BEWICK'S SELECT FABLES.
"Is not the earth
With various living creatures, and the air
Replenished, and all those at thy command
To come and play before thee? Knowest thou not
Their language and their ways? They also know,
And reason not contemptibly: with these
-Paradise Lost, b. viii. 1. 370.
The above appeared on the titles of both the 1776 and 1784 editions or
"SELECT FABLES," T. Saint, Newcastle-unol- Tyne.
38etaickt's elect fjables
OF A'SOP AND OTHERS.
S3ntee i) arts.
I. FABLES EXTRACTED FROM DODSLEY'S.
IL FABLES WITH REFLECTIONS IN PROSE AND VERSE.
III FABLES IN VERSE.
TO WHICH ARE PREFIXED
THE LIFE OF .ESOP, AND AN ESSA Y UPON FABLE
BY OLIVER GOLDSMITH.
Faithfully Reprinted from the Rare Newcastle Edition published
by T. SAINT in 1784.
diftj fBt Original idazb Enigrabiiigs hS g E inmas ?rzfich,
IInsttratr Vrrfur b b lftouin jtarscn.
BICKERS & SON, I LEICESTER SQUARE, W.C.
PRINTED BY BALLANTYNE AND COMPANY
EDINBURGH AND LONDON
PREFACE TO 1871 EDITION.
IN the various periods of the world's history men
have appeared who were gifted with greater
powers of mind and intelligence than the majority
of the people in whose age they lived, who, by
becoming the preceptors or teachers of the masses,
evidently fulfilled the designs of the Creator, by pro-
moting civilisation and happiness, by unity of thought
and knowledge. Such men were IEsop, William
Shakespeare, Fielding, Scott, and many others, and
later, in our own time, Thackeray and Charles Dickdns.
One of the most ancient and interesting methods of
conveying instruction was by the art of Fable,
Allegory, or Parable.
Fable is an ingenious method of conveying advice
and instruction, without seeming so to do, by a
diverting little narrative, which, attracting atten-
viii PREFA CE.
tion, irresistibly chains it till the moral is imper-
ceptibly rooted in the mind, there to influence, for
the better it may be, all future actions of importance.
.Esop was, and is, the most favourite of Fabulists,
of whom a fair and goodly succession have since
appeared; but still he maintains, and will continue
to maintain the foremost place in literature as a
writer of instructive and entertaining Fables. We
here reprint an edition comparatively unknown in
the present generation, illustrated by the graver of
Bewick, and arranged by the pen of Goldsmith.
Bewick and Goldsmith's early works are com-
paratively unknown to the literary and reading
world. We all know that Bewick designed and
engraved the inimitable "British Quadrupeds,"
"Birds," Fables," &c., and that Goldsmith wrote
the "Vicar of Wakefield," "Traveller," "Deserted
Village," &c., but what do we know of their early
works-the progressive steps by which they attained
their wondrous and well-earned celebrity ? It has
been the pleasing pursuit of the writer (for some
years) to search for, and rescue from destruction and
oblivion, all possible early works of Bewick and
Goldsmith. The result has exceeded his most
sanguine expectations. He has discovered at least
twenty little works written by Goldsmith during his
weary hours of adversity, all bearing strong internal
evidence of the author's mind and style. (A work
on this subject is preparing for the press, profusely
illustrated with original woodcuts, &c.) The early
editions of the present work were printed by T.
Saint, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. We will here give
a very brief resume of Bewick's earliest works (pub-
lished by Saint), with a few woodcuts from the
original blocks, thus illustrating the progressive
stages of pictorial fine art by which Thomas Bewick
succeeded in producing the wood-engravings which
embellish the present volume, of which (edit. 1784)
Jackson, in his work on wood-engraving (1861, p.
"He (Bewick) evidently improved as his talents
were exercised; for the cuts in the Select Fables,"
1784, are generally much superior to those in Gay's
Fables," 1779. The animals are better drawn and
engraved; the sketches of landscape in the back-
grounds are more natural; and the engraving of
the foliage of the trees and bushes is not unfre-
quently scarce inferior to that of his later produc-
Jackson gives three examples of these Fable cuts
in his work, at pp. 480, 503 ("Wood-Engravings,"
1861). Thomas Bewick was apprenticed to R.
Beilby, October I, 1767. It is probable that the cuts
given in next page are among the veryfirst engraved
by Thomas Bewick during his apprenticeship, and
were used in "A New Invented Horn Book," also
in Battledores," Primers," and Reading Easies."
He then executed the diagrams for Hutton on
Mensuration, 4to, 1770. One of the cuts is given
in "Jackson" (p. 475), a representation of St
Nicholas' celebrated steeple. This is' the first known
pictorial attempt of Bewick's.
Horn Book" Cuts
Horn Book Cuts.
PREFA CE. xi
Facsimile of Bewick's cut, St Nicholas' Steeple, Newcastle, 1770.
No doubt coarse cuts were done by Bewick about
this time for local Ballads, Broadsides, Garlands, and
The next recognized work I discovered myself,
the "New Lottery-Book of Birds and Beasts, for
Children to learn their Letters by, as soon as they
.can speak" (Saint, 1771, 32mo, bds. and gilt). Two
of the cuts follow.
The "Child's Tutor" (Saint, 1772-73 square 24
The "Child's Tutor" (Saint, I772-73, square 24mo),
cuts, with verses, &c., by Oliver Goldsmith. The fol-
lowing is undoubtedly by the Poet's hand:-" The
Lilliputian Magazine; or, the Young Gentleman and
Lady's Golden Library, being an attempt to mend
the World, to render the Society of Man more ami-
able, and to establish the Plainness, Simplicity,
Virtue, and Wisdom of the Golden Age, so much
celebrated by the Poets and Historians-
Man in that age no rule but Reason knew,
And with a native bent did Good pursue;
Unforc'd by Punishment, unaw'd by Fear,
His Words were Simple and his Sotil Sincere.'"
(T. Saint, circa 1772, early Bewick woodcuts, i44 pp.
24mo.) The verse and title bear the undoubted im-
press of his genius and style. Oliver Goldsmith
wrote it for J. Newbery, of London, but, as I shall
show in my larger work on this subject, there was
an arrangement between them by which Saint re-
printed many of his (Newbery's) little books for
the North-Country trade. We then have "Moral
Instructions of a Father to his Son," comprehend-
ing the whole system of Morality, &c., &c.; and
"Select Fables," extracted from Dodsley, and others,
adorned with emblematical cuts, I2mo, T. Saint,
Newcastle, 1772 and 1775. This, then, is one of the
first works of Saint's we have seen containing cuts
Having a doubt respecting the cuts of this rare
book, I took my copy to Miss Bewick (Jan. 1867),
and inquired of her if they were engraved by her
father. She kindly gave me the following authentic
information :-" The cuts were engraved by Thomas
^ ----ii- --
Moral Instructions," 1772, and "Select Fables," 1776.
Bewick in the first year of his apprenticeship
(1767-68), excepting the cut of a ship at sea, p.
167. This was engraved by David Martin, Bewick's
fellow-apprentice, Bewick at this time disliking to
represent 'water.'" This, then, sets all doubt at
rest respecting the cuts in an "AEsop's Fables,"
Gay's Fables," &c., &c., published by Saint about
this date, in which the same and similar cuts were
used. The following, used in "Gay," is evidently
:- --~- ._" .. :.--._
r .' .
Bewick's first attempt at the subject for which he
afterwards gained a premium.
xiv PREFA CE.
The next is the first edition of the present volume,
"Select Fables" (T. Saint, Newcastle, 1776). In three
Parts. Part I. After the Manner of Dodsley's.
Part II. Fables with Reflections. Part III. Fables
in Verse. To which are prefixed the Life of AEsop;
and An Essay upon Fable- (same Verse and
Vignette, as in the 2d Edition, of 1784). Contain-
ing one hundred and fourteen cuts, including those
"-- ^ - _'. |[ '._-i "" -, |
71 ". _,:
Select Fables," Esop, &c. (Saint, 1776).
mentioned in the "Moral Instructions," described
above, and fourteen larger and much superior cuts,
wvith borders, afterwards used with others in Gay's
Fables," printed by T. Saint, in 1779. The same
vignette appears on the title as in the Second Edition
of this Book in 1784. It also has a copperplate
frontispiece, "R. Beilby delint. et sculpt." 12mo,
211 pages, 2 pages of Index, &c. (notice the varia-
tions in the title, &c., to the 1784 edition). The only
copy of this edition (1776) I ever had, or saw, is now
in the unique collection of E. B. Jupp, Esq., who has
kindly lent the block for the Frontispiece to the pre-
sent Edition. It was engraved for "The Beauties of
J.Esop" (Kendal, circa 1800-22), by Thomas Bewick,
and is somewhat like Beilby's copperplate frontis-
piece to 1776 Edition, but infinitely improved. It
contains about seventy delineations of animal and
bird life, &c. (see the tailpiece at page 122 of present
edition, extremely like in arrangement, execution,
&c.), while the portrait of Esop is certainly the most
reasonable I have yet seen in examining the numerous
editions which have passed through my hands.
About this time, 1773 to 1776, many works issued
from Saint's press-" Robinson Crusoe," Watt's
Songs," Oliver Goldsmith's "Tommy Trip" (see my
reprint, of 1867), "Goody Two Shoes," "Golden
Toy or Fairing," "Tom Telescope's Newtonian
Philosophy," "Tommy Tagg's Poems," and numerous
others. Examples of cuts follow.
Similar to "Tommy Trip" series of Cuts.
xvi PREFA CE.
"Tommy Two Shoes."
" Adventures'of a Kitten."
" Holy Bible in Miniature."
" Memoirs of a Peg-Top."
" Poetical Fabulator"
A New Edition of "Tommy Tagg," with sixty cuts, will shortly be printed.
(Specimen of the Woodcuts.)
We now reach a period to which Bewick himself
thus refers at pages 59, 60 of his Memoirs" (Long-
man, 1862) :-" We were occasionally applied to by
(local) printers to execute woodcuts for them. .
xviii PREFA CE.
Orders were received for cuts for Children's Books,
chiefly for Thomas Saint, printer, Newcastle, and
successor of John White, who had rendered himself
old ballads. My time now became greatly taken-
"The Concert of Birds," from "Tommy Tagg."
famous for his numerous publications of histories and
old ballads. .. My time now became greatly taken
up with designing and cutting a set of wood blocks
for the Story-Teller,' 'Gay's Fables,' and Select
Fables,' together with cuts of a similar kind for
The following are among those referred to by
Bewick:-"Youth's Instructive and Entertaining
Story-Teller, being a Choice Collection of Moral
Tales, Chiefly deduced from real Life, calculated to
enforce the Practice of Virtue, and expand every
social Idea in the Human heart. Adorned with
emblematical cuts from the most interesting part of
each Tale, and methodised after the Plan recom-
mended by the late ingenious Dr Goldsmith. To
which is added, by way of Preface, Thoughts on the
Present Mode of Education." (Newcastle, T. Saint.)
Three Editions, circa 1774-7-8, I2mo, thirty-seven
woodcuts. The cuts in this book are larger than any
in the preceding books. We give the cut at page 48
.,,_,,; .I '''~"
of a Shipwrecked Sailor kneeling on a rock saying
his prayers, the tide rising around him, which is the
first and earliest engraving of this subject by T.
Bewick, afterwards one of his favourite Vignettes in
the "British Birds." The others are all about the size
of the .cuts in "Gay's Fables," 1779, or Select
Fables," 1784, and have similar borders.
i -. .
A.- ... .. ^, .- -
"Jackson" refers to this and the following two
works:-" Gay's Fables." Fables by the late Mr
Gay, in One Volume complete, Newcastle, printed
by and for T. Saint, 1779, 12mo, 77 cuts of Fables,
with borders and 33 Vignettes; for the tasteful and
clever engraving of five of the cuts (one, the Hunts-
man and Old Hound*) the Royal Society of Arts
presented Bewick with their medal; it is further
embellished with a beautifully engraved Frontispiece,
by R. Beilby (T. Saint, Newcastle, 1779). We give
An impression is given in "Jackson," at page 477 (Edition 1861,
Bohn). See also next page.
an impression of the original wood-engraving, ex-
ceedingly interesting, as now Bewick seems to have
received the required impetus or encouragement to
produce the engravings for Select Fables," T. Saint,
1784. In three parts. Part I. Fables extracted from
The Huntsman and Old Hound."
Dodsley's; Part. II. Fables, with Reflections in Prose
and Verse; Part III. Fables in Verse; to which are
prefixed the Life of }Esop, and an Essay upon Fable.
A New Edition Improved. For this edition a new set
of cuts was engraved by Thomas Bewick. "These
cuts were then deemed superior to any of Bewick's
previous productions." The same year another im-
pression of this work was printed with the same title
page, but considerable variations in the letterpress,
and vignettes occur at pages 122, 125, and 152, which
are not in the former edition, printed in 1784, I2mo.
This is the book we now reprint (Saint's collection
of Bewick's blocks having passed into my hands.)
An original copy of the 1784 edition in fine state is
so rare, that a copy has realized, at auction, 7, los.
Bewick says (p. 60, "Memoir," 1862): "Some of the
Fable (" Gay," 1779) cuts were thought so much of
by my master (Beilby), that he, in my name, sent
impressions of a few of them to be laid before the
Society for the Encouragement of Arts, &c., and I
obtained a premium." (Seven guineas, which he
took intense pleasure in presenting to his mother.)
We have thus, by easy stages, travelled through the
various phases of talent, to the most important work
produced before his well-known "British Quadru-
peds," first published 1790; "British Birds," 1797,
1804; and his large edition of "ZEsop's Fables,"
1818 (each work embellished with his inimitable
and ever-pleasing vignettes). Examples from all
these works follow.
"The Chillingham Wild Bull."-Bewick's large engraving of this subject, with
border, has realized twenty guineas. See Jackson on Wood-Engraving."
PREFA CE. xxiii
""'^ v ---- ~
'- -- tte Q drp-.
Vignette to "Quadrupeds."
" Select Fables," X820, Charnley's Edition, 8vo, and in early Children's
Books (Saint, Newcastle).
xxiv PREFA CE.
Intended for "Bewick's British Birds"-"Chimney Swallow," injured and rejected.
Facsimile of Bewick's Skylark.
Facsimile of Bewcks Skylark-
Facsimile of Bewick's Skylark.
PREFA CE. xxv
V e to- Brs A'-g*le, a.nd ---- --
Vignette to "Birds.'--Angler and Sportsman.
Engraved for Bewick's }Esop," 1818, unfinished and rejected.
-. .'. 'l ,". ^- <- !'^, -- _
-.. -; ,'-- --- ---
-- -- -- -.-.
"_ '' -:.,.- ^s -.--"' " -., ^." ---
Vignette to Esop."
These remarks are rapidly written, but they are
the result of years of research and study: so
that the reader of this Preface has a brief resume
of Bewick's talents from his earliest efforts to his
most finished productions; a result which no one
living is able to give from the original wood-
cuts but myself; thus forming a most useful manual
or pictorial aid to connoisseurs in selecting early
works illustrated by Bewick," the more valuable, as
scarcely any of the works mentioned as published by
Saint are in the British Museum.
Now, as to the Goldsmith interest as connected
with .this work, the 1776 Newcastle edition was
evidently copied from "Dodsley's" and other editions
of "Select Fables of -Esop published in London
prior to this period. In the meantime, J. Newbery
and others, for whom Goldsmith wrote prefaces and
arranged and edited books, had published new
editions, so that when Saint went to press with
"A New Edition Improved" (with a new set of cuts
by the Bewicks), evidently the book was remodelled
and extended from one that Goldsmith had just
edited. In Dodsley's Preface to his Fables, he says
" he has been assisted in it by gentlemen of the most
distinguished abilities ; and that several, both of the
old and the new Fables, are not written by himself,
but by authors with whom it is an honour to be con-
nected." Dodsley also refers to the Life of AEsop,
&c., as being written by "a learned and ingenious
friend." Doubtless Dr Johnson and Goldsmith were
the "authors," and Goldsmith the "friend," here
referred to. Be that as it may, the present work
bears sufficient internal evidence in the "Essay on
Fable," the Poetical Applications," and the Fables
in Verse," that Oliver Goldsmith was the author;
for it is identical in style with numerous prefaces and
essays written about this period by Oliver Goldsmith
for Newbery, Dodsley, Griffiths, and others. Much
conclusive evidence on this interesting subject will
be given in my new book on "The early works of
Bewick and Goldsmith" (a Prospectus of which will
shortly be issued). The applications to this edition
are infinitely superior to any edition which had
appeared prior to its publication. In Sir Roger
L'Estrange and Croxall's editions, the applications
were warped away from their original and intended
effect by political distortions and obsolete terms,
which often strayed far from, instead of assisting, the
subject. It is somewhat refreshing, then, in the
edition here reprinted, to meet with some applica-
tions which are everything that could be desired, in
easy, naturally flowing, and apt language, just to the
point; and who was so much a master of such
language as Oliver Goldsmith ?-of whom Dr Johnson
said, "He left no species of writing unadorned."
It may be interesting here to quote from Bewick's
Memoir of himself (not published till 1862), his
opinion of this book, which at once justifies the parent,
preceptor, or friend, in selecting this as a most suit-
able present for the young of both sexes; he says
(pages 172-3) :-" I was extremely fond of that
book ('YEsop's Fables'); and as it had afforded me
much pleasure, I thought, with better executed
designs, it would impart the same kind of delight
to others that I had experienced from attentively
reading it. I was also of opinion, that it had (while
admiring the cuts) led hundreds of young men into
the paths of wisdom and rectitude, and in that way
had materially assisted the pulpit."
The lessons intended to be conveyed through the
medium of Fable are certainly plainer and easier to
be understood in this edition than in the once popular
" Croxall;" and the publishers believe, therefore, that
the book in its present form will be found a powerful
auxiliary in the important practical feeling for the
education of the rising generation, illustrated as it is
by the early but forcible and natural rendering of
these Fables by the inimitable Bewick, through the
medium of which is imparted the profound good
sense, wisdom, and experience of the ancient
philosophers. I have already exceeded the limits
of an ordinary Preface. On a future occasion I will
endeavour to show how coincidently Bewick and
Goldsmith worked together to produce results-the
importance of which can scarcely be fully estimated.
I will now conclude with one of those exquisite
little pictures of nature that will never cease to
exhibit the true art of pleasing as long as "the
language of England is spoken, or her literature
___ I -
.-__ - .. .. ^ ir -2, . *' -
Say, should the philosophic mind disdain
That good, which makes each humble bosom vain ?
Let school-taught pride dissemble all it can,
These little things are great to little man."
` ':1 *"..7 -, "A ,
THE LIFE OF ZESOP.
/T-SOP, according to the best accounts, was a
:i- native of Phrygia, a province of the Lesser
Asia, and born in the city Coti.aum.* He was a
person of a remarkable genius, and extraordinary
character; for though he was born a slave, by the
assistance of his genius and virtue only, he procured
his own emancipation. By his sage counsels and
judicious advice he directed his countrymen to
measures that secured their liberty, and by a single
Fable baffled the tyrannical projects of Crcesus, King
of Lydia. The most part of writers agree that his
person was but unseemly, though there are some of a
contrary opinion.t It is probable that he was of a
low and diminutive stature, though agreeable in his
complexion, and polite in his manners. It is, how-
ever, certain that he had a great soul, and was
endowed with extraordinary mental qualifications;
his moral character approached to a degree of per-
fection to which very few have attained. He appears
to have had a true sense of morality, and a just dis-
Suidas. + Alsop.
LIFE .OF AESOP.
cernment of right and wrong; his perceptions and
feelings of truth were scrupulously nice, and the
smallest deviation from rectitude impressed his mind
with the greatest antipathy. No considerations of
private interest could warp his inclinations so as to
seduce him from the paths of virtue; his principles
were stedfast and determined, and truly habitual.
He never employed his great wisdom to serve the
purposes of cunning; but, with an uncommon exact-
ness, made his understanding a servant to truth.
Historians have given many instances of his wit and
shrewdness, which were always employed in the ser-
vice of virtue, plilanthropy, and benevolence.
It cannot well be ascertained who were his parents,
though some have affirmed that his father was a
shepherd.* He himself was undoubtedly a slave;
his first master was an Athenian, whose name was
Caresias. At Athens he learned the Greek language
in perfection, and acquired a taste for writing moral
instructions, in the way of Fables, which was then
the prevailing mode of teaching morals in Attica.
His Fables are allegorical stories, delivered with an
air of fiction, under various personifications, to con-
Svey truth to the mind in an agreeable manner. By
telling a story of a Lion, Dog, or a Wolf, the Fabulist
describes the manners and characters of men, and
communicates instruction without seeming to assume
the authority of a master or a pedagogue. .Esop's
situation as a slave might suggest this method to
him; for what would have been scornfully rejected if
LIFE OF ESOP.
delivered in an authoritative style by a slave, was
received with avidity in the form of a fable.
/Esop had several masters; his second master was
Xanthus, in whose service he discovered great wisdom
and sagacity in answering questions, and reconciling
differences. By the following stratagem he made his
master's wife return back, after she had run away and
left him, and effectually reconciled them: our Fabu-
list, then a slave, went to the market, and bought a
great quantity of the best provisions, which he pub-
licly declared were intended for the marriage of his
master with a new spouse. This report had its
desired effect, and the matter was amicably com-
posed. The story of his feast of Neat Tongrege, and
his answer to a gardener; are scarcely worthy of
relating. At a feast made on purpose to celebrate
the return of his master's wife, he is said to have
served the guests with several courses of tongues, by
which he intended to give a moral lesson to his
master and mistress, who had by the too liberal use
of their tongues occasioned the difference which was
The third master of ZEsop was Idmon, who was
surnamed the wise. Idmon was an inhabitant of the
island of Samos. During Esop's servitude with this
master, he had a fellow-servant called Rhodopis, who
some affirm was his wife.* This does not at all
appear credible, for there is no mention made of this
among the Greek writers. This Rhodopis became
afterwards very famous for her riches, and was cele-
LIFE OF .ESOP.
brated all over Greece. Idmon is said to have been
so well pleased with zEsop, that after he had been
some time in his service, he emancipated him, and
made him free. With the enjoyment of liberty, he
acquired new reputation, and became celebrated for
his wisdom. He is by some compared to the Seven
Sages of Greece, and accounted their equal in wis-
dom. He had the honour to be acquainted with
Solon and Chilo, and was equally admitted with
them in the Court of Periander, the King of the
Corinthians, who was himself one of the Sages of
Greece. He was,much esteemed by Crcesus, King
of Lydia, and received into his Court at Sardis.
During his residence at Sardis, he gave proofs of his
sagacity which astonished the courtiers of Croesus.
This ambitious Prince having one day shewn his wise
men his vast riches and magnificence, and the glory
and splendour of his court, asked them the question,
whom they thought the happiest man ? After seve-
ral different answers given by all the wise men pre-
set-, it came at last to Esop to make his reply, who
said: That Cresus was as muc/ happier than other
men as the fulness, of the sea was superior to the rivers.
Whether this was spoken ironically or in earnest does
not appear so evident; but according to the severe
morality of Esop, it would rather appear to be a
sarcasm, though it was otherwise understood by the
King, and received as the greatest compliment. It
wrought so much upon his vanity, that he exclaimed:
The Phrygian had hit the mark. One thing which
renders it probable that _Esop flattered Crcesus on
LIFE OF ASOP.
this occasion is his conversation with Solon, who at
this time departed from the court of the King of
Lydia. When they were upon the road, zEsop ex-
claims : 0 Solon either we must not speak to Kings,
or we must say what willplease them. Solon replied :
We should either not speak to Kings at all, or we should
give them good advice, and speak truth. This seems
to be one instance in which JEsop is charged with
flattery and dissimulation. Some writers praise him
for his complaisance to so great a Prince; but it
is rather a proof of his policy than his ordinary
strictness and integrity. There is another instance
recorded by some writers of the life of 'Esop, of his
complaisance to Princes, even contrary to the liberties
of the people. He is said to have written a Fable in
favour of the tyrant Pisistratus, which Phadrus has
translated, and proves that he was reconciled to
tyranny. But this is no way evident. There are
many Fables which are mingled with those of zEsop,
which are not his, yet have been fathered upon him;
and it is not consistent with the other parts of his
character and writings to suppose that he would
either flatter tyrants or defend them. The author-
ities from whence these supposed facts are taken are
not to be depended upon.
In all other particulars he appears to have pro-
ceeded upon the principles of wisdom, as far as any
of the Sages of Greece. When he was asked by
Chilo, one of the wise men, What God was doing?.
He replied, with great adroitness, That he was hum-
bling the proud and exalting the /umble. He had just
LIFE OF AFSOP.
views of human nature, and assigned true reasons for
all its Phaenomena. In an account of the paintings in
the time of the Antonines, Philostratus informs us,
'that there is one of ,Esop which makes a principal
figure. The painter represents him before his own
house, with the geniuses approaching him with a sort
of adulating pleasure as the inventor of Fables : they
are painted as adorning him with wreaths and chap-
lets of flowers, and crowning him with olive branches.
His countenance appears in a smiling attitude, while
his eyes seem fixed towards the ground, as if com-
posing a Fable, with the same gaiety and good
humour with which he usually wrote. There is a
.group of men and beasts placed around him, and
amongst the rest the Fox, which makes a capital
figure, as he does in the Fables. This picture does
not represent /Esop in a decrepit form, but sets him
forth with a mixture of gravity and good humour.
The image of his mind is well drawn by Plutarch in
his Feast of the Sages at the court of Periander, who
himself was one of the Seven. It was at this feast
that AEsop repeats his Fable of The Wolf and the
Skephlerds, to shew that the company were guilty of
,the same fault. From Plutarch's account it is mani-
fest that Esop's conversation was pleasant and witty,
but yet delicate. He was satirical without disobliging,
and the poignancy of his wit was smoothed with good
nature and good sense.
The writer of his life prefixed to Dodsley's Fables
compares him to Dean Swift, but with very little
propriety; for he has a delicacy in all his wit which
LIFE OF AESOP.
the Dean of St Patrick's was a total stranger to;
and, what is more strange, he had nearly as much
It has been doubted if he was the inventor of
Fables; but it is certain he was the first that brought
that species of writing into reputation. Archilochus
is said to have written Fables one hundred years
before him;* but it would appear that those stories
were not written for posterity like those of /Esop.
The Fables of iEsop were written in prose, though
the images that are in them afford good scope for a
poet, of which Phaedrus has given an elegant speci-
men. JEsop writes with great simplicity, elegance,
and neatness; the schemes of his Fables are natural,
the sentiments just, and the conclusions moral. Quin-
tilian recommends his Fables as a first book for
children;t and, when Plato had sent all the poets
into exile, he allows iEsop a residence in his com-
monwealth.) The Athenians were good judges of
literary merit, and erected a noble statue for .Esop,
to perpetuate his memory, which was sculpted by the
The great excellency of IEsop's manner of writing
is, that he blends the pleasing and the instructive so
well as to instruct and please at once. Horace is
much indebted to him for a plan of writing, and has
formed a rule from this famous Fabulist:
Omne tulit punctum, qui miscuit utile dulci;
Lectorem delectando, pariterque monendo.
-De Arte Poet. ver. 343.
Priscian. + Institut. Orat. i. c. 9. $ De Repub. Lib. ii.
ESSA IT UPON FABLE.
SI wish I could conceal the exit of this great Fabu-
list and Moral Writer. He was accused by the
Delphians of sacrilege, and convicted by an act of
the greatest villany that ever was invented. They
concealed among his'baggage, at his departure, some
golden vessels consecrated to Apollo, and then dis-
patched messengers to search.his baggage. Upon
this he was accused of theft and sacrilege, condemned,
and precipitated over a rock. Thus ended the famous
AEsop, whose Fables have immortalised his memory,
and will hand down his name to the latest posterity.
-AN ESSAY UPON FABLE.
FABLE is the method of conveying truth under
the form of an Allegory. The sense of a Fable
is entirely different from the literal meaning of the
words that are used to compose it; and yet the real
intention thereof is visible and manifest, otherwise
the Fable is not well composed. The sense of a
Fable of the moral kind ought always to be obvious
at first view, that the instruction intended to be
given may have as early an effect as possible.
The chief thing to be considered in a Fable is the
action, which conveys the moral or truth designed for
instruction. There ought only to be one action in a
Fable, which must appear through the whole; other-
wise it will be liable to admit of different interpre-
tations, and be the same as a riddle, and have no
effect. Clearness, Unity, and Probability, are inci-
ESSA Y UPON FABLE.
dents essentially necessary in a moral Fable. If a
Fable be not so plain as to point out the sense of the
writer clearly, but admit of different interpretations,
it does. not answer the true design thereof. If the
incidents tend to convey different ideas, then the
reader will be at a loss to understand the chief inten-
tion of the author. All the various incidents ought
manifestly to unite in one design, and point out one
clear and perspicuous truth. Many of the modern
Fables labour under this defect; the incidents do not
manifestly tend to point out the moral. Fontaine's
Fable of the two pigeons, and Croxall's story of the
coach-wheel, are of this sort.
The incidents of a Fable ought also to have a real
foundation in nature. This rule may be infringed by
ascribing to creatures appetites and passions that are
not consistent with their known characters. "A Fox
should not be said to long for Grapes."" The rule
of Horace will hold universally-
Sed non ut placidis cceant immitia : non ut
Serpentes avibus geminentur, tigribus agni.
Delphinum Sylvis appingit Fluctibus aprum.
-HORAcE, 1. 13.
This alludes to the well-known Fable of The Fox and the Grapes,
which, however absurd it may appear in this part of the world, is not
so in the East, for Dr Hasselquist, in his Travels, p. 184, observes,
that "the Fox is an animal common in Palestine, and that there is
plenty of them near the convent of St John in the Desert about vintage
time; and they destroy all the vines unless they are strictly watched."
To the same effect Solomon saith in the Canticles, ii. 15, Take us the
Foxes, the little Foxes that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender
grapes." Therefore this ancient Apologue is very properly restored,
without prejudice to nature or common sense.
ESSAY UPON FABLE.
To join the wild with creatures that are tame,
Serpents with birds, or tygers with the lamb,
Paint whales in woods, and wild boars in the sea,
Ah, what a motley piece the whole would be 1
Creatures different in their nature must not be
associated in a just Fable. The Lamb must not be
made to travel with the Fox, nor the Wolf and the
Sheep to feed or associate together; for all this is
unnatural, and can never be rendered a probable
object of belief. The incidents in a Fable ought also
to be few, lest by crowding circumstances too close,
the whole appear confused, and perplex the mind.
The next thing to be considered in Fable is the
imagery or characters; these may either be men,
beasts, or inanimate beings. All these have been
introduced by the ancient Fabulists. In all personi-
fications the rules of analogy are to be observed; in
those things wherein man and other creatures have
no similitude, no true image can be formed in what
respects human society. The persons and characters
assumed in Fables, ought therefore to have a likeness
to the things to which they are compared. All nature
may serve to furnish a Fabulist with machinery.
Mountains, rivers, trees, animals, and even invisible
powers may answer his purpose; but, in the use of all
sorts of machinery, a proper regard must always be
held to analogy. When language is attributed to
animals, they must not be made to speak in a style
which bears no similitude to some property in their
nature; an owl must not be made to sing like a
nightingale; nor should a raven be made the symbol
ESSAY UPON FABLE.
of an orator. When beasts are made the representa-
tions of men, there ought always to be something in
their nature that bears a similitude to their character.
The same may be said of things inanimate; a strong
man may be compared to a mountain, but it would be
preposterous to make the same comparison of a dwarf.
Vices and virtues ought in the same manner to be
delineated in Fable; a proud man may be compared
to a high hill, a humble person to a low valley. This
is authorised by the writings of the Old Testament:
The hig-h mountains shall be brought low, and every
valley shall be exalted.
When human actions are attributed to invisible
powers, or especially to the Deity, they ought to be
such as are worthy of those ideas which are generally
received concerning him. In this, Homer is very
faulty; for he exalts his men almost to Gods, and
brings down his Gods to the level of beasts.
As for the style of Fable, simplicity is the greatest
excellence; that familiar manner of speech in which
we converse is best suited for the purposes of Fable.
This manner of writing is more difficult to attain
than is generally imagined; it requires a particular
taste, and is harder to imitate than the sublime itself.
The style of a Fable must always be adapted to the
characters which are introduced: for it would be
absurd to make the eagle speak in the same style
with the bat; or the King of the forest express him-
self in the language of the mouse. But in all these
particulars, nature will be the best guide; and where
this is deficient, no art can supply the want of it.
- .- -. -
A~r .., '-. v..
be lffier, bis Zan, ant tbeir ftz.
'Tis better to pursue the dictates of one's own reason, than
attempt to please all mankind.
A MILLER and his Son were driving their Ass
to market, in order to sell him: and that he
might get thither fresh and in good condition,
they drove him on gently before them. They had
not proceeded far, when they met a company of
- .- -. -
A~r .., '-. v..
be lffier, bis Zan, ant tbeir ftz.
'Tis better to pursue the dictates of one's own reason, than
attempt to please all mankind.
A MILLER and his Son were driving their Ass
to market, in order to sell him: and that he
might get thither fresh and in good condition,
they drove him on gently before them. They had
not proceeded far, when they met a company of
2 FABLES. [PART I.
travellers. Sure, say they, you are mighty careful
of your Ass : methinks, one of you might as well get
up and ride, as suffer him to walk on at his ease,
while you trudge after on foot. In compliance with
this advice, the Old Man set his Son upon the beast.
And now, they had scarce advanced a quarter of a
mile farther, before they met another company. You
idle young rogue, said one of the party, why don't
you get down and let your poor Father ride ? Upon
this, the Old Man made his Son dismount, and got up
himself. While they were marching in this manner,
a third company began to insult the Father. You
hard-hearted unnatural wretch, say they, how can
you suffer that poor lad to wade through the dirt,
while you, like an alderman, ride at your ease? The
good-natured Miller stood corrected, and immediately
took his Son up behind him. And now the next man
they met exclaimed, with more vehemence and in-
dignation than all the rest-Was there ever such a
couple of lazy boobies! to overload in so unconscion-
able a manner a poor dumb creature, who is far less
able to carry them than they are to carry him The
complying Old Man would have been half inclined to
make the trial, had not experience by this time suffi-
ciently convinced him, that there cannot be a more
fruitless attempt than to endeavour to please all man-
PART I.] FABLES. 3
Mbe ;Fzx anul tte 33rtatnIe.
We should bear with patience a small evil, when it is connected
with a greater good.
A FOX closely pursued by a pack of dogs took
Shelter under the covert of a Bramble. He
rejoiced in this asylum, and for a while was very
happy: but soon found, that if he attempted to stir,
he was wounded by thorns and prickles on every side.
However, making a virtue of necessity, he forbore to
complain; and comforted himself with reflecting, that
no bliss is perfect; that good and evil are mixed, and
flow from the same fountain. These briars indeed,
said he, will tear my skin a little, yet they keep off
the dogs. For the sake of the good, then, let me bear
the evil with patience: each bitter has its sweet, and
these brambles, though they wound my flesh, preserve
my life from danger.
9beLi 3311llitfI anb tCe Blaze.
We exclaimn. ..- against that inconstancy in another to which
we give occasion by our own.
A FINE powdered Butterfly fell in love with a
beautiful Rose, who expanded her charms in
a neighboring parterre. Matters were soon adjusted
between them, and they mutually vowed eternal
fidelity. The Butterfly, perfectly satisfied with the
success of his amour, took a tender leave of his mis-
tress, and did not return again till noon. What said
the Rose, when she saw him approaching, is the ardent
passion you vowed so soon extinguished ? It is an
age since you paid me a visit. But no wonder: for I
observed you courting by turns every flower in the
garden. You little coquet, replied the Butterfly, it
well becomes you, truly, to reproach me with my
gallantries; when in fact I only copy the example
which you yourself have set me. For, not to men-
tion the satisfaction with which you admitted the
kisses of the fragrant Zephyr, did I not see you dis-
playing your charms to the bee, the fly, the wasp, and,
in short, encouraging and receiving the addresses of
every buzzing insect that fluttered within your view ?
If you will be a coquet, you must expect to find me
Ube Qflack anb tie BiaL
There is no absolute independency in the world; every one
depends in his station upon some above him, and that if this
order was taken away, there would be nothing except error
and confusion in the universe.
A CLOCK, which served for many years to re-
peat the hours and point out time, happened
to fall into conversation with a Dial, which also served,
when the sun shone, to tell what was the time of day.
It happened to be in a cloudy forenoon, when the sun
did not shine. Says the Clock to the Dial, What a
mean slavery do you undergo! you cannot tell the
hour without the sun pleases to inform you; and now
the half of the day is past, and you know not what
o'clock it is. I can tell the hour at any time, and
would not be in such a dependent state as you are in
for the world. Night. and day are both alike to me.
It is just now twelve o'clock. Upon this the sun shone
forth from under the cloud, and showed the exact time
of the day. It was half an hour past twelve. The
Dial then replied to the Clock, You may now perceive
that boasting is not good; for you see you are wrong.
It'is better to be under direction and follow truth,
than to be eye to one's self and go wrong; your
freedom is only a liberty to err; and what you call
slavery in my case, is the only method of being freely
in the right. You see that we should all of us keep
our stations, and depend upon one another. I depend.
upon the sun, and you depend upon me; for if. I did
not serve to regulate your motions, you see you would
for ever go wrong.
Curiosity often excites those people to hazardous undertakings,
whom vanity and indiscretion render totally unfitfor them.
V ANITY and idle curiosity are qualities which
generally prove destructive to those who suffer
themselves to be governed by them.
A Tortoise, weary of passing her days in the same
obscure corner, conceived a wonderful inclination to
visit foreign countries. Two Crows, whom the simple
Tortoise acquainted with her intention, undertook to
oblige her upon the occasion. Accordingly, they
told her, that if she would fasten her mouth to the
middle of a pole, they would take the two ends, and
transport her whithersoever she chose to be conveyed.
The Tortoise approved of the expedient; and every-
thing being prepared, the Crows began their flight
with her. They had not travelled long in the air,
when they were met by a Magpie, who inquiring
what they were bearing along, they replied the queen
of the Tortoises. The Tortoise, vain of the new and
unmerited appellation, was going to confirm the title,
when, opening her mouth for that purpose, she let go
her hold, and was dashed to pieces by her fall.
Ee toaunttg lafti ana tbe Rilhp3aiI. .
When we dwell much on distant and chimerical advantages, we
neglect our present business, and are exposed to real mis-
W HEN men suffer their imagination to amuse
them with the prospect of distant and un-
Scertain improvements of their condition, they fre-
quently sustain real losses by their inattention to
those affairs in which they are immediately con-
A Country Maid was walking very deliberately with
a pail of milk upon her head, when she fell into the
following train of reflections :-The money for which
I shall sell this milk, will enable me to increase my
stock of eggs to three hundred. These eggs, allowing
for what may prove addle, and what may be destroyed
by vermin, will produce at least two hundred and fifty
chickens. The chickens will be fit to carry to market
about Christmas, when poultry always bear a good
price, so that by May-day I cannot fail of having
money enough to purchase a gown. Green !-let me
consider-yes, green becomes my complexion best,
and green it shall be. In this dress I will go to the
fair, where all the young fellows will strive to have
me for a partner; but I shall perhaps refuse every one
of them, and with an air of disdain toss from them.
Transported with this triumphant thought, she could
not forbear acting with her head what thus passed in
her imagination, when down came the pail of milk,
and with it all her imaginary happiness.
Ef % Spibr ant tb e t ilfeatoztm.
He that is employed in works of use generally ,:. ... him-
self or others; while he who toils alone for fame must often
expect to lose his labour.
HOW.vainly we promise ourselves that our flimsy
productions will be rewarded with immortal
honour! A Spider, busied in spreading his web from
one side of a room to the other, was asked by an in-
dustrious Silkworm, to what end he spent so much
time and labour, in making such a number of lines
and circles ? The Spider angrily replied, Do not dis-
turb me, thou ignorant thing: I transmit my ingenuity
to posterity, and fame is the object of my wishes.
Just as he had spoken, a chambermaid, coming into
the room to feed her Silkworms, saw the Spider at
his work, and with one stroke of her broom, swept
him away, and destroyed at once his labours and his
hope of fame.
PART I.J FA BLE II
Zbe 3See anui tbe fIt.
The greatest genius with a vindictive temper is far surbast in
Point of hlppiness by men of talents less considerable.
A BEE, observing a Fly frisking about her hive,
asked him, in a very passionate tone, what he
did there ? Is it for such scoundrels as you, said she,
to intrude into the company of the queens of the air ?
You have great reason, truly, replied the Fly, to be out
of humour. I am sure they must be mad who would
have any concern with so quarrelsome a nation. And
why so ? thou saucy malapert, returned the enraged
Bee; we have the best laws, and are governed by the
best policy in the world. We feed upon the most
fragrant flowers, and all our business is to make
honey: honey which equals nectar, thou tasteless
wretch, who livest upon nothing but putrefaction and
excrement. We live as we can, rejoined the Fly.
Poverty, I hope, is no crime; but passion is one, I
am sure. The honey you make is sweet, I grant you;
but your heart is all bitterness: for to be reveinged on
an enemy, you will destroy your own life; and are so
inconsiderate in your rage, as to do more mischief to
yourselves than to your adversary. Take my word
for it, one had better have less considerable talents,
and use them with more discretion.
3be lurito anb t e fritcbinan.
Custom has a mighty effect upbon mankind, and more diferences
arise in character from custom than from natural causes.
Perhaps all men are in the state they should be in; they
should therefore live contented.
AN airy Frenchman happened to meet a Huron
upon the Mississippi, as he went with his bow
and shafts to seek provision for his family. Says
PART I.] FABLES. 13
Monsieur to the savage, You have a very toilsome life
of it, who, when other people sit by the fireside, en-
joying the benefit of good food and good company,
are obliged to traverse the'woods in the midst of
snow and storms to preserve a wretched existence.
How come you by your food ? replies the Huron.
Does it rain from the clouds to you ? No, says the
Frenchman; we work in summer, and make provision
for winter, and, during the cold months, sit by the fire
and enjoy ourselves. For the same reason, says the
Huron, do we lay up provisions in winter, that we
may rest in summer wheni the days are hot. Your
enjoyments are confined within the walls of a house,
and by the side of a fire, but ours are more extensive;
we assemble upon the mountains and in the woods in
summer for pleasure, and our delights are to observe
the works of nature; the sun serves us instead of fire
to warm us, and we are never at a loss for houses while
the woods remain. This is the season when we lay
up our store, and it serves us in summer till winter
return. We are accustomed to endure the cold, and
our exercise keeps us from feeling it to excess. At
night the skins of wild beasts keep us from the cold
till the morning dawn, and then we pursue the same
employment. Were we not to live in this manner,
the wild beasts would so increase, that they would
become our masters; but our necessity of having food
and clothing prevents them from increasing to very
great numbers. What you account pleasure, would
be none to us; and your manner of life appears as
ridiculous to the Hurons, as ours appears to you.
14 FABLES. [PART I.
You reckon us idolaters, because we pay adoration to
the rising sun; but you misunderstand us; we con-
sider that light to be a symbol of the great Author of
Nature, and only worship him through this luminary.
We do not understand your manner of worship, which
to us appears abundantly absurd; for the Deity is no
more like images of gold and silver, than he is like the
sun. The sun is a more glorious effect of his power
and goodness; for he serves many excellent purposes,
and we could not live without him; but your symbols
appear to have no use. The Frenchman could make
no reply, and the Huron proceeded on his hunting.
PART i.] FABLES.
Gmniuo, FJirtue, antb tputation.
There are few things so irrefarably lost as Refputation.
G ENIUS, Virtue, and Reputation, three intimate
friends, agreed to travel over the island of
Great Britain, to see whatever might be worthy of
observation. But as some misfortune, said they, may
happen to separate us, let us consider before we set
set out by what means we may find each other again.
Should it be my ill fate, said Genius, to be severed
from you, my associates-which Heaven forbid!-
you may find me kneeling in devotion before the
tomb of Shakespear, or rapt in some grove where
Milton talked with angels, or musing in the grotto
where Pope caught inspiration. Virtue, with a sigh,
acknowledged that her friends were not very numer-
ous: but were I to lose you, she cried, with whom I
am at present so happily united, I should choose to
take sanctuary in the temples of religion, in the
places of royalty, or in the stately domes of ministers
of state; but as it may be my ill-fortune to be there
denied admittance, inquire for some cottage where
contentment has a bower, and there you will cer-
tainly find me. Ah! my dear companions, said
Reputation, very earnestly, you, I perceive, when
missing, may possibly be recovered; but take care,
I entreat you, always to keep sight of me, for if I am
once lost, I am never to be retrieved.
,! "j 1"t1 3 '
Itibusttg anb %Iott.
Our term of life does not allow time for long protracted
H OW many live in the world as useless as if they
had never been born They pass through
life like a bird through the air, and leave no track
behind them; waste the prime of their days in deli-
berating what they shall do, and bring them to a
period without coming to any determination.
An indolent young man, being asked why he lay
in bed so long, jocosely and carelessly answered,
Every morning of my life I am hearing causes. I
have two fine girls, their names are Industry and
Sloth, close at my bed-side as soon as ever I awake,
-:'i,.'ii their different suits. One intreats me to get
up, the other persuades me to lie still; and then they
alternately give me various reasons why I should rise,
and why I should not. This detains me so long, as
it is the duty of an impartial judge to hear all that
can be said on either side, that before the pleadings
are over, it is time to go to dinner.
3Cle hIinitit aua t5]e Bteu.
The random zeal of inconsiderate friends is often as .
as te wrath of enemies.
A N imprudent friend often does as much mischief
by his too great zeal as the worst enemy could
effect by his malice.
A certain Hermit having done a good office to a
Bear, the grateful creature was so sensible of his obli-
gation, that he begged to be admitted as the guardian
and companion of his solitude. The Hermit willingly
accepted his offer, and conducted him to his cell,
where they passed their time together in an amicable
manner. One very hot day, the Hermit having laid
him down to sleep, the officious Bear employed him-
self in driving away the flies from his patron's face.
But in spite of all his care, one of the flies perpetually
returned to the attack, and at last settled upon the
Hermit's nose. Now I shall have you most certainly,
said the Bear; and with the best intentions imagin-
able, gave him a violent blow on the face, which very
effectually indeed demolished the Fly, but at the same
time most terribly bruised the face of his benefactor.
VQ ^ie u::-iiigiv anti the 4pifot.
We are nowhere oul of tke reach of Providence, either to
punish or to protect us.
T had blown a violent storm at sea, and the whole
crew of a large vessel were in imminent danger
of shipwreck. After the rolling of the waves were
somewhat abated, a certain Passenger, who had never
been at sea before, observing the Pilot to have ap-
peared wholly unconcerned, even in their greatest
danger, had the curiosity to ask him what death his
father died. What death ? said the Pilot; why he
perished at Sea, as my grandfather did before him.
And are you not afraid of trusting yourself to an
element that has thus proved fatal to your family ?
Afraid !-by no means. Why we must all die: is
not your father dead ? Yes, but he died in his bed.
And why then are you not afraid of trusting yourself
to your bed ? Because I am there perfectly secure.
It may be so, replied the Pilot; but if the hand of
Providence is equally extended over all places, there
is no more reason for me to be afraid of going to sea
than for you to be afraid of going to bed.
6 11 "II
-- = I
________j: gE ^ I -lll lll;l'
Cbe partial 3ubge.
The injuries we do, and those we sufer, are seldom weighed
in the same scales.
A FARMER came to a neighboring Lawyer
expressing great concern for an accident which
he said had just happened. One of your oxen, con-
PART I.] FABLES. 21
tinued he, has been gored by an unlucky bull of mine,
and I shall be glad to know how I am to make you
a reparation. Thou art a very honest fellow, replied
the Lawyer, and wilt not think it unreasonable that I
expect one of thy oxen in return. It is no more than
justice, quoth the Farmer, to be sure; but what did
I say ?-I mistake: it is your bull that has killed one
of my oxen. Indeed says the Lawyer; that alters
the case: I must inquire into the affair; and if-
And if! said the Farmer; the business I find would
have been concluded without an if, had you been
as ready to do justice to others as to exact it from
22 FA BLES. [PART I.
3g ELtonn autb tie Gnat.
Little minds are so much elevated by any advantage gained over
their superiors, that they are often thrown of their guard
against a sudden change offortune.
AVAUNT thou paltry contemptible insect! said
a proud Lion one day to a Gnat that was
frisking about in the air near his den. The Gnat,
enraged at this unprovoked insult, vowed revenge, and
immediately darted into the Lion's ear. After having
sufficiently teased him in that quarter, she quitted
her station and retired under his belly, and from
thence made her last and most formidable attack in
his nostrils, where stinging him almost to madness,
the Lion at length fell down, utterly spent with rage,
vexation, and pain. The Gnat having thus abun-
dantly gratified her resentment, flew off in great
exultation; but in the heedless transports of her
success, not sufficiently attending to her own security,
she found herself unexpectedly entangled in the web
of a spider; who, rushing out instantly upon her, put
an end to her triumph and her life.
This fable instructs us, never to suffer success so
far to transport us as to throw us off our guard against
a reverse of fortune.
4jtce Vo, cut b t* rocabilt.
It is ever dangerous to be long conversant with persons of a
WE can never be too carefully guarded against
a connection with persons of an ill character.
As a dog was coursing on the banks of the Nile,
he grew thirsty; but fearing to be seized by the
monsters of that river, he would not stop to satiate
his draught, but lapped as he ran. A Crocodile,
raising his head above the surface of the water, asked
him, why he was in such a hurry. He had often, he
said, wished for his acquaintance, and should be glad
to embrace the present opportunity. You do me
great honour, returned the Dog, but it is to avoid
such companions as you that I am in so much haste.
Ve Molt i(n ai'^ii.
There would be little chance of detecting hypocrisy, were it not
always addicted to over-act its Part.
D ESIGNING hypocrites frequently lay them-
selves open to discovery by over-acting their
A Wolf, who by frequent visits to a flock of sheep
in his neighbourhood, began to be extremely well
known to them, thought it expedient, for the more
successfully carrying on his depredations, to appear
in a new character. To this end he disguised himself
in a shepherd's habit; and resting his fore-feet upon
a stick, which served him by way of crook, he softly
made his approaches towards the fold. It happened
that the shepherd and his dog were both of them
extended on the grass fast asleep; so that he would
certainly have succeeded in his project, if he had
not imprudently attempted to imitate the shepherd's
voice. The horrid noise awakened them both : when
the Wolf, encumbered with his disguise, and finding
it impossible either to resist or to flee, yielded up his
life an easy prey to the shepherd's dog.
FABLE X VIII
Ubfe z anub fi's ffiaster.
Avarice often misses its point, through the means it uses to
A DILIGENT Ass, daily loaded beyond his
strength by a severe Master, whom he had
long served, and who kept him at very short com-
mons, happened one day in his old age to be oppressed
with a more than ordinary burthen of earthenware.
His strength being much impaired, and the road
deep and uneven, he unfortunately made a trip, and,
unable to recover himself, fell down and broke all
the vessels to pieces. His Master, transported with
rage, began to beat him most unmercifully. Against
whom the poor Ass, lifting up his head as he lay on
the ground, thus strongly remonstrated: Unfeeling
wretch to thy own avaricious cruelty, in first pinch-
ing me of food, and then loading me beyond my
strength, thou owest the misfortune which thou so
unjustly imputest to me.
-.. ix. ,
L jJ z -9
9be Eagle ant tte &tin.
A false estimate of our own abilities ever exyoses us to ridicule,
and sometimes to danger.
TO mistake our own talents, or over-rate our
abilities, is always ridiculous, and sometimes
An Eagle, from the top of a high mountain, making
a stoop at a lamb, pounced upon it, and bore it away
to her young. A Crow, who had built her nest in a
cedar near the foot of the rock, observing what
passed, was ambitious of performing the same ex-
ploit; and darting from her nest, fixed her talons in
the fleece of another lamb. But neither able to move
her prey, nor to disentangle her feet, she was taken
by the shepherd, and carried away for his children to
play with; who eagerly enquiring what bird it was:
-An hour ago, said he, she fancied herself an eagle;
however, I suppose she is by this time convinced that
she is but a crow.
9-be 3Lion, tbe iTocr, anil theS atx
The intemperate rage of clients gives the lawyer an opportunity
of seizing the property in dispute.
A LION and a Tyger jointly seized on a young
fawn, which they immediately killed. This
they had no sooner performed than they fell a fight-
ing, in order to decide whose property it should be.
The battle was so bloody and so obstinate that they
were both compelled, through weariness and loss of
blood, to desist; and lay down by mutual consent,
totally disabled. At this instant, a Fox unluckily
came by; who, perceiving their situation, made bold
to seize the contested prey, and bore it off unmolested.
As soon as the Lion could recover his breath,-How
foolish, said he, has been our conduct! Instead of.
being contented, as we ought, with our respective
shares, our senseless rage has rendered us unable to
prevent this rascally Fox from defrauding us of the
Ube LifoI anm tbe Raa.
A total neglect is the best return the generous can make to the
scurrility of the base.
A CONCEITED Ass had once the impertinence
to bray forth some contemptuous speeches
against the Lion. The suddenness of the insult at
first raised some emotions of wrath in his breast; but
turning his head, and perceiving from whence it came,
they immediately subsided, and he very sedately
walked on, without deigning to honour the contemp-
tible creature even so much as with an angry word.
30 FABLES. [PARr I.
The fomenter of mischief is at least as culpable as he who puts
it in execution.
A TRUMPETER in a certain army happened to
be taken prisoner. He was ordered immedi-
ately to execution; but pleaded, in excuse for himself,
that it was unjust a person should suffer death, who,
far from an intention of mischief, did not even wear
an offensive weapon. So much the rather, replied one
of the enemy, shalt thou die; since without any design
of fi :;hting thyself, thou excitest others to the bloody
business: for he that is the abetter of a bad action, is
at least equally guilty with him that commits it.
ea ~e ar atu tije Bez.
It were more prudent to acquiesce under an injury from a single
person, than by an act of vengeance to bring upon us the
resentment of a whole community.
A BEAR happened to be stung by a Bee, and the
pain was so acute, that in the madness of re-
venge he ran into the garden and overturned the hive.
This outrage provoked their anger to a high degree,
and brought the fury of the whole swarm upon him.
They attacked him with such violence, that his life
was in danger, and it was with the. utmost difficulty
that he made his escape, wounded from head to tail.
In this desperate condition, lamenting his misfortunes,
and licking his sores, he could not forbear reflecting
how much more advisable it had been to have patiently
acqtuiesced under one injury, than thus by an unpro-
fitable resentment to have provoked a thousand.
Zbe aft anB t~e .tuilluou.
The courage of meeting death in an honourable cause is more
commendable, than any address or artifice we can make use
of to evade it.
A CONCEITED Willow had once the vanity to
challenge his mighty neighbour the Oak to a
trial of strength. It was to be determined by the
next storm; and AEolus was addressed by both parties
to exert his most powerful efforts. This was no
sooner asked than granted ; and a violent hurricane
arose, when the pliant Willow, bending from the blast,
or shrinking under her, evaded all its force, while the
generous Oak, disdaining to give way, opposed its
fury, and was torn up by the roots. Immediately the
Willow began to exult, and to claim the victory, when
thus the fallen Oak interrupted his exultation: Callest
thou this a trial of strength ? Poor wretch not to
thy strength, but weakness; not to thy boldly facing
danger, but meanly skulking from it, thou owest thy
present safety. I am an Oak, though fallen; thou still
a Willow, though unhurt: but who, except so mean a
wretch as thyself, would prefer an ignominious life,
preserved by craft or cowardice, to the glory of meet-
ing death in an honourable cause?
FABLE XX V.
9be 33ear aunb the &oa ffrintbs.
Cowards are incapable of true FriendshiP.
TWO Friends, setting out together upon a journey
which led through a dangerous forest, mutually
promised to assist each other if they should happen
to be assaulted. They had not proceeded far before
they perceived a Bear making towards them with
34 FFABLES. [PART I.
great rage. There were no hopes in flight; but one
of them, being very active, sprung up into a tree;
upon which the other, throwing himself flat on the
ground, held his breath, and pretended to be dead,
remembering to have heard it asserted that this
creature will not prey upon a dead carcase. The
Bear came up, and after smelling to him for some
time, left him, and went on. When he was fairly out
of sight and hearing, the hero from the tree calls out
-Well, my friend, what said the Bear? He seemed
to whisper you very closely. He did so, replied the
other, and gave me this good piece of advice: Never
to associate with a wretch who in the hour of danger
will desert his friend.
PART i.] FABLES.
abe Wasls anb tbe 38ee.
It is a folly to arrogate works to ourselves of whick we are by
no means capable.
P RETENDERS of every kind are best detected
by appealing to their works.
Some honeycombs being claimed by a swarm of
Wasps, the right owners protested against their
demand, and the cause was referred to a Hornet.
Witnesses being examined, they deposed that certain
winged creatures, who had a loud hum, were of a
yellowish colour, and somewhat like bees, were ob-
served a considerable time hovering about the place
where this nest was found. But this did not suffi-
ciently decide the question; for these characteristics,
the Hornet observed, agreed no less with the Bees than
with the Wasps. At length a sensible old Bee offered
to put the matter upon this decisive issue: Let a
place be appointed by the court, said he, for the
plaintiffs and defendants to work in. It will then
soon appear which of us are capable of forming such
regular cells, and afterwards of filling them with so
delicious a fluid. The Wasps refusing to agree to
this proposal, sufficiently convinced the judge on
which side the right lay, and he decreed the honey-
FABLE XX VII.
jrfattunte at the Jdjcobby.
We are always ready to censure Fortune for the ill effects of our
A SCHOOL-BOY, fatigued with play, threw him-
self down by the brink of a deep pit, where he
fell fast asleep. Fortune happening to pass by, saw
him in this dangerous situation, and kindly gave him
a tap on the shoulder: My dear child, said she, if you
had fallen into this pit, I should have borne the blame;
though in fact the accident would have been wholly
owing to your own carelessness.
Misfortune, said a celebrated Cardinal, is but
another word for imprudence. The maxim is by
no means absolutely true: certain, however, it is,
that mankind suffer more evils from their own im-
prudence, than from events which it is not in their
power to control.
FABLE XX VII.
Efz 3SAI-g anl tje Limbs.
It is a folly even to wish to withhold our fart from the sufpiort
of civil government.
M ENENIUS AGRIPPA, a Roman Consul, being
deputed by the senate to appease a dangerous
tumult and sedition of the people, who refused to pay
the taxes necessary for carrying on the business of
the state, convinced them of their folly by delivering
to them the following fable:-
My friends and countrymen, said he, attend to my
words. It once happened that the Members of the
human body, taking some exception at the conduct
of the Belly, resolved no longer to grant him the usual
supplies. The Tongue first, in a seditious speech,
aggravated their grievances; and after highly ex-
tolling the activity and diligence of the Hands and
Feet, set forth how hard and unreasonable it was that
the fruits of their labour should be squandered away
upon the insatiable cravings of a fat and indolent
Paunch, which was entirely useless, and unable to do
anything towards helping himself. This speech was
received with unanimous applause by all the Members.
Immediately the Hands declared they would work no
more; the Feet determined to carry no further the
load of guts with which they had hitherto been op-
pressed; nay, the very Teeth refused to prepare a
single morsel more for his use. In this distress, the
Belly bethought them to consider maturely, and not
foment so senseless a rebellion. There is none of you,
says he, can be ignorant that whatsoever you bestow
upon me is immediately converted to your use, and
dispersed by me for the good of you all into every
Limb. But he remonstrated in vain ; for during the
clamours of passion, the voice of reason is always
disregarded. It being therefore impossible for him
to quiet the tumult, he starved for want of their
assistance, and the body wasted away to a skeleton.
The Limbs, grown weak and languid, were sensible at
last of their error, and would fain have returned to
their respective duties; but it was now too late, death
had taken possession of the whole, and they all
ii --"is -.----- '
-._________ --._-___ ,_ ,.._ .._ _
pEtc Wolt anBt tle L amb.
They wzo do not feel the sentiments of azumanity will seldom
listen to the pleas of reason.
W HEN cruelty and injustice are armed with
power, and determined on oppression, the
strongest pleas of innocence are preferred in vain.
A Wolf and a Lamb were accidentally quenching
their thirst together at the same rivulet. The Wolf
stood towards the head of the stream, and the Lamb
at some distance below. The injurious beast, resolved
on a quarrel, fiercely demands-How dare you dis-
turb the water which I am drinking? The poor Lamb,
all trembling, replies, How, I beseech you, can that
possibly be the case, since the current sets from you
to me? Disconcerted by the force of truth, he
changes the accusation. Six months ago, says he,
you vilely slandered me. Impossible, returns the
Lamb, for I was not then born. No matter, it was
your father, then, or some of your relations; and im-
mediately seizing the innocent Lamb, he tore him to
I!( i lllJ,' ."".' .......... 7 -' ,,,,I I II /
money, generally subjects us at least to tenfold ridicule.
WHEN a pert young Templar or city apprentice
sets up for a fine gentleman, with the assist-
ance of an embroidered waistcoat and Dresden ruffles,
but without one qualification proper to the character,
how frequently does it happen that he is laughed at
by his equals, and despised by those whom he pre-
sumed to imitate!
A pragmatic Jackdaw was vain enough to imagine
that he wanted nothing but the coloured plumes to
render him as elegant a bird as the Peacock. Puffed
up with this wise conceit, he dressed himself with a
sufficient quantity of their most beautiful feathers,
and in this borrowed garb, forsaking his old com-
panions, endeavoured to pass for a Peacock; but he
no sooner attempted to associate with these genteel
creatures, than an affected strut betrayed the vain
pretender. The offended Peacocks, plucking from
him their degraded feathers, soon stripped him of
his finery, reduced him to a mere Jackdaw, and drove
him back to his brethren, by whom he was now
equally despised, and justly punished with derision
%a-' T i' 7vy
-t 4. ; 4
f3ke Wolf anb the %1epbIetos.
We severely censnre that in others, which we ourselves practise
H OW apt are men to condemn in others what
they practise themselves without scruple!
A Wolf, says Plutarch, peeping into a hut where a
company of Shepherds were regaling themselves with
a joint of mutton; Lord, said he, what a clamour
would these men have raised if they had catched me
at such a banquet!
9be lEagle anb tlc @il.
The fartiality of parents often makes themselves ridiculous, and
their children unhai fy.
AN Eagle and an Owl having entered into a league
of mutual amity, one of the articles of their
treaty was, that the former should not prey upon the
younglings of the latter. But tell me, said the Owl,
should you know my little ones if you were to see
them? Indeed I should not, replied the Eagle; but
if you describe them to me, it will be sufficient. You
are to observe, then, returned the Owl, in the first
place, that the charming creatures are perfectly well
shaped ; in the next, that there is a remarkable
sweetness and vivacity in their countenances; and
then there is something in their voices so peculiarly
melodious. It is enough, interrupted the Eagle; by
these marks I cannot fail of distinguishing them; and
you may depend upon their never receiving any injury
from me. It happened, not long afterwards, as the
Eagle was upon the wing in quest of his prey, that he
discovered amidst the ruins of an old castle a nest of
grim-faced ugly birds, with gloomy countenances,
and a voice like that of the Furies. These, undoubt-
edly, said he, cannot be the offspring of my friend,
and so I shall venture to make free with them. He
had scarce finished his repast and departed, when the
Owl returned; who, finding nothing of her brood re-
maining but some fragments of the mangled carcases,
broke out into the most bitter exclamations against
the cruel and perfidious author of her calamity. A
neighboring Bat, who overheard her lamentations,
and had been witness to what had passed between
her and the Eagle, very gravely told her that she had
nobody to blame for this misfortune but herself,
whose blind prejudices in favour of her children had
prompted her to give such a description of them as
did not resemble them in any one single feature or
Parents should very carefully guard against that
weak partiality towards their children which renders
them blind to their failings and imperfections, as no
disposition is more likely to prove prejudicial to their
Ebte Sidt i(fan, te ffox, anb tie bolf.
Men who meditate mischief, suggest the same to others; and
generally pay dear for theirfrowardgratifications.
A LION, having surfeited himself with feasting
too luxuriously on the carcase of a wild boar,
was seized with a violent and dangerous disorder.
The beasts of the forest flocked in great numbers to
pay their respects to him upon the occasion, and
scarce one was absent except the Fox. The Wolf,
an ill-natured and malicious beast, seized this oppor-
tunity to accuse the Fox of pride, ingratitude, and
disaffection to his majesty. In the midst of his
invective, the Fox entered; who having heard part
of the Wolf's accusation, and observing the Lion's
countenance to be kindled into wrath, thus adroitly
excused himself, and retorted upon his accuser: I see
.....I,,,, .... ,, i i
many here who with mere lip service have pretended
to shew you their loyalty ; but for my part, from the
moment I heard of your majesty's illness, neglecting
useless compliments, I employed myself day and
night to enquire among the most learned physicians
an infallible remedy for your disease, and have at
length happily been informed of one. It is a plaister
made of part of a Wolf's skin, taken warm from his
back, and laid to your majesty's stomach. This
remedy was no sooner proposed than it was deter-
mined that the experiment should be tried; and
whilst the operation was performing, the Fox, with
a sarcastic smile, whispered this useful maxim in the
Wolf's ear-If you would be safe from harm your-
self, learn for the future not to meditate mischief
PART Li FA BLES.
Cle 33Binb Nan anb the Lamne.
The wants and weaknesses of individuals form the connections
A BLIND man, being stopped in a bad piece of
road, meets with a Lame man, and intreats
him to guide him through the difficulty he was got
into. How can I do that, replied the Lame man,
since I am scarce able to drag myself along ? But
as you appear to be very strong, if you will carry me,
we will seek our fortunes together. It will then be
my interest to warn you of anything that may
obstruct your way; your feet shall be my feet, and
my eyes yours. With all my heart, returned the
Blind Man; let us render each other our mutual
services. So taking his lame companion on his back,
they by means of their union travelled on with safety
FA EL ES. [PART I.
gfyz fLian, the 38tar, tle mTankey, anb tfle orx.
It is often mUore prudent to suppress our sentiments than either
to flatter or to rail.
THE Tyrant of the forest issued a proclamation,
commanding all his subjects to repair immedi-
ately to his royal den. Among the rest the Bear
made his appearance; but pretending to be offended
with the steams which issued from the monarch's
apartments, he was imprudent enough to hold his
nose in his majesty's presence. This insolence was
so highly resented, that the Lion in a rage laid him
dead at his feet. The Monkey, observing what had
passed, trembled for his carcase; and attempted to
conciliate favour by the most abject flattery. He
began with protesting, that for his part he thought
the apartments were perfumed with Arabian spices;
and exclaiming :., ,I',.-t the rudeness of the Bear,
admired the beauty of his majesty's paws, so happily
formed, he said, to correct the insolence of clowns.
This fulsome adulation, instead of being received as
he expected, proved no less offensive than the rude-
ness of the Bear; and the courtly Monkey was in
like manner extended by the side of Sir Bruin. And
now his majesty cast his eye upon the Fox. Well,
Reynard, said he, and what scent do you discover
here? Great prince, replied the cautious Fox, my
nose was never esteemed my most distinguishing
sense; and at present I would by no means venture
to give my opinion, as I have unfortunately got a
FABLE XXX VI.
The object of our pride is often the cause of our misfortunes.
TWO Horses were travelling the road together;
one loaded with a sack of flour, the other with
a sum of money. The latter, proud of his splendid
burthen, tossed up his head with an air of conscious
superiority, and every now and then cast a look of
contempt upon his humble companion. In passing
through a wood, they were met by a gang of high-
waymen, who immediately seized upon the horse that
was carrying the treasure; but the spirited steed not
being altogether disposed to stand so quietly as was
necessary for their purpose, they beat him most un-
mercifully, and after plundering him of his boasted
load, left him to lament at his leisure the cruel bruises
he had received. Friend, said his despised com-
panion to him (who had now reason to triumph in his
turn), distinguished posts are often dangerous to those
who possess them: if you had served a miller, as I
do, you might have travelled the road unmolested.
FABLE XXX VII
Ridicule affpears with a very illgrace in persons who possess
no one talent beside.
T HERE is a certain bird in the West Indies,
which has the faculty of mimicking the notes
of every other songster, without being able himself to
add any original strains to the concert. As one of
these Mock-birds was displaying his talent of ridicule
among the branches of a venerable wood: 'Tis very
well, said a little warbler, speaking in the name of all
the rest; we grant you that our music is not without
its faults: but why will you not favour us with a
strain of your own ?
* 11 it/
FABLE XXX VIII.
Efy I'nt anb tbe Caterpillar.
Boys ofno very promising affearance often become the greatest
AS a Caterpillar was advancing very slowly along
one of the alleys of a beautiful garden, he was
met by a pert lively Ant, who tossing up her head
with a scornful air, cried, Prithee get out of the way,
thou poor creeping animal, and do not presume to
obstruct the paths of thy superiors, by wriggling
along the road, and besmearing the walks appro-
priated to their footsteps. Poor creature! thou
lookest like a thing half-made, which Nature not
liking threw by unfinished. I could almost pity thee,
methinks; but it is beneath one of my quality to
talk to such mean creatures as thou art: and so, poor
crawling wretch, adieu.
The humble Caterpillar, struck dumb with this
disdainful language, retired, went to work, wound
himself up in a silken cell, and at the appointed time
came out a beautiful Butterfly. Just as he was
sallying forth, he observed the scornful Ant passing
by. Proud insect, said he, stop a moment, and learn
from the circumstances in which you now see me,
never to despise any one for that condition in which
Providence has thought fit to place him; as there is
none so mean but may one day, either in this state
or in a better, be exalted above those who looked
down upon him with unmerited contempt.
Ube QMaa Sijarbz.
The superior safety of an obscure and humble station, is a balance
for the honours of high and envied life.
AS two Lizards were basking under a south
wall, How contemptible, said one of them,
is our condition We exist, 'tis true, but that is all:
for we hold no sort-of rank in the creation, and are
utterly unnoticed by the world. Cursed obscurity!
Why was I not rather born a stag, to range at large,
the pride and glory of some royal forest? It
happened, that in the midst of these unjust murmurs,
a pack of hounds was heard in full cry after the very
creature he was envying, who, being quite spent with
the chase, was torn in pieces by the dogs in sight of
our two Lizards. And is this the lordly stag, whose
place in the creation you wish to hold? said the
wiser Lizard to his complaining friend: Let his sad
fate teach you to bless Providence for placing you
in that humble situation, which secures you from the
dangers of a more elevated rank.
',. --- -l
Folly, passing with men for wisdom, makes each contented with
his own share of understanding.
J UPITER, in order to please mankind, directed
Mercury to give notice that he had established
a Lottery, in which there were no blanks; and that
Iri own shreo udrsadig
a Lottery, in which there were no blanks; and that
PART I.] FABLES. 55
amongst a variety of other valuable chances, Wisdom
was the highest prize. It was Jupiter's command,
that in this Lottery some of the gods should also
become adventurers. The tickets being disposed of,
and the wheels placed, Mercury was employed to
preside at the drawing. It happened that the best
prize fell to Minerva: upon which a general murmur
ran through the assembly, and hints were thrown out
that Jupiter had used some unfair practices to secure
this desirable lot to his daughter. Jupiter, that he
might at once both punish and silence these impious
clamours of the human race, presented them with
Folly in the place of Wisdom; with which they went
away perfectly well contented. And from that time
the greatest Fools have always looked upon them-
selves as the wisest men.
FABLES. [PART I.
Cbe snipe footer.
We often miss our point by .-' .- our attention.
AS a sportsman ranged the fields with his gun,
attended by an experienced old Spaniel, he
happened to spring a Snipe; and almost at the same
instant, a covey of Partridges. Surprised at the
accident, and divided in his aim, he let fly too inde-
terminately, and by this means missed them both.
Ah, my good master, said the Spaniel, you should
never have two aims at once. Had you not been
dazzled and seduced by the luxurious hope of Part-
ridge, you would most probably have secured your
Our own moderation will not secure us from disturbance, if we
connect ourselves with men of turbulent and .. dis-
HASTY and inconsiderate connections are gener-
ally attended with great disadvantages: and
much of every man's good or ill fortune depends
upon the choice he makes of his friends.
A good-natured Spaniel overtook a surly Mastiff,
as he was travelling upon the high road. Tray,
although an entire stranger to Tyger, very civilly
accosted him: And if it would be no interruption,
he said, he should be glad to bear him company on
his way. Tyger, who happened not to be altogether
in so growling a mood as usual, accepted the pro-
posal; and they very amicably pursued their journey
together. In the midst of their conversation they
arrived at the next village, where Tyger began to