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Aesop's Fables
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ÆSOP's FABLES.

With Instructive Moralsand Reflections, Abstracted from all Party Considerations, ADAPTED To AllCAPACITIES; And designd to promote RELIGION, MORALITY, And UNIVERSAL BENEVOLENCE.

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ContainingTwo Hundred and FortyFables, with aCut Engrav'd on Copper to each Fable. ------------------------------------------------------------ And the LIFE ofÆSOP prefixed.

LONDON. Printed for J. OSBORN, Jun. at the Golden Ball, in Pater noster Row.

mdccxl.

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PREFACE. WHEN there are so many Editions of Æsop's Fables, it will be expected, that some Reasons should be given for the Appearance of a new one; and we shall be as brief on this Head, as the Nature of the Thing will admit. Of all theEn glish Editions, we shall consider only two, as worthy of Notice; to wit, That of the celebrated SirRoger Lestrange, and that which appears under the Name ofS. Croxal, subscribed to the Dedication. And when we have given an Ac count of what each says for his own Performance, it will be our Turn to offer some things to the Reader with regard to our present Undertaking. ‘ When first I put Pen to Paper upon this De sign, says SirRoger, I had in my Eye only the common School Book, as it stands in theCam bridge andOxford Editions of it, under the Title ofÆsopi Phrygis Fabulæ; una cum non nullis variorum Auctorum Fabulis adjectis: Propounding to myself at that Time, to follow the very Course and Series of that Collection; and in one Word, to try what might be done by making the best of the Whole, and adapting proper and useful Doctrines to the several Parts of it, toward the turning of anexcellent Latin Manual of Morals and good Counsels, into a tolerable English one. But upon jumbling Mat ters and Thoughts together, and laying one
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Thing by another, the very State and Condition of the Case before me, together with the Na ture and the Reason of the Thing, gave me to understand, that this Way of proceeding would never answer my End: Insomuch that, upon this Consideration, I consulted other Ver sions of the same Fables, and made my best of the Choice. Some that weretwice or thrice over, and only the self-same Thing in other Words; these I struck out, and made one Spe cimen serve for the rest. To say nothing of here and there atrivial, or aloose Conceit in the Medly, more than this; that such as they are, I was under some sort of Obligation to take them in for Company; and in short,good, bad, andindifferent, one with another, to the Num ber, in the Total, of 383 Fables. To these I have likewise subjoin'd a considerable Addition of other selectApologues, out of the most cele brated Authors that are extant upon that Sub ject, towards the finishing of the Work.’ And a little farther, ‘ThisRhapsody ofFables, says he, is a Book universally read, and taught in all our Schools; but almost at such a Rate as we teachPyes andParrots, that pronounce the Words without so much as guessing at the Meaning of them: Or, to take it another way, the Boys break their Teeth upon the Shells, without ever coming near the Kernel. They learn Fables by Lessons, and the Moral is the least Part of our Care in a Child's Institution: So that take both together, and the one is stark Nonsense, without the Application of the other; beside that, the Doctrine itself, as we have it, even at the best, falls infinitely short of the Vigour and Spirit of the Fable. To supply this Defect now, we have had several English Paraphrases and Essays uponÆsop, and divers of his Followers, both in Prose and
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Verse. The latter have perchance ventur'd a little too far from the precise Scope of the Au thor upon the Privilege of a poetical Licence: And for the other of antient Date, the Morals are so insipid and flat, and the Style and Diction of the Fables so coarse and uncouth, that they are rather dangerous, than profitable, as to the Purpose they were principally intended for; and likely to do forty times more Mischief by the one than Good by the other. An Emblem without a Key to't, is no more than aTale of a Tub; and that Tale sillily told too, is but one Folly grafted upon another. Children are to be taught in the first Place, what they ought to do: 2dly, The Manner of doing it: And in the third Place, they are to be inur'd by the Force of Instruction and good Example, to the Love and Practice of doing their Duty; whereas, on the contrary, one Step out of the Way in the Institution, is enough to poison the Peace, and the Reputation of a whole Life. Whether I have in this Attempt, adds SirRoger, contributed or not, to the Improvement of these Fables, either in the Wording, or the Meaning of them, the Book must stand or fall to itself: But this I shall adventure to pronounce upon the whole Matter, that the Text isEnglish, and the Morals, in some fort, accommodate to theAllegory; which could hardly be said of all the Translations or Reflections before-mentioned, which have serv'd, in Truth, (or at least some of them) rather to teach us what we shouldnot do, than what we should. So that in the publishing of these Papers I have done my best to obviate a common Incon venience, or, to speak plainly, the mortal Error of pretending to erect a Building upon a false Foundation: Leaving the whole World to take the same Freedom with me, that I have done with others.’
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Thus far SirRoger Lestrange. Now we come to what the other Gentleman has to sayfor him self, or rather, as he has manag'd the matter, what he has to sayagainst Sir Roger, the depre ciating of whose Work, seems to be the Corner- Stone of his own Building. ‘ Nothing of this Nature, says he, has been done sinceLestrange's Time, worth mentioning; and we had nothing before, but what (as he observes,Pref. to Part I.) was soinsipid and flat in the Moral, and so coarse and uncouth in the Style and Diction, that they were rather dan gerous than profitable, as to the Purpose for which they were principally intended;and likely to do forty times more Harm than Good. I shall therefore only observe to my Reader the Insufficiency ofLestrange's own Performance, as to the Purpose for which he professes to have principally intended it; with some other Cir cumstances, which will help to excuse, if not justify, what I have enterpriz'd upon the same Subject. Now the Purpose for which he principally intended his Book, as in his Preface he spends a great many Words to inform us, was for the Use and Instruction of Children; who being, as it were, a mererasa Tabula, or blank Paper, are ready indifferently for any Opinions, good or bad, taking all upon Credit;and that it is in the Power of the first Comer, to write Saint or Devil upon them, which he pleases. This be ing truly and certainly the Case, what Devils, nay, what poor Devils, wouldLestrange make of those Children, who should be so unfortu nate as to read his Book, and imbibe his perni cious Principles! Principles coined and suited to promote the Growth, and serve the Ends, of Popery and arbitrary Power. Tho' we had never been told he was a Pensioner to a Popish
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Prince, and that he himself* profess'd the same unaccountable Religion, yet his Reflections uponÆsop would discover it to us: In every political Touch, he shews himself to be the Tool and Hireling of the Popish Faction; since even a Slave, without some mercenary View, would not bring Arguments to justify Slavery, nor endeavour to establish arbitrary Power upon the Basis of right Reason. What sort of Chil dren therefore are theBlank Paper, upon which such Morality as this ought to be written? Not the Children ofBritain, I hope; for they are born with free Blood in their Veins, and suck in Liberty with their very Milk. This they should be taught to love and cherish above all things, and, upon Occasion, to defend and vin dicate it; as it is the Glory of their Country, the greatest Blessing of their Lives, and the pe culiar happy Privilege, in which they excel all the World besides. Let thereforeLestrange with his slavish Doctrine be banish'd to the barren Desarts ofArabia, to the Nurseries of Turkey, Persia, andMorocco, where all Foot steps of Liberty have long since been worn out, and the Minds of the People, by a narrow Way of Thinking, contracted and inur'd to Fear, Poverty, and miserable Servitude. Let the Chil dren ofItaly, France, Spain, and the rest of the Popish Countries,continues this tedious Declaimer, 1
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furnish him with Blank Paper for Principles, of which free bornBritons are not capable The earlier such Notions are instill'd into such Minds as theirs indeed, the better it will be for them, as it will keep them from thinking of any other than the abject, servile Condition to which they are born. But let the Minds of ourBritish Youth be for ever educated and improv'd in that Spirit of Truth and Liberty, for the Sup port of which their Ancestors have often bravely exhausted so much Blood and Treasure.’ Thus we see the chief Quarrel of the worthy Centleman is against thePoliticks of SirRoger; and we heartily join with him on this Head. Sir Roger was certainly listed in a bad Cause as to Po liticks, and his Reflections have many of them a pernicious Tendency. But the Time in which he wrote, within View, in a manner, of the Civil Wars so lately concluded, and the Anarchy intro duced by them, to so great an Extreme of one Side, was so naturally productive of an Extreme on the other, that many very great Men of that Time fell into the same Error with SirRoger: And perhaps a charitable Mind, duly reflecting upon this, and not intent uponpartial orselfish Views, would have found something to have said, if not inExcuse, yet inExtenuation, of the Fault. The Doctor, for such I am told the Gentleman is, proceeds to strengthen his own Cause, by fur ther observing, ‘ ThatLestrange (as he every where calls the deceased Knight) made not fair Reflections upon the Fables in political Points: ThatÆsop, tho' a Slave, was a Lover of Liberty, and gives not one Hint to favourLestrange's In sinuations: But that, on the contrary, he takes all Occasions to recommend a Love for Liberty, and an Abhorrence of Tyranny, and all arbi trary Proceedings: ThatLestrange (again!) noto
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riously perverts both the Sense and Meaning of several Fables, particularly when any political Instruction (for this is still the Burden of the Doctor's Song) is couched in the Application;’ and then gives an Example in SirRoger's Fable of theDog and the Wolf, and further objects against the Knight, ‘that he has swelled his Work, which was designed for the Use of* Chil dren, to a voluminous Bulk; and by that Means rais'd it to an exorbitant Price, so as to make it unsuitable to the Hand or Pocket of the Generality of Children.’ And here follows a very extraordinary Conclusion of the Doctor, which we shall giveverbatim: ‘ If I were,says the good Man, to put Constructions upon the Ways of Providence, I should fansy this Prolixity of his, was order'd as a Preservative against his noxious Principles; for however his Book may have been used byMen, I dare say, fewChildren have been conversant with it.’ So that we see, at last, all the terrible Apprehensions of the Mischiefs of SirRoger's Book, are merely the Effects of the good Doctor's Imagination, which, 'tis generally said, has run away with his Judgment in more In stances than the present. If this then be the Case, we presume to hope, that, even in the good Doctor's Opinion, there will not be any Necessity to banish poorLestrange to the barren Desarts ofArabia, to the Nurseries ofTurkey, Persia, andMorocco; nor that he should be confined to the Children ofItaly, France, Spain, and the rest of the Popish Countries; but, for the sake of the excellent Sense con tain'd in his other Reflections, where Politicks are not concern'd; for the sake of the Benefit 2
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which the †English Tongue has received from his masterly Hand; for the sake of that fine Hu mour, apposite Language, accurate and lively Manner, which will always render SirRoger de lightful, and which this severe Critick has in some Places so wretchedly endeavour'd to imitate: For all these sakes, I say, let him remain among us still, since our Author thinks he can do no Harm toChildren, andMen may be supposed guarded by Years and Experience; and the rather, if it be only to shew the Difference be tween a fine Original, and a bungling Imitation; and that no pratingJays may strut about in the beautiful Plumage of thePeacock. The Doctor proceeds, and fixes a Stigma on the Second Volume of SirRoger's Fables, and, in the main, I join with him in it; For, as a Book of Fables, it is truly unworthy of that celebrated Hand; and for that Reason we have made very little Use of it in our present Edition; tho' we cannot but apprehend, that he was put upon it rather by the Importunity of Booksellers, encou rag'd by the Success of the first Volume, than by his own Choice or Judgment: And after all, some Allowance ought to be made for his Circumstanc s, and his Years, being, as he tells us, on the wrong Side of Fourscore when he wrote it. It is but just to transcribe the concluding Para graph of the Doctor's Preface: ‘ Whether,says he, I have mended the Faults I find with him, in this, or any other respect, I must leave to the Judgment of the Reader: 3
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Professing (according to the Principle on which the following Applications are built) that I am a Lover of Liberty and Truth; an Enemy to Tyranny, either in Church or State; and one who detests Party-Animosities, and factious Di visions, as much as I wish the Peace and Prospe rity of my Country.’ We greatly applaud this pompous Declaration of the good Gentleman's Principles: But tho' we might observe, that he has strain'd the natural Import of some of the Fables, near as much one way, as SirRoger has done the other, and may be censur'd for giving too frequently into political Reflexions, which had, on all Occasions, if the Book be meant for Children, better be avoided, where the Moral will bear a more general and inoffensive Turn; yet we shall only observe, That had this Gentleman, who cloaths himself in the Skin of the departed Knight, and, at first Sight, makes so formidable an Appearance in it, lived in the Days of SirRoger, and had SirRoger lived in his, it is not impossible that the Sentiments of both might have changed. What I mean, is, TheRestoration of Monarchy under KingCharles II. made these now exploded Doctrines as much the Fashion then, as the glo riousRevolution under KingWilliam III. has made the Doctor's Principles the Fashion now. And for aught that appears from the Moderation of the Doctor's Principles, if we may judge of a Man's Temper by his Disposition, as shewn in several Instances of his Preface, had the Doctor lived when SirRoger did, he might have been the Lestrange of theone Court; asLestrange, had he been in the Doctor's Place, might have taken Orders, and become Chaplain in theother. If the living Gentleman reflects, as he ought, upon the little Mercy he has shewn to the Dead, he will not think this too severe. And the Com
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parison will appear the less invidious, to any one who considers, that SirRoger suffer'd for his Principles, bad as they were: And the Doctor, we hope, for the sake of thePublick, as well as for hisown sake, will never be called upon to such Trials. We have thus set the Pretensions of the two Gen tlemen in a proper Light: It remains for us, now, to say something of our own Undertaking. The Usefulness and Benefit of such a Work to Children is allow'd on all Hands; and therefore we shall not insist upon a Topick, which has been so much labour'd by the Gentlemen who have gone before us. We have seen, that the only Objections which a scrutinizing Adversary, who had it in View to supplant the Knight, and thrust himself into his Place, can find against him, are thePolitical Part, and theBulk andPrice of the Performance: As to the rest, on comparing the Works, we find a very great Disparity between them: We therefore were assur'd, that we should do an acceptable Service, if we could give theexceptionable Re flections a moregeneral anduseful Turn; and if we could reduce the Work to such aSize as should be fit for theHands andPockets for which it was principally designed; and at the same time preserve to SirRoger the principal Graces and Beauties for which he is so justly admired: And this only, tho' we found afterwards, on a closer Review, a Necessity of going further, was ourfirst Intention. We were the rather prevailed upon to take this Liberty with SirRoger, because he ingenuously declares, in what we have quoted from his Pre face, ‘ That he was under some Sort of Obliga tion to take into his Medly, as he modestly calls it, here and there a trivial or a loose Con ceit, for Company.’ An Obligation imposed
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upon him, we presume, by his unhappy Circum stances (and which hardlythose could excuse,) in order to add to the Bulk of his Book, which he first published in Folio. This, with other proper Alterations,{et}c. where the Sense and Poignance of the Fable and Re flections would best bear it, we thought would give us the Opportunity of answering the Obje ction about theBulk andPrice. And on looking closer into the Subject, we found sufficient Reason to justify our Opinion. Thus then, instead of banishing SirRoger to the Desarts ofArabia, we confess that it was our In tention, every-where, except in hisPolitical Re flections, to keep that celebrated Writer close in our Eye: And in some Places we have accordingly contented ourselves with the inferior Glory of having only abridged him, where we could not, withequal Beauty and Propriety, give Words and Sentences different from his own; rather chusing to acknowledge our Obligations to so great a Master, than to arrogate to ourselves the Praises due to another. We have not, however, spar'd any of those Conceits, as SirRoger calls them, which we ima gin'd capable only of a trivial, or liable to a loose Construction. We have also presumed to alter, and put a stronger Point to several of the Fables themselves, which we thought capable of more forcible Morals. And instead of the Political Re flections, we have every-where substituted such as we hope will be found more general and in structive. For we think it in no wise excusable to inflame Childrens Minds with Distinctions, which they will imbibe fast enough from the At tachments of Parents,{et}c. and the Warmth of their own Imaginations. But nevertheless, we must add, That where-ever the Fablecompell'd, as we may say, a Political Turn, we have, in
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our Reflections upon it, always given that Pre ference to the Principles ofLiberty, which we hope will for ever be the distinguishing Cha racteristic of aBriton. As we are sensible of the alluring Force which Cuts or Pictures suited to the respective Subjects, have on the Minds of Children, we have in a quite new manner ingrav'd on Copper-Plates, at no small Expence, the Subject of every Fable; and presume, that the little Trouble which Chil dren will have to turn to the Cuts, as Ten of them are included in one Plate, will rather excite their Curiosity, and stimulate their Attention, than puzzle or confuse them, especially as the Readers are distinctly referr'd both to Page and Fable in every Representation. What we have said, may be thought sufficient to justify us with regard to the Equity of our De sign: But that we may intirely clear ourselves on this Head, we will subjoin the four following Lists, which will set the matter in a clear Light; and likewise convince every one concerned in the Busi ness of Education, how careful we have been to collect only such Fables, as were fit for the Instru ction of the Youth of both Sexes, at the same time that we hope it will not be found unworthy of the Perusal of Persons of riper Years and Understand ings. I. ALIST of suchFables of SirRoger Lestrange, which we have omitted, as being either of the like Nature, and affording the like Morals and Reflexions with others inserted; or from which such pertinent Morals could not be drawn, as we were de sirous to select for general Use.
Fab. Fab. Fab. Fab. Fab. Fab. Fab. Fab.
37 57 89 112 139 175 198 213
41 60 92 114 152 178 199 216
47 65 93 115 153 181 203 222
48 70 95 117 158 182 205 231
49 71 103 120 159 183 210 232
51 78 107 135 171 184 211 233
53 80 111 138 173 185 212 247
55 83
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II. ALIST of such Fables of SirRoger, as we have omit ted, as being rather to be deemed witty Conceits, facetious Tales, and sometimes ludicrous Stories, than instructive Apologues.
Fab. Fab. Fab. Fab. Fab. Fab. Fab. Fab.
183 273 303 337 370 405 436 465
184 275 304 338 371 406 437 466
185 276 305 339 372 407 438 467
232 278 306 340 373 408 439 468
242 279 307 341 374 409 440 469
244 280 308 342 375 410 441 470
245 281 309 343 376 411 442 471
247 282 311 344 377 412 443 472
249 283 312 348 378 413 444 473
250 284 313 349 379 414 446 474
251 285 315 351 380 415 447 475
252 286 316 354 381 416 448 476
253 287 318 355 384 417 451 481
255 288 321 356 385 418 452 482
256 289 322 357 386 419 453 483
259 291 323 359 387 420 454 485
260 292 325 360 389 421 455 486
261 293 326 361 391 423 456 489
263 294 328 362 392 424 457 490
264 295 329 363 394 425 458 493
265 296 330 364 395 426 459 494
266 297 331 365 396 427 460 496
268 298 332 366 397 428 461 497
269 299 334 367 399 429 462 498
270 301 335 368 401 432 463 499
271 302 336 369 402 434 464 500
III. ALIST of such Fables to which we have presumed to give entirely either new Morals or new Reflections, as we tho ught the Design of the Fables more naturally required, in order to direct them to general Use; or to avoid Party or Political Re flections.
Fab. Fab. Fab. Fab. Fab. Fab. Fab. Fab.
77 104 123 142 162 177 193 272
81 105 125 144 164 178 194 274
82 106 126 145 165 179 195 277
87 109 127 147 166 180 198 300
89 110 128 148 167 181 199 310
90 111 132 149 168 182 200 314
92 112 133 150 169 183 202 327
94 114 134 151 170 184 204 353
97 117 135 153 171 185 207 358
99 118 136 157 173 186 208 430
101 119 137 158 174 187 209 449
102 122 139 159 176 188 262 491
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IV. ALIST of such Fables of SirRoger, as we have taken the Liberty to alter, or enforce, that we might accommodate them to more useful Morals and Reflections.
Fab. Fab. Fab. Fab. Fab. Fab. Fab. Fab.
2 121 150 165 177 189 206 333
66 123 151 166 178 193 208 388
71 124 153 171 180 196 209 435
105 136 157 174 181 203 319 495
114 148
The following Fables as they stand in this Work are all that we are beholden for toVol. II. of Sir Roger; and we have not only taken great Liberty with them, but have fitted such Morals and Re flections to them, as we hope will be found equally agreeable and instructive. These are,
234. Traveller and Grasshoppers.
236. Partridges and Setting-Dog.
237. Lame Man and Blind.
238. The three pretended Penitents.
239. Disappointed Milkmaid.
AndFab 240. No To-Morrow, (which standsFab. 495.
in SirRoger's first Volume) we have turn'd from a most ludicrous one, to a very edifying Fable, as we presume will be found on Comparison; and therefore have chosen to conclude our Work with it. If thus we have banished from SirRoger all that his most partial Enemy could except against him; and have preserved all that has gained him the Approbation of the best Judges: If we have avoided the Faults of both Gentlemen (and we think we could point out, if we were put upon it, where the one has been faulty as well as the other; and a thousand Instances wherein he has infinitely fallen short of the Author he aims to supplant): Why should we not presume, that there may be Room for this Performance, which we now present to the Publick? To whose Judg ment we therefore submit it; and are willing to stand or fall by its Determination.
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THE LIFE of ÆSOP. WE have had the History ofÆsop so many times over and over, as SirRoger Lestrange observes, and dress'd up so many several Ways, that it would be but Labour lost to multiply un profitable Conjectures upon a Tradition of so great Un certainty. Writers are divided about him, almost to all manner of Purposes; and particularly concerning the Authority even of the greater Part of those Composi tions that pass the World in his Name: For the Story is come down to us so dark and doubtful, that it is im possible to distinguish the Original from the Copy; and to say which of the Fables areÆsop's, and which not; which are genuine, and which are spurious; beside, that there are divers Inconsistencies upon the Point of Chronology, in the Account of his Life, (asMaximus Planudes and others have deliver'd it) which can never be reconciled. This is enough in all Conscience to excuse any Man, says SirRoger, from laying over-much Stress upon the historical Credit of a Relation that comes so blindly and so variously transmitted to us; over and above, that it is not one Jot to our Business (further than to gratify an idle Curiosity) whether the Fact be true or false; whether the Man was strait or crooked; and his Name Æsop, or (as some will have it)Lochman: In all which Cases the Reader is left at Liberty to believe his Plea sure. This Uncertainty at first inclined us to avoid en tring into the Life ofÆsop, which we find mingled with so many trifling Circumstances, and subject to so great Confusion: But our Booksellers acquainting us, that
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something of this kind would be very acceptable to the Generality of Readers, and that those Editions had been most inquired after, which contained the Life of this excel lent Person; in Compliance with their Request, we will give a brief Summary of it, as we find it collected by the celebrated SirRoger Lestrange, omitting however such Parts of it, as seem either trivial or improbable. Æsop then (according toPlanudes, Camerarius and others) was by Birth ofAmmorius, a Town in theGreater Phrygia, (though some will have him to be aThracian, others aSamian) of a mean Condition, and his Person deformed, to the highest Degree: Flat-nosed, hunch back'd, blobber-lipp'd; a long mis-shapen Head; his Body crooked all over, big-belly'd, badger-legg'd, and his Complexion so swarthy, that he took his very Name from it; forÆsop is the same withÆthiop. And he was not only thus unhappy in his Figure; but we are told, that he had besides such an Impediment in his Speech, that People could very hardly understand what he said. Whether this was so or not, or how he came to be cur'd of it, if it was, the Reader is at Liberty to believe what he pleases: And so likewise of twenty other Passages up and down this History. Let it suffice, that (according to the common Tradition) he had been already twice bought and sold; and so, with SirRoger Lestrange, we shall date the Story of his Adventures, from his Entrance into the Service of at least a third Master. As to the Age he liv'd in, it is agreed upon among the Antients, that it was whenCrœsus govern'dLydia; as also thatXanthus, aSamian, was his Master And as this was his Condition, no wonder that many of the Things recorded of him were low and mean, and suited to the Circumstance of Life in which he was placed; but by which however he so signalized his Wisdom, as to raise himself to that Pitch of Honour to which he afterwards arrived. Among these the first we find recorded, is, That his Master having many Burdens to send by his Slaves to Ephesus, andÆsop being permitted, on Account of his bodily Weakness, to chuse which he would carry, he fixed upon a Panier of Bread, which was to support them on their Journey; but which was looked upon
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to be the heaviest of all. His Companions laughed at him for his Choice; but when they had dined and af ter wards supped out of his Panier upon their Journey, and found that the Provisions were quite consumed, and that he had nothing left to carry but an empty Basket, the Ridicule was turn'd upon themselves, and they began to considerÆsop in a much more advantageous Light than they had done before. The next thing we find mentioned of him, is, The famous Detection of the Villainies of his Fellow-Servants, who having a mind to some choice Figs, which were presented to their Master, confederated together to chargeÆsop with the Theft, and so eat them up with great Greediness; and as they had agreed, boldly accused Æsop of the Fact. His Master being incensed at him, order'd him to be punished; upon which he instantly had recourse to a large Draught of warm Water, and intreated that his Companions might be try'd the same way: and the Proof turn'd out according to his Wish; for he brought up the Water again, clear as he drank it, while the others brought up the Figs along with it, and so met with the Punishment and Disgrace designed for him. Æsop's Master having sold all his Slayes at Ephesus, except three, to wit, a Musician, an Orator, andÆsop, he carry'd them toSamos, and shew'd them there in the open Market; and while they were there, one Xan thus, an eminent Philosopher of that City, came to see them, with a Train of his Disciples at his Heels. The Philosopher was mightily pleased with the two Youths, and ask'd them one after another about their Profession, and what they could do. The one told him he could do any thing, the other that he could do every thing; and thenXanthus, interrogatedÆsop what he could do. Nothing at all, says he. How comes that, says the Phi losopher? My Companions, saysÆsop, undertake every thing, and there's nothing left for me to do. Well! saysXanthus, but if I should give Money for you now, would you be good and honest? I'll be that, says Æsop, whether you buy me or no. Ay, but tell me again, says the Philosopher, won't you run away? Pray, says Æsop, did you ever hear of a Bird in a Cage, that told his Master he intended to make his Escape?Xanthus
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was well enough pleas'd with the Turn and Quickness of his Wit; But, says he, that unlucky Shape of yours, will set People a hooting and gaping at you where-ever you go. A Philosopher, saysÆsop, should value a Man for his Mind, not for his Body. This Presence of Thought gaveXanthus a high Opinion of the Wisdom of the Man; and so he bad the Merchant set him his lowest Price of that miserable Creature. Why, says he, if you'il bid me like a Chapman for either of the other two, you shall have this Monster into the Bargain. The Philosopher, without any more ado, paid the Price agreed upon, and takingÆsop and his other Purchase away with him, presented him to his Wife, who at first was greatly offended at his mis-shapen Appearance, and up braided her Husband, as intending to affront her by so ill-favour'd a Present; but when she came to hear his witty Answers, and to know the Value of his intel lectual Qualities, she was better reconciled to him. Xanthus a while after, attended byÆsop, went to a Garden to buy some Herbs; and the Gardener, among other things, told him the Admiration he was in to find how much faster those Plants shot up that grew of their own accord, than those that he set himself, though he took never so much Care about them; and desired him, that as he was a Philosopher, he would tell him the Meaning of it?Xanthus had no better Answer at hand, than, That Providence would have it so. This not satisfying the Gardener, andXanthus see ingÆsop smile at it, he told him, with a supercilious Air, That it was below a Philosopher to busy his Head about such Trifles; But, says he, if you have a Curio sity to be better inform'd, you shall do well to ask my Slave here, and see what he'll say to you. Upon this the Gardener put the Question to Æsop, who gave him this Answer: The Earth is in the Nature of a Mother to what she brings forth of herself out of her own Bowels; whereas she is only a kind of Step Dame in the Production of Plants that are cultivated and assisted by the Help and Industry of another: So that it is natural for her to withdraw her Nourishment from the one, towards the Relief of the other. The Gar dener, upon this, was so well satisfy'd, that he would take no Money for his Herbs, and desiredÆsop to
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make use of his Garden for the future, as if it were his own. After this,Xanthus, and his Wife, who lived toge ther but upon indifferent Terms in the general, had a very great Quarrel, which was carry'd to such an Height on her Part, that she pack'd up her Apparel, and other things, left his House, and went to her own Relations; and no Persuasions or Intreaties could incline her to re turn. Æsop seeingXanthus much disturbed at her Obsti nacy, said, Come, Master, pluck up a good Heart; for I have a Project that shall bring my Mistress to you back again, with as good a Will as ever she went from you. Away immediately he hies to the Market, among the Butchers, Poulterers, Fishmongers, Con fectioners, {et}c. for the best of every thing that was in Season; giving out where-ever he came, that his Master's Wife having run away from him, he had married an other; and this was to be the Wedding-Feast. The News flew like Lightning, and soon reach'd the Ears of the run-away Lady (for every body knewÆsop to be a Servant in that Family); and she was so moved upon it, that away she posts back to her Husband, falls upon him with Outrages of Looks and Language; and after the easing of her Mind a little, No,Xanthus, says she, do not you flatter yourself with the Hopes of en joying another Woman while I am alive.Xanthus receiv'd her very gladly, and was highly pleased with Æsop's Contrivance; nor was his Mistress less pleased at so agreeable an Imposture, and all was well again. Xanthus would needs give a Feast upon his Reconci liation with his Wife; and having invited his Frieds, order'dÆsop to procure the best Provisions he could think of for their Entertainment: And when they were all sat down to Table, the first Service was Neats Tongues sliced, which the Philosophers took Occasion to dis course and quibble upon in a grave formal Way, as thatthe Tongue is the Oracle of Wisdom, and the like. Xanthus, upon this, calls for a second Course, and after that for a third, and so for a fourth, which were all Tongues, over and over again still, only several ways dressed, which put him into a furious Passion. Thou Villain, says he, is this according to my Order, to have
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nothing butTongues upon Tongues? Sir, saysÆsop, your Order was, That I should make the best Provision that I could think of, for the Entertainment of these excel lent Persons; and if the Tongue be the Key that leads us in to all Knowledge, what could be more proper and suitable thana Feast of Tongues for a Philosophical Ban quet? WhenXanthus found the Sense of the Table to be onÆsop's Side; Well, my Friends, says he, pray will you eat with me to Morrow, and I'll try if I can mend your Chear: And pray, says he toÆsop, let it be your Care to provide us a Supper to Morrow, since you seem to be set on Contradictions, of the veryworst things you can think of. Next Day, the Guests being again met according to Appointment,Æsop had provided them the very same Services ofTongues over and over, as they had the Day before. Sirrah, saysXanthus in a Passion, what's the Meaning of this, thatTongues should be thebest of Meatsone Day, and theworst the other? Why, Sir, says he, there is not any Wickedness under the Sun, that theTongue has not a Part in; and you, of all Men, have Reason to know as well its mischievous as good Quali ties, both as a Husband and a Philosopher. To what else is this Banquet owing?--For was it not an evil Tongue that occasion'd that great Breach in your Family, the making up of which you and your Friends are met to rejoice over? And was it not also owing to soft Speeches, and mild Expostulations, from the same Tongue, that all is well again? Surely, Sir, you have found a Tongue to be thebest and theworst Entertainment, if ever Man did; and have Cause to be satisfy'd with the Banquet of both Days. The Story ofÆsop's bringing a Guest to his Master Xanthus, who had no sort of Curiosity in him, we think not worth inserting; for besides the Improbabi lity of it, it was more to be attributed, if true, to his good Fortune than to his Sagacity, that he could find one so very incurious and careless of all that happen'd; for 'twas impossible, were he ever so good a Physiog mist, that he could answer for all the Event from the Lines of the Fellow's Countenance, or to know that he
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would not be mov'd by the Trials that would be put to him byXanthus. Xanthus, after this, having some Business at the Pub lick-Hall, sentÆsop to see if the Court was sat, and many People there In his Way, a Magistrate meets him, and asks him whither he was going? Why truly, saysÆsop, I don't know. The Magistrate took it that he banter'd him, and order'd an Officer to carry him to Prison. Well, saysÆsop, to the Magistrate; is it not true now, that I did not know whither I was going? The Magistrate, pleased at the Fancy, discharg'd him, and so he went forward to the Hall; where, among a world of People, some gazing, some litigating, he saw one Man, who had arrested another for Debt, agree to discharge his Debtor, on being paid down half what was owing.Æsop, upon this, went back and told his Master that he had been at the Hall, and saw but one Man there.Xanthus going himself to learn the Truth of the Matter, found the Court extremely throng'd; and turn ing short uponÆsop, in great Indignation, Sirrah, says he, are all these People come since you told me there was but one Man here? 'Tis very true, saysÆsop, there was a huge Crowd, and yet but one Man that I could see in that vast Multitude, who deserved the Name. Xanthus, not long after, being in his Cups, wager'd all he was worth, that he would drink the Sea dry, and bound the extravagant Wager, with a very valuable Signet-Ring, that he wore on his Finger. Next Day, finding what he had done, he was much concern'd at his Folly, especially as he knew he was in such Hands, as would make an Advantage of it.Æsop undertook to bring him off, and put him in Mind, that he had only conditioned to drink the Sea, but not the Rivers and Streams that run into it; and bid him insist on his Adversary's stopping all those Inlets, and then he might undertake to drink up the Sea. Xanthus follow'd his Advice, and the Persons who were chosen Judges on the Occasion, agreed that there was Justice in the Plea; and so he got rid of the Wager with Honour, to the Confusion of his Antagonist, who was obliged to give up the Ring again.
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In the Days ofÆsop, the World was mightily addicted to Augury; that is to say, to the Gathering of Omens from the Cry and Flight of Birds. Upon this Account it was, thatXanthus one Day sentÆsop into the Yard, and bad him look well about him: If you see two Crows, says he, you'il have good Luck after it; but if you should chance to spy one single Crow, 'tis a bad Omen, and some Ill will betide you.Æsop stept out, and came immediately back again, and told his Master he had seen two Crows. Hereupon Xanthus went out himself, and finding but one, (for the other was flown away) he fell outrageously uponÆsop for making Sport with him, and ordered him to be soundly lashed for it; but just as they were stripping him for the Discipline, in comes one to inviteXanthus abroad to supper. Well, Master, saysÆsop, and where's the Credit of yourAu gury now? When I, that saw two Crows, am to be beaten like a Dog, and you, that saw but one, are going to make merry with your Friends? The Reason and Quickness of this Reflection pacify'd the Master, and sav'dÆsop a severe Correction. The Writers ofÆsop's Life, next, give us a Story of Æsop's finding hidden Treasure, by virtue of an obsolete Greek Inscription: But it contains such idle and childisn Play upon Letters and Words, that we chuse to pass it over, only observing, thatXanthus who on this Occa sion had promised him his Liberty, and half the Trea sure, broke both Promises with him, and gave him neither. But it was not long before he obtained his Liberty, on another Occasion, which was as follows: On a certain solemn Day, the Ring that had the Town-Seal ofSamos upon it, was carry'd away by an Eagle, which took it up in the Air, and dropt it into the Bosom of a Slave. TheSamians took this for a Foreboding, that threaten'd some dismal Calamity to the State, and in a general Consternation, they presently call'd a Council of their wise Men, andXanthus among the rest, to give their Opinions upon this mysterious Accident. They were all at a Loss what to think of it, onlyXanthus desired some few Days Time for further Consideration. And not finding himself capable of giving any probable Solution of an Incident so odd, he laid the Matter before
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Æsop, who desiring to be introduced to the Council, promised to give them Satisfaction on the Point, and to take upon himself the Issue of the Matter, let it end either in Credit or Disgrace. Xanthus, willing to be freed from the Uneasiness, which the Expectations of the City had given him, follow'd this Advice, and next Morning introducedÆsop to the Council, many of whom mocked and ridiculed his uncouth Shape and Appearance; but being at last convinced by his prudent Observations, that the outward Shape of a Man ought not to be regarded, but the Fa culties of his Mind only, they attended to what he had to say. He then told them, that when he considered the Weight of the Matter in Hand, and the Office that he was then to perform, he imagined it would as little stand with their Honour to take the Opinion of a Slave into their Councils and Debates, as it would with his Condition to offer it; beside the Risque he run of his Master's Displeasure upon the Event. But all this yet may be obviated, said he, my Fears secur'd, my Modesty gratify'd, and your own Dignity preserv'd, only by making me a Freeman before-hand to qualify me for the Function. They all said it was a most reasonable Thing, and presently treated about the Price of his Li berty, and order'd theQuæstors to pay down the Money. WhenXanthus saw the thing must be done, he could not decently stand higgling about the Price; but making a Virtue of Necessity, he chose rather topresent Æsop to the Commonwealth, than tosell him. Thesamians took it very kindly, andÆsop was presentlymanumiz'd, made a Citizen in Form, and proclaim'd a Freeman; and after this Ceremony, he discoursed upon the Sub ject of the Portent as follows: I shall not need to tell so many wise and knowing Men, that the Eagle is a Royal Bird, and signifies a great King; that the dropping of the Ring in the Bosom of a Slave that has no Power over himself, portends the Loss of your Liber ties, if you do not look to yourselves in time; and that some potent Prince has a Design upon you; and who should this be, said he, so likely asCrœsus King ofLydia, who is actu ally arming for some Enterprize, as you well know; and which may as probably fall upon your State, as any other?
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In a very little Time the Event justified the Pre diction; for KingCrœsus sent Ambassadors to demand a Tribute on the behalf of their Master, and threatened theSamians with an Invasion in case of a Refusal. This Affair came to be debated in the Council, where the Majo rity was rather for Peace with Slavery, than for running the Risque of a Dispute with so powerful a Prince; but they would not come to a Resolution yet, without first consultingÆsop what they had best to do; who gave them his Thoughts upon it in Words to this Effect: You have two Ways before you, says he, one of which you must take; the First is,The Way of Liberty, which is narrow and rugged at the Entrance, but plainer and smoother still the farther you go. Secondly,The Way of Servitude, that seems to be easy at first, but you will find it afterwards to be full of intolerable Difficulties. The Samians, upon these Words, declar'd themselves unani mously for Liberty, and that since they were at present free, they would never make themselves Slaves by their own Consent: So the Ambassadors departed, and a War was denounced. WhenCrœsus came to understand the Resolution the Samians had taken, and how inclinable they were to a Compliance, tillÆsop, by the Power only of a few Words, diverted them from it, he made an Offer to the Samians, upon their sendingÆsop to him, to put a Stop at present to the Course of his Arms. WhenÆsop came to hear of this Proposition, he told them, that he was not against their sending of him, provided only that he might tell them one Story before he left them. ‘ In old Time, says he, there happened to be a fierce War betwixt the Wolves and the Sheep; and the Sheep, by the Help of the Dogs, had rather the better of it. The Wolves, upon this, offer'd the Sheep a Peace, on Condition only, that they might have their Dogs for Hostages; the credulous Sheep agreed to it, and as soon as ever they had parted with the Dogs, the Wolves broke in upon them, and destroy'd them at Pleasure.‘ SeeFab. 44.
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TheSamians quickly apprehended the Moral of this Fable, and cried out, one and all, that they would not part withÆsop: But this did not hinder him how ever from putting himself aboard, and taking a Passage forLydia with the Ambassadors. On his Arrival at theLydian Court,Æsop presented himself before the King, who looking upon him with Contempt, Hatred, and Indignation; Is this a Man, says he, to hinder the King ofLydia from being Master of Samos? Æsop then, with a Reverence after theLydian Fashion, deliver'd what he had to say: ‘ I am not here, says he, Great King, in the Quality of a Man that is given up by his Country, or under the Compulsion of any Force; but it is of my own accord that I am now come to lay myself at your Majesty's -Feet, and with this only Request, that you will vouchsafe me the Honour of your Royal Ear and Patience but for a few Words: „ There was a Boy hunting of Locusts, and he had the Fortune to take a Grasshopper. She found he was about to kill her, and pleaded after this manner for her Life. Alas! says she, I never did any body an Injury, and never had it either in my Will or my Power to do it. All my Business is my Song; and what will you be the better for my Death? The Youth's Heart relented, and he set the simple Grass hopper at Liberty.„ ‘ Your Majesty has now that innocent Creature before you: There's nothing that I can pretend tobut my Voice, which I have ever employ'd, so far as in me lay, to the Service of Mankind.’ The King was so tenderly moved with the Modesty and Prudence of the Man, that he did not only give him his Life, but bad him ask any thing farther that he had a Mind to, and it should be granted him. Why then, saysÆsop, with that Veneration, Gratitude and Respect that the Case required, I do most humbly im plore your Majesty's Favour for my Countrymen the Samians. The King granted him his Request, and con firmed it under his Seal; beside that the Piety of making that Petition his Choice, was a farther Recommendation of him to his Royal Kindness and Esteem.
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Æsop soon after this returned toSamos with the News of the Peace, where he was welcomed with all the Instances of Joy and Thankfulness imaginable; inso much that they erected a Statue for him, with an In scription upon it, in Honour of his Memory. FromSamos he return'd afterwards toCrœsus, for whose sake he compos'd several of thoseApologues that pass in the World to this Day under his Name. His Fancy lay extremely to travelling; but above all other Places he had the greatest Mind to seeBabylon: To which end he got Letters of Recommendation from Crœsus to the King there; who, according toHerodotus, was a Friend and an Ally ofCrœsus's, and his Name, Labynetus, notLycerus, asPlanudes has handed it down to us upon a great Mistake. But his Curiosity led him first to pass throughGreece, for the sake of theseven wise Men, whose Reputation was at that Time famous all over the World. He had the good Hap in his Tra vels to find them atCorinth, together withAnacharsis, and several of their Followers and Disciples, where they were all treated byPeriander, at aVilla of his not far from the Town. This Encounter was to the common Satisfaction of the whole Company; the Entertainment philosophical and agreeable; and among other Discourses, they had some Controversy upon the Subject of Go vernment, and which was the most excellent Form; Æsop being still forMonarchy, and therest for aCommon wealth. He travell'd thence, a while after, intoAsia, and so toBabylon, according to his first Intention. It was the Fashion in those Days for Princes to exer cise Trials of Skill in the putting and resolving of Rid dles, and intricate Questions; and he that was the best at the clearing or untying of knotty Difficulties, carried the Prize.Æsop's Faculty lay notably that way, and render'd him so serviceable to the King, that it brought him both Reputation and Reward. It was his Unhap piness to have no Children, for the Comfort and Sup port of his old Age; so that, with the King's Consent, he adopted a youug Man, who was well born, and in ge ious enough, but poor; his Name wasEnnus. Æsop took as much care of his Institution as if he had been his own Child, and train'd him up in those Principles of Virtue and Knowledge, that might most probably
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render him great and happy. But there is no working upon a flagitious and perverse Nature, by Kindness and Discipline; andEnnus, after the Manner of other wicked Men, heaping one Villainy upon another, counterfeits his FatherÆsop's Name and Hand to certain Letters, where he promises his Assistance to the neighbour Princes againstLabynetus. These LettersEnnus carries to the King, and charges his Father with Treason, tho' in Appearance with all the Trouble and Unwillingness that was possible; only a Sense of his Duty to his King and his Country swallow'd up all other Respects of Reverence and Modesty that a Son owes to a Father. The King took all these Calumnies for Instances of Ennus's Affection to him, without the least Suspicion of any Fraud in the Matter: So that without any fur ther Enquiry, he order'dÆsop to be put to Death. The Persons to whom the Care of his Execution was com mitted, being well assured of his Innocence, and of the King's ungovernable Passions, took him out of the Way, and gave it out that he was dead. Some few Days after this, there came Letters toLa bynetus fromAmasis the King ofÆgypt, whereinLa bynetus was desir'd byAmasis, to send him a certain Architect that could raise a Tower that should hang in the Air, and likewise resolve all Questions.Labynetus was at a great Loss what Answer to return; and the Fierceness of his Displeasure againstÆsop being by this time somewhat abated, he would often profess, that if the parting with one half of his Kingdom could bring him to Life again, he would give it.Hermippus and others, who had kept him out of the Way, told the King, upon the Hearing of this, that Æsop was yet alive: So they were commanded to bring him forth, and he no sooner appear'd, but he made his Innocence so manifest, thatLabynetus, in extreme Displeasure and Indignation, commanded the false Accuser to be put to Death with the most exquisite Torments; but Æsop, after all this, interceded for him, and obtain'd his Pardon, upon a charitable Presumption, that the Sense of so great a Goodness and Obligation would yet work upon him.
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UponÆsop's coming again into Favour, he had the King ofÆgypt's Letter given him to consider of, and advisedLabynetus to send him for Answer, That early the next Spring he should have the Satisfaction he de sired. Things being in this State,Æsop tookEnnus home to him again, and so order'd the Matter, that he wanted neither Counsels nor Instructions, nor any other Helps or Lights that might dispose him to the leading of a virtuous Life, as will appear by the following Pre cepts: My Son, says he,worship God with Care and Reve rence, and with a Sincerity of Heart, void of all Hy pocrisy or Ostentation: Not as if that divine Name and Power were only an Invention to fright Women and Chil dren;but know that God is Omnipresent, True, and Almighty. Have a Care even of your most private Actions and Thoughts;for God sees through you, and your Conscience will bear witness against you. It is according to Prudence as well as Nature, to pay that Honour to your Parents, that you expect your Chil dren should pay to you. Do all the Good you can to all Men, but in the first Place to your nearest Relations;and do no Hurt however, where you can de no Good. Keep a Guard upon your Wordsas well as upon your Actions,that there be no Impurity in either. Follow the Dictates of your Reason, and you are safe; and have a Care of impotent Affections. Apply yourself to learn more, so long as there is any thing left that you do not know, and value good Counsel before Money. Our Minds must be cultivated as well as our Plants; the Improvement of our Reason makes us like Angels, whereas the Neglect of it turns us into Beasts. There is no permanent and inviolable Good, but Wisdom and Virtue, tho' the Study of it signisies little without the Practice. Do not think it impossible to be a wise Man, without looking over-sour. Wisdom makes Men grave, but not morose or inhuman.
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Keep Faith with all Men. Have a Care of a Lye, as you would of Sacrilege. Great Babblers have no regard either to Honesty or Truth. Take Delight in, and frequent the Company of good Men; for it will give you a Tincture of their Manners. Take heed of that vulgar Error, of thinking that there is any Good in Evil. It is a Mistake when Men talk of profitable Knavery, or of starving Honesty; for Virtue and Justice carry all that is good and profitable along with them. Let every Man mind his own Business;for Curiosity is restless. Speak not Ill of any body. You are no more to hear Ca lumnies, than to report them. Beside that, they who practise the one, commonly love the other. Propose honest Things, follow wholsome Counsels, and leave the Event to God. Let no Man despair in Adversity, nor presume in Pro sperity; for all Things are changeable. Rise early to your Busmess, learn good Things, and ob lige good Men;these are three Things you shall never repent of. Have a Care of Luxury and Gluttony; but of Drunk enness especially;for Wine, as well as Age, makes a Man a Child. Watch for the proper Opportunities of doing things;for there is nothing well done but what is done in Season. Love and Honour Kings, Princes, and Magistrates; for they are the Bands of Society, in punishing of the Guilty, and protecting the Innocent. These, or such as these, were the Lessons thatÆsop read daily to his Son; but so far was he from mending upon them, that he grew every Day worse and worse, shewing that it is not in the Power of Art or Disci pline to rectify a perverse Nature, or, asEuripides says, tomake a Man wise that has no Soul. But however, according toNeveletus, he came soon after to be touch'd in Conscience for his barbarous Ingratitude, and died in a raging Remorse for what he had done. The Spring was now at Hand, andÆsop was pre paring for the Task he had undertaken about the Build ing of a Tower in the Air, and resolving all manner of
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Questions: But, says our judicious Author, I shall say no more of that romantick Part of the History, than that he went intoEgypt, and acquitted himself of his Commission toAmasis with great Reputation. From thence he went back toLabynetus, laden with Honours and Rewards; from whom he got leave once more to visitGreece; but upon Condition of returning toBa bylon by the first Opportunity. WhenÆsop had almost taken the whole Tour of Greece, he went toDelphos, either for theOracle's sake, or for the sake of thewise Men who frequented that Place. But when he came thither, he found Matters to be quite otherwise than he expected, and so far from deserving the Reputation they had in the World for Piety, Learning and Wisdom, that he found them im moral, ignorant, and conceited, and hereupon deliver'd his Opinion of them under this Fable: ‘ I find, says he, the Curiosity that brought me hither, to be much the Case of People at the Sea-fide, that see something come hulling toward them a great Way off at Sea, and take it at first to be some mighty Mat ter, but upon driving nearer and nearer the Shore, it proves at last to be only a heap of Weeds and Rub bish.’ SeeFab. 145. The Magistrates of the Place took infinite Offence at this Liberty, and presently enter'd into a Conspiracy against him, to take away his Life, for fear he should give them the same Character elsewhere in his Travels, that he had done there upon the Place. It was not so safe, they thought, nor so effectual a Revenge to make him away in private; but if they could so contrive it, as to bring him to a shameful End under a Form of Justice, it would better answer their Design. To which Purpose, they caused a golden Cup belonging to their Temple, to be secretly convey'd into his Baggage, when he was packing up to depart. He was no sooner out of the Town upon his Journey, but he was pursued and taken by the Officers, and charg'd with Sacrilege. Æsop deny'd the Matter, and laugh'd at them all for a Company of mad Men; but upon the searching of his Boxes, they found the Cup, and shew'd it to the
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People, hurrying him away to Prison in the middle of his Defence. They brought him the next Day into Court, where notwithstanding the Proof of his Innocence, as clear as the Day, he was condemned to die; and his Sentence was to be thrown headlong from a Rock, down a steep Precipice. After his Doom was past, he prevailed upon them, with much ado, to be heard a few Words, and so told them the Story of the Frog and the Mouse, as it stands in the Fable. This wrought nothing upon the Hearts of theDel phians; but as they were bawling at the Executioner to dispatch, and do his Office,Æsop on a sudden gave them the Slip, and fled to an Altar hard by there, in hopes the Religion of the Place might have protected him; but theDelphians told him, that the Altars of the Gods were not to be any Sanctuary to those that robbed their Temples; whereupon he took Occasion to tell them a Fable of aBeetle, who being injur'd by an Eagle, found means to draw down Vengeance upon her powerful Oppressor, notwithstanding his supetior Might. Now, saysÆsop, after the telling of this Fable, you are not to flatter yourselves that the Violators of holy Altars, and the Oppressors of the Innocent, shall ever escape divine Vengeance. This enraged the Magistrates to such a Degree, that they commanded the Officers immediately to takeÆsop from the Altar, and dispatch him away to his Execution. WhenÆsop found that neither the Sanctity of the Place, nor the Clearness of his Innocence were sufficient to protect him, and that he was to fall a Sacrifice to Subornation and Power, he gave them yet one Fable more as he was upon the Way to Execution: ‘ There was an old Fellow, says he, that had spent his whole Life in the Country without ever seeing the Town; he found himself weak and decaying, and nothing would serve, but his Friends must needs shew him the Town once before he died. Their Asses were very well acquainted with the Way, and so they caused them to be made ready, and turned the old Man and Asses loose, without a Guide, to try their Fortune. They were
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overtaken upon the Road by a terrible Tempest, so that what with the Darkness, and the Violence of the Storm, the Asses were beaten out of the Way, and tumbled with the old Man into a Pit, where he had only Time to deliver his last Breath with this Ex clamation: Miserable Wretch that I am, to be de stroy'd, since die I must, by the basest of Beasts, by Asses!’ And that's my Fate now, continuedÆsop, in suffer ing by the Hands of a barbarous sottish People, that understand neither Humanity or Honour; and act con trary to the Tyes of Hospitality and Justice. But the Gods will not suffer my Blood to lie unreveng'd, and I doubt not, but that in Time the Judgment of Heaven will give you to understand your Wickedness by your Punishment. He was speaking on, but they push'd him off headlong from the Rock, and he was dash'd to pieces with the Fall. TheDelphians soon after this, were visited with Fa mine and Pestilence, to such a Degree, that they went to consult the Oracle ofApollo, to know what Wicked ness it was, had brought these Calamities upon them. The Oracle gave them this Answer, That they were to expiate for the Death ofÆsop. In the Conscience of their Barbarity, they erected aPyramid to his Honour; and it is upon Tradition, that a great many of the most eminent Men among the Greeks of that Time, went afterwards toDelphos, upon the News of the tragical End ofÆsop, to learn the Truth of the History; and found upon Enquiry, that the principal of the Conspira tors had laid violent Hands upon themselves. This is the Account which theGreeks have given us ofÆsop, of his deplorable End, and of the Judgment which overtook those who were the Occasion of it. But it having been already said, (Seepag. xv.) that some will haveÆsop to be the same asLochman among the Persians, it may not be amiss to give the Substance of what the learned Authors of theUniversal History, now publishing with great Applause, have delivered us in re lation to this Point. Having first given thatPersian Sage his deserved Character for Wisdom, (Vol. II.p. 198, 199.)
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they say; ‘ What we have reported, is sufficient to shew that there is a strong Resemblance between the History ofLochman, as reported by theEastern Writers, and that ofÆsop, as we find it written by theGreeks. Both were mean in their Original; both Slaves thro' the Severity of Fortune; both famous for their Wis dom; and both delivered their Maxims in the same Manner; that is, by way of Apologue. But there is a wide Difference between the Times, in which the oriental Authors sayLochman lived, and those wherein theGreeks place Æsop. As to the first, it is generally al lowed thatLochman lived in the Reign ofSolomon; whereasÆsop is said to have been cotemporary with Crœsus King ofLydia, andSolon theAthenian Legisla tor. From the History of their Lives, and the Com parison of their Fables, there is all the Reason in the World to believe thatLochman andÆsop were the same Person: The Difficulty seems to lie here, Whe ther theGreeks stole him from the Orientals, or whe ther the Orientals took him from theGreeks. It seems most natural to believe the former, since in such Cases, theGreeks are known to have been notorious Thieves, and to have alter'd every Point of ancient History they were able to turn to their own Advan tage. Besides, the Apologue was certainly the fa vourite Mode of Teaching in theEast, long before that, or any other kind of Learning, was known to theGreeks.’ The same Authors give us, among several others, the following Instance of the Wisdom ofLochman: They tell us, That standing one Day in the midst of a great Throng of People, who were greedily listening to his wise Precepts, a certain Man of Rank asked him, If he was not the black Slave whom he had formerly seen tending Sheep; and he answering in the Affirmative, How then, said the Gentleman, have you attained to so high a Degree of Virtue? By these three easy Steps, saysLochman, I have always spoke the Truth;I have constantly kept my Word;and I have never meddled in any thing which did not concern me. A Persian Poet also gives the like Story ofLochman, which we have inserted ofÆsop in relation to the Figs and warm Water. Sir John Chardin tells us, that at this Day thePersians are
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so fond of his Fables, that they are the first Things they teach their Children, and spare no Pains to make them enter into, and comprehend their Meaning. AndMa homet himself has a whole Chapter in hisKoran, in Praise of this wise Man; which makes his Character and Maxims not a little rever'd among theMahometans of all Nations. One Passage relating to the Duty of Children to Pa rents we shall extract from this Chapter, as a proper Conclusion to the Life ofÆsop, and an useful Preface to the following Collection of Fables; but which, at the same Time, was probably borrowed from that ex cellent Commandment of God,Honour thy Father and thy Mother, that thy Days may be long in the Land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee. That Passage is to this Purpose: ‘ Remember whatLochman has injoined to Man, to honour his Father and his Mother; his Mo ther bringeth him forth in Sorrow, and weaneth him at two Years old: Be not then forgetful of God's Benefits: Honour thy Father and thy Mother; for thou shalt one Day be judged before God.’
An Alphabetical Index to the FABLES.
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THE FABLES OF ÆSOP, &c. ------------------------------------------------------------

Fable 1.A Cock and a Precious Stone.

AS a Cock was scratching upon a Dunghill, he turn'd up a precious Stone. Well, says he, this sparkling Foolery to a Jeweller, would have been something; but to me, a Barley-Corn is worth an hundred Diamonds.

Moral.

A wise Man will always prefer Things necessary before Mat ters of Curiosity, Ornament, or Pleasure.

Reflection.

The Moralists, as Sir Roger L'Estrange observes, will haveWisdom andVirtue to be meant by the Diamond; theWorld, and thePleasures of it, by theDunghill; and by theCock, avoluptuous Man, who abandons himself to his Lusts, without any regard, either to the Study, the Practice, or the Excellency of better things. But, adds he, with the Favour of the Ancients, this Fable seems rather to hold forth an Emblem of Industry and Moderation. The Cock lives by his honest Labour: His scraping upon the Dunghill is but working in his Calling: The precious Stone is only a gaudy Temptation thrown in his way, to divert him from his Business and his Duty: He would have been glad, he says, of a Bar ley-Corn instead of it, and so casts it aside as a thing
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not worth heeding. This is passing of a true Estimate upon the Matter, in preferring that which Providence has pronounced to be the Staff of Life, before a glitter ing Gew-gaw, that has no other Value than what Va nity, Pride and Luxury have set upon it. The Price of the Market to a Jeweller in his Trade, is one thing; but the intrinsick Worth of a thing to a Man of Sense and Judgment, is another. Nay, that very Lapidary himself, as the same Author observes, with a coming Stomach, and in the Cock's Place, would have made the Cock's Choice. The Doctrine, in short, is, That we are to prefer things necessary before things superfluous; the Comforts and the Blessings of Providence before the dazling and splendid Curiosities of Mode and Ima gination: And finally, that we are not to govern our Lives by Fancy, but by Reason.

Fab. 2.A Fox and a Cock.

IT was the hard Fortune once of a Cock to fall into the Clutches of a Fox.Reynard wanted to be upon his Bones, but yet was desirous of some plausible colour for it. Sirrah, says he, what do you keep such a scream ing o'nights for, that no body can sleep near you? Alas! says the Cock, I seldom wake any body, but when 'tis time for them to rise and go about their Business. This is a sorry Excuse with me, says the Fox; for dost thou not alarm the whole Neighbourhood so, that my Life is continually in danger whenever I prow! this way in a Morning? In truth, says the Cock, that's not my Intention when I crow, which is only to shew my Joy for the Dawn of the Day, and to revive the Hearts of my Wives. Come, come, saysReynard, Foxes don't live upon Dialogues; and 'tis time for me to go to Breakfast. At which Word he gave him a Gripe, and so made an end both of the Cock and the Story.

Fab. 3.A Wolf and a Lamb.

AS a Wolf was lapping at the Head of a Fountain, he spy'd a Lamb paddling at the same time a good way off down the Stream, and away he run open mouth to it. Villain, says he, how dare you lie mud dling the Water that I'm a drinking? Indeed, says the poor Lamb, I did not think that my drinking here be
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low, could have foul'd your Water so farabove. Nay, says t'other, you'll never leave your chopping of Logick till your Skin's turn'd over your Ears, as your Father's was six Months ago, for prating at this saucy rate; you remember it full well, Sirrah! If you'll believe me, Sir, quoth the innocent Lamb, with fear and trembling, I was not come into the World then. Why, thou Impu dence, cries the Wolf, hast thou neither Shame nor Con science? But it runs in the Blood of your whole Race, Sirrah, to hate our Family; and therefore you shall e'en pay some of your Fore-fathers Scores. And so, without any more ado, he tore the poor Lamb in pieces. Moral of the Two Fables. Innocence is no Protection against the arbitrary Cruelty of a tyrannical Power;but Reason and Conscience are, how ever, such sacred Things, that the greatest Villainies are generally cloak'd under the Shadow of those Names.

Reflection.

Pride and Cruelty never want a Pretence to do mis- chief. The Plea ofNot Guilty goes for nothing against Power in ill Hands: For Accusing is Proving, where Malice and Force are join'd in the Prosecution. This is the lively Image of a perverse Reason of State, set up in opposition to Truth and Justice; but under the august Name and Pretence, however, of both. When the Cocks and the Lambs lie at the Mercy of Foxes and Wolves, they must never expect better Quarter, espe cially, as Sir Roger L'Estrange observes, where the Heart's blood of the one is the Nourishment and Entertainment of the other.

Fab. 4.A Frog, Mouse, and Kite.

THere happen'd once a terrible Quarrel betwixt the Frogs and the Mice, about the Sovereignty of the Fens; and whilst two of their Champions were dispute ing it with their utmost Might, down comes a Kite pow dering upon them, and gobbets up both together.

Fab. 5.A Lion, Bear, and Fox.

ALion and Bear had so long fought over a Fawn which they had kill'd, that they were glad to lie down and take breath. In which Instant, a Fox passed that way, and finding how the Case stood with
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the two Combatants, he seized upon the dead Fawn, and scamper'd quite away with him. The Lion and the Bear, not being in Condition to rise and hinder it, pass'd this Reflection upon the Matter: Here we have been wor rying one another who should have the Booty, till this treacherous Fox has bobb'd us both. Moral of the Two Fables. When Fools go together by the Ears, Knaves generally run away with the Stakes.

Reflection.

This is no more than what we see daily in popular Factions, where pragmatical Fools commonly begin the Squabble, and crafty Knaves reap the Benefit of it. There is very rarely any Quarrel, either public or private, whe ther betwixt Persons or Parties, but a third watches, and hopes to be the better for it; and all is but accord ing to the old Proverb,While two Dogs are fighting for a Bone, a third runs away with it. 'Tis none of the slightest Arguments therefore in all Disputes, for the Necessity of a common Peace, that the Litigants gene rally tear one another in Pieces for the Benefit of some third Interest; some rapacious Kite, or treacherous Fox, which, either by Strength or by Craft, masters or de ceives both Plaintiff and Defendant, and carries away the Booty.

Fab. 6.A Dog and a Shadow.

AS a Dog was crossing a River with a Piece of Flesh in his Mouth, he saw, as he thought, another Dog under the Water, upon the very same Adventure. He never consider'd, that the one was only the Image of the other; but, out of a Greediness to get both, he chops at the Shadow, and loses the Substance.

Moral.

This is the Case of unreasonable and insatiable Desires, grasping at what is out of their Reach, till they lose the Good they had in Possession. All covet, all lose,says the Proverb.

Reflection.

How wretched is the Man who knows not when he is well, but passes away the Peace and Comfort of his Life for the gratifying of a fantastical Appetite or Humour! Ambition is a Ladder that reaches from Earth
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to Heaven; and the first Round is but so many Inches in a Man's Way towards the mounting of all the rest. He is never well till he is at the Top, and when he can go no higher, he must either hang in the Air, or fall; for in this case he has nothing above him to aspire to, nor any Hold left him to come down by. Avarice is always beggarly; for a covetous Man is ever in Want. The Desire ofmore and more rises by a natural Gradation tomost, and after that, toall; till in the Conclusion we find ourselves (like Alexander the Great, who, when he had conquer'd the World, wept that there were no more Worlds to conquer) sick and weary of all that is possible to be had, solicitous for something else; and then when we have spent our Days in quest of the meanest things, and often at the Feet of the worst of Men, we find at the Bottom of the Account, that all the Enjoyments un der the Sun are not worth struggling for. To return to the Fable; Æsop 's Dog here, was in the Possession of a very good Breakfast, and he knew very well what he had in his Mouth; but still, either out of Levity, Curio sity or Greediness, he must be chopping at something else, that he neither wanted nor understood, till he for feited a real Good for an imaginary one; and lost all for a Shadow.

Fab. 7.A Lion and Other Beasts a hunting.

ALion, a Wolf, a Bear and a Fox went a hunting one Day; and every one was to go share and share alike in what they took. They pluck'd down a Stag, and di vided him into four Parts; but as they were entring each upon his Dividend, Hands off, says the Lion,This Part is mine, by reason of my Quality;this, because I took most Pains for it;this again, because I have Occa- sion for it; and if you dispute thefourth, we must e'en pluck a Crow about it: So the Mouths of the Confede rates were all stopt, and they went away as mute as Fishes.

Moral.

Unequal Leagues or Alliances are generally to be avoided; for he who has the Knife, that is to say, the Power, in his Hand, will commonly be his own Carver.

Reflection.

The Poor and the Weak always lie at the Mercy of the Rich and the Powerful, such therefore should have a care
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how they engage themselves in Partnerships with Men too mighty for them.Find out something, says a Court Minion to his humble Suitor: He does so; and then, upon the Discovery, the Courtier seizes it for himself. Now this is only a State-way of fishing with Cormo rants. Men in Power plunge their Clients into the Mud with a Ring about their Necks; so that let them bring up what they will, nothing goes down with them that they shall be ever the better for. And when they come, in Conclusion, to cast up the Profit and Loss of the Pur chase, or the Project, what betwixt Force, Interest, and Complaisance, the Adventurer escapes well, if he can but get off at last with his Labour for his Pains. All, in short, that the Lion says and does in this Instance, is but according to the Practice of Men in Power in a thousand other Cases.

Fab. 8.A Wolf and a Crane.

AWolf had got a Bone in his Throat, and promised a Crane a very considerable Reward to help him out with it. The Crane did him the good Office, and then claim'd his Promise. Why, how now, Impudence! says the other, Do you put your Head into the Mouth of a Wolf, and then, when you've brought it out again safe and sound, do you talk of a Reward? Why, Sirrah, you have your Head again, and is not that a sufficient Re compence?

Moral.

He that has to do with wild Beasts (as some Men are no better) and escapes with a whole Skin, let him think himself well off.

Reflection.

'Tis a nice Business to determine, how far wicked Men in their Distressesmay be reliev'd; how far they ought to be reliev'd; and to what Degree of Loss, La bour and Difficulty, a sober, a wise, and a good Man may interpose to their Redress. He may give, he may lend, he may venture, so far as Generosity and Good-nature shall prompt him: provided always that he go no further than the Conscience of the Cause or of the Action will warrant him. A Man is at Liberty, 'tis true, to do many kind and friendly Offices, which he is not bound to do: And if the Largeness of his Heart shall carry
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him beyond the Line of necessary Prudence, we may only reckon upon it as a more illustrious Weakness. The Bone in the Throat of the Wolf may be under- stood of any sort of Pinch or Calamity, either in Body, Liberty, or Fortune. How many do we see daily, gaping and struggling with Bones in their Throats, that when they have gotten them drawn out, have attempted the Ruin of their Deliverers? The World, in short, is full of Practices and Examples to answer the Intent of this Fable, and there are Thousands of Consciences that will be touch'd with the reading of it, whose Names are not written in their Foreheads.

Fab. 9.A Countryman and a Snake.

ACountryman happen'd one hard Winter to 'spy a Snake under a Hedge, that was half frozen to Death. The good-natur'd Man took it up, and kept it in his Bosom, till Warmth brought it to Life again; and so soon as ever it was in Condition to do Mischief, it bit the very Man that sav'd its Life. Ah, thou ungrateful Wretch! says he, Is that venomous Ill-nature of thine to be satisfy'd with nothing less than the Ruin of thy Preserver?

Moral.

He that takes an ungrateful Man into his Bosom, is well nigh sure to be betrayed;and it is not Charity, but Folly, to think of obliging the common Enemies of Man kind.

Reflection.

'Tis no new thing for good-natur'd Men to meet with ungrateful Returns. How many Examples have we seen with our own Eyes, of Men that have been relieved out of starving Necessities, which have bereav'd them both of Spirit and Strength to do Mischief, who in Requital have afterwards conspired against the Life, Honour, and Fortune of their Patrons and Redeemers? Now all this is no more than the Proverb in a Fable:Save a Thief from the Gallows, and he'll cut your Throat.

Fab. 10.A Lion and an Ass.

AN Ass was so hardy once, as to fall a mopping and braying at a Lion. The Lion began at first to shew his Teeth, and to stomach the Affront; but upon se
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cond Thoughts, Well, says he, jeer on, and be an Ass still; take Notice only by the way, that 'tis the Baseness of your Character that has saved your Carcase.

Moral.

It is below the Dignity of a great Mind to hold Contests with People that have neither Quality nor Courage; to say nothing of the Folly of contending with a miserable Wretch, where the very Competition is a Scandal.

Reflection.

It does not become a Man of Honour and Wisdom to contest with mean Spirits, and to answer every Fool in his Folly. The very Contest in this Case sets the Master and Man upon the same Level. And the Lion was in the right not to cast away his Displeasure upon an Ass, where there was Reputation to be lost, and none to be gotten. Contempt in such a Case as this, is the only honourable Revenge.

Fab. 11.City Mouse and Country Mouse.

ACountry Mouse invited a City Sister of her's to a Collation, where she spar'd for nothing that the Place afforded; as mouldy Crusts, Cheese-Parings, musty Oatmeal, rusty Bacon, and the like. The City Dame was too well bred to find Fault with her Entertainment; but yet represented, that such a Life was unworthy of a Merit like her's; and letting her know how splendidly she liv'd, invited her to accompany her to Town. The Country Mouse consented, and away they trudg'd together, and about Midnight got to their Journey's End. The City Mouse shewed her Friend the Larder, the Pantry, the Kitchen, and other Offices where she laid her Stores; and after this, carried her into the Parlour, where they found, yet upon the Table, the Reliques of a mighty Entertainment of that very Night. The City Mouse carv'd her Companion of what she liked best, and so to it they sell upon a Velvet Couch. The Country Mouse, who had never seen nor heard of such Doings before, bless'd herself at the Change of her Condition; when, as ill Luck would have it, all on a sudden the Doors flew open, and in comes a Crew of noisy Servants of both Sexes, to feast upon the Dainties that were left. This put the poor Mice to their Wit's End how to save their Skins; the Stranger especially, who had never been in
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such Danger before: but she made a Shift however for the present to slink into a Corner, where she lay trembling and panting till the Company went away. As soon as ever the House was quiet again; Well! my Court Sister, says she, if this be the Sauce to your rich Meats, I'll e'en back to my Cottage, and my mouldy Cheese again; for I had much rather lie knabbing of Crusts, without Fear or Hazard, in my own Hole, than be Mistress of all the Delicates in the World, and subject to such terrifying Alarms and Dangers.

Moral.

This Fable shews the Difference between a Court and a Country Lise: The Delights, Innocence, and Security of the one, compar'd with the Anxiety, Voluptuousness and Hazards of the other.

Reflection.

How infinitely superior are the Delights of a private Life to the Noise and Bustle of a public one! Innocence, Security, Meditation, good Air, Health and unbroken Rest, are the Blessings of the one; while the Rages of Lust and Wine, Noise, Hurry, Circumvention, False hood, Treachery, Confusion, and ill Health are the con stant Attendants of the other. The Splendor and the Luxury of a Court are but a poor Recompence for the slavish Attendances, the in vidious Competitions, and the mortal Disappointments that accompany it. The uncertain Favour of Princes, and the Envy of those who judge by Hearsay or Ap pearance, without either Reason or Truth, make even the best Sort of Court Lives miserable. To say nothing of the innumerable Temptations, Vices and Excesses of a Life of Pomp and Pleasure. Let a Man but set the pleasing of his Palate against the Surfeits of Gluttony and Excess; the starving of his Mind against a pamper'd Carcase; the restless Importunities of Tale-bearers and Back friend against fair Words and Professions only from the Teeth outwards: let him, I say, but set the one in Balance against the other, and he shall find himself miserable, even in the very Height of his Delights. To say all in a Word; Let him but set the Comforts of a Life spent in Noise, Formality and Tumult, against the Blessings of a Retreat with Competency and Freedom, and then cast up his Account.
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What Man then, that is not stark mad, will volunta- rily expose himself to the imperious Brow-beatings and Scorns of great Men! To have a Dagger struck to his Heart in an Embrace! To be torn to Pieces by Ca lumny; nay, to be a Knave in his own Defence! For the Honester the more dangerous in a vicious Age, and where 'tis a Crime not to be like the Company. Men of that Character are not to be read and understood by their Words, but by their Interests; their Promises and Prote stations are no longer binding than while they are pro fitable to them. After all, to keep the Fable more closely in View, let a Man, with the Country Mouse, reflect on the Peace and Safety of a rural Retirement, and prefer, if he can, the Insecurity, Noise and Hurry of a more exaltedFortune.

Fab. 12.A Crow and a Muscle.

ONE of yourRoyston Crows lay battering upon a Muscle, and could not for his Heart break the Shell to come at the Fish. ACarrion Crow in the interim comes up, and advises him to take the Muscle up in the Air as high as he could carry it, and then let it fall upon a neighbouring Rock; and its own Weight, says he, shall break it. TheRoystoner took his Advice, and it succeeded accordingly; but while the one was upon Wing, the other stood lurching upon the Rock, and flew away with the Fish.

Moral.

If a selfish Man gives his Neighbour good Advice, 'tis ten to one but he has some End in it.

Reflection.

Men of Frankness and Simplicity are the most easily imposed upon, where they have Craft and Treachery to deal withal. The Imposture, in Truth, can hardly mis carry, where there is a full Confidence on the one Side, and a plausible Disposition on the other; wherefore 'tis good to be wary, but so as not to be inexorable, where there is but any Place for Charity itself to hope for bet ter Things: Not but that a supine credulous Facility exposes a Man to be both a Prey and a Laughing-stock at once. 'Tis not for us to judge of the good Faith of Mens Intentions, but by the Light we receive from their
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Works. We may set up this for a Rule however, that where the Adviser is to be evidently the better for the Council, and the Advised in manifest Danger to be worse for it, there is no meddling. The Crow's Council was good enough in itself, but it was given with a fraudulent Intention.

Fab. 13.A Fox and a Raven.

AFox spy'd out a Raven upon a Tree with a Morsel in his Mouth, that set his Chops a watering; but how to come at it was the Question. Oh thou blessed Bird! says he, the Delight of Gods and of Men! -- and so he lays himself forth upon the Gracefulness of the Raven's Person, and the Beauty of his Plumes: his admirable Gift of Augury,{et}c. And now, says the Fox, if thou hast but a Voice answerable to the rest of thy excellent Qualities, the Sun in the Firmament could not shew the World such another Creature. This nauseous Flattery sets the Raven a gaping as wide as ever he could stretch, to give the Fox a Taste of his Quail Pipe; but, upon the opening of his Mouth, he drops his Breakfast; which the Fox presently chopt up, and then bad him remember, that whatever he had said of his Beauty, he had spoken nothing yet of his Brains.

Moral.

There is hardly any Man living that may not be wrought upon more or less by Flattery; for we do all of us na turally overween in our own Favour. But when it comes. to be applied once to a vain Fool, there is no End that can be propos'd to be attain'd by it, but may be effected.

Reflection.

Flattery calls good Things by ill Names, and ill by good; but it will never be out of Credit, so long as there are Knaves to give it, and Fools to take it. It is in itself an unmanly slavish Vice; but it is much worse yet for the Alliance it has to Hypocrisy; for while we make other People think better ofthemselves than they deserve, we make them think better ofus too than we deserve: For Self-love and Vanity on the one hand assists the Falseness and Confidence on the other, while it serves to confirm weak Minds in the Opinion they had of themselves before; and makes them Parties, ef fectually, in a Conspiracy to their own Ruin. The only
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Benefit or Good of Flattery is this; that by hearing what weare not, we may be instructed what weought to be.

Fab. 14.An Old Lion.

ALion that in the Days of his Youth and Strength had been very outragious and cruel, came in the End to be reduced, by old Age and Infirmity, to the last Degree of Contempt; insomuch that all the Beasts of the Forest, some out of Insolence, others in Revenge, fell upon him by Consent. He was a miserable Crea ture to all Intents and Purposes; but nothing went so near the Heart of him in his Distress, as to find himself batter'd by the Heel of an Ass.

Moral.

A Prince who does not secure Friends to himself while he is in Power and Condition to oblige them, must never ex pect to find Friends when he is no longer able to do them any Good.

Reflection.

The Case of this miserable old Lion may serve to put great Men in Mind that the Wheel of Time and of Fortune is still rolling, and that they themselves are to lie down at last in the Grave with common Dust; and without any thing to support them in their Age, but the Reputation, Virtue and Conscience of a well-spent Youth. But there are none yet that fall so unpitied, so just, so ne cessary, and so grateful a Sacrifice to the Rage and Scorn of common People, as those that have raised themselves upon the Spoils of the Public; especially when that Op pression is aggravated with a wanton Cruelty, and with Blood and Rapine, for the very Love of Wickedness. The Lion is here upon his Death-bed, and may be com- par'd to a great Man in Disgrace; not a Friend left him, nor so much as an Enemy, with either Fangs or Claws, that does not stand gaping and waiting for a Collop of him. Here he lies faint, poor, and defenceless, stung in his own Thoughts with the guilty Remembrance of the Pride and Riot of his Youth. All his Sins, as well as all his Adversaries, his Frauds and Cruelties, broken Vows, Promises and Contracts, his Tyranny and Hypo crisy, and the Iniquity, in fine, of all his Counsels and Practices for the Ruin of the Guiltless, flying in his Face. And, to complete his Misery, he finds himself
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reduced so low, as to be forced to bear the Kicks and Insults of the most despicable Brutes of the Field; and no one to assist, or even to pity, him. Let the inso lent Great Men of the World think of this in the Height of their Prosperity, and tremble!

Fab. 15.An Ass and a Whelp.

AGentleman had a Favourite Spaniel, that would be still toying and leaping upon him, and playing a thousand Gambols, which the Master was well enough pleas'd withal; insomuch that an Ass in the House, that thought himself coarsely used, would needs go the same gamesome way to work, to curry Favour for him self; but he was quickly given to understand, with a good Cudgel, the Difference betwixt the one Playfellow and the other.

Moral.

People who live by Example, should do well to look very narrowly into the Force and Authority of the Pre cedent: For that may become one Man, which would be insufferable in anothor, under different Circumstances.

Reflection.

All Creatures have something in them peculiar to their several Species; and that Practice is still the best which is most consonant to the Nature of them, by a common Instinct. The Fawnings of an Ass are as un natural as the Brayings would be of a Dog. He that followsNature is never out of his Way; and that which isbest for every Man, isfittest for him too. He does it with Ease and Success, whereas all Imitation is servile and ridiculous.

Fab. 16.A Lion and a Mouse.

AGenerous Lion having got into his Clutches a poor Mouse, at her earnest Supplication let her go. A few Days after, the Lion being hamper'd in a Net, found the Benefit of his former Mercy; for this ver Mouse in his Distress, remembring the Favour done her, set herself to work upon the Couplings of the Net, gnaw'd the Threads to Pieces, and so deliver'd her Preserver.

Moral.

It holds through the whole Scale of the Creation, that the Great and the Little have need one of another.
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Reflection.

There is nothing so little, but Greatness may come to stand in need of it, and therefore Prudence and Dis cretion ought to have a Place in Clemency, as well as in Piety and Justice; 'tisdoing as we would be done by: And the Obligation is yet stronger, when there is Gra titude as well as Honour and Good-nature in the Case. The Generosity of the Lion, and the Gratitude of the Mouse; the Power, the Dignity, and the Eminence of the one, and the Meanness of the other, do all concur to the making of this a very instructive Fable. For, here is a Recommendation of Clemency and Wisdom both in one: For the Lion, in sparing the Life of the Mouse, saved his own; and has left us in this Fable an Instance of a grateful Beast that will stand upon Record to the Confusion of many an ungrateful Man. No Flesh, in fine, can be so great, as not to tremble under the Force and Consequences of this Precedent.

Fab. 17.A Sick Kite and her Mother.

PRAY, Mother, says a sick Kite, give over these idle Lamentations, and let me rather have your Prayers. Alas! my Child, says the Dam, to which of the Gods shall I pray, for a Wretch that has robb'd all their Altars?

Moral.

Nothing but the Conscience of a virtuous Life can make Death easy to us;wherefore there is no trusting to the Distraction of an agonizing and a death-bed Repentance.

Reflection.

The Kite's death-bed Devotion and Repentance works like the Charity and Piety of a great many Penitents we meet with in the World; who, after the robbing of Temples, the profaning of Altars, and other Violences of Rapine and Oppression, build an Hospital, perhaps, or some little Alms-House, out of the Spoils of Widows and Orphans, put up a Bill for the Prayers of the Con gregation, wipe their Mouths, and all is well again. But 'tis not for a wicked Life to trust the Hazards of an uncertain State and Disposition at the Point of Death. Grace must be very strong in these Conflicts, wholly to vanquish the Weaknesses of distressted Nature. That certainly is none of the Time to make choice of for the great Work of reconciling ourselves to Heayen, when
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we are divided and confounded betwixt an Anguish of Body and of Mind: And the Man is worse than mad, that ventures his Salvation upon that desperate Issue. Besides, People in that Condition do but discharge them selves of burdensome Reflections, as they do of the Cargo of a Ship at Sea that has sprung a Leak; every thing is done in a Hurry, and Men only part with their Sins in the one Case, as they do with their Goods in the other, to fish them up again, so soon as the Storm is over.

Fab. 18.A Swallow and other Birds.

ASwallow (a Bird famous for Foresight) seeing a Country Fellow sowing Hemp in his Grounds, call'd a Company of little Birds about her, and telling them what the Man was about, and that the Fowlers Nets and Snares were made with Hemp or Flax, advised them to pick it up in time, for fear of the Consequence. They neglected the Advice till it took root; and then again, till it was sprung up into the Blade. Upon this, the Swallow told 'em, that it was not yet too late to prevent the Mischief, if they would but set heartily about it; but finding that no heed was given to what she said, she e'en bade adieu to her old Companions in the Woods, and betook herself to a City-Life, and to the Conversa tion of Men. This Flax and Hemp came in time to be gather'd and wrought; and it was this Swallow's For tune to see several of the very Birds she had forewarned, taken in Nets made of the Stuff; and then, too late, they became sensible of the Folly of slipping their Opportunity.

Moral.

Wise Men read Effects in their Causes;but Fools will not believe them till 'tis too late to prevent the Mischief.

Reflection.

Many great Evils have happen'd, as well to States as private Persons, by neglecting to take timely Precautions to prevent them. The greatest Mischiefs have often taken their Rise from very small Beginnings; but meet ing with no Check in their first Appearance, have soon carry'd all before them. TheOttoman History, to name no other, affords many signal Instances of this; and a few Hours have seen the greatest Prince in the World, for want of timely Caution, tumbled from a Throne to a
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Prison. The Doctrine may be extended also to forewarn us against cherishing the first Temptations to Vice, which not check'd in time, it takes root, over-spreads the whole Mind, and perhaps ends in our utter Ruin. Little Pro gnosticks are not to be disregarded, when the Consequen ces which they forebode are likely to be fatal.

Fab. 19.The Frogs desire a King.

THE Frogs grown weary of Liberty, petition'd Ju piter for a King.Jupiter, to try them, threw them down a Log for their Governor; which, upon the first Dash, frighted them all into the Mud; nor durst they for some time look out, till one Frog, bolder than the rest, put up his Head, and looking about him, beheld how quiet their new Prince lay. Upon this he calls his Fellow-Subjects together, tells them the Case, and no thing would serve them then, but riding a-top of him; insomuch that the Dread they were in before, is now turn'd into Insolence and Tumult. This King, they said, was too tame for them, andJupiter must needs be entreated to send them another: He did so, and sent among them a Stork, who soon reveng'd the Cause of KingLog, and devour'd as many of his new Subjects as came in his way. The Remainder of the miserable Crew petition'd again for a new King, or to be restor'd to their former State; but were told, that they had brought all these Evils upon themselves; and as the Stork was sent for their Punishment, they must bear it as well as they could; for there was no Remedy but Patience.

Moral.

No State of Life can please a discontented Mind. Such People as know not when they are well, and covet Change, can only blame themselves, if that Change makes their Condition worse.

Reflection.

This Fable sets forth in every Part but that of the Log, the Condition of theIsraelites, who not contented with the Theocracy under which they had the Happi ness to live, would needs have a King, in Imitation of the neighbouring Nations Their Desire was comply'd with, and in King Saul God sent them aStork, who, after a while, made them sensible of their Folly.
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We should learn to be contented in our present State, be it what it will; for a Desire of Change once posses sing the human Mind, it knows not the End of it. God certainly knows what is best for us, and a Resignation to his Providence is the surest way to obtain his Bles sing, and to have no Reason to lament that Unsteadiness and Uneasiness of Temper which often subjects Mankind to the greatest Misfortunes; and makes them, in aspiring after a new Condition, wish themselves once again re stor'd to their first.

Fab. 20.The Kite, Hawk, and Pigeons.

THE Pigeons finding themselves persecuted by the Kite, made choice of the Hawk for their Guardian. The Hawk sets up for their Protector; but under the Countenance of that Authority, instead of carrying on a War with the Kite, makes more Havock in the Dove house in two Days, than the Kite could have done in as many Months.

Moral.

'Tis a dangerous thing for People to call in a powerful and ambitious Man for their Protector.

Reflection.

The Evils we know, are oftentimes much better to be borne, than to seek Redress where the Damage may be much greater. How many Persons have had Reason to wish they had rather borne the Insults of a pow- erful NeighbourKite, than to seek Redress from the more rapacious LawyerHawk? To proceed to higher Points; how many Nations have had Reason to wish they had borne the smaller In sults of Power in their lawful Princes, rather than have recourse to Arms, or, to be nearer the Fable, to the Protection of a foreign Power, which seldom, in this Case, fails to destroy the Independency and Liberty of those who put themselves under its Protection? Let our old Histories tell us what our ancientBritons suf fer'd purely from this Cause, from thePicts down to theSaxons, theDanes, and theNormans, not to name, as we might do, other more recent Instances.
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Fab. 21.A Dog and a Thief.

AS a Gang of Thieves were at work to rob a House, a Mastiff took the Alarm, and fell a barking: One of the Company spoke him fair, and would have stopt his Mouth with a Crust. No, says the Dog, this will not do, for I'll take no Bribes to betray my Master; nor will I, for a Piece of Bread in Hand, forfeit the Ease, Satisfaction and Liberty of my whole Life.

Moral.

Fair Words, Presents, and Flatteries, are always to be su spected to cover a base and wicked Intent.

Reflection.

When ill Men take up a Fit of Kindness all of a sud- den, and appear to be better natur'd than usual, 'tis dis creet to suspect Fraud, and to lay their Words and their Practices together. This Moral reaches to all sorts of Trustees whatsoever, whether they be Counsellors, Con fidents, Favourites, Officers, Soldiers, Traders, or what you will; for there are good and bad of all Kinds and Pro fessions. So that Æsop 's Dog is a Reproach to false Men in general, and a good Lesson to Servants of all Denomina tions, not to part with their Honesty for a sordid Bribe; which will in the End subject them to never-ceasing Remorse, and the Stings of a wounded Conscience.

Fab. 22.A Wolf and a Sow.

AWolf very kindly offer'd to take care of the Litter of a Sow that was just ready to lye down. The Sow as civilly thank'd her for her Love, and desir'd she would be pleas'd to stand off a little, and do her the good Office at a Distance, the greater the better.

Moral.

There are no Snares so dangerous as those which are laid for us under the Name of good Offices.

Reflection.

A wise Man will keep himself upon his Guard against the whole World, more especially against a known Ene my; but most of all, against that Enemy who appears in the Shape of a Friend. The lying-down Sow would have made a very bad Choice to have taken the Wolf for her Nurse.
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Fab. 23.A Mountain in Labour.

ARumour went that the Mountain was in Labour, and all the Neighbourhood got together to see what a monstrous Issue so great a Mother would bring forth; when, behold! of a sudden, out ran a ridiculous Mouse.

Moral.

Nothing so much exposes a Man to Ridicule, as when, by vain Blusters, he raises the Expectation of all around him, and falls short in his Performances.

Reflection.

What are all the extravagant Attempts and Enter- prizes of vain Men in the World, but Morals, more or less, of this Fable? What are mighty Pretences under taken without Consideration, and brought to no Effect, but the Vapours of a Distemper, that, like sickly Dreams, have neither Issue nor Connection? And the Disappoint ment to the Undertakers is not all neither; for Men be come ridiculous, instead os formidable, when this Tym pany is found to end in a Blast, and theirMountain pro duces only aMouse. We could give many recent Instan ces of Attempts that would fall under the Lash of this Fable, but chuse to decline so invidious a Task.

Fab. 24.An Ass and an Ungrateful Master.

APoor Ass, that what with Age and hard Labour, was worn to the Stumps, had the Ill-hap one Day to make a false Step, and to fall down under his Load: His Driver immediately falls upon him, and beats him almost to Death for it. This, says the Ass, is according to the Course of the ungrateful World: One casual Slip is enough to weigh down the faithful Services of a long Life.

Fab. 25.An Old Dog and his Master.

AN Old Dog, that in his Youth had led his Master many a merry Chase, and done him all the Offices of a trusty Servant, came at last, upon falling from his Speed and Vigour, to be loaden at every turn with Blows and Reproaches for it, and at last turn'd quite out of Doors. Why, Sir, says the Dog, my Will is as good as ever, but my Strength is gone; and you might with as much Justice hang me up because I'm old, as beat me because I'm impotent.
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Moral of the Two Fables. It is a barbarous Inhumanity in great Men to old Servante, not to allow the past Services of their Strengthand Youthcapable of atoning for the Failingsnatural to Age;and to an Age perhaps that has been hasten'd on by hard Labour and Zeal in their Service.

Reflection.

These Fables are a Reproof to the ungrateful Cruelty of those who will neither forgive one Slip, nor reward a thousand Services, but take more Notice of a parti cular unlucky Accident, than of a general laudable Prac tice: But one Stumble is enough to deface the Character of an honourable Life And this is found in Govern ments, as well as in Courts and private Families; with Masters and Mistresses, as well as in States. 'Tis a miserable Thing when faithful Servants fall into the Hands of such insensible and unthankful Masters; such as value Services only by the Profit they bring them, without any Regard to the Zeal, Faith, and Af fections of the Heart, and pay them with Blows and Reproaches in their Age, for the Use, Strength and In dustry of their Youth. Nay, human Frailty itself is imputed to them for a Crime, and they are tréated worse than Beasts, for not being more than Men. Here is an old drudging Cur turned off to shift for himself, for want of the very Teeth and Heels that he had lost in his Master's Service: Nay, if he can but come off for starving too, it passes for an Act of Mercy. It may be a Question now, whether the Wickedness, or the Im prudence of this Iniquity, be the more pernicious? For, over and above the Inhumanity, 'tis a Doctrine of ill Consequence to the Master himself, to shew the World how impossible a Thing it is for a Servant to oblige and please him: Nay, it is some sort of Temptation also to Impiety and Injustice, when Virtue and Duty come to be made dangerous.

Fab. 26.An Ass, an Ape, and a Mole.

AN Ass and an Ape were conferring Grievances. The Ass complain'd mightily for want of Horns, and the Ape was as much troubled for want of a Tail. Hold your Tongues both of ye, says the Mole, and be thankful for what you have, for the poor blind Moles are in a worse Condition than either of ye.
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Fab. 27.The Hares and the Frogs.

ONCE upon a Time the Hares found themselves mightily unsatisfied with the miserable Condition they lived in. Here we live, says one of them, at the Mercy of Men, Dogs, Eagles, and I know not how many other Creatures, which prey upon us at Pleasure; perpetually in Frights, perpetually in Danger; and there fore I am absolutely of Opinion, that we had better die once for all, than live at this Rate in a continual Dread that's worse than Death itself. The Motion was seconded and debated, and a Resolution immediately taken, One and All, to drown themselves. The Vote was no sooner pass'd, but away they scudded with that Determi nation to the next Lake. Upon this Hurry there leapt a whole Shoal of Frogs from the Bank into the Water, for fear of the Hares. Nay then, my Masters, says one of the gravest of the Company, pray let's have a little Patience. Our Condition, I find, is not altogether so bad as we fansy'd it; for there are those, you see, that are as much afraid of us, as we are of others. Moral of the Two Fables. There is no contending with the Orders and Decrees of Pro- vidence. He that made us, knows what is fittest for us; and every Man's own Lot (well understood and managed) is undoubtedly the best.

Reflection.

Since Nature provides for the Necessities of all Crea- tures, and for the Well-being of every one in its kind: and since it is not in the Power of any Creature to make itself other than what by Providence it was design'd to be; what a Madness is it to wish ourselves other than what we are, and what we must continue to be? Every Atom of the Creation has its Place assigned: Every Creature has its proper Figure, and there is no dispute ing with Him that made it so.Why have I not this? and,Why have I not that? are Questions for a Philoso pher ofBedlam to ask; and we may as well cavil at the Motions of the Heavens, the Vicissitude of Day and Night, and the Succession of the Seasons, as expostulate with Providence upon any of the rest of God's Works. TheAss would haveHorns, theApe would have aTail, and theHares would be free from those Terrors which,
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timid as they are, they give to others: But theMole on the one hand, and the Frogs on the other, shew that there are others as miserable as themselves. It may seem to be a kind of a malicious Satisfaction that one Man derives from the Misfortunes of another. But the Philosophy of this Reflection stands upon an other Ground; for our Comfort does not arise from other People's being miserable, but from this Inference upon the Balance, That we suffer only the Lot of hu man Nature: And as we are happy or miseralbe, com pared with others, so other People are miserable or happy, compared with us; by which Justice of Provi dence, we come to be convinc'd of the Sin, and the Mistake of our Ingratitude. What would not a Man give to be eas'd of the Gout or the Stone? Or, supposing an incurable Poverty on the one hand, and an incurable Malady on the other, why should not the poor Man think himself happier in his Rags, than the other in his Purple? But the rich Man envies the poor Man's Health, without considering hisWant; and the poor Man envies the other'sTreasure, without considering hisDiseases. What is an ill Name in the World, to a good Conscience within one's self? And how much less miserable, upon the Wheel, is one Man that is innocent, than another un der the same Torture that is guilty? The only Way for Hares and Asses, is to be thankful for what they are, and what they have, and not to grumble at the Lot that they must bear in spite of their Teeth.

Fab. 28.A Wolf, Kid, and Goat.

AGoat going out one Morning, charg'd her Kid, upon her Blessing, not to open the Door 'till she came back, to any Creature that had not a Beard. The Goat was no sooner out of sight, but up comes a Wolf to the Door, that had over-heard the Charge, and in a small Pipe calls to the Kid to let her Mother come in. The Kid smelt out the Roguery, and bad the Wolf shew his Beard, and the Door should be open to him.

Moral.

There never was a Hypocrite so disguis'd, but he had some Mark or other to be known by.
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Reflection.

Here is Prudence, Caution and Obedience recom- mended to us in the Kid's Refusal to open the Door; and here is likewise set forth in the Wolf, the Practice of a fraudulent and a villainous Impostor. If the Kid's Obedience had not been more than her Sagacity, she would have found, to her Cost, the Teeth of a Wolf in the Mouth of a pretended Goat, and the Malice of an Enemy cover'd under the Voice and Pretence of a Parent.

Fab. 29.A Dog, a Sheep, and a Wolf.

ADog brought an Action of the Case against a Sheep, for some certain Measures of Wheat, that he had lent him. The Plaintiff proved the Debt by three po sitive Witnesses, the Wolf, the Kite, and the Vulture. The Defendant was cast in Costs and Damages, and forc'd to sell the Wool from his Back to satisfy the Creditor.

Moral.

It is not a Straw Matter, whether the main Cause be right or wrong, or the Charge true or false, where the Bench, Jury and Witnesses are in a Conspiracy against the Prisoner.

Reflection.

No Innocence can be safe, where Power and Malice are in Confederacy against it. There is no Fence against Subornation and false Evidence. There is no living, however, without Law; and there is no Help for it in many Cases, if thesaving Equity be over-ruled by the killing Letter of it. It is the Verdict that does the Business, but it is the Evidénce, true or false, that go verns the Verdict. The only Danger is the giving too much Credit to the Oaths of Wolves, Kites and Vultures; that is to say, of Witnesses so profligate as to bring a Scandal even upon Truth itself.

Fab. 30.A Countryman and a Snake.

ASnake had bedded himself under the Threshold of a Country-House: A Child of the Family happen'd to set his Foot upon it; the Snake bit him, and he dy'd of the Bite. The Father of the Child made a Blow at the Snake, but miss'd his Aim, and only left a Mark behind him upon the Stone where he struck. The Countryman offer'd the Snake, some time after this, to
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be Friends again. No, says the Snake, so long as I have this Flaw upon the Stone in my Eye, and you the Death of the Child in your Thought, there's no trusting of you.

Moral.

There is a great Difference betwixt Charity and Facility. We may hope well in many Cases, but let it be without venturing our All upon it.

Reflection.

It is ill trusting a reconciled Enemy; but it is worse yet, to proceed at one Step from Clemency and Ten- derness to Confidence and Trust; especially where there are many Memorials in Sight for Hatred and Revenge to work upon. Upon the whole Matter, the Countryman was too easy, in proposing a Reconciliation, (the Circum stances duly considered) and the Snake was much in the right, on the other hand, in not entertaining it from a Man that had such a Remembrance at hand still, to provoke him to a Revenge. Wherefore it is highly necessary for the one to know how far, and to whom to trust, and for the other to understand what he is to trust to. It is a great Error to take Facility for Good-nature: Tenderness without Discretion is but a more pardonable Folly.

Fab. 31.A Fox and a Stork.

AFox on a Time invited the Stork to a Treat. They had several Soups served up in broad Dishes and Plates, and so the Fox fell to lapping himself, and bade his Guest heartily welcome to what was before him. The Stork found he was put upon, but set a good Face upon his Entertainment, and told his Friend, that by all means he must take a Supper with him that Night in Return. The Fox made several Excuses, but the Stork, in fine, would not be said Nay; so that at last he pro mised him to come. The Collation was served up in Glasses with long narrow Necks, and the best of every thing that was to be had. Come, says the Stork to his Friend, pray, be as free as if you were at Home, and so fell to it very heartily himself. The Fox quickly found this to be a Trick, and sneak'd away under the Consciousness of being justly requited for his own inho spitable Frolick.
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Moral.

Nothing looks so silly as a crafty Knave outwitted, and beaten at his own Play.

Reflection.

This is the Fate commonly of Drolls and Buffoons, that while they think to make Sport with others, they serve only in the Conclusion for a Laughing Stock themselves. The Fox's Frolick went too far, in regard it was both upon an Invitation, and under his own Roof. Now the Return of the Stork was only a warrantable Re- venge, even according to the Rules of Civility and good Fellowship; for the Fox's leading the Humour, gave the other not only a Provocation, but a kind of a Right to requite him in his own way: This may serve to reprove those Liberties in Conversation that pass the Bounds of Good-nature, Honour, Honesty, and Respect; and it further teaches us, that the Laws of Humanity and Hospitality must be kept sacred upon any Terms: for the wounding of a Friend for the Sake of a Jest is an Intemperance, and an Immorality, not to be endured.

Fab. 32.A Fox and a Carv'd Head.

AFox in a Carver's Shop, admiring, among others, one particular fine Bust, said, after he had consider'd it very attentively, Well, thou art really a beautiful Piece; but what Pity it is, that thou hast not one Grain of Sense?

Moral.

A beautiful Outside does not always indicate an ingenious Mind. No Faith is to be given to mere external Ap pearances.

Reflection.

The Excellency of the Soul is above the Beauty of the Body, tho' more Care is generally taken to culti vate the Advantages of the one, than those of the other. To wrap up all in a Word, The World itself is but a great Shop of Carv'd Heads; and the Fox's Con ceit will hold as well in human Life, as in the Fiction.

Fab. 33.A Daw and Borrow'd Feathers.

ADaw that had a Mind to be sparkish, trick'd him self up with all the gay Feathers he could muster together: And valued himself upon them above all the
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Birds in the Air. This got him the Envy of all his Companions, who, upon a Discovery of the Truth, fell to pluming of him by Consent; and when every Bird had taken his own Feather, the silly Daw was reduced to his primitive State, and found a lasting Contempt added to his former Poverty.

Moral.

Where Pride and Beggary meet, People are sure to be made ridiculous in the Conclusion.

Reflection.

Every Thing is best, and every Man happiest, in the State and Condition wherein Nature has plac'd them; but if Daws will be setting up for Peacocks, or Asses for Lions, they must expect, and content themselves to be laugh'd at sor their Pains. The Allusion of the Daw here and his borrow'd Feathers extends to all Sorts of Impostors, vain Pretenders and Romancers. It points also at the empty Affectation of Wit and Understanding; in which case it fares as it does with Men who set up for Quality, Birth, and Bravery, upon the Credit of a gay Outside. Such Plagiaries as strut in the borrow'd Wit of other Authors may also be aptly compar'd to the Daw in the Fable.

Fab. 34.An Ant and a Fly.

WHERE's the Honour, or the Pleasure in the World, says the Fly, in a Dispute for Pre-eminence with the Ant, that I have not my Part in? Are not all Temples and Places open to me? Am not I the Taster to Gods and Princes in all their Sacrifices and Entertainments? And all this, without either Money or Pains? I trample upon Crowns, and kiss what Ladies Lips I please. And what have you now to pretend to all this while? Vain Boaster! says the Ant, dost thou not know the Diffe rence between the Access of aGuest, and that of anIn truder? for People are so far from liking your Company, that they kill you as soon as they catch you. You are a Plague to them where-ever you come. Your very Breath has Maggots in't; and for the Kiss you brag of, what is it but the Perfume of the last Dunghil you touch'd upon, once remov'd? For my Part, I live upon what's my own, and work honestly in the Summer to maintain myself in the Winter; whereas the whole
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Course of your scandalous Life is only cheating or sharp ing one half of the Year, and starving the other.

Moral.

The Happiness of Life does not lie so much in enjoying small Advantages, as in living free from great Inconvenien cies. An honest Mediocrity is the happiest State a Man can wish for.

Reflection.

This Fable marks out to us the Difference betwixt the empty Vanity or Ostentation, and the substantial Ornaments of Virtue. A Man can hardly fansy to him self a truer Image of a plain, honest, country Simpli city, than the Ant's Part of the Dialogue in this Fable. She takes Pains for what she eats; wrongs no body; and so creates no Enemies; she wants nothing; and she boasts of nothing; lives contented with her own, and enjoys all with a good Conscience. This Emblem recommends to us the Blessings of a virtuous Privacy, according to the just Measures of right Nature, and, in few Words, comprizes the Sum of a happy State. The Fly, on the contrary, leads a lazy, voluptuous, scandalous, sharking Life; is hated where-ever she comes, and in perpetual Fears and Dangers. She flutters, it is true, from Place to Place, from Feast to Feast, brags of her Interest at Court, and of Ladies Favours: And what is this miserable Insect at last, but the very Pic ture of one of our ordinary Trencher Esquires, that spends his Time in hopping from the Table of one Great Man to that of another, only to pick up Scraps, and Intelligence, and to spoil good Company! at other times officiously skipping up and down from Levee to Levee, and endeavouring to make himself necessary, where-ever he thinks fit to be troublesome!

Fab. 35.A Frog and an Ox.

AS a huge Ox was grazing in a Meadow, an old envious Frog that stood gaping at him hard by, call'd out to her little ones, to take Notice of the Bulk of that monstrous Beast; And see, says she, if I don't now make myself the bigger of the two: So she strain'd once, and twice, and went still swelling on, till in the Conclusion she over-strain'd herself, and burst.
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Moral.

Weak Minds srequently sansy themselves to be bigger or worthier than they are, and other People to be less or more unworthy;and the Consequence of this wretched Pride is often satal to the Possessors of it, or at least serves to render them contemptible in the Eyes of those whose good Opinion they are fondest to engage.

Reflection.

This Fable may be consider'd as a Lash upon those that set up to live above their Quality and Fortune, and pretend to spend Penny for Penny with Men of twenty times their Estate, and therefore must needs burst, or become Bankrupt in the Conclusion. Pride and Ambi tion often push Men forward, not only to Extravagances, but Impossibilities, to the certain Undoing of the Weaker and the Meaner, when they come to vie Power and Expence with those that are too high and too many for them. So likewise Men of mean Abilities and high Conceit, attempting to vie with their Superiors in Wit and Learning, often lose the Merit of a middle Cha racter for both, which but for their Vanity they might have maintain'd; and so by aiming to bemore than they are, make themselves less than they would be allow'd to be, had they known themselves better. In short, he that will arrogantly pretend to knowevery thing, will be treated by Mankind as one thatknows nothing; and so much the more justly, as he is quite ignorant ofHimself.

Fab. 36.An Ass and a Wolf.

AN Ass had got a Thorn in his Foot, and for want of a better Surgeon, who but a Wolf at last offers himself to draw it out with his Teeth! The Ass was no sooner eas'd, but, knowing the Wolf's bad Intention, he gave his Operator such a Kick under the Ear with his sound Foot, that he stunn'd him, and so ran away as fast as he could.

Moral.

Harm watch, Harm catch,is but according to the com mon Rule of Equity and Retaliation.

Reflection.

There is no trusting to the fair Words of those that have both an Interest and an Inclination to destroy us; especially when the Design is carried on under the
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Masque of a friendly Office. It is but reasonable to oppose Art to Art, and where we suspect false Play, to encounter one Trick with another: Provided always that it be manag'd without Breach of Faith, and within the Compass of Honour, Honesty, and good Manners. The Wolf had a Design upon the Ass; and the Matter being brought to a Trial of Skill between them, the Countermine was only an Act of Self-Preservation.

Fab. 37.The Ignorant Sea-Passenger.

AMan went Passenger in a Ship, who never was at Sea before. It happen'd that a Storm arose, and after a while the Ship struck upon a Sand. Every one else was but too sensible of their Danger; but he, for his Part, thank'd God for bringing him once more into shallow Water, where he could feel the bottom.

Moral.

We sometimes mistake that for our Benefit, which in the End turns to our greatest Misfortune.

Reflection.

Too much Security in Time of Danger, is often of worse Consequence than too much Apprehension; for by the one an Evil, tho' it may not be intirely avoided, may be in some measure lessend, by our being prepar'd to make the best of it; whereas the other, fearing no thing, makes no Defence against the Danger, and so is taken altogether unprepar'd. The rest of the Crew, no doubt, as soon as the Ship struck, set about furnishing themselves with the best Means that offer'd, to save their Persons and Effects; while the poor stupid Pas senger, hugging himself with the Hope of getting upon dry Land, neglected to provide for his Safety, and so, in all likelihood, fell a Sacrifice to his own Thoughtles ness and Over-security.

Fab. 38.A Horse and an Ass.

AProud pamper'd Horse, bedeck'd with gaudy Trap pings, met in his Course a poor creeping Ass, un der a heavy Burden, that had chopt into the same Track with him. Why, how now, Sirrah, says he, d'ye not see by these Arms, and Trappings, to what Master I belong? And d'ye not understand that when I have that Master of mine upon my Back, the whole Weight of
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the State rests upon my Shoulders? Out of the Way, thou slavish insolent Animal, or I'll tread thee to dirt. The wretched Ass immediately slunk aside, with this envious Reflection between his Teeth,What would I give to change Conditions with that happy Creature there! This Fancy would not out of the Head of him, till it was his Hap, a little while after, to see this very Horse doing Drudgery in a common Dung-Cart. Why how now Friend (says the Ass) how comes this about? Only the Chance of War, says the other: I was a General's Horse, you must know; and my Master carried me into a Battle, where I was hack'd and maim'd, and you have here before your Eyes the Catastrophe of my Fortune.

Moral.

This Fable shews the Folly, and the Fate of Pride and Arrogance; and the Mistake of placing Happiness in any Thing that may be taken away; as also the Blessing of Freedom in a mean Estate.

Reflection.

People would never envy the Pomp and Splendor of Greatness, if they did but consider eïther the Cares and Dangers that go along with it, or the Blessings of Peace and Security in a middle Condition. No Man can be truly happy, who is not every Hour of his Life prepar'd for the worst that can befal him. Now this is a State of Tranquility never to be attain'd, but by keeping per petually in our Thoughts the Certainty of Death, and the Lubricity of Fortune; and by delivering ourselves from the Anxiety of Hopes and Fears. It falls naturally within the Prospect of this Fiction to treat of the Wickedness of a presumptuous Arro- gance, the Fate that attends it; the Rise of it; and the Means of either preventing or suppressing it; the Folly of it; the wretched and ridiculous Estate of a proud Man, and the Weakness of that Envy that is grounded upon the mistaken Happiness of human Life. The Folly both of the Horse and the Ass may be consider'd here; the one in placing his Happiness upon any thing that could be taken away; and the other, in envying that mistaken Happiness, under the Abuse of the same splendid Illusion and Imposture. What signity a gay Furniture, and a pamper'd Carcase; or
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any other outward Appearance, without an intrinsick Value of Worth and Virtue? What signify Beauty, Strength, Youth, Fortune, embroider'd Furniture, gawdy Bosses, or any of those temporary and uncertain Satis factions that may be taken from us with the very next Breath we draw? What Assurance can any Man have of a Possession that every Turn of State, every Puff of Air, every Change of Humour, and the least of a Million of common Casualties may deprive him of? Moreover, the Envy of the Ass was a double Folly; for he mistakes both the Horse's Condition and his own. 'Tis Madness to envy any Creature that may in a Mo ment become miserable; or for any Advantage that may in a Moment be taken from him. The Ass envies the Horse to day; and in some few days more, the Horse comes to envy him: Wherefore, let no Man despair, so long as it is in the Power either of Death, or of Chance, to remove the Burden. Nothing but Moderation and Greatness of Mind, can make, either a prosperous or an adverse Fortune easy to us. The only way to be happy is to submit to our Lot; for no Man can be properly said to be miserable, that is not wanting to himself. It is certainly true, that many a poor Cobler has a merrier Heart in his Stall, than a Prince in his Palace.

Fab. 39.A Bat and a Weazle.

AWeazle had seiz'd upon a Bat, and the Bat begg'd for Life. No, no, says the Weazle, I give no Quarter to Birds. Ah, (says the Bat) but I am a Mouse, you see; look on my Body else: And so she got off for that Bout. The same Bat had the Fortune to be taken a while after by another Weazle; and there the poor Bat was forc'd to beg for Mercy once again. No, says the Weazle, no Mercy to a Mouse. Well, (says t'othei) but you may see by my Wings that I'm a Bird; and so the Bat scap'd in both Capacities.

Moral.

Where no Treachery to another is design'd, but only to save one's self from imminent Danger, innocent Subterfuges are not unworthy of an honest Mind. Reflection From this Emblem we are to gather, that there are certain Ways, Cases and Occasions, wherein Disguises
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and artificial Evasions are in some measure allowable provided only that there be no scandalous or malicious Departure from the Truth. This shifting of the Bat in the Paws of the two Weazles, was but making the best of what he had to say and to shew for himself toward the saving of his Life. There was no Breach of Faith, or of Trust in it; no abandoning of a Duty, no Thought of Treachery, nor, in effect, any thing more in it, than a fair prudent Way of putting out false Co lours.

Fab. 40.The Neutral Bat.

UPON a desperate and a doubtful Battle betwixt the Birds and the Beasts, the Bat stood neuter, till he found that the Beasts had the better of it, and then went over to the stronger Side. But it came to pass after ward (as the Chance of War is various) that the Birds rally'd their broken Troops, and carry'd the Day; and away he went then to the other Party, where he was try'd by a Council of War as a Deserter; stript, banish'd, and finally condemn'd never to see Day-light again.

Moral.

This Fable is a true Emblem of a base Time-server; ana the Bat richly merited the Punishment he met with.

Reflection.

The Case of the Bat in this Fable, which SirRoger L'Estrange has subjected to the same Moral and Reflec tion with those in the former, is, however, widely dif ferent; and therefore we have made two different Fa bies and Applications to them. In the former, the Bat having fallen into the Clutches of two different Weazles at two different Times, made use of her natural Shape and Appearance to pass for a Bird at one time, and a Mouse at the other, and this for the laudable Purpose only of saving her Life. But the Bat in the present Fable acted the Part of a base Miscreant; for he injur'd his Party, first, in withdrawing his Assistance; secondly, in going over to the stronger Side, and declaring him self an Enemy when his Fellows had the worst of it. His Judgment, in fine, as we have observed in the Mo ral, was just, and if all Double-Dealers and Deserters were served as this Bat was, it would be an Example of Ter ror to Renagades, and of Encouragement to honest Men.
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Fab. 41.A Wolf and a Fox.

AWolf having got together a large Store of Provisions kept close for fear of losing it. Why, how now Friend, says a Fox, who had long watch'd for his Absence, we han't seen you abroad at the Chace this many a Day! Why truly, says the Wolf, I have an Indisposition that keeps me much at home, and I hope I shall have your Prayers for my Recovery. The Fox seeing his Stratagem would not take, goes to Shepherd, and tells him where he might surprize a Wolf. The Shepherd sollow'd his Directions, and de- stroy'd poorIsgrim. The Fox immediately repairs to his Cell, and takes Possession of his Stores; but he had little Joy of the Purchase, for in a very short time the same Shepherd did as much for the Fox, as he had done before for the Wolf.

Moral.

This Fable shews us the just Fate that attends the Trea chery, even of one Traitor to another.

Reflection.

The Wolf, it must be own'd, well deserv'd the Fate he met with for his continual Depredations, and the Violence by which he had possess'd himself of his secreted Stores; but then he did not deserve it from the Fox, who was as great a Villain as himself, and wanted only to play at Rob-Thief with him. But the Shepherd, who was in all likelihood the Sufferer, reveng'd the Wolf upon the Fox, and did Justice upon both. When Thieves fall out among themselves, 'tis pleasant to see one Dia mond cut with another.

Fab. 42.A Stag Drinking.

AStag drinking upon the Bank of a clear Stream, and seeing his Image in the Water; Well! says he, it these pitiful Shanks of mine were but answerable to this branching Head, I can't but think how I should defy all my Enemies. The Words were hardly out of his Mouth, but he discover'd a Pack of Dogs coming full Cry towards him. Away he scours cross the Fields, casts off the Dogs, and gains a Wood; but pressing through a Thicket, the Bushes held him by the Horns till the Hounds came in, and pluck'd him down. The last thing he said was this; What an unhappy Fool was
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I, to take my Friends for mine Enemies, and my Ene mies for my Friends! I trusted to my Head that has betray'd me; and I found fault with my Legs, that would otherwise have brought me off. Moral He that does not thoroughly know himself, may be well allow d to make a false Judgment upon other Matters that nearly concern him.

Reflection.

We are taught here, how apt vain Men are to glory in that which commonly tends to their Loss, their Mis fortune, their Shame, and sometimes to their very Destruction; and how frequently they are liable to take their best Friends for their Enemies. The Stag prided himself in his Horns, which afterward shackled, and were the Ruin of him; but made slight of his slender Shanks, that, if it had not been for his branching Head, would have been his Security.

Fab. 43.A Snake and a File.

ASnake having got into a Smith's Shop, lick'd a File till she made her Tongue bloody, and imagining it was the File that bled, she lick'd the more eagerly. In con clusion when she could lick no longer, she fell to bite ing, till she broke her Teeth, and then was oblig'd to leave off, half dead, and quite disarm'd of all her De fences.

Moral.

Every Man should consider his own Strength and Abilities, and act accordingly.

Reflection.

This Fable sets out the Malignity of some spiteful People, who take so much Pleasure in the Design of hurting others, as not to feel, and understand that they only hurt themselves. This is the Case of those who will be trying Masteries with their Superiors, and biting of that which is too hard for their Teeth. There is no contending with an Adversary that is either insensible or invincible; and the Rule holds, in Matters, not only of actual Force and Violence, but of Fortune and good Name; for 'tis no better than downright Madness, to strike where we have no Power to hurt, and to contend where we are sure to be worsted.
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Fab. 44.Wolves, Sheep, and Dogs.

AWar was once waged between the Sheep and Wolves; and so long as the Sheep had the Dogs for their Allies, they were a Match for their Enemies. The Wolves finding this, sent Embassadors to treat about a Peace, and till it could be concluded, Hostages were given on both sides; the Dogs on the Part of the Sheep, and the Wolves Whelps on the other Part. While they were upon Treaty, the Whelps fell a howling; the Wolves cry'd out Treason; and pretending an Infraction in the Abuse of their Hostages, fell upon the Sheep in the Absence of their Dogs, and made them pay for the Improvidence of leaving themselves without a Guard.

Moral.

'Tis the highest Degree of Folly to think of establishing an Alliance among those that Nature herself has divided, by an irreconcileable Hatred.

Reflection.

To take this Fable in a political Sense; a Nation which puts itself out of Condition of Desence, in Case of a War, must expect a War. Such a State as leaves a People at the Mercy of an Enemy, is worse than War itself. There is no trusting to the Formalities of an outside Peace, upon the pretended Reconciliation of an impla cable Enemy. Christian Religion bids us forgive: But Christian Prudence bids us have a Care too, whom we trust. 'Tis just in the World as it is in the Apologue: Truces and Cessations are both made, and broken, for present Convenience; and we may lay down this for an undoubted Truth, that there can never want a Co lour for a Rupture, where there is a good Will to it, and 'tis found to be the Party's Interest.

Fab. 45.An Ax and a Forest.

ACarpenter begg'd of the Forest only so much Wood as would make a Handle to his Ax. The Matter seem'd so small, that the Request was easily granted; but when the Timber Trees came to find that the whole Wood was to be cut down by the Help of this Handle;There's no Remedy, they cry'd,but Patience, when People are undone by their own Folly.
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Moral.

Nothing goes nearer a Man in his Misfortunes, than to find himself accessary to his own Ruin.

Reflection.

It is a Folly inexcusable, to deliver up ourselves need lesly into another's Power: For he that doth any Thing rashly, must be taken in Equity of Construction to do it willingly; for he was free to deliberate or not. 'Tis well to consider, first, What the Thing is that is desir'd: Secondly, The Character of the Person that asks: Thirdly, What Use may be made of it to the Detriment of him that grants the Request, and so to resolve how far in Duty, Humanity, Prudence and Justice we are to com ply with it. Wheresoever there is moral Right on the one Hand, no secondary Interest can discharge it on the other. A Prisoner upon Parole must surrender him self upon demand, though he die for it. A Man may contribute to his own Ruin several Ways; but in Cases not to be foreseen, and so not to be prevented, it may be his Misfortune, and the Man not to blame We are not to omit Precaution however, for fear an ill Use should be made of those things that we do, even with a good Intention; but we are still to distinguish betwixt what maypossibly, and what willprobably be done, ac cording to the best Measures we can take of the End of asking; for there would be no Place left for the Functions of human Society, if the Possibility of abusing a Kindness shouldwholly divert us from the Exercise of Charity and good Nature. There may be great Mis chief wrought yet, without any thing of a previous Malice, and it may be hazardous to yield, even where the Proposal is wholly innocent. There may be other Propositions again, that were originally design'd for Snares, to the short-sighted and credulous; now 'tis the Art of Life critically to discern the one Case from the other.

Fab. 46.The Belly and Members.

THE Hands and the Feet on a time were in a de sperate Mutiny against the Belly. They knew no Reason, they said, why the one should pamper itselt with the Fruit of the other's Labour; and if the Belly would not work for company, they'd be no longer at
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the Charge of maintaining it. Upon this Mutiny, they kept the Body so long without Nourishment, that all the Parts suffer'd for it: Insomuch that the Hands and Feet came in the Conclusion to find their Mistake, and would have been willing then to have done their Office; but it was now too late, for the Body was so pin'd with over-fasting, that it was wholly out of Condition to receive the Benefit of a Relief; and so they all pe rish'd together.

Moral.

The Publick is but one Body, and the Fable cautions the particular Members of it how they withdraw themselves from their Duties, till it shall be too late for their Supe riors to make use of them for their mutual Advantage.

Reflection.

This Allegory is a political Reading upon the State and Condition of civil Communities, where the Mem- bers have their several Offices, and every Part contri butes respectively to the Preservation and Service of the whole. There are Degrees of Dignity, no doubt, in both Cases, and one Part is to be subservient to another, in the Order of civil Policy, as well as in the Frame of a Man's Body: So that they are mightily out of the way, who take eating and drinking, in a Course of Vicissitude, with other Offices of Nature that are common to Beasts with Men, to be the great Business of Mankind, with out any further Regard to the Faculties and Duties of our reasonable Being: For every Member has its proper and respective Function assign'd it, and not a Finger suffers, but the Whole feels it. This Apologue was used to very good Purpose by Menenius Agrippa, who appeas'd a Tumult by it among the Commoners of Rome, who, till they heard it, were resolv'd not to obey their Magistrates, nor contribute to the publick Good and Safety, because they could not live as magnificently as their Superiors.

Fab. 47.A Lark and her Young.

IN a Field of Corn just ripe for Reaping, a Lark had a Brood of Young ones, and when she went abroad to forage for them, laid a strict Charge upon her little ones, to pick up what News they could get against she came back again. They told her, at her Return, that
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the Owner of the Field had been there, and order'd his Neighbours to come and reap the Corn. Well, says the Old one, there's no Danger as yet. They told her the next Day that he had been there again, and desir'd his Friends to do it. Well, well, says she, there's no hurt in that neither; and so she went out progging for Pro visions as before. But upon the third Day, when they told their Mother, that theMaster and hisSon agreed to come next Morning and do it themselves; nay, then, says she, 'tis time to look about us: As for theNeigh bours andFriends, I fear 'em not; but the Master I'm sure will be as good as his Word,for 'tis his own Business.

Moral.

He that would be sure to have his Business well done, must either do it himself, or see the doing of it. Many a good Servant is spoil'd by a careless Master. Men will be true to themselves, how faithless soever to one another.

Reflection.

Interest does more in the World than Faith and Ho- nesty; for Men are more sensible in their own Case than in another's. Neither, in truth, is it reasonable that another should be more careful ofme, than I am ofmy self. Every Man's Business is best done, when he looks after it with his own Eyes. The Morality of this Caution is as good a Lesson to Governments as toprivate Families. For a Prince's leave- ing his Business wholly to his Ministers, without a strict Eye over them in their respective Offices and Functions, is as dangerous an Error in Politicks, as a Master's com mitting all to his Servant is in Oeconomicks. It is effectually a Transferring of the Authority, when a Supe rior trusts himself implicitly to the Faith, Care, Honesty and Discretion of an Inferior. To say nothing of the Temptation to Bribery and False-dealing, when so much may be gotten by it, with so little Hazard either of Discovery or Punishment. Beside the desperate Incon venience of setting up a wrong Interest, by drawing Ap plications out of the proper Channel; and committing the Authority and Duty of the Master to the Honesty and Discretion of the Servant.
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Fab. 48. Sick Lion and Fox.

ALion that had got a politick Fit of Sickness, made it his Observation, that of all the Beasts in the Forest, the Fox never came at him: And so he wrote him word how ill he was, and how mighty glad he should be of his Company. The Fox return'd the Com pliment with a thousand Prayers for his Recovery; but as for waiting upon him, he desir'd to be excus'd; for, says he, I find the Traces of abundance of Feet going into your Majesty's Palace, but not one of any that comes back again.

Moral.

We ought to be careful how we place a Confidence in the complimental Professions of cunning and designing Men; for 'tis half the Business of one Part of the World to put Tricks upon the other.

Reflection.

'Tis a difficult Point to hit the true Medium betwixt trusting too much and too little. Indeed there is no living without trusting some Body or other, in some Cases, or at some Time or other: But then if People be not cautious, whom, when, and wherein, the Mistake may be pernicious; for there must be somewhat of a Trust to make way for a Treachery; since no Man can be betray'd that does not either believe, or seem to be lieve. The Heart of a Man is like a Bog, it looks fair to the Eye; but when we come to lay any weight upon it, the Ground is false under us. Nothing could be more obliging and respectful than the Lion's Letter was, in Terms and Appearance; but yet there was Death in the Intent and Meaning of it.

Fab. 49.A Boar and a Horse.

ABoar wallowing in the Water where a Horse was going to drink, a Quarrel ensu'd upon it. The Horse went presently to a Man, to assist him in his Revenge. They agreed upon the Conditions, and the Man immediately arm'd himself, and mounted the Horse, who carried him to the Boar, and had the Satisfaction of seeing his Enemy kill'd before his Face. The Horse thank'd him for his Kindness, but as he was just about to take leave, the Man said he should have further occa sion for him, and so order'd him to be ty'd up in the
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Stable. The Horse came by this time to understand, that his Liberty was irretrievably gone, and that he had paid dear for his Revenge.

Moral.

Many a Man, to avoid a present and less Evil, runs blind fold into a greater;and there are others, who, to gra tify a revengeful Humour, lay a Foundation for Repen tance for all their Life to come.

Reflection.

This Fable lays open to us the Folly of those People who make themselves Slaves to their Revenge; for no Man should be so angry with another, as to hurt himself for it. We should likewise consider, that there is more Hazard in the Succour of a new powerful Friend, than in the Hostility of an old dangerous Enemy; and that the greatest Empires upon the Face of the Earth have had their Rise from the Pretence of taking up Quarrels, or keeping the Peace, among their Neighbours.

Fab. 50.Two Young Men and a Cook.

TWO young Fellows slipping into a Cook's Shop, one of them stole a Piece of Flesh, and convey'd it to the other. The Master miss'd it immediately, and challeng'd them with the Theft: He that took it, swore he had none of it; and he that had it, swore as despe rately that he did not take it. Well, my Masters, says the Cook, these Frauds and Fallacies may pass upon Men, but there is an Eye above that sees through them.

Moral.

There is no putting of Tricks upon an all-seeing Power;as if he that made our Hearts, and knows every Corner of them, could not see through the childish Fallacy of a double Meaning.

Reflection.

This Fable concerns those who think to deceive God with Fallacies of Words, Equivocations, mental Reser vations, and double Meanings; but though Frauds and Perjuries may pass upon Men for a Season, they are yet as open as the Light to Him that searches the Heart. It is a great Unhappiness that Children should be so much addicted (as we see they are) to this Way and Humour of shuffling: But it is a greater Shame and Mis chief for Parents, Governors and Tutors, to encourage
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and allow them in it, whereby they effectually train them up to one of the most dangerous Corruptions they are capable of; no less than that of laying the very Ground work of a false and treacherous Life. Truth is the great Lesson of reasonableNature, both in Philosophy and in Religion. The Knack of Fast and Loose passes with a world of foolish People for a Turn of Wit; but they are not aware all this while of the desperate Conse quences of an ill Habit, which in the End may bring Men to Infamy, Disgrace, and Ruin.

Fab. 51.A Dog and a Butcher.

AS a Butcher was busy about his Meat, a Dog snatches a Piece of Meat off of the Block, and runs away with it. The Butcher seeing him upon the Gallop with it, Hark ye, Friend, says he, you may e'en for this once make the best of your Purchase, I shall take care to lay my Meat out of your Reach another time.

Moral.

He that loses any thing, and gets Wisdom by it, is a Gainer by the Loss.

Reflection.

Affliction makes a Man both honest and wise; for the Smart brings him to a Sense of his Error, and the Experiment to the Knowledge of it. We have I know not how many Adages to back the Reason of this Moral, Hang a Dog upon a Crab-tree, we say,and he'll never love Verjuice. And then we have it again in that com mon Saying,The burnt Child dreads the Fire. It is wandering many times, whether it be in Opinion, or in travelling, that sets a Man right in his Judgment, and brings him into the way with greater Pleasure. The Dog's running away with the Flesh, does as good as bid the Owner look better to it another Time.

Fab. 52.A Cat and Venus.

AYoung Fellow was so passionately in Love with a Cat, that he made it his humble Suit to venus, to turn her into a Woman. The Transformation was wrought in the twinkling of an Eye, and out she comes, a very handsome Lass. The Sot took her home to his Bed; but was hardly laid down, when the God dess having a mind to try if the Cat had chang'd her
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Manners with her Shape, turn'd a Mouse loose into the Chamber. The new-made Woman, upon this Temp- tation, started out of the Bed, and directly made a Leap at the Mouse; upon whichVenus turn'd her into a Puss again.

Moral.

The extravagant Transports of Love, and the Propensions of Nature, are unaccountable;the one carries us out of ourselves, and the other brings us back again.

Reflection.

This Fable lays before us the Charms and Extrava- gances of a blind Love, which covers all Imperfections, and considers neither Quality nor Merit. And let the Defects be never so gross, it either palliates or excuses them. The new-made Woman's leaping at the Mouse, tells us also how impossible it is to make Nature change her Biass, and thatif we shut her out at the Door, she will come in at the Window. Here is the Image of a wild and fantastical Love, which shews the Effects of an ungovern'd Fancy; for Men do not see, or taste, or find the Thing they love, but they create it. They fashion an Idol, in what Fi gure or Shape they please; set it up, worship it, dote upon it, pursue it, and, in fine, run mad for it. How many Passions have we seen in the World, ridiculous enough to answer all the Follies of this Imagination! We are further given to understand, that no Coun- terfeit is so steady and so equally drawn, but Nature by Starts will shew herself through it; for Puss, even when turn'd into a Madam, will be a Mouser still. And this may serve still farther to caution some Inconsider ates against marrying, as many have done, a lewd or immoral Woman, fondly believing she will be reclaim'd by the Obligation, and be truer to herHusband, than she was toHerself andVirtue; when it is much more likely, that on the very first Temptation, she will, with the Cat in the Fable, return to her evil Habits again.

Fab. 53.A Father and his Sons.

AVery honest Man happen'd to have a contentious Brood of Children. He call'd for a Rod, and bad them try one after another with all their Force, if they could break it. They try'd, and could not. Well, says
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he, unbind it now, and take every Twig of it apart, and see what you can do that way. They did so, and with great Ease, by one and one, they snap'd it all to Pieces. This, says he, is the true Emblem of your Condition: Keep together, and you are safe; divide, and you are undone.

Moral.

The Breach of Unity puts the World into a State of War, and turns every Man's Hand against his Brother;but so long as that Band holds, it is the Strength of all the several Parts of it gather'd into one, and is not easily subdued.

Reflection.

This Fable intimates the Force of Union, and the Danger of Division. Intestine Commotions have de- stroy d many a powerful State; and it is as ruinous in private Affairs as it is in publick. A divided Family can no more stand, than a divided Commonwealth; for every Individual suffers in the Neglect of a common Safety. It is a strange thing, that Men should not do that un der the Government of a rationalSpirit and a natural Prudence, which Wolves and Bears do by the Impulse of an animal Instinct. For they, we see, will make Head, one and all, against a common Enemy; whereas the Generality of Mankind lie pecking at one another, till, one by one, they all are torn to Pieces, never con sidering (as this Fable teaches) the Necessity and Benefits of Union.

Fab. 54.A Laden Ass and a Horse.

AS a Horse and an Ass were upon the Way toge ther, the Ass cry'd out to his Companion, to ease him of his Burden, tho' never so little; he should fall down dead else. The Horse would not; and so his Fel low Servant sunk under his Load. The Master, upon this, had the Ass flaid, and laid his whole Pack, Skin and all upon the Horse: Well, says he, this Judgment is befallen me for my ill Nature, in refusing to help my Brother in the Depth of his Distress.

Moral.

It is a Christian, a natural, a reasonable, and a political Duty, for all Members of the same Body to assist one another.
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Reflection.

The Business of the World is more or less the Busi- ness of every Man that lives in it: And if the Great and the Small do not join in a common Assistance, where the Matter requires it, they are in Danger to be both undone: So that it is for the Good of the Whole, that the several Parts take care one of another. The churlish Humour of this Horse is too much the Humour of Mankind, even in the Case of Servants or Subjects to the same Master; but such is the Vanity that many People draw from their Trappings and mere no minal Distinctions, that they look down upon their Fellows, as if they were not all made of the same Clay. To speak the plain Truth of the Matter, it is the Little People that support the Great; and when the Foundation fails, the whole Fabrick must either drop into Rubbish, or otherwise rest upon the Shoulders of their Supe riors.

Fab. 55.A Collier and Fuller.

AFuller had a very kind Invitation from a Collier to come and live in the House with him. He gave him a thousand Thanks for his Civility, but told him, that it would not stand with his Convenience; for, says he, as fast as I make any thing clean, you'll be smutting it again.

Moral.

It is a necessary Rule in Alliances, Matches, Societies, Fra ternities, Friendships, Partnerships, Commerce, and all manner of civil Dealings and Contracts, to have a strict Regard to the Humour, the Nature, and the Disposition of those we have to do withal.

Reflection.

There can be no Thought of uniting those that Na- ture itself has divided. And this Caution holds good in all the Business of a sober Man's Life; as Marriage, Stu dies, Pleasures, Society, Commerce, and the like; it is, in some sort, with Friends (pardon the Coarseness of the Illustration) as it is with Dogs in Couples. They should be of the same Size and Humour, and that which pleases the one, should please the other: But if they draw se veral Ways, and if one be too strong for the other,
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they will be ready to hang themselves upon every Gate or Stile they come at.

Fab. 56.A Fowler and a Pigeon.

AS a Country Fellow was making a Shoot at a Pigeon, he trod upon a Snake, which bit him by the Leg. The Surprize startled him, and away flew the Bird.

Moral.

A mischievous Intent is sometimes repaid in the very Act, and when it is least apprehended.

Reflection.

The Mischief that we meditate to others falls com- monly upon our own Heads, and ends in a Judgment as well as a Disappointment. Take the Fable another way, and it may serve to mind us how happily People are diverted many times from the Execution of a ma- licious Design, by the Grace and Goodness of a prevent ing Provideuce. A Pistol's not taking Fire may save the Life of a good Man; and the harmless Pigeon had dy'd, if the spiteful Snake had not broken the Fowler's Aim: That is to say, Good may be drawn out of Evil, and an innocent Life may be saved without having any Obli gation to his Preserver.

Fab. 57. Trumpeter taken Prisoner.

UPON the Rout of an Army a Trumpeter was made a Prisoner, and as the Soldiers were about to cut his Throat, Gentlemen, says he, Why should you kill a Man that kills no body? You shall die the rather for that, cries one of the Company, for being such a Rascal, as to set other People together by the Ears, without fighting yourself.

Moral.

He that provokes and incites Mischief, is the Doer of it. It is the Man that kills me;the Bullet is only a passive Instrument to serve his End that directs it.

Reflection.

This is to reprove those (according to the old Moral) who stir up Men in Power to do publick Mischief; which is much worse than any Man's doing a private one himself; and only a safer way of committing greater Outrages.
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The Trumpeter's Plea is an arrant Shuffle. He that countenances, encourages, or abets a Mischief, does it. Shall he that gives Fire to the Train, pretend to wash his Hands of the Hurt that is done by the playing off the Mine? Human Corruptions are as catching as Powder; as easily inflam'd, and the Fire afterwards as hard to be quench'd. That which a Man causes to be done, he does himself; and 'tis all a Case whether he does it by Practice, Precept, or Example.

Fab. 58.A Dog and a Wolf.

AHaggard Carrion of a Wolf, and a jolly Dog, with good Flesh upon his Back, fell into Company to gether upon the King's Highway. The Wolf was very inquisitive to learn how he brought himself to that happy Plight. Why, says the Dog, I keep my Master's House from Thieves, and I have very good Meat, Drink and Lodging for my Pains. Now if you'll go along with me, and do as I do, you may fare as I fare. The Wolf agreed, and so away they trotted together; but as they were jogging on, the Wolf spy'd a bare Place about the Dog's Neck, where the Hair was worn off. Brother, says he, how comes this, I pr'ythee? Oh! that's nothing, says the Dog, but the fretting of my Collar a little. Nay, says the other, if there be a Col lar in the Case, I know better things than to sell my Liberty for a Crust.

Moral.

We are so dazled with the Glare of a splendid Appear ance, that we can hardly discern the Inconveniencies that attend it: 'Tis a Comfort to have good Meat and Drink at Command, and warm Lodging: But he that sells his Freedom for the gratifying of his Appetite, has but a hard Bargain of it.

Reflection.

In this Emblem is set forth the Blessing of Liberty, and the sordid Meanness of those Wretches who sacri fice their Freedom to their Lusts, and their Palates. What Man in his right Senses, who has wherewithal to live free, would make himself a Slave to Super fluities! We are liable to be imposed upon by Outsides and Appearances, for Want of searching things to the Bottom, and examining what really they are, and what they only seem to be.
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In order therefore to form a right Judgment on this Head, Children should be early instructed, according to their Age and Capacity, in the true Estimate of things, by oppofing the Good to the Evil, and the Evil to the Good; and compensating or qualifying one thing with another. What is Plenty without Health? What is Ease without Plenty? And what is Title or Greatness, with carking Thoughts and a troubled Mind to attend it? What does that Man want who has enough? or, What is he the better for a great deal, who can never be satis fy'd? By this Method of setting what we have, against what we have not, the Equity of Providence will be made manifest, and to all manner of Purposes justify'd, when it shall appear upon the Balance, that every Man has his Share in the Bounties of Heaven to Mankind. This may be inculcated as to the general Doctrine of this Fable; but the particular one, as we have hinted, sets forth the Value of Liberty, which is an inestimable Jewel, to be preferr'd to all the rest; for what is Health, Plenty, Grandeur, Titles, or any other worldly Good, if they are to be held by so precarious a Tenure, as the arbitrary Will of a Tyrant? Or, to come nearer still to the Fable, What wise Man would desire to indulge his Appetites at the Price of his Freedom?

Fab. 59.A Farmer and his Dogs.

ACertain Farmer was put to such a Pinch in a hard Winter for Provision, that he was forc'd to feed himself and his Family upon the main Stock. The Sheep went first to pot; the Goats next; and, after them, the Oxen; and all little enough to keep Life and Soul toge ther, The Dogs call'd a Council upon it, and resolv'd to shew their Master a fair Pair of Heels for it, before it came to be their Turn; For, said they, after he has cut the Throats of our Fellow Servants, that are so ne cessary for his Business, it can never be expected, that he will spare us.

Moral.

There is no contending with Necessity, and we should be very tender how we censure those who submit to it. 'Tis one thing to be at Liberty to do what we would,and another to be tied up to do what we cannot avoid.
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Reflection.

The old Moral observes upon this Fable, That 'tis a common thing for a Master to sacrifice a Servant to his own Ease and Interest; but that there is no meddling with Men of such an inhospitable Humour, that the Do mesticks, how faithful soever, can never be secure. But SirRoger L'Estrange is of Opinion, that this Mo ral is a Force upon the natural Biass of the Fable; For, says he, the Farmer has no Liberty of Choice before him, but either to do what he does, or to perish: And in so doing, (with all Respect to the Rules of Honesty) he does but his Duty, without any way iucurring the Character of an ill-natur'd Man, or a cruel Master. But, as the same Author observes, there may be also another Doctrine rais'd from it; which is, that in Cases of ex treme Difficulty, the Laws of Conveniency and ordinary Practice must give place to the Laws of Necessity. And this, adds he, was the naked Truth of the Farmer's Case, who would have been glad to have had no Occa sion to kill any of his Beasts.

Fab. 60.An Eagle and a Fox.

ATreaty of Amity and good Neighbourhood was once struck up betwixt the Eagle and the Fox. Notwithstanding which, one Day when the Fox was abroad a foraging, the Eagle fell into his Quarters, and carried away a whole Litter of Cubs at a Swoop. The Fox return'd time enough to see the Eagle upon the Wing, with the Prey in her Foot, and to send many a heavy Curse after her. In a very short time after, up on the sacrificing of a Goat, the same Eagle made a Swoop at a Piece of Flesh upon the Altar, and took it away to her Young: But some live Coals, it seems, that stuck to it, set the Nest on Fire. The Birds were not as yet fledged enough to shift for themselves, but upon sprawl ing and struggling to get clear of the Flame, down they tumbled, half-roasted, into the Mouth of the Fox, who stood gaping under the Tree, expecting such an Event, and who greedily devour'd them in the very Sight of the Dam.

Moral.

Justice is a sacred thing, and no Necessity caa warrant the Violation of it.
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Reflection.

This is to give great Men to understand, that no Power upon Earth can protect them in the Exercise of Tyranny and Injustice, but that sooner or later Ven geance will overtake Oppressors. It likewise condemns Treachery and Breach of Faith, even towerds the most perfidious. And further suggests to us, that when People are in a Train of Wickedness, one Sin treads up on the Heel of another. The Eagle begins with an Invasion upon the Rights of Hospitality and common Faith; and at the next Step advances to Sacrilege, in robbing the Altar. And what follows upon it now, but a divine Judgment, that makes her accessary to the firing of her own Nest, and avenges the Cause of the Fox, though one of the falsest of Creatures!

Fab. 61. Husbandman and Stork.

APoor innocent Stork had the ill Hap to be taken in a Net that was laid for Geese and Cranes. The Stork's Plea for herself was Simplicity and Piety: The Love she bare to Mankind, her Duty to her Parents, and the Service she did in picking up venomous Crea tures. This may be all true, says the Husbandman, for what I know; but as you have been taken with ill Com pany, you must expect to suffer with it.

Moral.

Our Fortune and Reputation requires us to keep good Com- pany;for as we may be easily perverted by the Force of bad Examples, wise Men will judge of us by the Com pany we keep. What says the Proverb, Birds of a Fea ther will flock together?

Reflection.

A Man may lie under some Obligation of Duty and Respect, to visit, eat, and correspond with many People that he does not like. And this may be well enough done too; provided it be out of Decency, Discretion, or good Manners, rather than upon Choice and Incli nation, and that he avoids it whenever he can, and passes the principal Part of his Time in better Company. It is indeed the Fortune of many a good Man to fall into bad Company, and to be undone by it, and yet no ways guilty all this while of the Iniquity of his Com panions. But can any Man he excus'd that takes and
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even seeks all Opportunities of frequenting the Com pany of ill Men, and shewing his Delight in them, pre ferably to better?Shew me the Company, says the Adage, and I'll tell you the Man. And when a great Person af- sociates himself with Fidlers, Buffoons or Tumblers, would not any Man judge their Souls to be of the same Standard and Alloy? Or when one sees a Lord take De light in a Coach-box, would not a censorious Person be tempted to think his real Father had presided in one before him?

Fab. 62. Boy and False Alarms.

AShepherd's Boy had gotten a roguish Trick of crying, A Wolf! a Wolf! when there was no such Matter, and fooling the Country People with false Alarms. He had been at this Sport so many times in Jest, that they would not believe him at last, when he was in Earnest; and so the Wolves brake in upon the Flock, and worry'd the Sheep without Re sistance.

Moral.

This Fable shews us the dangerous Consequences of an im proper and unseasonable Fooling. The old Moral ob serves, That a common Lyar shall not be believ'd, even when he speaks true.

Reflection.

It is not every Man's Talent to know when and how to cast out a pleasant Word, with such a Regard to Modesty and Respect, as not to transgress the true and fair Allowances of Wit, good Nature, and good Breeding. The Skill and Faculty of governing this Freedom within the Terms of Sobriety and Discretion, goes a great way in the Character of an agreeable Com panion: for that which we call Raillery, in this Sense, is the very Sauce of civil Entertainment: And without some such Tincture of Urbanity, even in Matters the most serious, the good Humour falters, for Want of Refreshment and Relief: But there is a Medium yet be twixt All-Fool and All-Philosopher: I mean a proper and discrete Mixture, that in some sort partakes of both, and renders Wisdom itself so much the more grateful and effectual. The Gravity, in short, of the one, is enliven'd with the Spirit and Quickness of the other;
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and the Gaiety of a diverting Word serves as a Vehicle to convey the Force of the Intent and Meaning of it. The Shepherd's Boy, in short, to come closer to the Fable, went too far upon a Topick he did not under stand.

Fab. 63.An Eagle and Daw.

AN Eagle made a Stoop at a Lamb; truss'd it, and took it away with her. A mimical Daw, that saw this Exploit, would needs try the same Experiment upon a Ram: But his Claws were so shackled in the Fleece with lugging to get him up, that the Shepherd came in, and caught him, before he could clear him self; he clipt his Wings, and carried him home to his Children to play withal. They came gaping about him, and ask'd their Father what strange Bird that was? Why, says he, he fansy'd himself an Eagle an Hour ago; but now he is himself thoroughly convinc'd, that he is but a silly Daw.

Moral.

'Tis a high Degree of Vanity and Folly, for Men to take more upon them than they are able to go through withal;since the End of all such Undertakings generally subjects them to Mockery as well as Disappointment.

Reflection.

'Tis vain and dangerous to enter into Competitions with our Superiors, in what kind soever, whether it be in Arms or Expence, or in Arts and Sciences. 'Tis impossible for any Man, in fine, to take a true Measure of another, without an exact Knowledge of himself. Nay, the Attempt of any thing above our Force, with Vanity and Presumption, most certainly ends in a Mis carriage which makes the Pretender ridiculous. The endeavouring to out-do a great Man in his own way, savours in some Degree of ill Manners, as it is upon the main a high Point of Indiscretion. One Man takes it sor an Affront to be outwitted; another to be outfool'd, as Nero could not endure to be outfiddled; but, in short, be the Matter never so great, or never so trivial, 'tis the same Case as to the Envy of the Competition.
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Fab. 64.A Dog in the Manger.

AN envious Cur was gotten into a Manger, and there lay growling and snarling to keep the Cattle from their Provender, chusing rather to starve his own Carcase, than suffer the other Beasts to satisfy their Hunger.

Moral.

Envy pretends to no other Happiness than what it derives from the Misery of other People, and will rather eat nothing itself, than not starve those that would.

Reflection.

We have but too many Men in the World of this Dog's Humour; who will rather punish themselves, than not be troublesome and vexatious to others. This dia bolical Envy is detestable, even in private Persons; but whenever the governing Part of a Nation comes to be tainted with it, there is nothing so sacred that a corrupt, supercilious, ill-natur'd Minister will not sacrificeto this ex ecrable Passion. No worthy Man should eat, live, or breathe common Air, if he could hinder it. 'Tis his Delight to blast all sorts of honest Men, and not only to lessen their Characters and their Services, but to range them in the Number of publick Enemies: And he had twenty times rather see the Government sink, than have it thought, that any Hand but his own should have a Part in the Honour of saving it. Now he that betrays his Master for Envy, will never fail of doing it for Money; for the gratifying of this canker'd Malignity is but another way of selling him, only the Spite is antecedent and subser vient to the Corruption: But this Court-Envy is not altogether the Envy of the Dog in the Fable; for there is a Mixture of Avarice and Interest in the former, whereas the other is a spiteful Malignity purely for Mischief-sake. The Dog will rather starve himself, than the Cattle shall eat; but the envious Courtier will be sure to look to one, whoever else suffers.

Fab. 65.A Sheep and a Crow.

ACrow sat chattering upon the Back of a Sheep: Well! Sirrah, says the Sheep, you durst not have done this to a Dog. Why, I know that, says the Crow, as well as you can tell me; for I can be as quiet as any body with those that are quarrelsome; and I can be as
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troublesome as another too, when I meet with those that will take it.

Moral.

'Tis the Nature and Practice of mean and low Spirits, to be insolent towards those that will bear it, and as slavish to others that are more than their Match.

Reflection.

Insolence and Tyranny over Inferiors and Persons in our Power, is so unmanly a Vice, that we may be always sure, that such a Behaviour to such Persons never fails to indicate a base Mind; such a Mind as is capable of taking the very Insults from Superiors, where Interest is concern'd, that it offers to Inferiors. This Comfort, however, results from the whole, That tho' the Great Men threaten the Little ones; yet Kings threaten the Great Men; and, last of all, God threatens Kings. In short, it may be observ'd throughout the Course of this World, That he who is a Tyrant over one, is a Slave to some other; and finds there are Men who are as much too hard for him, as he is for those he oppresses. And every one inhis own Case thinks himself hardly used, tho' he will not consider it inanother's.

Fab. 66.The Creatures petition Jupiter.

AGeneral Dissatisfaction once reigned among several Creatures, at their Conditions particularly; the Camel prayedJupiter, That he might have Horns al lotted him as well for Ornament as Defence, as Bulls and Stags had. The Fox pray'd for the Fleetness of the Hare; the Hare for the Subtlety of the Fox; and the Peacock pray'd for the fine Voice of the Nightingale, superadded to her own beautiful Plumes.Jupiter told them, that since every Creature had some Advantage or other peculiar to itself, it would not stand with divine Justice, which had provided so well for every one in par- ticular, to confer all upon any one. And because the Camel had shewed himself most uneasy in his State, the God not only resus'd him Horns, but, for Example sake, punish'd him with the Loss of Ears.

Moral.

Every living Creature has that Share of the Bounties of Heaven, which Providence knows to be best for it. We ought to be contented with our present Condition, be it
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what it will, and not repine at the Dispensations of Providence.

Reflection.

We are never content with the Bounties of Heaven. One would have a Voice; the other gay Cloaths; and while every Man would have all, we charge Providence with Injustice for not giving to every Man alike. Socrates was in the right in saying, That in case a Man were to have the Choice before him of all the ill Things and all the good Things in Nature, he would come home again the same Man that he went out, or perhaps worse. Why should not the Nightingale envy the Peacock's Train, as well as the Peacock envy the Nightingale's Note? And why should not all the Works of the Creation expostulate at the same Rate, and upon the same Grounds? Why has not Man the Wings of an Eagle to carry him from Danger, or to satisfy his Curiosity what the World is doing? Why has he not the Sagacity of a Dog, the Paw of a Lion, the Teeth of a Leopard, the Heels of a Courser, and the like? And have not brute Animals the same Equity of Complaint on the other Hand, for Want of the Faculties and Advantages, intel loctual and moral, of Mankind? So that here is a civil War that runs through all the Parts of the Universe, where nothing is pleased with its own Lot; and no Remedy at last, but by new moulding the World over again. This inordinate Appetite has been the Overthrow of many a Kingdom, Family and Commonwealth. To ask Impossibilities, in fine, is ridiculous; and to ask Things unnatural, is impious: Such as we are, God has made us; our Post and our Station is appointed us, and the Decree is not to be reversed.

Fab. 67.A Covetous Landlord.

ACertain Farmer had one choice Apple-tree in his Orchard, that he valued above all the rest, and made his Landlord every Year a Present of the Fruit of it. His Landlord lik'd the Apples so well, that after awhile nothing would serve him but transplanting the Tree into his own Grounds. It wither'd presently up on the Removal, and so there was an End of both Fruit and Tree together.
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Moral.

All covet, all lose,says the Proverb, which is a good Moral to the Fable.

Reflection.

This is the true Case of many a covetous Man: Like the Dog snapping at the Shadow, he is not contented with the Good he possesses, but, endeavouring to get more, loses what he had. The Landlord's Pride and Avarice would not let him owe an Obligation to his Tenant, and so he robs his Tenant, defrauds himself, and loses the Fruit and the Tree for ever.

Fab. 68.A Fox and Goat.

AFox and a Goat went down by consent into a Well to drink, and when they had quench'd their Thirst, the Goat was at a Loss how to get back again. I have a way for that, saysReynard; do but you raise yourself upon your hinder Legs, with your fore Feet close to the Wall, and then stretch out your Head; I can easily whip up to your Horns, and so out of the Well, and draw you after me. The Goat puts himself in a Posture immediately, as he was directed, gives the Fox a lift, and so out he springs: ButReynard, instead of helping him, leaves him with this barbarous Scoff, If you had but half so much Brain as Beard, says he, you would have bethought yourself how to get up again before you went down.

Moral.

A wise Man will leave nothing to Chance more than needs must;but will debate every thing proand conbefore he comes to fix upon any Resolution.

Reflection.

It is Wisdom to consider the End of things before we embark, and to forecast Consequences. It is also to be expected, that Men in distress will look to themselves in the first Place, and leave their Companions to shift as well as they can. When a Knave and an honest Man happen to be embark'd together in the same common Interest, the Sharper will be sure, if ever it comes to a pinch, to shift for himself, and leave the other in the lurch. It is the way of the World for Men to abandon their Benefactors, and to make sport with those who rais'd them. No Matter for the Morality of the thing,
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so long as it is the Fashion; and he that advances him self upon the Ruin of another, frequently gets the Repu tation of a Man of Art and Address. The Facility and the Simplicity of the Goat, shews us what an honest Man is to trust to, who keeps a Knave company. In fine, it behoves us tolook before we leap, and in case of the worst that can befal us, to secure an After-game.

Fab. 69. Cocks and a Partridge.

ANoted Cocker bought a Partridge, and turn'd it to feed among his fighting Cocks. The Cocks beat the Partridge away from the Meat; which she laid the more to Heart, because it look'd like an Aversion to her purely as a Stranger. But the Partridge finding these very Cocks afterwards tearing one another to pieces, comforted herself with this Thought, that she had no reason to expect they should be kinder to her, than they were to one another.

Moral.

'Tis no wonder to find those People troublesome to Stran gers, who cannot agree among themselves.

Reflection.

There is no Peace to be expected among those that are naturally fierce and quarrelsome. As far as possible, we are to avoid ill Company; but where we are forc'd upon it, there is no Remedy but Patience. The Cocks here did but according to their Kind; and it is the same thing with wicked Men too (as Birds of the same Feather) to be troublesome to other People as well as to one another.

Fab. 70.A Bragging Traveller.

AVain Fellow, who had been abroad in the World, would still be tiring Peoples Ears at his Return with Stories of his wonderful Actions in his Travels; and particularly he told of a Leap he took at Rhodes, that no Body there could come within fix Foot of it. Now this, says he, I am able to prove by several Wit nesses upon the Place. If this be true, says one of the Company, there's no need of going toRhodes for Wit ness: Do but you fansy this to beRhodes, and then shew us the Leap.
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Moral.

Instant Detection oftentimes attends the prating Folly of a Boaster, and then he becomes the Scoff and Contempt of the Company, instead of being, what he would have been thought, the most considerable Man in it.

Reflection.

This home Put of one of the Company, was bring- ing the Matter to a Demonstration: Vain Boasters should be cautious of making Pretensions to what may be so easily brought to immediate Proof. Travellers, they say, may lye by Authority; and yet our Traveller's Pri vilege here was not sufficient to protect him from being made a Sport to the Company.

Fab. 71.A Scoffer Punished.

APresumptuous Scoffer at Things sacred, took a Journey toDelphos, on purpose to try if he could put a Trick uponApollo. He carry'd a Sparrow in his Hand under his Coat, and told the God,I have some thing in my Hand, says he,Is it dead or living? If the Oracle should say 'twas dead, he could shew it alive; if living, 'twas but squeezing it, and then 'twas dead. He that saw the Iniquity of his Heart, gave him this Answer: It shall e'en be which of the two thou pleasest: for 'tis in thy Choice to have it either the one or the other, as to the Bird; but 'tis not in thy Power as to thy self, and immediately struck the bold Scoffer dead, for a Warning to others.

Moral.

Presumption naturally leads People to Infidelity, and that by insensible Degrees to Atheism: For when Men have once cast off a Reverence for Religion, they are come within one Step of laughing at it.

Reflection.

There is no playing fast and loose with God Almighty, who sees the very Thoughts of our Hearts. This way of fooling in holy Things, is the very boldest sort of Impiety that can be practised. He that pretends to doubt of an All-knowing Power, has as much right to doubt of an All-mighty Power too; and the bringing of one Attribute in question, opens the way to a Diffidence of all the rest. It would prevent a great deal of Wick edness in the World, if Men would but live and act in
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religious Matters so as to own and to recognize the Force and Awe of a Deity in theirPractices, as well as in theirWords: But when they come to querying and riddling upon it, with anIf it be so and so, the Scandal of the Supposition is not to be borne; for such a way of seeming to affirm a Thing, is but one Remove from a flat Denial of it. Such was the Scoffer's Question here to the Oracle, which implies both the Doubt of a Divine Omniscience, and a Curiosity to discover the Truth of the Matter, with a Banter at the End of it; and so makes a consummated Wickedness; which we think completes the Fable, in making it end with so deserved a Punishment.

Fab. 72.A Woman and a Fat Hen.

AGood Woman, who had a Hen that laid her every Day an Egg, fansy'd that, upon a larger Allow ance of Corn, this Hen might be brought to lay twice a Day. She try'd the Experiment; but the Hen grew fat upon it, and quite gave over laying.

Moral.

We should set Bounds to our Defires, and content ourselves when we are well, for fear of losing what we have.

Reflection.

This Fable is of the same Nature with that of the eovetous Landlord,Fab. 67. and affords us a Figure of the Folly and the Mischief of vain Desires, and an im moderate Love of Riches. Covetousness is enough to make the Master of the World as poor as he that has just nothing. 'Tis a Madness for one that has enough already, to hazard all for the getting of more. There is a just Medium betwixt eating too much and too little; and this Dame had undoubtedly hit upon it, when the Hen brought her every Day an Egg. But when she came to enlarge the Hen's Allowance for her own Profit, upon an Opinion, that more Corn would produce more Eggs, her Avarice misled her into a Disappointment, which was both a Judgment upon the Sin, in the Loss of what she had before, and an Error in the very Point of Management and good Housewifry; for Repletion obstructs the most necessary Offices of Nature, and that as well in human Creatures as Poultry: And this may serve as another Lesson to Parents, and those to whom
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the Care of Children is intrusted, how they suffer them to overcharge their Stomachs, and humour their Ap petites; since such a Habit will make them unfit for every good Purpose, or Improvement, and fill them with Diseases into the Bargain.

Fab. 73.A Man bit by a Dog.

ONE bitten by a Dog, was advised, as the best Remedy in the World, to dip a Piece of Bread in the Blood of the Wound, and give it the Dog to eat. Mighty good Advice truly, says the Man! and so you have a Mind to draw all the Dogs in Town upon me? for that will certainly be the case, when they shall find themselves rewarded instead of punish'd.

Moral.

Our Good-nature should always be manag'd with Pru dence. We may forgive an Injury; but we should not encourage the Person who has injur'd us, to repeat the Offence.

Reflection.

Under the Rule and Correction of this Allegory, we may reckon Calumny, Slander, and Detraction in any Form or Figure whatsoever, and all manner of Affronts and Indignities upon our good Names, or our Persons. There may be Place in all these Cases for a generous Charity to forgive Offences, even of the highest Ingra titude and Malice; but it is not advisable to reward, where Men have the Tenderness not to punish. This way of Proceeding is dangerous in all the Affairs, pub lick as well as private, of human Life; for 'tis a Temp tation to Villainy, when a Man fares the better for evil doing. Ill-Nature, in fine, is not to be cur'd with a Sop; but on the contrary, quarrelsome Men, as well as quarrelsome Curs, are often the worse for gentle Usage.

Fab. 74.A Thunny and a Dolphin.

AThunny was chased by a Dolphin, which being just ready to seize him, the Thunny struck be- fore he was aware, and the Dolphin, in the Eagerness of his Pursuit, ran himself a-ground with him. They were both lost; but the Thunny kept his Eye still upon the Dolphin, and observing him when he was just at the last Gasps. Well, says he, the Thought of Death is now
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easy to me, so long as I see my Enemy go for Com- pany.

Moral.

An innocent Man may be indulg'd some Satisfaction, when he sees the rapacious Enemy, who brought Destruction upon him, involv'd in the same Calamity.

Reflection.

Sir Roger L'Estrange has made this and the following Fable to have the same Import, and has put them both under one Moral and Reflection, to shew the Wickedness of a revengeful Disposition: But to us there seems a wide Difference in the two Fables; and therefore we think ourselves justify'd, in taking upon us to differ from that celebrated Writer, and to make two distinct Applications to them. Here is the harmless Thunny, in striving to save his Life from the Jaws of a devour ing Enemy, driven on Shore and lost; and, as we have observed in the Moral, it was a natural and pardonable Satisfaction that he took in seeing his cruel and merci less Enemy sharing the same Fate which he had brought upon him. The Doctrine from hence may be, That Divine Vengeance oftentimes involves a wicked Man in the same Ruin which he had design'd for another, and he meets his Punishment in the very highest and most successful Act of his Malice.

Fab. 75.TwoEnemies at Sea.

TWO Enemies were at Sea in the same Vessel, the one at the Ship's Head, the other at the Stern. It blew a dreadful Storm; and when the Vessel was just ready to be swallow'd up, one of them ask'd the Master, which Part of the Ship would be first under Water? He told him the other End would sink first. Why then, says he, I shall have the Comfort of seeing my Enemy go before me.

Moral.

'Tis a wretched Satisfaction that a revengeful Man takes, when he can lose his own Life, provided that his Enemy may not survive him.

Reflection.

Revenge is a truly diabolical Disposition, and stops at nothing that is violent and wicked. It divides the dcarest Friends, embroils Governments, and tears Fami
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lies to Pieces. The Histories of all Ages are full of the tragical Outrages that have been executed by this infer nalPassion; which is even capable of hardening People into a brutal Contempt of Death, (as in the Fable above) where they may but see their Enemies fall for Company.

Fab. 76.The Astrologer Admonish'd.

ACertain Star-gazer had the Fortune, in the very Height of his celestial Observations, to stumble into a very deep Ditch; and while he was scrabbling to get out, Friend, says a sober Fellow passing by, make a right Use of your present Misfortunes; and, for the future, pray let the Stars go on quietly in their Courses, and do you look a little better to the Ditches; for is it not strange, that you should tell other People their For tunes, and know nothing of your own?

Moral.

This Fable is a just Rebuke to such as neglect their own Concerns to pry into those of other People.

Reflection.

The Fable also serves, taken according to the Letter of it, to expose the impudent Pretensions of Fortune-tellers, Gypsies, Wizards, and such-like, who so much impose on the Credulity of the Weak and Ignorant, as well in Town as Country, especially in the latter. This Humour. as SirRoger L'Estrange well observes, let it look never so little and silly, (as it passes many times only for Frolick and Banter) is yet one of the most pernicious Snares in human Life, when it comes once to gain Credit; espe cially among Women and Children, where the Imagina tion is strong in the one, and the Disposition is as pliant as Wax for any Impression in the other. Wherefore, of all Things in this World, Care is to be taken, that they get not a Hankering after these wretched Jugglers. To say nothing of the Fooleries of Fortune Books, and a hundred other vulgar Ways of Enquiry into the Event of Amours, Marriages, Life and Death, Travel, Play, or the like; which is all but a Tincture of the same capital Infirmity. If these Pretenders were not better supported by the Simplicity and Superstition of inquisitive Fools, than they are by any Congruity of Premises and Con clusion, or by the ordinary Way of tracing Causes from their Effects, the Trade would not find them Bread;
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for there is no Proportion at all betwixt the Means and the End.

Fab. 77.A Fowler and a Blacr<Black>-Bird.

ABlack-Bird ask'd a Fowler, who was baiting his Net, What he was doing? Why, says he, I am laying the Foundations of a City; and so the Bird-Man drew out of Sight. The Black-Bird, mistrusting nothing, flew presently to the Bait in the Net, and was taken; and as the Man came running to lay hold of him, Friend, says the poor Black-Bird, if this be your way of Build ing, you'll have but few Inhabitants.

Moral.

Inquisitive People sometimes pay dear for their impertinent Folly.

Reflection.

The Black-Bird here met with a deserved Fate. He could not rest contented with enjoying his own Liberty, but must pry into the Concerns of others, and as soon as the Bird-man was gone, must needs descend from his Sanctuary, to devour the Bait to which he had no Right, and was deservedly therefore caught in the Gin. On the other hand, the Fowler sets forth the Arts and Stra tagems of a designing Man, who never wants a Pre tence to draw unwary and inquisitive Fools into his Net, and suits his Bait to the Weakness of the intended Prey. And indeed it will be found on due Observation, that the greatest Part of Mankind are as easily taken in and seduced, as the silliest Birds, while they permit the Eagerness of their Appetites to suspend the Exercise of their Reason. And if a suitable Bait be held out, as a luxurious Treat to an Epicure, a fine Woman to a Sen sualist, or the Appearance of Gain to a Miser, they will each respectively snap at the Bait as eagerly as a Bird, or a Fish would do at a Worm, a Gudgeon, or a Grain of Corn.

Fab. 78.Mercury and a Traveller.

ATraveller just entring upon a long Journey, made a Promise toMercury that he would dedicate to his Divinity half what he should find. Somebody had lost a Bag of Dates aud Almonds, it seems, and it was his Fortune to find it. He fell to work upon them
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immediately, and when he had eaten up the Kernels, and all that was good of them, he laid the Stones and the Shells upon an Altar; and desir'dMercury to take notice that he had perform'd his Vow. For, says he, here are the Outsides of the one, and the Insides of the other, and there's the Moiety I promis'd.

Moral.

Some Men talk as if they believed in God, but they live as if they thought there were none; but their very Prayers are Mockeries, and their Vows and Promises are no more than Words of Course,which, if they ever intended to make good, they seldom have the Heart to do it, when it comes to the Point.

Reflection.

More or less, we are all Jugglers in secret betwixt Heaven and our own Souls; only we seek to meditate and cover Abuses under the Masque and Pretence of Con science and Religion; and make God Almighty privy to a thousand false and cozening Contrivances, which we keep as the greatest Privacies in the World from the Know ledge of our Neighbours. Nay, when we are most in carnest, our Vows and Promises are more than half broken in the very making them: And if we can but secute ourselves a Retreat, by some plausible Evasion, Distinction, or mental Reservation, it serves our Purpose as well as if it were a casuistical Resolution. In one Word, we all too much find the Moral ofMercury and the Traveller in the very Secrets of our Hearts, betwixt Heaven and our own Souls.

Fab. 79.A Boy and his Mother.

ASchool-Boy stole a Book, and brought it to his Mother; who was so far from correcting him for it, that she rather encourag'd him. As he grew bigger, he increas'd in Villainy, till he came at last to be taken in a great Theft, and was brought to Justice for it. His Mother went lamenting along with him to the Place of Execution, where he got leave of the Offi cers, to have a Word or two in private with her. He put his Mouth to her Ear, and under Pretext of a Whis per, bit it clear off. This unnatural Villainy turn'd every body's Heart against him more than before: Well, good People, says theBoy, here you see me an Example,
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both upon the Matter of Shame and Punishment; and it is this Mother of mine that has brought me to it; for if she had but whipt me soundly for the Book I stole when I was a Boy, I should never have come to the Gallows for Theft now I'm a Man.

Moral.

We are either made or marr'd in our Education;and Go- vernments, as well as private Families, are concern'd in the Consequences of it.

Reflection.

Wicked Dispositions should be check'd in time; for when they come once to Habits, they grow incurable. More People go to the Gibbet for want of early In- struction, Discipline and Correction, than upon any in curable Pravity of Nature; and it is mightily the Fault of Parents, Guardians, Tutors and Governors, that so many Men miscarry. They suffer them at first to run a-head, and when perverse Inclinations are advanc'd once into Habits, there is no dealing with them.

Fab. 80.A Shepherd turn'd Merchant.

AShepherd feeding his Flock by the Sea-side on a very fine Day, the Smoothness of the Water tempted him to leave his Shepherd's Business, and set up for a Merchant. So in all haste he puts off his Stock, buys a Bargain of Figs, gets his Freight aboard, and away presently to Sea. But foul Weather happening, the Mariners were fain to cast their whole Lading over board, to save themselves and the Vessel. Upon this Miscarriage, our new Merchant Adventurer betook him self to his old Trade again: And it happen'd one Day, as he was tending his Sheep upon the very same Coast, to be just such a flattering tempting Sea as that which betray'd him before:Yes, yes, says he,Who's Fool then? You'd have some more Figs with a Vengeance, would ye?

Moral.

Men may be happy in all Estates, if they will but suit their Minds to their Candition. But if they will be launching out into Business they do not understand, they have nothing left them to trust to when they are once bewilder'd, but the Hope of some kind Providence to put them in the right Way home again.
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Reflection.

Affliction makes People honest and wise. Every Man living has his weak Side, and no Mortal was ever yet so much at Ease, but his Shoe wrung him some where or other, or he fansy'd so at least. Our Shepherd's Case here, in short, is every Man's Case, who quits a moral Certainty for an Uncertainty, and leaps from the honest Business he was brought up to, into a Trade he has no Skill in.

Fab. 81.A Man of Quality, and a Lion.

APerson of Quality dream'd one Night that he saw a Lion kill his only Son, who was, it seems, a great Lover of the Chace. This Fancy ran in the Fa- ther's Head to that degree, that he built his Son a House of Pleasure, on purpose to keep him out of harm's way; and spar'd neither Art nor Cost to make a delicious Re treat, which however, in the main, the young Man con sider'd as no other than a Prison, and his Father, who confin'd him to it, as his Keeper. Among the Paint ings which adorn'd this little Palace, was the Picture of a Lion, which he viewing one Day, and being incens'd to think that he should be kept a kind of Prisoner for the sake of a silly Dream of such a Beast, he made a Blow at the Picture; but striking his Fist upon the Point of a Nail in the Wall, his Hand cancerated, he fell into a Fever, and soon after died of it: So that all the Father's Precaution could not secure the Son from the Fatality of dying by a Lion.

Moral.

Superstitious Minds are often punish'd in the way they most dread. And the very means which we take to avoid an apprehended Evil, when we rely too much on our own Strength or Prudence, without trusting in Pro vidence, are often made use of to bring it upon us.

Reflection.

'Tis to no purpose to think of preventing or divert- ing Fatalities, especially wher the Event looks like the Punishment of a Superstition; as it fares with those who govern their Lives by Forebodings and Dreams, or the Signs of ill Luck, as we use to say; they are still anxi ous and uneasy. History is full of Examples to illustrate the Doctrine of this Fable. The Father was to blame for
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laying so much stress upon a foolish Dream, and the Son was little less to blame for being so much transported at the Impression of that Fancy of the Father: But they were both justly punish'd however, the one for his Superstition, and the other for his Passion.

Fab. 82.A Fox that lost his Tail.

AFox taken in a Trap, was glad to compound for his Neck, by leaving his Tail behind him. It was so uncouth a Sight for a Fox to appear without a Tail, that the very Thought of it made him weary of his Life: But however, for the better Countenance of the Scandal, he got theMaster and Wardens of the Foxes Company to call aCourt of Assistants, where he himself appear'd, and made a learned Discourse upon the Trou ble, the Uselessness, and the Indecency of Foxes wear ing Tails. He had no sooner said out his Say, but up rises a cunning Snap, then at the Board, who desir'd to be inform'd, whether the worthy Member that mov'd against the wearing of Tails, gave his Advice for the Advantage of those thathad Tails, or to palliate the De formity and Disgrace of those thathad none?

Moral.

'Tis the way of the World to give other People Counsel for By-ends. But yet it is a hard Matter to over-rule a Multitude to their own Pain and Loss.

Reflection.

We may improve a Doctrine from this, that every Man has his weak Side either by Mischance or by Na- ture; and that he makes it his Business to cover it too the best he can. In case of the worst, it is some sort of Ease to have Company in Misforune. It puts a Man out of Countenance to be in a Fashion by himself, and therefore the Fox acted cunningly to try if he could bring his fellow Foxes to put themselves into his Mode. When we have carry'd a Point as far as it will go, and can make no more of it, 'tis a Stroke of Art and Phi losophy, to look as if we did not so much as wish for a thing that is not to be had. Every Man's present Con dition has somewhat to be said for it: If it be uneasy, the Skill will be, either how tomend it, or how to bear it; but then there must be no clashing with the Methods, the Decrees, and the Laws of Nature. A Man
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that has forfeited his Honour and his Conscience, seems to be much in the Condition of the Fox here that had lost his Tail, and oftentimes takes as much Pains too, to persuade all his Companions to follow his Fashion, and be as corrupt as himself, that he may bring the rest of the World down to his own Standard.

Fab. 83.A Fox and a Bramble.

AFox close pursued, took a Hedge; the Bushes gave way, and in catching hold of a Bramble to break his Fall, the Prickles ran into his Feet; upon this, he laid himself down, and fell to licking his Paws, with bitter Exclamations against the Bramble. Good Words, Reynard, says the Bramble, one would have thought, that you, whose Heart is bent on Mischief, had known better Things, than to lay hold on that for Relief, which catches at every thing else for Mischief.

Moral.

That Man is hard put to it, who first brings himself into a Distress, and then is forc'd to fly to his Enemy for Relief.

Reflection.

They who make themselves the common Enemies of Mankind, by breaking all the Measures of good Faith, Truth, and Peace, and by lying in wait for innocent Blood, let them turn their Heads which way they will, they shall be sure of an Enemy in the Face of them: Nay, they meet with their Punishment, where they look for Safety; and which Way soever they go, Divine Justice either meets them, or pursues them. The Fox's charging his Misfortune here upon the Bramble, is the very Case and Practice of wicked Men, who snarl at the Instrument, without so much as thinking of the Providence.

Fab. 84.A Fox and Huntsmen.

AFox that was hard pursu'd, begg'd of a Country man to help him to some Hiding-Place. The Man directed him to his Cottage, and thither he went. The Huntsmen were presently at his Heels, and asked the Cottager, if he did not see a Fox that way. No, truly, says he, I saw none; but pointed at the fame time with his Finger to the Place where he lay. The
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Huntsmen did not take the Hint, it seems, but the Fox spy'd him, however, through a Peeping-Hole he had found out: So the Hunters went their Way, and then out steals the Fox, and departs without one Word speak ing. Why, how now, says the Man, han't you the Man ners to thank me before you go? Yes, yes, says the Fox, if you had been as honest of your Fingers as you were of your Tongue, I should not have gone without acknowledging the Favour.

Moral.

A Man may tell a Lye by Signs, as well as in Words at Length, and his Conscience in this Case is as answerable for his Fingers as for his Tongue.

Reflection.

Here is a Case of Honour and of Conscience both in one, upon the Matter of Hospitality and of Trust. The Laws of Hospitality are sacred on the one Side, and so are the Duties we owe to our Country on the other. If we consider the Trust, Faith must not be broken; if the common Enemy, his Counsel is not to be kept. The Woodman did as good as tacitly promise the Fox a Sanctuary; but not beingSui Juris, he promised more than he could warrantably perform; for a subsequent Promise to conceal the Fox could not discharge him of a prior Obligation to destroy him, as a Beast of Prey. 'Tis true, it would have been more generous to have done it at first, and while he had as yet no Colour of any Tie of Honour upon him to preserve him. The Fox begg'd for Protection, which he had no Reason to expect. But let that be as it will, there is no Excuse for the Woodman's Double-dealing: For a Man should not promise that which he does not intend to perform.

Fab. 85.A Man and a Wooden God.

AMan who had a great Veneration for an Image he had in his House, found, that the more he pray'd to it to prosper him in the World, the more he went down the Wind still. This put him into such a Rage, that at last he dash'd the Head of it to Pieces against the Wall, and out comes a considerable Quantity of Gold. Why this 'tis, says he, to adore a perverse and insensible Deity, that will do more for Blows than Worship.
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Moral.

Most People accommodate their Religion to their Profit, and reckon that to be the best Church which there is most to be got by.

Reflection.

All People who worship for Fear, Profit, or some other By-end, fall more or less within the Intendment of this Emblem. It is a kind of a conditional Devotion for Men to be religious no longer than they can save, or get by it. The whole Sum of the Moral is, in short, compriz'd in the old Saying,He who serves God for Mo ney, will serve the Devil for better Wages.

Fab. 86.A Father and his Children.

ACountryman who had liv'd handsomely in the World upon his honest Labour and Industry, was desirous his Sons should do so after him; and being now upon his Death-bed, My dear Children, says he, I reckon myself bound to tell you, before I depart, that there is a considerable Treasure hid in my Vineyard; wherefore pray be sure to dig, and search narrowly for it when I am gone. The Father dies, and the Sons fall immedi ately to work upon the Vineyard. They turn'd it up over and over, and not one Penny of Money to be found there; but the Profit of the next Vintage expounded the Riddle.

Moral.

Good Counsel is the best Legacy a Father can leave to a Child;and it is still the better, when it is so wrapt up, as to beget a Curiosity as well as an Inclination to follow it.

Reflection.

There is no Wealth like that which comes by the Blessing of God upon honest Labour and warrantable Industry. Here is an Incitement to an industrious Course of Life, by a Consideration of the Profit, the Innocence, and the Virtue of such an Application. There is one great Comfort in Hand, beside the Hope and Assurance of more to come. It was a Touch of Art in the Father to cover his Meaning in such a manner, as to create a Curiosity, and an earnest Desire in his Sons to find it out. And it was a treble Advantage to them besides; for there was Health in the Exercise, Profit in the Dis
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covery, and the Comfort of a good Conscience in dis charging the Duty of a filial Obedience.

Fab. 87.A Fisherman and his Pipe.

AFisherman, who understood Piping better than Netting, sate himself down upon the Side of a River, and touch'd his Flute; but not a Fish came near him. Upon this, he laid down his Pipe and cast his Net, which brought him a very great Draught. The Fish fell a frisking in the Net, and the Fisherman ob serving it; What Sots are these, says he, that would not dance when I play'd to them, and will be dancing now without Musick!

Moral.

A Man, who uses not the proper and requisite Means to attain his End, can never expect Success.

Reflection.

There is a proper Time and Season for every thing; and nothing can be more ridiculous, than the doing of Things without a due Regard to the Circumstances of Persons, Proportion, Time and Place.

Fab. 88.A Fisherman's Good Luck.

AFisherman had been a long while at work with out catching any thing, and at last began to think of taking up his Tackle, and going: But in that very instant a great Fish leapt into the Boat, and ended the Day to his great Advantage.

Moral.

Patience, Constancy, and Perseverance, in an honest Cause, and Duty, can never fail of a happy End, one way or other.

Reflection.

That which we commonly call good Fortune, is pro- perly Providence; and when Matters succeed better with us by Accident, than we could pretend to by Skill, we ought to ascribe it to the Divine Goodness, as a Blessing upon Industry. It is every Man's Duty to labour in his Calling, and not to despond for any Miscarriages or Disappointments that were not in his own Power to prevent. Faith, Hope and Patience overcome all things, and Virtue can never fail of a Reward in the Conclusion.
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Fab. 89.Death and an Old Man.

AN Old Man had travell'd a great Way under a huge Burden of Sticks, and found himself so weary at last, that he cast it down, and call'd upon Death to deliver him from a miserable Life. Death came presently at his Call, and asked him his Business. Pray, good Sir, says he, affrighted to find him so ready, do me but the Favour to help me up with my Burden again.

Moral.

Human Nature, however miserable in this Life, had rather suffer than die. If Death were always so ready to attend a disappointed Mind when it call'd, Men would take care to make it the last thing they wish'd for.

Reflection.

We are apt to pick Quarrels with the World for every little Foolery. Every trivial Cross makes us say we are weary of the World: but our Tongues run quite to another Tune, when we come once to parting with it in earnest. Then we are willing to endure any thing in this World, if we can but keep Life and Soul toge ther. When it comes to that once, 'tis not help meoff with my Burden, but help meup with it. To this purpose, the dying Parson spoke naturally enough, tho' not over piously, who being comforted that he was going now to enjoy the Fruits of his good Life and Preaching, to a Place of Joy and Glory inexpressible, where all his Cares and his Troubles would be at an End; 'Tis very true, says he, Heaven is a blessed Place, to be sure; but were I to have my Prayers heard, I would say, for a little longer at least,Old Englandfor me!

Fab. 90.An Ape elected King.

ON the Death of a Lion, a Contention arose among the Beasts who should be King in his Place. Se veral Competitors offer'd; but at last an Ape, delighting the Crowd with his Grimaces and Gambols, was cho sen. This disgusting the Fox, he pretends to have found a Treasure, which he said belong'd only to his Majesty, and desir'd him to go take Possession of it. The Fox shews him a Bait laid in a Ditch for the Treasure, which the Ape going to seize, the Trap springs, and catches
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him by the Fingers.Ah thou perfidious Wretch! cries the Ape. Or thou simple Prince, rather, replies the Eox! You a Governor of others, with a Vengeance, that han't Wit enough to look to your own Fingers!

Moral.

When Apes are in Power, Foxes will never be wanted to play upon them.

Reflection.

Men should not take a Charge upon them, which they are not fit for. Singing, Dancing, and Shewing of Tricks, are not Qualifications for a Governor. This Fable shews not only the Envy and Malignity of the Fox, but the Imprudence of Electors in the Choice of Ministers, Re presentatives or Officers that are not made for Business. This Fable also sets forth the Unhappiness of elective Kingdoms, where Canvassing and Faction has commonly too great a Hand in the Election. Nor is there any wonder to see Drolls and Tumblers advanc'd to Charges of Honour and Profit, where Ignorance and Popularity sway the Choice. In fine, a Character of Honour upon the Shoulders of a Man who has neither a Soul answerable to it, nor a true Sense of the Dignity, is but a Mark set up for every common Fool to shoot his Bolt at, and every Knave to play upon.

Fab. 91.A Boasting Mule.

AFavourite Mule, high fed, and in the Pride of Flesh and Mettle, would still be bragging of his Family and his Ancestors. My Father, says he, was a noble Courser, and, tho' I say it, that should not say it, I myself take after him. He had no sooner spoke the Words, but his Father, an old Ass that stood by, fell a braying, which minded him of his Original, and the whole Field laughed him to scorn, when they found him to be the Son of an Ass.

Moral.

A bragging Fool, who is raised out of a Dunghil, and sets up for a Man of Quality, is asham'd of nothing so much as of his own Father, and poor Relations.

Reflection.

This touches the Case of those mean Upstarts, who, when they come once to be preferr'd, forget their Descent, and have not the Wit to consider how soon
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Fortune may set them down again where she took them up; but yet at last, when they come to be minded of their Original, it makes many a proud Fool sensible of a scandalous Extraction, that has no Shame at all for a scandalous Life. Nothing dash'd the Confidence of the Mule like the Braying of the Ass in the very interim while he was dilating upon his Genealogy. As who should say,Re member your Father, Sirrah! We have, in fine, a world of boasting Mules among us, that don't care for being minded of their braying Fathers: But it is often the Fate of these vain-glorious Fops to be thus met withal; and your counterfeit Men of Honour seldom come off better; wherefore let every Man look well about him before he boasts of his Pedigree, to make sure that there be not an Ass in the Family.

Fab. 92.A Dog and a Wolf.

AWolf took a Dog napping at his Master's Door, and when he was just about to worry him, Alas! says he, I'm as lean at present as Carrion; but we are to have a Wedding at our House within these two or three Days, that will plump me up with good Chear, and when I'm in a little better Case, Ill throw myself in the very Mouth of you The Wolf took his Word, and let him go; but passing some few Days after by the same House again, he spy'd the Dog in the Hall, and bad him remember his Promise. Hark ye, my Friend, says the Dog, whenever you catch me asleep again on the wrong Side of the Door, never trouble your Head to wait for a Wedding.

Moral.

'Tis good to provide against all Chances, both sleeping and waking;a Man cannot be too circumspect, provided his Caution do not make him too solicitous for his Peace of Mind.

Reflection.

Past Dangers make us wiser for the future: As the Dog, after he had been snapt at the Door, had the Wit to lie in the Hall; which tells us, that a wise body is not to be caught twice by the same Snare and Trick. His Promise to the Wolf was a kind of a Dog-Case of Con science, and the Wolf play'd the Fool in taking his Word
|| [0074]
for that which he had no Reason to expect he would perform.

Fab. 93.A Lion in Love.

ALion was in Love with a Country Lass, and desir'd her Father's Consent to have her in Marriage. The Father, afraid of disgusting so formidable a Beast, pretended to consent, provided he would have his Teeth drawn, and his Nails par'd; for the foolish Girl, he said, was terribly afraid of those things. The Lion under goes the Operation, and then challenges the Father upon his Promise. The Countryman seeing the Lion dis arm'd, pluck'd up a good Heart, and with a swinging Cudgel so order'd the Matter, that he broke off the Match.

Moral.

An extravagant Love consults neither Life, Fortune nor Reputation, but sacrifices all that can be dear to a Man of Sense and Honour, to the Transports of an inconsiderate Passion.

Reflection.

This Fable, as SirRoger L'Estrange observes, will look well enough in the Moral, how fantastical soever it may appear at first Blush, in the Lines and Traces of it. Here, says he, is a Beast in Love with a Virgin; which is but a Reverse of the preposterous Passions we meet with frequently in the World, when reasonable Creatures of both Sexes fall in Love with those, that in the Allusion may (almost without a Figure) pass for Beasts. There is nothing so fierce, or so savage, but Love will soften it; nothing so generous, but it will debase it; nothing so sharp-sighted in other Matters, but it throws a Mist before the Eyes of it; and to sum up all in a little, where this Passion domineers, neither Ho nour nor Virtue is able to stand before it. The Lion's parting with his Teeth and his Claws, in a Compliment to his new Mistress, is no more than what we see every Day exemplify'd in the Case of making over Estates, and exorting Jointures, with the Malice prepense all this while of holding their Noses to the Grindstone, and possibly, with the Girl's Father here, of jilting them at last.
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Fab. 94.A Lioness and a Fox.

AFox cast it in the Teeth of a Lioness, that she brought forth but one Whelp at a time. Very right, says the other; but then that one is a Lion.

Moral.

Things ought not to be valued for their Number, but their Excellency.

Reflection.

Take the World to Pieces, and there are a thousand Sots to one Philosopher; and as many Swarms of Flies to one Eagle. One Hero, or one truly great Genius, is hardly produced in an Age. Look into Families, who have the largest Numbers of Children, and see how few the Worthy are, compared to the Unworthy. Lions do not come into the World in Litters.

Fab. 95. Two Cocks fighting.

TWO Cocks fought a Duel for the Mastery of a Dunghil. He that was worsted slunk away, and hid himself in a Corner; the other takes his Flight up to the Top of the House, and there, with crowing and clapping of his Wings, makes Proclamation of his Victory. An Eagle made a Stoop at him in the middle of his Exultation, and carry'd him away; and the Van quish'd Cock got the sole Possession both of Mistresses and Dunghil.

Moral.

A wise and a generous Enemy will make a modest Use of a Victory;for Fortune is variable.

Reflection.

This Combat of two Cocks for a Dunghil may be apply'd to the Competition of the greatest Princes for Empire and Dominion. For what is the World more than a Mass of Dirt or a Dunghil on the one hand, as to the Subject of the Quarrel; and there is the same Thirst of Blood too, betwixt the Combatants, on the other. We have again, the various Chance of War ex hibited on both Sides; for it is withKings, as with theseCocks. He that is a Victor this Moment may be a Captive the next: And this Volubility of human Affairs, what is it but either the Sport or the Judgment of Pro vidence, in the Punishment of Arrogance and Oppression! We are given finally to understand, that as the Levity of
|| [0076]
Fortune leaves us nothing to trust to, or to presume upon, so at the same time there is nothing to despair of. The conquering Cock was cut oft in the very Song of his Triumph; and the conquer'd left Master of the whole Subject of Debate.

Fab. 96.A Fawn and a Stag.

AFawn was reasoning the Matter with a Stag, why he should run away from the Dog still; for, says he, you are bigger and stronger than they, and you are also better arm'd; I cannot therefore imagine what should make you so fearful of a Company of pitisul Curs. Nay, says the Stag, 'tis all true that you say, and 'tis no more than I say to myself many times; and yet, whatever the Matter is, let me take up what Re so'ution I please, when I hear the Hounds once, I can not but betake myself to my Heels.

Moral.

It is one thing to know what we ought to do, and another to execute it: He that is naturally a Coward, is not to be made valiant by Counsel.

Reflection.

Natural Infirmities, as Men generally manage the Matter, are well nigh msuperable; Men may be con- scious of the Scandal of a natural Weakness, and may make a shift perhaps to reason themselves now and then into a kind of temporary Resolution, which, however, they have not the Power to go through with. We find it to be much the same Case in the Government of our Affections and Appetites, that it is in these bodily Frail ties of Temperament and Complexion. Providenee<Providence> has arm'd us with Powers and Faculties, sufficient for the confounding all the Enemies both of Flesh and of Spirit, which we have to encounter. We have Good and Evil before us; and we know that it is at our Choice to take, or torefuse; but when we come to deliberate, we too generally play booty against ourselves; and while our Judgments and our Consciences direct us one way, our Corruptions hurry us another. The Stag, in fine, is a thorough Emblem of the State and Infirmity of Man kind. We are both of us arm'd and provided, either for the Combat with our Enemies, or for Flight from them. We foresee the Consequence of a Temptation or
|| [0077]
a Danger; we ponder upon it, and now and then by Fits determine to outbrave and break through it; but we too often shrink upon the Trial; we too frequently betake ourselves, as is were, from our Heads to our Heels; that is to say, from Reason to Flesh and Blood; from our Strength to our Weaknesses; and both the Stag and we not seldom suffer under one common Fate. But after all, this is saying whatis, not whatought to be the Case. For it is a laudable Task to attempt to overcome a na tural Propension or Habit to any sort of Evil; and the greater the Difficulty, the more glorious the Conquest. The Attempt is worthy of a Man, and a Christian; and the Divine Grace seldom fails to assist and support asin cere andperseveringMind in so noble a Conflict.

Fab. 97. Jupiter and a Bee.

ABee madeJupiter a Present of some Honey, which was so kindly taken, that he bad her ask what she would, in Reason, and it should be granted to her. The Bee desir'd, that where-ever she should set her Sting, it might be mortal.Jupiter was loth to leave Mankind at the Mercy of a little spiteful Insect, and was so far from giving hermore Power, that he bad her have a care how she used that shehad; for what Person so ever she attack'd, if she lest her Sting behind her, she should not long survive it.

Moral.

Spiteful Prayers generally prove Curses to those who make them;and the Mischief they intend to others usually falls upon their own Heads.

Reflection.

Cruelty and Revenge are directly contrary to the very Nature of the Divine Goodness, and such as pray for a Power to exercise them, must expect a Punishment from Heaven, rather than a Compliance with their Pray ers. We ought to be very careful what we pray for, lest, instead of a Blessing, we bring a Curse upon our selves.

Fab. 98. Wasps in a Honey-Pot.

AWhole Swarm of Wasps got into a Honey-Pot, and there they cloy'd and clamm'd themselves, till there was no getting out again; and when they
|| [0078]
found themselves perishing in their beloved Sweets, they too late discovered how dear they paid for their past Delights.

Moral.

When once sensual Pleasures come to be habitual, it is ex ceeding difficult to get clear of them; but the Mind im mersed in the inordinate Pursuit of them, runs the Fate of the Wasps in the Fable.

Reflection.

We have an Emblem here of those foolish voluptuous Men, who sacrifice the Peace, the Honour, the Comfort, and all other substantial Satisfactions of Life to the Temp tation of a sensual Appetite. And when once they are glued, as one may say, to their Lusts and Pleasures, it is no easy Matter to work themselves out of them; but, likeÆsop's Wasps stifled in the Honey-Pot, they pro ceed, till what they delighted in becomes the Destruction both of Soul and Body.

Fab. 99.A Young Man and a Swallow.

AProdigal Spendthrift had sold his Coat, and upon the Sight of a Swallow that came before her Time, made account that Summer was now at hand, and away went his Waistcoat too, so that he was naked to his Shlrt. A Fit of bitter cold Weather happen'd af ter this, which almost starv'd both the Bird and the Spendthrift. Well, says the Fellow, seeing the Swallow perishing with Cold, What a wretched Sot art thou, thus to ruin both thyself and me!

Moral.

Irregular Accidents and Instances are not to be drawn into Precedent.

Reflection.

From this Fable arises the Proverb,One Swallow makes not a Summer, which intimates that there must be no draw ing of general Rules from particular Exceptions. The young Fellow's being so ready to blame the Swallow rather than himself, shews the Folly of Mankind, who are al ways for throwing off the Cause of their Mistakes from themselves: A Folly, to say the Truth, deriv'd from the first Man:The Woman that thou gavest me, said Adam,tempted me, and I did eat: What a wretched Sot art thou, said the young Man, thus to mislead me; not
|| [0079]
was I, for suffering myself to be misled by so silly a Prognostick, as he ought to have said. In short, every Man stands or falls to his own Reason; and it is no Ex cuse to say, that I was misled by Example or Conjecture, when I had the Means before me of informing myself better.

Fab. 100.Mercury and a Carpenter.

ACarpenter dropt his Ax into a River, and put up a Prayer toMercury, the God of Artizans, to help him to it again.Mercury div'd for it, and brought him up a golden one; but that was not it, the Fellow said: And so he plung'd a second time, and fetch'd up another of Silver: He said that was not it neither. He try'd once again, and then up comes an Ax with a wooden Handle, which the Carpenter said, was the very Tool that he had lost. Well, saysMercury, thou art so just a poor Wretch, that I'll give thee all three now for thy Ho nesty. The Rumour of this Story being spread, it came into a Knave's Head to try the same Experiment: And so away goes he, and down he sits, sniveling and yelping upon the Bank of a River, that he had dropt his Ax into the Water there!Mercury heard his Lamentation, and dipping once again for his Ax, as he had done for the other, up he brings him a golden Ax, and asks the Fel low if that were it: Yes, yes, says he, this is it. O thou impudent Sot, cries Mercury, to think of putting Tricks upon him that sees through the very Heart of thee! ---- And so sent him away without any.

Moral.

The great Searcher of our Hearts is not to be imposed upon, but he will take his own time, and his own manner, either to reward or punish.

Reflection.

Here are two Men at their Prayers; the one a down- right plain Dealer, and the other a designing Hypocrite. The former has a Reverence in his Heart for the Power that he invokes; he is not to be corrupted with Gold or Silver. He stands in Awe of his Conscience, and makes good his Profession with his Practice; receiving in the End the Blessing of a Reward for his Integrity. The other worships with his Eyes, his Hands, and his Voice; but all this is only to cover the Cheat of a rotten Heart.
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He acknowledges a Divine Power, but at the same time he makes a Mock of it, and provokes it. He stands convinced that God knows all the Secrets of his Heart, and yet tells him a Lye to his Face. But can such a one expect to succeed in his impious Attempt to im pose on the Almighty? No, surely! and he ought to thank himself, if, instead of obtaining new Benefits, he be deprived, as the wicked Carpenter was, of those he had before.

Fab. 101.A Fox and Grapes.

ALiquorish Fox stood gaping under a Vine, and licking his Lips at a delicious Cluster of Grapes he had spy'd out there; he fetch'd a hundred Leaps at it, till at last, when he found there was no Good to be done: Hang 'em, says he, they are as sour as Crabs; and so away he went.

Fab. 102.A Wolf and a Lion.

AS a Wolf and a Lion were abroad upon Adventure together, Hark, says the Wolf, don't you hear the Bleating of Sheep? My Life for yours, Sir, I'll go fetch you Purchase. Away he goes, and follows his Ear, till he came just under the Sheepfold; but it was so well fortify'd, and the Dogs asleep so near it, that back he comes sneaking to the Lion again, and tells him, There are Sheep yonder, 'tis true; but they are as lean as Carrion, and we had e'en as good let them alone till they have more Flesh on their Backs. Moral of the Two Fables. A Man should never repine at the Want of Things that are out of his Power to attain.

Reflection.

The Fox's Put-off in this Fable is a most instructive Point of Philosophy towards the Government of our Lives, provided that his Fooling may be made our Earn est; as it would be much for our Honour and Quiet so to be. No Man shall ever be miserable, if he can but keep clear of the Snare of Hopes and Fears, and anti dote himself against the Flatteries of the one, and the Alarms of the other. It is a high Point of a Christian, as well as of Civil Prudence, for a Man to say thus to himself before-hand of a Thing that he has a mind to,
|| [LXXXI]
|| [LXXXII]
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If I cannot get it, I shall be better without it: Or if he can but say after the missing of it, It was better lost than found. I knew a fine Lady once, says Sir Roger L'Estrange, and she was a Woman of Sense, Quality, and a very generous Mind. She lay under Mortifications in abun dance, and yet was never observ'd to be peevish or angry upon any Provocation whatsoever; and the Rea son she gave for it was this, It will make me look old. So that it is not so much the Want of Ability to master our Affections, as the Want of Resolution to go through with the Experiment. This is a way to keep us firm in all Trials: It comes all to a case now, upon the Force of the Moral, whether we quit our vain Desires, as the Fox did the Grapes, because he could not come at them; or as the Wolf did the Sheep, because he durst not venture upon them. There is a Virtue and a Blessing in it, both ways, in getting the better of our Passions; which might certainly be done, if we had but half the Tenderness for our Minds and Consciences, that we have for our Bodies and our Fortunes.

Fab. 103.A Boy and a Snake.

ABoy groping for Eels laid his Hand upon a Snake; but the Snake finding it was pure Simplicity, and not Malice against himself, admonish'd him of his Mi stake: Keep yourself well while you are well, says the Snake; for if you meddle with me, you'll repent your Bargain.

Moral.

It is Wisdom, as well as Justice, to distinguish betwixt Actions of Misadventure and of Design.

Reflection.

Every thing has at least two Handles to it, and both Parts should be well examined, before a Man can make either a warrantable Judgment or a prudent Choice. The Boy's Mistake here is no more than what we have every Day before our Eyes in common Practice; and that which the Snake says to the Boy, every Man's Reason says to himself. What is his taking a Snake for an Eel, but our taking Vice for Virtue? He did it unwarily; and so do we many times too. He took the one for the other, because they were so much alike, that at
|| [0082]
first View he could not distinguish them. And are not Virtue and Vice as like in several Instances as one Egg is to another? How shall a Man know at first Blush Hypocrisy from Piety; or true Charity from Osten tation? Time and Examination may do much, but the Boy was groping, and in the dark, and so might well be mistaken. The Snake told him of his Error, and the Danger of it, but pass'd it over, because there was no Ill-Will in it. This is the very Case of our Reason to us, in all our Misdoings. It checks us for what is past; and advises us for the future to have a care of false Appearances.

Fab. 104.A Fowler and a Partridge.

APartridge taken by a Fowler offered to decoy as many of her Companions into the Snare as she could, upon Condition that he would give her Quarter. No, says he, you shall die the rather for that very Rea son, because you would be so base as to betray your Friends to save yourself.

Moral.

Treachery is never to be approv'd, how convenient soever in some Cases;for it undermines the very Foundations of Society.

Reflection.

The Fowler's here was a wise and generous Reso- lution, upon the Partridge's Proposal. All manner of Treachery is abominable in the Sight both of God and Man, and stands reprehended in this Fable. The Par tridge's Case was a very unhappy one, for her Life was at Stake, and she was induc'd by her Apprehensions to make an infamous Proposal to save it; but the Weakness all this while does not excuse the Perfidy, though it may seem in some measure to extenuate the Crime, by the poor Creature's lying under an almost insuperable Frail ty. The Fowler, however, justly made an Example of her for a Terror to others. Now if a Treachery of this Quality be so unpardonable, what shall we say to those that sell their Country, their Souls and their Re ligion, for Money, and rate Divinity at so much a Pound? And then to consummate the Wickedness, finish the Work with Malice that they began with Avarice?
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Fab. 105.A Hare and a Tortoise.

WHAT a dull heavy Creature, says a Hare, is this same Tortoise! And yet, says the Tortoise, I'll run with you for a Wager. 'Twas done and done, and the Fox by Consent was to be the Judge. They started together, and the Tortoise kept jogging on still till he came to the End of the Course. The Hare, to shew his Contempt for his Competitor, skipt about here and there, till he had tir'd himself, and then securely laid himself down about Midway, and took a Nap; for, says he, I can fetch up the Tortoise when I please. But, as he had over-tired, so he over-slept himself, it seems, for when he came to wake, though he scudded away as fast as he was able, the Tortoise got to the Post before him, and won the Wager.

Moral.

Up, and be doing,is an edifying Text; for Action is the Business of Life, and there is no Thought of coming to the End of our Journey in Time, if we supinely sleep by the Way.

Reflection.

This Fable shews, on one hand, in the Hare the great Folly of Presumption. Who would have believ'd, that the Tortoise had any Chance for winning a Race from the Hare? But the foolish Hare presuming upon his natural Advantages, and having the utmost Con tempt for his Adversary, lost the Race by his skipping Folly and Over-security. On the other hand, in the constant even Pace of the Tortoise, who got first to the Goal, is shewn the Benefit of Patience, Diligence and Perseverance; which maugre all Odds and Appear ances in every Competition, must certainly win the Prize, and inherit the Blessing. History affords an hun dred Instances of Battles lost against all manner of Pro bability, by the Over-security of one Side, trusting to Numbers and Situation, and thro'an undue Contempt of an Adversary: While the Caution and Prudence of the Weaker have overcome the Stronger, and beat them quite out of the Field.
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Fab. 106. Apples and Horse-Turds.

UPON a very great Fall of Rain, the Current carry'd away a huge Heap of Apples, together with a Dunghil that lay in the Water-course. They floated a good while together like Brethren and Com panions; and as they went thus dancing down in the Stream, the Horse-Turds would be every Foot crying out,Alack a-day! How We Apples swim!

Moral.

The most worthless Fellows are oftentimes the vainest, and attribute to themselves the Glory of every thing, tho' they contribute nothing to any good Purpose.

Reflection.

Come, says the Blackberry, to the Peach and the Apple, who were contending for the Preference,WE are allFriends, let us have no jangling amongOurselves. So says the Fly on the Chariot-Wheel,What a Dust do I raise! So saidLamb the Corn-cutter to Dr. Mead and Dr.Hollings, WE Physicians! Every insignificant Wretch puts a Value upon himself, and the more worthless, ge nerally the more vain. But what is the End of his Va nity and Conceit? He only makes himself ridiculous to the rest of the World, who but for his Presumption might pass by withPity, what now they treat with Contempt; for such a one is as much beneath theIndig nation of a wise Man, as the insolent Braying of the Ass was below the Notice of the Lion.

Fab. 107.A Mole and her Dam.

MOTHER, says a Mole to her Dam,here's a strange Smell, methinks. And then she was at it again, There's a Mulberry-Tree, I perceive. And so a third Time,What a clattering of Hammers do I hear! Daugh ter, says the old one, you have now quite betray'd your self; for I thought you had wanted only one Sense, and I find you want three; for you can neither hear, nor smell, any more than you can see.

Moral.

Men labour under many Imperfections that nobody would take Notice of, if they did not betray themselves.

Reflection.

The Imperfections of Boasters and ignorant Pretend- ers to Science or Knowledge would not be half so
|| [0085]
much taken Notice of, if their own Vanity, and their being over-solicitous to conceal their Infirmities, did not make Proclamation of them; for by attempting to cover their Defects, or Ignorance, without being called upon to do so, they the more effectually expose themselves.

Fab. 108. Bees and Partridges.

AFlight of Bees, and a Covey of Partridges that were hard put to it for Water in a great Drought, went to a Farmer, and begg'd a Soup of him to quench their Thirst. The Partridges offered in Return to dig his Vineyard for it, and the Bees with their Stings to secure him from Thieves. I have Oxen and Dogs, says the Farmer, that do me these Offices already, with out standing upon Terms. To them therefore I shall extend my Benevolence; and have no Occasion for your Service.

Moral.

Charity begins at Home;but the necessary Duty of it in one Place, does not discharge the Christian Exercise of it in another.

Reflection.

Charity is a humane, as well as a Christian Virtue; but still it is to be employ'd in the first Place upon those that have the fairest Right to it: It is one thing, I must confefs, to condition for a good Office, and an other to do itgratis; so that the Husbandman took the Proposal by the right Handle in that respect; but his be ing provided of Servants already to do his Work, was no Excuse for his Want of Charity to relieve his di stressed Neighbour; especially when, as in the Case of the Bees and the Partridges here, they offer all the Re turns in their Power.

Fab. 109.A Man bit by a Flea.

AFellow, upon being bit by a Flea, call'd out to Hercules for Help. The Flea gets away, and the Man peevishly expostulates: Well, Hercules, says he, you that would not take my Part against a sorry Flea, will never stand by me in a Time of Need, against a more powerful Enemy. Little deservest thou any Assist ance from me, says the God, in thy greater Affairs, that canst invoke my Aid on so trifling an Occasion.
|| [0086]

Moral.

We ought not to put up our Petitions to Heaven for every Trifle that we may think we want, or to be relieved from any petty Vexation; much less ought we to take Pet, if our impertinent Prayers are not immediately answered.

Reflection.

It is an ill Habit to squander away our Wishes and our Prayers upon paltry Fooleries, when the great Con cerns of Life and Death, Heaven and Hell, lie all at Stake. Who but a Madman, that has so many necessary and capital Duties of Christianity to think of, would ever have made a Deliverance from a Flea-biting a Part of his Litany? It makes our Devotions ridiculous, to be so unfeeling on the one Side, and so over-sensible and solicitous on the other.

Fab. 110.A Man and Two Wives.

AMore than middle-ag'd Man, who was half grey headed, took a Fancy to marry Two Wives, one in Years equal to his own, the other much younger. They took mighty Care of him to all manner of Pur poses, and still as they were combing the good Man's Head, the matronly Wife pluck'd out all the brown Hairs, and the younger the grey. So that they left the Man no better than a bald Buzzard betwixt them.

Moral.

Inequality of Years in Matrimony, is of all things to be avoided.

Reflection.

Nature, Decency, true Convenience, and every Branch of human Felicity, plead strongly against gay Youth be ing yok'd with declining Age in Marriage. The Infir mities to which the one is subject, and the Inconside ration which possesses the other, make it impossible there should be any tolerable Ease or Comfort between them, much less Happiness. Sordid Interest, 'tis true, and vile Dependance, may make sometimes the youthful Yoke-fellow put on an Appearance of Regard for the older; but Affection must needs be wanting, and the Hope of being released by Death from the unequal Engagement, must be all that makes the Case bearable on one Side; and must not this be a very comfortable Reflection on the other! How much to blame then are
|| [LXXXVII]
|| [LXXXVIII]
|| [0087]
those Parents, who for sordid Motives oblige their Chil dren to couple so unequally. And what a base and to be suspected Mind, even as to common Honesty, must those young Persons have of either Sex, who not being obliged by Necessity, for filthy Lucre or worldly Gran deur sake, voluntarily chuse to subject themselves to a State, with a Person they vow to love and honour, and yet think they can never be happy with, and of con sequence continually wish dead? 'Tis one Degree of Prudence in such a case, and the only one that the older Person can shew, after so unequal a Match, to expect and be prepared for the worst that can happen: If a Woman, to be slighted and despised; if a Man, to be --- what wants no Explanation.

Fab. 111. Frogs wanting Water.

UPON the drying of a Lake, two Frogs, upon a Search for Water elsewhere, discover'd a very deep Well. Come, says one to the other, let us e'en go down here, without looking any further. You say well, says her Companion; but if the Water should fail us here too, How shall we get out again?

Moral.

It is good to look before we leap,as the Proverb says; for hasty Resolutions are seldom fortunate, and it is a Piece of necessary Prudence, for a Man, before he resolves upon any thing, to consider what may be the Consequences of it.

Reflection.

When a Man wants any thing, let him look for it in Time, and consider well before-hand what occasion he has for it, and upon what Terms it is to be had; for there may be such Conditions that a Man would not comply with, even for the saving or redeeming of his Life. There are other Cases where a Man must part with more for the getting of a thing, than it is worth. Some again, where a Person runs the Risque of an ab solute Ruin, for the gaining of a present Supply: Where fore 'tis but common Prudence to make a strict Calcu lation of the Profit or Loss on both Sides, before we re solve. I want Money, but I will not make myself a Slave for it. I want a Friend at Court, but I will not forfeit the Character of a Man of Honour, or the Con
|| [0088]
science of a Christian and an honest Man, to purchafe<purchase> such a Friend. I am in Prison, but I will not play the Knave to set myself at Liberty. These are all necessary Deliberations upon the Matter here in Question. Let us see how we shall getout again, says the Frog, before we goin.

Fab. 112.A Dog, a Cock, and a Fox.

ADog and a Cock took a Journey together. The Dog kennel'd in the Body of a hollow Tree, and the Cock roosted at Night upon the Boughs. The Cock crow'd about Midnight (at his usual Hour) which brought a Fox that was abroad upon the Hunt, imme diately to the Tree; and there he stood licking of his Lips at the Cock, and wheedling him to get him down. He protested he never heard so angelical a Voice since he was born; and what would not he do now, to hug the Creature that had given him so admirable a Sere nade! Pray, says the Cock, speak to the Porter below to open the Door, and I'll come down to you: The Fox, little dreaming of the Dog so near, did as he was directed, and the Dog presently seiz'd and worry'd him.

Moral.

When a Man has to do with an Adversary who is too crafty or too strong for him, it is right to turn him off to his Match.

Reflection.

Experience makes many a wise Man of a Fool, and Security makes many a Fool of a wise Man. We have an Instance of the former in the Cock's over-reaching the Fox; and of the other, in the Fox's supine Confi dence, that made him so intent upon his Prey, as to neglect his Safety; and to fall himself into the Pit that he had digged for another. It is much the same Case in the World, when Providence is pleased to confound the Presumptuous, t