Fables of Æsop and Other Eminent Mythologists/Fable CXLIV
A Bat, Bramble and Cormorant.
A Bat, a Bramble, and a Cormorant Enter'd into Covenants with Articles, to joyn Stocks, and Trade in Partnership together. The Bat's Adventure was Ready Mony that he took up at Interest; The Bramble's, was in Cloaths; and the Cormorants, in Brass. They Put to Sea, and it so fell out, that Ship and Goods were Both Lost by Stress of Weather: But the Three Merchants by Providence got safe to Land. Since the Time of this Miscarriage, the Bat never Stirrs abroad till Night, for fear of his Creditors. The Bramble lays hold of All the Cloaths he can come at in hope to Light upon his Own again: And the Cormorant is still Sauntering by the Sea-side, to see if he can find any of his Brass cast up.
Things that a Man has once set his Heart upon, will hardly be ever got out of his Head, but Every Hint and Occasion will be putting him in mind of 'em again. Ill Habits are not Easyly Cur'd. 'Tis with allmost All People in cases of Fright or Distrastion of Mind, as it was with our Merchant Adventurers here. The Last Impression sticks Closest to us. There was a Miserable Wretch in Bedlam that had loft his Wits upon the Firing of a Ship at Sea, and His Head was still running upon Fire and Water insomuch that the very Sight of either of them would put him into an Outrageous Fury. Another that was Mad for Love, would be Beating his Brains perpetually upon Anagrams and Sonnets. Oliver's Enthusiastick Porter, was directly Bible-Mad, and up to the Ears sstill in the Dark Prophets, and the Revelation. In the Year 1688, When the Original Contracters were met in Councel abont Settling the Government, a very good Poor Woman carried her Little Trunks and Boxes to Weld-House for Protection, for fear of the Mobile. The House was Rifled, and her Trinkets went away with the Rest. Upon this Loss she fell Idle Headed; and to This very Day the stands like the Bramble in the Fable, neare the place still, (where the Innocent Creature Lives) Catching of People by the Coats, and Asking them about her Trunks and Boxes: Pray, says she, When shall I have my Things again? My Trunks are not come home yet, &c. The Doctrine upon the Whole is no more then This, That we are not to set our Hearts upon the Things of This World; for All Emotions of the Mind have somewhat in them of the Freake; and the only Way to be Happy and Quiet, is to make all Contingencies Indifferent to us.