Fables of Æsop and Other Eminent Mythologists/Fable CCVI

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3937482Fables of Æsop and Other Eminent Mythologists — Fable CCVI: A Lyon, Ass and FoxRoger L'Estrange

Fab. CCVI.

A Lyon, Ass and Fox.

THere was a Hunting-Match agreed upon betwixt a Lyon; an Ass, and a Fox, and they were to go Equal Shares in the Booty. They ran down a Brave Stag, and the Ass was to Divide the Prey; which he did very Honestly and Innocently into Three Equal Parts, and left the Lyon to take his Choice: Who never Minded the Dividend; but in a Rage Worry'd the Ass, and then bad the Fox Divide; who had the Wit to make Only One Share of the Whole, saving a Miserable Pittance that he Reserv'd for Himself. The Lyon highly approv’d of his Way of Distribution; but Prethee Reynard, says he, who taught thee to Carve? Why truly says the Fox, I had an Ass to my Master; and it was His Folly made me Wise.


There must be no Sharers in Sovereignty. Court-Conscience is Policy. The Folly of One Man makes Another Man Wise; as one Man Grows Rich upon the Ruines of Another.


THIS Fable is sufficiently Moralliz'd Elsewhere; but it gives us further to Understand, that Experience is the Mistress of Knaves as well as of Fools. Here was the Innocence of the Ass, and the Craft of the Fox; Both in One. He sav'd his Skin by the Modesty of the Division, and left enough for himself too, over and above! For Affes are No great Venison Eaters.