Wednesday, October 20, 2010

L'Estrange: A Fox and a Hedge-Hog.

Aesop brought the Samians to their Wits again out of a most desperate Sedition with this Fable. A Fox, upon the crossing of a River, was forc'd away by the Current into an Eddy, and there he lay with whole Swarms of Flies sucking and galling of him. There was a Water-Hedge-Hog (we must imagine) at hand, that in pure Pity offer'd to beat away the Flies from him. No, no, says the Fox, pray let 'em alone, for the Flies that are upon me now are e'en bursting-full already, and can do me little more hurt than they have done: But when these are gone once, there will be a Company you shall see of starv'd hungry Wretches to take their Places, that will not leave so much as one Drop of Blood in the whole Body of me.

Tiberius Caesar made a very Pertinent Application of this Fancy to a Cafe of his own. The Question was, Whether or no he should cashier some of his corrupt Governors of Provinces, for oppressing the People? He gave the World to understand his Mind by this Fable.

There was a Man lay miserably wounded upon the High-way, and Swarms of Flies upon him, sucking his Sores. A Traveller that was passing by, pity'd his Condition, and offer'd him his Service, in pure Charity to drive them away. No, no says t'other, pray let them alone; for when these are gone I shall have worse in their Places. This will be the Case of my Subjects if I change their Governors.

Source: L'Estrange 254.
Vulpes et Herinaceus

Click here for a SLIDESHOW of all the Grandville images. I like the way Grandville shows the hungry new flies ready and waiting.

M0180 Perry427

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