Thursday, September 9, 2010

L'Estrange: A Snake and a File

There was a Snake got into a Smith’s Shop, and fell to licking of a File: she saw the File bloody, and still the bloodier it was, the more eagerly she lick’d it; upon a foolish Fancy, that it was the File that bled, and that she herself had the better on’t. In the Conclusion, when she could lick no longer, she fell to biting; but finding at last she could do no more good upon’t with her Teeth than her Tongue, she fairly left it.

‘Tis a Madness to stand biting and snapping at any Thing to no manner of Purpose, more than the gratifying of an impotent Rage, in the fancy of hurting another, when in Truth, we only wound our selves.

Source: L'Estrange 45. L'Estrange here has combined the story of the snake and the file with the story of the weasel (or cat) and the file, who licks until its tongue bleeds.

Serpens et Lima

Click here for a SLIDESHOW of all the Brescia images. I really like this evil-looking snake. There is also a similarly evil-looking snake in the Brescia illustration of the story of the farmer who warmed a snake.

M0762 Perry093

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