The Two Bees
On a fine morning in May, two Bees set forward in quest of honey; the one, wise and temperate; the other, careless and extravagant. They soon arrived at a garden enriched with aromatic herbs, the most fragrant flowers, and the most delicious fruits. They regaled themselves for a time on the various dainties that were set before them: the one loading his thigh at intervals with provisions for the hive against the distant winter, the other revelling in sweets, without regard to anything but his present gratification.
At length, they found a wide-mouthed vial, that hung beneath the bough of a peach-tree, filled with honey ready tempered, and exposed to their taste in the most alluring manner. The thoughtless Epicure, spite of all his friend's remonstrances, plunged headlong into the vessel, resolving to indulge himself in all the pleasures of sensuality. The Philosopher, on the other hand, sipped a little with caution, but, being suspicious of danger, flew off to fruits and flowers; where, by the moderation of his meals, he improved his relish for the true enjoyment of them.
In the evening, however, he called upon his friend, to inquire whether he would return to the hive, but found him surfeited in sweets, which he was as unable to leave as to enjoy. Clogged in his wings, enfeebled in his feet, and his whole frame totally enervated, he was but just able to bid his friend adieu, and to lament, with his latest breath, that though a taste of pleasure may quicken the relish of life, an unrestrained indulgence is inevitable destruction.
Moderation rewards and intemperance punishes itself.