The Fox and the Crow

2.03. THE FOX AND THE CROW. A Crow having taken a piece of cheese out of a cottage window, flew up into a high tree with it, in order to eat it. Which a Fox observing, came and sat underneath, and began to compliment the Crow upon the subject of her beauty. I protest, says he, I never observed it before, but your feathers are of a more delicate white than any that ever I saw in my life! Ah! what a fine shape and graceful turn of body is there! And I make no question but you have a tolerable voice. If it is but as fine as your complexion, I do not know a bird that can pretend to stand in competition with you. The Crow, tickled with this very civil language, nestled and wriggled about, and hardly knew where she was; but thinking the Fox a little dubious as to the particular of her voice, and having a mind to set him right in that matter, began to sing, and, in the same instant, let the cheese drop out of her mouth;—which the Fox presently chopt up, and then bade her remember, that whatever he had said of her beauty, he had spoken nothing yet of her brains.
MORAL. There is hardly any man living that may not be wrought upon more or less by flattery; for we do all of us naturally overween in our own favour. But when it comes to be applied once to a vain fool, there is no end then can be proposed to be attained by it, but may be effected. [more info]

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