Aesop's Fables: Townsend (1867)
91. The Aethiop (Perry 393)
THE PURCHASER of a black servant was persuaded that the color of his
skin arose from dirt contracted through the neglect of his former masters.
On bringing him home he resorted to every means of cleaning, and subjected
the man to incessant scrubbings. The servant caught a severe cold, but
he never changed his color or complexion.
What's bred in the bone will stick to the flesh.
George Fyler Townsend's translation of the fables, first published in 1867, is
in the public domain and can be found at many websites, including Project
Illustrations come from: Aesop's Fables, by George Fyler Townsend, with
illustrations by Harrison Weir, 1867, at Google