The Ass and the Lap-Dog

An Ass who lived in the same family with a favorite Lap-dog, observing the superior degree of affection which the little minion enjoyed, imagined he had nothing more to do, to obtain an equal share in their good graces, than to imitate the Lap-dog’s playful and endearing caresses. Accordingly, he began to frisk about before his master, kicking up his heels and braying, in an awkward affectation of wantonness and pleasantry.

This strange behavior could not fail of raising much laughter; which the Ass, mistaking for approbation and encouragement, he proceeded to leap upon his master’s breast, and began very familiarly to lick his face: but he was presently convinced by the force of a good cudgel, that what is sprightly and agreeable in one, may in another be justly censured as rude and impertinent; and that the surest way to gain esteem is for everyone to act suitably to his own natural genius and character.

The folly of attempting to recommend ourselves by a behavior foreign to our character.

Æsop (620–564 BCE), Æsop's Fables by Mons. De Meziriac