The Fox and The Mask

A Fox looks at a mask and wonders where the mask’s brains are.

Outside show is a poor substitute for inner worth.

Eliot-JacobsEliot/Jacobs Version

A Fox had by some means got into the store-room of a theatre. Suddenly he observed a face glaring down on him and began to be very frightened; but looking more closely he found it was only a Mask such as actors use to put over their face. “Ah,” said the Fox, “you look very fine; it is a pity you have not got any brains.”

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

Fox and a MaskA Fox was one day rummaging in the house of an actor, and came across a very beautiful Mask. Putting his paw on the forehead, he said, “What a handsome face we have here! Pity it is that it should want brains.”

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A fox entered the house of an actor and, rummaging through all his properties, came upon a Mask, an admirable imitation of a human head. He placed his paws on it and said, “What a beautiful head! Yet it is of no value, as it entirely lacks brains.”

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version (A Fox and A Carv’d Head)

As a fox was rummidging among a great many carv’d figures, there was one very extraordinary piece among the rest. He took it up, and when he had consider’d it a while, well, (says he) what pity ’tis, that so exquisite an outside of a head should not have one grain of sense in’t.


‘Tis not the barber or the taylor that makes the man; and ’tis no new thing to see a fine wrought head without so much as one grain of salt in’t.

Crane Poetry VisualCrane Poetry Visual


Fox and Mask

A Fox with his foot on a Mask,
Thus took the fair semblance to task;
“You’re a real handsome face;
But what part of your case
Are your brains in, good Sir! Let me ask?”

Masks are the faces of shame.

1001Vulpes et Statua

In statuarii officinam irrepserat vulpecula ac, contemplando diversi generis et variae formae effigies, magnam voluptatem capiebat. Inter omnes tamen, una muliebris corporis statua imprimis vulpem delectabat, ad quam et accedebat et sermonem instituebat et blandissime alludebat. Sed, statua immobili persistente, vulpes, indignata, “Quam formosa facies,” inquit, “cerebro caret!”

1001Lupus et Persona Tragoedi

Personam tragoedi lupus in agro invenit, quam semel et iterum vertit. “O quanta species,” ait, “et cerebrum non habet neque sensum!”


Haec fabula de illis dicitur qui gloriam et honorem habent, prudentiam vero nullam.

Perry #027