The Flies and The Honey Pot

Too much of a good thing can be bad.

A number of Flies were attracted to a jar of honey. They entered and ate greedily. While feeding, however, their feet and wings got covered with the honey and they could not get free and so died.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

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.

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version (Wasps in a Honey-pot)

There was a whole swarm of wasps got into a honey-pot, and there they cloy’d and clamm’d themselves, till there was no getting out again; which brought them to understand in the conclusion, that they had pay’d too deare for their sweet-meats.


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.