The Flies and the Honey-Pot

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


There was a whole swarm of Wasps got into a Honey-Pot, and there they cloy’d and clamm’d themselves, till there was not getting out again; which brought them to understand in the Conclusion, that they had paid dear for their Sweetmeats.

THE MORAL. Loose Pleasures become necessary to us by the frequent Use of them, and when they come once to be habitual, there’s no getting clear again.

Townsend's translation (1887)[edit]

The Flies and the Honey-Pot

A number of Flies were attracted to a jar of honey which had been overturned in a housekeeper's room, and placing their feet in it, ate greedily. Their feet, however, became so smeared with the honey that they could not use their wings, nor release themselves, and were suffocated. Just as they were expiring, they exclaimed, "O foolish creatures that we are, for the sake of a little pleasure we have destroyed ourselves."

Pleasure bought with pains, hurts.