Wednesday, October 27, 2010

L'Estrange: 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.

Source: L'Estrange 291.
Auceps et Alauda

Click here for a SLIDESHOW of all the Bewick images. Although this illustration was not intended to accompany this particular fable, I think it makes a good match!

M0846 (not in Perry)

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