Tuesday, November 23, 2010

L'Estrange: A Spider and the Gout.

A Spider that had been at Work a Spinning, went Abroad once for a little Country Air to Refresh her self; and fell into Company with hte gout, that (by the way) had much ado to keep Pace with her. When they came at Night to take up their Lodging, very inquisitive they were into the Character and Condition of their Host: But the Spider without any more Ceremony, went into the House of a Rich Burgher, and fell presently to her Net-work of Drawing Cobwebs up and down from one side of the Room to the other; but there were so many Brooms, and Devillish House-wenches still at hand, that whatever she set up this Moment, was swept away the next: So that this miserable Insect was the only Creature within those Walls that felt either Want or Trouble. But the Gout all this while, was fain to Kennel in the very Rendezvous of common Beggars, where she was as uneasie, as hard Lodging, Course Bread, and Puddle-Water could make her. After a tedious and restless Night on't, they met again next Morning by Sun-Rise, and gave one another the History of their Adventure. The Spider tells first how Barbarously she had been us'd; how cursedly Nice and Cleanly the Master of the House was; how impertinently Diligent his Servants were, etc. And then the Gout Requited the Spider with the Story of her Mortifications too. They were in short, so unsatisfied with their Treatment, that they resolved to take quite contrary Measures the next Night. The Spider to get into a Cottage, and the Gout to look out for a Palace. They did what they Propos'd, and never were Creatures better pleas'd with their Entertainment. The Gout had her Rich Furniture, Down-Beds, Beccafica's, Pheasants, Partridges, Generous Wines; the best in fine, of every thing that was to be had for Mony, and all with Pure Heart, and Good will as we say. The Spider was as much at Ease on the other hand; for she was got into a House where she might draw her Lines, Work, Spin, Mend what was Amiss, Perfecdt what she had Begun, and no Brooms, Snares or Plots to Interrupt or disturb her. The Two Travellers after this met once again, and upon conferring Notes, they were both so well satisfied, that the Gout took up a Resolution for ever after to keep Company with the Rich, the Noble, and the Voluptuous; and the Spider with the Poor and Needy. What Wise Man I say, upon these Terms; would not rather take up his Lodging with the Spider in the Fable here, then with the Gout?

An Industrious Poverty in a Cell, with Quiet Thoughts, and Sound Sleeps, is infinitely to be Prefer'd before a Lazy Life of Pomp and Pleasure: For Courts are but Nurseries of Diseases and Cares.

Source: L'Estrange 383.
Podagra et Aranea

Click here for a SLIDESHOW of all the Grandville images.
M0663 (not in Perry)

No comments:

Post a Comment