The Wasps and the Bees

1.26. THE WASPS AND THE BEES. It is a folly to arrogate works to ourselves of which we are by no means capable. Pretenders of every kind are best detected by appealing to their works.
Some honeycombs being claimed by a swarm of Wasps, the right owners protested against their demand, and the cause was referred to a Hornet. Witnesses being examined, they deposed that certain winged creatures, who had a loud hum, were of a yellowish colour, and somewhat like bees, were observed a considerable time hovering about the place where this nest was found. But this did not sufficiently decide the question; for these characteristics, the Hornet observed, agreed no less with the Bees than with the Wasps. At length a sensible old Bee offered to put the matter upon this decisive issue: Let a place be appointed by the court, said he, for the plaintiffs and defendants to work in. It will then soon appear which of us are capable of forming such regular cells, and afterwards of filling them with so delicious a fluid. The Wasps refusing to agree to this proposal, sufficiently convinced the judge on which side the right lay, and he decreed the honeycombs accordingly. [more info]

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