The Fly and the Draught-Mule

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The Fly and the Draught-Mule
by Aesop

Caxton's translation (1484)[edit]

Of the mule and of the flye

Somme maken grete menaces / whiche haue no myghte / Wherof Esope reherceth suche a fable / Of a carter / whiche ladde a Charyot or carte / whiche a Mule drewe forthe / And by cause the Mule wente not fast ynough / the flye sayd to the Mule / Ha a payllart Mule / why goost thow not faster / I shalle soo egrely pryke the / that I shalle make the to go lyghtely / And the Mule answerd to the flye / god kepe and preserue the mone fro the wolues / For I haue no grete drede ne fere of the / But I drede and doubte sore my mayster / whiche is vpon me / whiche constrayneth me to fulfylle his wylle / And more I oughte to drede and doubte hym more / that the / whiche arte mought / and of no valewe ne myght /

And thus men ought not to sette by ne doubte them / whiche haue no myght ne that ben of no valewe

Townsend's translation (1887)[edit]

The Fly and the Draught-Mule

A Fly sat on the axle-tree of a chariot, and addressing the Draught-Mule said, "How slow you are! Why do you not go faster? See if I do not prick your neck with my sting." The Draught-Mule replied, "I do not heed your threats; I only care for him who sits above you, and who quickens my pace with his whip, or holds me back with the reins. Away, therefore, with your insolence, for I know well when to go fast, and when to go slow."