The Ass, the Fox, and the Lion

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L'Estrange's translation (1692)[edit]


As an Ass and a Fox were together upon the Ramble, a Lyon meets him by the Way. The Fox’s Heart went Pit-a-Pat; but however, to make the Best of a bad Game, he sets a good Face on’t, and up he sets a good Face on’t, and up he goes to the Lyon; Sir, says he, I am come to offer your Majesty a piece of Service, and I’ll cast my self upon your Honour for my own Security. If you have a Mind to my companion the Ass here, ‘tis but a Word speaking, and you shall have him Immediately. Let it be done then, says the Lyon. So the Fox Trepann’d the Ass into the Toyl, and the Lyon, when he found he had him sure, began with the Fox himself, and after that, for his Second course, made up his Meal with the Other.

THE MORAL. We love the Treason, but we hate the Traytor.

Townsend's translation (1887)[edit]

The Ass, the Fox, and the Lion

The Ass and the Fox, having entered into partnership together for their mutual protection, went out into the forest to hunt. They had not proceeded far when they met a Lion. The Fox, seeing imminent danger, approached the Lion and promised to contrive for him the capture of the Ass if the Lion would pledge his word not to harm the Fox. Then, upon assuring the Ass that he would not be injured, the Fox led him to a deep pit and arranged that he should fall into it. The Lion, seeing that the Ass was secured, immediately clutched the Fox, and attacked the Ass at his leisure.