The Charcoal-Burner and the Fuller

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L'Estrange's translation (1692)[edit]


A Fuller had a very kind Invitation from a Collier to come and live in the House with him. He gave him a thousand Thanks for his Civility; but told him that it would not stand with his Conveneince; for (says he) as fast as I make any Thing clean, you’ll be smutting it again.

THE MORAL OF THE TWO FABLES ABOVE. ‘Tis a necessary Rule in Alliances, Matches, Societies, Fraternities, Friendships, Partnerships, Commerce, and all manner of civil dealings and Contracts, to have a strict Regard to Humour, the Nature, and the Disposition of those we have to do withal.

Townsend's translation (1887)[edit]

The Charcoal-Burner and the Fuller

A Charcoal-Burner carried on his trade in his own house. One day he met a friend, a Fuller, and entreated him to come and live with him, saying that they should be far better neighbors and that their housekeeping expenses would be lessened. The Fuller replied, "The arrangement is impossible as far as I am concerned, for whatever I should whiten, you would immediately blacken again with your charcoal."

Like will draw like.