An Ant and Fly

2.06. AN ANT AND FLY. "Where's the honour or the pleasure in the world," says the Fly, in a dispute for preeminence with the Ant, "that I have not my part in? Are not all temples and places open to me? Am not I the taster to gods and princes in all their sacrifices and entertainments? And all this without either money or pains? I trample upon crowns, and kiss what ladies' lips I please. And what have you now to pretend to all this while?"
"Vain boaster!" says the Ant, "dost thou not know the difference between the access of a guest and that of an intruder? for people are so far from liking your company, that they kill you as soon as they catch you. You are a plague to them wherever you come. Your very breath has maggots in it; and for the kiss you brag of, what is it but the perfume of the last dunghill you touched upon, once removed? For my part, I live upon what's my own, and work honestly in the summer to maintain myself in the winter; whereas the whole course of your scandalous life is only cheating or sharping one half of the year, and starving the other."
MORAL. The happiness of life does not lie so much in enjoying small advantages, as in living free from great inconveniences. An honest mediocrity is the happiest state a man can wish for. [more info]

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