Abstemius's Fables (Sir Roger L'Estrange)
280. (Abstemius 28) A Country-man and a Mouse.
There was a pleasant sort of a Poor Fellow had his House a-Fire; but his Misfortunes did not make him lose his good Humour. As it was all in a Flame, out bolts a Mouse from the Ruins to save her self: The Man catches her, and throws her back again. Why thou Ungrateful Wretch (says he) to leave thy Friend now in Adversity, that gave thee Bread in Prosperity.
'Tis a Barbarous Faculty, an Ill-natur'd Wit; that will rather expose the very Life and Reputation of a Friend, than lose the Opportunity of a Jest.
Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists: Abstemius's Fables by Sir Roger L'Estrange. Available online at Google Books.