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Aesop's Fables: Sir Roger L'Estrange (1692)


A Man gave Money for a Black, upon an Opinion that his Swarthy Colour was rather Sluttery than Nature; and the Fault of his last Master, in a great Measure, that he kept him no Cleaner: He took him Home with him, and try’d all manner of Washes to bring him to a Better Complexion; but there was no Good to be done upon him; besides, that the very Tampering cast him into a Disease.
THE MORAL OF THE TWO FABLES ABOVE. Natural Inclinations may be Moulded and Wrought upon by Good Councel and Discipline; but there are certain Specifick Properties and Impressions, that are never to be Alter’d or Defac’d.

L'Estrange originally published his version of the fables in 1692. There is a very nice illustrated edition in the Children's Classics series by Knopf: Sir Roger L'Estrange. Aesop - Fables which is available at amazon.com.