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290. (Abstemius 38) A Bear and Bees.

A Bear was so enrag'd once at the Stinging of a Bee, that he ran like mad into the Bee-Garden, and over-turn'd all the Hives in revenge. This Outrage brought them out in whole Troops upon him; and he came afterwards to bethink himself, how much more advisable it had been to pass over one Injury, than by an unprofitable Passion to provoke a Thousand.

Better pass over an Affront from one Scoundrel, than draw the whole Herd of the Mobile about a Man's Ears.


291. (Abstemius 39) A Fowler and a Chaffinch.

A Fowler that had bent his Net, and laid his Bait, planted himself in the Bird-Catcher's Place, to watch for a Draught. There came a great many Birds one after another, that lighted, and peck'd a while, and so away again. At this rate they kept coming and going all the Day long; but so few at a time, that the Man did not think them worth a Pluck. At last, when he had slipt all his Opportunities in hope a better Hit, the Evening came on, and the Birds were gone to Bed, so that he must either Draw then or not at all; and in the conclusion, he was e'en fain to content himself with the one single Chaffinch, that had the Misfortune to be later abroad than her Fellows.

Men are so greedy after what's to come, which is uncertain, that the slip present Opportunities, which are never to be recover'd.


292. (Abstemius 40) A Soldier and two Horses.

A Soldier that had One Excellent Horse already, bought Another that was not half so good, and yet he took more care of That, than of the Former. Every body wonder'd at the Humour of it, considering that for Beauty, or Service, the Latter was not comparable to the Other. Ay, but says One, 'tis natural to be Kind to the Last Comer.

Our Likings or Dislikes are founded rather upon Humour and Fancy, than upon Reason, Every thing pleases at first; and Nothing pleases long; and we shift only to try if we can men ourselves in the next Choice.


293. (Abstemius 41) A Spaniel and a Sow.

I wonder (says a Sow to a Spaniel) how you can Fawn thus upon a Master that gives you so many Blows, and Twinges by the Ears. Well (says the Dog), but then set the good Bits, and the good Words he gives me, against those Blows and Twinges, and I'm the Gainer by the Bargain.

He that will live Happily in This World, must resolve to take the Good and the Bad thankfully and contentedly one with an other.


294. (Abstemius 42) Oxen and Timber.

Why don't you run and make haste? cry'd the Timber in the Cart, to the Oxen that drew it: The Burthen is not so heavy, sure. Well! (said the Oxen) if you did but know your own Fortune, you'd never be so merry at ours. We shall be discharged of our Load so soon as we come to our Journey's End, but you that are design'd for Beams and Supporters, shall be made to bear till your Hearts break. This Hint brought the Timber to a better understanding of the Case.

'Tis matter of Humanity, Honour, Prudence, and Piety, to be tender of one another: for no Man living knows his End, and 'tis the Evening that crowns the Day.


295. (Abstemius 43) A Goldfinch and a Boy.

A Goldfinch gave his Master the slip out of the Cage, and he did what he could to get him back again, but he would not come. Well! says the Boy, you'll have to repent it: for you'll never be so well look'd to in any other Place. That may very well be, says the Bird; but however, I had rather be at my Own Keeping than at Yours.

Never well, Full nor Fasting.


296. (Abstemius 44) A Droll and a Bishop.

There was a Roguy Wag of a Droll that had a Mind once to put a Trick upon a Hard, Close-fisted Bishop: so he went to him upon the First of January to Wish him a Merry New Year on't, and begg'd a Five-Guinea Piece of him for a New-Years-Gift. Why, the Man's Mad (says the Prelate) and I believe he takes me to be so too. Dost think I have so little Wit, as to part with such a God of Money for a God-a-Mercy? Nay, my Lord (says the Fellow) if That be too much, let it be but a Single George, and I'll be Thankful for't; But That would not do Neither. He fell next Bout to a Copper Farthing, and was Deny'd That too. When the Fellow saw that there was no Money to be got, Pray (my Lord, says he) let me beg your Blessing then. With all my Heart (says the Bishop) Down on your Knees, and You shall have it: No, My Lord (says T'other) 'tis My Turn now to Deny; for if You Your self had thought that Blessing worth a Copper Farthing, you'd never have Parted with it.

No Penny, no Pater Noster, does not hold in All Cases, for the Penny and the Pater Noster do not go always together.


297. (Abstemius 45) A Lapwing Preferr'd.

Upon a General Invitation to the Eagle's Wedding, there were several Birds of Quality among the Rest, that took it in Heavy Dudgeon to see a Lapwing Plac'd at the Upper End of the Table. 'Tis true, they cry'd, he has a kind of a Coxcomb upon the Crown of him, and a Few Tawdry Feathers; but Alas, he never Eat a Good Meals Meat in his Life, till he came to This Preferment.

'Tis a Scandal to a Government, and there goes Envy along with it, where Honours are Conferr'd upon Men for Address, Beauty, and External Advantages, rather then for their Good Qualities and Virtues.


298. (Abstemius 46) A Priest and Pears.

A Jolly Gutling Priest, that was invited to a Wedding-Dinner, stumbled upon a parcel of Pears by the way. That Man was sharp enough to set to have made a Breakfast of them; but so was taken up with the thought of the Wedding-Chear, that he only piss'd upon the Pears in contempt, and so went his Way. He was to cross a River, it seems; but finding the Waters so high, that there was no passing, he was e'ev glad to trudge back again as wise as he came, and to make a Meal upon those very Pears that he had Piss'd upon and despis'd.

Hunger's the Best Sauce.


299. (Abstemius 48) A Horse and a Hog.

A Hog took notice of a Horse in the height of his Courage, that was just advancing to charge an Enemy. Why, what a Fool art thou, says the Hog to him, to make such haste to be destroy'd? That Consideration, says the Horse, may do well enough in the Mouth of a wicked Creature, that's only Fatted up to be kill'd by a Knife; but whenever I'm taken off, I'll leave the Memory of a good Name behind me.

'Tis the Cause makes the Martyr.


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