Fables of Æsop and Other Eminent Mythologists/Fable CXLIX

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A Goat and a Vine.

A Goat that was hard Prefs'd by the Huntsmen, took Sanctuary in a Vineyard, and there he lay Close, under the Covert of a Vine. So soon as he thought the Danger was Over, he fell presently to Browzing upon the Leaves; and whether it was the Rusling, or the Motion of the Boughs, that gave the Huntsmen an Occasion for a Stricter Search, is Uncertain: but a Search there was, and in the End Discover'd the Goat, and shot him. He dy’d in fine, with this Conviction upon him, that his Punishment was Just, for offering Violence to his Protector.

The Moral.

Ingratitude Perverts all the Measures of Religion and Society, by making, it Dangerous to be Charitable and Good Natur'd.


Ingratitude is Abhorr'd both by God and Man, and there is a Certain Vengeance Attends those that Repay Evil for Good, and seek the Ruine of their Protectors. This Fable Exposes the Baseness of That Horrid Vice, and it Preaches Thankfulness and Justice. The Obligations of Hospicality and Protection are so Sacred, that Nothing can Absolve us from the Discharge of Those Duties. 'Tis True, that This particular Instance holds better in the Morality of the Application, then it does in the Reason of the Thing: for the Question is not what the Beast does in his Kind; but what Ought to be done, with a respect to such a Benefit receiv'd, If a man should Launch into the History and Practice of Humane Nature, we should find Nothing more Common there, then one Rebellion Started upon the Pardoning of Another; and the very Minions of Princes Linck’d in Conspiracies against their Master. But Those Things ever were, and ever will be, so long as Men are Men, and carry their Corruptions about them. There will be Goats, in fine, and there will be Vines, to answer This Moral, in Sæculæ Sæculorum.