A fox chided an ass who took it in stride allowing that each had their own foibles, including the fox.
As an honest old donkey was browsing one day,
On the stalk of a thistle that grew by the way,
A fox, just return’d from a dinner on goose,
Fat, saucy, and full, let his insolence loose.
“So,” said he, “sorry beast! is that all you can find
For your poor toothless jaws at this season to grind?
Are all the birch-brooms eaten out of the land?
Is an old bushel-basket no longer at hand?
“Yet a thistle, I grant ye, your nature befits,
I dare say you find that it sharpens your wits;
But stay—sharpen your wits? that can never be done,
For all the world knows that a donkey has none.”
But the ass, quite contented, it seems, with his diet,
Resolved on that head to be perfectly quiet;
Nor much cared as to brains that he did under-rate him;
Yet he made this reply, and I give it verbatim.
“You suppose I’m a fool, neighbour fox, it is plain;
Think it still, if you please, that can give me no pain;
For it seems over you this advantage I have,
While you think I’m a blockhead, I know you’re a knave.”