Friday, November 26, 2010

L'Estrange: An Old Man and an Ass.

An Old Man and a Little Boy were driving an Ass before 'em to the next Market to Sell. Why have you no more Wit (says One to the Man upon the Way, than you and your Son to Trudge it afoot, and let the Ass go Light? So the Man set the Boy upon the Ass, and Footed it himself. Why, Sirray, says another after this, to the Boy, you lazy Rogue you, must you Ride, and let your Ancient Father go a Foot? The Man upon this, took down his Boy, and got up Himself. D'ye see (says a Third) how the Lazy Old Knave Rides Himself, and the poor Little Child has much ado to Creep after him! The Father, upon this, took up his Son behind him. The next they met, ask'd the Old Man whether his Ass were his Own or no? He said Yes. Troth there's little Sign on't, says t'other, by your Loading him thus. Well, says the Fellow to himself, What am I to do now? For I am laugh'd at, if either the Ass be empty, or if One of us Rides, or Both; and so in the Conclusion, he bound the Ass's Legs together with a Cord, and they try'd to Carry him to Market with a Pole upon their Shoulders betwixt them. This was Sport to every Body that saw it, insomuch that the Old Fellow in great Wrath threw down the Ass into a River, and so went his Way Home again. The Good Man, in fine, was willing to please Every Body, but had the ill Fortune to please No Body, and lost his Ass into the Bargain.

He that resolves not to go to Bed, 'till all the World is pleas'd, shall be troubled with the Head-Ach.

Source: L'Estrange 358.
Pater, Filius et Asinus

Click here for a SLIDESHOW of all the Brant images. All the versions are here: donkey unladen, father on donkey, son on donkey, both on donkey, and - finally - carrying the donkey!
M0935 Perry721

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