ridicule

There is no character,

howsoever good and fine,

but it can be destroyed by ridicule,

howsoever poor and witless.

Observe the ass, for instance:

his character is about perfect,

he is the choicest spirit among

all the humbler animals,

yet see what ridicule

has brought him to.

Instead of feeling complimented

when we are called an ass,

we are left in doubt.