When the Princess Badoura was placed on Prince Camaralzaman's bed, in order to compare their claims to beauty, the fairy Maimounë changed herself into a flea, and bit the prince on the neck in order to awake him. Next, the genius Danhasch changed himself into a flea and bit the princess on the lip, that she might open her eyes and see the prince. (Arabian Nights; Camaralzaman and Badoura.)
as a parasite.
Hobbes clearly proves that every creature Lives in a state of war by nature; So naturalists observe a flea as smaller fleas that on him prey, And these have smaller still to bite 'em, And so proceed ad infinitum.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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