-~ ~ !Iii''i
-: ;- 7-;
^ Ijceb Usmin,
CfIEFLY FROM THE ORIGINAL SOURCES.
BY THOMAS JAMES, M.A.,
LATE HON. CANON OF PETERBOROUGH.
WITH MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED ILLUSTRATIONS
DESIGNED BY TENNIEL AND WOLF.
Equidcm omni cura more scrvabo SENIS
Sed si libucrit liquid interponere
Dictorum sensus ut delectet varietas,
Bonas in parties, lector, accipias velim." -PElDRAnS.
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.
RICHARD CLAY AND SONS, LIMITED,
LONDON AND BUNGAY.
THE LIFE AND FABLES OF JESOP.
IN the days of Croesus, King of Lydia, when Amasis was
Pharaoh of Egypt, and Peisistratus lorded it over the Athenians-
between five and six hundred years before the Christian era-
lived IEsoPus, no inapt representative of the great social and
intellectual movement of the age which he adorned.
Born a slave, with no outward circumstances of fortune to
recommend him to the notice of the great, he forced his way by
his mother-wit into the courts of princes, and laid the foundation
of a fame, more universal, and perhaps more lasting in its
influence, than that of all the Seven Wise Men of Greece, his
Up to this time, whatever wisdom from without had guided
the councils of princes, had been derived from the traditionary
lore of courts, or from the verses of bards, hallowed by time,
or impromptued for the occasion. Writing was as yet only
known in the inscription on the public marble, or on the private
tablet. Religion and History were handed down from mouth to
mouth, and, the better to be remembered, were committed to
metre. With the sixth century before Christ commences the era
of Written Classic Literature. The great convulsion of the
Eastern nations, and the first direct and sustained intercourse of
the Oriental with the Grecian mind, tended to call forth all the
latent energies of either people. New combinations of govern-
ments, and strange commixtures of races, required new systems
of politics, and more stringent and definite laws. Hence this
is the age of Wise Men and of Prose. Even wealthy Croesus
discovered that knowledge was power, and assembled around him
from every nation all who had gained a reputation for superior
The flights of imagination began to give way to the serious
business of life. It was an age of grave talkers, and inquisitive
travellers,-of gathering the works of the great poets to preserve
the wisdom of antiquity, and of collecting facts for the use of the
new order of things. Distinctions of birth and country were less
heeded, and Wit was listened to even from the lips of a foreign
slave. It was even able to emancipate itself, not only from the
bondage of custom, but from actual bodily slavery, and }Esop came
to the court of Croesus, from his old master ladmon, a free
man-working his way to fame by a more honourable road than
that of his fellow-servant Rhodopis the Fair," the celebrity of
whose beauty and wealth at such a time, tells in a word how she
had abused the one, and acquired the other.' _Esop's fame had
probably preceded him, but less as a Sage than as a Wit. He
seems a stepping-stone between the poetry which had gone before,
i Herod. II. 134, 135.
and the prose that followed, making the politics and morals of the
day his study, but clothing his lectures in the garb of Imagination
and Fancy. There is no doubt that he quickly grew in favour
with Croesus by the mode in which he imparted his knowledge.
While Solon held the schoolmaster's rod over the philosophical
monarch, .Esop conciliated alike his will and his reason by timely
drollery and subtilely-conveyed advice.2 To this freedom from
avowed dictation, was added a little well-directed flattery. He
knew, that to be tolerated in courts, he must speak to please, or
not speak at all;3 and when all the Seven Sages had given
judgment, the Phrygian was sometimes set down as the best man
of them all.4
If we should hence look upon him as little more than a court-
jester, we shall be doing him great wrong. He came to amuse,
but he remained to instruct; and Croesus probably learnt more
home-truths from his fictions,5 than from all the serious
disquisitions of his retained philosophers. Wherever he went he
lifted up his voice in the same strain. At Corinth he warned his
hearers against mob-law, in a fable which Socrates afterwards
turned into verse.6 At Athens, by the recital of "The Frogs and
Jupiter," he gave a lesson both to prince and people.7 His visit
to Delphi seems to have had less of a political object. He was
sent as a commissioner by Croesus to distribute some payment due
to the Delphians,s and in the discharge of this duty incurred the
displeasure of the citizens of that worlds-centre,-whose character
'= Ialwv Er Crrouva.-Agathie Epigr. 5 cropos lvos Ka2rs xal TAao~aot Kaipta
ap. Brunk. Ae'4a. Agath. Epigr.
3 As cictora 4 &s 6 jito'a.-Plutar. vit. 6 Plat. Pihd. c. 12.-Diog. Laert II. 42.
Sol. p. 94. 7 Phh d. I. 2.
4 IAF\Xov 6IpdpO. Suid in voc.-Apos- 8 Aristoph. Vcsp 1446. -Schol. ad. loc.
tollus Cent. XII. adag.
seems to have been at all times but little in accordance with the
sacred privileges they assumed. Probably even more from fear of
his wit than from displeasure at his award,-and judging from the
event, without any plea of justice,-the Delphians raised against
him the vulgar cry, too often successful, of impiety, and sacrilege.
For once his ready weapon failed in its effect. He is said to have
appealed to their reverence for the laws of hospitality, by the
fable of "The Eagle and the Beetle," the germ probably of the
existing story: but he appealed in vain. Their craft was in
danger; and the enraged guardians of the temple of the great
God of Greece, hurled the unfortunate fable-maker headlong from
one of the Phsedrian precipices.9
He was not unavenged. Plagues cursed the scene of his
murder, and the conscience-smitten Delphians, many years
afterwards, seeing in their calamities, as well they might, a
punishment for their evil deed, proclaimed, again and again,
their readiness to give compensation for his death to any one
who could prove a title to the self-imposed fine. No other
claimant appearing, it was awarded at length to ladmon,
the grandson of ladmon (son of Hephaestopolius), iEsop's old
master.1 The proverb of isop's blood," in aftertimes gave
warning to his countrymen, that murder will not cry to Heaven
There are no further authentic notices of .Esop's life, but
there are abundant proofs of the estimation in which his words
were held by the Athenians for many generations afterwards.
To be able to tell a good story of /Esop at the club, was an
9 Babrii. frag. ap. Apollon.-Suid v. Herod. II. 134.
Fat?.4ds. 2 AlaT.rrelOV aba.-Zonaras, p. l0.
indispensable accomplishment of anAthenian gentleman; and he
who had not got 2Esop's Fables at his fingers' ends was looked
upon as an illiterate dunce.3 Indeed, to such an excess did this
fickle and news-loving people run after an JEsopean fable, that
there is no weakness of theirs more severely lashed than this by
their satirists both in verse and prose. His practical wisdom
was, however, as much regarded as his caustic humour; and
the common tradition, that he appeared alive again and fought
at Thermopyhe, tells more for the honour in which he was held
as a patriot than a hundred authentic anecdotes.4
About two hundred years after his death, a statue of ZEsop,
Sthe workmanship of Lysippus, was erected at Athens, and was
placed in front of the statues of the Seven Sages.5
The ridiculous particulars of his life and person, as they
Share commonly given, are but a compilation, made in the
middle ages, of sorry jokes borrowed from various quarters,
with enough of older fact and tradition to give them a sort
of plausible consistency. The whole has been attributed to the
imagination of Planudes, a monk of the fourteenth century; but
There seems little reason for believing that he did more than
Collect what he found already made to his hand.
Esop's personal deformity and swarthy complexion have not
the slightest testimony from ancient authority. The negative
Evidence, which in this case is strong, tells all the other way,
though Bentley has carried his argument rather too far in trying
hence to prove that he must have been remarkably handsome.6
The oldest authority in which his person is mentioned speaks of
3 Aristoph. 'Vesp. 1260. Av. 471.
4 Suid. vv. AYisr.r. ok, vap. I.v 26
5 Plived. 11. Ep. Agaib. Epig.
6 Dissert. Xis. Works, v. 11. 1). 2,16,
his face and voice as contributing as much as his stories to the
amusement of his company.7
It is not to be supposed that iEsop was absolutely the inventor
of Fable.8 Under this form, more or less developed, the earliest
knowledge of every nation-at least of every Eastern nation- -
has been handed down. Poverty of language would, in the first
instance, necessitate the use of metaphor, and the simile would
follow, not far removed from parable and fable. The more
intimate acquaintance with the habits of wild beasts, natural to
an uncivilised life, would also suggest illustrations to be drawn
from the ways of the wily fox, the timid deer, the noble lion;
while a closer intercourse with them, even though that of enmity,
would be apt to attribute not only human passions, but motives
and feelings, and hence speech.
In later times, when neither kings nor mobs would bear to look
upon naked Truth, recourse to the style of primitive wisdom
furnished an effective garb wherewith to clothe it. It flattered,
by its appeal to national antiquity, and by exercising, without
tasking, intellectual acuteness. Thus fable was not, in those
times, a child's plaything, but a nation's primer. Tyranny and
rebellion were alike stayed by this only word of the wise that
passion would listen to. Very different in its nature from the
old Myth, it was not the result of profound contemplative
philosophy in a popular garb, but it was the off-hand, ready-made
weapon of a man of action,-one who united presence of mind
with presence of wit,-who saw his opportunity and knew how
to use it.
The oldest Fable on record which we know to have been
7 Hinter. Orat. XII. 8 Bahr. procem II. 1.
thus practically applied, is that of "The Trees and the Bramble,"
as found in Holy Writ.9 When the Israelites, discontented at
not having an earthly sovereign, had allowed Abimelech, the base
son of Gideon, to usurp a kingly authority over them, Jotham,
whose better claims had been passed over by them, addressed
them in the fable of
THE TREES AND THE BRAMBLE.
The Trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them;
and they said unto the Olive-tree: Reign thou over us; but
the Olive-tree said unto them, "Should I leave my fatness,
wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be
promoted over the trees? And the trees said to the Fig-tree:
"Come thou and reign over us;" but the Fig-tree said unto
them: "Should I forsake my sweetness and my good fruit, and
go to be promoted over the trees' Then said the trees unto
the Vine : "Come thou and reign over us; and the Vine said
unto them: "Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and
man, and go to be promoted over the trees Then said all the
trees unto the Bramble: Come thou and reign over us: and
the Bramble said unto the trees : If in truth ye anoint me king
over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow; and if
not, let fire come out of the Bramble, and devour the Cedars
No less effective was Nathan's parable of The Ewe-lamb "
addressed to King David, with its terrible application, "THou
ART THE MAN." 1
9 Judges ix. 7. 2 Sam. xii. 7.
In like manner Fables effected their work in the. politics of
Greece. The citizens of Himera were warned by Stesichorus
against the encroachments of the tyrant Phalaris, by the recital
of "The Horse and the Stag." 2 A timely lesson was given to
Peisistratus and the Athenians by the fable of The Frogs and
Jupiter." 3 The Samians, when they would have put to death
one who had battened upon the public treasury, were checked by
JEsop's introduction of "The Fox and the Hedgehog." 4 When
the lonians, who had rejected a previous invitation of Cyrus to
join him, sent ambassadors to him after his success, offering him
terms, the indignant conqueror gave them no other reply than the
story of "The Fisherman piping." 5 Demosthenes turned the
pliant mind of the Athenians when they were ready to betray
him into Philip's hands, by warning them in The Wolves and
the Sheep," lest, in giving up the public orators, they surrendered
the watch-dogs of the state. And, on another occasion, when
the people would not hear him speaking on a serious matter of
public business, he called them to an acknowledgment of their
frivolity, and to a sense of their duty, by commencing the fable
of "The Ass's Shadow." 6
Roman history furnishes the celebrated instance of Menenius
Agrippa quelling an insurrection by reciting "The Belly and the
Members;" 7 and Scotland supplies the character of Archibald
The present book of Fables is not, of course, put forward as the
Arist. Rhet. II 20. 5 Herod. I. 141.
3 Phdclr. I. 2. 6 Vit. Demosth. ad. fin.
4 Arist. Rhet. II. 20;-afterwards applied 7 Liv. II. 32.
by Tiberins to the extortionate prefects of 8 W. Scott's Scotland, Ch. XXII.
the Roman provinces,
veritable words of 9Esop. The date of his life, and the nature of
the composition, alike forbid us to suppose that his Fables were
committed to writing by the author himself. Nor if such a
work, as an authentic collection of them, ever existed, could the
common Greek text lay any claim to that title. It would, how-
ever, be equally absurd to adopt the alternative usually given,
that the whole or the greater part of the existing Fables are the
composition of monks of the middle ages.
The history of AEsopean Fables seems rather to be this. AEsop
was one of the first and most successful in adopting this kind of
apologue as a general vehicle of instruction. Being striking
in point, and easy of remembrance, his stories were soon bandied
about from mouth to mouth, and handed down from generation
to generation, with such alterations as are ever attendant on
In later times, writers, equally with speakers, preserving the
traditionary outline of the fable, filled it up in their own words;
while all the good stories afloat upon the surface of conversation
became, naturally enough, referred to the great master in that
style of composition. The popularity of JEsop's Fables among
the Athenians soon became unbounded. We find them
continually referred to in the works of the best Greek authors.
Socrates relieved the monotony of his prison-hours by turning
them into verse; Demetrius Phalereus and others followed in the
same course; and after a considerable interval, we have them
presented anew in the Greek choliambics of Babrius, and in the
Latin iambics of Phahdrus. Certainly Phaedrus, and probably the
other older and later versionists, made divers alterations, and
sometimes inserted additional Fables of their own.
From all these various sources the bulk of the existing Fables
is derived. This will account for the variety of versions,
sometimes as many as six or seven, of the same Fable; while
the late dialect of the Greek text, and the occasional obvious
interpolation of Christian forms of speech and sentiment-though
indications of the hands through which the Fables were last
transmitted-need not drive us from the conclusion that we have,
in the main, both the spirit and body of JEsop's Fables, if not as
they proceeded from the Sage's own lips, at least as they were
known in the best times of Greek literature.
This collection of Fables the most popular Moral and
Political Class-book of more than two thousand years it
has been the object of the Translator to restore, in a more
genuine form than has yet been attempted, into the hands of
the present generation, from which the wearisome and otherwise
objectionable paraphrases of the ordinary versions had almost
The recent happy discovery of the long-lost Fables of Babrius.
and their opportune appearance in this country in the excellent
edition of Mr. George Cornewall Lewis, suggested the idea that
by a recurrence to the Greek texts, and by collating and sifting
the various ancient versions, a nearer approach might be gained
to the true zEsopean Fable than has yet been proposed in any
In the present Version, however, no strict and definite plan
of translation has been followed. Though the general rule
has been to give a free translation from the oldest source to
which the Fable could be traced, or from its best later form
in the dead languages, there will be found exceptional cases
of all kinds. Some are compounded out of many ancient
versions: some are a collation of ancient and modern: some
are abridged, some interpolated: one takes the turn of a Greek
epigram, another follows the lively and diffusive gossip of Horace:
some walk more in the track of the Greek verse of Babrius,
some in that of the Latin verse of Phsdrus: a few adopt
the turn given by L'Estrange, or speak almost in the very words
of Croxall or Dodsley.1
This method of translation-wholly without excuse, if applied
to a genuine classic-will, perhaps, be deemed admissible for a
popular volume of iEsopean Fables, seeing that it is neither more
nor less than has happened to them since the days when the Sage
first scattered his Apologues on the wide waters of society,
to be taken up and treated as suited the whim or purpose
of subsequent recounters and versionists, from Socrates to
A greater liberty has been taken with those venerable deductions
which are usually appended in set form to the Fable, under the
title of Morals, or Applications; and in this, an essential departure
has been made from the common plan of the English Fabulists,
who have generally smothered the original Fable under an over-
powering weight of their own commentary. Of course, when
Fables were first spoken, they were supposed to convey their own
moral along with them, or else they were spoken in vain; and
even when first written, the application given was that of the
particular occasion, not of general inference. When in later times,
Morals were formally added, they were always brief, and mostly
in a proverbial form. To this character it has been attempted
9 A few modern fables, marked (M) in the Index, have been inserted.
to recal them, though, in some instances, they are incorporated
with the Fable, and in others, where the story seems to speak for
itself, omitted altogether.
It would be quite unnecessary for the Translator to suggest,
even in an age much less pictorial than the present, how much
this Book is indebted for any value it may possess to the illus-
trations of the Artist; but he cannot close his own portion of
the work without expressing how greatly the pleasure of the
undertaking has been enhanced to him by having such a coad-
jutor :-a pleasure which has arisen no less from the kindly
spirit of Mr. Tenniel's co-operation, than from the happy results
of his skill.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
THE FOX AND THE GRAPES 1
- FOX AND THE GOAT .
- WOLF AND THE CRANE 4
-- VAIN JACKDAW. 5
- MOUNTAIN IN LABOUR .. 7
- COCK AND THE JEWEL 8
- EAGLE AND THE FOX. 9
- OLD HOUND .. 11
- FIGHTING-COCKS AND THE EAGLE (Two Illustrations). 12
- COUNTRYMAN AND THE SNAKE 13
- MAN AND THE SATYR 15
- DOG AND THE SHADOW 16
- WOLF AND THE LAMB .17
-- COUNTRY MOUSE AND THE TOWN MOUSE 19
- LION AND THE MOUSE 21
- HOUSE-DOG AND THE WOLF 23
- OLD WOMAN AND TIE WINE-JAR 24
- FROG AND THE OX. 25
- HARE AND THE TORTOISE 26
- TORTOISE AND THE EAGLE 27
xviii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
THE SHEPHERD-BOY AND THE WOLF 29
FOX AND THE WOODMAN 31
CROW AND THE PITCHER 32
ONE-EYED DOE 33
BELLY AND THE MEMBERS .. 34
TRAVELLERS AND THE BEAR 35
-- STAG IN THE OX-STALL 37
COLLIER AND THE FULLER 39
LION IN LOVE 40
WIND AND THE SUN (Two Illustrations) 41
TREES AND THE AXE '43
ASS AND THE LAP-DOG 44
WOLVES AND THE SHEEP .46
HERCULES AND THE WAGGONER. 48
THE FOX WITHOUT A TAIL .. .49
HARES AND THE FROGS 51
HUSBANDMAN AND THE STORK. 52
ANGLER AND THE LITTLE FISH .53
BUNDLE OF STICKS 55
MAN AND THE LION 56
NURSE AND THE WOLF .57
HORSE AND THE STAG 59
MISCHIEVOUS DOG 61
HERDSMAN AND THE LOST BULL 63
OAK AND THE REED .65
MERCURY AND THE WOODMAN .66
THE LION AND OTHER BEASTS HUNTING 68
- DOG IN THE MANGER 69
- THIEF AND HIS MOTHER .. .71
- CAT AND THE MICE 72
- COUNTRY MAID AND HER MILK-CAN (Tw0 illustrations) 73
- TWO POTS 75
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
THE GOOSE WITH THE GOLDEN EGGS
- DOG INVITED TO SUPPER
- FROGS ASKING FOR A KING
- THIEF AND THE DOG
- LARK AND HER YOUNG ONES
- TRUMPETER TAKEN PRISONER
- BIRDS, BEASTS, AND THE BAT
- TRAVELLERS AND THE HATCHET
- EAGLE AND THE JACKDAW
- ASS AND HIS DRIVER
- OLD MAN AND DEATII
- HART AND THE VINE
- MISER .
- OLD WOMAN AND HER MAIDS
- LION, THE BEAR, AND THE FOX
- BOASTING TRAVELLER
- FOX AND THE MASK .
- HEIFER AND THE OX (TWO Illustrations)
- LION AND THE BULLS
- ARAB AND THE CAMEL.
- JACKASS IN OFFICE
- FOX AND THE STORK
- ASS IN THE LION'S SKIN
- ASS'S SHADOW (Two Illustrations)
- BULL AND THE GOAT
- QUACK FROG .
- HORSE AND THE LOADED ASS
- VINE AND THE GOAT .
- MAN AND HIS TWO WIVES
-STAG AT THE POOL
- ASTRONOMER .
- SHEPHERD AND IHE SEA
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
THE GREAT AND THE LITTLE FISH
- WILD BOAR AND THE FOX
- THE BLACKAMOOR
-- ASS, THE COCK, AND THE LIO
- CHARGER AND THE ASS
- MOUSE AND TIE WEASEL
-'LEOPARD AND THE FOX
- OLD LION
- WOLF AND THE SHEPHERDS
- FOX AND THE CROW
- BOY BATHING
VENUS AND THE CAT .
-MERCURY AND THE SCULPTOR .
THE MILLER, HIS SON, AND THEIR
SASS (Six illustrations) 142
S ESiif"S FAI;LES.
.F r 1.-- i ii _''-. I\ r' lHil -I;:-._r E-.
: ,I i 1i ,tt,. i .t.I. I Al V 1 1 2 _1 1 .,
iii .. T _ii :- ;i, I ii,:2- i,: ,..,i.u '
7I u T1. '
FABLE 2.-THE BOWMAN AND THE LION.
A MAN who was very skilful with his bow, went up into
the mountains to hunt. At his approach there was instantly
a great consternation and rout among all the wild beasts, the
Lion alone showing any determination to fight. "Stop,"
said the Bowman to him, and await my messenger, who
has somewhat to say to you." With that, he sent an arrow
after the Lion, and wounded him in the side. The Lion,
smarting with anguish, fled into the depth of the thickets,
but a Fox seeing him run, bade him take courage and face
his enemy. "No," said the Lion, "you will not persuade
me to that; for if the messenger he sends is so sharp, what
must be the power of him who sends it? "
FABLE 3.-THE KITE AND THE PIGEONS.
SOME Pigeons had long lived in fear of a Kite, but by
being always on the alert, and keeping near their dove-cote,
they had contrived hitherto to escape the attacks of the
enemy. Finding his sallies unsuccessful, the Kite betook
himself to craft: Why," said he, do you prefer this life of
continual anxiety, when, if you would only make me your
king, I would secure you from every attack that could be
made upon you ? The Pigeons, trusting to his professions,
called him to the throne ; but no sooner-was he established
there than he exercised his prerogative by devouring a
pigeon a-day. Whereupon one that yet awaited his turn,
said no more than "It serves us right."
They who voluntarily put power into the hand of a tyrant
or an enemy, must not wonder if it be at last turned against
FABLE 4.-THE FOX AND THE GOAT.
A Fox had fallen into a well, and had been casting about
for a long time how he should get out again; when at length
a Goat came to the place, and wanting to drink, asked
Reynard whether the water was good, and if there was plenty
cf it. The Fox, dissembling the real danger of his case
replied, Come down, my friend; the water is so good that
I cannot drink enough of it, and so abundant that it cannot
be exhausted." Upon this the Goat without any more ado
leaped in; when the Fox, taking advantage of his friend's
horns, as nimbly leaped out; and coolly remarked to the
poor deluded Goat, If you had half as much brains as you
have beard, you would have looked before you leaped."
A WOLF had got a bone stuck in his throat, and in the
greatest agony ran up and down, beseeching every animal he
met to relieve him: at the same time hinting at a very hand-
some reward to the successful operator. A Crane, moved by
his entreaties and promises, ventured her long neck down
the Wolf's throat, and drew out the bone. She then
Wolf, grinning and showing his teeth, replied with seeming
indignation, Ungrateful creature! to ask for any other
reward than that you have put your head into a Wolf's jaws,
and brought it safe out again "
Those who are charitable only in the hope of a return,
must not be surprised if, in their dealings with evil men,
they meet with more jeers than thanks.
they meet with more jeers than thanks.
FABLE 6.-THE VAIN JACKDAW.
A JACKDAW, as vain and conceited as Jackdaw could be,
picked up the feathers which some Peacocks had shed, stuck
them amongst his own, and despising his old companions,
introduced himself with the greatest assurance into a flock of
those beautiful birds. They, instantly detecting the intruder,
stripped him of his borrowed plumes, and falling upon him
with their beaks, sent him about his business. The unlucky
Jackdaw, sorely punished and deeply sorrowing, betook him-
self to his former companions, and would have flocked with
them again as if nothing had happened. But they, recol-
lecting what airs he had given himself, drummed him out of
their society, while one of those whom he had so lately
despised, read him this lecture:-" Had you been contented
with what nature made you, you would have escaped the
chastisement of your betters and also the contempt of your
FABLE 7.-THE ANT AND THE GRASSHOPPER.
ON a cold frosty day an Ant was dragging out some of the
corn which he had laid up in suummer time, to dry it. A
Grasshopper, L it-pl.li-i.-.! with hunger, besought the Ant to
give him a morsel of it to preserve his life. "What were you
doing," said the Ant, "this last summer ?" "Oh," said the
Grasshopper, "I was not idle. I kept singing all the
summer long." Said the Ant, laughing and shutting up his
granary, "Since you could sing all summer, you may dance
Winter finds out what Summer lays by.
FABLE 8.-THE BOY AND THE SCORPION.
A BoY was hunting Locusts upon a wall, and had caught
a great number of them; when, seeing a Scorpion, he
mistook it for another Locust, and was just hollowing his
hand to catch .it, when the Scorpion, lifting up his sting,
said: I wish you had done it, for I would soon have made
you drop me, and the Locusts into the bargain."
FABLE 9.-THE WIDOW AND THE HEN.
A WIDOW woman kept a Hen that laid an egg every
morning. Thought the woman to herself, "If I double my
Hen's allowance of barley, she will lay twice a-day." So she
tried her plan, and the Hen became so fat and sleek, that
she left off laying at all.
Figures are not always facts.
:.. I -',' ;
THE MOUNTAIN IN LABOUR.
IN days of yore, a mighty rumbling was heard in a
Mountain. It was said to be in labour, and multitudes
flocked together, from far and near, to see what it would
prlouce. After long expectation and many wise conjectures
from the bystanders-out popped, a Mouse !
The story applies to those whose magnificent promises end
in a paltry performance.
FABLE 11.-THE COCK AND THE JEWEL.
As a Cock was scratching up the straw in a farm-yard, in
search of food for the hens, he hit upon a Jewel that by
some chance had found its way there. "Ho !" said he,
"you are a very fine thing, no doubt, to those who prize
you; but give me a barley-corn before all the pearls in the
The Cock was a sensible Cock: but there are many silly
people who despise what is precious only because they cannot
FABLE 12.-THE KID AND THE WOLF.
A KID being mounted on the roof of a lofty house, and
seeing a Wolf pass below, began to revile him. The Wolf
merely stopped to reply, "Coward it is not you who revile
me, but the place on which you are standing."
I ~ 14.
TIHE F U ;LE AND 1 IE F,'
F-- 0b 11 1 k L I P !-
upbraided the Eagle for this breach of friendship, and begged
earnestly to have her young one again; but finding that her
entreaties were of no avail, she snatched a torch from an
altar-fire that had been lighted hard by, and involving the
whole tree in flame and smoke, soon made the Eagle restore,
through fear for herself and her own young ones, the cub
which she had just now denied to her most earnest prayers.
The tyrant, though he may despise the tears of the
oppressed, is never safe from their vengeance.
FABLE 14.-THE FAWN AND HER MOTHER.
A FAWN one day said to her mother, "Mother, you are
bigger than a dog, and swifter and better winded, and you
have horns to defend yourself; how is it that you are so
afraid of the hounds ?" She smiled and said, "All this, my
child, I know full well; but no sooner do I hear a dog bark,
than, somehow or other, my heels take me off as fast as they
can carry me."
There is no arguing a coward into courage.
FABLE 15.-THE FOX AND THE LION.
A Fox who had never seen a Lion, when by chance he
met him for the first time, was so terrified that he almost
died of fright. When he met him the second time, he was
still afraid, but managed to disguise his fear. When he saw
him the third time, he was so much emboldened that he
went up to him and asked him how he did.
Familiarity breeds contempt.
FABLE 16.-THE OLD HOUND.
A HOUND, who had been an excellent one in his time,
and had done good service to his master in the field, at
length became worn out with the weight of years and
trouble. One day, when hunting the wild boar, he seized
the creature by the ear, but his teeth giving way, he was
forced to let go his hold, and the boar escaped. Upon this
the huntsman, coming up, severely rated him. But the
feeble Dog replied, "Spare your old servant! It was the
power not the will that failed me. Remember rather what
I was, than abuse me for what I am."
FABLE 17.-THE HORSE AND THE GROOM.
A GnooM who used to steal and sell a Horse's corn, was
yet very busy in grooming and whisping him all the day long.
" If you really wish me," said the Horse, to look well, give
me less of your currying and more of your corn."
FABLE 18.-THE FIGHTING-COCKS AND THE EAGLE.
Two young Cocks were fighting as fiercely as if they had
been men. At last the one that was beaten crept into a
corner of the hen-house, covered with wounds. But the
conqueror, straightway flying up to the top of the house,
began clapping his wings and crowing, to announce his
victory. At this moment an Eagle, sailing by,
seized him in his talons and bore him away;
t 1 lii. -- i rI,:1 rival came out
~i-- .. ,: I '.1l lace, and took
.i.t 1,. dunghill for
I ii i: h i ... tended.
FABLE 19.-THE TWO WALLETS.
EVERY man carries two Wallets, one before and one
behind, and both full of faults. But the one before, is full
of his neighbour's faults; the one behind, of his own. Thus
it happens that men are blind to their own faults, but never
lose sight of their neighbour's.
FABLE 20.-THE COUNTRYMAN AND THE SNAKE.
A COUNTRYMAN, returning home one winter's day, found
a Snake by the hedge-side, half dead with cold. Taking
compassion on the creature, he laid it in his bosom, and
brought it home to his fireside to revive it. No sooner had
the warmth restored it, than it began to attack the children
of the cottage. Upon this the Countryman, whose compassion
had saved its life, took up a mattock and laid the Snake dead
at his feet.
Those who return evil for good, may expect their neigh-
bour's pity to be worn out at last.
FABLE 21.-THE MOUSE AND THE FROG.
A MOUSE, in an evil day, made acquaintance with a Frog,
and they set off on their travels together. The Frog, on
pretence of great affection, and of keeping his companion
out of harm's way, tied the Mouse's fore-foot to his own
hind-leg, and thus they proceeded for some distance by land.
Presently they came to some water, and the Frog, bidding
the Mouse have good courage, began to swim across. They
had scarcely, however, arrived mid-way, when the Frog took
a sudden plunge to the bottom, dragging the unfortunate
Mouse after him. But the struggling and floundering of
the Mouse made so great commotion in the water that it
attracted the attention of a Kite, who, pouncing down, and
bearing off the Mouse, carried away the Frog at the same
time in his train.
Inconsiderate and ill-matched alliances generally end in
ruin: and the man who compasses the destruction of his
neighbour, is often caught in his own snare.
FABLE 22.-THE FISHERMAN PIPING.
A MAN, who cared more for his notes than his nets, seeing
some fish in the sea, began playing on his pipe, thinking that
they would jump out on shore. But finding himself dis-
appointed, he took a casting-net, and inclosing a great
multitude of fish, drew them to land. When he saw the fish
dancing and flapping about, he smiled, and said, Since you
would not dance when I piped, I will have none of your
It is a great art to do the right thing at the right season.
:~ 11111 ~- II
i I~ II I I I ~1----
FABLE 23.-THE MAN AND THE SATYR.
A MAN and a Satyr, having struck up an acquaintance, sat
down together to eat. The day being wintry and cold, the
Man put his fingers to his mouth, and blew upon them.
"What's -that for, my friend?" asked the Satyr. "My
hands are so cold," said the Man; "I do it to warm them."
In a little while some hot food was placed before them, and
the Man, raising the dish to his mouth, again blew upon it.
"And what's the meaning of that now?" said the Satyr.
" Oh," replied the man, "my porridge is so hot, I do it to
cool it." ".Nay then," said the Satyr, "from this moment
I renounce your friendship, for I will have nothing to do with
one who blows hot and cold with the same mouth."
FABLE 24.-THE DOG AND THE SHADOW.
A DOG had stolen a piece of meat out of a butcher's shop,
and was crossing a river on his way home, when he saw his
own shadow reflected in the stream below. Thinking that it
was another dog, with another piece of meat, he resolved to
make himself master of that also; but in snapping at the
supposed treasure, he dropped the bit he was carrying, and
so lost all.
Grasp at the shadow and lose the substance-the common
fate of those who hazard a real blessing for some visionary
FABLE 25.-THE MOON AND HER MOTHER.
THE Moon once asked her Mother to make her a little
cloak that would fit her well. "How," replied she, "can I
make you a cloak to fit you, who are now a New Moon, and
then a Full Moon, and then again neither one nor the other ? "
FABLE 26.-THE WOLF AND THE LAMB.
As a Wolf was lapping at the head of a running brook, he
spied a stray Lamb paddling, at some distance, down the
stream. Having made up his mind to seize her, he bethought
himself how he might justify his violence. "Villain said
he, running up to her, how dare you muddle the water that
I am drinking ?" "Indeed," said the Lamb humbly, I do
not see how I can disturb the water, since it runs from you
to me, not from me to you." B that as it may," replied
the Wolf, it is but a year ago that you called me many
ill names." "Oh, Sir said the Lamb, trembling, "a year
ago I was not born." Well," replied the Wolf, "if it was
not you, it was your father, and that is all the same; but
it is no use trying to argue me out of my supper; "-and
without another word he fell upon the poor helpless Lamb
and tore her to pieces.
A tyrant never wants a plea. And they have little chance
of resisting the injustice of the powerful whose only weapons
are innocence and reason.
FABLE 27.-THE FLIES AND THE HONEY-POT.
A POT of honey having been upset in a grocer's shop, the
Flies came around it in swarms to eat it up, nor would they
move from the spot while there was a drop left. At length
their feet became so clogged that they could not fly away,
and stifled in the luscious sweets they exclaimed, Miserable
creatures that we are, who for the sake of an hour's pleasure
have thrown away our lives!"
FABLE 28.-THE CREAKING WHEELS.
As some Oxen were dragging a waggon along a heavy
road, the Wheels set up a tremendous creaking. "Brute !"
cried the driver to the waggon; "why do you groan, when
they who are drawing all the weight are silent? "
Those who cry loudest are not always the most hurt.
FABLE 29.-THE BEAR AND THE FOX.
A BEAR used to boast of his excessive love for Man, saying
that he never worried or mauled him when dead. The Fox
observed, with a smile, "I should have thought more of your
profession, if you never ate him alive."
Better save a man from dying than salve him when dead.
FABLE 30.-THE COUNTRY MOUSE AND THE
ONCE upon a time a Country Mouse who had a friend in
town invited him, for old acquaintance sake, to pay him a
visit in the country. The invitation being accepted in due
form, the Country Mouse, though plain and rough and some-
what frugal in his nature, opened his heart and store, in
honour of hospitality and an old friend. There was not a
carefully stored up morsel that he did not bring forth out of
his larder, peas and barley, cheese-parings and nuts, hoping
by quantity to mako up what he feared was wanting in
quality, to suit the palate of his dainty guest. The Town
Mouse, condescending to pick a bit here and a bit there,
while the host sat nibbling a blade of barley-straw, at length
exclaimed, How is it, my good friend, that you can endure
the dulness of this unpolished life ? You are living like a
toad in a hole. You can't really prefer these solitary rocks
and woods to streets teeming with carriages and men. On
my honour, you are wasting your time miserably here. We
must make the most of life while it lasts. A mouse, you
know, does not live for ever. So come with me, and I'll
show you life and the town." Overpowered with such fine
words and so polished a manner, the Country Mouse assented;
and they set out together on their journey to town. It was
late in the evening when they crept stealthily into the city,
and midnight ere they reached the great house, where the
Town Mouse took up his quarters. Here were couches of
crimson velvet, carvings in ivory, everything in short that
denoted wealth and luxury. On the table were the remains
of a splendid banquet, to procure which all the choicest shops
in the town had been ransacked the day before. It was now
the turn of the courtier to play the host; he places his
country friend on purple, runs to and fro to supply all his
wants, presses dish upon dish and dainty upon dainty, and,
as though he were waiting on a king, tastes every course
ere he ventures to place it before his rustic cousin. The
Country Mouse, for his part, affects to make himself quite at
home, and blesses the good fortune that has wrought such a
change in his way of life; when, in the midst of his enjoy-
ment, as he is thinking with contempt of the poor fare he
has forsaken, on a sudden the door flies open, and a party of
revellers returning from a late entertainment, bursts into the
room. The affrighted friends jump from the table in the
greatest consternation and hide themselves in the first corner
they can reach. No sooner do they venture to creep out
again than the barking of dogs drives them back in still
greater terror than before. At length, when things seemed
quiet, the Country Mouse stole out from his hiding-place, and
bidding his friend good-bye, whispered in his ear," Oh, my
good sir, this fine mode of living may do for those who like
it; but give me my barley bread in peace and security before
the daintiest feast where Fear and Care are in waiting."
FABLE 31.--THE LION AND THE MOUSE.
A LION was sleeping in his lair, when a Mouse, not know-
ing where he was going, ran over the mighty beast's nose
and awakened him. The Lion clapped his paw upon the
frightened little creature, and was about to make an end of
him in a moment, when the Mouse, in pitiable tone, besought
him to spare one who had so unconsciously offended, and not
stain his honourable paws with so insignificant a prey. The
Lion, smiling at his little prisoner's fright, generously let
him go. Now it happened no long time after, that the Lion,
while ranging the woods for his prey, fell into the toils of the
hunters; and finding himself entangled without hope of
escape, set up a roar that filled the whole forest with its
echo. The Mouse, recognizing the voice of his former pre-
server, ran to the spot, and without more ado set to work to
nibble the knot in the cord that bound the Lion, and in a
short time set the noble beast at liberty; thus convincing
him that kindness is seldom thrown away, and that there is
no creature so much below another but that he may have it
in his power to return a good office.
FABLE 32.-THE DOG, THE COCK, AND THE FOX.
A DOG and a Cock having struck up an acquaintance went
out on their travels together. Nightfall found them in a
forest; so the Cock flying up on a tree, perched among the
branches, while the Dog dozed below at the foot. As the
night passed away and the day dawned, the Cock, according
to his custom, set up a shrill crowing. A Fox hearing him,
and thinking to make a meal of him, came and stood under
the tree, and thus addressed him:-" Thou art a good little
bird, and most useful to thy fellow-creatures. Come down,
then, that we may sing our matins and rejoice together."
The Cock replied, "Go, my good friend, to the foot of the
tree, and call the sacristan to toll the bell." But as the Fox
went to call him, the Dog jumped out in a moment, and
seized the Fox and made an end of him.
They who lay traps for others are often caught by their
FABLE 33.-THE GULL AND THE KITE.
A GULL had pounced upon a fish, and in endeavouring to
swallow it got choked, and lay upon the deck for dead. A
Kite who was passing by and saw him, gave him no other
comfort than-" It serves you right: for what business have
the fowls of the air to meddle with the fish of the sea."
FABLE 34.-THE HOUSE-DOG AND THE WOLF.
A LEAN hungry Wolf chanced one moonshiny night to fall
in with a plump well-fed House-Dog. After the first com-
pliments were passed between them, How is it, my friend,"
said the Wolf, that you look so sleek ? How well your food
agrees with you and here am I striving for my living night
and day, and can hardly save myself from starving."
" Well," says the Dog, "if you would fare like me, you have
only to do as I do." "Indeed!" says he, "and what is
that?" "Why," replies the Dog, "just to guard the
master's house and keep off the thieves at night." "With
all my heart; for at present I have but a sorry time of it.
This woodland life, with its frosts and rains, is sharp work
for me. To have a warm roof over my head and a bellyful
of victuals always at hand will, methinks, be no bad ex-
change." "True," says the Dog; "therefore you have
nothing to do but to follow me." Now as they were jogging
on together, the Wolf spied a mark in the Dog's neck, and
having a strange curiosity, could not forbear asking what it
meant. "Pooh! nothing at all," says the Dog. "Nay, but
pray "-says the Wolf. Oh Ia mere trifle, perhaps the
collar to which my chain is fastened-" "Chain 1" cries the
Wolf in surprise ; "you don't mean to say that you cannot
rove when and where you please ? Why, not exactly
perhaps; you see I am looked upon as rather fierce, so they
sometimes tie me up in the day-time, but I assure you I
have perfect liberty at night, and the master feeds me off his
own plate, and the servants give me their tit-bits, and I am
such a favourite, and-but what is the matter? where are
you going ?" Oh, good night to you," says the Wolf; "you
are welcome to your dainties; but for me, a dry crust with
liberty against a king's luxury with a chain."
FABLE 35.-THE OLD WOMAN AND THE WINE-JAR.
T .AN Old Woman saw an empty
". Wine-jar lying on the ground.
& Though not a drop of the noble
''Falernian, with which it had been
Spilled, remained, it still yielded a
4,i ,- grateful fragrance to the passers-by.
The Old Woman, applying her nose
as close as she could and snuffing
with all her might and main, ex-
,, claimed, "Sweet creature! how
S' charming must your contents once
i ---- have been, when the very dregs are
S so delicious "
whole brood to death. One that escaped ran off to his
mother with the dreadful news; And, 0 mother said he,
" it was a beast-such a big fourfooted beast!-that did it."
I I' ,
".r I~~- _._- ; "
" ig ?" quoth the old Frog, how big ? was it as big "-and
she puffed herself out to a great degree-" as big as this ? "
" Oh !" said the little one, a great deal bigger than that."
" Well, was it so big ? and she swelled herself out yet more.
"Indeed, mother, but it was; and if you were to burst your-
self, you would never reach half its size." Provoked at such
a disparagement of her powers, the old Frog made one more
trial, and burst herself indeed.
So men are ruined by attempting a greatness to which
they have no claim.
FABLE 37.-THE SICK STAG.
A STAG that had fallen sick, lay down on the rich herbage
of a lawn, close to a wood-side, that she might obtain an easy
pasturage. But so many of the Beasts came to see her-for
she was a good sort of neighbour-that one taking a little,
and another a little, they ate up all the grass in the place.
So, though recovering from the disease, she pined for want,
and in the end lost both her substance and her life.
=-"--- -- 1=2 : -
FABLE 38.-THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE.
A HARE jeered at a Tortoise for the slowness of his pace.
But he laughed and said, that he would run against her and
beat her any day she should name. Come on," said the
Hare, "you shall soon see what my feet are made of." So it
was agreed that they should start at once. The Tortoise
went off jogging along, without a moment's stopping, at his
usual steady pace. The Hare, treating the whole matter very
lightly, said she would first take a little nap, and that she
should soon overtake the Tortoise. Meanwhile the Tortoise
plodded on, and the Hare oversleeping herself, arrived at the
goal, only to see that the Tortoise had got in before her.
Slow and steady wins the race.
FABLE 39.-THE TORTOISE AND THE EAGLE.
A TORTOISE, dissatisfied with his lowly life, when he beheld
so many of the birds, his neighbours, disporting themselves
in the clouds, and thinking that, if he could but once get up
into the air, he could soar with the best of them, called one
day upon an Eagle, and offered him all the treasures of
Ocean if he could only teach him to fly. The Eagle would
have declined the task, assuring him that the thing was not
only absurd but impossible, but being further pressed by the
entreaties and promises of the Tortoise, he at length con-
sented to do for him the best he could. So taking him up
to a great height in the air and loosing his hold upon him,
"Now, then I" cried the Eagle; but the Tortoise, before he
could answer him a word, fell plump upon a rock, and was
dashed to pieces.
Pride shall have a fall.
FABLE 40.-THE MULE.
A MULE that had grown fat and wanton on too great an
allowance of corn, was one day jumping and kicking about,
and at length, cocking up her tail, exclaimed, My dam was
a Racer, and I am quite as good as ever she was." But being
soon knocked up with her galloping and frisking, she remem-
bered all at once that her sire was but an Ass.
Every truth has two sides; it is well to look at both, before
we commit ourselves to either.
FABLE 41.-THE CRAB AND HER MOTHER.
SAID an old Crab to a young one, Why do you walk so
crooked, child ? walk straight Mother," said the young
Crab, "show me the way, will you? and when I see you
taking a straight course, I will try and follow."
Example is better than precept.
FABLE 42.-THE LAMB AND THE WOLF.
A LAMB pursued by a Wolf took refuge in a temple.
Upon this the Wolf called out to him, and said, that the
priest would slay him if he caught him. "Be it so," said
the Lamb: "it is better to be sacrificed to God, than to be
devoured by you."
FABLE 43.-THE SHEPHERD-BOY AND THE WOLF,
A SHEPHERD-BOY, who tended his flock not far from a
village, used to amuse himself at times in crying out Wolf!
Wolf!" Twice or thrice his trick succeeded. The whole village
came running Out to his assistance; when all the return they
got was to be laughed at for their pains. At last, one day the
Wolf came indeed. The Boy cried out in earnest. But his
neighbours, supposing him to be at his old sport, paid no
heed to his cries, and the Wolf devoured the sheep. So the
Boy learned, when it was too late, that liars are not believed
even when they tell the truth.
FABLE 44.-THE HEN AND THE CAT.
A CAT hearing that a Hen was laid up sick in her nest, paid
her a visit of condolence; and creeping up to her said, How
are you, my dear friend ? what can I do for you ? what are
you in want of? only tell me, if there is anything in the
world that I can bring you; but keep up your spirits and
don't be alarmed." "Thank you," said the Hen; "do you
be good enough to leave me, and I have no fear but I shall
soon be well."
Unbidden guests are often welcomest when they are gone.
FABLE 45.-THE POMEGRANATE, THE APPLE,
AND THE BRAMBLE.
THE Pomegranate and the Apple had a contest on the
score of beauty. When words ran high, and the strife waxed
dangerous, a Bramble, thrusting his head from a neighboring
bush, cried out, "We have disputed long enough; let there
be no more rivalry betwixt us.'
The most insignificant are generally the most presuming.
FABLE 46.-THE FOX AND THE WOODMAN.
A Fox, hard pressed by the hounds after a long run, came
up to a man who was cutting wood, and begged him to afford
him some place where he might hide himself. The man
showed him his own hut, and the Fox creeping in, hid him-
self in a corner. The Hunters presently came up, and asking
the man whether he had seen the Fox. "No," said he, but
pointed with his finger to the corner. They, however, not
understanding the hint, were off again immediately. When
the Fox perceived that they were out of sight, he was stealing
off without saying a word. But the man upbraided him,
saying, Is this the way you take leave of your host, without
a word of thanks for your safety." A pretty host!" said
the Fox, turning round upon him, if you had been as honest
with your fingers as you were with your tongue, I should
not have left your roof without bidding you farewell."
There is as much malice in a wink as in a word.
~~z -- -4-. _
FABLE 47. THE CROW AND THE PITCHER.
A CROW, ready to die with thirst, flew with joy to a
Pitcher, which he saw at a distance. But when he came up
to it, he found the water so low that with all his stooping
and straining he was unable to reach it. Thereupon he tried
to break the Pitcher; then to overturn it; but his strength
was not sufficient to do either. At-last, seeing some small
pebbles at hand, he dropped a great many of them, one by
one, into the Pitcher, and so raised the water to the brim,
and quenched his thirst.
Skill and Patience will succeed where Force fails.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention.
Necessity is the M other of Invention.
FABLE 48.-THE ONE-EYED DOE.
A DOE that had but one eye used to graze near the sea,
and that she might be the more secure from attack, kept her
eye towards the land against the approach of the hunters,
and her blind side towards the sea, whence she feared no
danger. But some sailors rowing by in a boat and seeing
her, aimed at her from the water and shot her. When at
her last gasp, she sighed to herself: Ill-fated creature that
I am! I was safe on the land-side whence I expected to be
attacked, but find an enemy in the sea to which I most
looked for protection."
Our troubles often come from the quarter whence we least
.- - -- : -
FABLE 49.-THE BELLY AND THE MEMBERS.
IN former days, when all a man's limbs did not work
together as amicably as they do now, but each had a will and
way of its own, the Members generally began to find fault
with the Belly for spending an idle, luxurious life, while they
were wholly occupied in labouring for its support, and minis-
tering to its wants and pleasures; so they. entered into a
conspiracy to cut off its supplies for the future. The Hands
were no longer to carry food to the Mouth, nor the Mouth
to receive the food, nor the Teeth to chew it. They had not
long persisted in this course of starving the. Belly into sub-
jection, ere they all began, one by one, to fail and flag, and
the whole body to pine away. Then the Members were
convinced that the Belly also, cumbersome and useless as it
FABLE 49.--THE BELLY AND THE MEMBERS.
IN forseemed, had an important function of itman's lis own; that workthey
could no more do wicably as thout it than it could do without them;
way of its own, the Members generally began to find fault
with the Belly for spending an idle, luxurious life, while they
were wholly occupied in labourintr for its support, and minis-
tering to its wants and pleasures; so they entered into a
conspiracy to cut off its suppliess for the future. The Hands
were and that if they would have the constitution of the body in a
o receivhealthy state, they must worTeeth together, each it. They had proper
long sphere, for the common good of starvnll. Belly into sub-
jection, ere they all began, one by one, to fail and flag, and
the whole body to pine away. Then the Members were
convinced that the Belly also, cumbersome and useless as it
seemed, had an important function of its own; that they
could no more do without it than it could do without them;
and that if they would have the constitution of the body in a
healthy state, they must work together; each in his proper
sphere, for the common good of all.
1ESOP'S FABLES, 35
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he had heard that the Bear will never touch a dead body.
As he thus lay, the Bear came up to his head, muzzling and
snuffing at his nose and ears, and heart, but the man immov-
ably held his breath, and the beast supposing him to be dead,
walked away. When the Bear was fairly out of sight, his
companion came down out of the tree, and asked what it was
that the Bear whispered to him,-" for," says he, I observed
he put his mouth very close to your ear." Why," replies
the other, "it was no great secret; he only bade me have a
care how I kept company with those who, when they get into
a difficulty, leave their friends in the lurch."
FABLE 51.-THE LION, THE ASS, AND THE FOX,
THE Lion, the Ass, and the Fox formed a party to go out
hunting. They took a large booty, and when the sport was
ended bethought themselves of having a hearty meal. The
Lion bade the Ass allot the spoil. So, dividing it into three
equal parts, the Ass begged his friends to make their choice;
at which the Lion, in great indignation fell upon the Ass,
and tore him to pieces. He then bade the Fox make a divi-
sion; who, gathering the whole in one great heap, reserved
but the smallest mite for himself. Ah friend," says the
Lion, "who taught you to make so equitable a division ?"
"I wanted no other lesson," replied the Fox, than the Ass's
Better be wise by the misfortunes of others than by your
FABLE 52.-THE STAG IN THE OX-STALL.
A HUNTED Stag, driven out of covert and distracted by
fear, made for the first farm-house he saw, and hid himself
in an Ox-stall which happened to be open. As he was trying
to conceal himself under the straw, What can you mean,"
said an Ox, by running into such certain destruction
as to trust yourself to the haunts of man ?" "Only do
you not betray me," said the Stag, "and I shall be off
again on the first opportunity." Evening came on; the
herdsman foddered the cattle, but observed nothing. The
other farm-servants came in and out. The Stag was still
safe. Presently the bailiff passed through; all seemed right.
The Stag now feeling himself quite secure began to thank
the Oxen for their hospitality. "Wait a while," said one of
them; "we indeed wish you well, but there is yet another
person, one with a hundred eyes; if he should happen to
come this way I fear your life will be still in jeopardy."
While he was speaking, the Master, having finished his
supper, came round to see that all was safe for the night, for
he thought that his cattle had not of late looked as well as
they ought. Going up to the rack, "Why so little fodder
here ? says he; Why is there not more straw ? And
"How long, I wonder, would it take to sweep down these
cobwebs!" Prying and observing here and there and
everywhere, the Stag's antlers, jutting from out the straw,
caught his eye, and calling in his servants he instantly made
prize of him.
No eye like the Master's eye,
FABLE 53.-THE HARE AND THE HOUND.
A HOUND having put up a Hare from a bush, chased her
for some distance, but the Hare had the best of it, and got
off. A Goatherd who was coming by, jeered at the Hound,
saying that Puss was the better runner of the two. "You
forget," replied the Hound, "that it is one thing to be running
for your dinner, and another for your life."
FABLE 54.-THE DOLPHINS AND THE SPRAT.
THE Dolphins and the Whales were at war with one
another, and while the battle was at its height, the Sprat
stepped in and endeavoured to separate them. But one of
the Dolphins cried out, "Let us alone, friend! We had
rather perish in the contest, than be reconciled by you."
FABLE 55.-THE COLLIER
AND THE FULLER.
II A COLLIER, who had more
room in his house than he
wanted for himself, proposed
Sto a Fuller to come and take
up his quarters with him.
Thank you," said the Fuller,
"but I must decline your
offer; for I fear that as fast as
I whiten my goods you will
-blacken them again."
There can be little liking where there is no likeness.
FABLE 56.-THE LION IN LOVE.
IT happened in days of old that a Lion fell in love with a
Woodman's daughter; and had the folly to ask her of her
father in marriage. The Woodman was not much pleased
with the offer, and declined the honour of so dangerous an
alliance. But upon the Lion threatening him with his royal
displeasure, the poor man, seeing that so formidable a crea-
ture was not to be denied, hit at length upon this expedient:
"I feel greatly flattered," said he, "with your proposal; but,
noble sir, what great teeth you have got i and what great
claws you have got! where is the damsel that would not be
frightened at such weapons as these ? You must have your
teeth drawn and your claws pared before you can be a suit-
able bridegroom for my daughter." The Lion straightway
submitted (for what will not a body do for love ?) and then
called upon the father to accept him as a son-in-law. But
the Woodman, no longer afraid of the tamed and disarmed
bully, seized a stout cudgel, and drove the unreasonable
suitor from his door.
ESOP S FABLES.
J. I .~.
~,?_~~c\"-l1'- ----- -- -
.) THE WINI
Sthe Wind and
agreed to put
issue, that wh
a traveller tak
S be accounted
The Wind bec
his might an
c /ah ^'3 *._ ---*
) AND THE SUN.
once arose between
- the Sun, which was
of the two, and they
the point upon this
ichever soonest made
;e off his cloak, should
the more powerful.
gan, and blew with all
d main a blast, cold
and fierce as a Thracian storm; but the stronger he blew
the closer the traveller wrapped his cloak around him, and
the tighter he grasped it with his hands. Then broke out
the Sun: with his welcome beams he dispersed the vapour
and the cold; the traveller felt the genial warmth, and as the
Sun shone brighter and brighter, he sat down, overcome with
the heat, and cast his cloak on the ground.
Thus the Sun was declared the conqueror; and it has ever
been deemed that persuasion is better than force; and that
the sunshine of a kind and gentle manner will sooner lay
open a poor man's heart than Uil the threatening and force
of blustering authority.
FABLE 58.-THE FARMER AND HIS SONS.
A FARMER being on the point of death, and wishing to
show his sons the way to success in farming, called them to
him, and said, "My children, I am now departing from this
life, but all that I have to leave you, you will find in the
vineyard." The sons, supposing that he referred to some
hidden treasure, as soon as the old man was dead, set to
work with their spades and ploughs and every implement
that was at hand, and turned up the soil over and over again.
They found indeed no treasure; but the vines, strengthened
and improved by this thorough tillage, yielded a finer vintage
than they had ever yielded before, and more than repaid the
young husbandmen for all their trouble. So truly is industry
in itself a treasure.
FABLE 59.-THE TREES AND THE AXE.
A WOODMAN came into a forest to ask the Trees to give
him a handle for his Axe. It seemed so modest a request
that the principal Trees at once agreed to it, and it was
settled among them that the plain homely Ash should fur-
nish what was wanted. No sooner had the Woodman fitted
the staff to his purpose, than he began laying about him on
all sides, felling the noblest Trees in the wood. The Oak
now seeing the whole matter too late, whispered to the
Cedar, The first concession has lost all; if we had not
sacrificed our humble neighbour, we might have yet stood for
When the rich surrender the rights of the poor, they give
a handle to be used against their own privileges.
FABLE 60.-THE ASS AND THE LAP-DOG.
THERE was an Ass and a Lap-dog that belonged to the
same master. The Ass was tied up in the stable, and had
plenty of corn and hay to eat, and was as well off as Ass
could be. The little Dog was always sporting and gambolling
about, caressing and fawning upon his master in a thousand
amusing ways, so that he became a great favourite, and was
permitted to lie in his master's lap. The Ass, indeed, had
enough to do; he was drawing wood all day, and had to take
his turn at the mill at night. But while he grieved over his
own lot, it galled him more to see the Lap-dog living in such
ease and luxury; so thinking that if he acted a like part to
his master, he should fare the same, he broke one day from
his halter, and rushing into the hall began to kick and
prance about in the strangest fashion; then swishing his
tail and mimicking the frolics of the favourite, he upset the
table where his master was at dinner, breaking it in two and
smashing all the crockery; nor would he leave off till he
jumped upon his master, and pawed him with his rough-shod
feet. The servants, seeing their master in no little danger,
thought it was now high time to interfere, and having
released him from the Ass's caresses, they so belaboured the
silly creature with sticks and staves, that he never got up
again; and as he breathed his last, exclaimed, Why could
not I have been satisfied with my natural position, without
attempting, by tricks and grimaces, to imitate one who was
but a puppy after all "
FABLE 61.-THE BLIND MAN AND THE WHELP.
A BLIND Man was wont, on any animal being put into his
hands, to say what it was. Once they brought to him a
Wolf's whelp. He felt it all over and being in doubt, said,
" I know not whether thy father was a Dog or a Wolf; but
this I know, that I would not trust thee among a flock of
Evil dispositions are early shown.
FABLE 62.-THE DOVE AND THE CROW.
A DOVE that was kept shut up in a cage was congratulating
herself upon the number of her family. Cease, good soul,"
said a Crow, "to boast on that subject; for the more young
ones you have, so many more slaves will you have to groan
What are blessings in freedom are curses in slavery.
46 ESOP'S FABLES.
I. '1 E 1
1 I *NN' 'i ~ i .h esii
-ar : :.. ,. tis t. Slo-,ie
-- _f._ -- i, .. 1 1) ...1 *- ti;'_-_
S: ri ti.t. th'r- ii l" 1..u li .ce-
...... .. ..1..1 tl-. .- ~ ~l l : b e
in t n-, I 1 ki S ad
.- -, .' l,
t1.- 1 1, -V, i .0.- : -. _7ll no
iI- Tl..a ,illy
Sheep listened, the Dogs were dismissed, and the flocle thus
deprived of their best protectors, became an easy prey to
their treacherous enemy.
FABLE 64.-THE LION AND THE FOX.
A Fox agreed to wait upon a Lion in the capacity of a
servant. Each for a time performed the part belonging to
his station; the Fox used to point out the prey, and the
Lion fell upon it and seized it. But the Fox beginning to
think himself as good a beast as his master, begged to be
allowed to hunt the game instead of finding it. His request
was granted, but as he was in the act of making a descent
upon a herd, the huntsmen came out upon him, and he was
himself made the prize.
Keep to your place, and your place will keep you.
FABLE 65.-JUPITER AND THE CAMEL.
WHEN the Camel, in days of yore, besought Jupiter to
grant him horns, for that it was a great grief to him to see
other animals furnished with them, while he had none; Jupiter
not only refused to give him the horns he asked for, but
cropped his ears short for his importunity.
By asking too much, we may lose the little that we had
FABLE 66.-THE- ASS AND THE GRASSHOPPER.
AN Ass hearing some Grasshoppers chirping, was delighted
- ith the music, and determining, if he could, to rival them,
asked them what it was that they fed upon to make them
sing so sweetly ? When they told him that they supped
upon nothing but dew, the Ass betook himself to the same
diet, and soon died of hunger.
One man's meat is another man's poison.
48 AESOP'S FABLES.
HERCULES & THE WAGGONER.
As a Countryman was carelessly
Driving his waggon along a miry lane,
S his wheels stuck so deep in the clay
i 'i that the horses came to a stand-still.
S Upon this the man, without making
-" the least effort of his own, began to
call upon Hercules to come and help
him out of his trouble. But Hercules bade him lay his
shoulder to the wheel, assuring him that Heaven only aided
those who endeavoured to help themselves.
It is in vain to expect our prayers to be heard, if we do
not strive as well as pray.
not strive as well as pray,
FABLE 68.-THE FOX WITHOUT A TAIL.
A Fox being caught in a trap, was glad to compound for
his neck by leaving his tail behind him; but upon coming
abroad into the world, he began to be so sensible of the dis-
grace such a defect would bring upon him, that he almost
wished he had died rather than come away without it.
However, resolving to make the best of a bad matter, he
called a meeting of the rest of the Foxes, and proposed that
all should follow his example. You have no notion," said
he, "of the ease and comfort with which I now move about:
I could never have believed it if I had not tried it myself;
but really, when one comes to reason upon it, a tail is such
an ugly, inconvenient, unnecessary appendage, that the only
wonder is that, as Foxes, we could have put up with it so
long. I propose, therefore, my worthy brethren, that you
all profit by the experience that I am most willing to afford
you, and that all Foxes from this day forward cut off their
tails." Upon this one of the oldest stepped forward, and
said, I rather think, my friend, that you would not have
advised us to part with our tails, if there were any chance of
recovering your own."
FABLE 69.-THE OLD WOMAN AND THE PHYSICIAN.
AN old Woman, who had become blind, called in a
Physician, and promised him, before witnesses, that if he
would restore her eyesight, she would give him a most hand-
some reward, but that if he did not cure her, and her malady
remained, he should receive nothing. The agreement being
concluded, the Physician tampered from time to time with
the old lady's eyes, and meanwhile, bit by bit, carried off her
goods. At length after a time he set about the task in
earnest and cured her, and thereupon asked for the stipu-
lated fee. But the old Woman, on recovering her sight, saw
none of her goods left in the house. When, therefore, the
Physician importuned her in vain for payment, and she con-
tinually put him off with excuses, he summoned her at last
before the Judges. Being now called upon for her defence,
she said, "What this man says is true enough; I promised to
give him his fee if my sight were restored, and nothing if my
eyes continued bad. Now then, he says that I am cured, but
I say just the contrary; for when my malady first came on
I could see all sorts of furniture and goods in my house ; but
now, when he says he has restored my sight, I cannot see
one jot of either."
He who plays a trick must be prepared to take a joke.
FABLE 70.-THE HARES AND THE FROGS.
ONCE upon a time, the Hares, driven desperate by the
many enemies that compassed them about on every side,
came to the sad resolution that there was nothing left for
them but to make away with themselves, one and all. Off
they scudded to a lake hard by, determined to drown them-
selves as the most miserable of creatures. A shoal of Frogs
seated upon the bank, frightened at the approach of the
Hares, leaped in the greatest alarm and confusion into the
water. "Nay, then, my friends," said a Hare that was
foremost, "our case is not so desperate yet; for here are
other poor creatures more faint-hearted than ourselves."
Take not comfort, but courage, from another's distress;
and be sure, whatever your misery, that there are some
whose lot you would not exchange with your own.
~ L..1 ~ ~
FABLE 71.-THE HUSBANDMAN AND THE STORK.
A HUSBANDMAN fixed a net in his field to catch the Cranes
that came to feed on his new-sown corn. When he went to
examine the net, and see what Cranes he had taken, a Stork
was found among the number. Spare me," cried the Stork,
"and let me go. I am no Crane. I have eaten none of
your corn. I am a poor innocent Stork, as you may see-
the most pious and dutiful of birds. I honour and succour
my father and mother. I- But the Husbandman
cut him short. All this may be true enough, I dare say,
but this I know, that I have caught you with those who were
destroying my crops, and you must suffer with the company
in which you are taken."
Ill company proves more than fair professions.
FABLE 72.-THE ANGLER AND THE LITTLE FISH.
AN Angler, who gained his livelihood by fishing, after a
long day's toil, caught nothing but one little fish. "Spare
me," said the little creature, "I beseech you; so small as I
am, I shall make you but a sorry meal. I am not come to
my full size yet; throw me back into the river for the
present, and then, when I am grown bigger and worth eating,
you may come here and catch me again." No, no," said
the man; "I have got you now, but if you once get back
into the water, your tune will be, 'Catch me if you can.'"
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
FABLE 73.-THE MONKEY AND THE CAMEL.
AT a great meeting of the Beasts, the Monkey stood up to
dance. Having greatly distinguished himself, and being
applauded by all present, it moved the spleen of the Camel,
who came forward and began to dance also; but he made
himself so utterly absurd, that all the Beasts in indignation
set upon him with clubs and drove him out of the ring.
Stretch your arm no further than your sleeve will reach.
FABLE 74.-THE MOLE AND HER MOTHER.
SAID a young Mole to her mother, Mother, I can see."
So, in order to try her, her Mother put a lump of frank-
incense before her, and asked her what it was. A stone,"
said the young one. O, my child!" said the Mother, "not
only do you not see, but you cannot even smell."
Brag upon one defect, and betray another.
FABLE 75.-THE LIONESS.
THERE was a great stir made among all the Beasts, which
could boast of the largest family. So they came to the
Lioness. "And how many," said they, "do you have at a
birth ?" One," said she, grimly; but that one is a Lion."
Quality comes before quantity.
FABLE 76.-THE BUNDLE OF STICKS.
A HUSBANDMAN who had a quarrelsome family, after
having tried in vain to reconcile them by words, thought he
might more readily prevail by an example. So he called his
sons and bade them lay a bundle of sticks before him. Then
having tied them into a faggot, he told the lads, one after
the other, to take it up and break it. They all tried, but
tried in vain. Then untying the faggot, he gave them the
sticks to break one by one. This they did with the greatest
ease. Then said the father, Thus you, my sons, as long as
you remain united, are a match for all your enemies; but
differ and separate, and you are undone."
Union is strength.
FABLE 77.-THE MAN AND THE LION.
ONCE upon a time a Man and a Lion were journeying
together, and came at length to high words which was the
braver and stronger creature of the two. As the dispute
waxed warmer they happened to pass by, on the road-side,
a statue of a man strangling a lion. "See there," said the
Man; "what more undeniable proof can you have of our
superiority than that? "That," said the Lion, "is your
version of the story; let us be the sculptors, and for one.lion
under the feet of a man, you shall have twenty men under
the paw of a lion."
Men are but sorry witnesses in their own cause.
THE NURSE AND THE WOLF.
A WOLF, roving about in search of
food, passed by a door where a child
was crying and its Nurse chiding it.
As he stood listening he heard the
Nurse say, "Now leave off crying this
instant, or I'll throw you out to the
Wolf." So thinking that the old
woman would be as good as her word,
i he waited quietly about the house, in
expectation of a capital supper. But as it grew dark and the
child became quiet, he again heard the Nurse, who was
now fondling the child, say, There's a good dear then; if
the naughty Wolf comes for my child, we'll beat him to
death, we will." The Wolf, disappointed and mortified,
thought it was now high time to be going home, and, hungry
as a wolf indeed, muttered as he went along: This comes
of heeding people who say one thing and mean another "
FABLE 79.-THE MONKEY AND THE DOLPHIN.
IT was an old custom among sailors to carry about with
them little Maltese lap-dogs, or Monkeys, to amuse them on
the voyage; so it happened once upon a time that a man
took with him a Monkey as a companion on board ship.
While they were off Sunium, the famous promontory of
Attica, the ship was caught in a violent storm, and being
capsized, all on board were thrown in the water, and had to
swim for land as best they could. And among them was
the Monkey. A Dolphin saw him struggling, and, taking
him for a man, went to his assistance and bore him on his
back straight for shore. When they had just got opposite
Piraus, the harbour of Athens, the Dolphin asked the
Monkey if he were an Athenian? "Yes," answered the
Monkey, "assuredly, and of one of the first families in the
place." "Then, of course, you know Piraeus," said the
Dolphin. "Oh, yes," said the Monkey, who thought it was
the name of some distinguished citizen, he is one of my
most intimate friends." Indignant at so gross a deceit and
falsehood, the Dolphin dived to the bottom, and left the
lying Monkey to his fate.
FABLE 80.-THE HORSE AND THE STAG.
A HORSE had the whole range of a meadow to himself;
but a Stag coming and damaging the pasture, the Horse,
anxious to have his revenge, asked a Man if he could not
assist him in punishing the Stag. "Yes," said the Man,
" only let me put a bit in your mouth, and get upon your
back, and I will find the weapons." The Horse agreed, and
the Man mounted accordingly; but instead of getting his
revenge, the Horse has been from that time forward the
slave of man.
Revenge is too dearly purchased at the price of liberty.
FABLE 81.-THE WOLF AND THE SHEEP.
A WOLF that had been bitten by a dog, and was in a very
sad case, being unable to move, called to a Sheep, that was
passing by, and begged her to fetch him some water from
the neighboring stream; "For if you," said he, will bring
me drink, I will find meat myself." "Yes," said the Sheep,
" I make no doubt of it; for, if I come near enough to give
you the drink, you will soon make mince-meat of me."
FABLE 82.-THE WIDOW AND THE SHEEP.
THERE was a certain Widow who had an only Sheep;
and, wishing to make the most of his wool, she sheared him
so closely that she cut his skin as well as his fleece. The
Sheep, smarting under this treatment, cried out-" Why do
you torture me thus? What will my blood add to the
weight of the wool? If you want my flesh, Dame, send for
the Butcher, who will put me out of my misery at once; but
if you want my fleece, send for the Shearer, who will clip
my wool without drawing my blood."
Middle measures are often but middling measures.
FABLE 83.-THE DOG AND HIS MASTER.
A CERTAIN Man was setting out on a journey, when, seeing
his Dog standing at the door, he cried out to him, "What
are you gaping about ? Get ready to come with me." The
Dog, wagging his tail, said, I am all right, Master; it is you
who have to pack up.'
: --- --
..-- -- .
> ,^.i. .... ,
i w ;if *
FAnLE 84.-THE MISCHIEVOUS DOG.
THERE was a Dog so wild and mischievous, that his master
was obliged to fasten a heavy clog about his neck, to prevent
him biting and worrying his neighbours. The Dog, priding
himself upon his badge, paraded in the market-place, shaking
his clog to attract attention. But a sly friend whispered to
him, "The less noise you make the better; your mark of
distinction is no reward of merit, but a badge of disgrace !"
Men often mistake notoriety for fame, and would rather
be remarked for their vices or follies than not be noticed
at all. -
FABLE 85.-THE BIRDOATCHER AND THE LARK.
A BIRDCATCHER was setting springs upon a common,
when a Lark, who saw him at work, asked him from a
distance what he was doing. "I am establishing a colony,"
said he, "and laying the foundations of my first city."
Upon that, the Man retired to a little distance and hid
himself. The Lark, believing his assertion, soon flew down
to the place, and swallowing the bait, found himself entangled
in the noose; whereupon the Birdcatcher straightway coming
up to him, made him his prisoner. "A pretty fellow are
you !" said the Lark; "if these are the colonies you found,
you will not find many immigrants."
FABLE 86.-THE SWALLOW AND THE RAVEN.
THE Swallow and the Raven contended which was the
finer bird. The Raven ended by saying, "Your beauty is
but for the summer, but mine will stand many winters."
Durability is better than show.
FABLE 87.-THE FARTHING RUSHLIGHT.
A RUSHLIGHT that had grown fat and saucy with too much
grease, boasted one evening before a large company, that it
shone brighter than the sun, the moon, and all the stars. At
that moment, a puff of wind came and blew it out. One who
lighted it again said, "Shine on, friend Rushlight, and hold
your tongue; the lights of heaven are never blown out."
FABLE 88.-THE HERDSMAN AND THE LOST BULL.
A HERDSMAN, who had lost a Bull, went roaming through
the forest in search of it. Being unable to find it, he began
to vow to all the Nymphs of the forest and the mountain, to
Mercury and to Pan, that he would offer up a lamb to them,
if he could only discover the thief. At that moment, gaining
a high ridge of ground, he sees a Lion standing over the
carcase of his beautiful Bull. And now the unhappy man
64 aESOP'S FABLES.
vows the Bull into the bargain, if he may only escape from
the thief's clutches.
Were our ill-judged prayers to be always granted, how
many would be ruined at their own request!
FABLE 89.-THE MAN BITTEN BY A DOG.
A MAN who had been bitten by a Dog, was going about
asking who could cure him. One that met him said, Sir,
if you would be cured, take a bit of bread and dip it in the
blood of the wound, and give it to the dog that bit you."
Tle Man smiled, and said, If I were to follow your advice,
I should be bitten by all the dogs in the city."
He who proclaims himself ready to buy up his enemies
will never want a supply of them.
FABLE 00.-THE TRAVELLERS AND THE PLANE-TREE.
SOME Travellers, on a hot day in summer, oppressed with
the noontide sun, perceiving a Plane-tree near at hand, made
straight for it, and throwing themselves on the ground rested
under its shade. Looking up, as they lay, towards the tree,
they said one to another, "'What a useless tree to man is
this barren Plane But the Plane-tree answered them,-
"Ungrateful creatures at the very moment that you are
enjoying benefit from me, you rail at me as being good for
Ingratitude is as blind as it is base.
FABLE 91.-THE OAK AND THE REED.
AN Oak that had been rooted up by the winds was borne
down the stream of a river, on the banks of which many
Reeds were growing. The Oak wondered to see that things
so slight and frail had stood the storm, when so great and
strong a tree as himself had been rooted up. Cease to
wonder," said the Reed, "you were overthrown by fighting
against the storm, while we are saved by yielding and bending
to the slightest breath that blows."
FABLE 92.-THE VIPER AND THE FILE.
A VIPER entering into a smith's shop began looking about
for something to eat. At length, seeing a File, he went up
to it, and commenced biting at it; but the File bade him
leave him alone, saying, "You are likely to get little from
me, whose business it is to bite others."
66 2ESOP'S FABLES.
FABLE 93.-MERCURY AND THE WOODMAN.
on the bank of a river, and by
.- to the bottom. Being thereupon
-by te side of te s m
(I 'I' iI.
lamented his loss bitterly. But
-- =:- I [ t -_ *. I ,-r _: -
ercury, whose river it was, taking compassion on him,
.. ., % ,? ,
the cause of his sorrow, dived to the bottom of the river, and by
bringing up a golden axe, asked the Woodman if that wereupon
-'. :-"c~ni It ss- dow n ,.
I, ... *~-r-b y the sid-e of the stream and
Mercury, whose river it was, taking compassion on him,
appeared at the instant before him; and hearing from him
the cause of his sorrow, dived to the bottom of the river, and
bringing up a golden a lxe, asked the Woodman if that were
S -- r -~ "- I UI ,, :-'-+ ,I~ C nl~ I y II~I "I '1aT ---x .---=-'--: -r : P j' =_
his. Upon the man's denying it, Mercury dived a second
time, and brought up one of silver. Again the man denied
that it was his. So diving a third time, he produced the
identical axe. which the man had lost. "That is mine !"
said the Woodman, delighted to have recovered his own;
and so pleased was Mercury with the fellow's truth and
honesty, that he at once made him a present of the other
The man goes to his companions, and giving them an
account of what had happened to him, one of them deter-
mined to try whether he might not have the like good
fortune. So repairing to the same place, as if for the purpose
of cutting wood, he let slip his axe on purpose into the river,
and then sat down on the bank, and made a great show of
weeping. Mercury appeared as before, and hearing from
him that his tears were caused by the loss of his axe, dived
once more into the stream; and bringing up a golden axe,
asked him if that was the axe he had lost. "Aye, surely,"
said the man, eagerly; and he was about to grasp the trea-
sure, when Mercury, to punish his impudence and lying, not
only refused to give him that, but would not so much as
restore him his own axe again.
Honesty is the best policy.
FABLE 94.-THE GEESE AND THE CRANES.
SOME Geese and some Cranes fed together in the same
field. One day the sportsman came suddenly down upon
them. The Cranes being light of body, flew off in a moment
and escaped; but the Geese, weighed down by their fat, were
In civil commotions, they fare best who have least to
FABLE 95.-THE LION AND OTHER BEASTS HUNTING.
THE Lion and other beasts formed an alliance to go out
a-hunting. When they had taken a fat stag, the Lion pro-
posed himself as commissioner, and dividing it into three
parts, thus proceeded: The first," said he, "I shall take
officially, as king; the second I shall take for my own
personal share in the chase; and as for the third part,-let
him take it who dares."
FABLE 96.-THE EAGLE AND THE ARROW.
A BOWMAN took aim at an Eagle and hit him in the heart.
As the Eagle turned his head in the agonies of death, he saw
that the Arrow was winged with his own feathers. How
much sharper," said he, "are the wounds made by weapons
which we ourselves have supplied !"
ESOP'S FABLES. 69
FABLE 97.-THE DOG IN THE ANGER
-- ---- -- ------ -
FABLE 97.-THE DOG IN THE MANGER.
A DOG made his bed in a Manger, and lay snarling and
growling to keep the horses from their provender. See,"
said one of them, what a miserable cur who neither can
eat corn himself, nor will allow those to eat it who can."
FABLE 98.--THE GNAT AND THE BULL.
A GNAT that had been buzzing about the head of a Bull,
at length settling himself down upon his horn, begged his
pardon for incommoding him; "but if," says he, "my
weight at all inconveniences you, pray say so and I will be
off in a moment." Oh, never trouble your head about
that," says the Bull, for 'tis all one to me whether you go
or stay; and, to say the truth, I did not know you were
The smaller the Mind the greater the Conceit.
JSOP S FABLES.
FABLE 99.-JUPITER, NEPTUNE, MINERVA, & MOMUS.
JUPITER, Neptune, and Minerva (as the story goes) once
contended which of them should make the most perfect
thing. Jupiter made a M1an; Pallas made a House; and
Neptune made a Bull; and Momus-for he had not yet been
turned out of Olympus-was chosen judge to decide which
production had the greatest merit. He began by finding
fault with the Bull, because his horns were not below his
eyes, so that he might see when he butted with them. Next
he found fault with the Man, because there was no window
in his breast that all might see his inward thoughts and
feelings. And lastly he found fault with the House, because
it had no wheels to enable its inhabitants to remove from
bad neighbours. But Jupiter forthwith drove the critic out
of heaven, telling him that a fault-finder could never be
pleased, and that it was time to criticise the works of others
when he had done some good thing himself.
FABLE 100.-THE MARRIAGE OF THE SUN.
ONCE upon a time, in a very warm summer, it was cur-
rently reported that the Sun was going to be married. All
the birds and the beasts were delighted at the thought; and
the Frogs, above all others, were determined to have a good
holiday. But an old Toad put a stop to their festivities by
observing that it was an occasion for sorrow rather than for
joy. "For if," said he, "the Sun of himself now parches up
the marshes so that we can hardly bear it, what will become
of us if he should have half a dozen little Suns in addition ? "
FABLE 101.-THE THIEF AND HIS MOTHER.
A SCHOOLBOY stole a horn-book from one of
his .. .. !. l, i '" lh ." lt i j ,-
ft, I ,
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-d ....- \i .. 'ii
IN -- A-#',CP'2
home to his mother. Instead of chastising him, she rather
encouraged him in the deed. In course of time the boy,
now grown into a man, began to steal things of greater
value, till at length, being caught in the very act, he was
bound and led to execution. Perceiving his mother follow-
ing among the crowd, wailing and beating her breast, he
begged the officers to be allowed to speak one word in her
ear. When she quickly drew near and applied her ear to
her son's mouth, he seized the lobe of it tightly between his
teeth and bit it off. Upon this she cried out lustily, and
the crowd joined her in upbraiding her unnatural son, as if
his former evil ways had not been enough, but that his last
act must be a deed of impiety against his mother. But he
replied: It is she who is the cause of my ruin ; for if when
I stole my schoolfellow's horn-book and brought it to her,
she had given me a sound flogging, I should never have so
grown in wickedness as to come to this untimely end."
Nip evil in the bud. Spare the rod and spoil the child.
FABLE 102.-THE CAT AND THE MICE.
A CAT, grown feeble with age, and no longer able to hunt
the Mice as she was wont to do,
bethought herself how she might
entice them within reach of her
paw. Thinking that she might
pass herself off for a bag, or for a
dead cat at least, she suspended
herself by the hind legs from a
peg, in the hope that the Mice
would no longer be afraid to come
near her. An old Mouse, who
was wise enough to keep his
distance, whispered to a friend,
"Many a bag have I seen in
my day, but never one with a
cat's head." "Hang there, good
Madam," said the other, as long
as you please, but I would not
trust myself within reach of you
though you were stuffed with
Old birds are not to 1,e caught with chaff.
FABLE 103.-THE LION AND HIS THREE COUNCILLORS.
THE Lion called the Sheep to ask her if his breath smelt:
she said Ay; he bit off her head for a fool. He called the
Wolf, and asked him: he said No; he tore him in pieces for
a flatterer. At last he called the Fox, and asked him. Truly
he had got a cold, and could not smell.
Wise men say nothing in dangerous times.
FABLE 104.-THE COUNTRY MAID AND HER MILK-CAN.
A COUNTRY MAID was walking
along with a can of Milk upon
her head, when she fell into the
following train of reflections.
"The money for which I shall
sell this milk will enable me to
increase my stock of eggs to three
hundred. These eggs, allowing
for what may prove addle, and i
what may be destroyed by vermin,
will produce at least two hundred
and fifty chickens. The chickens
will be fit to carry to market just
at the time when poultry is always"
Sdear; so that by the new-year I
cannot fail of having money enough -
to purchase a new gown. Green
-let me consider-yes, green be- --
comes my complexion best, and
green it shall be. In this dress I
will go to the fair, where all the
young fellows will strive to have me for a partner; but no-
74 ESOP'S FABLES.
I shall refuse every one of them, and with a disdainful toss
turn from them." Transported with this idea, she could not
? forbear acting with her head
I the thought that thus passed in
her mind; when, down came
i i the can of milk and all her
Simaginary happiness vanished
in a moment.
m.-" v. ..ce my fr wa y-o- d-o
FABLE 105.-THE BEEVES AND THE BUTCHERS.
THE Beeves, once on a time, determined to make an end
of the Butchers, whose whole art, they said, was conceived
for their destruction. So they assembled together, and had
already whetted their horns for the contest, when a very old
Ox, who had long worked at the plough, thus addressed
them.-"-Have a care, my friends, what you do. These
men, at least, kill us with decency and skill, but if we fall
into the hands of botchers instead of butchers, we shall
suffer a double death; for be well assured, men will not go
without beef, even though they were without butchers."
Better to bear the ills we have, than fly to others that we
know not of.
FABLE 106.-THE TWO POTS.
Two Pots, one of earthenware, the other of brass, were
carried down a river in a flood. The Brazen Pot begged his
companion to keep by his side, and he would protect him,
"Thank you for your offer," said the Earthen Pot, "but
that is just what I am afraid of; if you will only keep at a
distance, I may float down in safety; but should we come in
contact, I am sure to be the sufferer."
Avoid too powerful neighbours; for should there be a
collision, the weakest goes to the wall.
FABLE 107.-THE DOCTOR AND HIS PATIENT.
A DOCTOR had been for some time attending upon a sick
Man, who, however, died under his hands. At the funeral
the Doctor went about among the relations, saying, Our poor
friend there, if he had only refrained from wine, and attended
to his inside, and used proper means, would not have been
lying there." One of the mourners answered him, "My
good sir, it is of no use your saying this now; you ought to
have prescribed these things when your patient was alive to
The best advice may come too late.
FABLE 108.-THE MICE IN COUNCIL.
ONCE upon a time the Mice being sadly distressed by the
persecution of the Cat, resolved to call a. meeting, to decide
upon the best means of getting rid of this continual annoy-
ance. Many plans were discussed and rejected; at last a
young mouse got up and proposed that a Bell should be
hung round the Cat's neck, that they might for the future
always have notice of her coming, and so be able to escape.
This proposition was hailed with the greatest applause, and
was agreed to at once unanimously. Upon which an old
Mouse, who had sat silent all the while, got up and said that
he considered the contrivance most ingenious, and that it
would, no doubt, be quite successful; but he had only one
short question to put, namely, which of them it was who
would Bell the Cat ?
It is one thing to propose, and another to execute.
FABLE 109.-THE LION AND THE GOAT.
ON a summer's day, when everything was suffering from
extreme heat, a Lion and a Goat came at the same time to
quench their thirst at a small fountain. They at once fell
to quarrelling which should first drink of the water, till at
length it seemed that each was determined to resist the other
even to death. But, ceasing from the strife for a moment,
to recover breath, they saw a flock of vultures hovering over
them, only waiting to pounce upon whichever of them should
fall. Whereupon they instantly made up their quarrel,
agreeing that it was far better for them both to become friends,
than to furnish food for the crows and vultures.
FABLE 110.-THE GOOSE WITH THE GOLDEN EGGS.
A CERTAIN man had the good fortune to possess a Goose
that laid him a Golden Egg every day. But dissatisfied with
so slow an income, and thinking to seize the whole treasure
at once, he killed the Goose; and cutting her open, found
her-just what any other goose would be !
Much wants more and loses all.
FABLE 111.--THE MOUNTEBANK & THE COUNTRYMAN.
A CERTAIN wealthy patrician, intending to treat the
Roman people with some theatrical entertainment, publicly
offered a reward to any one who would produce a novel
spectacle. Incited by emulation, artists arrived from all
parts to contest the prize, among whom a well-known witty
Mountebank gave out that he had a new kind of entertain-
ment that had never yet been produced on any stage. This
report being spread abroad, brought the whole city together.
The theatre could hardly contain the number of spectators.
And when the artist appeared alone upon the stage, without
any apparatus, or any assistants, curiosity and suspense kept
the spectators in profound silence. On a sudden he thrust
down his head into his bosom, and mimicked the squeaking
of a young pig, so naturally, that the audience insisted upon
it that he had one under his cloak, and ordered him to be
searched; which being done, and nothing appearing, they
loaded him with the most extravagant applause.
A Countryman among the audience observing what passed
-" Oh 1" says he, "I can do better than this; and imme-
diately gave out that he would perform the next day.
Accordingly on the morrow, a yet greater crowd was collected.
Prepossessed, however, in favour of the Mountebank, they
came rather to laugh at the Countryman than to pass a fair
judgment on him. They both came out upon the stage.
The Mountebank grunts away first, and calls forth the
greatest clapping and applause. Then the Countryman,
pretending that he concealed a little pig under his garments
(and he had in fact, really got one) pinched its ear till he
made it squeak. The people cried out that the Mountebank
had imitated the pig much more naturally, and hooted to
the Countryman to quit the stage; but he, to convict them
to their face, produced the real pig from his bosom. "And
now, gentlemen, you may see," said he, "what a pretty sort
of judges you are!"
It is easier to convince a man against his senses than
against his will.
.iE I I h 112.
THiE L, INVi'TED TO SUPPER.
;' A I li :. ar, having prepared
i-- .-,i 1 ; ... -, ,i ,t 1 ,-., invited a Friend to
Zipper; and the Gentleman's Dog,
meeting the Friend's Dog, Come," said he, my good fellow,
and sup with us to-night." The Dog was delighted with the
invitation, and as he stood by and saw the preparations for the
feast, said to himself, "Capital fare indeed! this is, in truth,
good luck. I shall revel in dainties, and I will take good care
.to lay in an ample stock to-night, for I may have nothing to eat
to-morrow." As he said this to himself, he wagged his tail, and
gave a sly look at his friend who had invited him. But his
tail wagging to and fro caught the cook's eye, who seeing a
stranger, straightway seized him by the legs, and threw him out
of window. When he reached the ground, he set off yelping