Page:Fables of Aesop and other eminent mythologists.djvu/40

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The Life of ÆSOP.

Xanthus, I’le be a good as my Word; but you muſt firſt ſhew me how you came to know there was Treaſure, by the Inſcription: for I had rather be Maſter of That Secret, then of the very Gold it ſelf. Æſop Innocently opened the whole Matter to him. Look you Sr, ſays he, Here are theſe Letters. α; β; δ; ο; ε; θ; χ; which are to be thus Interpreted, α stands for ἀποβάς; β for βήματα; δ for τέσσαρα; ο for ὀρύξας; ε for ἑυρήσεις; θ for θησαυρὸν; χ for χρυσίου; In Engliſh, dig Four Paces from this Place, and you ſhall find Gold. Now, ſays Xanthus, if you are ſo good at finding out Gold, you and I muſt not part yet. Come Sir, ſays Æſop, (perceiving that his Maſter play’d Faſt and Looſe with him) To deal freely with you, This Treaſure belongs to King Dionyſius. How do you know that? ſays Xanthus. Why by the very Inſcription, ſays Æſop: for in That Sence, α ſtands for ἀπόδος; β for βασιλεῖ; δ for Διονυσίῳ; ο for ὃν; ε for εὗρες; θ for θησαυρὸν; χ for χρυσίου. In Engliſh, Give Dionyſius the Gold you have found. Xanthus began to be afraid when he heard it was The Kings Mony, and Charged Æſop to make no Words on’t, and he ſhould have the One Halfe. ’Tis well, ſays Æſop; but This is not ſo much your own Bounty yet, as The Intention of Him that Bury’d it; for the very ſame Letters direct the Dividing of it. As for Example once again Now. α ſtands for ἀνελόμενοι; β for βαδίσαντες; δ for διέλεσθε; ο for ὃν; ε for ἕυρετε; θ for θησαυρὸν; χ for χρυσίου; In Engliſh, Divide the Gold that you have found. Why then, ſays Xanthus, let us go home and ſhare it. No ſooner were they got Home, but Æſop was preſently lay’d by the Heels, for fear of Blabbing, crying out as Loud as he could, This comes of truſting to the Faith of a Philoſopher; The Reproch Nettled his Maſter: But however he cauſed his Shackles to be taken off upon’t, and Admoniſhed Æſop to keep his Licentious Tongue in a Little better Order for the future, if ever he hoped to have his Liberty. For That, ſays Æſop, Prophetically, I ſhall not Need to Beg it of you as a favour, for in a very few dayes I ſhall have my Freedom, whether you will or no.