Sunday 26 October 2014

'Two Bald Men with a Comb'

'Two Bald Men with a Comb', an illustration by John Vernon Lord 
in Aesop's Fables, Joimntahan Cape, 1989, page 73.

The Text:

The Two Bald Men
As on his way a Bald-pate went,
He found a comb by accident;
Another, with a head as bare,
Pursued, and hollow’d for a share.
The first produced the prize, and cried,
“Good Providence was on our side;
But by the same caprice of Fate,
We’re to no purpose fortunate;
And, as the proverb says, have found
A hobnail, for a hundred pound.”

They by this tale may be relieved
Whose sanguine hopes have been deceived.

Moral: We may be fooled by hope when we come across chance discoveries.

Text: Christopher Smart (Phaedrus 5/6, 1761).

Selected Parallels: Perry 528. TMI K1061.2.

"The Falklands thing was a fight between two bald men over a comb," 
said the Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges after the South Atlantic conflict was over.

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