In Prose and Verse.
WITH TWENTY-FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS
BY HARRISON WEIR.
GRIFFITH AND FARRAN,
(SUCCESSORS TO NEWBERY AND HARRIS),
CORNER OF ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD.
* * * * *
I. THE FOX AND THE GOAT
II. THE FROG AND THE OX
III. THE MAN AND HIS GOOSE
IV. THE LION AND OTHER BEASTS
V. THE DOVE AND THE ANT
VI. THE FOX WITHOUT A TAIL
VII. THE BUTTERFLY AND THE SNAIL
VIII. THE WOLF AND THE CRANE
IX. THE FROG AND THE RAT
X. THE FIGHTING COCK AND EAGLE
XI. THE DIAMOND AND THE LOADSTONE
XII. THE BEAR AND THE BEES
XIII. THE FROGS DESIRING A KING
XIV. THE FOX AND THE BOAR
XV. THE VINE AND THE GOAT
XVI. THE DISCONTENTED HORSE
XVII. THE MOUNTAIN IN LABOUR
XVIII. THE FOX AND THE STORK
XIX. THE HORSE AND THE STAG
XX. THE LION WOUNDED
XXI. THE ASS IN THE LION'S SKIN
XXII. JUPITER AND THE FARMER
XXIII. THE VAIN JACKDAW
XXIV. THE VIPER AND THE FILE
XXV. THE WOLF AND THE LAMB
XXVI. THE OLD BULLFINCH AND YOUNG BIRDS
XXVII. THE MOUSE AND THE WEASEL
XXVIII. THE OLD HOUND
XXIX. THE CHARGER AND THE ASS
XXX. THE COLT AND THE FARMER
XXXI. THE LARK AND HER YOUNG ONES
XXXII. THE FOX AND THE CROW
XXXIII. THE PEACOCK'S COMPLAINT
XXXIV. THE STAG IN THE OX-STALL
XXXV. THE WIND AND THE SUN
XXXVI. THE TRAVELLERS AND THE BEAR
XXXVII. THE DOG AND THE SHADOW
XXXVIII. THE HERMIT AND THE BEAR
XXXIX. THE SHEPHERD'S BOY AND THE WOLF
XL. THE FAWN AND HER MOTHER
XLI. THE TORTOISE AND THE EAGLE
XLII. THE BROTHER AND SISTER
XLIII. THE SHEPHERD'S DOG AND WOLF
XLIV. THE COVETOUS MAN
XLV. THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE
XLVI. THE HOG AND THE ACORNS
XLVII. THE COUNTRY MOUSE AND THE CITY MOUSE
XLVIII. THE CAT AND THE MICE
XLIX. THE KID AND THE WOLF
L. THE COUNCIL OF HORSES
LI. THE ASS AND THE LITTLE DOG
LII. THE LION AND THE FOUR BULLS
LIII. THE LEOPARD AND THE FOX
LIV. THE WARRIOR WOLF
LV. THE BELLY AND THE MEMBERS
LVI. THE CUR, THE HORSE, AND THE SHEPHERD'S DOG
LVII. THE JACKDAW AND THE EAGLE
LVIII. THE ASS AND THE LION HUNTING
LIX. THE WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING
LX. THE TWO BEES
LXI. THE TURKEY AND THE ANT
LXII. THE DOG AND THE WOLF
LXIII. THE SATYR AND THE TRAVELLER
LXIV. THE BARLEY-MOW AND THE DUNGHILL
LXV. THE SHEEP-BITER AND SHEPHERD
LXVI. THE STAG AT THE POOL
LXVII. THE OLD SWALLOWS AND THE YOUNG BIRDS
LXVIII. THE WAGGONER AND THE BUTTERFLY
LXIX. THE LION, THE BEAR AND THE FOX
LXX. THE FOX AND THE GRAPES
LXXI. THE HARE AND MANY FRIENDS
LXXII. THE COCK AND THE FOX
LXXIII. THE LION AND THE MOUSE
LXXIV. THE TRUMPETER TAKEN PRISONER
LXXV. THE MOUSE AND THE ELEPHANT
LXXVI. THE HUSBANDMAN AND HIS SONS
LXXVII. THE BALD KNIGHT
LXXVIII. THE DOG IN THE MANGER
LXXIX. THE OLD MAN AND DEATH
LXXX. THE OLD HEN AND YOUNG COCK
LXXXI. MERCURY AND THE WOODMAN
LXXXII. THE WOLF AND THE KID
LXXXIII. THE OLD MAN AND HIS SONS
LXXXIV. THE BROOK AND THE FOUNTAIN
LXXXV. THE MICE IN COUNCIL
LXXXVI. THE FOX IN THE WELL
LXXXVII. THE HORSE AND THE WOLF
LXXXVIII. THE TWO SPRINGS
LXXXIX. THE COUNTRYMAN AND THE RAVEN
XC. THE FOX AND THE BRAMBLE
XCI. HERCULES AND THE CARTER
XCII. THE BOYS AND THE FROGS
XCIII. THE COCK AND THE JEWEL
XCIV. THE NIGHTINGALE AND THE GLOW-WORM
XCV. THE FOX AND THE SICK LION
XCVI. THE LION, THE FOX, AND THE GEESE
XCVII. THE ONE-EYED DOE
XCVIII. THE FOX, THE RAVEN, AND THE DOVE
XCIX. THE TWO POTS
C. THE TWO FROGS
CI. THE FOX AND THE MASK
CII. THE CAT, THE COCK, AND THE YOUNG MOUSE
CIII. THE MICE AND THE TRAP
CIV. THE CHAMELEON
CV. THE WOLF, THE FOX, AND THE ASS
CVI. THE BOY AND THE BUTTERFLY
CVII. THE CROW AND THE PITCHER
* * * * *
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
1. THE FROG AND THE OX (Frontispiece)
2. THE FOX WITHOUT A TAIL
3. THE FIGHTING COCK AND EAGLE
4. THE VINE AND THE GOAT
5. THE LION WOUNDED
6. THE WOLF AND THE LAMB
7. THE CHARGER AND THE ASS
8. THE FOX AND THE CROW
9. THE DOG AND THE SHADOW
10. THE FAWN AND HER MOTHER
11. THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE
12. THE KID AND THE WOLF
13. THE LEOPARD AND THE FOX
14. THE JACKDAW AND THE EAGLE
15. THE DOG AND THE WOLF
16. THE STAG AT THE POOL
17. THE FOX AND THE GRAPES
18. THE LION AND THE MOUSE
19. THE DOG IN THE MANGER
20. THE WOLF AND THE GOAT
21. THE HORSE AND THE WOLF
22. THE COCK AND THE JEWEL
23. THE ONE-EYED DOE
24. THE FOX AND THE MASK
* * * * *
THE FOX AND THE GOAT.
In the extreme end of a village a Fox one day went to have a peep at a hen-roost. He had the bad luck to fall into a well, where he swam first to this side, and then to that side, but could not get out with all his pains. At last, as chance would have it, a poor Goat came to the same place to seek for some drink. "So ho! friend Fox," said he, "you quaff it off there at a great rate: I hope by this time you have quenched your thirst." "Thirst!" said the sly rogue; "what I have found here to drink is so clear, and so sweet, that I cannot take my fill of it; do, pray, come down, my dear, and have a taste of it." With that, in plumped the Goat as he bade him; but as soon as he was down, the Fox jumped on his horns, and leaped out of the well in a trice; and as he went off, "Good bye, my wise friend," said he; "if you had as much brains as you have beard, I should have been in the well still, and you might have stood on the brink of it to laugh at me, as I now do at you."
A rogue will give up the best friend he has to get out of a scrape; so that we ought to know what a man is, that we may judge how far we may trust to what he says.
THE FROG AND THE OX.
An old Frog, being wonderfully struck with the size and majesty of an Ox that was grazing in the marshes, was seized with the desire to expand herself to the same portly magnitude. After puffing and swelling for some time, "What think you," said she, to her young ones, "will this do?" "Far from it," said they. "Will this?" "By no means." "But this surely will?" "Nothing like it," they replied. After many fruitless and ridiculous efforts to the same purpose, the foolish Frog burst her skin, and miserably expired upon the spot.
To attempt what is out of our power, and to rival those greater than ourselves, is sure to expose us to contempt and ruin.
THE MAN AND HIS GOOSE.
A CERTAIN Man had a Goose, which laid him a golden egg every day. But, not contented with this, which rather increased than abated his avarice, he was resolved to kill the Goose, and cut up her belly, so that he might come to the inexhaustible treasure which he fancied she had within her, without being obliged to wait for the slow production of a single egg daily. He did so, and, to his great sorrow and disappointment, found nothing within.
The man that hastes to become rich often finds that he has only brought on ruin.
THE LION AND OTHER BEASTS.
The Bull, and several other beasts, were ambitious of the honour of hunting with the Lion. His savage Majesty graciously condescended to their desire; and it was agreed that they should have an equal share in whatever might be taken. They scour the forest, are unanimous in the pursuit, and, after a long chase, pull down a noble stag. It was divided with great dexterity by the Bull into four equal parts; but just as he was going to secure his share—"Hold!" says the Lion, "let no one presume to help himself till he hath heard our just and reasonable claims. I seize upon the first quarter by virtue of my prerogative; the second I claim as due to my superior conduct and courage; I cannot forego the third, on account of the necessities of my den; and if anyone is inclined to dispute my right to the fourth, let him speak." Awed by the majesty of his frown, and the terror of his paws, they silently withdrew, resolving never to hunt again but with their equals.
Be certain that those who have great power are honest before you place yourselves in their hands, or you will be deprived of your just rights.
THE DOVE AND THE ANT.
The Ant, compelled by thirst, went to drink in a clear, purling rivulet; but the current, with its circling eddy, snatched her away, and carried her down the stream. A Dove, pitying her distressed condition, cropped a branch from a neighbouring tree and let it fall into the water, by means of which the Ant saved herself and got ashore. Not long after, a Fowler, having a design against the Dove, planted his nets in due order, without the bird's observing what he was about; which the Ant perceiving, just as he was going to put his design into execution, she bit his heel, and made him give so sudden a start, that the Dove took the alarm, and flew away.
Kindness to others seldom fails of its reward; and none is so weak that he may not be able in some fashion to repay it. Let us show kindness without looking for a return, but a blessing will surely follow.
THE FOX WITHOUT A TAIL.
A FOX being caught in a steel trap by his tail, was glad to compound for his escape with the loss of it; but on 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 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 propose it for their imitation as a fashion which would be very agreeable and becoming. He did so, and made a long harangue upon the unprofitableness of tails in general, and endeavoured chiefly to show the awkwardness and inconvenience 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 experience; 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 Fox in the company, who understood trap, answered him, with a leer, "I believe 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."
It is common for men to wish others reduced to their own level, and we ought to guard against such advice as may proceed from this principle.
THE BUTTERFLY AND THE SNAIL.
As in the sunshine of the morn, A Butterfly, but newly born, Sat proudly perking on a rose, With pert conceit his bosom glows; His wings, all glorious to behold, Bedropt with azure, jet and gold, Wide he displays; the spangled dew Reflects his eyes, and various hue.
His now forgotten friend, a Snail, Beneath his house, with slimy trail, Crawls o'er the grass; whom, when he spies, In wrath he to the gardener cries:
"What means yon peasant's daily toil, From choaking weeds to rid the soil? Why wake you to the morning's care? Why with new arts correct the year? Why glows the peach with crimson hue? And why the plum's inviting blue? Were they to feast his taste designed, That vermin, of voracious kind? Crush, then, the slow, the pilf'ring race; So purge thy garden from disgrace."
"What arrogance!" the Snail replied; "How insolent is upstart pride! Hadst thou not thus, with insult vain, Provoked my patience to complain, I had concealed thy meaner birth, Nor traced thee to the scum of earth: For, scarce nine suns have wak'd the hours, To swell the fruit, and paint the flowers, Since I thy humbler life surveyed, In base, in sordid guise arrayed; A hideous insect, vile, unclean, You dragg'd a slow and noisome train; And from your spider-bowels drew Foul film, and spun the dirty clue. I own my humble life, good friend; Snail was I born, and Snail shall end. And what's a Butterfly? At best, He's but a Caterpillar, dress'd; And all thy race (a numerous seed) Shall prove of Caterpillar breed."
All upstarts, insolent in place, Remind us of their vulgar race.
THE WOLF AND THE CRANE.
A WOLF, after too greedily 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 even promised a reward to anyone who should undertake the operation with success. At last the Crane, tempted with the lucre of the reward, and having first made the Wolf 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 expected the promised gratuity; when the Wolf, turning his eyes disdainfully towards him, said, "I did not think you had been so unreasonable! Have I not suffered you safely to draw your neck out of my jaws? And have you the conscience to demand a further reward?"
When we do good to bad men, we must not expect good from them.
THE FROG AND THE RAT.
Once on a time, a foolish Frog, Vain, proud, and stupid as a log, Tired with the marsh, her native home, Imprudently abroad would roam, And fix her habitation where She'd breathe at least a purer air. She was resolved to change, that's poz; Could she be worse than where she was?
Away the silly creature leaps. A Rat, who saw her lab'ring steps, Cried out, "Where in this hurry, pray? You certainly will go astray!"
"Ne'er fear; I quit that filthy bog, Where I so long have croaked incog: People of talents, sure, should thrive, And not be buried thus alive. But, pray (for I'm extremely dry), Know you of any water nigh?"
"None," said the Rat, "you'll reach to-day, As you so slowly make your way. Believe a friend, and take my word, This jaunt of yours is quite absurd. Go to your froggery again; In your own element remain." No: on the journey she was bent, Her thirst increasing as she went; For want of drink she scarce can hop, And yet despairing of a drop: Too late she moans her folly past; She faints, she sinks, she breathes her last.
Vulgar minds will pay full dear, When once they move beyond their sphere.
THE FIGHTING COCK AND EAGLE.
Two Cocks were fighting for the sovereignty of the dunghill, and one of them having got the better of the other, he that was vanquished crept into a hole, and hid himself for some time; but the victor flew up to an eminent place, clapt his wings, and crowed out victory. An Eagle, who was watching for his prey near the place, saw him, and, making a swoop, trussed him up in his talons, and carried him off. The Cock that had been beaten, perceiving this, soon quitted his hole, and, shaking off all remembrance of his late disgrace, gallanted the hens with all the intrepidity imaginable.
Before honour is humility. We must not be too much elevated by prosperity lest we meet a grievous fall.
THE DIAMOND AND THE LOADSTONE.
A DIAMOND, of great beauty and lustre, observing, not only many other gems of a lower class ranged together with himself in the same cabinet, but a Loadstone likewise placed not far from him, began to question the latter how he came there, and what pretensions he had to be ranked among the precious stones; he, who appeared to be no better than a mere flint, a sorry, coarse, rusty-looking pebble, without any the least shining quality to advance him to such an honour; and concluded with desiring him to keep his distance, and pay a proper respect to his superiors.
"I find," said the Loadstone, "you judge by external appearances, and condemn without due examination; but I will not act so ungenerously by you. I am willing to allow you your due praise: you are a pretty bauble; I am mightily delighted to see you glitter and sparkle; I look upon you with pleasure and surprise; but I must be convinced you are of some sort of use before I acknowledge that you have any real merit, or treat you with that respect which you seem to demand. With regard to myself, I confess my deficiency in outward beauty; but I may venture to say, that I make amends by my intrinsic qualities. The great improvement of navigation is entirely owing to me. By me the distant parts of the world have been made known and are accessible to each other; the remotest nations are connected together, and all, as it were, united into one common society; by a mutual intercourse they relieve one another's wants, and all enjoy the several blessings peculiar to each. The world is indebted to me for its wealth, its splendour, and its power; and the arts and sciences are, in a great measure, obliged to me for their improvements, and their continual increase. All these blessings I am the origin of; for by my aid it is that man is enable to construct that valuable instrument, the Mariner's Compass."
Let dazzling stones in splendour glare; Utility's the gem for wear.
THE BEAR AND THE BEES.
A BEAR happened to be stung by a Bee; and the pain was so acute, that in the madness of revenge he ran into the garden, and overturned the hive. This outrage provoked their anger to such a degree that it 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 borne one injury, than by an unprofitable resentment to have provoked a thousand.
It is more prudent to acquiesce under an injury from a single person, then by an act of vengeance to bring upon us the resentment of a whole community.
THE FROGS DESIRING A KING.
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. Then they 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."
This fable teaches that it is better to be content with our present condition, however bad we may think it, than, by ambitious change, to risk making it worse.
THE FOX AND THE BOAR.
THE BOAR stood whetting his tusks against an old tree. The Fox, who happened to come by at the same time, asked him why he made those martial preparations of whetting his teeth, since there was no enemy near, that he could perceive. "That may be, Master Reynard," says the Boar, "but we should scour up our arms, while we have leisure, you know; for, in time of danger, we shall have something else to do."
It is well to have preparations made for all emergencies, that when we are placed in any difficult position we may be calm and self-possessed. These preparations are best made in times of leisure.
THE VINE AND THE GOAT.
A GOAT having taken shelter from the heat of the sun under the broad leaves of a shady-spreading vine, began to crop and eat them; by this means, the branches being put into a rustling motion, he drew the eyes of some hunters who were passing that way, and, seeing the vine stir, thought some wild beast had taken covert there; they shot their arrows at a venture, and killed the Goat, who, before he expired, uttered his dying words to this purpose: "Ah! I suffer justly for my ingratitude, who could not forbear doing an injury to the vine that had so kindly afforded me shelter."
Ingratitude is a great crime, and from which we should seek earnestly to be preserved. He that is capable of injuring his benefactor, what would he scruple to do towards another?
THE DISCONTENTED HORSE.
As JUPITER once was receiving petitions From birds and from beasts of all ranks and conditions; With an eye full of fire, and mane quite erect, Which, I'm sorry to say, shewed but little respect, The Horse went as near as he dared to the throne, And thus made his donkey-like sentiments known:
"For beauty of symmetry, fleetness, and force, It is said that all animals yield to the Horse; While my spirit I feel, and my figure I view In the brook, I'm inclined to believe it is true; But still, mighty Jupiter, still, by your aid, In my form might some further improvements be made. To run is my duty, and swifter and stronger I surely should go, were my legs to be longer: And as man always places a seat on my back, I should have been made with a saddle or sack; It had saved him much trouble, on journies departing, And I had been constantly ready for starting."
Great Jupiter smiled (for he laughed at the brute, As he saw more of folly than vice in his suit), And striking the earth with omnipotent force, A Camel rose up near the terrified Horse: He trembled—he started—his mane shook with fright, And he staggered half round, as preparing for flight.
"Behold!" exclaimed Jove, "there an animal stands With both your improvements at once to your hands: His legs are much longer; the hump on his back Well answers the purpose of saddle or sack: Of your shapes, tell me, which is more finished and trim? Speak out, silly Horse, would you wish to be him?"
The Horse looked abashed, and had nothing to say And Jove, with reproaches, thus sent him away: "Begone, till you gratefully feel and express Your thanks for the blessings and gifts you possess. The Camel, though plain, is mild, useful, and good; You are handsome, but proud, discontented and rude."
THE MOUNTAIN IN LABOUR.
A RUMOUR once prevailed that a neighbouring mountain was in labour; it was affirmed that she had been heard to utter prodigious groans; and a general expectation had been raised that some extraordinary birth was at hand.
Multitudes flocked in much eagerness to be witnesses of the wonderful event, one expecting her to be delivered of a giant, another of some enormous monster, and all were in earnest expectation of something grand and astonishing; when, after waiting with great impatience a considerable time, behold, out crept a Mouse.
To raise uncommon expectations renders an ordinary event ridiculous.
THE FOX AND THE STORK.
THE FOX, though in general more inclined to roguery than wit, had once a strong inclination to play the wag with his neighbour the Stork. He accordingly invited her to dinner in due form. But when she came to the table, the Stork found it consisted entirely of different soups, served in broad, shallow dishes, so that she could only dip the end of her bill in them, but could not possibly satisfy her hunger. The Fox lapped them up very readily, and every now and then addressing himself to his guest, desired to know how she liked her entertainment, hoped that everything was to her liking, and protested he was very sorry to see her eat so sparingly.
The Stork, perceiving she was jested with, took no notice, but pretended to like every dish extremely; and, at parting, pressed the Fox so earnestly to return her visit that he could not, in civility, refuse.
The day arrived, and he repaired to his appointment. But, to his great dismay, he found the dinner was composed of minced meat, served up in long, narrow-necked bottles; so that he was only tantalized with the sight of what it was impossible for him to taste. The Stork thrust in her long bill, and helped herself very plentifully; then, turning to Reynard, who was eagerly licking the outside of a jar where some sauce had been spilled, "I am very glad," said she, smiling, "that you appear to have so good an appetite. I hope you will make as hearty a dinner at my table as I did the other day at yours." The Fox hung down his head, and looked very much displeased. "Nay, nay!" said the Stork; "don't pretend to be out of humour about the matter; they that cannot take a jest should never make one."
THE HORSE AND THE STAG.
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, and, 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 means 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 I have found out what you are good for, you may depend upon it, I will keep you to it."
Help yourself, if you can do so; but at any rate, before you seek the assistance of a powerful man, be sure that the help he gives you will be disinterested, or you may find that in helping you he may put you under obligations fatal to liberty.
THE LION WOUNDED.
A MAN, who was very skilful with his bow, went up into the forest to hunt. At his approach, there was a great consternation and rout among the wild beasts, the Lion alone showing any determination to fight. "Stop," said the Archer to him, "and await my messenger, who has somewhat to say to you." With that, he sent an arrow after the Lion, and wounded him in the side. The Lion, smarting with anguish, fled into the depths of the forest; but a Fox, seeing him run, bade him take courage, and face his enemy. "No," said the Lion, "you will not persuade me to that; for if the messenger he sends is so sharp, what must be the power of him who sends it?"
It is better to yield to a superior force than foolishly brave its power.
THE ASS IN THE LION'S SKIN.
An Ass, finding a Lion's skin, disguised himself with it, and ranged about the forest, putting all the beasts that saw him into bodily fear. After he had diverted himself thus for some time, he met a Fox, and, being desirous to frighten him too, as well as the rest, he leapt at him with some fierceness, and endeavoured to imitate the roaring of the Lion.
"Your humble servant," says the Fox, "if you had held your tongue, I might have taken you for a Lion, as others did; but now you bray I know who you are."
A silent man may pass for a wise man, but when we hear him speak we are able to form an estimate of his value.
JUPITER AND THE FARMER.
'Tis said, that Jove had once a farm to let, And sent down Mercury, his common crier, To make the most that he could get; Or sell it to the highest buyer.
To view the premises the people flocked: And, as 'tis usual in such case, Began to run them down apace; The soil was poor, the farm ill stocked: In short, a barren, miserable place, Scarce worth th' expense to draw a lease.
One bolder, tho' not wiser than the rest, Offered to pay in so much rent, Provided he had Jove's consent To guide the weather just as he thought best; Or wet, or dry; or cold, or hot; Whate'er he asked should be his lot;
To all which Jove gave a consenting nod. The seasons now obsequious stand, Quick to obey their lord's command, And now the Farmer undertakes the god; Now calls for sunshine, now for rains, Dispels the clouds, the wind restrains;
But still confined within his farm alone, He makes a climate all his own; For when he sheds, or when he pours, Refreshing dews, or soaking showers,
His neighbours never share a drop; So much the better for their crop; Each glebe a plenteous harvest yields; Whilst our director spoils his fields.
Next year, he tries a different way; New moulds the seasons, and directs again; But all in vain: His neighbour's grounds still thrive while his decay.
What does he do in this sad plight? For once he acted right: He to the god his fate bemoaned, Asked pardon, and his folly owned. Jove, like a tender master, fond to save, His weakness pityed, and his fault forgave.
He, who presumes the ways of heaven to scan, Is not a wise, nor yet a happy man: In this firm truth securely we may rest,— Whatever Providence ordains is best; Had man the power, he'd work his own undoing; To grant his will would be to cause his ruin.
THE VAIN JACKDAW.
A CERTAIN Jackdaw 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 amongst whom you introduced yourself, nor suffered the notorious slight which we now think ourselves obliged to put upon you."
Great evils arise from vanity; for when we try to place ourselves in a position for which we are not fit, we are liable to be laughed at, and, when we would return to our former state, we find we have lost the esteem of our former friends.
THE VIPER AND THE FILE.
A VIPER, crawling into a smith's shop to seek for something to eat, cast her eyes upon a File, and darting upon it in a moment, "Now I have you," said she, "and so you may help yourself how you can; but you may take my word for it that I shall make a fine meal of you before I think of parting with you." "Silly wretch!" said the File, as gruff as could be, "you had much better be quiet, and let me alone; for, if you gnaw for ever, you will get nothing but your trouble for your pains. Make a meal of me, indeed! why, I myself can bite the hardest iron in the shop; and if you go on with your foolish nibbling I shall tear all the teeth out of your spiteful head before you know where you are."
Take care that you never strive with those who are too strong for you, nor do spiteful things, lest you suffer for it.
THE WOLF AND THE LAMB.
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; and, drawing nearer to the Lamb, "Sirrah," said 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.
Bad men, who wish to quarrel, will always find a pretence; if they can find no true grounds, they will resort to those which are false.
THE OLD BULLFINCH AND YOUNG BIRDS.
It chanced, that, on a winter's day, But warm and bright, and calm as May, The birds, conceiving a design To forestall sweet St. Valentine, In many an orchard, copse, and grove, Assembled on affairs of love; And with much twitter and much chatter, Began to agitate the matter.
At length, a Bullfinch, who could boast More years and wisdom than the most, Entreated, opening wide his beak, A moment's liberty to speak; And, silence publicly enjoined, Delivered briefly thus his mind:
"My friends, be cautious how ye treat The subject upon which we meet; I fear we shall have winter yet."
A Finch, whose tongue knew no control, With golden wing, and satin poll, A last year's bird, who ne'er had tried What marriage means, thus pert replied:
"Methinks, the gentleman," quoth she, "Opposite, in the apple-tree, By his good will, would keep us single, 'Till yonder heaven and earth shall mingle; Or (which is likelier to befall) 'Till death exterminate us all. I marry without more ado; My dear Dick Redcap, what say you?"
Dick heard; and tweedling, ogling, bridling, Turning short round, strutting, and sidling, Attested glad his approbation Of an immediate conjugation. Their sentiments so well express'd, Influenced mightily the rest; All pair'd, and each pair built a nest.
But though the birds were thus in haste, The leaves came on not quite so fast; And destiny, that sometimes bears An aspect stern on man's affairs, Not altogether smil'd on theirs.
The wind, that late breath'd gently forth, Now shifted east, and east by north; Bare trees and shrubs but ill, you know, Could shelter them from rain or snow; Stepping into their nests, they paddled, Themselves were chill'd, their eggs were addled; Soon every father bird, and mother, Grew quarrelsome, and peck'd each other; Parted without the least regret, Except that they had ever met; And learn'd in future to be wiser Than to neglect a good adviser.
Young folks, who think themselves so wise, That old folks' counsel they despise, Will find, when they too late repent, Their folly prove their punishment.
THE MOUSE AND THE WEASEL.
A LITTLE starveling 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 he came, he found himself too plump, with all his endeavours, to accomplish it. A Weasel, who stood at some distance, and had been diverting himself with beholding the vain efforts of the little fat thing, called to him, and said, "Harkee, honest friend; if you have a mind to make your escape, there is but one way for it: contrive to grow as poor and lean as you were when you entered, and then, perhaps, you may get off."
If evil habits have got a man into difficulties, there is no surer way to extricate himself than, by God's help, to cast those habits off.
THE OLD HOUND.
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 you, pray don't forget what I have been."
Past services should never be forgotten.
THE CHARGER AND THE ASS
The Horse, adorned with his great war-saddle, and champing his foaming bridle, came thundering along the way, and made the mountains echo with his loud, shrill neighing. He had not gone far before he overtook an Ass, who was labouring under a heavy burthen, and moving slowly on in the same track with himself. Immediately he called out to him, in a haughty, imperious tone, and threatened to trample him in the dirt, if he did not make way for him. The poor, patient Ass, not daring to dispute the matter, quietly got out of his way as fast as he could, and let him go by. Not long after this, the same Horse, in an engagement with the enemy, happened to be shot in the eye, which made him unfit for show or any military business; so he was stript of his fine ornaments, and sold to a carrier. The Ass, meeting him in this forlorn condition, thought that now it was his time to speak; and so, says he, "Heyday, friend, is it you? Well, I always believed that pride of yours would one day have a fall."
Pride and haughtiness are foreign to really great men. Those who show it, when in their high estate, if the wheel of fortune should change, instead of friendship or pity, will meet with nothing but contempt.
THE COLT AND THE FARMER.
A COLT, for blood and mettled speed, The choicest of the running breed, Of youthful strength and beauty vain, Refused subjection to the rein.
In vain the groom's officious skill Opposed his pride, and checked his will; In vain the master's forming care Restrained with threats, or soothed with prayer: Of freedom proud, and scorning man, Wild o'er the spacious plain he ran.
Where'er luxuriant Nature spread Her flowery carpet o'er the mead, Or bubbling stream's soft gliding pass To cool and freshen up the grass, Disdaining bounds, he cropped the blade, And wantoned in the spoil he made.
In plenty thus the summer passed; Revolving winter came at last: The trees no more a shelter yield; The verdure withers from the field: Perpetual snows invest the ground; In icy chains the streams are bound: Cold, nipping winds, and rattling hail, His lank, unsheltered sides assail.
As round he cast his rueful eyes, He saw the thatched-roof cottage rise: The prospect touched his heart with cheer, And promised kind deliverance near. A stable, erst his scorn and hate, Was now become his wished retreat; His passion cool, his pride forgot, A Farmer's welcome yard he sought.
The master saw his woful plight, His limbs, that tottered with his weight, And, friendly, to the stable led, And saw him littered, dressed, and fed. In slothful ease all night he lay; The servants rose at break of day; The market calls. Along the road His back must bear the pond'rous load;
In vain he struggles or complains, Incessant blows reward his pains. To-morrow varies but his toil: Chained to the plough, he breaks the soil; While scanty meals at night repay The painful labours of the day.
Subdued by toil, with anguish rent, His self-upbraidings found a vent. "Wretch that I am!" he sighing said, "By arrogance and folly led; Had but my restive youth been brought To learn the lesson nature taught, Then had I, like my sires of yore, The prize from every courser bore. Now, lasting servitude's my lot, My birth contemned, my speed forgot; Doomed am I, for my pride, to bear A living death from year to year."
He who disdains control, will only gain A youth of pleasure for an age of pain.
THE LARK AND HER YOUNG ONES.
A LARK, who had young ones in a field of corn 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 that place. She, therefore, upon flying abroad to look for food, left this charge with them—to 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," said she, "if the owner depends on his friends and neighbours, I am pretty sure the corn will not be reaped to-morrow."
Next day, she went out again, leaving the same orders as before. The owner came, and staid, expecting his friends; but the sun grew hot, and nothing was done, for not a soul came to help them. Then says he to his son, "I perceive these friends of ours are not to be depended upon; so you must 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, dear children; for kindred and relations are not so very forward to serve one another; but take particular notice what you hear said next time, and be sure you let me know it."
She went abroad next day, as usual; and the owner, finding his relations as slack as the rest of his neighbours, said to his son, "Harkee, George; 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," said 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 at once, and the corn was reaped next day by the good man and his son.
Never depend on the assistance of others. No business is so sure to be done as that which a man sets about doing himself.
THE FOX AND THE CROW.
A CROW, having taken a piece of cheese out of a cottage window, flew up with it into a high tree in order to eat it; which the Fox observing, came and sat underneath, and began to compliment 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 foolishly believed all that the Fox said was true; but, thinking the Fox a little dubious as to her vocal powers, and having a mind to set him right in that matter, opened her mouth, and, in the same instant, let the cheese drop out of her mouth. This being what the Fox wanted, he caught it up in a moment, and trotted away, laughing to himself at the easy credulity of the Crow.
When anyone is flattered as possessing qualities he ought to feel conscious he does not possess, let him beware lest the flatterers wish either to deprive him of some solid good, or to make him appear ridiculous in the eyes of others.
THE PEACOCK'S COMPLAINT.
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 bird was agreeable 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 size." "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, to the Eagle strength, to the Nightingale a voice of melody, to the Parrot the faculty of speech, and to the Dove innocence; that each of these was contented with his own peculiar quality; and, unless he wished to be miserable, he must also learn to be equally satisfied.
The man who to his lot's resigned True happiness is sure to find; While envy ne'er can mend the ill, But makes us feel it keener still.
THE STAG IN THE OX-STALL.
A STAG, roused from 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 venturing himself in such a place, where he was sure to meet his doom. "Ah!" said 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 opportunity."
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 one of them suspected 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 obliging people he had ever met with in his life.
After he had done 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 meanwhile, home comes the master himself from a neighbour's, where he had been invited to dinner; and, because he had observed the cattle not look well of late, he went up to the rack, and asked why they did not give them more fodder; then, casting his eyes downward, "Heydey!" 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 his people about him, killed the Stag, and made a prize of him.
For a work to be done thoroughly, it ought to be done by oneself; the eye of a master is keener than that of a servant.
THE WIND AND THE SUN.
A DISPUTE once arose betwixt the North Wind and the Sun about the superiority of their power; and they agreed to try their strength upon a traveller, which should be able to get off his cloak 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 the 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 neighbouring grove.
Soft and gentle means will often accomplish what force and fury can never effect.
THE TRAVELLERS AND THE BEAR.
Two men, being about to travel through a forest together, mutually promised to stand by each other in any danger they should meet on the way. They had not gone far when 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 carcass, went back to the wood without doing him the least harm. When all was over, the man who had climbed the tree came down to his companion, and, with a pleasant smile, asked what the Bear had said to him; "For," says he, "I took notice that he clapped his mouth very close to your ear." "Why," replied the other, "he charged me to take care, for the future, not to put any confidence in such cowardly rascals as you are."
Nothing is more common than to hear people profess friendship when there is no occasion for it; but he is a true friend who is ready to assist us in the time of danger and difficulty. Choose, therefore, friends whom you can depend on for such a time, and greatly value them.
THE DOG AND THE SHADOW.
A DOG, crossing a small rivulet, with a piece of flesh in his mouth, which he had stolen from a butcher's shop, 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 sank to the bottom, and was irrecoverably lost.
It is the just punishment of greediness to lose the substance by grasping at the shadow; while the man who would take what does not belong to him deserves to lose what he has.
THE HERMIT AND THE BEAR.
ONCE on a time, a mountain Bear Lived in a forest drear, with no Bears near him; Fat, fierce, and sulky. Nor man nor other beast approached his lair; His neighbours all despise, or hate, or fear him. 'Tis good to talk—to hold one's tongue— Though either in excess be wrong: Our hermit bulky, So shaggy, sullen, taciturn, and rude, Bear as he was, grew sick of solitude.
At the same time, by chance, retired Far from the world, a man advanced in age, But stout and healthy. Not with devotion's flame his heart was fired; Not prayer and fasting occupied the sage; Though on mankind he shut his door, No vows of poverty he swore: The wight was wealthy. But by some treacherous friend, or fair, betrayed, He lived with plants, and communed with his spade.
High priest of Flora you might call him; Nor less was he the favourite of Pomona. But one day, walking, He found it dull; and should some ill befall him, In his sweet paradise, he felt alone,—Ah! For neither rose, nor pink, nor vine, Except in such a lay as mine, Are given to talking. His head old Time had now long years heaped many on; So he resolved to look for some companion.
On this important expedition— But fearing his researches would be vain— The sage departed: Revolving deeply his forlorn condition, He slowly mused along a narrow lane; When on a sudden—unawares— A nose met his:—it was the Bear's! With fright he started. Fear is a common feeling: he that wise is, Although his fright be great, his fear disguises.
Prudence suggested—"Stand your ground; 'Tis hard to turn, and harder still to dash on." Prudence prevails. 'Twixt kindred minds a sympathy is found Which lights up oft at sight a tender passion.
Where sexes are of different kind; And oft 'twill ties of friendship bind Between two males: These magic signs our hermits, at a glance, see: Each found he strongly pleased the other's fancy.
Bruin at compliments was awkward, But was not long his sentiments in telling— "Old man, I like you!" The man replied, "Fair sir, you need not walk hard, In half an hour you'll reach my humble dwelling. I've milk, and various sorts of fruit, If any should your palate suit, Take what may strike you; On me it will confer the highest pleasure To spread before you all my garden's treasure."
On jogged the human Hermit with the Bear, Like smoking Germans, few words interlarding; Though little said, Finding their tempers suited to a hair, They grew firm friends before they reached the garden. Each took his task, their moods the same, One dug, the other hunted game, And often sped; And Bruin, o'er his friend a strict watch keeping, Chased off the flies that haunted him when sleeping.
One afternoon, as in the sun The weary Hermit took his usual nap, And at his post The faithful Bear his daily work begun, Giving full many a brush and gentle slap, With a light whisp of herbs sweet-scented, And thus the teasing flies prevented, That buzzing host, From fixing on his sleeping patron's visage, Sunk in the deep repose so fit for his age.
One blue-bottle his care defied; No place could please him but the old man's nose, Quite unabashed. The Bear, provoked, no means would leave untried; At last, a vigorous, certain mode, he chose: Extending wide his heavy paw, And thrusting hard each crooked claw, The fly was smashed: But his poor patron's face, so roughly patted, All streamed with blood, and smooth his nose was flatted.
The Bear sneaked off to humble distance, Seeing the damage he had done his friend; Who raged with smart. But calling in philosophy's assistance, Anger, he thought, his wounds would never mend, So coolly said, "Farewell, friend Bruin! Since you have laid my face in ruin, 'Tis time to part."
All those must such mishaps expect to share, Who, for a friend, think fit to take a Bear.
THE SHEPHERD'S BOY AND THE WOLF.
A CERTAIN Shepherd's Boy, who kept sheep upon a common, in sport and wantonness would often cry out, "The Wolf! the Wolf!" By this means, he several times drew the husbandmen in an adjoining field from their work; who, finding themselves deluded, resolved for the future to take no notice of his alarm. Soon after the Wolf came indeed. The boy cried out in earnest; but no heed being given to his cries, the sheep were devoured by the Wolf.
The notorious liar, besides the sin of the thing, will not be believed when, by chance, he tells the truth.
THE FAWN AND HER MOTHER.
A HIND was one day stamping with her foot, and bellowing so loudly that the whole herd quaked for fear, when one of her little Fawns, coming up to her, said, "Mother, what is the reason that you, who are so strong and bold at all other times, if you do but hear the cry of the hounds, are so afraid of them?" "What you say is true," replied the Hind; "though I know not how to account for it. I am, indeed, vigorous and strong enough, and often resolve that nothing shall ever dismay my courage; but, alas! I no sooner hear the voice of a hound than all my spirits fail me, and I cannot help making off as fast as my legs can carry me."
When we have done all, Nature will remain what she was. There is no arguing a coward into courage.
THE TORTOISE AND THE EAGLE.
The Tortoise, weary of his condition, by which he was confined 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 show him the world, he would reward him with the discovery of many precious stones, which he knew were hidden in a certain part 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.
He that, to secure an advantage, deceives his friend by an untruth, will surely suffer for it when he is detected.
THE BROTHER AND SISTER.
A CERTAIN Man had two children, a Son and a Daughter—the Boy handsome enough, the Girl not quite so comely. 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 manner observed to the Girl how handsome he was. She resented the insult, and ran immediately to her father, and, with a great deal of aggravation, complained of her brother, particularly for having acted so effeminate a part as to look in a glass, and meddle with things which belong to women only. The father, embracing 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 bad behaviour; and that you," added he, addressing the Girl, "may make up for the defects of your person by the sweetness of your manners and the excellence of your understanding."
A well-informed mind is better than a handsome person.
THE SHEPHERD'S DOG AND THE WOLF.
A WOLF, with hunger fierce and bold, Ravaged the plains, and thinned the fold; Deep in the wood secure he lay, The thefts of night regaled the day. In vain the shepherd's wakeful care Had spread the toils, and watched the snare; In vain the Dog pursued his pace, The fleeter robber mocked the chase.
As Lightfoot ranged the forest round, By chance his foe's retreat he found: "Let us awhile the war suspend, And reason as from friend to friend." "A truce!" replies the Wolf. 'Tis done. The Dog the parley thus begun:—
"How can that strong, intrepid mind Attack a weak, defenceless kind? Those jaws should prey on nobler food, And drink the boar's and lion's blood; Great souls with generous pity melt, Which coward tyrants never felt. How harmless is our fleecy care! Be brave, and let thy mercy spare."
"Friend," says the Wolf, "the matter weigh: Nature designed us beasts of prey; As such, when hunger finds a treat, 'Tis necessary Wolves should eat. If, mindful of the bleating weal, Thy bosom burn with real zeal, Hence, and thy tyrant lord beseech; To him repeat the moving speech. A Wolf eats sheep but now and then; Ten thousands are devoured by men."
An open foe may prove a curse, But a pretended friend is worse.
THE COVETOUS MAN.
A POOR covetous wretch, who had scraped together a good parcel of money, went and dug a hole in one of his fields and hid it. The great pleasure of his life was to go and look upon this treasure once a day at least; which one of his servants observing, and guessing there was something more than ordinary in the place, came at night, found it, and carried it off. The next day, returning as usual to the scene of his delight, and perceiving it had been stolen away from him, he tore his hair for grief, and uttered the doleful complaints of his despair to the woods and meadows. At last, a neighbour of his, who knew his temper, overhearing him, and being informed of the occasion of his sorrow, "Cheer up, man!" says he, "thou has lost nothing; there is the hole for thee to go and peep at still; and if thou canst but fancy thy money there, it will do just as well."
Money, well used, has its full value; but when allowed to lie useless to others or to one's self, it possesses no more value than a heap of oyster shells. Avarice is, therefore, a silly as well as a sinful vice. Use your wealth in doing good, and its highest value will be attained.
THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE.
A HARE twitted a Tortoise on account of his slowness, and vainly boasted of her own great speed in running. "Let us make a match," replied the Tortoise: "I'll run with you five miles for five pounds, and the Fox yonder shall be the umpire of the race." The Hare agreed, and away they both started together. But the Hare, by reason of her exceeding swiftness, outran the Tortoise to such a degree that she made a jest of the matter, and, finding herself a little tired, squatted in a tuft of fern that grew by the way, and took a nap, thinking that, if the Tortoise went by, she could at any time catch him up with all the ease imaginable. In the meanwhile the Tortoise came jogging on, with a slow but continued motion; and the Hare, out of a too great security and confidence of victory, oversleeping herself, the Tortoise arrived at the end of the race first.
Industry and application will, in most cases, do more than quick and ready wit. The highest genius, without industry, will generally fail of any great exploit.
THE HOG AND THE ACORNS.
ONE moonshiny night, With a great appetite, A Hog feasted on Acorns with all his might: Quite pleased with his prize Both in taste and in size, While he ate he devoured the rest with his eyes.
You know, I'm in joke, When I say that the oak, Moved a bough to the grunter before she spoke; But you know, too, in fable, We feel ourselves able To make anything speak—tree, flower, or table.
Said the Oak, looking big, "I think, Mr. Pig, You might thank me for sending you fruit from my twig; But, you ill-behaved Hog! You devour the prog, And have no better manners, I think, than a dog."
He replied, looking up, Though not ceasing to sup, Till the Acorns were eaten—ay, every cup— "I acknowledge, to you My thanks would be due, If from feelings of kindness my supper you threw.
"To-morrow, good dame, Give my children the same, And then you, with justice, may gratitude claim."
He merits no praise To the end of his days, Who to those who surround him no service conveys.
THE COUNTRY MOUSE AND THE CITY MOUSE.
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 grey 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 forebore to eat any of it himself, 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, melancholy hole here, with nothing but woods and meadows, mountains and rivulets about you? Do you not prefer the busy 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. Stand not 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 to-morrow."
In short, these and such like arguments prevailed, and his country friend was resolved to go to town that night. So they both set out upon their journey, 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 entertainment the day before, and several tit-bits, which some of the servants had purloined, were hid under a 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 the kitchen. The other sat 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 somebody 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 barking 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 grey pease."
Poverty and safety are preferable to luxury and danger.
THE CAT AND THE MICE.
A CERTAIN house was much infested with Mice; but at last they got a Cat, who caught and ate every day some of them. The Mice, finding their numbers grow thin, consulted what was best to be done for the preservation of the public from the jaws of the devouring Cat. They debated and came to this resolution, that no one should go down below the upper shelf.
The Cat, observing the Mice no longer came down as usual, hungry and disappointed of her prey, had recourse to this stratagem:—She hung by her hind legs on a peg which stuck in the wall, and made as if she had been dead, hoping by this lure to entice the Mice to come down. She had not been in this posture long before a cunning old Mouse peeped over the edge of the shelf, and spoke thus:—"Ha! ha! my good friend, are you there? There you may be! I would not trust myself with you, though your skin were stuffed with straw."
They that are wise will never trust those a second time who have deceived them once.
THE KID AND THE WOLF.
A KID, being mounted upon the roof of a lofty shed, and seeing a Wolf below, loaded him with all manner of reproaches. Upon which, the Wolf, looking up, replied, "Do not vaunt yourself, vain creature, and think you mortify me; for I look upon this ill language as not coming from you, but from the place that protects you."
To rail or give bad language is wrong at all times; but when a man is protected by circumstances, it is cowardly, as well as wrong. The man who then uses it becomes a fit object of contempt to him that he reviles.
THE COUNCIL OF HORSES.
UPON a time, a neighing Steed, Who grazed among a numerous breed, With mutiny had fired the train, And spread dissension through the plain.
On matters that concerned the state The council met in grand debate. A Colt, whose eye-balls flamed with ire, Elate with strength and youthful fire, In haste stepped forth before the rest, And thus the listening throng addressed:—
"Good gods! how abject is our race! Condemned to slavery and disgrace! Shall we our servitude retain, Because our sires have borne the chain? Consider, friends, your strength and might; 'Tis conquest to assert your right. How cumberous is the gilded coach! The pride of man is our reproach. Were we designed for daily toil, To drag the ploughshare through the soil; To sweat in harness through the road; To groan beneath the carrier's load? How feeble are the two-legged kind! What force is in our nerves combined! Shall, then, our nobler jaws submit To foam and champ the galling bit? Shall haughty men my back bestride? Shall the sharp spur provoke my side? Forbid it, heavens! reject the rein, Your shame, your infamy disdain. Let him the Lion first control, And still the Tiger's famished growl! Let us, like them, our freedom claim; And make him tremble at our name."
A general nod approved the cause, And all the circle neighed applause; When, lo! with grave and solemn pace, A Steed advanced before the race, With age and long experience wise; Around he casts his thoughtful eyes, And, to the murmurs of the train, Thus spoke the Nestor of the plain:—
"When I had health and strength, like you, The toils of servitude I knew. Now, grateful man rewards my pains, And gives me all these wide domains. At will I crop the year's increase; My latter life is rest and peace. I grant, to man we lend our pains, And aid him to correct the plains. But doth not he divide the care, Through all the labours of the year? How many thousand structures rise, To fence us from inclement skies! For us he bears the sultry day, And stores up all our winter's hay. He sows, he reaps the harvest gain; We share the toil, and share the grain."
The tumult ceased. The Colt submitted; And, like his ancestors, was bitted.
Since every creature is decreed To aid each other's mutual need; Submit with a contented mind To act the part by heaven assigned.
THE ASS AND THE LITTLE DOG.
The Ass, observing how great a favourite a little Dog was with his master, how much caressed, and fondled, and fed with good bits at every meal, and for no other reason, as he could perceive, but skipping and frisking about, wagging his tail, and leaping up in his master's lap, was resolved to imitate the same, and see whether such behaviour would not procure him the same favours. Accordingly, the master was no sooner come home from walking about his fields and gardens, and was seated in his easy chair, than the Ass, who observed him, came gamboling and braying towards him, in a very awkward manner. The master could not help laughing aloud at the odd sight. But the jest soon became earnest, when he felt the rough salute of the fore-feet, as the Ass, raising himself upon his hinder legs, pawed against his breast with a most loving air, and would fain have jumped into his lap. The good man, terrified at this outrageous conduct, and unable to endure the weight of so heavy a beast, cried out; upon which one of his servants, running in with a good stick, and laying heartily upon the bones of the poor Ass, soon convinced him that everyone who desires it is not qualified to be a favourite.
All men have not the same gifts of pleasing. It will be well, therefore, to keep in our own place; and, in that condition of life, to do our duty. By which we shall be most likely to give satisfaction.
THE LION AND THE FOUR BULLS.
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 wished 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 when together, knowing they would have been too hard for him; and, therefore, contented himself for the present with keeping at a distance. At last, perceiving no attempt was to be made upon them as long as their combination lasted, 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.
Union is strength. Jealousy and envy, especially when fomented by whisperers, will destroy gradually the ties that make us safe against enemies.
THE LEOPARD AND THE FOX.
The Leopard one day took it into his head to value himself upon 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 show so beautiful a skin. As for the rest of the wild beasts of the forests, he treated them all, without distinction, in the most haughty and 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 mistaken 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.
Haughty beauty is an ungraceful thing. True beauty is always found in a setting of modesty, and then only appears the bright jewel that it is.
THE WARRIOR WOLF.
A YOUNG Wolf said aloud To the listening crowd, "I may well of my father's great courage be proud; Wherever he came, Flock, shepherd, or dame, All trembled and fled at the sound of his name. Did anyone spy My papa coming by— Two hundred or more—Oh! he made them all fly! One day, by a blow, He was conquered, I know; But no wonder at last he should yield to a foe: He yielded, poor fellow! The conquering bellow Resounds in my ears as my poor father's knell—Oh!" A Fox then replied, While, leering aside, He laughed at his folly and vapouring pride: "My chattering youth, Your nonsense, forsooth, Is more like a funeral sermon than truth. Let history tell How your old father fell; And see if the narrative sounds as well. Your folly surpasses, Of monkeys all classes; The beasts which he frightened, or conquered, were asses, Except a few sheep, When the shepherd, asleep, The dog by his side for safety did keep. Your father fell back, Knocked down by a whack From the very first bull that he dared to attack. Away he'd have scoured, But soon overpowered, He lived like a thief, and he died like a coward."
THE BELLY AND THE MEMBERS.
In former days, when the Belly and the other parts of the body enjoyed the 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 vile appetites 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 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 as long as he lived; and the teeth said, "May we be rotten if ever we chew a morsel for him for the future!" This solemn league and covenant was kept so long, 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 his.
Men are dependent upon their fellow-creatures, and it is foolish to expect we can do without the help of others.
THE CUR, THE HORSE, AND THE SHEPHERD'S DOG.
A VILLAGE Cur, of snappish race, The pertest puppy in the place, Imagined that his treble throat Was blessed with music's sweetest note; In the mid road he basking lay, The yelping nuisance of the way; For not a creature passed along, But had a sample of his song.
Soon as the trotting steed he hears, He starts, he cocks his dapper ears; Away he scours, assaults his hoof; Now near him snarls, now barks aloof; With shrill impertinence attends; Nor leaves him till the village ends.
It chanced, upon his evil day, A Pad came pacing down the way; The Cur, with never-ceasing tongue, Upon the passing traveller sprung. The Horse, from scorn provoked to ire, Flung backward; rolling in the mire, The Puppy howled, and bleeding lay; The Pad in peace pursued his way.
A Shepherd's Dog, who saw the deed, Detesting the vexatious breed, Bespoke him thus: "When coxcombs prate, They kindle wrath, contempt, or hate; Thy teasing tongue, had judgment tied, Thou hadst not like a Puppy died."
Too late the forward youth will find That jokes are sometimes paid in kind; Or, if they canker in the breast, He makes a foe who makes a jest.
THE JACKDAW AND THE EAGLE.
An Eagle flew down from the top of a high rock, and settled upon the back of a lamb, and then, instantly flying up into the air again, bore his bleating prize aloft in his talons. A Jackdaw, who sat upon an elm, and beheld his exploit, resolved to imitate it. So, flying upon the back of a ram, and entangling his claws in the wool, he fell a-chattering and attempting to fly; by which means he drew the observation of the shepherd upon him, who, finding his feet hampered in the fleece of the ram, easily took him, and gave him to his boys for their sport and diversion, saying, "The silly bird thought he was an Eagle; but, no doubt, by this time he has found out he is but a Jackdaw."
A false estimate of our own abilities ever exposes us to ridicule, and often to danger.
THE ASS AND THE LION HUNTING.
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 frightful manner that he could possibly contrive. "By this means," says he, "you will rouse all the beasts within 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 timorous 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 convenient place, seized and devoured them as he pleased.
Having got his belly full, he called out to the Ass, and bid him leave off braying, as he had had 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 frightened myself."
Boastful cowards may impose upon those who do not know them, but are held to be only ridiculous by those who do. Pompous persons who would wish themselves thought perfect Lions, when known are mostly found arrant Asses.
THE WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING.
A WOLF clothing himself in the skin of a Sheep, and getting in among the flock, by this means took the opportunity to devour many of them. At last, the Shepherd discovered him, and cunningly fastened a rope about his neck, tying him up to a tree which stood hard by.
Some other Shepherds happening to pass that way, and observing what he was about, drew near, and expressed their wonder at it. "What," says one of them, "Brother, do you hang Sheep?" "No," replies the other; "I hang a Wolf whenever I catch him, though in the habit and garb of Sheep." Then he showed them their mistake, and they applauded the justice of the execution.
Those who try to seem what they are not will not always thereby escape the punishment of what they are.
THE TWO BEES.
On a fine morning in May, two Bees set forward in quest of honey; the one, wise and temperate; the other, careless and extravagant. They soon arrived at a garden enriched with aromatic herbs, the most fragrant flowers, and the most delicious fruits. They regaled themselves for a time on the various dainties that were set before them: the one loading his thigh at intervals with provisions for the hive against the distant winter, the other revelling in sweets, without regard to anything but his present gratification.
At length, they found a wide-mouthed vial, that hung beneath the bough of a peach-tree, filled with honey ready tempered, and exposed to their taste in the most alluring manner. The thoughtless Epicure, spite of all his friend's remonstrances, plunged headlong into the vessel, resolving to indulge himself in all the pleasures of sensuality. The Philosopher, on the other hand, sipped a little with caution, but, being suspicious of danger, flew off to fruits and flowers; where, by the moderation of his meals, he improved his relish for the true enjoyment of them.
In the evening, however, he called upon his friend, to inquire whether he would return to the hive, but found him surfeited in sweets, which he was as unable to leave as to enjoy. Clogged in his wings, enfeebled in his feet, and his whole frame totally enervated, he was but just able to bid his friend adieu, and to lament, with his latest breath, that though a taste of pleasure may quicken the relish of life, an unrestrained indulgence is inevitable destruction.
Moderation rewards and intemperance punishes itself.
THE TURKEY AND THE ANT.
A TURKEY, tired of common food, Forsook the barn, and sought the wood; Behind her ran her infant train, Collecting here and there a grain. "Draw near, my birds," the mother cries, "This hill delicious fare supplies; Behold the busy negro race, See millions blacken all the place. Fear not: like me, with freedom eat; An Ant is most delightful meat. How blessed, how envied were our life, Could we but 'scape the poulterer's knife! But man, cursed man, on Turkeys preys, And Christmas shortens all our days. Sometimes with oysters we combine; Sometimes assist the savoury chine: From the low peasant to the lord, The Turkey smokes on every board; Sure, men for gluttony are cursed, Of the seven deadly sins, the worst."
An Ant, who climbed beyond her reach, Thus answered from the neighbouring beech: "Ere you remark another's sin, Bid thy own conscience look within; Control thy more voracious bill, Nor, for a breakfast, nations kill."
In other folks we faults can spy, And blame the mote that dims their eye; Each little speck and blemish find: To our own stronger errors blind.
THE DOG AND THE WOLF.
A LEAN, hungry, half-starved Wolf happened, one moonshiny night, to meet 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 do the same for it as I do." "Indeed! what is that?" says he. "Why," says the Dog, "only to guard the house at night, 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 endure rain, frost, and snow, for a warm roof over my head and enough of good victuals, will be no bad bargain." "True," says the Dog; "therefore you have nothing to do but to follow me."
Now, as they were jogging on together, the Wolf spied a 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 at nights. But this is done with a design to make me sleep by day, 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, is happier than the greatest without it. The bird of the air, though he roosts on a bough, has more real joy than the well-fed captive in a gilded cage.
THE SATYR AND THE TRAVELLER.
A SATYR, as he was ranging the forest in an exceedingly 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 a hollow of a rock. As soon as they had entered and sat down, notwithstanding there was a good fire in the place, the chilled Traveller could not forbear blowing his finger-ends.
Upon the Satyr 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, over the fire, and presented to his shivering guest. But this the Traveller thought fit to blow likewise; and upon the Satyr's demanding the reason why he blowed again, he replied, to cool the 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, 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.
Double dealing is always detestable. The man that blows hot and cold at the same time is not worthy to be trusted; the sooner we part from him the better.
THE BARLEY-MOW AND THE DUNGHILL.
As 'CROSS his yard, at early day, A careful farmer took his way, He stopped, and leaning on his fork, Observed the flail's incessant work. In thought he measured all his store; His geese, his hogs, he numbered o'er; In fancy weighed the fleeces shorn, And multiplied the next year's corn.
A Barley-Mow, which stood beside, Thus to its musing master cried:
"Say, good sir, is it fit or right, To treat me with neglect and slight? Me, who contribute to your cheer, And raise your mirth with ale and beer! Why thus insulted, thus disgraced, And that vile Dunghill near me placed? Are those poor sweepings of a groom, That filthy sight, that nauseous fume, Meet objects here? Command it hence: A thing so mean must give offence."
The humble Dunghill thus replied: "Thy master hears, and mocks thy pride. Insult not thus the meek and low; In me thy benefactor know: My warm assistance gave thee birth, Or thou hadst perished low in earth: But upstarts, to support their station, Cancel at once all obligation."
THE SHEEP-BITER AND SHEPHERD.
A CERTAIN Shepherd had a Dog, upon whose fidelity he relied very much; for whenever he had occasion to be absent himself, he committed the care and tuition of the flock to the charge of his Dog; and, to encourage him to do his duty cheerfully, he fed him constantly with sweet curds and whey, and sometimes threw him a crust or two. Yet, notwithstanding this, no sooner was his back turned, but the treacherous cur fell foul of the flock, and devoured the sheep, instead of guarding and defending them. The Shepherd being informed of this, was resolved to hang him; and the Dog, when the rope was about his neck, and he was just going to be hung, began to expostulate with his master, asking him, why he was so unmercifully bent against him, who was his own servant and creature, and had only committed two or three crimes, and why he did not rather execute vengeance upon the Wolf, who was a constant and declared enemy? "Nay," replies the Shepherd, "it is for that very reason that I think you ten times more deserving of death than he. From him I expected nothing but hostilities; and therefore could guard against him. You I depended upon as a just and faithful servant, and fed and encouraged you accordingly; and therefore your treachery is the more notorious, and your ingratitude the more unpardonable."
A known enemy is better than a treacherous friend.
THE STAG AT THE POOL.
A STAG that had been drinking at a clear spring, saw himself in the water; and, pleased with the sight, stood long 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 those antlers hang over my forehead, and give an agreeable turn to my whole face! If some other parts of my body were but in proportion to them, I would turn my back to nobody; but I have a set of such legs as really make 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."