The Quack Frog

A Frog proclaimed himself a physician. A Fox asked the Frog how he can cure others when he can’t cure his own wrinkled appearance.

Physician, heal thyself.

Aesop For ChildrenAesop For Children (The Quack Toad)

An old Toad once informed all his neighbors that he was a learned doctor. In fact he could cure anything. The Fox heard the news and hurried to see the Toad. He looked the Toad over very carefully.

“Mr. Toad,” he said, “I’ve been told that you cure anything! But just take a look at yourself, and then try some of your own medicine. If you can cure yourself of that blotchy skin and that rheumatic gait, someone might believe you. Otherwise, I should advise you to try some other profession.”


Those who would mend others, should first mend themselves.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A frog once upon a time came forth from his home in the marsh and proclaimed to all the beasts that he was a learned physician, skilled in the use of drugs and able to heal all diseases. A Fox asked him, “How can you pretend to prescribe for others, when you are unable to heal your own lame gait and wrinkled skin?’

Samuel CroxallSamuel Croxall (The Frog and the Fox)

Croxall - Frog and the FoxA FROG, leaping out of the lake, and taking the advantage of a rising ground, made proclamation to all beasts of the forest, that he was an able physician, and, for curing all manner of distempers, would turn his back to no person living. This discourse, uttered in a parcel of hard cramp words, which nobody understood, made the beasts admire his learning, and give credit to every thing he said. At last, the Fox, who was present, with indignation asked him, how he could have the impudence, with those thin lantern-jaws, that meagre pale phyz, [sic] and blotched spotted body, to set up for one who was able to cure the infirmities of others.


Whittingham - Frog and Fox

C. Whittingham (1814)

A sickly, infirm look is as disadvantageous in a physician, as that of a rake in a clergyman, or a sheepish one in a soldier. If this moral contains any thing further, it is, that we should not set up for rectifying enormities in others, while we labour under the same ourselves. Good advice ought always to be followed without our being prejudiced upon account of the person from whom it comes: but it is seldom that men can be brought to think us worth minding, when we prescribe cures for maladies with which ourselves are infected. Physician, heal thyself, is too scriptural not to be applied upon such an occasion; and, if we would avoid being the jest of an audience, we must be sound, and free from those diseases of which we would endeavour to cure others. How shocked must people have been to hear a preacher for a whole hour declaim against drunkenness, when his own infirmity has been such, that he could neither bear nor forbear drinking; and perhaps was the only person in the congregation who made the doctrine at that time necessary! Others too have been very zealous in exploding crimes, for which none were more suspected than themselves: but, let such silly hypocrities remember, that they whose eyes want couching, are the most improper people in the world to set up for oculists.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection (The Frog and The Fox)

Frog and Fox

Ernest Griset (1874)

A Frog came out of his native marsh, and, hopping off to the top of a mound of earth, gave out to all the beasts around that he was a great physician, and could heal all manner of diseases. The Fox demanded why, if he was so clever, he did not mend his own blotched and spotted body, his stare eyes, and his lantern jaws.

1001Vulpes et Vermiculus

Emersus de sterquilinio, vermis coepit profiteri apud animantes se esse medicum summum, neque cedere Paeoni, deorum medico, usu et experientia artis. Quem rugis deformem et nutantem intuita, vulpes “Medice,” inquit, “teipsum curare prius atque ita profiteri artem debueras.”

1001Rana et Vulpes

Rana, paludibus valedicens, novo vivendi genere acquisito, in silvam gloriabunda sese tulit et, bestiarum coronis circumstipata, medicinae artem publice profitebatur et in herbis quae ad corpora curanda pertinent nobiliorem se vel Galeno vel Hippocrate esse clamitabat. Credula bestiarum gens fidem facile adhibebat, vulpe solummodo excepta. Quae sic glorianti irridebat, “Insulsum vagumque animal! Quid tam vana blatteras? Quid artem nobilem prae te fers, quam minime calles? Livida pallidaque illa tua labra respice! Quin domi abi et teipsum cura, medice! Deinde ad nos redeas, meliora forsan de te speraturos.” Nihil respondente rana sed tacitis secum gemente suspiriis, tota bestiarum cachinnis resonabat silva.

Perry #289