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210. A Lion and a Goat.

A Lion spy'd a goat upon the Crag of a high Rock, and so call'd out to him after this manner: Hadst not thou better come down now, says the Lion, into this delicate fine Meadow? Well, says the Goat, and so perhaps I would, if it were not for the Lion that's there before me: But I'm for a Life of Safety rather than for a Life of Pleasure. Your Pretence is the Filling of my Belly with good grass; but your Bus'ness is the Cramming of of your own Guts with good Goats-Flesh: So that 'tis for your own Sake, not Mine, that you'd have me come down.

The Moral. There's no Trusting to the Formal Civilities and Invitations of an Enemy, and his Reasonings are but Snares when he pretends to advise us for our Good.  


211. A Vulture's Invitation.

The Vulture took up a Fit of a very good Humour once, and invited the whole Nation of the Birds to make merry with him, upon the Anniversary of his Birth-Day. The Company came; the Vulture shuts the Doors upon them, and Devours his Guests instead of Treating Them.

The Moral. There's no Meddling with any Man that has neither Faith, Honour nor Good Nature in him. 


212. Bustards and Cranes.

Some Sportsmen that were abroad upon Game, spy'd a Company of Bustards and Cranes a Feeding together, and so made in upon 'em as fast astheir Horses could carry them. The Cranes that were light, took Wing immediately, and saved themselves, but the Bustards were Taken; for they were Fat, and Heavy, and count not Shift so well as the Other.

The Moral. Light of Body and Light of Purse, comes much to a Case in troublesome Times; only the one saves himself by his Activity, and the other 'scapes because he is not worth the Taking. 


213. Jupiter and an Ape.

Jupiter took a Fancy once to summon all the Birds and Beasts under the Canopy of Heaven to appear before him with their Brats, and their little Ones, to see which of 'em had the prettiest Children: And who but the Ape to put herself foremost, with a Brace of her Cubs in her Arms, for the greatest Beauties in the Company. 


214. An Eagle and an Owl.

A Certain Eagle that had a mind to be well serv'd, took up a Resolution of preferring those that she found most agreeable, for Person and Address; and so there past an Order of Council for all Her Majesty's Subjects to bring their Children to Court. They came accordingly, and every one in their Turn was for advancing their own: 'Till at last the Owl fell a mopping, and twinkling, and told Her Majesty, that if a gracious Mien and Countenance might entitle any of her Subjects to a Preference, she doubted not but her Brood would be look'd upon in the first Place; for they were as like the Mother as if they had been spit out of her Mouth. Upon this the Board fell all into a Fit of Laughing, and call'd another Cause.

The Moral of the two Fables above.

No Body ever saw an ill-favour'd Fool in the World yet, Man or Woman, that had not a good Opinion of his own Wit and Beauty. 


215. An Oak and a Willow.

There happen'd a Controversy betwixt an Oak and a Willow, upon the Subject of Strength, Constancy, and Patience, and which of the Two should have the Preference. The Oak upbraided the Willow, that it was weak and wavering, and gave way to every Blast. The Willow made no other Reply, than that the next Tempest should resolve that Question. Some very little while after this Dispute, it blew a very violent Storm. The Willow ply'd and gave way to the Gust, and still recover'd it self again, without receiving any Damage: But the Oak was stubborn, and chose rather to Break than Bend.

The Moral. A stiff and stubborn Ostinacy, is not so much Firmness and Resolution, as Wilfulness. A Wife and a Steady Man bends only in the Prospect of Rising again. 


216. A Fisherman and a Little Fish.

As an Angler was at his Sport, he had the Hap to draw up a very little Fish from among the Fry. The poor Wretch begg'd heartily to be thrown in again; for, says he, I'm not come to my Growth yet, and if you'll let me alone 'till I am bigger, your Purchase will turn to a better Account. Well! says the Man, but I'd rather have a little Fish in Possession, than a great One in Reversion.

The Moral. 'Tis Wisdom to take what we may, while 'tis to be had, even if it were but for Morality sake.


217. An Ant and a Grasshopper.

As the Ants were airing their Provisions one Winter, up comes a hungry Grasshopper to'em, and begs a Charity. They told him that he should have wrought in Summer, if he would not have wanted in Winter. Well, says the Grasshopper, but I was not idle neighter; for I sung out the Whole Season. Nay then, said they, you shall e'en do well to make a Merry Year on't, and dance in Winter to the Tune that you sung in Summer.

The Moral. A Life of Sloth is the Life of a Brute; but Action and Industry is the Bus'ness of a Great, a Wife, and a Good Man.


218. A Bull and a Goat.

A Bull that was hard press'd by a Lion, ran directly toward a Goat-Stall, to save himself. The Goat made good the Door, and Head to Head disputed the Passage with him. Well! says the Bull with Indignation. If I had not a more dangerous Enemy at my Heels, than I have before me, I should soon teach you the Difference betwixt the Force of a Bull and of a Goat.

The Moral. 'Tis no Time to stand quarrelling with every little Fellow, when Men of Power are pursuing us upon the Heel to the very Death. 


219. A Nurse and a Wolf.

As a Wolf was hunting up and down for his Supper, he pass'd by a Door where a little Child was Bawling, and an old Woman Chiding it. Leave your Vixen-Tricks, says the Woman, or I'll throw ye to the Wolf. The Wolf over-heard her, and waited a pretty while, in hope the Woman would be as good as her Word; but no Child coming, away goes the Wolf for that Bout. He took his Walk the same Way again toward the Evening, and the Nurse he found had chang'd her Note; for she was then Muzzling and Cokesing of it. That's a good Dear, says she. If the Wolf comes for my Child, we'll e'ev beat his Brains out. The Wolf went muttering away upon't. There's no medling with People, says he, that say one Thing and mean another.

The Moral. 'Tis Fear more than Love that makes good Men, as well as good Children, and when fair Words and good Counsel will not prevail upon us, we must be frighted into our Duty.


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