Page:An argosy of fables.djvu/108

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68
CLASSICAL FABLES

So they set to work, but they all burst themselves with drinking before ever they came near the Hides.

They who aim at an object by unreasonable means, are apt to ruin themselves in the attempt.

(Fable 218 Halm; Thomas James' translation.)


THE LION AND THE BULLS

THREE Bulls fed in a field together in the greatest peace and amity. A Lion had long watched them in the hope of making prize of them, but found that there was little chance for him so long as they kept all together. He therefore began secretly to spread evil and slanderous reports of one against the other, till he had fomented a jealousy and distrust amongst them. No sooner did the Lion see that they avoided one another, and fed each by himself apart, than he fell upon them singly, and so made an easy prey of them all.

The quarrels of friends are the opportunities of foes.

(Fable 394 b. Halm; Thomas James translation.)


THE RAVEN AND THE SWAN

A RAVEN envied a Swan the whiteness of her plumage; and, thinking that its beauty was owing to the water in which she lived, he deserted the altars where he used to find his livelihood, and betook himself to the pools and streams. There he plumed and dressed himself and washed his coat, but all to no purpose, for his plumage remained as black as ever, and he himself soon perished for want of his usual food.

Change of scene is not change of nature.

(Fable 206 Halm; Thomas James' translation.)