The City Mouse and the Country Mouse

2.02. THE CITY MOUSE AND COUNTRY MOUSE. A Country Mouse invited a City Sister of hers to a collation, where she spared for nothing that the place afforded—as mouldy crusts, cheese-parings, musty oatmeal, rusty bacon, and the like. The City Dame was too well bred to find fault with her entertainment; but yet represented that such a life was unworthy of a merit like hers; and letting her know how splendidly she lived, invited her to accompany her to town. The Country Mouse consented, and away they trudged together, and about midnight got to their journey's end. The City Mouse shewed her friend the larder, the pantry, the kitchen, and other offices where she laid her stores; and after this, carried her into the parlour, where they found, yet upon the table, the relics of a mighty entertainment of that very night. The City Mouse carved her companion of what she liked best, and so to it they fell upon a velvet couch. The Country Mouse, who had never seen or heard of such doings before, blessed herself at the change of her condition—when, as ill luck would have it, all on a sudden the doors flew open, and in comes a crew of noisy servants of both sexes, to feast upon the dainties that were left. This put the poor mice to their wits' end how to save their skins—the stranger especially, who had never been in such danger before. But she made a shift, however, for the present to slink into a corner, where she lay trembling and panting till the company went away. As soon as ever the house was quiet again: "Well, my Court Sister," says she, "if this be the sauce to your rich meats, I'll e'en back to my cottage and my mouldy cheese again; for I had much rather lie nibbling of crusts, without fear or hazard, in my own hole, than be mistress of all the delicacies in the world, and subject to such terrifying alarms and dangers."
MORAL. This fable shews the difference between a Court and a Country Life: The delights, innocence, and security of the one, compared with the anxiety, voluptuousness, and hazards of the other. [more info]

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