“Stranger,
here you will do well to linger; here our highest good is pleasure”
Epicurus

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October 30, 2020

"Will you walk into my parlour?" said a spider to a fly;
“Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy.
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I have many pretty things to shew when you are there."
"Oh no, no!" said the little fly, "to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."

~ Mary Howitt

The Spider and the Fly has been a cautionary tale of perilous flattery for almost two centuries.

The poem is perhaps Howitt’s most memorable work and one that always comes to mind during the cobwebbed run up to Halloween.
IMG_0806_20-10-30_Broken_Clock_Lingering_Vodka_Coweb.jpg Howitt was a rather prolific author who, along with her husband William, is credited with penning over 180 books.

Born into humble beginnings, she would go on to be quite a literary A-lister; hobnobbing with the likes of Dickens, Gaskell, Tennyson and Wordsworth and counting Queen Victoria amongst her fans.

It’s said that imitation is the greatest form of flattery and indeed, Lewis Carroll included a parody of The Spider and the Fly – The Mock Turtle’s Song – in his fairy tale, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.