The Sow and the Wolf

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Caxton's translation (1484)[edit]

Of the sowe and of the wulf

It is not good to byleue all suche thynges as men may here / wherof Esope sayth suche a fable / Of a wulf whiche came toward a sowe / whiche wepte and made sorowe for the grete payne that she felte / by cause she wold make her yong pygges / And the wulf came to her sayeng / My suster make thy yong pygges surely / for ioyously and with good wylle / I shalle helpe & serue the / And the sowe sayd thenne to hym / go forth on thy waye / for I haue no nede ne myster of suche a seruaunt / For as long as thow shalt stonde here I shal not delyuere me of my charge / For other thyng thow desyrest not / than to haue and ete them / The wulf thenne wente / and the sowe was anone delyuerd of her pygges / For yf she had byleuyd hym she had done a sorowful byrthe /

And thus he that folysshly byleueth / folysshly it happeth to hym

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


A Wolf came to a Sow, that was just lying down, and very kindly offer’d to take care of her Litter. The Sow as civilly thank’d her for her Love, and desir’d she wou’d be pleas’d to stand off a little, and do her the good Office at a distance.

THE MORAL There are no Snares so dangerous as those that are laid for us under the Name of good Offices.