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


As a Nightingale was Singing in a Cage at a Window, up comes a Bat to her, and Asks her why she did not Sing in the Day, as well as in the Night. Why (says the Nightingale) I was catch'd Singing in the Day, and so I took it for a Warning: You should have thought of this then, says T'other, before you was Taken; for as the Case stands now, Y'are in no Danger to be Snapt Singing again.
THE MORAL. A Wrong Reason for the Doing of a Thing, is worse than no Reason at all.

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.