Slave to Fashion

Slave of Fashion

Much Men do is Folly merely;
And if asked the reason, why?
Seldom, truthfully and clearly,
To the question they reply.
If reply they make, 't is ever,
With them all, the same excuse;
And some think the answer clever:
"'Tis the Fashion", "custom", "use!"

Thus it ever is with fools;
Custom more than Reason rules:
And where Reason should be law,
Fashion, Customs, flight as straw,
Stronger chains on them impose,
Bonds more binding far than those,
Tyrants since the world began,
Laid upon their fellow man.
He vainly boasts that he is free,
Who fears t' infringe on Fashion's rule;
For worse than slave, already, he
Is both at once - a slave, and fool.

~ "Moral Emblems" from Jacob Cats and Robert Farlie, 1860. Not in copyright.
Rendered in modern English orthography by Kate Marinovsky.
Image (taken from the book) is engraved by Dalziel.


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