A New Translation of Æsop's Fables, Adorn'd with Cutts
A city mouse had a mind to walk out of town and divery her self abroad in the country for the air: a country mouse met with her, invites her home, prepares to entertain her in a plain manner, and to supper they go. The country mouse treats her in the best manner she could, that she might not show herself unworthy of the company and friendship of a mouse of so great quality. Yet the city mouse look'd disdainfully upon the country cates, condemn'd the mean provisions, and magnified the noble plenty and vast variety of city cheer. Upon her return hom, she invites the country mouse to go with her and see the mangificence and abundance of the city. They go together; and the city mouse brings her gues to a splendid and sumptuous entertainment filled with rich and delicate varieties. In the midst of their mirth and dainty cheer, the noise of a key turning in a lock frightens both of 'em; they tremble and run for it. The country mouse being quite a stranger to the place had much ado to get away. When the servant was gone, the city mouse returns again to the banquet, and calls her guest. The country mouse, scare rid of her fears, at last creeps out of her hole, asking the city mouse (who endeavour'd to ply her with wine and renew her jollity) whether those frights and dangers were seldom or frequent. The city mouse made answer that they were frequent and contemptible. If it be so, replied the country mouse, your danties are so overseasoned with danger that your sweets are embittered by it. Give me my homely fare with quiet and safety rather than this abundance with so much fear and hazard. Great wealth and sensual pleasures are frequently found to be only dainty baits to deadly mischief. A mean condition make large amends for what it wants...
John Jackson Gent
Carlson Fables Collection
Illustrated by Christopher Van Sycham.