Page:An argosy of fables.djvu/66

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30
CLASSICAL FABLES

THE SWALLOW AND THE RAVEN

THE Swallow and the Raven contended which was the finer bird. The Raven ended by saying, "Your beauty is but for the summer, but mine will stand many winters."

Durability is better than show.

(Fable 415 Halm; Thomas James' translation.)


THE MONKEY AND THE DOLPHIN

IT was an old custom among sailors to carry about with them little Maltese lap-dogs, or Monkeys, to amuse them on the voyage; so it happened once upon a time that a man took with him a Monkey as a companion on board ship. While they were off Sunium, the famous promontory of Attica, the ship was caught in a violent storm, and being capsized, all on board were thrown in the water, and had to swim for land as best they could. And among them was the Monkey. A Dolphin saw him struggling, and, taking him for a man went to his assistance and bore him on his back straight for shore. When they had just got opposite Piraeus, the harbour of Athens, the Dolphin asked the Monkey if he were an Athenian. "Yes," answered the Monkey, "assuredly, and of one of the first families in the place." "Then of course, you know Piræus," said the Dolphin. "Oh, yes," said the Monkey, who thought it was the name of some distinguished citizen, "He is one of my most intimate friends." Indignant at so gross a deceit and falsehood, the Dolphin dived to the bottom and left the lying Monkey to his fate.

(Fable 363 Halm; Thomas James' translation.)