Page:Fables of Aesop and other eminent mythologists.djvu/27
The Life of ÆSOP.
ter by one half in the Afternoon, than it had been in the Morning: And after the next Meal he had Nothing left him to Carry, but an Empty Basket. His Fellow-Slaves began Now to Underſtand, that Æſop was not ſo Arrant a Fool as they took him for; and that they Themſelves had not half the Wit they Thought they had.
C a p. III.
The Sale of Æſop to Xanthus.
UPON the Merchants Arrival at Epheſus, he made a quick Riddance of All his Slaves but Three. That is to ſay, a Muſician, an Orator, and Æſop. He dreſſ'd up the Two Former in Habits anſwerable to their Profeſſion, and Carry'd them to Samos, as the Likelyeſt Place for a Chapman. He shew'd them there in the open Market, with Æſop for a Fool betwixt them; which ſome People took much offence at. While they were attending upon the Place, there came among other Samians, one Xanthus an Eminent Philoſopher of that City, with a Train of his Diſciples at his Heels. The Philoſopher was mightily pleaſed with the Two Youths, and ask’d them one after another about their Profeſſion, and what they could do. The one told him he could do any thing, the other that he could do ev’ry thing; and this ſet Æſop a laughing at ’em. The Philoſophers Pupils would Needs know what it was that made Æſop ſo merry. Why ſays he, if the Queſtion had been put by your Maſter, I ſhould have told him the reaſon of it.
Xanthus in the mean time was beating the Price of the Two other Slaves, but the Terms were ſo high, that he was juſt upon turning about to go his way, Only his Pupils would needs have him put the ſame Questions firſt to the Ill favour’d Fellow, that he had done to the other Two; and ſo Xanthus, for the Humour ſake, Interrogated Æſop what He could do. Nothing at all, ſays he. How comes That ſays the Philosopher? My Companions, ſays the Other, Undertakes every thing, and there’s Nothing left for me to do. This gave them to Underſtand, that the Man knew well Enough what he ſay’d, and what he Laugh’d at. Well! ſays Xanthus, but if I ſhould give Money for you Now, would you be Good and Honeſt? I’le be That, ſays Æſop whether you