Cover

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Editorial series, Title page, Copyright

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Contents

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Introduction

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pp. 1-6

Aesop's Fables, with a Life of Aesop—in Spanish La vida del Ysopet con sus fabulas hystoriadas—along with versions with similar titles in many western languages, represents the apogee of that body of stories we know as Aesop's Fables. This may seem an...

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The Life of Aesop

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pp. 7-51

Here begins the life of Aesop, the very distinguished and clever fabulist, taken from the Latin and put into Romance, and plainly and fairly into Spanish. It was translated from Greek into Latin by Remitius for the very reverend master Antonio, Cardenal...

I. The First Book of Aesop

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Prologue

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pp. 52-53

Romulus to his son Tiberinus, of the city of Attica, best of greetings, etc. Certainly Aesop, a most distinguished and ingenious Greek, with his fables and examples, teaches men what to guard against in their actions, and because he showed plainly the lives of human beings and their customs, he...

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Fable 1. Of the Rooster and the Pearl or Jasper

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p. 53

A rooster, looking for something to eat in the dungheap, found a precious stone called a jasper lying in an unworthy place. He spoke thus: "O good thing lying thus in the manure, if some covetous person had found you, with what pleasure he would have received you! And so you might have been...

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Fable 2. Of the. Wotf and the Lamb

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pp. 54-55

Aesop relates this fable concerning the innocent and blameless and the dishonest and evil. The lamb and wolf each for his part came to drink at the river. The wolf drank upstream and the lamb downstream. And the wolf, seeing the lamb, addressed him thus: "Why have you stirred up the water...

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Fable 3. Of the Mouse, the Frog, and the. Kite

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pp. 55-56

He who thinks evil and contrary things against others cannot escape, as this fable demonstrates. The mouse, wishing to cross a river, asked the frog for help. The latter was very cordial and said he would be very happy to take him over in safety, all the while thinking to himself that he would kill the...

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Fable 4. Of the Dog and the Sheep

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p. 56

Of the false men who bring lawsuits and bear false witness against the good, this fable is told. The dog falsely demanded of the sheep a certain quantity of bread, which he declared he had lent him. The sheep denied having received any bread from him. And for this contention they went before the judge...

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Fable 5. Of the Dog and the Piece of Meat

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p. 57

Sometimes the greedy man loses what he has by trying to take what belongs to his neighbor. And this the fable shows. A dog, having a piece of meat, was passing over a river, in which he saw the reflection of the meat he was carrying, and the reflected piece looked larger than his own. He opened his...

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Fable 6.

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pp. 57-58

The proverb says that a division of goods between the great and the small is never fair, and of this the following is an example. The cow, the goat, and the sheep kept company with the lion, and while they were walking in the woods they caught a deer. They divided it into four parts, and the lion took the first...

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Fable 7. Of the Wicked Thief and the Swi

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pp. 58-59

It is commonly found that evil parents engender and procreate sons who are more wicked and more evil than they themselves. Of this the following story speaks. The neighbors of an evil thief sought a wife for him so that he might have sons. And a learned man happened by and saw that those neighbors...

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Fable 8. Of the Woij and the Grant

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pp. 59-60

Anyone who does good to an evil man may receive evil in return and not good. In this connection, hear this story. While the wolf was eating meat, a bone stuck in his throat and he asked the crane, as she had a long neck, to cure him and thereby free him from danger by removing the bone. He...

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Fable 9. Of the Two Dogs

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p. 60

This fable teaches us to avoid the bland words of evil men. A bitch was on the point of giving birth, and having no place to accomplish it, requested of another that she allow her to use her bed. After a little while, as she was already recovered and strong, the owner of the bed told her that since she...

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Fable 10. Ofthe Man and the Snake

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p. 61

He who does good and gives help to an evil ingrate should know that from the ungrateful he will receive no good but evil, as this fable proves. In the winter, when there was great cold and much ice, a good man, moved by pity, received a snake into his house and cared for him and fed him during that...

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Fable 11. Of the Lion and the Ass

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pp. 61-62

Concerning those who laugh at and scorn those they should not, the learned man speaks in this fable. Some men are mean and mocking and scorners of others. Thus they cause and do evil, like the ass who encountered a lion and said to him in mockery: "God save you, brother," and laughed at him. The...

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Fable 12. Of the Two Mice

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pp. 62-63

This fable proves that it is better for a man to be safe and poor than to be rich, unhappy, and full of trouble. A mouse who lived in a city, while going on his way, went to visit another mouse, who dwelt in the country. In his little house, the country mouse fed him some of everything he had, that is to say...

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Fable 13. Of the Ecigfe and the Vixen

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pp. 63-64

This fable shows that the powerful should fear those smaller and lower than themselves. The eagle snatched up and took away the young of the vixen in order to feed her own young. The vixen, following the eagle, begged her to give back her young. And the eagle, seeing that she was more powerful and...

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Fable 14. Of the Lagk, the Snail, and the Crow

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pp. 64-65

He who is safe can be destroyed by bad advice, as this fable proves. An eagle, grasping a snail in his claws, flew up high with it but could not break it because it drew itself in. While the eagle was in this fix, unable to break the shell, a raven came by and praised him, saying: "Certainly you have hunted...

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Fable 15. Of the Crow and the Fox

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pp. 65-66

Those who desire praise and rejoice in it repent of it when they see themselves deceived, of which a certain tale is told. A crow took a cheese from a window sill and carried it to the top of a tree. When a fox saw this, desiring the cheese, he began to speak deceitfully as follows: "O most beautiful bird...

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Fable 16. Of the. Lion, the Boar, the Buff, and the Ass

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p. 66

He who has lost his dignity and standing loses confidence and daring and must depart from his usual conduct to keep himself from harm, as this story illustrates. When the lion was ill, old, and weak and already on the point of death, a wild boar came to him in anger, for he had been wounded by him...

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Fable 17. Of the Ass and the Lapdog

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p. 67

That no one should stray from his proper status in order to mingle with his betters, the following fable is told. An ass saw how his master patted and delighted in a little lapdog that accompanied him. Seeing this, the ass said to himself: If my master holds this small, filthy animal in such affection and...

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Fable 18. Of the Lion and the Mouse

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pp. 68-69

If some low creature errs against a greater one, it is proper for him to be pardoned. For it may be that he will serve sometime in the small way he can. Concerning which this fable is told. A lion was sleeping on the edge of a wood. The field mice who were playing came along and one of them by...

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Fable 19. Of the Kite and Her Mother

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p. 69

He who forever blasphemes petitions in vain when he is in trouble. And that is what this fable is about. A kite, being ill for a long time and despairing of his life, asked his mother tearfully to make pilgrimages and votive offerings for him to restore his health. To this his mother...

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Fable 20. Of the Swallow and the Other Birds

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p. 70

He who does not take good counsel will repent of it, as this fable shows. When all the birds saw ploughing being done and flax being sown, they augured nothing from it. But the swallow, perceiving this, called all the other birds together and told them this was a great misfortune for them...

II. The Second Book of Aesop

Fable 1. Of Jupiter and the Frogs

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pp. 71-72

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Fable 2. Of the Doves, the Kite, and the Talon

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p. 73

This story teaches us that he who entrusts himself to a wicked man, instead of receiving help, reaps harm and perdition from such a defender. The doves, being often frightened and scattered by the kite, in order to be safe from him chose the strong and cruel falcon for their defender and lord, thinking that...

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Fable 3. Of the Thief and the Dog

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pp. 73-74

This is a fable having to do with cheaters. A thief, going out to steal one night, went into a house in which a dog was barking at the door. To quiet the dog he tossed him a piece of bread. At this the dog asked whether he gave it to him freely or to harm him, and said further: "Where will I live if you kill...

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Fable 4. Of the Sow and the Wolf

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pp. 74-75

This story shows that a man should not believe evil. A sow in the pain of labor was groaning. A wolf came to her and greeting her said: "Give birth in safety to your offspring because, for the friendship I bear you, it is my wish to serve you in this your time of need in the office of midwife, and I want to give...

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Fable 5. Of the Earth Which Was About to Give Birth

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pp. 75-76

It happens that frequently some action or rumor causes fear and terror that is in fact nothing to fear and of little importance, as this tale plainly shows. It is said that the earth groaned mightily, saying it was about to give birth. And all the nations hearing this were frightened, and everyone was terrified...

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Fable 6. Of the Lamb and the Wotf

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pp. 76-77

Parents and not birth create goodness, concerning which you will hear the following fable. As a lamb was grazing among the goats, the wolf said to him: "Those with whom you are grazing are not your mother." And he pointed to the sheep some distance away. The lamb replied: "I am not seeking the one...

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Fable 7. Of the Old Dog and His Master

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pp. 77-78

An old person should not be scorned or cast out, for he was once young, and he who wishes to be old should love the old. If he does not love the old he ought at least to love the good deeds of their youth, as this fable demonstrates. A dog had served his master diligently in his youth and early years...

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Fable 8. Of the Hares and the Troys

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p. 78

The following story warns us that evil times must be tolerated, and that while they last men should give way and in order to endure them better ought to look at the evil suffered by others. Because a great many hunting dogs and other dogs hunted for hares and killed them each day, the hares...

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Fable 9. Of the Wolf and the Kid

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pp. 78-79

It is profitable and praiseworthy for sons to hear the commandments of their fathers, as this story tells us. A she-goat having given birth and wishing to find pasture, warned her little kid to stay at home and not to open the door of the stable to anyone, for she knew that many wild animals wandered around...

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Fable 10. Of the Poor Man and the Snake

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pp. 79-80

Let everyone who has ever hurt or damaged someone be suspicious, as this story points out. In the house of a poor man a snake was accustomed to come to the table and thereby kept himself alive on crumbs. During this time everything went well with him. But after a while the poor man became...

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Fable 11. Of the Deer, tfie Sheep, and the Wolf

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pp. 80-81

When deceivers demand something through fraud, they bring along evil and lying witnesses, as is shown in this story. A deer asked a sheep for a small measure of wheat, saying that he had borrowed it with a promise to return it on a certain day, now past. This he asked in the presence of the wolf, and the...

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Fable 12. Of the Baid-Headed Man and the Fly

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pp. 81-82

We laugh when someone hurts himself or does himself injury because of some irritating thing done by another, as the story of the bald-headed man and the fly illustrates. A fly stung a bald-headed man every day on his bald head, and the man kept slapping himself on the head to kill the annoying fly...

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Fable 13. Of the Vixen and the Stork

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p. 82

Treatment you do not want for yourself you should not visit on another. This is to be understood from this story. The vixen invited a stork to dinner and put before her a quantity of thin gruel on a plate. This the stork could not eat with her bill, and so she returned home hungry. A few days later she invited...

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Fable 14. Of the Wolf and the Statue

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p. 83

The author tells this story concerning the ignorant. The wolf found a statue lying in a field which he turned over two or three times and said: "Oh, what beauty there is in you, but you have no sense or brains." This tale speaks of...

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Fable 15. Of the Crow and the Peacocks

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pp. 83-84

This fable demonstrates that we should not make a show of alien goods. It is better to have one's own belongings well composed so that when one loses what is not one's own, one need not be ashamed. A vainglorious crow, becoming foolishly bold, presumed to deck herself out in some peacock...

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Fable 16. Of the Fly and the Mule

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pp. 84-85

Some creatures of little value vent their fury against those who are better than themselves and threaten to do things that are beyond their power, as this story demonstrates. A fly sitting on one of the timbers of a cart said to the mule: "Oh, how lazily you walk. Walk faster. If you don't, I'll sting you on...

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Fable 17. Of the Fly and the Ant

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pp. 85-86

Those who praise themselves out of vanity often come to nothing, as this fable shows. The fly and the ant were having an argument as to which was better. And the fly began to reason first, speaking as follows: "You cannot equal me, for I outdo you in all things. Wherever meat is sacrificed I taste...

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Fable 18. Of the Wolf, the Vixen, and the Ape

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p. 86

He who cheats once is always regarded with suspicion. Thereafter, he lives in suspicion, and although he later speaks the truth he is not believed, as one can gather from this tale. The wolf angrily accused the vixen of theft, and she denied it firmly, saying she was without blame. The ape was the judge in...

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Fable 19. Of the Ferret and the Man

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p. 87

Sometimes those who serve well are made fun of and cheated, as they do not serve with a good and clean heart. The following fable tells of this. A man caught a ferret together with some mice. Seeing that she could not escape the ferret said: "I beg you to let me go, for many times I have rid your house of...

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Fable 20. Of the Frog and the Bull

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pp. 87-88

If a poor man tries to vie with a powerful one he destroys himself and perishes, as this story demonstrates. A frog, seeing a bull grazing in a pasture, thought to himself that he might become as large as the bull if he could distend his wrinkled skin. And so he began to swell so that it seemed to...

III. The Third Book of Aesop

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Fable 1. Of the Lion and the Shepherd

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pp. 89-90

This fable proves that the powerful should be kind to poorer and lesser men, and though a long time may pass they should not forget the kindness they receive from them. A lion, wandering in the woods, lost his way and passed through a thorny area, and a thorn got into his paw which became poisoned...

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Fable 2. Of the Horse and the Lion

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pp. 90-91

Those who know no tricks are at a disadvantage, as this fable teaches. A strong lion saw a horse grazing in the meadow and thought how he might kill him. To get close to the horse in order to kill him, he pretended that he was his friend and even a great physician. So he came up to the horse...

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Fable 3. Of the Horse, the Ass, and of Times and Fortunes

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pp. 91-92

Those who find themselves prosperous ought not to harm others for they should know that the wheel of fortune can turn, as this story tells us. A horse, handsome of body, young, and well set up, good-looking and decked out with trappings of gold and silver, met upon a narrow road an ass who...

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Fable 4. Of the Beasts and the Birds

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pp. 92-93

Aesop wrote this fable concerning men of two tongues. He who shows himself harmful and contrary to two parties will be blamed as an ingrate by both sides. The dumb creatures once had a cruel war against the birds and battled them fiercely, and neither side could win. But as they were often in a...

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Fable 5. Of the Nightingale and the Falcon

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pp. 93-94

When a man stirs up ambushes against others, he must fear lest he fall into the same pitfall, as this fable relates. While the falcon was seated in the nest of the nightingale to watch the day dawn, he found the nightingale's fledglings. The nightingale, seeing them in their nest, called to the falcon not...

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Fable 6. Of the Vixen and the Wolf

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pp. 94-95

Fortune helps the good and the bad, and those whom she does not favor she disdains and treats ill, and those who hold a grudge in their heart against those who are more fortunate are perverted by this very malice and are twisted, as this fable sums up. The wolf stored in his cave a quantity of meat...

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Fable 7. Of the Stag and the Hunter

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pp. 95-96

That men sometimes praise valueless things and scorn good things is shown by this fable. A stag, drinking from a spring, saw in it the reflection of his horns and he began to praise himself greatly, and seeing his thin legs he began to curse them. While he was indulging in these thoughts he heard the...

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Fable 8. Of the. Vixen, the Cock, and the Dogs

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pp. 96-97

It is permissible to undo one trick with another, as this fable tells. A vixen who was hungry came upon some hens who were walking with a cock. At sight of the fox, the hens and cock flew up into a tall tree which the vixen could not climb. Seeing them up in the tree, she began to speak very softly...

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Fable 9. Of the Woman and Her Dead Husband

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pp. 97-98

That woman is chaste, in my opinion, who is not conquered by an importunate and persistent suitor, as this fable proves. A woman, when her husband died, went to the tomb where he was buried so as to spend her days in mourning and grief. While she was there, a man committed a crime and evil...

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Fable 10. Of the Woman and the Young Lad

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pp. 98-99

Women who are shameless are harmful to men, as this fable tells. A woman who persisted in evil and had deceived many met a man whom she had many times deceived and harmed. He yielded readily to her because of his familiarity with her. And the woman said: "Although many have solicited me and...

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Fable 11. Of the Father and the Cruel Son

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p. 99

Some believe that the young should be punished while they are young because, when they grow up, it will not be possible to punish them, as this fable demonstrates. A father had an ill-raised and cruel son. Every day he stayed away from home, and on his account the servants were wounded...

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Fable 12. Ofthe Snake and the File

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pp. 99-100

Evil does not make the worse worse, nor does one malevolent thing disturb another, nor should a strong and hard thing struggle with its equal but rather with those who are less so, as appears in this fable. A snake went into the forge of a blacksmith, looking for something to eat and...

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Fable 13. Of the Wolves, the Sheep, and the Dogs

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pp. 100-101

This fable demonstrates one must not fail to defend the overlord and defender. The sheep and the wolves were waging war against each other, and the conflict dragged on between them, each side carrying on the struggle. Because the sheep were greater in number and the dogs and cattle aided...

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Fable 14. Of the Man and the Trees

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pp. 101-102

He who helps his enemy brings about his own death, as appears from this fable. When the tool called the axe was invented, men asked the trees for a stick or handle for it. The trees said that a very good and durable handle could be made from the wood of the mountain olive tree, and they ordered...

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Fable 15. Of the, Wolf and the Dog

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pp. 102-103

How sweet a thing liberty is is shown by this fable. When a wolf and a dog met in the woods, the wolf asked the dog: "How is it, brother, that you are so fat and sleek?" To this the dog replied: "Because I guard the house against thieves, who cannot enter the house at night because I am there. And if by...

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Fable 16. Of the Hands, the Feet, and the Belly

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pp. 103-104

He who foolishly leaves his relatives unprotected should know that he thus deceives himself. Nor is anything of value to a man except his own, as appears in this story. The feet and the hands, being jealous, accused the belly, speaking in this fashion: "You alone hold all our gains and enjoy...

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Fable 17. Of the Ape and the Vixen

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p. 104

This fable talks about the rich and the poor. The ape begged the vixen, since she had so long a tail and she herself had none, to share a bit of it with her so that her ugly buttocks might be covered by it. For she said the vixen's bushy tail was of no profit to her and was an impediment and burden...

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Fable 18. Of the Merchant and the Ass

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p. 105

Many persons, even after death, are troubled and vexed, so no one should desire death, as this fable proves. A merchant hurried along a road with an ass to get to a fair, beating the animal frequently with a whip so that he would carry his load more quickly, and thinking to gain thereby...

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Fable 19. Of the Stag and the Ox

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pp. 105-106

Those who flee are not their own men, but fortune saves them, as appears from this story. A stag, frightened by the hunters, fled to the nearest farm to escape them and entered a stable. He told the ox who was in the stable why he had come there, and the ox answered him in this fashion: "Oh wretched...

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Fable 20. Of the Lion's Deceitful Conversation

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pp. 106-107

This fable shows that it is a torment to speak to tyrants, and to be silent to them is equally painful. The lion, having been made king of the wild beasts, wished like other kings to acquire a good reputation by renouncing his former cruelties. And changing his ways, he swore publicly and solemnly...

IV. The Fourth Book of Aesop

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Fable 1. Of the Fox and the Grapes

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p. 108

The fox, seeing some bunches of ripe grapes and desiring to eat them, used his imagination and tried all sorts of ways to climb the posts to reach and eat them. But all his thoughts and efforts were in vain and he could not reach them or satisfy his desire...

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Fable 2. Of the Old Weasel and the Mouse

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p. 109

This fable shows that every man should learn a trade and an art, for one may be able to do through cleverness what he cannot do by force. The old weasel could no longer chase mice, and so she covered herself with flour and hid in a dark place, hoping without effort to deceive and destroy the mice. An...

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Fable 3. Of the Wolf and the Herdsman

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pp. 109-110

He who uses mild words and is unfaithful and a traitor sins in his heart, as will be recognized in this story. The wolf was fleeing from a huntsman who was following him, but a shepherd saw where he was hidden. This filled the wolf with terror, and he beseeched the shepherd by the gods in whom he had...

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Fable 4. Of Juno, the Peacock, and the Nightingale

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pp. 110-111

That every one should make use of the grace he has is proved by this fable. The peacock came to Juno in great anger and impatience, saying that the nightingale sang beautifully and knew many natural and clever things, while she knew how to do nothing, and when she sang everyone made fun of...

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Fable 5. Of the Lobo Cerval and the Farmers

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pp. 111-112

It is proper to be merciful to pilgrims and strangers and everyone, and we should pardon those who can do but little, for there is no lack of occasion for them to be thankful, as this fable shows. An innocent lobo cerval fell into a trap, and the workmen, seeing that he was caught, came after him. Some hit...

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Fable 6. Of the Sheep and the Butcher

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pp. 112-113

The relatives and friends who are not equal and do not feel that they appear in a bad light are what this story is about. The sheep of a flock, observing that a butcher had come among them, hid their fear and paid no attention to him. Even when they saw the butcher kill one of them, they did not react...

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Fable 7. Of the Fowier and the Birds

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pp. 113-114

This fable demonstrates that in no way should we avoid taking counsel from the wise. In the summertime the birds, perched happily in the shade eating leaves, saw a fowler with an evil look working among the canes and reeds with snares at his side. The birds, being simple and ignorant, began to speak...

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Fable 8. Of the Truthful Man, the Becatful One, and the Ape

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pp. 114-115

Since ancient times false and evil men have used adulation, and flattery is well received, while honest truth and goodness are customarily pushed away and reproved, as this fable shows us. While two men, one of them false and the other truthful, were traveling through the world as companions...

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Fable 9. Of tfte Horse, the Stag, and the Hunter

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pp. 115-116

It is better not to have enmities than later to have them yet be unable to avenge oneself upon them, or to repent and be disturbed, as this fable demonstrates to us. The horse and the stag were enemies. The horse saw that the stag was abler and faster at running and had a beautiful body...

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Fable 10. Of the Ass and the Lion

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pp. 116-117

Many persons think they will frighten the strong as well as the weak and small with their voice. Of them this fable is told. An ass, going along a mountain, met a lion to whom he said: "Let's climb to the top of the mountain and I will show you how I am feared by many." The lion, laughing at the...

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Fable 11. Of the Vulture and the Other Birds

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p. 117

The vulture, pretending he wished to honor the day of his birth, invited the smaller birds to dinner. And when they were in his house he closed the door and began to kill them one by one. This fable signifies that the powerful...

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Fable 12. Of the Lion and the Vixens

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pp. 117-181

The lion pretended to be very ill and by this trick got the other animals to visit him as their king, and he continually killed them. The vixens came before the door of his cave and greeted the lion from outside. The lion asked one of them why they did not come in, and she answered: "I see the footprints...

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Fable 13. Of the Sick Ass and the Wolf

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pp. 118-119

The evil man is never to be trusted, as this story shows. The wolf was visiting the sick ass and began to touch his body and asked him where it was that hurt. The ass replied: "The places where you touch me hurt the worst." Evil...

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Fable 14. Of the Big Sheep and the Three Little Ones

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p. 119

Many times the lesser complain of the greater, as this fable shows. Three small sheep, seeing a larger sheep who was running away because he was afraid, made fun of him and whispered about him. To this he replied and said to them: "O silly and ignorant ones, if you knew the reason I flee...

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Fable 15. Of the Man and the Lion

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pp. 119-120

A time of virtue is exemplified by action, as this fable shows. A man and a lion considered the question of which of them was better, and each one tried to prove his ability. As they went along together thus they arrived at a grave on which was painted a picture of a man choking a lion. Seeing this the man...

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Fable 16. Of the Flea and the Comet

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pp. 120-121

Some folks who are really nothing puff themselves up, as this fable shows. A flea was in the load carried by a camel. Looking at the bearer of the load, he rejoiced, praising himself as better than the camel. At the end of their long day of travel they came to an inn, where the flea descended. Shaking himself...

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Fable 17. Of the Ant and the. Cricket

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pp. 121-122

In the winter the ant dried in the sun the wheat she had gathered during the summer, and the cricket, coming to her in hunger, asked her to give her a little wheat so that she might not die. To this the ant replied: "Friend, what did you do during the summer?" The cricket answered: "I didn't have time to...

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Fable 18. Of the Sword and the Traveler

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p. 122

The evil man causes the destruction of many, yet he alone perishes, as this fable declares. A man who was walking along found a sword lying in the road, and he asked it who had lost it. The sword answered as follows: "Only...

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Fable 19. Of the Raven and the Sheep

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pp. 122-123

Of the injuries done to the innocent, Aesop tells this fable. An idle and lazy raven perched on a sheep and was enjoying herself there. She was accustomed to do this frequently, and so she annoyed the sheep, who addressed her as follows: "If you annoyed the dog the way you do me, you would not be...

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Fable 20. Of the Beech Tree and the Reed

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pp. 123-124

Those who are proud and harsh of heart and do not wish to submit to their master often experience what happened to the beech tree who, when the wind came, did not wish to bend. A reed nearby, seeing the strong wind coming, bent and turned in whatever direction the wind desired. It is said...

V. The Fanciful Fables of Aesop

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Fable 1. Of the Mule, the Vixen, and the Wolf

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pp. 125-126

There are many who vaingloriously ask endless questions whose answers they do not know, and they want to become masters without first having been disciples, as this fable relates. The mule was grazing near a wood, and a vixen came to him and asked: "Who are you?" He answered: "I am a beast...

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Fable 2. Of the Boar, the Sheep, and the Wolf

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pp. 126-127

There are a great many persons who are not satisfied with private honors. They yearn to command their betters and their equals, concerning which you will hear a fable as follows: A small boar lived among a great herd of swine. He was proud but indignant because he was not the principal and...

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Fable 3. Of the Fox and the Rooster

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pp. 127-128

Many persons who speak without thinking ahead say things which later they regret, and even evil and harm come of such things. Concerning this is our fable. The fox, being hungry, went to a house, and coming up to a rooster, he said: "O lord rooster, what a wonderful voice your father had. He was very...

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Fable 4. Of the Dragon and the Farmer

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pp. 128-130

It happens many times that men return bad for good and harm those who help them, as this fable will show. A dragon lived in a river, and as its waters rose he continued down river. Meanwhile the river dried up, leaving him on a sandbar, and there he lay, unable to move without water. A farmer passed...

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Fable 5. Of the Vixen and the Cat

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pp. 130-131

This parable speaks of men who flatter themselves that they know many things and, thinking themselves subtle and clever, laugh and make fun of many others. The vixen, meeting a cat, greeted him, saying: "Brother, remain safe from the evil ones." The cat answered: "Greetings to you, too...

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Fable 6. Of Wolf and the Goat

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pp. 131-132

The sick and poor often rise against the powerful who treat them badly, as this fable relates. A wolf followed the male of a herd of goats in order to capture him. The billy goat went up to the top of a lofty crag where he was safe. The wolf blocked him and hemmed him in from the foot of the crag, but...

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Fable 7. Of the Wolf and the Ass

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pp. 132-133

A man should not lightly take counsel from one he wishes to harm, as this fable proves. The wolf, meeting an ass, said to him: "Brother Ass, I am very desirous of eating, so I have you to eat." The ass replied: "As it pleases you, sir, so be it, for it is your right to command and my duty to obey. And if you...

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Fable 8. Of the Snake and the Farmer

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pp. 133-134

A man should not trust or believe someone he intends to harm, or to whom he has done harm. For he will finally reap harm and evil from him, as this tale describes. A farmer went to sow a field, and passing along a road he cruelly trod upon a snake, which said to him: "Oh evil friend, why have you...

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Fable 9. Of the Vixen, the Fisherman, and the Wolf

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pp. 135-136

If anyone is injured or harmed, he should not avenge himself with his tongue, by speaking evil, for this is no honest vengeance, as this fable proves. A vixen was eating a fish in the vicinity of a river. A wolf, coming there hungry, asked for part of the food. The vixen replied: "Sir, do not talk to...

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Fable 10. Of the Wolf Who Farted

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pp. 137-138

Many persons who seek objects higher than are suitable for them and presume further than their status requires, demand what is not proper for them. And usually the higher they rise the greater their fall, as this fable shows.
The wolf rising and stretching one morning let go a sound from behind...

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Fable 11. Of the Envious Dog

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pp. 140-141

Some people are so envious they envy others for things they themselves cannot have and could not profit by. They stand in the way of others, as one may gather from this fable. A dog was lying in a manger full of hay. When the oxen came, he barked and snarled so fiercely they could not eat the hay...

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Fable 12. Of the Wolf and the Hungry Dog

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pp. 141-142

If he who maintains a household and company does not feed his familiars well, he often suffers for his avarice. Similarly, he who exceeds his nature sometimes derives ill from it, as is shown in this fable.
A rich man had a huge flock of sheep and a dog who followed them to protect them...

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Fable 13. Of the Father and His Three Sons

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pp. 143-144

Against those who bring suits and go before the judges for vain and negligible reasons this fable speaks.
At his death a man left three sons to whom he bequeathed all his possessions, that is, an apple tree, a goat, and a mill. After the father...

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Fable 14. Of the Vixen and the Wolf

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pp. 145-146

Those who prefer to be teachers rather than pupils and try first to teach rather than be taught, wishing to become equal to those greater and more learned than themselves, fall into great errors and evil: that is what this story teaches and demonstrates...

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Fable 15. Of the Wolf, the Dog, and the Sheep

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pp. 148-149

Sometimes simple deceivers with little ability, studying and striving to deceive the wise and powerful, deceive and hurt themselves, as this story shows.
There was once a man who had great flocks of sheep and other livestock. And he had on guard a huge, formidable mastiff...

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Fable 16. Of the Little Man, tfte Lion, and His Cub

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pp. 150-151

Those who will not heed their fathers and mothers nor accept their principles and teachings get into many troubles and dangers, as this parable teaches.
A little man dwelt in a deserted place, living by his work and the efforts of his hands, cutting down trees and sowing the land...

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Fable 17. Of the Knight, the Vixen, and the Squire

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pp. 152-153

This fable teaches us that there are many persons who extend themselves so far in lying that, knowing their hearers do not believe them, they contradict little by little what they have said.
A knight, riding with his squire, saw a vixen and said...

VI. The Fables of Aesop from the Translation of Remitius

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Fable 1. Of the Eagle and the Crow

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pp. 155-156

The eagle, flying from a lofty crag, swooped down and took a lamb from a flock of sheep, carrying it on high. The crow, seeing this and moved by envy, flew against a lamb with a great racket and crying out, thinking to take and lift the lamb as the eagle had done. And he turned around and...

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Fable 2. Of the Eagle and the Beetle

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pp. 156-157

The eagle followed a rabbit to catch it, and she could not escape because she saw no one to appeal to for her defense. Finally she saw a beetle and asked it for help, telling him she had no other defenders. The beetle took her under his protection, promising he would defend her. At this moment...

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Fable 3. Of the Vixen and the Goat

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pp. 157-158

Men of good sense look at the end result before they begin an affair they intend to carry out, as we gather from this fable. The vixen and the goat, wishing to get a drink, went down to a fountain or well. And after they had satisfied their thirst they looked for a way to get out of the well, which was...

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Fable 4. Of the Cat and the Rooster

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p. 158

This fable treats of men of evil nature and condition. The cat had caught a rooster and was looking for a chance to kill and eat him. And he began to accuse the rooster, saying that he was a bird who annoyed and disturbed everyone, not letting them sleep at night. The rooster excused himself...

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Fable 5. Of the Vixen and the Bramble Bush

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p. 159

It is madness to ask help from those who by their nature come to impede and not to help, of which this fable is a brief example. A vixen climbed a fence to escape from the danger she found herself in, for dogs were following her, and she embraced a bramble whereby her paws were lacerated. When she saw...

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Fable 6. Of the. Man and the Wooden God

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pp. 159-160

This fable proves that one should not do evil, even if sometimes it is profitable, except under force of necessity. A man who had a wooden god in his house begged and prayed to it to do him some good. But the more he begged and prayed, the less good and profit he had in his house, and his...

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Fable 7. Of a Fisherman

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pp. 160-161

All things are done well that are done at their proper time, as this fable demonstrates. A fisherman who was not expert in the art of fishing came to the edge of the sea with flutes, trumpets, and nets. And seating himself upon a stone or crag, he first began to play the trumpet and flutes as loudly...

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Fable 8. Of the Mice and the Cat

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pp. 161-162

This fable proves that the sensible and prudent man, if once deceived by someone, forever after disbelieves deceitful and false men. A cat, realizing that in a certain house there were many mice, went after them and caught and ate a lot of them, one after another. But the mice, realizing that day after...

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Fable 9. Of the Farmer and the Bustard

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p. 162

He who is found in the company of the evil receives a punishment equal to theirs, as this fable teaches. A farmer placed snares in his field to catch cranes and geese because they destroyed his wheat and seedlings. And with them he caught a bustard which, seeing himself trapped, asked the farmer to...

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Fable 10. Of the Boy Who Tended the Sheep

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pp. 162-163

He who is infamous as a liar, although he tells the truth, is not believed, concerning which look at this fable. A shepherd, pasturing his sheep in a high and lofty place, often called for help in order to play a joke on those who worked and plowed in neighboring fields, shouting "Wolf!" Those who were...

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Fable 11. Of the Ant and the Dove

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pp. 163-164

This fable means that because dumb animals show their gratitude toward those who are kind to them, how much more ought men who have reason express their thanks toward those from whom they receive favors. A very thirsty ant went to drink at a spring, where by chance he fell into the water...

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Fable 12. Of the Bee and Jupiter

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pp. 164-165

It sometimes happens, as this fable shows, that when we pray for some evil to befall our enemies, the same evil happens to ourselves. The bee, which is the mother of wax, one time went to sacrifice to the gods and offered honey to Jupiter. He, very happy with her sacrifice, ordered that she should be given...

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Fable 13. Of a Woodcutter

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pp. 165-166

The kinder God is to the good, the crueler he is to the evil, as you will see in the following story. On the bank of a river dedicated to the god Mercury, a woodchopper dropped the axe with which he was cutting wood into the river. The poor woodchopper, seeing himself without the axe with which he earned...

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Fable 14. Of the Thieving Boy and His Mother

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pp. 166-167

He who is not punished at the start, when he first commences to go astray and do evil, gets worse day after day, as this fable proves. Half in jest, a boy who was learning his letters stole a book that a companion was reading and took it to his mother who, instead of punishing and reproving him for his...

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Fable 15. Of the Flea

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pp. 167-168

This fable teaches that the evils that predominate and never cease deserve no pity, even when their error or sin is small. A flea was caught while biting a man. Being thus caught, she was asked by the man: "What are you that bite me thus in the legs?" She answered: "I am of the lineage of...

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Fable 16. Of the Husband and the Two Wives

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pp. 168-270

There is nothing better for the health of the old than not to have wives, especially young wives, as this fable shows. It was summertime, when the generative principle is most active, and a middle aged and nearly gray haired man, accustomed to pleasures and joys took two wives—one old and...

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Fable 17. Of the Farmer and His Sons

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pp. 169-170

Constant labor brings treasure, as this fable demonstrates. A farmer, knowing that he had come to the end of his days and desiring that his sons should be instructed in the work of their land, called them to him and said: "Sons, I leave all my worldly goods in our vineyard; so whenever you desire to share...

VII. The Fables of Avianus

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Fable 1. Of the Village Woman and the Wolf

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pp. 171-172

Those who heed women's words are oftimes deceived, as you will hear in the following fable. The wolf, pained by hunger, once left his woods seeking food for himself, his wife, and his young. He approached a house as quietly as he could in the hope of getting some meat when he heard the voice of a mother...

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Fable 2. Of the Tortoise or Turtle and the Birds

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pp. 172-173

One cannot climb to lofty heights without great effort, and the higher one climbs by his own power the farther down he can fall, as this fable testifies. When all the birds were gathered together a tortoise came among them, saying: "If one of you will raise me up, I will certainly show him the shells in...

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Fable 3. Of the Two Lobsters or Crayfish

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p. 173

No one should accuse another of a sin or vice that he has not first corrected in himself, as this fable notes. A lobster or crayfish noticed that her daughter was walking crookedly and did not carry her feet straight. In doing so, the daughter ground herself against the sharp stones in the water. So that her...

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Fable 4. Of the Ass in the Lion's Skin

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p. 174

Every man should help himself by his own means and not depend on others. By doing so, he may not be deceived and teased when he loses the belongings of others, which he had presumptuously and improperly usurped, as this fable shows us clearly. An ass, finding a lion skin, put it on and covered his...

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Fable 5. Of the Trog Who Was a Doctor and the Vixen

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pp. 174-175

One should never praise himself for knowing things that in fact he does not know and cannot profit from unless he wishes to incur harm. That is what this fable means. The frog, born and raised in the depths of the waters and dwelling in the lagoons all his life, went out into the green and flowering...

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Fable 6. Of the Two Dogs

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p. 176

It is difficult to recognize those who are of a perverse heart. If anything happens to them, it is reputed to them as an honor or dishonor, as this fable declares. There was once a man who had a dog who did not bark or growl, but with his tail between his legs, he treacherously bit people. Knowing the...

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Fable 7. Of the Camel and Jupiter

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p. 177

The wise man should content himself with what nature has given him and not covet the goods of others so that fortune may not go against him and take away what he has. For this reason, hear this fable. The camel, coming to the fields and seeing there a great herd of horned bulls, suffered...

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Fable 8. Of the Two Companions

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pp. 178-179

This fable warns that we should not mingle in the company of unknown persons, especially those who have once been found to cheat and fraud. Two companions were traveling together through woods and valleys and down roads both level and rough in such unity and concord that they promised to...

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Fable 9. Of the Two Pots

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p. 179

The poorest and lowest of men should not keep company with the rich and powerful, as this fable teaches us. When a river rose rapidly, it seized two pots that were on the bank and carried them away, one after the other. One pot was of copper and the other of clay. Their movement in the river was not...

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Fable 10. Of the Lion, the Bull, and the Goat

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p. 180

Anyone who receives injury or harm from someone should not avenge himself at a time when he is himself in danger of receiving a greater damage and injury. Instead he ought to wait for a time when he can take vengeance with profit, as this fable teaches us. The lion, who was going about looking...

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Fable 11. Of the Ape and Her Son

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p. 181

Praise in one's own mouth soils and makes one vile, but each person likes his own qualities although they be more vile than those of others, concerning which this fable is told. One time, Jupiter, the greatest of the gods, desired to know which of all the animals he had created had the most beautiful...

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Fable 12. Of the Crane and the Peacock

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p. 182

No one, although he has virtue and excellence greater than that of another person, should despise and scorn others, for although the others may lack something, they may yet have something better, as this fable demonstrates. The peacock asked the crane to have dinner with him, and when they were...

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Fable 13. Of the Animal Called the Tigride

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p. 183

The hidden whispering and secret detraction of the false tongue wounds more than an arrow, this fable teaches us. A hunter was so expert and clever in the art of the crossbow that rarely did his arrows miss their mark; as a result, all the animals feared him and did not dare to walk through the...

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Fable 14. Of the Four Oxen

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pp. 184-185

This fable teaches us that we ought not to believe false and flattering words nor give faith to flatterers and that we should not part from old company lightly. Four large and strong oxen had a friendship among themselves cemented with great treaties and oaths. They went all the time to pasture in...

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Fable 15. Of the Pine Tree and the Turkey Oak or Blackthorn

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pp. 185-186

One should not exalt himself because of his beauty or scorn others and sneer at them; frequently the most beautiful may fall while the ugly and deformed escape and remain unmolested, as this fable shows us. A very beautiful pine of marvelous stature near a turkey oak, or blackthorn, scornfully said...

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Fable 16. Of the Fisherman and the Little Fish

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pp. 186-295

Man should not leave what he safely and peacefully possesses for something yet to come, for it may happen that he will seek and not find anything, as this fable tells. A fisherman on the shore of the sea caught a little fish, and as he was taking the hook from its mouth, the little fish said with a great sigh...

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Fable 17. Of the Sun and the Avaricious and Envious

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p. 187

So great is the envy of some persons that they actually wish to endure harm so that others might suffer greater discomforts, as this fable tells. Sovereign Jupiter sent someone from his lofty throne to the sun to find out the unscrupulous wishes of men. At that time two persons came before the sun...

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Fable 18. Of the Weeping Lad and the Thief

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pp. 187-188

They who covet the goods of others sometimes lose their own and do not recover them, as the present fable demonstrates. One time a lad, being near deep well, pretended to weep and so shed tears of feigned grief. Seeing this, a clever thief diligently inquired the...

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Fable 19. Of the Lion and the She-Goat

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pp. 188-189

This fable shows us that we should not believe deceitful words. Looking over a field to see if perchance he sniffed some game, a hungry lion saw a she-goat grazing on a lofty crag. He wanted to eat her but could not climb up to the crag. He spoke the following soft, deceptive words

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Fable 20. Of the Thirsty Crow

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pp. 189-190

This fable teaches us that prudence and industry often take the place of strength. A very thirsty crow came to a well where he found a pail with such a small quantity of water in the bottom that he could not drink from it except by overturning it. As the pail was heavy, the crow's strength was not...

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Fable 21. Of the Rustic and the Young Buff

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pp. 190-191

One can hardly use words to castigate those who are of a rebellious and evil nature, as this parable demonstrates. A farmer began to yoke his new ox, who was rough and untamed, with a tame bull. The young ox, feeling the yoke over his head, began to rear up, throwing off the yoke and the straps...

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Fable 22. Of the Satyr and the Traveler

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pp. 191-192

This fable demonstrates that men of forked tongues are to be shunned and avoided. A pilgrim, walking in distant and isolated regions where there raged the snow, rain, and freezing winds of a winter storm, reached a woods where there was so much snow and cruel wind that he could not see the road...

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Fable 23. Of the Buff and the Mouse

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pp. 192-193

The rule of the rich and powerful goes little farther than the degree to which they conform to the will of their subjects, as this fable tells. A big, strong bull, put out to exercise his limbs, was bitten repeatedly by a little mouse with tiny teeth. The bull turned this way and that to get rid of the rodent...

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Fable 24. Of the Goose and Its Master

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pp. 193-194

Whoever has enough to suffice him but is not content with it ought justly to lose what he has, according to this fable. A man had a goose which laid a golden egg in her nest each day, but the man soon became discontented with this and desired the goose to lay two each day. The goose, who was unable...

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Fable 25. Of the Ape and Her Two Sons

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pp. 194-195

Sometimes it happens that things that we despise and think to be of little value become beloved by us and, on the contrary, things that we love the most are lost and left unprotected, as this fable tells. Once upon a time a female ape bore two sons together which she did not raise in equal fashion...

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Fable 26. Of the Storm and the Pot

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pp. 195-196

Certainly he is unfortunate who cannot escape from the scandals and dangers of this world. Through pride or vainglory, this man believes himself greater than his estate requires, as this story shows and as we can see by common experience. A potter once made a pot, putting much of his...

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Fable 27. Of the Wolf and the Kid

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pp. 196-197

Although all things have an inclination toward good, reason may present the will with two evils. The lesser is to be chosen, as this story declares. A little goat was grazing in a field not far from his home when a wolf saw him and came to eat him. When he saw the wolf, the goat began to flee, running...

VIII. The Collected Fables of Alfonso, of Poggio, and of Others

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Fable 1. In Which Alfonso Advises People about Wisdom and True Friendship

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pp. 198-202

The wise Lucania* of Arabia said to his son: "You ought not believe that the ant, which stores in summer what it will live on in winter, is wiser than you. Let not the rooster be a better watchman than you, for he keeps guard in the morning while you sleep. Do not let the one who rules nine wives be stronger...

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Fable 2. Of the Cash Held in Trust

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pp. 202-203

A Spaniard, going to Mecca, arrived in Egypt and realized that he must soon pass through sparsely populated and desert regions. Fearing robbery and the dangers of the road, he decided to leave the money he would not need for his trip with a trusted man in Egypt. Everyone believed that the Egyptian...

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Fable 3. Of the Subtle. Artifice of Wisdom in Enigmatic Casks of Oil Held in Trust

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pp. 204-205

At his death, a man left his son nothing but a house. The son, seeking to earn his poor living with his hands, often suffered from hunger, but in memory of his father he bore the lack of resources and labor rather than sell the house. A rich and greedy neighbor of his sought to possess the house and have it for...

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Fable 4. Of the Artifice of the Missing Money

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pp. 205-207

Going through a city, a rich merchant lost a small bag containing one thousand florins in the street. A poor man found it, carried it home, and gave it to his wife to keep. She said with joy: "Whatever happens to me, I shall never throw this away. If the Lord gave us these riches, let us keep them...

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Fable 5. Of the Faith or Deceit of the Three Companions

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pp. 207-208

Often a man falls into the trap that he sets for another, as is recounted in this fable. There were three companions who, because of their piety, were on a pilgrimage to the city of Mecca. Two were merchants and city men, and the third was a country man...

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Fable 6. Of the Little Bird and the Countryman

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pp. 208-210

A villager had a garden much ornamented by grass, flowers, and a clean running stream, all of which attracted many birds. One day he went, as he was accustomed to do, to rest in the garden. Feeling tired, he sat down beneath a tree in which a little bird was singing very sweetly. Hearing her...

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Fable 7. Of the Rimester and the Humpback

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pp. 210-211

A learned man said to his son: "If you are aggrieved in anything but can be in some way relieved, do not enter into the question nor let it become enlarged. Free yourself as quickly as possible so that another greater annoyance may not come upon you, as this fable shows. A rimester presented an excellent...

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Fable 8. Of the Sheep

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pp. 211-212

A disciple who greatly enjoyed hearing fables from his master asked him to tell him a long fable. The master replied: "Be careful lest there happen to us what befell a king with his teller of fables." The disciple said: "Good master, tell me how that was." The master told him the following: "A king had a...

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Fable 9. Of the Woif the Rustic, the Fox, and the Cheese

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pp. 212-214

One should not let a certain thing go in the hope of an uncertain one, as the wolf shows us. In the same way, a man should not entrust his affairs to the power of a false judge because false judges are easily corrupted, like the fox of which this fable speaks. There was a farmer who had some oxen that, with...

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Fable 10. Of the Young Wife and Her Husband, of the Mother-in-Law and the Adulterer

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pp. 214-215

The deceits of women are innumerable, as the following fables prove. A merchant leaving for a fair left his wife in the care of his mother-in-law to keep the wife honest and chaste. But this merchant's wife, with the consent of her mother, dishonestly received a young man for a lover. To bind their...

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Fable 11. Of the O(d Lady Who Deceived the Chaste Woman with a Little Dog

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pp. 215-217

It is told that a nobleman had a very chaste and beautiful wife. Wishing to go on a pilgrimage to visit the holy relics, he did not want to appoint another to guard his wife, trusting in her good habits. After her husband had gone, this woman lived chastely and honestly in all ways...

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Fable 12. Of the Blind Man and the Adulterous Adolescent

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pp. 217-218

There was once a blind man who had a very beautiful wife, and he guarded her chastity with great diligence because he was very jealous. One day they were both in a garden in the shade of a pear tree, and with his consent, she climbed up to pick the pears. The blind man, who was very suspicious...

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Fable 13. Of the Cleverness and Astuteness of a Wife against Her Husband, a Winegrower

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pp. 219-220

A deceitful woman very quickly invents fraudulent excuses with which to cover her misdeeds, as this fable shows. A rustic went to care for his vineyard, so his wife, thinking that he would be a long time in returning, as was usually the case, sent for her lover. They were having intercourse...

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Fable 14. Of the. Merchant's Wife and Her Old Mother-in-Law

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pp. 220-221

This fable tells of a very deceitful old lady who did not wish her daughter to keep her chastity. A merchant who went from country to country on business left his wife in the care of his mother-in-law. As the wife was very young, she fell in love with a young man and told her secret to her mother...

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Fable 15. By Poggio. About the. Wife and the Husband Shut Up in the Dove Cote

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pp. 221-222

The astuteness and sharpness of women makes the timorous bold, as is proven in this fable. A man named Pedro had an adulterous compact with the wife of an ignorant farmer, and all three of them were related to one another. This farmer, fearing the lawmen who pursued him because...

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Fable 16. Of the Woman Who Gave, Birth to a Chitd by the Grace of God, Her Husband Being Absent

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pp. 222-223

Those who live in the city of Gayeta seek their living by sailing the seas. A poor shipmaster who lived near Gayeta left his young wife at home and went to seek a living in other places, and so was a long time away. After five years he came back to his house to visit his wife who, since her husband had...

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Fable 17. Of the Devil and the Wicked Old Woman

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pp. 223-360

Let him who desires to end his days in good and certain peace keep away from the company and conversation of wicked and false old women, for under heaven scarcely was anything made that is more vile and deceitful than such old women. But God forbid that it should be understood that in this...

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Fable 18. Of the Master Tailor, the King, and His Servants

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pp. 226-227

To pay back a deceit and return another for it is a common practice. Do not do to another what you do not wish to have done to you, this fable tells. A king had a good master tailor who knew well how to cut clothing and vestments for any sort of weather and for suitable persons of all kinds. The tailor had...

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Fable 19. Of the Madman and the Gentieman Hunter

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pp. 227-229

That one should discontinue a trade in which the costs exceed the profits, this story proves. In the city of Milan there was once a famous physician whose duty it was to cure any sort of madness or mental disorder. He had this way of curing the mad: he had in his house an enclosure in which there...

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Fable 20. Of the. Priest, His Dog, and the Bishop

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pp. 229-230

Generous gifts and services may atone for many transgressions, even the violation of a sacred place, as this fable shows. In Tuscany there was an ignorant but very rich priest. He buried in a cemetery a much beloved dog of his. The bishop noticed the priest's excess; he knew that the cleric was rich...

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Fable 21. Of the Ape and the Nuts

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pp. 230-231

A great reward is often earned by hard and continuous work. If a man is not discouraged from a task by the seriousness and labor that are necessary to do it, he may complete it in the end, as this fable informs us. An ape standing beneath a walnut tree asked the name of the tree and the value of its fruit...

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Fable 22. Of the. Father and Son Who Went to Sell an Ass

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pp. 231-234

He who wishes to please everybody and follow their advice cannot long escape scorn nor maintain his estate, as this story tells. A father and son went to sell an ass at a fair, and they kept the ass in front of them with no load. They met a great company of men who were talking about them as...

Bibliography

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pp. 235-374

Index

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pp. 237-378