The fables of Aesop by William Caxton (Jacobs)/Vol. II/Liber Primus/Fable 18

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The subtyl historyes and fables of Esope, Liber Primus (1889)
by Aesop, translated by William Caxton, edited by Joseph Jacobs
Fable 18: The Lyon and the Rat
Aesop3771709The subtyl historyes and fables of Esope, Liber Primus — Fable 18: The Lyon and the Rat1889William Caxton

¶ The xviij fable is of the lyon and of the rat /

THe myghte and puyssant must pardonne and forgyue to the lytyll and feble / and ought to kepe hym fro al euylle / For oftyme the lytyll may wel gyue ayde and help to the grete / wherof Esope reherceth to vs suche a fable Of a lyon whiche slepte in a forest and the rats desported and playd aboute hym / It happed that the rat wente vpon the lyon / wherfore the lyon awoke / and within his clawes or ongles he tooke the rat /   ¶ And whanne the rat sawe hym thus taken & hold sayd thus to the lyon / My lord pardonne me / For of my deth noughte ye shalle Wynne / For I suppofed not to haue done to yow ony harme ne displaysyre /   ¶ Thenne thought the lyon in hym self that no worship ne glorye it were to put it to dethe / wherfor he graunted his pardonne and lete hym go within a lytyll whyle / After this it happed so that the same lyon was take at a grete trappe / and as he sawe hym thus caught and taken / he beganne to crye and make sorowe / and then whan the rat herd hym crye / he approched hym & demaunded of hym wherfor he cryed / And the lyon ansuerd to hym / Seest thou not how I am take & bound with this gynne / Thenne sayd the ratte to hym / My lord I wylle not be vnkynde / but euer I shal remembre the grace whiche thou hast done to me / And if I can I shall now helpe the / The ratte beganne thenne to byte the lace or cord / and so long he knawed it that the lace brake / And thus the lyon escaped /   ¶ Therfore this fable techeth vs how that a man myghty and puyssant ought not to dysprayse the lytyll / For somtyme he that can no body hurte ne lette may at a nede gyue help and ayde to the grete