Fables of Aesop and others

Material Information

Fables of Aesop and others
Uniform Title:
Aesop's fables
Corner, James Mackenzie ( Illustrator )
Croxall, Samuel, d. 1752 ( Translator )
Nimmo, William Philip, 1831-1883 ( Publisher )
Place of Publication:
London (14 King William Street Strand)
William P. Nimmo
M'Farlane and Erskine
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
285, 12 p., [1] leaf of plates : col. ill. ; 15 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Juvenile literature -- 1877 ( rbgenr )
Fables -- 1877 ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1877 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1877
Children's literature ( fast )
Fables ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues ( rbgenr )
fiction ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )


General Note:
Col. frontispiece signed J.M. Corner.
General Note:
Includes publisher's catalog.
General Note:
Imprint also notes publisher's location in Edinburgh.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
translated into English with instructive applications by Samuel Croxall.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections ( with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
022777728 ( ALEPH )
22770129 ( OCLC )
AHJ1419 ( NOTIS )


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Full Text

The Baldwin Library
' Rm!B '









(late Schenck &- M'Farlane,)





You must not be surprised at my begging your protection for this
little book, when I assure you it was principally intended for your
perusal. I had often wished to see something of this kind published
by an able hand; and, for want of that, have sometimes had an incli-
nation to do it myself; but never came to any resolution on that point,
till very lately, when at Horton, I had the pleasure to find your Lord-
ship, though but in your fifth year, capable of reading anything in the
English tongue without the least hesitation.
These Fables, my Lord, abound in variety of instruction, moral and
political. They furnish us with rules for every station of life; they
mark out a proper behaviour for us, both in respect of ourselves and
others; and demonstrate to us, by a kind of example, every virtue
which claims our best regards, and every vice which we are most con-
cerned to avoid. Considering them in this view, I could not think of
anything more proper to be put so early into your Lordship's hands, as
well for your own sake as that of the public. As I wish you all the
happiness which man can enjoy, I know of nothing more likely to pro-
cure it, than your imbibing, in your childhood, such seeds of reason and
philosophy, as may rectify and sweeten every part of your future
life. And as you are by birth entitled to a share in the administration
of the government, I flatter myself that your country will feel the
benefit of these lectures of morality, when hereafter it beholds your
Lordship, steadily pursuing those principles of honesty and benevo-
lence, which, by such instructions in your infancy, you will be taught
to love.
T am happy, upon several accounts, in the opportunity I take in
addressing myself to your Lordship, in this early time of your life.


Without any reflection upon your parts, my Lord, I comfort myself
with the consideration, that you are not yet able to discern theimper-
fections of my performance. Nay, when you are a little older, and
your judgment is strong enough to discover every weakness in the fol-
lowing sheets, you will yet remember for what a young capacity they
were intended; and whatever you may think of the style and lan-
guage, the honest purpose of the whole cannot fail of your appro-
Another advantage, my Lord, is, that when I tell the world you are
the most lovely and the most engaging child that ever was born, I
cannot be charged with offending in point of flattery. No one ever
saw you but thought the same.
And this puts me in mind, that you are descended from a race of
patrons; arts and learning did not owe more to the influence of
Meccenas at Rome, than they have done to that of Montague at London.
Perhaps, young as you are, you may think it strange to find yourself
at the head of a Dedication; but, my Lord, nobody else will wonder
at it. You are born to protect and encourage all endeavours at the
public good. We cannot help telling you that we expect it from
you, and we beg leave to put you in mind to assert your native
If it be true, that virtue may be conveyed by blood, and communi.
eated by example, I have all the presumption imaginable for what I
assert. My Lord, your father, the Earl of Halifax, possesses every
agreeable quality in life; whether natural or acquired I will not pre-
tend to determine. They are so easy and habitual to him, one would
think them born with him; but at the same time so accomplished,
that we cannot but discover they have had the advantage of a finished
If I durst follow the suggestions of a heart truly sensible of them, I
could dwell with pleasure upon every particular of his worth. But
nobody, who deserves applause so much, declines it more than he does.
Indeed, my Lord, his merit is so great, that we cannot do him justice,
in that respect, without offending him.
That, upon all occasions, you may imitate the example he sets, and
copy out his virtues, for your own and the welfare of mankind, is the
sincere wish of,
My Lord,

Your Lordship's most obedient

And most humble servant,

May 1, 1722.


So much has been already said concerning Esop and his
writings, both by ancient and modern authors, that the sub-
ject seems to be quite exhausted. The different conjectures,
opinions, traditions, and forgeries, which, from time to time,
we have had given to us of him, would fill a large volume:
but they are, for the most part, so inconsistent and absurd,
that it would be but a dull amusement for the reader to bo
let into such a maze of uncertainty; since Herodotus, the
most ancient Greek historian, did not flourish till near a hun-
dred years after LEsop.
As for his life, with which we are entertained in so com.
plete a manner, before most of the editions of his fables, it
was invented by one Maximus Planudes, a Greek monk; and,
if we may judge of him from that composition, just as judi-
cious and learned a person as the rest of his fraternity are at
this day observed to be. Sure there never were so many
blunders and childish dreams mixed up together, as are to be
met with in the short compass of that piece. For a monk,
he might be very good and wise, but in point of history and
chronology, he shews himself to be very ignorant. He brings
Esop to Babylon, in the reign of king Lycerus, a king of his
own making; for his name is not to be found in any catalogue,
from Nabonassar, to Alexander the Great; Nabonadius, most
probably, reigning in Babylon about that time. He sends
him into Egypt in the days of Nectanebo, who was not in
being till two hundred years afterwards; with some other


gross mistakes of that kind, which sufficiently shew us that
this life was a work of invention, and that the inventor was a
bungling, poor creature. He never mentions 1Esop's being at
Athens; though Phedrus speaks of him as one that lived the
greatest part of his time there; and it appears that he had a
statue erected in that city to his memory, done by the hand
of the famed Lysippus. He writes of him as living at Samos,
and interesting himself in a public capacity in the administra-
tion of the affairs of that place; yet takes not the least notice
of the fable which Aristotle tells us he spoke in behalf of
a famous demagogue there, when he was impeached for em-
bezzling the public money; nor does he indeed give us the
least hint of such a circumstance. An ingenious man might
have laid together all the materials of this kind that are to be
found in good old authors, and by the help of a bright inven-
tion, connected and worked them up with success: we might
have swallowed such an imposition well enough, because we
should not have known how to contradict it: but in Planu-
des's case, the imposture is doubly discovered: first, as he has
the unquestioned authority of antiquity against him; secondly
(and if the other did not condemn him), as he has introduced
the witty, discreet, judicious Esop, quibbling in a strain of low
monastic waggery, and as archly dull as a mountebank's jester.
That there was a life of JEsop, either written or tradition-
ary, before Aristotle's time, is pretty plain; and that there
was something of that kind extant in Augustus's reign, is, I
think, as undoubted; since Phuedrus mentions many transac-
tions of his during his abode at Athens. But it is as certain
that Planudes met with nothing of this kind; or at least that
he met not with the accounts with which they were furnished,
because of the omission before mentioned; and, consequently,
with none so authentic and good. He seems to have thrown
together so many conceits which occurred to him in the course
of his reading, such as he thought were worthy of JEsop,
and very confidently obtrudes them upon us for hi. But
*Arist. Rhet., lib. 2, cap. 2L


when at last he brings him to Delphos (where he was put to
death by being thrown down from a precipice), that the Del-
phians might have some colour of justice for what they in-
tended to do, he favours them with the same stratagem which
Joseph made use of to bring back his brother Benjamin; they
clandestinely convey a cup into his baggage, overtake him
upon the road, after a strict search find him guilty; upon
that pretence carry him back to the city, condemn and exe
cute him.
As I would neither impose upon others, nor be imposed
upon, I cannot, as some have done, let such stuff as this pass
for the life of the great 2Esop. Planudes has little authority
for anything he has delivered concerning him; nay, as far as
I can find, his whole account, from the beginning to the end,
is mere invention, excepting some few circumstances; such
as the place of his birth, and of his death; for in respect of
the time in which he lived, he has blundered egregiously, by
mentioning some incidents as contemporary with jEsop,
which were far enough from being so. Xanthus, his sup-
posed master, puts his wife into a passion, by bringing such
a piece of deformity into her house, as our author is described
to be. Upon this the master reproaches the slave for not
uttering something witty, at a time that seemed to require it
so much; and then iEsop comes out, slap dash, with a
satirical reflection upon women, taken from Euripides, the
famous Greek tragedian. Now, Euripides happened not to
be born till about four score years after JEsop's death. What
credit, therefore, can be given to anything Planudes says of
As to the place of his birth, I will allow, with the gene-
rality of those who have written about him, that it might
have been some town in Phrygia Major. Lucian calls him
Ai'o-orov 6 and A. Gellius, making mention of him, says AEsopus ille, c
Phryia, Fabulator. That he was also by condition a slave,
we may conclude from what Phodrus relates of him [Lib. 2,


Fab. 9, & Lib. 3, Fab. 19]. But whether at both Samoa and
Athens, he does not particularly mention: though I am in-
clined to think it was at the latter only; because he often
speaks of him as living at that place; and never at any other:
which looks as if Phaedrus believed that he had never lived
anywhere else. Nor do I see how he could help being of that
opinion, if others of the ancients, whose credit is equally
good, did not carry him into other places. Aristotle intro-
duces him (as I mentioned before) speaking in public to the
Samians, upon the occasion of their demagogue, or prime
minister, being impeached for plundering the commonwealth:
in which oration he makes him insert the Fable of the Fox
who was pestered with flies [195 of this collection], and who,
upon a Hedgehog's offering to drive them away, would not
consent to it, upon suspicion that a new swarm would come
in their room, and drain him of all the rest of the blood in
his body. Which JEsop applies thus: "Ye men of Samos,
let me entreat you to do as the Fox did; for this man, having
got money enough, can have no further occasion to rob you;
but if you put him to death, some needy person will fill his
place, whose wants must be supplied out of your property."
I cannot but think JEsop was something above the degree
of a slave, when he made such a figure as an eminent speaker
in the Samian state. Perhaps he might have been in that
low condition in the former part of his life; and therefore
Phehdrus, who had been of the same rank himself, might love
to enlarge upon this circumstance, since he does not choose
to represent him in any higher sphere; unless we allow him
to be speaking in as public a capacity to the Athenians, upon
the occasion of Pisistratus's seizing their liberties, as we
have before supposed he did to the Samians [Phed. Lib. 1,
Fab. 2]. But, however, granting that he was once a slave,
we have great authority that he was afterwards not only free,
but in high veneration and esteem with all that knew him;
especially all that were eminent for wisdom and virtue.
Plutarch, in his Banquet of the Seven Wise Men among


several other illustrious persons celebrated for their wit and
knowledge, introduces 2Esop. And, though in one place he
seems to be ridiculed by one of the company for being of a
clumsy mongrel shape, yet in general he is represented as
very courtly and polite in his behaviour. He rallies Solon
and the rest for taking too much liberty in prescribing rules
for the conduct of sovereign princes; putting them in mind,
that those who aspire to be the friends and counsellors of
such, lose that character, and carry matters too far, when
they proceed to censure and find fault with them. Upon the
credit of Plutarch, likewise, we fix the life of .Esop in the
time of Crcesus, king of Lydia; with whom he was in such
esteem, as to be deputed by him to consult the Oracle at
Delphos, and be sent as his envoy to Periander, king of
Corinth; which was about three hundred and twenty years
after the time in which Homer lived, and five hundred and
fifty before Christ.
Now, though this imaginary Banquet of Plutarch does not
carry with it the weight of a serious history, yet we may
take it for granted, that he introduced nothing in his fictitious
scene which might contradict either the written or tradition-
ary life of JEsop; but rather chose to make everything agree
with it. Be that as it will, this is the sum of the account
which we have to give of him. Nor, indeed, is it material
for us to know the little trifling circumstances of his life;
as whether he lived at Samos or Athens, whether he was a
,slave or a freeman, whether handsome or ugly. He has left
us a legacy in his writings that will preserve his memory dear
and perpetual among us; what we have to do, therefore, is
to shew ourselves worthy of so valuable a present, and to act,
in all respects, as near as we can to the will and intention
of the donor. They who are governed by reason, need no
other motive than the mere goodness of a thing to incite
them to the practice of it. But men, for the most part, are
so superficial in their inquiries, that they take all upon trust,
and have no taste for anything but what is supported by the


vogue of others, and which it is inconsistent with the fashion
of the world not to admire.
As an inducement, therefore, to such as these to like the
person and conversation of zEsop, I must assure them that he
was held in great esteem by most of the great wits of old.
"There is scarce an author among the ancient Greeks, who
mixed anything of morality in his writings, but either quotes
or mentions him. Socrates is described by Plato [in Phoe-
done], as turning some of his Fables into verse; and that in
some of those serious hours which he spent in prison, a little
before his death. Aristophanes not only takes hints from
him, but mentions him much to his honour, as one whose
works were, or ought to be, read before any other. He brings
in one man upbraiding another with ignorance, and illiterate.
ness in these words, o0' A'taoowov rrErdTEKOV, You have not
so much as read Esop ;" it being, as Suidas observes, a pro-
verbial expression. Aristotle (as you have seen) speaks of
him to his advantage. Laertius tells us Demetrius Phalerus
wrote a book, entitled AlocwrEta, and Alo-rEtIcov Aodywv
Ivvayoyal; being a collection of Fables; so many of which
were Esop's, or done in his manner, that he thought fit to
call the whole by his name. Ennius and Horace have em-
bellished their poetry with him. Phsedrus gives him abun-
dant applause. And A. Gellius delivers his opinion of him
in a manner too particular to be omitted:-" JEsop, the
Phrygian," says he, "the famous Fabulist, has justly acquired
a reputation for his wisdom: for as to those things which
are beneficial and advisable for us to do, he does not dictate
and prescribe them in that haughty dogmatical way, so much
used by some other philosophers; but dresses up a parcel of
agreeable entertaining stories, and by them conveys to the
mind the most wholesome and seasonable doctrine, in the
most acceptable and pleasant manner. As that Fable [38] of
his, for example, of the Lark and her Young Ones, warns us,
in the prettiest way imaginable, never to lay any stress upon
the assistance of others, in regard to any affair which we are


ourselves able to manage without them." Then he proceeds
to give us a fine version of the Fable itself; and, having
finished it, "This Fable of JEsop," says he, "is a lecture to
us concerning the little reliance we ought to have upon our
friends and relations; and what now do the grave books of
philosophers teach us more, than that we should depend upon
ourselves only, and not look at those things which are beyond
our reach, as any concern of ours?"
Thus we see, whatever his person was, the beauties of his
mind were very charming and engaging; that the most cele-
brated among the ancients were his admirers; that they
speak of him with rapture, and pay as great a respect to him
as to any of the other wise men who lived in the same age.
Nor can I perceive from any author of antiquity, that he was
so deformed as the monk had represented him. If he had,
he must have been so monstrous and shocking to the eye, as
not only to be a very improper envoy for a great king, but
scarce fit to be admitted as a slave in any private family.
Indeed, from what Plutarch hints of him, I suspect he had
something particular in his mien, but rather odd than ugly,
and more apt to excite mirth than disgust in those that con-
versed with him. Perhaps something humorous displayed
itself in his countenance as well as his writings; and it might
be upon account of both that he got the name of TEXoTroWrOLos
as Lucian calls him, and his works that of TeXola. However,
we will go a middle way: and without insisting upon his
beauty, or giving in to his deformity, allow him to have made
a merry comical figure; at least as handsome as Socrates;
but at the same time conclude, that this particularity in the
frame of his body was so far from being of any disadvantage
to him, that it gave a mirthful cast to everything he said, and
added a kind of poignancy to his conversation.
"We have seen what opinion the ancients had of our author
and his writings. Now, as to the manner of conveying
instruction by fables in general, though many good vouchers
of antiquity sufficiently recommend it, yet, to avoid tiring the


reader's patience, I shall wave all quotations from thence, and
lay before him the testimony of a modern, whose authority,
in point of judgment, and consequently in the present case,
may be as readily acknowledged as that of any ancient of
them all. Fables," says Mr Addison [Spect., No. 183], were
the first pieces of wit that made their appearance in the
world; and have been still highly valued, not only in the
times of the greatest simplicity, but among the most polite
ages of mankind. Jotham's Fable of the Trees is the oldest
that is extant, and as beautiful as any which have been made
since that time. Nathan's Fable of the poor Man and his
Lamb is likewise more ancient than any that is extant, besides
the above mentioned, and had so good an effect, as to convey
instruction to the ear of a king, without offending it, and to
bring the 'man after God's own heart' to a right sense of his
guilt and his duty. We find JEsop in the most distant ages oi
Greece. And if we look into the very beginning of the com-
monwealth of Rome, we see a mutiny among the common
people appeased by the Fable of the Belly and the Limbs
[Fab. 371; which was indeed very proper to gain the atten-
tion of an incensed rabble, at a time when perhaps they
would have torn to pieces any man who had preached the
same doctrine to them in an open and direct manner. As
fables took their birth in the very infancy of learning, they
never flourished more than when learning was at its greatest
height. To justify this assertion, I shall put my reader in
mind of Horace, the greatest wit and critic in the Augustan
age; and of Boileau, the most correct poet among the mo-
derns; not to mention La Fontaine, who by this way of
writing is come more into vogue than any other author of our
times." After this, he proceeds to give some account of that
kind of fable, in which the passions and other imaginary
beings are actors; and concludes with a most beautiful one
of that sort, of his own contriving. In another place he gives
us a translation from Homer of that inimitable Fable com-
prised in the interview betwixt Jupiter and Juno, when the


latter made use of the girdle of Venus to recall the affection
of her husband; a piece never sufficiently to be recommended
to the perusal of such of the fair sex as are ambitious of
acquitting themselves handsomely in point of conjugal com-
placence. But I must not omit the excellent preface by
which the fable is introduced [Tatler, No. 147] :-" Reading is
to the mind," says he, "what exercise is to the body: as by
the one, health is preserved, strengthened, and invigorated;
by the other, virtue (which is the health of the mind) is kept
alive, cherished, and confirmed. But, as exercise becomes
tedious and painful, when we make use of it only as the
means of health, so reading is too apt to grow uneasy and
burthensome, when we apply ourselves to it only for our im-
provement in virtue. For this reason, the virtue which we
gather from a fable or an allegory, is like the health we get
by hunting; as we are engaged in an agreeable pursuit that
draws us on with pleasure, and makes us insensible of the
fatigues that accompany it."
Having given my reader the opinion of this great man, who
has spoken so much and so well in favour of the subject I am
concerned in, there is no room for me to enlarge further upon
that head. His argument demonstrates the usefulness and
advantage of this kind of writing, beyond contradiction: it
therefore only remains that I make some apology for troub-
ling the public with a new edition, of what they have had so
often and in so many different forms already.
Nothing of this nature has been done since Lestrange's
time, worth mentioning; and we had nothing before, but
what, as he observes [Pref. to Part I.], was so "insipid and
flat in the moral, and so coarse and uncouth in the style and
diction, that they were rather dangerous than profitable, as
to the purpose for which they were principally intended : and
likely to do forty times more harm than good." I shall, there.
fore, only observe to my reader, the insufficiency of Lestrange'a
own performance as to the purpose for which he professes to
have principally intended it; with some other circumstances,


which will help to excuse, if not justify, what I have expe
rienced upon the same subject.
Now, the purpose for which he principally intended his
book, as in his preface he expends a great many words to in-
form us, was for the use and instruction of children; who,
being, as it were, mere blank paper, "are ready indifferently
for any opinion, good or bad, taking all upon credit; and
that it is in the power of the first comer to write saint or devil
upon them, which he pleases." This being truly and cer-
tainly the case, what poor devils would Lestrange make of
those children, who should be so unfortunate as to read his
book, and imbibe his pernicious principles !-Principles coined
"and suited to promote the growth, and serve the ends, of
Popery and arbitrary power! Though we had never been
told he was a pensioner to a Popish prince, and that he him-
self professed the same religion, yet his reflections upon JEsop
would discover it to us: in every political touch he shews
himself to be the tool and hireling of the Popish faction;
since even a slave, without some mercenary view, would not
bring arguments to justify slavery, nor endeavour to establish
arbitrary power upon the basis of right reason. What sort
of children, therefore, are the blank paper, upon which such
morality as this ought to be written? Not the children of
Britain, I hope; for they are born with free blood in their
veins, and suck in liberty with their very milk. This they
should be taught to love and cherish above all things, and,
upon occasion, to defend and vindicate it; as it is the glory
of their country, the greatest blessing of their lives, and the
peculiar happy privilege in which they excel all the world
besides. Let, therefore, the children of Italy, France, Spain,
and the rest of the Popish countries, furnish him with blank
paper for principles, of which free-born Britons are not
capable. The earlier such notions are instilled in such minds
as theirs, indeed, the better it will be for them, as it will keep
them from thinking of any other than the abject, servile con-
ditiop to which they are born. But let the minds of our


British youth be for ever educated and improved in that
spirit of truth and liberty, for the support of which their
ancestors have often bravely exhausted so much blood and
Had anything tending to debase and enslave the minds of
men been implied, either in the Fables or Morals of Esop,
upon which Lestrange was to make just and fair reflection,
he might have pleaded that for an excuse. But AEsop, though
it was his own accidental misfortune to be a slave, yet passed
the time of his servitude among the free states of Greece,
where he saw the high esteem in which liberty was held, and
possibly learned to value it accordingly. He has not one
Fable, or so much as a hint, to favour Lestrange's insinua-
tions; but, on the contrary, takes all occasions to recommend
a love for liberty, and an abhorrence of tyranny and all ar-
bitrary proceedings. Yet Lestrange (though in the preface
to his second part, he uses these words, I have consulted the
best authorities I could meet withal, in the choice of the col-
lection, without straining anything, all this while, beyond
the strictest equity of a fair and an innocent meaning,")
notoriously perverts both the sense and meaning of several
fables, particularly when any political instruction is couched
in the application. For example, in the famous Fable of the
Dog and the Wolf: after a long, tedious, amusing reflection,
without one word to the purpose, he tells us, at last, "That
the freedom which JEsop is so tender of here, is to be under-
stood of the freedom of the mind." Nobody ever understood
it so, I dare say, that knew what the other freedom was. As
for what he mentions, it is not in the power of the greatest
tyrant that lives, to deprive us of it. If the Wolf was only
sensible how sweet the freedom of mind was, and had no
concern for the liberty of his person, he might have ven-
tured to have gone with the Dog well enough: but then he
would have saved Lestrange the spoiling of one of the best
Fables in the whole collection. However, this may serve
as a pattern for that gentleman's candour and ingcmdnui in


the manner of drawing his reflections. JEsop breathed liberty
in a political sense, whenever he thought fit to hint anything
about that happy state. And Phuedrus, whose hard lot it
was once to have been a domestic slave, had yet so great a
veneration for the liberty I am speaking of, that he made
no scruple to write in favour of it, even under the usurpa-
tion of a tyrant, and at a time when the once glorious free
people of Rome had nothing but the form and shadow of
their ancient constitution left. This he did particularly in
the Fable of the Frogs desiring a King [Fab. 3]; as I have
observed in the application to it. After which I leave it to
the decision of any indifferent person, whether Lestrange, in
the tenor of his reflections, has proceeded without straining
most things in point of politics, beyond the strictest equity
of a fair and an innocent meaning.
Whether I have mended the faults I find with him, in this
or any other respect, I must leave to the judgment of the
reader; professing (according to the principle on which the
following applications are built) that I am a lover of liberty
and truth; an enemy to tyranny, either in church and state;
and one who detests party animosities and factious divisions,
"1 mtouch as I wish the peace and prosperity of my country.




A Dog and Wolf, 19
.fsop at Play, fab. 101 Mischievous Dog, 44
XEsop and the Impertinent Fellow, Dog in Manger, 129
170 Dog and Sheep, 130
Angler and little Fish, 71 Dog invited to Supper, 180
Ant and Fly, 27 Dove and Ant, 133
Ant and Grasshopper, 121 E
Ape and Fox, 123 Eagle and Fox, fab. 13
Ape and Two Young Ones, 186 Eagle, Cat, and Sow, 80
Ass in Lion's Skin, 42 Eagle and Crow, 134
Ass and Lion Hunting, 72 Envious Man and Covetous, 13
Sensible Ass, 73 F
Ass, Lion, and Cock, 122 Falconer and Partridge, fab. 148
Ass and little Dog, 124 Fir-tree and Bramble, 83
Ass eating Thistles, 163 River Fish and Sea Fish, 100
B Fisherman, 175
Bear and Beehives, fab. 126 Forester and Lion, 54
Hunted Beaver, 62 Fortune and Boy, 91
Bees, Drones, and Wasp, 165 Fowler and Blackbird, 85
Belly and Members, 37 Fowler and Lark, 97
Birds, Beasts, and Bat, 126 Fowler and Ringdove, 152
Two Bitches, 10 Fox and Crow, 9
Blackamoor, 173 Fox and Stork, 12
Boar and Ass, 14 Fox and Grapes, 22
Boy and Mother, 119 Fox and Goat, 24
Brother and Sister, 75 Fox and Tiger, 51
Bull and Goat, 14 Fox without a Tail, 65
C Fox and Vizor-Mask, 77
Caesar and Slave, fab. 106 Fox and Bramble, 87
Wanton Calf, 58 Fox and Countryman, 89
Cat and Fox, 69 Fox and Ape, 93
Cat and Mice, 88 Fox and Boar, 95
Cat and Cock, 128 Fox and Lion, 136
Cock and Jewel, 1 Fox and Sick Lion, 142
Cock and Fox, 127 Fox in the Well, 166
Fighting Cocks, 182 Fox and Wolf, 167
Cock and Fox, 193 Fox and Ass, 178
Collier and Fuller, 76 Fox and Hedgehog, 195
Covetous Man, 79 Frogs desiring a King, 3
Countryman and Snake, 25 Proud Frog, 11
Country Mouse and City Mouse, 35 Frogs and Fighting Bulls, 15
Two Crabs, 109 Frog and Fox, 43
Crow and Pitcher, 53 Two Frogs, 78
D Frog and Mouse, 168
Death and Cupid, fab. 132 G
Deer and Lion, 191 Gardener and Dog, fab. 1W2
One-eyed Doe, 99 Geese and Cranes, 137
Dog and Shadow, 6 Goat and Lion, 81


Hare and Tortoise, fab. 159 Oak and Reed, fab. 50
Hares and Frogs, 30 Old Hound, 28
Harper, 108 Old Lion, 145
t art and Vine, 171 Old Man and Death, 166
Hawk and Nightingale, 64 Old Man and Sons, 46
Hawk and Farmer, 131 Old Woman and Empty Cask, S6
Hen and Swallow, 176 Old Woman and Maids, 147
Hen and Fox, 189 Owl and Grasshopper, 98
Hercules and Carter, 56 P
Horse and Stag, 34 Parrot and Cage, fab. 151
Horse and Ass, 128 Partridge and Cocks, 61
Horse and Lion, 140 Peacock's Complaint, 21
Horse and Loaded Ass, 164 Peacock and Crane, 49
Drunken Husband, 172 Peacock and Magpie, 150
Husbandman and Sons, 139 Ploughman and Fortune, 185
Husbandman and Stork, 151 Porcupine and Snakes, 141
J Two Pots, 48
Vain Jackdaw,fab. 4 R
Jackdaw and Pigeons, 102 Raven and Serpent,fab. 194
Jackdaw and Sheep, 184 S
Jupiter and Camel, 45 Satyr and Travellers, fab. 35
Jupiter and Pallas, 86 Serpent and Man, 156
Jupiter and Ass, 118 Sheep-Biter, 106
Jupiter and Herdsman, 181 Shepherd's Boy, 155
K Shepherd turned Merchant, 187
Kid and Wolf, fab. 114 Sow and Bitch, 103
Kite and Pigeons, 16 Sow and Wolf, 153
Sick Kite, 29 Sparrow and Hare, 104
Bald Knight, 47 Stag looking into Water, 8
L Stag in Ox-stall, 18
Lamb brought up by a Goat, fab. 20 Stag and Fawn, 69
Lark and Young Ones, 38 Swallow and Birds, 157
Leopard and Fox, 59 T
Lion and other Beasts, 6 Thief and Dog, fab. 107
Lion, Bear, and Fox, 141 Thief and Boy, 110
Lion and Mouse, 31 Thieves and Cock, 177
Lion and Four Bulls, 52 Thunny and Dolphin, 77
Lion in Love, 67 Tortoise and Eagle, 40
Lion and Frog, 82 Travellers and Bear, 46
Judicious Lion, 115 Boasting Traveller, 74
Lion, Ass, and Fox, 144 Travellers, 174
Lioness and Fox, 68 Trumpeter taken Prisoner, 158
Man and Two Wives, fab. 17 Viper and File, fab. 23
Man and Goose, 57 W
Ti.n lbit. hv a D 1), 90 Creaking Wheel, fab. 142
l31:m andl W.:.dnil God, 113 Wind and Sun, 41
Man and Weasel, 169 Wolf and Lamb, 2
Man and Gnat, 190 Wolf and Crane, 7
Fatal Marriage, 32 Wolf and Kid, 116
Master and Scholar, 196 Wolf, Fox, and Ape, 117
Mercury and Woodman, 111 Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, 160
Mercury and Carver, 176 Wolves and Sick Ass, 120
3 ic-e In Council, 143 Wolves and Sheep, 161
Mole and Dam, 94 Wood and Clown, 33
Mountain in Labour, 26 Y
Mouse and Weasel, 36 Young Man and Swallow, fakb 70
Mule, 92 Young Man and Cat, 162
N Young Men and Cook, 183
Murse and Wolf, fIb. 39 Young i3an and Lion, 188


A BRISK young Cock, in company with two or three Pullets,
his mistresses, raking upon a dunghill for something to en-
tertain them with, happened to scratch up a jewel: he knew
what it was well enough, for it sparkled with an exceeding
bright lustre; but not knowing what to do with it, endea-
voured to cover his ignorance under a gay contempt. So,
shrugging up his wings, shaking his head, and putting on a
grimace, he expressed himself to this purpose: Indeed, you
are a very fine thing; but I know not any business you have
here. I make no scruple of declaring, that my taste lies quite
another way; and I had rather have one grain of dear deli-
cious barley, than all the jewels under the sun.
There are several people in the world who pass, with some,
for well accomplished gentlemen, and very pretty fellows,
though they are as great strangers to the true uses of virtue
and knowledge, as the Cock upon the dunghill is to the real
value of the jewel. He palliates his ignorance, by pretending
that his taste lies another way: but whatever gallant airs
people may give themselves upon these occasions, without
dispute, the solid advantages of virtue, and the durable plea-
sures of learning, are as much to be preferred before other
objects of the senses, as the finest brilliant diamond is above
a barley-corn. The greatest blockheads would appear to un-
derstand, what at the same time they affect to despise; and
nobody yet was ever so vicious, as to have the impudence to
declare in public, that virtue was not a fine thing.


But still, among the idle sauntering young fellows of the
age, who have leisure, as well to cultivate and improve the
faculties of the mind, as to dress and embellish the body,
how many are there who spend their days in raking after
new scenes of debauchery, in comparison of those few who
know how to relish more reasonable entertainments! Honest,
undesigning good sense is so unfashionable, that he must be
a bold man who at this time of day attempts to bring it into
How disappointed is the youth who, in the midst of his
amorous pursuits, endeavouring to plunder an outside of
bloom and beauty, finds a treasure of impenetrable virtue
concealed within! And why may it not be said, how delighted
are the fair sex, when, from among a crowd of empty, frolic-
some, conceited admirers, they find out and distinguish with
their good opinion, a man of sense, with a plain, unaffected
person, which, at first sight, they did not like.

ONE hot, sultry day, a Wolf and a Lamb happened to come,
just at the same time, to quench their thirst in the stream of
a clear silver brook, that ran tumbling down the side of a
rocky mountain. The Wolf stood upon the higher ground;
and the Lamb at some distance from him down the current.
However, the Wolf, having a mind to pick a quarrel with
him, asked him, What he meant by disturbing the water, and
making it so muddy that he could not drink, and at the same
time demanded satisfaction. The Lamb, frightened at this
threatening charge, told him, in a tone as mild as possible,
That, with humble submission, he could not conceive how
that could be; since the water which he drank ran down
from the Wolf to him, and therefore it could not be disturbed
so far up the stream. Be that as it will, replies the Wolf
you are a rascal, and I have been told that you treated me
with ill language behind my back, about half a year ago.
Upon my word, says the Lamb, the time you mention was
before I was born. The Wolf, finding it to no purpose to
argue any longer against truth, fell into a great passion,
snarling and foaming at the mouth, as if he had been mad;
end drawing nearer to the Lamb, Sirrah, says he, if it was


not you, it was your father, and that's all one. So he seized
the poor, innocent, helpless thing, tore it to pieces, and made
a meal of it.
The thing which is pointed at in this fable is so obvious,
that it will be impertinent to multiply words about it. When
a cruel, ill-natured man, has a mind to abuse nne inferior
to himself, either in power or courage, though he has not
given the least occasion for it, how does he resemble the
Wolf! whose envious rapacious temper could not bear to see
innocence live quietly in its neighbourhood. In short,
wherever ill people are in power, innocence and integrity are
sure to be persecuted; the more vicious the community is,
the better countenance they have for their own villanous
measures: to practise honesty in bad times, is being liable to
suspicion enough; but if any one should dare to prescibe it,
it is ten to one but he would be impeached of high crimes
and misdemeanours; for, to stand up for justice in a degenerate
and corrupt state, is tacitly to upbraid the government; and
seldom fails of pulling down vengeance upon the head of him
that offers to stir in its defence. Where cruelty and malice
are in combination with power, nothing is so easy as for them
to find a pretence to tyrannise over innocence, and exercise
all manner of injustice.

THE Frogs, living an easy free life everywhere among the
lakes and ponds, assembled together one day, in a very
tumultuous manner, and petitioned Jupiter to let them have
a king, who might inspect their morals, and make them live
a little honester. Jupiter, being at that time in pretty good
humour, was pleased to laugh heartily at their ridiculous
request; and throwing a little log down into the pool, cried,
There is a king for you! The sudden splash which this
made by its fall into the water, at first terrified them so
exceedingly, that they were afraid to come near it. But, in
a little time, seeing it lie still without moving, they ventured
by degrees to approach it; and, at last, finding there was no
danger, they leaped upon it, and, in short, treated it as


familiarly as they pleased. But not contented with so insipid
a king as this was, they sent their deputies to petition again
for another sort of one; for this they neither did nor could
like. Upon that, he sent them a Stork, who, without any
ceremony, fell devouring and eating them up, one after
another, as fast as he could. They then applied themselves
privately to Mercury, and got him to speak to Jupiter in
their behalf, That he would be so good as to bless them
again with another king, or restore them to their former
state. No, says he; since it was their own choice, let the
obstinate wretches suffer the punishment due to their folly.
It is pretty extraordinary to find a fable of this kind,
finished with so bold and yet polite a turn by Phaedrus: one
who obtained his freedom by the favour of Augustus, and
wrote it in the time of Tiberius; who were, successively,
tyrannical usurpers of the Roman government. If we may
take his word for it, JEsop spoke it upon this occasion.
"When the Commonwealth of Athens flourished under good
wholesome laws of its own enacting, they relied so much upon
the security of their liberty, that they negligently suffered it
to run out into licentiousness. And factions happening to
be fomented among them by designing people much about
the same time, Pisistratus took that opportunity to make
himself master of their citadel and liberties both together.
The Athenians finding themselves in a state of slavery,
though their tyrant happened to be a very merciful one, yet
could not bear the thoughts of it: so that JEsop, where there
was no remedy, prescribes them to patience by the example
of the foregoing fable: and adds, at last, "Wherefore, my
dear countrymen, be contented with your present condition,
bad as it is, for fear a change should be worse."

A CERTAIN Jack-daw was so proud and ambitious, that, not
contented to live within his own sphere, he picked up the
feathers which fell from the Peacocks, stuck them among
his own, and very confidently introduced himself into an
assembly of those beautiful birds. They soon found him


out, stripped him of his borrowed plumes, and falling upon
him with their sharp bills, punished him as his presumption
deserved. Upon this, full of grief and affliction, he returned
to his old companions, and would have flocked with them
again; but they, knowing his late life and conversation,
industriously avoided him, and refused to admit him into
their company; and one of them, at the same time, gave him
this serious reproof : If, friend, you could have been contented
with your station, and had not disdained the rank in which
nature had placed you, you had not been used so scurvily
by those upon whom you introduced yourself, nor suffered
the notorious slight which we now think ourselves obliged
to put upon you.
What we may learn from this fable is, in the main, to live
contentedly in our own condition, whatever it be, without
affecting to look bigger than we are, by a false or borrowed
light. To be barely pleased with appearing above what a
man really is, is bad enough; and what may justly render
him contemptible in the eyes of his equals: but if, to enable
him to do this with something of a better grace, he has
clandestinely feathered his nest with his neighbour's goods,
when found out, he has nothing to expect but to be stripped
of his plunder, and used like a felonious rogue into the bar-

A DOG, crossing a little rivulet, with a piece of flesh in his
mouth, saw his own shadow represented in the clear mirror
of the limpid stream; and believing it to be another Dog, who
was carrying another piece of flesh, he could not forbear
catching at it; but was so far from getting anything by his
greedy design, that he dropped the piece he had in his mouth,
which immediately sunk to the bottom, and was irrecover-
ably lost.
He that catches at more than belongs to him, justly de
serves to lose what he hia. Yet nl.xLiiL is more coulmu.u,.


at the same time more pernicious, than this selfish principle.
It prevails, from the king to the peasant; and all orders and
degrees of men are, more or less, infected with it. Great
monarchs have been drawn in, by this greedy humour, to
grasp at the dominions of their neighbours; not that they
wanted anything more to feed their luxury, but to gratify
their insatiable appetite for vain glory. If the kings of Per-
sia could have been contented with their own vast territories,
they had not lost all Asia for the sake of a little petty state
of Greece. And France, with all its glory, had, ere now, been
reduced to the last extremity, by the same unjust encroach-
He that thinks he sees another's estate in a pack of cards
or a box and dice, and ventures his own in the pursuit of it,
should not repine if he finds himself a beggar in the end.

THE Lion, and several other beasts, entered into an alliance,
offensive and defensive, and were to live very sociably to-
gether in the forest. One day having made a sort of an ex-
cursion, by way of hunting, they took a very fine, large, fat
Deer, which was divided into four parts; there happening to
be then present his Majesty the Lion, and only three others.
After the division was made, and the parts set out, his
Majesty, advancing forward some steps, and pointing to one
of the shares, was pleased to declare himself after the follow-
ing manner: This I seize and take possession of as my right,
which devolves to me, as I am descended by a true, lineal,
hereditary succession, from the royal family of Lion. That
(pointing to the second) I claim by, I think no unreasonable
demand, considering that all the engagements you have with
the enemy turn chiefly upon my courage and conduct; and
you very well know, that wars are too expensive to be carried
on without proper supplies. Then (nodding his head towards
the third), that I shall take by virtue of my prerogative; to
which I make no question but so dutiful and loyal a people
will pay all the deference and regard that I can desire. Now,
as for the remaining part, the necessity of our present affairs
is so very urgent, our stock so low, and our credit so impaired
acnd weakened, that I must insist upon your granting that


without any hesitation or demur; and hereof fail not at your
"No alliance is safe which is made with those that are su-
perior to us in power. Though they lay themselves under
the most strict and solemn ties at the opening of the congress,
yet the first advantageous opportunity will tempt them to
reak the treaty; and they will never want specious pretences
to furnish out their declarations of war. It is not easy to
determine, whether it is more stupid and ridiculous, for a
community to trust itself first in the hands of those that are
more powerful than themselves, or to wonder afterwards that
their confidence and credulity are abused, and their properties

A WOLF, after devouring his prey, happened to have a bone
stick in his throat, which gave him so much pain, that he
went howling up and down, and importuning every creature
he met, to lend him a kind hand in order to his relief; nay,
he promised a reasonable reward to any one that should un-
dertake the operation with success. At last, the Crane,
tempted with the lucre of the reward, and having first pro.
cured him to confirm his promise with an oath, undertook
the business, and ventured his long neck into the rapacious
felon's throat. In short, he plucked out the bone, and ex
pected the promised gratuity; when the Wolf, turning hi(
eyes disdainfully towards him, said: I did not think yoi
had been so unconscionable; I had your head in my mouth,
and could have bit it off whenever I pleased, but suffered you
to take it away without any damage, and yet you are not
There is a sort of people in the world, to whom a man may
be in the wrong for doing services upon a double score; first,
because they never deserved to have a good office done them;
and secondly, because when once engaged, it is so hard a
.natter to get well rid of their acquaintance.


This fable is not an example of ingratitude as at first sight
it seems to be, and as some of the mythologists have under-
stood it; to make a parallel in that case, the Crane ought to
have been under some difficulties in his turn, and the Wolf
have refused to assist him when it was in his power. The
whole stress of it lies in this, that we ought to consider what
kind of people they are to whom we are desired to do good
offices, before we do them; for he that grants a favour, or
even confides in a person of no honour, instead of finding his
account in it, comes off well if he is no sufferer.

A STAG, that had been drinking at a clear spring, saw himself
in the water; and, pleased with the prospect, stood after-
wards for some time contemplating and surveying his shape
and features, from head to foot. Ah! says he, what a
glorious pair of branching horns are there! how gracefully
do these antlers hang over my forehead, and give an agree-
able turn to my whole face! If some other parts of my body
were but proportionable to them, I would turn my back to
nobody; but I have a set of such legs as really makes me
ashamed to see them. People may talk what they please of
their conveniences, and what great need we stand in of them,
upon several occasions; but, for my part, I find them so very
slender and unsightly, that I had as lief have none at all.
While he was giving himself these airs, he was alarmed with
the noise of some huntsmen and a pack of hounds, that had
been just laid on upon the scent, and were making towards
him. Away he flies in some consternation, and bounding
nimbly over the plain, threw dogs and men at a vast distance
behind him. After which, taking a very thick copse, he had
the ill-fortune to be entangled by his horns in a thicket,
where he was held fast, till the hounds came in and pulled
him down. Finding now how it was like to go with him, in
the pangs of death he is said to have uttered these words:
Unhappy creature that I am! I am too late convinced, that
what I prided myself in, has been the cause of my undoing;
and what I so much disliked was the only thing that could
have saved me.


Perhaps we cannot apply this better, than by supposing
the fable to be a parable; which may be thus explained:-
The Deer, viewing itself in the water, is a beautiful young
lady at her looking-glass. She cannot help being sensible of
the charms which lie blooming in every feature of her face.
She moistens her lips, languishes with her eyes, adjusts every
lock of her hair with the nicest exactness, gives an agreeable
attitude to her whole body; and then, with a soft sigh, says
to herself, Ah! how happy might I be in a daily crowd of
admirers, if it were not for the censoriousness of the age!
When I view that face, where Nature, to give her her due,
has been liberal enough of charms, how easy should I be if
it were not for that lender particular-my honour! The
odious idea of that comes across all my happy moments, and
brings a mortification with it that damps my most flattering
tender hopes. Oh! that there were no such thing in the
world! In the midst of these soliloquies, she is interrupted
by the voice of her lover, who enters her chamber, singing a
rigadoon air; and introducing his discourse in a familiar easy
manner, takes occasion to launch out in praise of her beauty,
sees she is pleased with it, snatches her hand, kisses it in a
transport; and, in short, pursues his point so close, that she
is not able to disengage herself from him. But, when the
consequence of all this approaches, in an agony of grief and
shame, she fetches a deep sigh, and says, Ah! how mistaken
have I been! the virtue I slighted might have saved me; but
the beauty I prized so much has been my undoing.

A CROW having taken a bit of cheese out of a cottage window,
flew up into a high tree with it, in order to eat it; which the
Fox observing, came and sat underneath, and began to com-
pliment the Crow upon the subject of her beauty. I protest,
says he, I never observed it before, but your feathers are of
a more delicate white than any that ever I saw in my life !
Ah! what a fine shape and graceful turn of body is there!
And I make no question but you have a tolerable voice. If
it is but as fine as your complexion, I do not know a bird that


can pretend to stand in competition with you. The Crow,
tickled with this very civil language, nestled and wriggled
about, and hardly knew where she was; but, thinking the
Fox a little dubious as to the particular of her voice, and
having a mind to set him right in that matter, began to sing,
and, in the same instant, let the cheese drop out of her
mouth. This being what the Fox wanted, he chopped it up
in a moment, and trotted away, laughing to himself at the
easy credulity of the Crow.
They that love flattery (as, it is to be feared, too many do)
are in a fair way to repent of their foible at the long run.
And yet how few are there, among the whole race of man=
kind, who may be said to be full proof against its attacks!
The gross way by which it is managed by some silly practi-
tioners is enough to alarm the dullest apprehension, and
make it to value itself upon the quickness of its insight into
the little plots of this nature. But let the ambuscade be
disposed with due judgment, and it will scarce fail of seizing
the most guarded heart. How many are tickled to the last
degree with the pleasure of flattery, even while they are ap-
plauded for their honest detestation of it There is no way
to baffle the force of this engine, but by every one's examine,
ing impartially for himself, the true estimate of his own
qualities: if he deals sincerely in the matter, nobody can tell
so well as himself, what degree of esteem ought to attend any
of his actions; and therefore he should be entirely easy as to
the opinion men are like to have of them in the world. If
they attribute more to him than is his due, they are either
designing or mistaken; if they allow him less, they are envi-
ous, or, possibly, still mistaken; and, in either case, are to be
despised or disregarded. For he that flatters without design-
ing to make advantage of it, is a fool; and whoever encou-
rages that flattery, which he has sense enough to see through,
is a vain ooxcomb.

A BITCH, who was just ready to whelp, entreated another
Bitch to lend her her kennel, only till her month was up, and


assured her that then she should have it again. The other
very readily consented, and with a great deal of civility, re-
signed it to her immediately. However, when the time was
elapsed, she came and made her visit, and very modestly in-
timated, that now she was up and well, she hoped she should
see her abroad again; for that really it would be inconvenient
for her to be without her kennel any longer, and therefore
she told her she must be so free as to desire her to provide
herself with other lodgings as soon as she could. The lying-
in Bitch replied, That truly she was ashamed of having kept
her so long out of her own house; but it was not upon her
own account (for, indeed, she was well enough to go anywhere)
so much as that of her Puppies, who were yet so weak, that
she was afraid they would not be able to follow her; and if
she would but be so good as to let her stay a fortnight longer,
she would take it for the greatest obligation in the world.
The other Bitch was so good-natured and compassionate as
to comply with this request too; but at the expiration of the
term, came and told her positively that she must turn out,
for she could not possibly let her be there a day longer
Must turn out! says the other; we will see that: for I pro-
mise you, unless you can beat me and my whole litter of
Whelps, you are never like to have anything more to do here.
Possession is eleven points of the law; and though, where
equity flourishes, the property is duly secured, the twelfth
point, I mean that of right, is better than the other eleven;
yet this fable may serve as a very good lesson of caution to
us, never to let anything we value go out of our possession
without very good security. Wise and good-natured men
will give liberally and judiciously what they can spare; but
to lend, where there is a probability of our being defrauded
by the borrower, is the part of a too easy and blamable

AN Ox, grazing in a meadow, chanced to set his foot among
a parcel of young frogs, &nd trod one of them to death.
The rest informed their mother when she came hole, what


had happened; telling her, that the beast which did it was
the hugest creature that they ever saw in their lives.
What, was it so big ? says the old Frog, swelling and blowing
up her speckled belly to a great degree. Oh! bigger by a
vast deal, say they. And so big ? says she, straining herself
yet more. Indeed, mamma, say they, if you were to burst
yourself, you would never be so big. She strove yet again,
and burst herself indeed.
"Whenever a man endeavours to live equal with one of a
greater fortune than himself, he is sure to share a like fate
with the frog in the fable. How many vain people, of mode-
rate easy circumstances, burst and come to nothing, by vying
with those whose estates are more ample than their own!
Sir Changeling Plumstock was possessed of a very considerable
estate, devolved to him by the death of an uncle, who had
adopted him his heir. He had a false taste of happiness;
and without the least economy, trusting to the sufficiency of
his vast revenue, was resolved to be outdone by nobody in
showish grandeur and expensive living. He gave five thou-
sand pounds for a piece of ground in the country, to set a
house upon; the building and furniture of which cost fifty
thousand more; and his gardens were proportionably magni-
ficent. Besides which, he thought himself under a necessity
of buying out two or three tenements which stood in his
neighbourhood, that he might have elbow-room enough. All
this he could very well bear, and still might have been
happy, had it not have been for an unfortunate view which
he one day happened to take of my Lord Castlebuilder's
gardens, which consisted of twenty acres, whereas his own
were not above twelve. From that time he grew pensive;
and before the ensuing winter gave five-and-thirty years' pur-
chase for a dozen acres more, to enlarge his gardens, built a
couple of exorbitant green-houses, and a large pavilion at the
further end of a terrace-walk: the bare repairs and superin-
tendences of all which called for the remaining part of his
income. He is mortgaged pretty deep, and pays nobody
but being a privileged person, resides altogether at a private
cheap lodging in the city of Westminster.


THE Fox invited the Stork to dinner; and, being disposed to
divert himself at the expense of his guest, provided nothing
for the entertainment but a soup, in a wide shallow dish.
This himself could lap up with a great deal of ease, but the
Stork, who could but just dip in the point of his bill, was
not a bit the better all the while: however, in a few days
after, he returned the compliment, and invited the Fox; but
suffered nothing to be brought to table but some minced
meat in a glass jar, the neck of which was so de p and so
narrow, that though the Stork, with his long bil, made a
shift to fill his belly, all that the Fox, who was very hungry,
could do, was to lick the brims, as the Stork slabb red them
with his eating. Reynard was heartily vexed at first; but
when he came to take his leave, he owned ingenuously, that
he had been used as he deserved; and that he had no reason
to take any treatment ill, of which himself has set the
It is mighty imprudent, as well as inhuman and uncivil, to
affront anybody; and whoever takes the liberty to exercise
his witty talents that way must not think much of it if he
meet with reprisals. Indeed, if all those who are thus paid
in their own coin, would take it with the same frankness as
the Fox did, the matter would not be much; but we are too
apt, when the jest comes to be turned home upon ourselves,
to think that insufferable in another, which we looked upon
as pretty and facetious when the humour was our own. The
rule of doing as we would be dous by, so proper to be our
model in every transaction of life, may more particularly be
of use in this respect; because people seldom or never receive
any advantage by these little ludicrous impositions, and yet,
if they were to ask themselves the question, would find, that
another's using them in the same manner would be very dias


AN Eagle that had young ones, looking out for something to
feed them with, happened to spy a Fox's cub, that lay bask-
ing itself abroad in the sun. She made a stoop, and trussed
it immediately; but before she had carried it quite off, the
old Fox coming home, implored her with tears in her eyes,
to spare her cub, and pity the distress of a poor fond mother,
who should think no affliction so great as that of losing her
child. The Eagle, whose nest was up in a very high tree,
thought herself secure enough from all projects of revenge,
and so bore away the cub to her young ones, without shewing
any regard to the supplication of the Fox. But that subtle
creature, highly incensed at this outrageous barbarity, ran to
an altar where some country people had been sacrificing a
kid in the open fields, and catching up a firebrand in her
mouth, made towards the tree where the Eagle's nest was,
with a resolution of revenge. She had scarce ascended the
first branches, when the Eagle, terrified with the approaching
ruin of herself and family, begged of the Fox to desist, and
with much submission, returned her the cub again, safe and
This fable is a warning to us not to deal hardly or inju-
riously by anybody. The consideration of our being in a
high condition of life, and those we hurt far below us, will
plead little or no excuse for us in this case. For there is scarce
a creature of so despicable a rank, but is capable of avenging
itself some way, and at some time or other. When great men
happen to be wicked, how little scruple do they make of op-
pressing their poor neighbours! they are perched upon a lofty
station, and have built their nest on high; and, having out
grown all feelings of humanity, are insensible of any pangs of
remorse. The widow's tears, the orphan's cries, and the
curses of the miserable, like javelins thrown by the hand of
a feeble old man, fall by the way, and never reach their heart.
But let such a one, in the midst of his flagrant injustice, re-
member, how easy a matter it is, notwithstanding his superior
distance, for the meanest vassal to be revenged of him. The
bitterness of an affliction, even where cunning is wanting,


may animate the poorest spirit with resolutions of vengeance;
and when once that fury is thoroughly awakened, we know
not what she will require before she is lulled to rest again.
The most powerful tyrants cannot prevent a resolved assassi-
nation: there are a thousand different ways for any private
man to do the business, who is heartily disposed to it, and
willing to satisfy his appetite for revenge, at the expense of
his life. An old woman may clap a firebrand in the palace of
a prince, and it is in the power of a poor weak fool to destroy
the children of the mighty.

A LITTLE scoundrel of an Ass, happening to meet with a
Boar, had a mind to be arch upon him. And so, brother, says
he, your humble servant. The Boar, somewhat nettled at his
familiarity, bristled up to him, and told him, he was sur-
prised to hear him utter so impudent an untruth, and was
just going to shew his noble resentment, by giving him a rip
in the flank: but wisely stifling his passion, he contented
himself with only saying, Go, you sorry beast! I could be
amply and easily revenged of you, but I don't care to foul my
tusks with the blood of so base a creature.
Fools are sometimes so ambitious of being thought wits,
that they run great hazards in attempting to shew themselves
such. This is not the first ass, who, after a handsome re-
buke from one superior to himself, both in courage and
merit, has continued his awkward railery even to the last
degree of offence. But such a dull creature is so far from
raising himself the least esteem by his ludicrous vein, that he
has very good luck if he escapes with a whole skin. Buffoons,
like dwarfs, should be matched with those of their own level;
a man, in sense, or stature, would be ashamed to encounter
either of them. But, notwithstanding all this, and though
the Boar in the fable is a very good example to men of gene-
rous brave spirits, not to give themselves up to passion, nor
to be distempered with thoughts of revenge upon the in-
solent behaviour of every ass that offends them, because their
hands would be dishonuw'ed by the tincture of a base man's
B 2


blood; yet, among human creatures, the correction of an ass
that would be unseasonably witty, may be performed with
justness and propriety enough, provided it be done with good
humour. The blood of a coward, literally speaking, would
stain the character of a man of honour; when we chastise
such wretches, it should be done, if possible, in the utmost
calmness of temper. It takes off something from the reputa-
tion of a great soul, when we see it is in the power of a fool
to ruffle and unsettle it.

A FROG, one day, peeping out of the lake, and looking about
him, saw two Bulls fighting at some distance off in the mea-
dow, and calling to one of his acquaintance, Look, says he,
what dreadful work is yonder Dear sirs, what will become
of us ? Why, pray thee, says the other, do not frighten your-
self so about nothing; how can their quarrels affect us?
They are of a different kind and way of living, and are at
present only contending which shall be master of the herd.
That is true, replies the first, their quality and station in life
is, to all appearance, different enough from ours: but, as one
of them will certainly get the better, he that js worsted,
being beat out of the meadow, will take refuge here in tho
marshes, and may possibly tread out the guts of some of us:
so you see, we are more nearly concerned in this dispute of
theirs than at first you were aware of.
This poor timorous frog had just reason for its fears and
suspicions: it being hardly possible for great people to fall
out, without involving many below them in the same fate:
nay, whatever becomes of the former, the latter are sure to
suffer; those may only be playing the fool, while these really
smart for it.
It is of no small importance to the honest, quiet part of
mankind, who desire nothing so much as to see peace and
virtue flourish, to enter seriously and impartially into the
consideration of this point: for as significant as the quarrels
of the great may sometimes be, yet they are nothing without
their espousing and supporting them, one way or other. What


is it that occasions parties, but the ambitious or avaricious
spirit of men in eminent stations, who want to engross all
power in their own hands ? Upon this they foment divisions,
and form factions, and excite animosities between well-mean-
ing, but undiscerning people, who little think that the great
aim of their leaders is no more than the advancement of their
private self-interest. The good of the public is always pre-
tended upon such occasions, and may sometimes happen to
be tacked to their own; but then it is purely accidental, and
never was originally intended. One knows not what remedy
to prescribe against so epidemical and frequent a malady,
but only that every man, who has sense enough to discern
the pitiful private views that attend most of the differences
between the great ones, instead of aiding or abetting either
party, would, with an honest courage, heartily and openly
"oppose both.

A. KITE, who had kept sailing in the air for many days near
a dove-house, and made a stoop at several Pigeons, but all to
no purpose (for they were too nimble for him), at last had
recourse to stratagem, and took his opportunity one day to
make a declaration to them, in which he set forth his own
just and good intentions, who had nothing more at heart
than the defence and protection of the Pigeons in their an-
cient rights and liberties; and how concerned he was at their
fears and jealousies of a foreign invasion, especially their un-
just and unreasonable suspicions of himself, as if he intended,
by force of arms, to break in upon their constitution, and
erect a tyrannical government over them. To prevent all
which, and thoroughly to quiet their minds, he thought pro-
per to propose to them such terms of alliance and articles of
peace, as might for ever cement a good understanding be-
twixt them : the principal of which was, that they should
accept of him for their king, and invest him with all kingly
privilege and prerogative over them. The poor simple
Pigeons consented: the Kite took the coronation oath after
a very solemn manner, on his part, and the Doves, the oaths
of allegiance and fidelity, on theirs. But much time had not
passed over their heads, before the good Kite pretended that


it was part of his prerogative to devour a Pigeon whenever
he pleased. And this he was not contented to do himself
only, but instructed the rest of the royal family in the same
kingly arts of government. The Pigeons, reduced to this
miserable condition, said, one to the other, Ah! we deserve
no better! Why did we let him come ?
What can this fable be applied to, but the exceeding blind-
ness and stupidity of that part of mankind who wantonly
and foolishly trust their native rights and liberty without
good security ? who often choose for guardians of their lives
and fortunes, persons abandoned to the most unsociable vices;
and seldom have any better excuse for such an error in poli-
tics, than that they were deceived in their expectation; or
never thoroughly knew the manners of their king, till he had
got them entirely in his power? Which, however, is notori-
ously false; for many, with the Doves in the fable, are so
silly, that they would admit of a Kite, rather than be with-
out a king. The truth is, we ought not to incur the possi-
bility of being deceived in so important a matter as this; an
unlimited power should not be trusted in the hands of any
one who is not endued with a perfection more than human.

A MAN, in times when polygamy was allowed, had two wives:
one of which, like himself, had seen her best days, and was
just as it were entering upon the declivity of life; but this,
being an artful woman, she entirely concealed by her dress;
by which, and some other elegant qualities, she made a shift
sometimes to engage her husband's heart. The other was a
beautiful young creature of seventeen, whose charms, as yet in
the height of bloom, and secure of their own power, had no
occasion to call in any artifice to their assistance. She made
the good man as happy as he was capable of being, but was
not, it seems, completely so herself: the gray hairs, mixed
among the black, upon her husband's head, gave her some
uneasiness, by proclaiming the great disparity of their years;
wherefore, under colour of adjusting and combing his head,
she would every now and then be twitching the silver hairs


with her nippers; that, however matters were, he might still
have as few visible signs of an advanced age as possible: the
dame whose years were nearer" to an equality with his own,
esteemed those gray locks as the honours of his head, and
could have wished they had all been such; she thought it gave
him a venerable look; at least, that it made her appear some-
thing younger than he: so that every time the honest man's
head fell into her hands, she took as much pains to extirpate
the black hairs, as the other had done to demolish the gray.
They neither of them knew of the other's design; but each
continuing her project with repeated industry, the poor man,
who thought their desire to oblige put them upon this extra-
ordinary officiousness in dressing his head, found himself, in
a short time, without any hair at all.
Phoedrus, whose sense I have generally followed in every
fable of which he has made a version, in his application of
this, is a little severe upon the ladies; and tells us that, by
this example we may see, the men are sure to be losers by the
women; as well when they are the objects of their love, as while
they lie under their displeasure. All that I shall add to what
he has said, is to observe, that many women may unfortu-
nately, out of a pure effect of complacence, do a thousand
disagreeable things to their husbands. They whose love is
tempered with a tolerable share of good sense, will be sure to
have no separate views of their own, nor do anything more
immediately relating to their husband, without consulting
him first. In a married state, one party should inform them-
selves certainly, and not be guessing and presuming what will
please the other; and if a wife uses her husband like a friend
only, the least she can do is, first to cGclmunicate to him all
the important enterprises she undertakes, and especially those
which she intends should be for his honour and advantage.

A STAG, roused out of his thick covert in the midst of the
forest, and driven hard by the hounds, made towards a farm-
house, and seeing the door of an ox-stall open, entered therein,
and hid himself under a heap of straw. One of the oxen,


turning his head about, asked him what he meant by venture.
ing himself in such a place as that was, where he was sure to
meet with his doom! Ah! says the Stag, if you will but be
so good as to favour me with your concealment, I hope I shall
do well enough; I intend to make off again the first opportu-
nity. Well, he stayed there till towards night. In came the
ox-man, with a bundle of fodder, and never saw him. In
short, all the servants of the farm came and went, and not a
coul of them smelt anything of the matter. Nay, the bailiff
himself came, according to form, and looked in, but walked
away, no wiser than the rest. Upon this, the Stag, ready to
jump out of his skin for joy, began to return thanks to the
good-natured Oxen, protesting that they were the most oblig-
ing people he had ever met with in his life. After he had
cone his compliments, one of them answered him gravely:
Indeed we desire nothing more than to have it in our power
to contribute to your escape; but there is a certain person
you little think of, who has a hundred eyes: if he should
happen to come, I would not give this straw for your life. In
the interim, home comes the master himself, from a neigh-
bour's, where he had been invited to dinner: and, because he
had observed the cattle to look but scurvily of late, he went
up to the rack, and asked why they did not give them more
fodder; then casting his eyes downward, Hey-dey! says he,
why so sparing of your litter ? pray, scatter a little more here.
And these cobwebs-But I have spoken so often, that unless
I do it myself-Thus, as he went on, prying into everything,
he chanced to look where the Stag's horns lay sticking out of
the straw; upon which he raised a hue-and-cry, called all his
people about him, killed the poor Stag, and made a prize of
The moral of this fable is, that nobody looks after a man's
affairs so well as he himself. Servants, being but hirelings,
seldom have the true interest of their master at heart, but let
things run on in a negligent constant disorder, and this, gene-
rally, not so much for want of capacity as honesty. Their
heads are taken up with the cultivation of their own private
interest; for the service and promotion of which, that of their
master is postponed, and often entirely neglected.
Few families are reduced to poverty and distress merely by
their own extravagance and indulgence in luxury; the inat,


tention of servants swells every article of expense in domestic
economy; and the retinue of great men, instead of exerting
their industry to conduce as far as possible to the increase of
their master's wealth, commonly exercise no other office than
that of locusts and caterpillars, to consume and devour it.

A LEAN, hungry, half-starved Wolf happened, one moon-shin
night, to meet with a jolly, plump, well-fed Mastiff; and
after the first compliments were passed, says the Wolf, You
look extremely well; I protest, I think I never saw a more
graceful, comely person; but how comes it about, I beseech
you, that you should live so much better than I? I may say,
without vanity, that I venture fifty times more than you do;
and yet I am almost ready to perish with hunger. The Dog
answered very bluntly, Why, you may live as well, if you will
do the same for it that I do. Indeed! What is that? says
he. Why, says the Dog, only to guard the house a-nights,
and keep it from thieves. With all my heart, replies the
Wolf; for at present I have but a sorry time of it; and I
think, to change my hard lodging in the woods, where I en-
dure rain, frost, and snow, for a warm roof over my head,
and a belly-full of good victuals, will be no bad bargain.
True, says the Dog; therefore you have nothing more to do
than to follow me. Now, as they were jogging on together,
the Wolf spied a crease in the Dog's neck, and, having a
strange curiosity, could not forbear asking him what it
meant. Pugh! nothing, says the Dog. Nay, but pray, says
the Wolf. Why, says the Dog, if you must know, I am tied
up in the day-time, because I am a little fierce, for fear I
should bite people, and am only let loose a-nights. But this
is done with the design to make me sleep a-days, more than
anything else, and that I may watch the better in the night-
time; for as soon as ever the twilight appears, out I am
turned, and may go where I please. Then, my master brings
me plates of bones from the table with his own hands; and
whatever scraps are left by any of the family, all fall to my
share; for you must know, I am a favourite with everybody.
So you see how you are to live. Come, come along; what is
the matter with you? No replied the Wolf, I beg your


pardon; keep your happiness all to yourself. Liberty is the
word with me; and I would not be a king upon the terms
you mention.
The lowest condition of life, with freedom attending it, is
better than the most exalted station under a restraint. Esop
and Phaedrus, who had both felt the bitter effects of slavery,
though the latter of them had the good fortune to have the
mildest prince that ever was for his master, cannot forbear
taking all opportunities to express their great abhorrence of
servitude, and their passion for liberty, upon any terms
whatsoever. Indeed, a state of slavery, with whatever seem-
ing grandeur and happiness it may be attended, is yet so
precarious a thing, that he must want sense, honour, courage,
and all manner of virtue, who can endure to prefer it in his
choice. A man who has so little honour as to bear to be a
slave, when it is in his power to prevent or redress it, would
make no scruple to cut the throats of his fellow-creatures, or
to do any wickedness that the wanton unbridled will of his
tyrannical master could suggest.

A WOLF meeting a Lamb one day, in company with a
Goat; Child, says he, you are mistaken, this is none of your
mother, she is yonder (pointing to a flock of sheep at a dis-
tance). It may be so, says the Lamb; the person that hap-
pened to conceive me, and afterwards bore me a few months
in her belly, because she could not help it, and then dropt
me, she did not care where, and left me to the wide world,
is, I suppose, what you call my mother; but I look upon
this charitable Goat as such, that took compassion on me in
my poor, helpless, destitute condition, and gave me suck;
sparing it out of the mouths of her own kids, rather than I
should want it. But sure, says he, you have a greater regard
for her that gave you life, than for anybody else ? She gave
me life! I deny that. She, that could not so much as tell
whether I should be black or white, had a great hand in
giving me life to be sure; but, supposing it were so, I am
mightily obliged to her truly for contriving to lAt 1 e be of


the male kind, so that I go every day in danger of the butcher!
What reason, then, have I to have a greater regard for one to
whom I am so little indebted for any part of my being, than
for those from whom I have received all the benevolence and
kindness which have hitherto supported me in life ?
It is they whose goodness makes them our parents that
properly claim our filial respect from us, and not those who
are such only out of necessity. The duties between parents
and their children are relative and reciprocal. By all laws,
natural as well as civil, it is expected that the parents should
cherish and provide for the child, till it is able to shift for
itself; and that the child, with a mutual tenderness, should
depend upon the parent for its sustenance, and yield it a
reasonable obedience. Yet, through the depravity of human
nature, we very often see these laws violated, and the rela-
tions before mentioned treating one another with as much
virulence as enemies of different countries are capable of.
Through the natural impatience and protervity of youth, we
observe the first occasion for any animosity most frequently
arising from their side: but, however, there are not wanting
examples of undutiful parents: and when a father, by using
a son ill, and denying him such an education and such an
allowance as his circumstances can well afford, gives him
occasion to withdraw his respect from him, to urge his be-
getting of him as the sole obligation to duty, is talking like
a silly, unthinking dotard. Mutual benevolence must be
kept up between relations, as well as friends; for without this
cement, whatever you please to call the building, it is only a
castle in the air, a thing to be talked of, without the least

THE Peacock presented a memorial to Juno, importing
how hardly he thought he was used, in not having so good a
voice as the Nightingale; how that pretty animal was agree-
able to every ear that heard it, while he was laughed at for
his ugly screaming noise, if he did but open his mouth. The
Goddess, concerned at the uneasiness of her favourite bird,


answered him very kindly to this purpose: If the Nightingale
is blest with a fine voice, you have the advantage in point of
beauty and largeness of person. Ah! says he, but what
avails my silent unmeaning beauty, when I am so far excelled
in voice! The Goddess dismissed him, bidding him consider,
that the properties of every creature were appointed by the
decree of fate: to him beauty; strength to the Eagle; to the
Nightingale a voice of melody; the faculty of speech to the
Parrot; and to the Dove innocence. That each of these was
contented with his own peculiar quality; and unless he had
a mind to be miserable, he must learn to be so too.
Since all things (as Juno says) are fixed by the eternal and
unalterable decree of Fate, how absurd it is to hear people
complaining and tormenting themselves for that which it is
impossible ever to obtain! They who are ambitious of hav-
ing more good qualities, since that is impracticable, should
spare no pains to cultivate and recommend those they have:
which a sourness and peevishness of temper, instead of im-
proving, will certainly lessen and impair, whether they are of
the mind or body. If we had all the desirable properties in
the world, we could be no more than easy and contented with
them: and if a man, by a right way of thinking, can recon-
cile himself to his own condition, whatever it be, he will fall
little short of the most complete state that mortals ever en-

A Fox, very hungry, chanced to come into a vineyard,
where there hung branches of charming ripe Grapes; but
nailed up to a trellis so high, that he leaped till he quite
tired himself, without being able to reach one of them. At
last, Let who will take them! says he; they are but green
and sour, so I'll even let them alone.
This fable is a good reprimand to a parcel of vain cox-
combs in the world, who, because they would never be thought
to be disappointed in any of their pursuits, pretend a dislike


to everything which they cannot obtain. There is a strange
propensity in mankind to this temper, and there are numbers
of grumbling malcontents in every different faculty and
sect in life. The discarded statesman, considering the cor-
ruption of the times, would not have any hand in the admi-
nistration of affairs for all the world. The country 'squire
damns a court life, and would not go cringing and creeping to
a drawing-room for the best place the king has in his disposal.
A young fellow being asked how he liked a celebrated beauty,
by whom all the world knew he was despised, answered, She
had a stinking breath. How insufferable is the pride of this
poor creature, man! who would stoop to the basest, vilest
actions, rather than be thought not able to do anything.
For what is more base and vile than lying? And when do
we lie more notoriously, than when we disparage and find
fault with a thing for no other reason but because it is out of
our power?

A VIPER entering a smith's shop, looked up and down for
something to eat; and seeing a File, fell to gnawing it as
greedily as could be. The File told him, very gruffly, That
he had best be quiet and let him alone; for he would get
very little by nibbling at one who, upon occasion, could bite
iron and steel.
By this fable we are cautioned to consider what any person
is, before we make an attack upon him after any manner
whatsoever, particularly how we let our tongues slip in cen-
suring the actions of those who are, in the opinion of the
world, not only of an unquestioned reputation, so that no-
body will believe what we insinuate against them; but of
such an influence, upon account of their own veracity, that
the least word from them would ruin our credit to all intents
and purposes. If wit be the case, and we have a satirical
vein, which, at certain periods, must have a flow, let us be
cautious at whom we level it; for if the person's understand-
ing be of better proof than our own, all our ingenious sallies,
like liquor squirted against the wind, will recoil back upor


our own faces, and make us the ridicule of every spectator.
This fable, besides, is not an improper emblem of envy; which,
rather than not bite at all, will fall foul where it can hurt no-
thing but itself.

A Fox having tumbled by chance into a well, had been cast-
ing about a long while, to no purpose, how he should get out
again; when, at last, a goat came to the place, and wanting to
drink, asked Reynard, Whether the water was good. Good!
says he, ay, so sweet, that I am afraid I have surfeited myself,
I have drunk so abundantly. The Goat, upon this, without
any more ado, leapt in; and the Fox, taking the advantage of
his horns, by the assistance of them, as nimbly leapt out,
leaving the poor Goat at the bottom of the well, to shift for
The doctrine taught us by this fable is no more than this,
uhat we ought to consider who it is that advises us, before we
follow the advice. For, however plausible the counsel may
seem, if the person that gives it is a crafty knave, we may be
assured that he intends to serve himself in it, more than us,
if not to erect something to his own advantage out of our
The little, poor country attorney, ready to perish, and
sunk to the lowest depth of poverty, for want of employ-
ment, by such arts as these, draws the 'squire, his neighbour,
into the gulf of the law; till, laying hold of the branches of
his revenue, he lifts himself out of obscurity, and leaves the
other immured in the bottom of a mortgage.

A VILLAGER, in a frosty, snowy winter, found a Snake under
a hedge almost dead with cold. He could not help having
compassion for the poor creature, so brought it home, and
laid it upon the hearth near the fire; but it had not lain


there long, before (being revived with the heat) it began to
erect itself, and fly at his wife and children, filling the whole
cottage with dreadful hissings. The Countryman hearing an
outcry, and perceiving what the matter was, caught up a
mattock, and soon dispatched him, upbraiding him at the
same time in these words: Is this, vile wretch, the reward
you make to him that saved your life ? Die, as you deserve,
but a single death is too good for you.
It is the nature of ingrates to return evil for good; and the
moralists in all ages have incessantly declaimed against the
enormity of this crime, concluding that they who are capable
of hurting their benefactors, are not fit to live in a commu-
nity; being such as the natural ties of parent, friend, or
country, are too weak to restrain within the bounds of society.
Indeed, the sin of ingratitude is so detestable, that as none
but the most inhuman temper can be guilty of it, so, in writ-
ing to men, there is no occasion to use many words, either in
exposing the vice itself, or dissuading people from the com-
mission of it. Therefore it is not likely that a person of
JEsop's sagacity would have compiled this fable without
having something else in view, besides this trite and obvious
subject. He certainly intended to put us in mind, that as
none but a poor silly clown would go to take up a Snake and
cherish it, so we shall be very negligent and ill-advised if, in
doing good offices, we do not take care to bestow our bene-
volence upon proper objects. It was not at all unnatural in
the Snake to hiss, and brandish his tongue, and fly at the
first that came near him; as soon at the person that saved
his life as any other; indeed, more likely, because nobody else
had so much to do with him. Nor is it strange at any time
to see a reprobate fool throwing his poisonous language about,
and committing his extravagances against those, more espe-
cially, who are so inadvertent as to concern themselves with
him. The Snake and the reprobate will not appear extraor-
dinary in their malevolence: but the sensible part of man-
kind cannot help thinking those guilty of great indiscretion,
who receive either of them into their protection.


THE Mountains were said to be in labour, and uttered most
dreadful groans. People came together, far and near, to see
what birth would be produced; and after they had waited a
considerable time in expectation, out crept a Mouse.
"Great cry and little wool" is the English proverb: the
sense of which bears an exact proportion to this fable. By
which are exposed all those who promised something exceed-
ing great, but come off with a production ridiculously little.
Projectors of all kinds, who endeavour by artificial rumours
to raise the expectations of mankind, and then, by their
mean performances, defeat and disappoint them, have, time
out of mind, been lashed with the recital of this fable. How
agreeably surprising is it to see an unpromising favourite,
whom the caprice of fortune has placed at the helm of state,
serving the commonwealth with justice and integrity, instead
of smothering and embezzling the public treasure to his own
private and wicked ends And, on the contrary, how melan-
choly, how dreadful, or rather how exasperating and provok-
ing a sight is it, to behold one, whose constant declarations
for liberty and the public good have raised people's expecta-
tions of him to the highest pitch, as soon as he is got into
power, exerting his whole art and cunning to ruin and en-
slave his country! The sanguine hopes of all those that
wished well to virtue, and flattered themselves with a refor-
mation of everything that opposed the wellbeing of the
community, vanish away in smoke, and are lost in a dark,
gloomy, uncomfortable prospect.

ONE day there happened some words between the Ant and
the Fly about precedency, and the point was argued with
great warmth and eagerness on both sides. Says the Fly, It
is well known what my pretensions are, and how justly they
are grounded; there is never a sacrifice that is offered, but


I always taste of the entrails, even before the Gods them-
selves. I have one of the uppermost seats at church, and
frequent the altar as often as anybody. I have a free admia.
sion at court; and can never want the king's ear, for I some.
times sit upon his shoulders. There is not a maid of honour,
or handsome young creature comes in my way, but, if I like
her, I settle betwixt her balmy lips. And then I eat and
drink the best of everything, without having any occasion to
work for my living. What is there that such country pusses
as you enjoy, to be compared with a life like this ? The Ant,
who by this time had composed herself, replied, with a great
deal of temper, and no less severity : Indeed, to be a guest at
the entertainment of the Gods is a very great honour, if one
is invited; but I should not care to be a disagreeable intruder
anywhere. You talk of the king and the court, and the fine
ladies there, with great familiarity; but as I have been
getting in my harvest in summer, I have seen a certain per-
son, under the town walls, making a hearty meal upon some-
thing that is not so proper to be mentioned. As to your
frequenting the altars, you are in the right to take sanctuary
where you are like to meet with the least disturbance; but
I have known people before now run to altars, and call it
devotion, when they have been shut out of all good company,
and had nowhere else to go. You don't work for your liv-
ing, you say; true: therefore, when you have played away
the summer, and winter comes, you have nothing to live upon;
and while you are starving with cold and hunger, I have a
good warm house over my head, and plenty of provisions
about me.
This fable points out to us the different characters of those
who recommend themselves in vain-glorious ways by false
and borrowed lights, and of those whose real merit procures
them a good esteem wherever they go. Poverty and folly
having, at the same time, possession of any one man, cannot
fail of making him an object of pity, if not of contempt;
but when an empty conceited pride happens to be joined
with them, they render the creature in whom they meet, at
the same time despicable and ridiculous. One who often
attends at court, not because he has a place, but because he
has not, should not value himself upon his condition. They
who go to church out of vanity and curiosity, and not foi


pure devotion, should not value themselves upon their reP.'
gion, for it is not worth a straw. They who eat at a three-
penny ordinary, and sometimes not so well, should not boast
either of their dinner or their company. In short, nobody
is a better gentleman than he whose own honest industry
supplies him with plenty of all necessaries; who is so well
acquainted with honour, as never to say or do a mean and
unjust thing; and who despises an idle scoundrel, but knows
how to esteem men of his own principles. Such a one is a
person of the first quality, though he has never a title, and
ought to take place of every man who is not so good as him-

AN old Hound, who had been an excellent good one in his
time, and given his master great sport and satisfaction in
many a chase, at last, by the effect of years, became feeble
and unserviceable. However, being in the field one day
when the Stag was almost run down, he happened to be the
first that came in with him, and seized him by one of his
haunches; but his decayed and broken teeth not being able
to keep their hold, the Deer escaped and threw him quite out.
Upon which, his master, being in a great passion, and going
to strike him, the honest old creature is said to have barked
out this apology: Ah do not strike your poor old servant; it
is not my heart and inclination, but my strength and speed
that fail me. If what I now am displeases, pray don't forget
what I have been.
This fable may serve to give us a general view of the in-
gratitude of the greatest part of mankind. Notwithstanding
all the civility and complaisance that is used among people,
where there is a common intercourse of business, yet, let the
main spring, the probability of their being serviceable to each
other, either in point of pleasure or profit, be but once broken,
and farewell courtesy: so far from continuing any regard in
behalf of past favours, it is very well if they forbear doing
anything that is injurious. If the master had only ceased to
caress and make much of the old Hound when he was past


doing any service, it had not been very strange; but to treat
a poor creature ill, not for a failure of inclination, but merely
a defect of nature, must, notwithstanding the crowd of
examples there are to countenance it, be pronounced inhuman
and unreasonable.
There are two accounts upon which people that have been
useful are frequently neglected. One, when they are so de-
cayed, either through age or some accident, that they are no
longer able to do the service they have formerly done; the
other, when the occasion or emergency which required such
talents no longer exists. Phhedrus, who more than once
complains of the bad consequences of age, makes no other
application to this fable, than by telling his friend Philetus,
with some regret, that he wrote it with a view, having, it
seems, been repaid with neglect, or worse usage, for services
done in his youth, to those who were then able to afford him
a better recompense.

A KITE had been sick a long time; and finding there were no
hopes of recovery, begged of his mother to go to all the
churches and religious houses in the country, to try what
prayers and promises would effect in his behalf. The old
Kite replied,-Indeed, dear son, I would willingly undertake
anything to save your life, but I have great reason to de
snair of doing you any service in the way you propose; for,
with what face can I ask anything of the Gods in favour of
one whose whole life has been a continual scene of rapine
and injustice, and who has not scrupled upon occasion to rob
the very altars themselves?
The rehearsal of this fable almost unavoidably draws our
attention to that very serious and important point, the con-
sideration of a death-bed repentance. And to expose the
absurdity of relying upon such a weak foundation, we need
only ask the same question with the Kite in the fable: how
can he that has offended the Gods all his lifetime, by doing
acts of dishonour and injustice, expect that they should be
leased with him at last, for no other reason but because he


fears he shall not be able to offend them any longer ? when,
in truth, such a repentance can signify nothing but a confir-
mation of his former impudence and folly; for sure no stu-
pidity can exceed that of a man who expects future judg-
ment, and yet can bear to commit any piece of injustice, with
a sense and deliberation of the fact.

UPON a great storm of wind that blew among the trees and
bushes, and made a rustling among the leaves, the Hares (in
a certain park where there happened to be plenty of them)
were so terribly frighted, that they ran like mad all over the
place, resolving to seek out some retreat of more security, or
to end their unhappy days by doing violence to themselves.
With this resolution, they found an outlet where a pale had
been broken down; and bolting forth upon an adjoining
common, had not run far before their course was stopped by
that of a gentle brook, which glided across the way they in-
tended to take. This was so grievous a disappointment, that
they were not able to bear it, and they determined rather to
throw themselves headlong into the water, let what would
become of it, than lead a life so full of dangers and crosses.
But upon their coming to the brink of the river, a parcel of
Frogs, which were sitting there, frighted at their approach,
leapt into the stream in great confusion, and dived to the
very bottom for fear; which a cunning old puss observing,
called to the rest and said,-Hold; have a care what ye do:
here are other creatures, I perceive, which have their fears as
well as us; don't, then, let us fancy ourselves the most miser.
able of any upon earth; but rather, by their example, Jearn
to bear patiently those inconveniences which our nature has
thrown upoi us.
This fable is designed to shew us how unreasonable many
people are, for living in such continual fears and disquiets
about the miserableness of their condition. There is hardly
any state of life great enough to satisfy the wishes of an
ambitious man; and scarce any so mean, but may supply all
the necessities of him that is moderate. But if people will be


so unwise as to work themselves up to imnginary nm1i' rt.un- ,
why do they grumble at nature, and their stars, when their
own perverse minds are only to blame ? If we are to conclude
ourselves unhappy by as many degrees as there are others
greater than we, why, then, the greatest part of mankind must
be miserable, in some degree at least. But if they who
repine at their own afflicted condition, would but reckon up
how many more there are with whom they would not change
cases, than those whose pleasures they envy, they would cer-
tainly rise up better satisfied from such a calculation. But
what shall we say to those who have a way of creating them-
selves panics from the rustling of the wind, the scratching of
a Rat or Mouse behind the hangings, the fluttering of a Moth,
or the motion of their own shadow by moonlight? Their
whole life is as full of alarms as that of a Hare, and they
never think themselves so happy as when, like the timorous
folks in the fable, they meet with a set of creatures as fearful
as themselves.

A LION, faint with heat, and weary with hunting, was laid
down to take his repose under the spreading boughs of a
thick shady oak. It happened that while he slept, a company
of scrambling Mice ran over his back, and waked him. Upon
which, starting up, he clapped his paw upon one of them, and
was just going to put it to death, when the little supplicant
implored his mercy in a very moving manner, begging him
not to stain his noble character with the blood of so despi-
cable and small a beast. The Lion, considering the matter,
thought proper to do as he was desired, and immediately
released his little trembling prisoner. Not long after, tra-
versing the forest in pursuit of his prey, he chanced to run
into the toils of the hunters; from whence, not able to dis-
engage himself, he set up a most hideous and loud roar. The
Mouse, hearing the voice, and knowing it to be the Lion's,
immediately repaired to the place, and bid him fear nothing,
for that he was his friend. Then straight he fell to work,
and with his sharp little teeth, knowing asunder the knots
and fastenings of the toils, set the royal brute at liberty.


This fable gives us to understand, that there is no person
in the world so little, but even the greatest may at some
time or other stand in need of his assistance; and conse-
quently that it is good to use clemency, where there is any
room for it, towards those who fall within our power. A
generosity of this kind is a handsome virtue, and looks very
graceful whenever it is exerted, if there were nothing else in
it: but as the lowest people in life may, upon occasion, have
it in their power either to save or hurt us, that makes it our
duty, in point of common interest, to behave ourselves with
good nature and lenity towards all with whom we have to
do. Then the gratitude of the Mouse, and his readiness, not
only to repay, but even to exceed the obligation due to his
benefactor, notwithstanding his little body, gives us the spe-
cimen of a great soul, which is never so much delighted as
with an opportunity of shewing how sensible it is of favour

THE Lion aforesaid, touched with the grateful procedure of
the Mouse, and resolving not to be outdone in generosity by
any wild beast whatsoever, desired his little deliverer to
name his own terms, for that he might depend upon his
complying with any proposal he should make. The Mouse,
fired with ambition at this gracious offer, did not so much
consider what was proper for him to ask, as what was in the
power of his prince to grant; and so, presumptuously, de-
manded his princely daughter, the young Lioness, in mar-
riage. The Lion consented: but when he would have given
the royal virgin into his possession, she, like a giddy thing
as she was, not minding how she walked, by chance set her
paw upon her spouse, who was coming to meet her, and
crushed her little dear to pieces.
This fable seems intended to shew us, how miserable some
people make themselves by a wrong choice, when they have
all the good things in the world spread before them to choose


out of. In short, if that one particular of judgment be
wanting, it is not in the power of the greatest monarch upon
earth, nor of the repeated smiles of fortune, to make us
happy. It is the want of possession of a good judgment
which oftentimes makes the prince a poor wretch, and the
poor philosopher completely easy. Now, the first and chief
degree of judgment is, to know one's self; to be able to make
a tolerable estimate of one's own capacity, so as not to speak
or undertake anything which may either injure or make us
ridiculous: and yet (as wonderful as it is) there have been
men of allowed good sense in particular, and possessed of all
desirable qualifications in general, to make life delightful
and agreeable, who have unhappily contrived to match
themselves with women of a genius and temper necessarily
tending to blast their peace. This proceeds from some un-
accountable blindness : but when wealthy plebeians, of mean
extraction, and unrefined education, as an equivalent for
their money, demand brides out of the nurseries of our
peerage, their being despised, or at least overlooked, is so
unavoidable, unless in extraordinary cases, that nothing but
a false taste of glory could make them enter upon a scheme
so inconsistent and unpromising.

A COUNTRY fellow came one day into a wood, and looked
about him with some concern; upon which the Trees, with
a curiosity natural to some other creatures, asked him what
be wanted. He replied, that he only wanted a piece of wood
to make a handle to his hatchet. Since that was all, it was
voted unanimously that he should have a piece of good,
sound, tough ash. But he had no sooner received and fitted
it for his purpose, than he began to lay about him unmerci-
fully, and to hack and hew without distinction, felling the
noblest trees in all the forest. The Oak is said to have
spoken thus to the Beech, in a low whisper,-Brother, we
must take it for our pains.
No people are more justly liable to suffer, than they who
furnish their enemies with any kind of assistance. It is


generous to forgive; it is enjoined us by religion to love our
enemies; but he that trusts an enemy, much more contri-
butes to the strengthening and arming of him, may also de-
pend upon repenting him for his inadvertent benevolence:
and has, moreover, this to add to his distress, that when he
might have prevented it, he brought his misfortunes upon
himself by his own credulity.
Any person in a community, by what name or title soever
distinguished, who affects a power which may possibly hurt
the people, is an enemy to that people, and therefore they
ought not to trust him; for though he were ever so fully
determined not to abuse such a power, yet he is so far a
bad man, as he disturbs the people's quiet, and makes them
jealous and uneasy, by desiring to have it, or even retaining
it, when it may prove mischievous. If we consult history,
we shall find that the thing called prerogative has been
claimed and contended for chiefly by those who never
intended to make a good use of it; and as readily resigned
and thrown up by just and wise princes, who had the true
interest of their people at heart. How like senseless stocks
do they act, who, by complimenting some capricious mortal,
from time to time, with parcels of prerogative, at last put it
out of their power to defend and maintain themselves in their
just and natural liberty!

THE Stag, with his sharp horns, got the better of the Horse,
and drove him clear out of the pasture where they used to
feed together. So the latter craved the assistance of man;
uind, in order to receive the benefit of it, suffered him to put
a bridle into his mouth, and a saddle upon his back. By this
way of proceeding he entirely defeated his enemy; but was
mightily disappointed, when, upon returning thanks and
desiring to be dismissed, he received this answer: No; I
never knew before how useful a drudge you were; now T
have found what you are good for, you may depend upon it
I will keep you to it.
As the foregoing fable was intended to caution us against


consenting to anything that might prejudice public liberty;
this may serve to keep us upon our guard in the preservation
of that which is of a private nature. This is the use and
interpretation given of it by Horace, the best and most
polite philosopher that ever wrote. After reciting the fable
he applies it thus : This, says he, is the case with him who
dreading poverty, parts with that invaluable jewel, liberty;
like a wretch as he is, he will always be subject to a tyrant
of some sort or other, and be a slave for ever; because his
avaricious spirit knew not how to be contented with that
moderate competency, which he might have possessed inde-
pendent of all the world.

AN honest, plain, sensible, country Mouse, is said to have
entertained at his hole, one day, a fine Mouse of the town.
Having formerly been playfellows together, they were old
acquaintances, which served as an apology for the visit.
However, as master of the house, he thought himself obliged
to do the honours of it, in all respects, and to make as great
a stranger of his guest as he possibly could. In order to
this, he set before him a reserve of delicate gray pease and
bacon, a dish of fine oatmeal, some parings of new cheese;
and, to crown all, with a dessert, a remnant of a charming
mellow apple. In good manners, he forbore to eat any him-
self, lest the stranger should not have enough; but, that he
might seem to bear the other company, sat and nibbled a
piece of wheaten straw very busily. At last, says the spark
of the town, Old Croney, give me leave to be a little free
with you; how can you bear to live in this nasty, dirty, me-
lancholy hole here, with nothing but woods, and meadows,
and mountains, and rivulets, about you ? Do not you prefer
&he conversation of the world to the chirping of birds, and
the splendour of a court to the rude aspect of an uncultivated
desert ? Come, take my word for it, you will find it a change
for the better. Never stand considering, but away this
moment. Remember we are not immortal, and therefore
have no time to lose. Make sure of to-day, and spend it as
agreeably as you can, you know not what may happen tc.
morrow. In short, these and such like arguments pievailedt


and his country acquaintance was resolved to go to town thlat
night. So they both set out upon their journey together,
proposing to sneak in after the close of the evening. They
did so: and about midnight, made their entry into a certain
great house, where there had been an extraordinary enter.
tainment the day before; and several tit-bits, which some
of the servants had purloined, were hid under the seat of a
window: the country guest was immediately placed in the
midst of a rich Persian carpet; and now it was the courtier's
turn to entertain, who, indeed, acquitted himself in that
capacity with the utmost readiness and address, changing the
courses as elegantly, and tasting everything first as judiciously,
as any clerk of a kitchen. The other sPt and enjoyed himself
like a delighted epicure, tickled to the last degree with this
new turn of his affairs; when, on a sudden, a noise of some-
body opening the door made them start from their seats, and
scuttle in confusion about the dining room. Our country
friend, in particular, was ready to die with fear at the bark-
ing of a huge Mastiff or two, which opened their throats just
about the same time, and made the whole house echo. At
-last, recovering himself, Well, says he, if this be your town-
life, much good may you do with it: give me my poor, quiet
hole again, with my homely, but comfortable gray pease.
A moderate fortune, with a quiet retirement in the coun-
try, is preferable to the greatest affluence which is attended
with care and the perplexity of business, and inseparable
from the noise and hurry of the town. The practice of the
generality of the people of the best taste, it is to be owned, is
directly against us in this point; but, when it is considered
that this practice of theirs proceeds rather from a compliance
with the fashion of the times, than their own private
thoughts, the objection is of no force. Among the great
numbers of men who have received a learned education, how
few are there but either have their fortunes entirely to make;
or, at least, think they deserve to have, and ought not to lose
the opportunity of getting somewhat more than their fathers
have left them The town is the field of action for volun-
teers of this kind; and whatever fondness they may have for
the country, yet they must stay till their circumstances will
admit of a retreat thither. But sure there never was a man
ret, who lived in a constant return of trouble and fatigue in


town, as all men of business do in some degree or other, but
has formed to himself some end of gettiik a sufficient comr
petency, which may enable him to purchase a quiet possession
in the country, where he may indulge his genius, and give up
his old age to that easy smooth life, which, in the tempest of
business, he had so often longed for. Can anything argue
more strongly for a country life, than to observe what a long
course of labour people go through, and what difficulties
they encounter to come at it ? They look upon it, at a dis-
tance, like a kind of heaven, a place of rest and happiness;
and are pushing forward, through the rugged thorny cares of
the world, to make their way towards it. If there are many,
who, though born to plentiful fortunes, yet live most part of
their time in the noise, the smoke, and hurry of the town, we
shall find, upon inquiry, that necessary indispensable business
is the real or pretended plea which most of them have to
make for it. The court and the senate require the attendance
of some; lawsuits, and the proper direction of trade, engage
others; they who have a sprightly wit, and an elegant taste
for conversation, will resort to the place which is frequented
by people of the same turn, whatever aversion they may
otherwise have for it; and others, who have on such pretence,
have yet this to say, that they follow the fashion. They who
appear to have been men of the best sense amongst the
ancients, always recommended the country as the most proper
scene for innocence, ease, and virtuous pleasure; and, accord-
ingly, lost no opportunities of enjoying it: and men of the
greatest distinction among the moderns have ever thought
themselves most happy, when they could be decently spared
from the employment which the excellency of their talents
necessarily threw them into, to embrace the charming leisure
of a country life.

A LITTLE, starvelling, thin-gutted rogue of a Mouse, had with
much pushing application, made his way through a small
hole in a corn basket, where he stuffed and crammed so
plentifully, that when he would have retired the way be
came, he found himself too plump, with all his endeavours,
to accomplish it. A weasel who stood at some distance, and
C 2


had been diverting himself with beholding the vain efforts of
the little fat thing, called to him and said: Harkye honest
friend, if you have a mind to make your escape, there is but
one way for it; contrive to grow as poor and as lean as you
were when you entered, and then perhaps you may get off.
They who, from a poor mean condition, insinuate them-
selves into a good estate, are not always the most happy.
There is, many times, a quiet and content attending a low
life, to which the rich man is an utter stranger. Riches and
cares are almost inseparable; and whoever would get rid of
the one, must content himself to be divested of the other.
He that hath been acquainted with the sweets of a life free
from the encumbrance of wealth, and longs to enjoy them
again, must strip himself of that encumbrance, if he ever
means to attain his wishes.
Some, from creeping into the lowest stations of life have,
in process of time, filled the greatest places in it; and grown
so bulky by pursuing their insatiate appetite after money,
that when they would have retired, they found themselves
too opulent and full to get off. There has been no expedient
for them to creep out, till they were squeezed and reduced, in
some measure, to their primitive littleness. They that fill
themselves with that which is the property of others, should
always be so served before they are suffered to escape.

IN former days, when the belly and the other parts of the
body enjoyed uhe faculty of speech, and had separate views
and designs of their own; each part, it seems, in particular,
for himself, and in the name of the whole, took exception at
the conduct of the Belly, and were resolved to grant him
supplies no longer. They said they thought it very hard,
that he should lead an idle good-for-nothing life, spending
and squandering away upon his own ungodly guts, all the
fruits of their labour; and that, in short, they were resolved
for the future to strike off his allowance, and let him shift
for himself as well as he could. The hands protested they
would not lift up a finger to keep him from starving, and the


mouth wished he might never speak again, if he took in the
least bit of nourishment for him so long as hb lived; and,
say the teeth, may we be rotten if ever we chew a morsel for
him for the future. This solemn league and covenant was
kept as long as anything of that kind can be kept, which
was, until each of the rebel members pined away to the skin
and bone, and could hold out no longer. Then they found
there was no doing without the Belly, and that, as idle and
insignificant as he seemed, he contributed as much to the
maintenance and welfare of all the other parts, as they did to
This fable was spoken by Menenius Agrippa, a famous
Roman consul and general, when he was deputed by the
senate to appease a dangerous tumult and insurrection of the
people. The many wars that nation was engaged in, and the
frequent supplies they were obliged to raise, had so soured
and inflamed the minds of the populace, that they were re-
solved to endure it no longer, and obstinately refused to pay
the taxes which were levied upon them. It is easy to discern
how the great man applied his fable. For, if the branches
and members of a community refuse the government that aid
which its necessities require, the whole must perish together.
The rulers of a state, as idle and insignificant as they may
sometimes seem, are yet as necessary to be kept up and
maintained in a proper and decent grandeur, as the family
of each private person is, in a condition suitable to itself.
Every man's enjoyment of that little which he gains by his
daily labour, depends upon the government's being main-
tained in a condition to defend and secure him in it.

A LARK, who had young ones in a field of corn which was
almost ripe, was under some fear lest the reapers should come
to reap it before her young brood was fledged, and able to
remove from the place. Wherefore, upon flying abroad to look
for food, she left this charge with them: That they should
take notice what they heard talked of in her absence, and tell
her of it when she came back again. When she was gone,


they heard the owner of the corn call to his son. Well, says
he, I think this corn is ripe enough; I would have you go
early to-morrow, and desire our friends and neighbours to
come and help us to reap it. When the old Lark came home,
the young ones fell a quivering and chirping round her, and
told her what had happened, begging her to remove them as
fast as she could. The mother bid them be easy, for, says
she, if the owner depends upon his friends and neighbours, I
am pretty sure the corn will not be reaped to-morrow. Next
day, she went out again, upon the same occasion, and left the
same orders with them as before. The owner came, and
stayed, expecting those he had sent to; but the sun grew hot,
and nothing was done, for not a soul came to help him.
Then, says he, to his son, I perceive these friends of ours are
not to be depended upon, so that you must even go to your
uncles and cousins, and tell them I desire they would be here
betimes to-morrow morning to help us to reap. Well, this
the young ones, in a great fright, reported also to their
mother. If that be all, says she, do not be frightened, chil-
dren, for kindred and relations do not use to be so very for-
ward to serve one another; but take particular notice what
you hear said the next time, and be sure you let me know it.
She went abroad the next day, as usual; and the owner find.
ing his relations as slack as the rest of his neighbours, said to
his son, Harkye, George, do you get a couple of good sickles
ready against to-morrow morning, and we will even reap the
corn ourselves. When the young ones told their mother this,
Then, says she, we must be gone indeed; for when a man
undertakes to do his business himself, it is not so likely he
will be disappointed. So she removed her young ones im-
mediately, and the corn was reaped the next day by the good
man and his son.
Never depend upon the assistance of friends and relations
in anything which you are able to do yourself; for nothing
is more fickle and uncertain. The man who relies upon an-
other for the execution of any affair of importance, is not only
kept in a wretched and slavish suspense, while he expects the
issue of the matter, but generally meets with a disappoint-
ment; while he who lays the chief stress of his business upon
himself, and depends upon his own industry and attention
for the success of his affairs, is in the fairest way to attain


his end; and, if at last he should miscarry, has this to comfort
him, that it was not through his own negligence and a vain
expectation of the assistance of friends. To stand by our-
selves, as much as"possible-to exert our own strength and
vigilance in the prosecution of our affairs-is godlike, being
the result of a most noble and highly-exalted reason; but
they who procrastinate and defer the business of life by
an idle dependence upon others, in things which it is in their
own power to effect, sink down into a kind of stupid and ab-
ject slavery, and shew themselves unworthy of talents with
which human nature is dignified.

A NURSE, who was endeavouring to quiet a froward, bawling
child, among other attempts, threatened to throw it out of
doors to the wolf, if it did not leave off crying. A Wolf, who
chanced to be prowling near the door, just at that time,
heard the expression, and believing the woman to be in
earnest, waited a long while about the house in expectation
of seeing her words made good. But, at last, the child,
wearied with its own importunities, fell asleep, and the poor
"Wolf was forced to return back to the woods empty and
supperless. The Fox, meeting him, and surprised to see him
going home so thin and disconsolate, asked him what the
matter was, and how he came to speed no better that night?
Ah! do not ask me, says he, I was so silly as to believe what
the nurse said, and have been disappointed.
All the moralists have agreed to interpret this fable as a
caution to us, never to trust a woman. What reasons they
could have for giving so rough and uncourtly a precept, is not
easy to be imagined; for however fickle and unstable some
women may be, it is well known there are several who have
a greater regard for truth in what they assert or promise,
than most men. There is not room in so short a compass to
express a due concern for the honour of the ladies upon this
occasion, nor to shew how much one is disposed to vindicate
them; and though there is nothing bad which can be said of
them, but may, with equal justice, be averred of the other


sex; yet one would not venture to give them quite so abso.
tute a precaution as the old mythologists have affixed to this
fable, but only to advise them to consider well and thoroughly
of the matter, before they trust any man living.

THE Tortoise, weary of his condition, by which he was con-
fined to creep upon the ground, and being ambitious to have
a prospect, and look about him, gave out, that if any bird
would take him up into the air, and shew him the world, he
would reward him with a discovery of many precious stones,
which he knew were hidden in a certain place of the earth:
the Eagle undertook to do as he desired; and when he had
performed his commission, demanded the reward. But
finding the Tortoise could not make good his words, he stuck
his talons into the softer parts of his body, and made him a
sacrifice to his revenge.
As men of honour ought to consider calmly how far the
things which they promise may be in their power, before
they venture to make promises upon this account, because
the non-performance of them will be apt to excite an uneasi-
ness within themselves, and tarnish their reputation in the
eyes of other people; so fools and cowards should be as little
rash in this respect as possible, lest their impudent forgeries
draw upon them the resentment of those whom they dis-
appoint, and that resentment make them undergo smart, but
deserved chastisement. The man who is so stupid a knave
as to make a lying promise where he is sure to be detected,
receives the punishment of his folly unpitied by all that
know him.

A DISPTJTE once arose betwixt the North-wind and the Sun,
about the superiority of their power; and they agreed to
ty teir strength upon a traveller, which should be able to


get his cloak off first. The North-wind began, and blew a
very cold blast, accompanied with a sharp driving shower.
But this, and whatever else he could do, instead of making
the man quit his cloak, obliged him to gird it about his body
as close as possible. Next came the Sun; who breaking out
from a thick watery cloud, drove away the cold vapours from
the sky, and darted his warm sultry beams upon the head of
the poor weather-beaten traveller. The man, growing faint
with the heat, and unable to endure it any longer, first throws
off his heavy cloak, and then flies for protection to the shade
of a neighboring grove.
There is something in the temper of man, so averse to
severe and boisterous treatment, that he who endeavours to
carry his point in that way, instead of prevailing, generally
leaves the mind of him, whom he has thus attempted, in a
more confirmed and obstinate situation than he found it at
first. Bitter words and hard usage freeze the heart into a
kind of obduracy, which mild persuasion and gentle language
only can dissolve and soften. Persecution has always fixed
and rivetted those opinions which it was intended to dispel;
and some discerning men have attributed the quick growth
of Christianity, in a great measure, to the rough and barbarous
reception which its first teachers met with in the world. The
same may have been observed of our Reformation: the blood
of the martyrs was the manure which produced the great
Protestant crop, on which the Church of England has subsisted
ever since. Providence, which always makes use of the most
natural means to attain its purpose, has thought fit to esta-
blish the purest religion by this method: the consideration of
which may give a proper check to those who are continually
mndeavouring to root out errors by that very management
ivhich so infallibly fixes and implants all opinions, as well
erroneous as orthodox. When an opinion is so violently at-
tacked, it raises an attention in the persecuted party, and
gives an alarm to their vanity, by making them think that
worth defending and keeping, at the hazard of their lives,
which, perhaps, otherwise, they would only have admired
awhile for the sake of its novelty, and afterwards resigned of
their own accord. In short, a fierce turbulent opposition,
like the north-wind, only serves to make a man wrap up his
notions BMort cluoely about him; but we know not what a


kind, warm, sun-shiny behaviour, rightly applied, would not
be able to effect.

AN Ass, finding the skin of a Lion, put it on; and, going into
the woods and pastures, threw all the flocks and herds into a
terrible consternation. At last, meeting his owner, he would
have frightened him also; but the good man, seeing his long
ears stand out, presently knew him, and with a good cudgel
made him sensible, that notwithstanding his being dressed in
a Lion's skin, he was really no more than an Ass.
As all affectation is wrong, and tends to expose and make a
man ridiculous, so the more distant he is from the thing which
he affects to appear, the stronger will the ridicule be which he
excites, and the greater the inconveniences into which he runs
himself thereby. How strangely absurd it is for a timorous
person to procure a military post, in order to keep himself
out of danger! and to fancy a red coat the surest protection
of cowardice yet there have been those who have purchased
a commission to avoid being insulted; and have been so silly
as to think courage was interwoven with a sash, or tied up in
a cockade. But it would not be amiss for such gentlemen to
consider, that it is not in the power of scarlet cloth to alter
nature; and that, as it is expected a soldier should shew him-
self a man of courage and intrepidity upon all proper occasions,
they may by this means meet the disgrace they intended to
avoid, and appear greater asses than they need to have done.
However, it is not in point of forti only, that people are
liable to expose themselves, by assunmi a ch. racter to which
they are not equal; but he who puts on a show of learning,
of religion, of a superior capacity in any respect; ,:. in short,
of any virtue or knowledge to which he has no proper claim,
is, and will always be found to be, an Ass in a Lion's skin.


A FROG, leaping out of the lake, and taking the advantage of
a rising ground, made proclamation to all beasts of the forest,
that he was an able physician; and, for curing all manner of
distempers, would turn his back to no person living. This
discourse, uttered in a parcel of hard cramp words, which no-
body understood, made the beasts admire his learning, and
give credit to every thing he said. At last, the Fox, who was
present, with indignation, asked him how he could have the
impudence, with those thin lantern jaws, that meagre pale
phiz, and blotched spotted body, to set up for one who was
able to cure the infirmities of others.
A sickly infirm look is as disadvantageous in a physician,
as that of a rake in a clergyman, or a sheepish one in a sol-
dier. If this moral contains anything further, it is, that we
should not set up for rectifying enormities in others, while
we labour under the same ourselves. Good advice ought
always to be followed without our being prejudiced upon
account of the person from whom it comes: but it is seldom
that men can be brought to think us worth minding, when
we prescribe cures for maladies with which ourselves are in-
fected. Physician, heal thyself, is too scriptural not to be ap-
plied upon such an occasion; and, if we would avoid being
the jest of an audience, we must be sound, and free from
those diseases which we would endeavour to cure in others.
How shocked must people have been to hear a preacher for
a whole hour declaim aciinst drunkenness, when his own
infirmity has been si Jhat he could neither bear nor for-
bear drinking: 'nd-l,- :faps was the only person in the con-
gregation who made the doctrine at that time necessary!
Others, ft, have been very zealous in exploding crimes, for
which none were more suspected than themselves: but let
such silly hypocrites remember, that they whose eyes want
couching, are the most improper people in the world to set
up for oculists.


A CERTAIN man had a Dog, which was so curst and mis-
chievous, that he was forced to fasten a heavy clog about his
neck, to keep him from running at, and worrying people.
This the vain cur took for a badge of honourable distinction;
and grew so insolent upon it, that he looked down with an
air of scorn upon the neighboring Dogs, and refused to keep
them company. But a sly old poacher, who was one of the
gang, assured him, that he had no reason to value himself
upon the favour he wore, since it was fixed upon him rather
as a mark of disgrace than of honour.
Some people are so exceeding vain, and at the same time,
so dull of apprehension, that they interpret everything by
which they are distinguished from others, in their own favour.
If they betray any weaknesses in conversation, which are apt
to excite the laughter of their company, they make no scruple
Sf ascribing it to their superiority in point of wit. If want
of sense or breeding (one of which is always the case) disposes
them to give or mistake affronts, upon which account all dis-
creet sensible people are obliged to shun their company, they
impute it to their own valour and magnanimity, to which
they fancy the world pays an awful and respectful deference.
There are several decent ways of preventing such turbulent
men from doing mischief, which might be applied with secrecy,
and many times pass unregarded, if their own ignorance did
not require the rest of mankind to take notice of it.

THE Camel presented a petition to Jupiter, complaining of
the hardship of his case, in not having, like bulls and other
creatures, horns, or any weapons of defence to protect him-
self from the attacks of his enemies; and praying that relief
might be given him in such manner as might be thought
most expedient. Jupiter could not help smiling at the im..
pertinent address of the great silly beast; but, however re-


ejected the petition; and told him, that, so far from granting
his unreasonable request, henceforward he would take carol
his ears should be shortened, as a punishment for his pre-
sumptuous importunity.
The nature of things is so fixed in every particular, that
they are very weak superstitious people who dream it is to
be altered. But besides the impossibility of producing a
change by addresses of this nature, they who employ much
of their time upon such accounts, instead of getting, are sure
to lose, in the end. When any man is so frivolous and vexa-
tious as to make unreasonable complaints, and to harbour
undue repinings in his heart, his peevishness will lessen the
real good which he possesses, and the sourness of his temper
shorten that allowance of comfort which he already thinks
too scanty. Thus, in truth, it is not Providence, but our-
selves, who punish our own importunity in soliciting for im-
possibilities, with a sharp corroding care, which abridges us
of some part of that little pleasure which Providence has cast
hIto our lot.

Two men being to travel through a forest together, mutually
promised to stand by each other, in any danger they should
meet upon the way. They had not gone far before a Bear
came rushing towards them out of a thicket; upon which,
one being a light, nimble fellow, got up into a tree; the
other falling flat upon his face, and holding his breath,
lay still, while the bear came up and smelled at him; but
that creature, supposing him to be a dead carcase, went back
again into the wood, without doing him the least harm.
When all was over, the spark who had climbed the tree came
down to his companion, and with a pleasant smile asked him
what the Bear said to him; for, says he, I took notice that
he clapped his mouth very close to your ear. Why, replies tho
other, he charged me to take care for the future, not to put
any confidence in such cowardJs res',als as you are.


Though nothing is more common than to hear people pro.
fess services of friendship, where there is no occasion for
them; yet scarce anything is so hard to be found as a true
friend, who will assist us in the time of danger and difficulty.
All the declarations of kindness which are made to an ex-
perienced man, though accompanied by the squeeze of a hand,
and a solemn asseveration, should leave no greater impression
upon his mind, than the whistling of the hollow breeze which
brushes one's ears with an unmeaning salute, and is presently
gone. He that succours our necessity by a well-timed assis-
tance, though it were not ushered in by previous compliments,
will ever after be looked upon as our friend and protector;
and, in so much a greater degree, as the favour was unasked
and unpromised; as it was not extorted by importunities on
the one side, nor led in by a numerous attendance of pro-
mises on the other. Words are nothing till they are fulfilled
by actions; and therefore we should not suffer ourselves to
be deluded by a vain hope, and reliance upon them.

A CERTAIN Knight growing old, his hair fell off, and he be-
came bald; to hide which imperfection, he wore a perriwig.
But as he was riding out with some others a hunting, a
sudden gust of wind blew off the perriwig, and exposed his
bald pate. The company could not forbear laughing at the
accident; and he himself laughed as loud as anybody, saying,
How was it to be expected that I should keep strange hair
upon my head, when my own would not stay there?
To be captious, is not more uneasy to ourselves than it is
disagreeable to others. As no man is entirely without fault,
a few defects, surrounded with a guard of good qualities, may
pass muster well enough; but he whose attention is always
upon the catch for something to take exception at, if he had
no other bad quality, can never be acceptable. A captious
temper, like a little leaven, sours a whole lump of virtues;
and makes as disrelish that which might otherwise be the


most grateful conversation. If we would live easy to our-
selves and agreeable to others, we should be so far from
seeking occasions of being angry, that sometimes we should
let them pass unregarded when they come in our way; or, if
they are so palpable that we cannot help taking notice of
them, we should do well to rally them off with a jest, or
dissolve them in good humour. Some people take a secret
pleasure in nettling and fretting others; and the more prac-
ticable they find it to exercise this quality upon any one, the
more does it whet and prompt their inclination to do it.
But, as this talent savours something of ill-nature, it deserves
to be baffled and defeated; which one cannot do better than
by receiving all that is uttered at such a time with a cheerful
aspect, and an ingenuous, pleasant, unaffected reply. Nor is
the expedient of the bald knight unworthy of our imitation;
for if by any word or action we happen to raise the laughter
of those about us, we cannot stifle it sooner or better than
by a brisk presence of mind to join in mirth with the com-
pany; and, if possible, to anticipate the jest which another
is ready to throw out upon the occasion.

AN Earthen Pot, and one of Brass, standing together upon
the river's brink, were both carried away by the flowing in
of the tide. The Earthen pot showed some uneasiness, as
fearing he should be broken; but his companion of Brass bid
him be under no apprehension, for that he would take care of
him. Oh, replies the other, keep as far off as ever you can, I
entreat you; it is you I am most afraid of: for, whether the
stream dashes you against me, or me against you, I am sure
to be the sufferer; and therefore I beg of you do not let us
come near one another.
A man of a moderate fortune, who is contented with what
he has, and finds he can live happily upon it, should take care
not to hazard and expose his felicity by consorting with the
great and powerful. People of equal conditions may float
down the current of life without hurting each other; but it
is a point of some difficulty to steer one's course in the com-


pany of the great, so as to escape without a bulge. One
would not choose to have one's little country box situated in
the neighbourhood of a very great man; for whether I igno-
rantly trespass upon him, or he knowingly encroaches upon
me, I only am like to be the sufferer. I can neither enter-
tain nor play with him, upon his own terms; for that which
is moderation and diversion to him, in me would be extrava.
gance and ruin.

THE Peacock and the Crane by chance met together, in the
same place. The Peacock, erecting his tail, displayed his
gaudy plumes, and looked with contempt upon the Crane, as
some mean ordinary person. The Crane, resolving to mor-
tify his insolence, took occasion to say, that Peacocks were
very fine birds indeed, if fine feathers could make them so,
but that he thought it a much nobler thing to be able to rise
above the clouds, than to strut about upon the ground, and
be gazed at by children.
It is very absurd to slight or insult another upon his want-
ing any property which we possess; for he may, for anything
we know, have as just reason to triumph over us, by being
master of some good quality, of which we are incapable.
But, in regard to the fable before us, that which the Peacock
values himself upon, the glitter and finery of dress, is one of
the most trifling considerations in nature; and what a man
of sense would be ashamed to reckon even as the least part
of merit. Indeed, children, and those people who think
much about the same pitch with them, are apt to be taken
with varnish and tinsel: but they who examine by the scale
of common sense, must find something of weight and sub-
stance, before they can be persuaded to set a value. The
mind which is stored with virtuous and rational sentiments,
and the behaviour which speaks complacence and humility,
stamp an estimate upon the possessor, which all judicious
spectators are ready to admire and acknowledge. But if
there be any merit in an embroidered coat, a brocade waist-
coat, a shoe, a stocking, or a sword-knot, the person who


wears them has the least claim to it; let it be ascribed where
it justly belongs, to the several artisans who wrought and
disposed the materials of which they consist. This moral is
not intended to derogate anything from the magnificence of
fine clothes and rich equipages, which, as times and circum-
stances require, may be used with decency and propriety
enough; but one cannot help being concerned, lest any worth
should be affixed to them more than their own intrinsic value.

AN Oak, which hung over the bank of a river, was blown down
by a violent storm of wind; and as it was carried along by
the stream, some of its boughs brushed against a Reed, which
grew near the shore. This struck the Oak with a thought of
admiration; and he could not forbear asking the Reed, how
he came to stand so secure and unhurt in a tempest which
had been furious enough to tear an Oak up by the roots?
"Why, says the Reed, I secure myself by putting on a beha-
viour quite contrary to what you do: instead of being stub-
born and stiff, and confiding in my strength, I yield and bend
to the blast, and let it go over me, knowing how vain and
fruitless it would be to resist.
Though a tame submission to injuries which it is in our
power to redress, be generally esteemed a base and a disho-
nourable thing; yet, to resist where there is no probability,
or even hopes, of our getting the better, may also be looked
upon as the effect of a blind temerity, and perhaps of a weak
understanding. The strokes of fortune are oftentimes as
irresistible as they are severe; and he who, with an impa-
tient reluctant spirit, fights against her, instead of alleviating,
does but double her blows upon himself. A person of a
quiet still temper, whether it is given him by nature, or ac-
quired by art, calmly composes himself in the midst of a
storm, so as to elude the shock, or receive it with the least
detriment: like a prudent experienced sailor, who is swim-
ming to the shore from a wrecked vessel in a swelling sea,
he does not oppose the fury of the waves, but stoops and
gives way, that they may roll over his head without obstruct'


tion. The doctrine of absolute submission in all cases, is an
absurd, dogmatical precept, with nothing but ignorance and
superstition to support it; but, upon particular occasions, and
where it is impossible for us to overcome, to submit patiently
is one of the most reasonable maxims in life.

A SKILFUL archer, coming into the woods, directed his arrows
so successfully, that he slew many wild beasts, and pursued
several others. This put the whole savage kind into a fear-
ful consternation, and made them fly to the most retired
thickets for refuge. At last, the Tiger resumed a courage,
and bidding them not to be afraid, said, that he alone would
engage the enemy; telling them, they might depend upon his
valour and strength to revenge their wrongs. In the midst
of these threats, while he was lashing himself with his tail,
and tearing up the ground for anger, an arrow pierced his
ribs, and hung by its barbed point in his side. He set up a
hideous and loud roar, occasioned by the anguish which he
felt, and endeavourrd to draw out the painful dart with his
teeth; when the Fo x, approaching him, inquired with an air
of surprise, who it was that could have strength and courage
enough to wound so mighty and valorous a beast! Ah! says
the Tiger, I was mistaken in my reckoning: it was that in-
vincible man yonder.
Though strength and courage are very good ingredients to-
wards the making us secure and formidable in the world, yet
unless there be a proper portion of wisdom or policy to direct
them, instead of being serviceable, they often prove detri-
mental to their proprietors. A rash froward man, who de-
pends upon the excellence of his own parts and accomplish-
ments, is likewise apt to expose a weak side, which his
enemies might not otherwise have observed, and gives an
advantage to others, by those very means which he fancied
would have secured it to himself. Counsel and conduct al-
ways did, and always will, govern the world; and the strong,
in spite of all their force, can never avoid being tools to the
crafty. Some men are as much superior to others in wisdom



and policy, as man, in general, is above a brute. Strength,
ill-concerted, opposed to them, is like a quarter-staff in the
hands of a huge, robust, but bungling fellow, who fights
against a master of the science. The latter, though without
a weapon, would have skill and address enough to disarm his
adversary, and drub him with his own staff. In a word,
savage fierceness and brutal strength must not pretend to
stand in competition with finesse and stratagem.

FOUR Bulls, which had entered into a very strict friendship,
kept always near one another, and fed together. The Lion
often saw them, and as often had a mind to make one of them
his prey; but though he could easily have subdued any of
them singly, yet he was afraid to attack the whole alliance, as
knowing they would have been too hard for him, and there.
fore contented himself for the present with keeping at a dis-
tance. At last, perceiving no attempt was to be made upon
them as long as this combination held, he took occasion, by
whispers and hints, to foment jealousies and raise divisions
among them. This stratagem succeeded so well, that the
Bulls grew cold and reserved towards one another, which soon
after ripened into a downright hatred and aversion, and, at
last, ended in a total separation. The Lion had now obtained
his ends; and as impossible as it was for him to hurt them
while they were united, he found no difficulty, now they
were parted, to seize and devour every Bull of them, one
after another.
The moral of this fable is so well known and allowed, that
to go about to enlighten it, would be like holding a candle to
the sun. A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand; and
as undisputed a maxim as it is, it was however thought neces-
sary to be urged to the attention of mankind, by the best
man that ever lived. And since friendships and alliances are
of so great importance to our well-being and happiness, we
cannot be too often cautioned not to Iet them be broken by
tale-bearers and whisperers, or any other contrivance of our


A CROW, ready to die with thirst, flew with joy to a Pitcher,
which he beheld at some distance. When he came, he found
water in it indeed, but so near the bottom, that with all his
stooping and straining he was not able to reach it. Then he
endeavoured to overturn the Pitcher, that so at least he might
be able to get a little of it. But his strength was not suffi-
cient for this. At last seeing some pebbles lie near the place,
he cast them one by one into the Pitcher; and thus, by
degrees, raised the water up to the very brim, and satisfied
his thirst.
Many things, which cannot be effected by strength, or by
the vulgar way of enterprising, may yet be brought about by
some new and untried means. A man of sagacity and pene-
tration, upon encountering a difficulty or two, does not imme-
diately despair; but if he cannot succeed one way, employs his
wit and ingenuity another; and, to avoid or get over an impe-
diment, makes no scruple of stepping out of the path of his
forefathers. Since our happiness, next to the regulation of
our minds, depends altogether upon our having and enjoying
the conveniences of life, why should we stand upon ceremony
about the methods of obtaining them, or pay any deference
to antiquity upon that score? If almost every age had not
exerted itself in some new improvements of its own, we
should want a thousand arts, or at least many degrees of per-
fection in every art, which at present we are in possession of.
The invention of anything, which is more commodious for
the mind or body than what they had before, ought to be
embraced readily, and the projector of it distinguished with
a suitable encouragement ;-such as the use of the compass,
for example, from which mankind reaps much benefit and
advantage, and which was not known to former ages. When
we follow the steps of those who have gone before us in
the old beaten track of life, how do we differ from horses in
a team, winch are linked to each other by a chain or harness,
and move on in a dull, heavy pace, to the tune of their
leader's bells ? But the man who enriches the present fund
of knowledge with some new and useful improvement, like a


happy adventurer at sea, discovers, as it were, unknown land,
and imports an additional trade into his own country.

THE Forester meeting with the Lion one day, they discoursed
together for a while without differing much in opinion. At
last a dispute happening to arise about the point of superior-
ity between a Man and a Lion, the Man, wanting better
argument, shewed the Lion a marble monument, on which
was placed the statue of a Man striding over a vanquished
Lion. If this, says the Lion, is all you have to say for it, let
us be the carvers, and we will make the Lion striding Qver
the Man.
Contending parties are very apt to appeal for the truth to
records written by their own side; but nothing is more unfair,
and, at the same time, insignificant and unconvincing. Such
is the partiality of mankind in favour of themselves and their
own actions, that it is almost impossible to come at any cer-
tainty by reading the accounts which are written on one side
only. W e have a few or no memoirs come down to us of what
tvas transacted in the world during the sovereignty of ancient
Rome, but what were written by those who had a dependency
upon it; therefore it is no wonder that they appear, upon
most occasions, to have been so great and glorious a nation.
What their contemporaries of other countries thought of them
we cannot tell, otherwise than from their own writers. It is
not impossible but they might have described them as a bar-
barous, rapacious, treacherous, unpolite people; who, upon
their conquest of Greece, for some time made as great havoc
and destruction of the arts and sciences as their fellow-
plunderers, the Goths and Vandals, did afterwards in Italy.
What monsters would our own party zealots make of each
other, if the transactions of the times were to be handed down
to posterity by a warm, hearty man on either side! And
were such records to survive two or three centuries, with
what perplexities and difficulties must they embarrass a young
historian, as by turns he consulted them for the characters of
his great f, refathers! If it should so hai)pen, it were to be


wished this Application might be living at the same time,
that young readers, instead of doubting to which they should
give credit, would not fail to remember that this was the
work of a man, that of a lion.

A SATYR, as he was ranging the forest in an exceeding cold
snowy season, met with a Traveller half starved with the
extremity of the weather. He took compassion on him, and
kindly invited him home, to a warm comfortable cave he had
in the hollow of a rock. As soon as they had entered and
sat down, notwithstanding there was a good fire in the place,
the chill Traveller could not forbear blowing his fingers' ends.
Upon the Satyr's asking him why he did so ? he answered,
that he did it to warm his hands. The honest Sylvan having
seen little of the world, admired a man who was master of so
valuable a quality as that of blowing heat, and therefore was
resolved to entertain him in the best manner he could. He
spread the table before him with dried fruits of several sorts;
and produced a remnant of cold cordial wine, which, as the
rigour of the season made very proper, he mulled with some
warm spices, infused over the fire, and presented to his shiver-
ing guest. But this the Traveller thought fit to blow like-
wise: and upon the Satyr's demanding a reason why he
blowed again, he replied to cool his dish. This second
answer provoked the Satyr's indignation as much as the first
had kindled his surprise: so, taking the Man by the shoulder.
he thrust him out of doors, saying he would have nothing to
do with a wretch who had so vile a quality as to blow hot
and cold with the same mouth.
Though the poor Traveller in the Fable was not guilty of
any real crime, in what he did, yet one cannot help approving
the honest simplicity of the Satyr, who could not be recon-
ciled to such double dealing. In the moral sense of the
Fable, nothing can be more offensive to one of a sincere
heart, than he that blows with a different breath from the
same mouth; who flatters a man to his face, and reviles him
behind his back. Some again, just like this man, to serve a


present view, will blow nothing but what is warni, benevolent,
and cherishing; and when they have raised the expectations
of a dependant to a degree which they think may prove
troublesome, can, with putting on a cold air, easily chill and
blast all his blooming hopes. But such a temper, whether it
proceeds from a designed or natural levity, is detestable, and
has been the cause of much trouble and mortification to
many a brave deserving man. Unless the tenor of a man's
life be always true and consistent with itself, the less one has
to do with him the better.

As a Clownish fellow was driving his cart along a deep miry
lane, the wheels stuck so fast in the clay, that the horses
cou d not draw them out. Upon this he fell a bawling and
praying to Hercules to come and help him. Hercules look-
ing down from a cloud, bid him not lie there like an idle
rascal as he was, but get up and whip his horses stontly, and
clap his shoulder to the wheel; adding, that this was the
only way for him to obtain his assistance.
This fable shews us how vain and ill-grounded the expec-
tations of those people are, who imagine they can obtain
whatever they want, by importuning Heaven with their
prayers; for it is so agreeable to the nature of the Divine Be-
ing, to be better pleased with virtuous actions, and an honest
industry, than idle prayers, that it is a sort of blasphemy
to say otherwise. These were the sentiments of honest good
heathens, who were strangers to all revealed religion: but it
is not strange that they should embrace and propagate such
a notion, since it is no other than the dictate of common
reason. What is both strange in itself, and surprising how
it could be made so fashionable is, that most of those, whose
reason should be enlightened by revelation, are very apt to
be guilty of this stupidity, and by praying often for the com-
forts of life, to neglect that business which is the proper
means of procuring them. How such a mistaken devotion
came to prevail, one cannot imagine, unless from one of those
two motives; either that people, by such a veil of hypocrisy,


would pass themselves upon mankind for better than they
really are; or are influenced by unskilful preachers (which is
sometimes, indeed too often, the case) to mind the world as
little as possible, even to the neglect of their necessary call-
ings. No question but it is a great sin for a man to fail in
his trade or occupation, by running often to prayers; it being
a demonstration in itself, though the Scripture had never
said it, that we please God most when we are doing the most
good: and how can we do more good, than by a sober honest
industry, to provide for those of our own household, and to
endeavour to have to give to them that need ? The man who
is virtuously and honestly engaged, is actually serving God
all the while; and is more likely to have his silent wishes,
accompanied with strenuous endeavours, complied with by
the Supreme Ptin'-, than he who begs with a fruitless
vehemence, and solicits with an empty hand-a hand which
would be more religious were it u:e.ti-fully employed, and more
devout, were it -tretched f-,ril to do good t1 those that want it

A CERTAIN Man had a Goose, which laid him a .-,liden egg
every day. But not contented with this, which rather in-
creased than abated his avarice, he was resolved to kill the
Goose, and cut up her belly, that so he might come to the
inexhaustible treasure, which he fancied she had within her.
He (lid so, and to his great sorrow and disa..pointmcnnt, found
They who are of such craving impatient tempers, that they
cannot live contented when fortune had blessed them with a
constant and continued sufficiency, deserve even to be de-
prived of what they have. And this has been the case of
many ambitious and covetous men, who, by making an essay
to grow rich at once, have missed what they aimed at, and
lost what they had before. But this comes so near the sense
of the fourth fable, that the same application may very well
serve for both. If anything further can be couched in t:,
it may possibly be intended to shew us the unreasonablenesa
and Uinc.nve:li.n1e of being solicitous about what may hLpqeu


hereafter, and wanting to pry into the womb of futurity,
which, if we could do, all we should get for our pains would
be, to spoil our pleasures by anticipation, and double our
misfortunes by a previous sense and apprehension of them.
There are some things that entertain and delight us very
agreeably while we view them at a proper distance; which,
perhaps, would not stand the test of a too near inspection.
Beauty being only the external form of a thing which strikes
the eye in a pleasing manner, is a very thin glossy being, and
like some nice painting of a peculiar composition, will not
well bear even to be breathed on: to preserve our good
opinion of it, we must not approach too close; for if, like the
man in the fable, we have a mind to search for a treasure
within, we may not only fail of our expectations there, but
even lose the constant relish we enjoyed from a remoter

A CALF, full of play and wantonness, seeing the Ox at plough,
could not forbear insulting him. What a sorry, poor drudge
art thou, says he, to bear that heavy yoke upon your neck,
and go all day drawing a plough at your tail, to turn up the
ground for your master! But you are a wretched dull slave,
and know no better, or else you would not do it. See what
a happy life I lead; I go just where I please; sometimes I
lie down under a cool shade; sometimes frisk about in the
open sunshine; and, when I please, slake my thirst in the
clear sweet brook; but you, if you were to perish, have not
so much as a little dirty water to refresh you. The Ox, not
at all moved with what was said, went quietly and calmly on
with his work; and, in the evening, was unyoked and turned
loose. Soon after which he saw the Calf taken out of the
field, and delivered into the hands of a priest, who imme-
diately led him to the altar, and prepared to sacrifice him.
His head was hung round with fillets of flowers, and the fatal
knife was just going to be applied to his throat, when the Ox
drew near, and whispered him to this purpose: Behold the
end of your insolence and arrogance; it was for this only you
were suffered to live at all; and pray, now, friend, whose
condition is best, yours or mine.?


To insult people in distress, is the property of a cruel, ir
discreet, and giddy temper; for as the proceedings of fortune
are very irregular and uncertain, we may, the next turn of
the wheel, be thrown down to their condition, and they
exalted to ours. We are likewise given to understand by
this fable, what the consequence of an idle life generally is,
and how well satisfied laborious, diligent men are, in the
end, when they come quietly to enjoy the fruits of their in-
dustry. They who by little tricks and sharpings, or by open
violence and robbery, live in a high expensive way, often, in
their hearts at least, despise the poor honest man, who is
contented with the virtuous product of his daily labour, and
patiently submits to his destiny. But how often is the poor
man comforted, by seeing these wanton villains led in triumph
to the altar of justice, while he has many a cheerful summer's
morning to enjoy abroad, and many a long winter's evening
to indulge himself in, at home, by a quiet hearth, and under
an unenvied roof; blessings which often attend a sober in-
dustrious man, though the idle and the profligate are utter
strangers to them. Luxury and intemperance, besides their
being certain to shorten a man's days, are very apt not only
to engage people with their seeming charms, into a debauched
life, utterly prejudicial to their health, but to make them
have a contempt for others, whose good sense and true taste
of happiness inspire them with an aversion to idleness and
effeminacy, and put them upon hardening their constitution
by innocent exercise and laudable employment. How many
do gluttony and sloth tumble into an untimely grave! while
the temperate and the active drink sober draughts of life, and
spin out their thread to the most desirable length.

THE Leopard one day took it into his head to value himself
Supon the great variety and beauty of his spots, and truly he
saw no reason why even the Lion should take place of him,
since he could not shew so beautiful a skin. As for the rest
of the wild beasts of the forests, he treated them all, with-
out distinction, in the most haughty disdainful manner. But


the Fox, being among them, went up to him with a great
deal of spirit and resolution, and told him, that he was mis-
taken in the value he was pleased to set upon himself: since
people of judgment were not used to form their opinion of
merit from an outside appearance, but by considering the
good qualities and endowments with which the mind was
stored within.
How much more heavenly and powerful would beauty
prove, if it were not so frequently impaired by the affecta-
tion and conceitedness of its possessor? If some women
were but as modest and unassuming as they are handsome,
they might command the hearts of all that behold them.
But nature seemed to foresee, and has provided against such
an inconvenience, by tempering its greatest masterpieces
with a due proportion of pride and vanity: so that their
power, depending upon the duration of their beauty only, is
like to be but of a short continuance; which, when they
happen to prove tyrants, is no small comfort to us; and
then, even while it lasts, will abate much of its severity by
the allay of those two prevailing ingredients. Wise men are
chiefly captivated with the charms of the mind; and when-
ever they are infatuated with a passion for anything else, it
is generally observed that they cease, during that time at
least, to be what they were, and are indeed looked upon to
be only playing the fool. If the fair ones we have been
speaking of have a true ascendant over them, they will oblige
them to divest themselves of common sense, and to talk and
act ridiculously, before they can think them worthy of the
least regard. Should one of these fine creatures be addressed
in the words of Juba-
'Tis not a set of features nor complexion,
The tincture of a skin that I admire.
Beauty soon grows familiar to the lover,
Fades in his eye, and palls upon the sense.
The virtuous Marcia towers above her sex.
True, she is fair, oh, how divinely fair!
But still the lovely maid improves her charms
With inward greatness, unaffected wisdom,
And sanctity of manners-
the man that should venture that success of a strong passion,
upon the construction she would put upon such a compli.
ment, might have reason to repent of his conduct.


As the Cat and the Fox were talking politics together, on a
time, in the middle of a forest, Reynard said, Let things turn
out ever so bad, he did not care, for he had a thousand tricks
for them yet, before they should hurt him. But pray, says
he, Mrs Puss, suppose there should be an invasion, what
course do you design to take? Nay, says the Cat, I have
but one shift for it, and if that won't do, I am undone. I
am sorry for you, replies Reynard, with all my heart, and
would gladly furnish you with one or two of mine; but, in-
deed, neighbour, as times go, it is not good to trust; we
must even be every one for himself, as the saying is, and so
your humble servant. These words were scarce out of his
mouth when they were alarmed with a pack of hounds, that
came upon them full cry. The Cat, by the help of her
single shift, ran up a tree, and sat securely among the top
branches; from whence she beheld Reynard, who had not
Deen able to get out of sight, overtaken with his thousand
tricks, and torn in as many pieces by the Dogs which had
surrounded him.
A man that sets up for more cunning than the rest of his
neighbours, is generally a silly fellow at the bottom. Who-
ever is master of a little judgment and insight into things,
let him keep them to himself, and make use of them as he
sees occasion; but he should not be teasing others with an idle
and impertinent ostentation of them. One good discreet ex.
pedient made use of upon an emergency, will do a man more
real service, and make others think better of him, than to
have passed all along for a shrewd crafty knave, and be bub-
bled at last. When any one has been such a coxcomb as to
insult his acquaintance, by pretending to more policy and
stratagem than the rest of mankind, they are apt to wish for
some difficulty for him to shew his skill in; where, if he
should miscarry (as ten to one but he does), his misfortune,
instead of pity, is sure to be attended with laughter. He
that sets up for a biter, as the phrase is, being generally in-
tent upon his prey, or vain of shewing his art, frequently
exposes himself to the traps of on- sharper than himself,


and incurs the ridicule of those whom he designed to make

A CERTAIN man having taken a Partridge, plucked some of
the feathers out of its wings, and turned it into a little yard,
where he kept game-cocks. The Cocks for a while made the
poor bird lead a sad life, continually pecking and driving it
away from the meat. This treatment was taken the more
unkindly, because offered to a stranger; and the Partridge
could not but conclude them the most inhospitable, uncivil
people he had ever met with. But, at last, observing how
frequently they quarrelled and fought with each other, he
comforted himself with this reflection, that it was no wonder
they were so cruel to him, since there was so much bickering
and animosity among themselves.
This fable comes home to ourselves, we of this island
having always been looked upon as cruel to strangers. Whe-
ther there is anything in the manner of our situation, as an
island, which consequently can be no thoroughfare to other
countries, and so is not made use of by strangers on that ac-
count, which makes us thus shy and uncivil; or, whether it
be a jealousy upon account of our liberties, which puts us upon
being suspicious of, and unwilling to harbour, any that are
not members of the same community, perhaps it would not
be easy to determine. But that it is so in fact, is too noto-
rious to be denied; and probably can be accounted for no
better way, than from the natural bent of our temper, as it
proceeds from something peculiar to our air and climate. It
has been affirmed, that there is not in the whole world be-
sides, a breed of cocks and dogs, so fierce and incapable of
yielding as that of ours; but that either of them, carried
into foreign countries would degenerate in a few years. Why
may not the same be true of our men ? But if strangers find
any inconvenience in this, there is a comfortable considera-
tion to balance it on the other side, which is, that there are
no people under the sun so much given to division and con-
tention among themselves as we are. Can a stranger think it


hard to be looked upon with some shyness, when he behold
how little we spare one another ? Was ever any foreigner,
merely for being a foreigner, treated with half that malice
and bitterness which differing parties express towards each
other ? One would willingly believe that this proceeds, in
the main, on both sides, from a passionate concern for our
liberties and well-being; for there is nothing else which can
so well excuse it. But it cannot be denied that our aversion,
notwithstanding our being a trading nation, to have any inter-
course with strangers is so great, that when we want other
objects for our churlishness, we raise them up among our-
selves; and there is, sometimes, as great a strangeness kept
up between one county and another here, as there is between
two distinct kingdoms abroad. One cannot so much wonder
at the constant hostilities which are observed between the in-
habitants of South and North Britain, of Wales and Ireland,
among one another; when a Yorkshireman shall be looked
upon as a foreigner by a native Norfolk; and both be taken
for outlandish intruders, by one that happens to be born
within the bills of mortality.

IT is said that a Beaver (a creature that lives chiefly in the
water) has a certain part about him, which is good in physic,
and that, upon this account, he is often hunted down and
killed. Once upon a time, as one of these creatures was
hard pursued by the Dogs, and knew not how to escape, re-
collecting with himself the reason of his being thus perse-
cuted, with a great resolution and presence of mind, he bit
off the part which the hunters wanted, and throwing it to-
wards them, by this means escaped with his life.
However it is among beasts, there are few human creatures
but what are hunted for something else, besides either their
lives, or the pleasure of hunting them. The Inquisition
would hardly be so keen against the Jews, if they had not
something belonging to them which their persecutors esteem
more valuable than their souls; which, whenever that wise
but obstinate people can prevailwith themselves to part with,


there is an end of the chase for that time. Indeed, when
life is pursued, and in danger, whoever values it, should give
up everything but his honour to preserve it. And, when a
discarded minister is prosecuted for having damaged the
commonwealth, let him but throw down some of the fruits of
his iniquity to the hunters, and one may engage for his com-
ing off, in other respects. with a whole skin.

A FISH called a Thunny, being pursued by a Dolphin, and
driven with great violence, not minding which way he went,
was thrown by the force of the waves upon a rock, and left
there. His death was now inevitable: but, casting his eyes
on one side, and seeing the Dolphin in the same condition,
lie gasping by him, Well, says he, I must die, it is true; but
I die with pleasure, when I behold him who is the cause ec
it involved in the same fate.
Revenge, though a blind, mischievous passion, is yet a very
sweet thing: so sweet, that it can even soothe the pangs, and
reconcile us to the bitterness of death. And, indeed, it must
be a temper highly philosophical, that could be driven out of
life, by any tyrannical, unjust procedure, and not be touched
with a sense of pleasure to see the author of it splitting upon
the same rock. When this is allowed, and it is further con
sidered how easily the revenge of the meanest person may be
executed upon even the highest, it should, methinks, kee?
people upon their guard, and prevail with them not to perse-
cute or to be injurious to any one. The moral turpitude or
doing wrong is sufficient to influence every brave honest man,
and to secure him from harbouring even the least thought of
it in his breast. But the knave and coward should weigh the
present argument, and before they attempt the least injury,
be assured of this truth, that nothing is more sweet, nor
scarce anything so easy to compass as revenge..


A NIGHTINGALE, sitting all alone among the shady brancheA
of an oak, sung with so melodious and shrill a pipe, that she
made the woods echo again, and alarmed a hungry Hawk,
who was at some distance off, watching for his prey; he had
no sooner discovered the little musician, but, making a stoop
at the place, he seized her with his crooked talons, and bid
her prepare for death. Ah! says she, for mercy's sake, don't
do so barbarous a thing, and so unbecoming yourself; con-
sider, I never did you any wrong, and am but a poor small
morsel for such a stomach as yours; rather attack some
larger fowl, which may bring you more credit, and a better
meal, and let me go. Ay! says the Hawk, persuade me to
it if you can; I have been upon the watch all the day long,
and have not met with one bit of anything, till I caught
you; and now you would have me let you go, in hopes of
something better, would you? Pray, who would be the fool
They who neglect the opportunity of reaping a small ad-
vantage in hopes they shall obtain a better, are far from act-
ing upon a reasonable and well-advised foundation. The
figure of time is always drawn with a single lock of hair
hanging over his forehead, and the back part of his head
bald; to put us in mind, that we should be sure to lay hold
of an occasion when it presents itself to us; lest afterwards
we repent us of our omission and folly, and would recover it
when it is too late. It is a very weak reason to give for oui
refusal of an offer of kindness, that we do it because we desire
or deserve a better; for it is time enough to relinquish the
small affair, when the great one comes, if ever it does come.
'But, supposing it should not, how can we forgive ourselves
for letting anything slip through our hand, by vainly gaping
after something else, which we never could obtain? He who
has not been guilty of any of these kind of errors, however
poorly he may come off at last, has only the malice of fortune,
or of somebody else, to charge with his ill success: and may
applaud himself with some comfort, in never having lost an
opportunity, though ever so small. of bettering and improving


his circumstances. Unthinking people have oftentimes the
unhappiness to fret and tease themselves with retrospects of
this kind; which they, who attend to the business of life as
they ought, never have occasion to make.

A Fox, being caught in a steel trap, by his tail was glad to
compound for his escape with the loss of it; but upon coming
abroad into the world, began to be so sensible of the disgrace
such a defect would bring upon him, that he almost wished
he had died, rather than have left it behind him. However,
to make the best of a bad matter, he formed a project in his
head, to call an assembly of the rest of the Foxes, and pro-
pose it for their imitation, as a fashion which would be very
agreeable and becoming. He did so; and made a long ha-.
rangue upon the unprofitableness of tails in general, and en-
eleavoured chiefly to show the awkwardness and inconveni-
ence of a Fox's tail in particular; adding, that it would be
both more graceful and more expeditious, to be altogether
without them; and that for his part, what he had only
imagined and conjectured before, he now found by experi-
ence; for that he never enjoyed himself so well, nor found
himself so easy as he had done since he cut off his tail. He
said no more, but looked about with a brisk air, to see what
proselytes he had gained; when a sly old thief in the com-
pany, who understood trap, answered him with a leer, I be
lieve you may have found a conveniency in parting with your
tail; and when we are in the same circumstances, perhaps we
may do so too.
If men were but generally as prudent as foxes, they would
not suffer so many silly fashions to obtain, as are daily
brought in vogue, for which scarce any reason can be assigned
besides the humour of some conceited vain creature; unless,
which is full as bad, they are intended to palliate some
defect in the person that introduces them. The petticoat of
a whole sex has been sometimes swelled to such a prodigious
extent, to screen an enormity, of which only one of them has
been guilty. And it is no wonder that Alexander the Great


could bring a wry neck into fashion in a nation of slaves,
when we consider what power of this nature some little in-
significant dapper fellows have had among a free people.

A POOR feeble old man, who had crawled out into a neigh-
bouring wood to gather a few sticks, had made up his bundle,
and laying it over his shoulders, was trudging homeward with
it; but what with age, and the length of the way, and the
weight of his burthen, he grew so faint and weak, that he
sunk under it; and, as he sat on the ground, called upon
Death to come, once for all, and ease him of his troubles.
Death no sooner heard him, but he came and demanded of
him what he wanted. The poor old creature, who little
thought Death had been so near, and frighted almost out of
his senses with his terrible aspect, answered him trembling,
That, having by chance let his bundle of sticks fall, and being
too infirm to get it up himself, he had made bold to call upon
him to help him; that indeed this was all that he wanted at
present; and that he hoped his worship was not offended with
him for the liberty he had taken in so doing.
This fable gives us a lively representation of the general
oehaviour of mankind towards that grim king of terrors,
Death. Such liberties do they take with him behind his
back, that upon every little cross accident which happens in
their way, Death is immediately called upon, and they even
wish it might be lawful for them to finish by their own hands
a life so odious, so perpetually tormenting and vexatious.
When, let but Death only offer to make his appearance, and
the very seneo of his near approach almost does the business.
Oh, then all the want is a longer life; and they would be glad
to come off so well as to have their old burthen laid upon
their shoulder again. One may well conclude what utter
aversion they, who are in youth, health, and vigour of body,
have to dying, when age, poverty, and wretchedness, are not
sufficient to reconcile us to the thought.


THE Lion by chance saw a fair maid, the forester's daughter,
as she was tripping over a lawn, and fell in love with her.
Nay, so violent was his passion, that he could not live unless
he made her his own; so that without any more delay, he
broke his mind to the father, and demanded the damsel for
his wife. The man, as odd as the proposal seemed at first,
yet soon recollected, that by complying, he might get the
Lion into his power; but, by refusing him, should only ex-
asperate and provoke his rage. Therefore he consented; but
told him it must be upon these conditions: that, considering
the girl was young and tender, he must agree to let his teeth
be plucked out and his claws cut off, lest he should hurt her,
or at least frighten her with the apprehension of them. The
Lion was too much in love to hesitate; but was no sooner
deprived of his teeth and claws, than the treacherous Forester
attacked him with a huge club, and knocked his brains out.
Of all the ill consequences that may attend that blind pas-
sion, love, seldom any prove so fatal as that one of its drawing
people into a sudden and ill-concerted marriage. They com-
mit a rash action in the midst of a fit of madness, of which,
as soon as they come to themselves, they may find reason to
repent as long as they live. Many an unthinking young
fellow has been treated as much like a savage in this respect,
as the Lion in the fable. He has, perhaps, had nothing
valuable belonging to him, but his estate, and the writings
which made his title to it; and if he is so far captivated, as
to be persuaded to part with these, his teeth and his claws
are gone, and he lies entirely at the mercy of madam and her
relations. All the favour he is to expect after this, is from
the accidental goodness of the family he falls into; which, if
it happen to be of a particular strain, will not fail to keep
him in a distant subjection, after they have stripped him of
all his power. Nothing but a true friendship and a mutual
interest, can keep up reciprocal love betwixt the conjugal
pair; and when that is wanting, and nothing but contempt
and aversion remain to supply the place, matrimony becomes
a downright state of enmity and hostility: and what a miser-


able case he must be in, who has put himself and his whole
power into the hands of his enemy, let those consider, who,
while they are in their sober senses, abhor the thoughts of
being betrayed into their ruin, by following the impulse 6f a
blind unlhllcling passion.

THE Lioness and the Fox meeting together, fell into discourse,
and the conversation turning upon the breeding and the fruit-
fulness of some living creatures above others, the Fox could
nii t forbear taking the opportunity of observing to the Lioness,
That, for her part, she thought Foxes were as happy in that
respect as almost any other creatures; for that they bred
constantly once a year, if not oftener, and always had a good
litter of cubs at every birth: and yet, says she, there are
those who are never delivered of more than one at a time;
and that perhaps not above once or twice through their whole
life, who hold up their noses, and value themselves so much
upon it, that they think all other creatures beneath them, and
scarce worthy to be spoken to. The Lioness, who all the
while perceived at whom this reflection pointed, was fired
with resentment, and with a good deal of vehemence replied:
What you have observed may be true, and that not without
reason. You produce a great many at a litter, and often;
but what are they ? Foxes. I, indeed, have but one at a time,
but you should remember that this one is a Lion.
Our productions, of whatsoever kind, are not to be esteemed
so much by the quantity as the quality of them. It is not
being employed much, but well, and to the purpose, which
makes us useful to the age we live in, and celebrated by those
which are to come. As it i. a inisiortuni.e t, t he counifries whi-ch
are infested with them, for foxes and other vermin to multi-
ply; so one cannot help throwing out a. reflection,
when one sees some particulars of the human kind increase
so fast as they do. But the most obvious meaning of this
fable is, the hint it gives us in relation to authors. These
-g lthl,1iiiu should never attempt to raise themselves a repu.
station, by nume'ratilg a catalogue of their productions; sines


there is mire glory in having written one tolerable piece,
than a thousand indifferent ones. And whoever has had the
good fortune to please in one perfi-,ri; anilce of this kind, should
be very cautious how he ventures his reputation in a second

A STAG, grown old and mischievous, was, according to cus-
tom, stDl1:ipig with his foot, making o(hlrs with hi.s heat-a, an.l
bellowing so terribly, that the whole herd quaked for fear of
him, when one of the little Fawns coming up, addressed him
to this purpose: Pray, what is the reason that you, who are
so stout and formidable at all other times, if you do but hear
the cry of the hounds, are ready to fly out of your skin for
fear? What you observe is true, replied the Stag, though I
know not how to account for it: I am indeed vigorous and
able enough, I think, to make my party good anywhere, and
often resolve with myself that nothing shall ever dismay my
courage for the future; but, alas! I no sooner hear the voice
of a hound, but all my spirits fail me, and I cannot he) r
making off' as fast as my legs can carry me.
This is the case of many a cowardly bully in the world.
He is disposed to be I mpe.ri us and tyrannical, and to insult
his co,!Ia.ali,,, and takes all op..irt nities of acting accord-
ing to his ineliuLitin-.,s; but yet is cautious where he makes
his haunts, and takes care to have only to do with a
herd of rascally people, as vile and mean as himself. A man
of courage quashes him with a word; and he who has threa-
tened death in every sentence, for a twelvemonth together, to
those whom he knew it would ;iftright., at the very frown of
an intrepid man, has leapt out of a window. It is no unplea-
sant sight, to be present when any of these gentlemen hap-
pen to be disarmed of their terror before the face of their
humble admirers; there is a strange, boisterous struggle be-
Jwixt fear, shame, and revenge, which blinds them with con-
fusion, and T-Liugh they would fain exert a little courage, and
shew themselves men, yet, they know not how, there is
something v. it Lin which will not suffer them to do it. The
predo..'i:.e:., of nature will shew itself upon occasion, in ita


true colours, through all the disguises which artful men en-
deavour to throw over it. Cowardice, particularly, gives us
but the more suspicion, when it would conceal itself under
an affected fierceness; as they, who would smother an ill
smell by a cloud of perfume, are imagined to be but the more
offensive. When we have done all, Nature will remain what
she was, and shew herself whenever she is called up; there-
fore whatever we do in contradiction to her laws is so forced
and affected, that it must needs expose, and make us ridicu-
lous. We talk nonsense when we would argue against it;
like Teague, who being asked, Why he fled from his colours?
said, his heart was as good as any in the regiment, but pro-
tested his cowardly legs would run away with him, whatever
he could do.

A PRODIGAL young spendthrift, who had wasted his whole
patrimony in taverns and gaming-houses, among lewd, idle
company, was taking a melancholy walk near a brook. It
was in the month of January, and happened to be one of
those warm sunshiny days which sometimes shine upon us
even in that winterly season of the year; and to make it
more flattering, a Swallow, which had made his appearance,
by mistake, too soon, flew skimming along upon the surface
of the water. The giddy youth observing this, without any
further consideration, concluded that summer was now come,
and that he should have little or no occasion for clothes, so
went and pawned them at the brokers, and ventured thb
money for one stake more among his sharing companions
When this too was gone the same way with the rest, he took
another solitary walk in the same place as before. But the
weather being severe and frosty, had made everything look
with an aspect very different from what it did before; the
brook was quite frozen over, and the poor swallow lay dead
upon the bank of it, the very sight of which cooled the
young spark's brains; and coming to a kind of sense of his
misery, he reproached the deceased bird as the author of all
his misfortunes: Ah, wretch that thou wert! says he, thou
hast undone both thyself and me, who was so credulous as to
ilepend upon thee.


They who frequent taverns and gaming-houses, and keep
bad company, should not wonder if they are reduced, in a
very small time, to penury and want. The wretched young
fellows who once addict themselves to such a scandalous kind
of life, scarce think of, or attend to any one thing besides.
They seem to have nothing else in their heads, but how they
may squander what they have got, and where they may get
more when that is gone. They do not make the same use of
their reason that other people do; but, like the jaundiced eye,
view everything in that false light in which their distemper
and debauchery represent it. The young Man in the fable
gives us a pretty example of this; he sees a swallow in the
midst of winter, and instead of being surprised at it, as a very
irregular and extraordinary thing, concludes from thence that
it is summer, as if he had never thought before about the
season. Well, the result of this wise conclusion is of a piece
with the conclusion itself; if it is summer he shall not want
so many clothes, therefore he sells them. For what ? More
money to squander away! as if (had this observation been
just) summer would have lasted all the year round. But the
true result and conclusion of all this is, when both his money
and clothes are irrecoverably gone, he comes to his right
senses, is ready to perish with hunger, to starve with cold,
and to tear his own flesh with remorse and vexation at his
former stupidity.

A MAN was angling in a river, and caught a small Perch;
which, as he was taking off the hook, and going to put into
his basket, opened his mouth, and began to implore his pity,
begging that he would throw it into the river again. Upon
the Man's demanding what reason he had to expect such a
favour; Why, says the Fish, because, at present, I am but
young and little, and consequently not so well worth your
while, as I shall be, if you take me some time hence, when I
am grown larger. That may be, replies the man; but I am
not one of those fools who quit a certainty in expectation d
an uncertainty,


This fable points much the same way as the sixty-fourth,
so that one moral may very well serve for both. But the
lesson they teach is so useful and instructive, that a repeti-
tion of it is by no means superfluous. The precept which
they would instil into us is, never to let slip the present op-
portunity, but to secure to ourselves every little advantage,
just in the nick that it offers without a vain reliance upon,
and fruitless expectation of something better in time to come.
We may cheer up our spirits with hoping for that which we
cannot at present obtain; but, at the same time, let us be
sure we give no occasion of condemning ourselves for omit
ting anything which it was in our power to secure.

THE Lion took a fancy to hunt in company with the Ass;
and, to make him the more useful, gave him instructions to
hide himself in a thicket, and then to bray in the most fright-
ful manner that he could possibly contrive. By this means,
says he, you will rouse all the beasts within the hearing of
you, while I stand at the outlets, and take them as they are
making off. This was done, and the stratagem took effect
accordingly. The Ass brayed most hideously, and the timo-
rous beasts not knowing what to make of it, began to scour
off as fast as they could; when the Lion, who was posted at
a proper avenue, seized and devoured them as he pleased.
Having got his belly full, he called out to the Ass, and bid
him leave off, telling him he had done enough. Upon this
the lop-eared brute came out of his ambush, and approaching
the Lion, asked him, with an air of conceit, how he liked his
performance. Prodigiously, says he : you did it so well, that
I protest, had I not known your nature and temper, I might
have been frighted myself.
A bra* ,in. cowardly fellow may impose upon people that
do not know him; but it is the greatest jest imaginable to
those that do. There are many men who appear very terrible
and big in their manner of expressing themselves, and, if you


could be persuaded to take their own word for it, are perfect
Lions! who, if one takes the pains to inquire a little into
their true nature, are as arrant asses as ever brayed.

AN old fellow was feeding an Ass in a fine green meadow;
and being alarmed with the sudden approach of the enemy,
was impatient with the Ass to put himself forward, and fly
with all the speed that he was able. The Ass asked him,
Whether or no he thought the enemy would clap two pair of
panniers upon his back? The man said, No, there was no
fear of that. Why, then, says the Ass, I will not stir an inch,
for what is it to me who my master is, since I shall but carry
my panniers, as usual?
This fable shews us how much in the wrong the poorer
sort of people most commonly are, when they are under any
concern about the revolutions of a government. All the
alteration which they can feel is, perhaps, in the name oi
their sovereign, or some such important trifle: but they can-
not well be poorer, or made to work harder than they did
before. And yet how are they sometimes imposed upon, and
drawn in by the artifices of a few mistaken or designing men
to foment factions, and raise rebellions, in cases where they
can get nothing by the success; but if they miscarry, are in
danger of suffering an ignominious, untimely death.

ONE who had been abroad, at his return home again was
giving an account of his travels; and, among other places,
said he had been at Rhodes, where he had so distinguished
himself in leaping, an exercise that city was famous for, that
no Rhodian could come near him. When those who were pre-
sent did not seem to credit this relation so readily as he in.
tended they should, he took some pains to convince them of it
by oaths and protestations; upon which, one of the cumplany


rising up, told him, he need not give himself so much trouble
about it, since he would put him in a way to demonstrate it
in fact; which was, to suppose the place they were in to be
Rhodes, and to perform his extraordinary leap over again.
The Boaster, not liking this proposal, sat down quietly, and
had no more to say for himself.
It is very weak in all men, as well those who have tra-
velled, as those who have not, to be solicitous with their com-
pany to believe them, when they are relating a matter of
fact, in which they themselves were a party concerned. For
the more urgent a man appears at such a time, in order to
gain credit, the more his audience is apt to suspect the truth
of what he relates. They perceive his vanity is touched
more than his honour; and that it is his ability, not his
veracity, which he cannot bear to have questioned. And,
indeed, though a man was ever so fully satisfied with such a
truth himself, he should consider that he is still as far from
being able to convince others, as if he were altogether igno-
rant of it. Therefore, in all cases, where proper vouchers are
expected, we had better be contented to keep our exploits to
ourselves, than to appear ridiculous, by contending to have
them believed. How much more, then, should travelled
gentlemen have a care how they import lies and inventions
of their own, from foreign parts, and attempt to vend them
at home for staple truths! Every time they utter a false-
hood, they are liable, not only to be suspected by the com-
pany in general, but to be detected and exposed by some
particular person, who may have been at the same place, and,
perhaps, know how to convict them of their forgery even to

A CERTAIN Man had two children, a Son and a Daughter.
The Boy beautiful and handsome enough; the Girl not quite
so well. They were both very young, and happened one day
to be playing near the looking-glass, which stood on their
mother's toilet: the Boy pleased with the novelty of the thing,
viewed himself for some time, and in a wanton, roguish man-


ner, took notice to the Girl. how handsome he was. She re-
sented it, and could not bear the insolent manner in which
he did it: for she understood it (as how could she do other-
wise?) intended for a direct affront to her. Therefore she
ran immediately to her father, and, with a great deal of
aggravation, complained of her brother; particularly for hav-
ing acted so effeminate a part as to look in a glass, and meddle
with things which belonged to women only. The father em-
bracing them both, with much tenderness and affection told
them, that he should like to have them both look in the glass
every day; to the intent that you, says he to the Boy, if you
think that face of yours handsome, may not disgrace and spoil
it by an ugly temper and a foul behaviour; you, says he,
speaking to the Girl, that you may make up for the defects
of your person, if there be any, by the sweetness of your man
ners and the agreeableness of your conversation.
There is scarce anything we see in the world, especially
what belongs to, and hangs about our own person, but is cap-
able of affording us matter for some serious and useful con-
sideration. And this fable, notwithstanding the scene of it is
laid at the very beginning and 'entrance of life, yet utters a
doctrine worthy the attention of every stage and degree
thereof, from the child to the old man. Let each of us take
a glass, and view himself considerately. He that is vain and
self-conceited, will find beauties in every feature, and his
whole shape will be without fault. Let it be so: yet if he
would be complete, he must take care that the inward man
does not detract from and disgrace the outward; that the de-
pravity of his manners does not spoil his face, nor the wrong-
ness of his behaviour distort his limbs; or, which is the same
thing, make his whole person odious and detestable to the
eye of his beholders. Is any one modest in this respect, and
deficient of himself ? Or has he indeed blemishes and imper-
fections which may depreciate him in the sight of mankind?
Let him strive to improve the faculties of the mind, where
perhaps nature has not cramped him; and to excel in the
beauties of a good temper and an agreeable conversation, the
charms of which are so much more lasting and unalterably
endearing, than those of the other sort. They who are beau-
tiful in person have this peculiar advantage, that, with a mn-
derate regard to complaisance and good manners, they bespeak