas'd of that Grievance. This set them all a Pissing immediately, and the Humour is kept up to this very Day, that whenever One Ass Pisses, the rest Piss for Company.

THE MORAL. 'Tis the uttermost degree of Madness and Folly, to Appeal from Providenceand Nature.


192. AN ASS AND THE FROGS. (Perry 189)

An Ass sunk down into a Bog among a Shoal of Frogs, and there he lay, sighing and groaning, as if his Heart would break: Hark ye Friend (says one of the Frogs to him) if you make such a Bus'ness of a Quagmire, when you are but just fall'n into't, what would you do I woner if you had been here as long as we have been?

The Moral. Custom makes Things familiar and easy to us; but every thing is best yet in its own Element. 


193. A LYON, ASS, AND FOX (Perry 191)

As an Ass and a Fox were together upon the Ramble, a Lyon meets him by the Way. The Fox’s Heart went Pit-a-Pat; but however, to make the Best of a bad Game, he sets a good Face on’t, and up he sets a good Face on’t, and up he goes to the Lyon; Sir, says he, I am come to offer your Majesty a piece of Service, and I’ll cast my self upon your Honour for my own Security. If you have a Mind to my companion the Ass here, ‘tis but a Word speaking, and you shall have him Immediately. Let it be done then, says the Lyon. So the Fox Trepann’d the Ass into the Toyl, and the Lyon, when he found he had him sure, began with the Fox himself, and after that, for his Second course, made up his Meal with the Other.

THE MORAL. We love the Treason, but we hate the Traytor.


194. A GALL'D ASS AND RAVEN (Perry 190)

As an Ass with a gall'd Back was Feeding in a meadow, a Raven Pitch'd upon him, and there Sate, Jobbing of the Sore. The Ass fell a Frisking and Braying upon't; which set a Groom, that saw it at a Distance, a Laughing at it. Well! (says a Wolf that was passing by) to see the Injustice of the World now! A poor Wolf in that Raven's Place, would have been Persecuted, and Hunted to Death presently; and 'tis made only a Laughing Matter, for a Raven to do the same Thing that would have Cost a Wolf his Life.

THE MORAL. One Man may better Steal a Horse, than Another Look over the Hedge.


195. A HEN AND A SWALLOW (Perry 192)

There was a foolish Hen that sat Brooding upon a Nest of Snake’s Eggs. A Swallow that observ’d it, went and told her the Danger on’t, Little do you think, says she, what you at this Instant are a doing, and that you are now Hatching your own Destruction; for this good Office will be your Ruin.

THE MORAL. ‘Tis the hard fortune of many a good Natur’d Man to breed up a Bird to Pick out his own Eyes, in despite of all Cautions to the contrary.


196. A PIGEON AND A CROW (Perry 202)

A Pigeon that was brought up in a Dove-House, was Bragging to a Crow how Fruitful she was. Never Value your self, says the Crow, upon that Vanity; for the more Children the more Sorrow.

THE MORAL. Many Children are a Great Blessing; but a Few Good Ones are a Greater; All Hazards consider’d.


197. A PIGEON AND A PICTURE (Perry 201)

A Pigeon saw the Picture of a Glass with Water in’t, and taking it to be Water indeed, flew rashly and eagerly up to’t for a Soup to quench her Thirst. She broke her Feathers against the Frame of the Picture, and falling to the Ground upon’t, was taken up by the By-Standers.

THE MORAL. Rash Men do many Things in Haste that they Repent of at Leisure.



A Woman that had Two Daughters, Bury'd one of them, and Mourners were provided to Attend the Funeral. The Surviving Daughter wonder'd to see Strangers so much concern'd at the Loss of her Sister, and her Nearest Relations so little. Pray Mother, says she, what's the Reason of this? Oh, says the Mother, We that are a-Kin to her, are never the Better for Crying, but the Strangers have Money for't.

THE MORAL. Mourners are as mercenary as Common Prostitutes; They are at his Service, that bids Most for them. 



In Old time, when Sheep fed like Hogs upon Acorns, a Shepherd drove his Flock into a little Oak-Wood, spread his Coat under a Tree, and up he went to shake ‘em down some Mast. The Sheep were so Keen upon the Acorns, that they Gobbled up now and then a Piece of the Coat along with ‘em. When the Shepherd took Notice of it, What a Company of ungrateful Wretches are you, says he, that Cloath all other People that have no Relation to you, and yet strip your Master, that gives ye both Food and Protection?

THE MORAL. The Belly has no Ears; and a Ravenous Appetite Guttles up whatever is before it, without any regard to Things or Persons.


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