The Ape and The Bee

AnĀ  Ape wanted the honey from a Bee but complained about the sting. The Bee agreed that the sting can be bitter when anger is provoked.

Don’t provoke others for your own benefit.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

An Ape who, having a great desire to partake of the honey which was deposited in a rich Bee-hive, was yet intimidated from meddling with it by having felt the smart of the sting, made the following reflection: “How strange, that a Bee, while producing a delicacy so passing sweet and tempting, should also carry with him a sting so dreadfully bitter!” “Yes,” answered the Bee, “equal to the degree of sweetness in my better work is the bitterness of my sting when my anger is provoked.”


[Note: The Northcote fable is the same fable as in the JBR Collection above. Only the illustrations and Application associated with the fable in the Northcote book are displayed here.]


We often meet with characters whose powers of amusement are most excellent, and whose company of all things most desirable, from their wit, their gaiety, and their genius. But such companions are always dangerous, as in a moment of caprice, their satire may turn their powers against us, and make us appear the object of laughter or of scorn. The first requisite in conversation, is truth; the second, sense; the third, good humour; and the fourth, wit.

JN Fable 098

Sketch: James Northcote; Wood drawing: William Harvey; Engraving: J. Jackson (1828)

JN Fable 098a

Wood drawing: William Harvey; Engraving: J. Jackson (1828)