'The Belly and the Members', an illustration by John Vernon Lord
in Aesop's Fables, Jonathan Cape, 1989, page 151.
The Belly and the Members
THE members of the Body rebelled against the Belly, and said, “Why should we be perpetually engaged in administering to your wants, while you do nothing but take your rest, and enjoy yourself in luxury and self-indulgence?” The Members carried out their resolve and refused their assistance to the Belly. The whole Body quickly became debilitated, and the hands, feet, mouth, and eyes, when too late, repented of their folly.
Moral: United we stand; divided we fall.
Text: George Fyler Townsend (p54, 1868).
Selected parallels: Alluded to in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 12/11-27. Said to have been told by Menenius Agrippa to the poor citizens of Rome, who had revolted against the Senate when they had been oppressed by taxes and severe laws against debtors. Plutarch, Coriolianus 6. Livy 1/30;3. Caxton, Romulus 3.16. Shakespeare, Coriolanus 1/2. La Fontaine 3/2. L’Estrange 1/50. Chambry 159. Perry 130. Daly 130. TMI J461.1.
The person on the bed looks suspiciously like the one who drew the illustration!