Select fables of Esop & other fabulists
A contented Country-Mouse had once the honour to receive a visit from an old acquaintance belonging to the Court. The Country-Mouse, extremely glad to see her guest, very hospitably set before her the best cheese and bacon which her cottage afforded; and as to their beverage, it was the purest water from the spring. The repast was homely indeed, but the welcome hearty: they ate and chatted away the evening together very agreeably, and then retired in peace and quietness each to her little cell. The next morning, when the guest was to take her leave, she kindly pressed her country friend to accompany her; setting forth in very pompous terms the great elegance and plenty in which she lived at court. The Country-Mouse was easily prevailed upon, and they set out together. It was late in the evening when they arrived at the palace; however, in one of the rooms, they found the remains of a sumptuous entertainment. There were creams and jellies and sweetmeats and everything, in short, of the most delicate kind. The cheese was Parmesan and they whetted their whiskers in exquisite champaign. But before they had half finished their repast, they were alarmed with the barking and scratching of a lap-dog, then the mewing of a cat frightened them almost to death; by and by, a whole train of servants burst into the room, and everything was swept away in an instant. "Ah! My dear friend" said the Country Mouse, as soon as she had recovered courage enough to speak, "if your fine living is thus interrupted with fears and dangers, let me return to my plain food, and my peaceful cottage; for what is elegance without ease; or plenty with an aching heart."
both (33) and (40) borrow from this version