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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Æsop's Fables with Modern Instances, by Aesop

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Title: Æsop's Fables with Modern Instances

Author: Aesop

Illustrator: Randolph Caldecott

Translator: Alfred Caldecott

Release Date: December 8, 2010 [EBook #34588]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ÆSOP'S FABLES WITH MODERN ***

Produced by Chris Curnow, Rose Mawhorter and the Online


Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive)

Production Notes
All obvious punctuation errors have been corrected.
Pg. 22. A period was removed from the end of the
title to conform to the pattern of the other title
pages.
Cursive text in the images has been transcribed into
the titles of the images.

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SOME OF

WITH

MODER I STA CES


SHEW I DESIG S

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BY RANDOLPH CALDECOTT

FROM NEW TRANSLATIONS BY ALFRED CALDECOTT, M.A.

THE ENGRAVINGS BY J.D. COOPER

London
MACMILLAN AND CO.
1883

Printed by R. & R. CLARK, Edinburgh.

I DEX.
NUMBER PAGE
I. THE FOX AND THE CROW 1
II. THE ASS IN THE LION'S SKIN 5
III. THE FISHERMAN AND THE LITTLE FISH 9
IV. THE JACKDAW AND THE DOVES 13
V. THE COPPERSMITH AND HIS PUPPY 17
VI. THE FROGS DESIRING A KING 21
VII. THE DOG AND THE WOLF 25
VIII. THE STAG LOOKING INTO THE WATER 29
IX. THE FROGS AND THE FIGHTING BULLS 33
X. THE LION AND OTHER BEASTS 37
XI. THE FOX AND THE STORK 41
XII. THE HORSE AND THE STAG 45
XIII. THE COCK AND THE JEWEL 49
XIV. THE ASS, THE LION, AND THE COCK 53
XV. THE WOLF AND THE LAMB 57

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XVI. THE MAN AND HIS TWO WIVES 61


XVII. THE FOX WITHOUT A TAIL 65
XVIII. THE EAGLE AND THE FOX 69
XIX. THE OX AND THE FROG 73
XX. THE HAWK CHASING THE DOVE 77

OTE.
Sixteen of these Twenty Fables have been handed down to us in a Greek form:
for these Halm's text has been used. As to the other four—Number IX. is from
Phaedrus, and retains a flavour of artificiality; Numbers XIII. and XX. are from
Latin versions; and Number X. is from a French one.

The Translations aim at replacing the florid style of our older English versions,
and the stilted harshness of more modern ones, by a plainness and terseness
more nearly like the character of the originals.

In the following cases the Translations have been adapted to the Designs. In
Number I. cheese has been put for meat; in Number VIII. a pack of Hounds for
a Lion; in Number XI. a Stork for a Crane; in Number XIX. a Frog for a Toad;
and in Number VII. the Dog should be tied up. The reason of this is, that in the
collaboration the Designer and Translator have not been on terms of equal
authority; the former has stood unshakeably by English tradition, and has had
his own way.

A.C.

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THE FOX A D THE CROW

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THE FOX A D THE CROW.

A Crow stole a piece of cheese and alighted with it on a tree. A Fox watched
her, and wishing to get hold of the cheese stood underneath and began to make
compliments upon her size and beauty; he went so far as to say that she had the
best of claims to be made Queen of the Birds, and doubtless it would have been
done if she had only had a voice. The Crow, anxious to prove to him that she
did possess a voice, began to caw vigorously, of course dropping the cheese.
The Fox pounced upon it and carried it off, remarking as he went away, "My
good friend Crow, you have every good quality: now try to get some common
sense."

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THE ASS I THE LIO 'S SKI

THE ASS I THE LIO 'S SKI .

An Ass who had dressed himself up in a Lion's skin was mistaken by everybody

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for a lion, and there was a stampede of both herds and men. But presently the
skin was whisked off by a gust of wind, and the Ass stood exposed; and then
the men all charged at him, and with sticks and cudgels gave him a sound
drubbing.

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THE FISHERMA A D THE LITTLE


FISH

THE FISHERMA A D THE LITTLE FISH.

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A Fisherman cast his net and caught a little Fish. The little Fish begged him to
let him go for the present, as he was so small, and to catch him again to more
purpose later on, when he was bulkier. But the Fisherman said: "Nay, I should
be a very simpleton to let go a good thing I have got and run after a doubtful
expectation."

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THE JACKDAW A D THE DOVES

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THE JACKDAW A D THE DOVES.

A Jackdaw observing how well cared for were the Doves in a certain dovecote,
whitewashed himself and went to take a part in the same way of living. The
Doves were friendly enough so long as he kept silence, taking him for one of
themselves; but when he once forgot himself and gave a croak they immediately
perceived his character, and cuffed him out. So the Jackdaw, having failed in
getting a share of good things there, returned to his brother Jackdaws. But these
latter not recognising him, because of his colour, kept him out of their mess
also; so that in his desire for two things he got neither.

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THE COPPERSMITH A D HIS PUPPY

THE COPPERSMITH A D HIS PUPPY.

A certain Coppersmith had a Puppy. While the Coppersmith was at work the
Puppy lay asleep; but when meal-time came he woke up. So his master,
throwing him a bone, said: "You sleepy little wretch of a Puppy, what shall I do
with you, you inveterate sluggard? When I am thumping on my anvil you can

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go to sleep on the mat; but when I come to work my teeth immediately you are
wide awake and wagging your tail at me."

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THE FROGS DESIRI G A KI G

THE FROGS DESIRI G A KI G.

The Frogs were grieved at their own lawless condition, so they sent a
deputation to Zeus begging him to provide them with a King. Zeus, perceiving

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their simplicity, dropped a Log of wood into the pool. At first the Frogs were
terrified by the splash, and dived to the bottom; but after a while, seeing the
Log remain motionless, they came up again, and got to despise it so much that
they climbed up and sat on it. Dissatisfied with a King like that, they came
again to Zeus and entreated him to change their ruler for them, the first being
altogether too torpid. Then Zeus was exasperated with them, and sent them a
Stork, by whom they were seized and eaten up.

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THE DOG A D THE WOLF

THE DOG A D THE WOLF.

A Wolf, seeing a large Dog with a collar on, asked him: "Who put that collar
round your neck, and fed you to be so sleek?" "My master," answered the Dog.
"Then," said the Wolf, "may no friend of mine be treated like this; a collar is as

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grievous as starvation."

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THE STAG LOOKI G I TO THE


WATER

THE STAG LOOKI G I TO THE WATER.

A Stag parched with thirst came to a spring of water. As he was drinking he saw
his own reflection on the water, and was in raptures with his horns when he

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observed their splendid size and shape, but was troubled about his legs, they
seemed so thin and weak. As he was still musing, some huntsmen with a pack
of hounds appeared and disturbed him, whereupon the Stag took to flight, and
keeping a good distance ahead so long as the plain was free from trees, he was
being saved; but when he came to a woody place he got his horns entangled in
the branches, and being unable to move was seized by the hounds. When he
was at the point of death he said to himself: "What a fool am I, who was on the
way to be saved by the very things which I thought would fail me; while by
those in which I so much trusted I am brought to ruin."

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THE FROGS A D THE FIGHTI G


BULLS

THE FROGS A D THE FIGHTI G BULLS.

A Frog in his marsh looking at some Bulls fighting, exclaimed: "O dear! what
sad destruction threatens us now!" Another Frog asked him why he said that,
seeing that the Bulls were only fighting for the first place in the herd, and that

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they lived quite remote from the Frogs. "Ah," said the first, "it is true that our
positions are wide apart, and we are different kinds of things, but still, the Bull
who will be driven from the rule of the pasture will come to lie in hiding in the
marsh, and crush us to death under his hard hoofs, so that their raging really
does closely concern the lives of you and me."

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THE LIO A D OTHER BEASTS

THE LIO A D OTHER BEASTS.

The Lion one day went out hunting along with three other Beasts, and they
caught a Stag. With the consent of the others the Lion divided it, and he cut it

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into four equal portions; but when the others were going to take hold of their
shares, "Gently, my friends," said the Lion; "the first of these portions is mine,
as one of the party; the second also is mine, because of my rank among beasts;
the third you will yield me as a tribute to my courage and nobleness of
character; while, as to the fourth,—why, if any one wishes to dispute with me
for it, let him begin, and we shall soon see whose it will be."

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THE FOX A D THE STORK

THE FOX A D THE STORK.

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The Fox poured out some rich soup upon a flat dish, tantalising the Stork, and
making him look ridiculous, for the soup, being a liquid, foiled all the efforts of
his slender beak. In return for this, when the Stork invited the Fox, he brought
the dinner on the table in a jug with a long narrow neck, so that while he
himself easily inserted his beak and took his fill, the Fox was unable to do the
same, and so was properly paid off.

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THE HORSE A D THE STAG

THE HORSE A D THE STAG.

There was a Horse who had a meadow all to himself until a Stag came and

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began to injure the pasture. The Horse, eager to punish the Stag, asked a man
whether there was any way of combining to do this. "Certainly," said the Man,
"if you don't object to a bridle and to my mounting you with javelins in my
hand." The Horse agreed, and was mounted by the Man; but, instead of being
revenged on the Stag, he himself became a servant to the Man.

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THE COCK A D THE JEWEL

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THE COCK A D THE JEWEL.

A Barn-door Cock while scratching up his dunghill came upon a Jewel. "Oh,
why," said he, "should I find this glistening thing? If some jeweller had found it
he would have been beside himself with joy at the thought of its value; but to
me it is of no manner of use, nor do I care one jot about it; why, I would rather
have one grain of barley than all the jewels in the world."

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THE ASS, THE LIO , A D THE COCK

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THE ASS, THE LIO , A D THE COCK.

An Ass and a Cock were in a shed. A hungry Lion caught sight of the Ass, and
was on the point of entering the shed to devour him. But he took fright at the
sound of the Cock crowing (for people say that Lions are afraid at the voice of
a Cock), and turned away and ran. The Ass, roused to a lofty contempt of him
for being afraid of a Cock, went out to pursue him; but when they were some
distance away the Lion ate him up.

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THE WOLF A D THE LAMB

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THE WOLF A D THE LAMB.

A Wolf seeing a Lamb drinking at a brook, took it into his head that he would
find some plausible excuse for eating him. So he drew near, and, standing
higher up the stream, began to accuse him of disturbing the water and
preventing him from drinking.

The Lamb replied that he was only touching the water with the tips of his lips;
and that, besides, seeing that he was standing down stream, he could not
possibly be disturbing the water higher up. So the Wolf, having done no good
by that accusation, said: "Well, but last year you insulted my Father." The
Lamb replying that at that time he was not born, the Wolf wound up by saying:
"However ready you may be with your answers, I shall none the less make a
meal of you."

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THE MA A D HIS TWO WIVES

THE MA A D HIS TWO WIVES.

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A Man whose hair was turning gray had two Wives, one young and the other
old. The elderly woman felt ashamed at being married to a man younger than
herself, and made it a practice whenever he was with her to pick out all his
black hairs; while the younger, anxious to conceal the fact that she had an
elderly husband, used, similarly, to pull out the gray ones. So, between them, it
ended in the Man being completely plucked, and becoming bald.

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THE FOX WITHOUT A TAIL

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THE FOX WITHOUT A TAIL.

A Fox had had his tail docked off in a trap, and in his disgrace began to think
his life not worth living. It therefore occurred to him that the best thing he
could do was to bring the other Foxes into the same condition, and so conceal
his own deficiency in the general distress. Having assembled them all together
he recommended them to cut off their tails, declaring that a tail was an
ungraceful thing; and, further, was a heavy appendage, and quite superfluous.
To this one of them rejoined: "My good friend, if this had not been to your own
advantage you would never have advised us to do it."

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THE EAGLE A D THE FOX

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THE EAGLE A D THE FOX.

An Eagle and a Fox entered into a covenant of mutual affection and resolved to
live near one another, looking upon close intercourse as a way of strengthening
friendship. Accordingly the former flew to the top of a high tree and built her
nest, while the latter went into a bush at the foot and placed her litter there.
One day, however, when the Fox was away foraging, the Eagle, being hard
pressed for food, swooped down into the bush, snatched up the cubs and
helped her own fledglings to devour them. When the Fox came back and saw
what had happened she was not so much vexed at the death of her young ones
as at the impossibility of requital. For the Eagle having wings and she none,
pursuit was impossible. So she stood some distance away and did all that is left
for the weak and impotent to do—poured curses on her foe. But the Eagle was

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not to put off for long the punishment due to her violation of the sacred tie of
friendship. It happened that some country-people were sacrificing a goat, and
the Eagle flew down and carried away from the altar some of the burning flesh.
But when she had got it to her eyrie a strong wind got up and kindled into
flame the thin dry twigs of the nest, so that the eaglets, being too young to be
able to fly, were roasted, and fell to the ground. Then the Fox ran up and,
before the Eagle's eyes, devoured them every one.

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THE OX A D THE FROG

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THE OX A D THE FROG.

An Ox, as he was drinking at the water's edge, crushed a young Frog underfoot.
When the mother Frog came to the spot (for she happened to be away at the
time) she asked his brothers where he was. "He is dead, mother," they said; "a
few minutes ago a great big four-legged thing came up and crushed him dead
with his hoof." Thereupon the Frog began to puff herself out and ask whether
the animal was as big as that. "Stop, mother, don't put yourself about," they
said; "you will burst in two long before you can make yourself the same size as
that beast."

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THE HAWK CHASI G THE DOVE

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THE HAWK CHASI G THE DOVE.

A Hawk giving headlong chase to a Dove rushed after it into a farmstead, and
was captured by one of the farm men. The Hawk began to coax the man to let
him go, saying that he had never done him any harm. "No," rejoined the man;
"nor had this Dove harmed you."

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