The fables of Aesop by William Caxton (Jacobs)/Vol. II/Liber Primus/Fable 6

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The subtyl historyes and fables of Esope, Liber Primus  (1889)  by Aesop, edited by Joseph Jacobs, translated by William Caxton
Fable 6: The Lyon, the Cowe, the Goote and the ſheep

Numbered 339 in the Perry Index. Translated from French by William Caxton and first published in 1484. An annotated version of this text is available.

¶ The vj fable is of the lyon and of the cowe / of the goote and of the sheep

Men sayen that it is not good to ete plommes with his lord / ne to the poure it is not good to have partage and dyuysyon with hym which is ryche & myghty / wherof Esope reherceth suche a fable / The cowe / the gote & the sheep went ones a huntyng & chase / with the lyon and toke a herte / And whanne they cake / [came] to haue theyr parte / the lyon sayd to them / My lordes I late you wete / that the fyrst part is myn by cause I am your lord / the second by cause / I am stronger than ye be / the thyrd / by cause I ranne more swifter than ye dyd / and who so ever toucheth the fourthe parte / he shall be myn mortal enemy / And thus he took for hym selfe alone the herte / And therfore this fable techeth to al folk / that the poure ought not to hold felauship with the myghty / For the myghty man is neuer feythfull to the poure