A Bat asked a Nightingale singing at night why he did not sing by day. He answered that when he sang by day he was caught so now only sings at night.
A wrong reason is worse than no reason.
As a nightingale was singing in a cage at a window, up comes a bat to her, and asks her why she did not sing in the day, as well as in the night. Why (says the nightingale) I was catch’d singing in the day, and so I took it for a warning. You should have thought of this then, says t’other, before you were taken; for as the case stands now, y’are in no danger to be snapt singing again.
A wrong reason for the doing of a thing is worse then no reason at all.
Gherardo Image from 1480
Vespertilio et Merula
Suspensa ante fenestram in cavea, merula noctu cantabat. Ad quam advolans, vespertilio rogat cur non die potius canat, et noctu acquiescat. “Quia enim,” inquit illa, “interdiu cantitans, prodita et capta fui, itaque nunc, malo edocta, die taceo.” Tum vespertilio “Sed tu enim,” inquit, “sero caves, quam priusquam apprehendereris tacere oportuit.”