Page:Fables of Aesop and other eminent mythologists.djvu/64

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Æſop's FABLES.

the Teeth outward: Let him, I ſay, but ſet the One in Ballance againſt the Other and he ſhall find himſelf Miſerable, even in the very Glutt of his Delights. To ſay All in a Word; Let him but ſet the Comforts of a Life ſpent in Noiſe, Formality, and Tumult, againſt the Bleſſings of a Retreat with Competency and Freedom, and then Caſt up his Account.

What Man then, that is not ſtark Mad, will Voluntarily Expoſe himſelf to the Imperious Brow-beatings and Scorns of Great Men! to have a Dagger ſtruck to his Heart in an Embrace; To be torn to pieces by Calumny, nay to be a Knave in his own Defence! for the Honeſter the Worſe, in a Vicious Age, and where 'tis a Crime not to be like the Company. Men of that Character are not to be Read, and Underſtood by their Words, but by their Intereſts; their Promiſes and Proteſtations are no longer Binding than while they are Profitable. But Baudoin has done ſo well upon this Fable, that there needs no more to be ſaid to't.

Fab. XII.

A Crow and a Muſcle.

THere was one of Your Royſton-Crows, that lay Battering upon a Muſcle, and could not for his Blood break the Shell to come at the Fiſh. A Carrion-Crow, in this Interim, comes up, and tells him, that what he could not do by Force, he might do by Strategem. Take this Muſcle up into the Air, ſays the Crow, as High as you can carry it and then let him fall upon that Rock there; His Own Weight, You ſhall ſee, ſhall break him. The Royſtoner took his Advice, and it ſucceeded accordingly; but while the One was upon Wing, the Other ſtood Lurching upon the Ground, and flew away with the Fiſh.

The Moral.

Charity begins at Home, they ſay, and moſt People are kind to their Neighbours for their Own ſakes.


It is no longer an Amity of Virtue, but of Deſign, when we ſeek our Own Intereſt, under Colour of obliging Others; and men of Frankneſs and Simplicity, are the moſt eaſily Impos'd upon, where they have Craft and Treachery to deal withal. The Impoſture, in Truth, can hardly Miſcarry, where there is a full Confidence on the One ſide, and a Plauſible Addreſs and Diſpoſition on the Other; Wherefore 'tis good to be Wary, but ſo as not to be Inexorable, where there is but any place for Charity it ſelf to hope for better things; Not but that a Supine, Credulous Facility expoſes a man to be both a Prey, and a Laughing ſtock, at once. 'Tis not for us to judg of the good Faith of mens Intentions, but by the Light we receive from their Works. We may ſet up this for a Rule however, that where the Adviſer is to be evidently the Bettet for the Council, and the Adviſed, in Manifeſt Danger to be the worſe for't, there's no Medling. The Crow's Counſel was good enough in itſelf; but it was given with a fraudulent Intention.