The Flea and the Wrestler

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


There was a Fellow, that upon a Flea-biting call’d out to Hercules for Help. The Flea gets away, and the Man expostulates upon the Matter. Well, Hercules; (says he) you that would not take my part against a sorry Flea, will never stand by me in a time of Need, against a more powerful Enemy.

THE MORAL. We neglect God in greater Matters, and petition him for Trifles, nay, and take pet at last if we cannot have our Askings.

Townsend's translation (1887)[edit]

The Flea and the Wrestler

A Flea settled upon the bare foot of a Wrestler and bit him, causing the man to call loudly upon Hercules for help. When the Flea a second time hopped upon his foot, he groaned and said, "O Hercules! if you will not help me against a Flea, how can I hope for your assistance against greater antagonists?"