Page:An argosy of fables.djvu/109

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69
ÆSOP

THE SHEPHERD AND THE SEA

A SHEPHERD moved down his flock to feed near the shore, and beholding the Sea lying in a smooth and breathless calm, he was seized with a strong desire to sail over it. So he sold all his sheep and bought a cargo of Dates, and loaded a vessel, and set sail. He had not gone far when a storm arose; his ship was wrecked, and his Dates and everything lost, and he himself with difficulty escaped to land. Not long after, when the Sea was again calm, and one of his friends came up to him and was admiring its repose, he said, "Have a care, my good fellow, of that smooth surface. It is only looking out for your Dates."

(Fable 370 Halm; Thomas James' translation.)


THE SWALLOW IN CHANCERY

A SWALLOW had built her nest under the eaves of a Court of Justice. Before her young ones could fly, a Serpent gliding out of his hole ate them all up. When the poor bird returned to her nest and found it empty, she began a pitiable wailing; but a neighbour suggesting, by way of comfort, that she was not the first bird who had lost her young, "True," she replied, "but it is not only my little ones that I mourn, but that I should have been wronged in that very place where the injured fly for justice."

(Fable 418 b. Halm; Thomas James' translation.)