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470. A Farmer and his Servant. 


471. A Satyr and Fire.

The Poets tell us, that Prometheus stole some of Jupiter's Fire, and brought it down to us from Heaven, and that was our Original of it. A Satyr was so Transported with the Glory and the Splendor of this Spirit, that down on his Knees he falls, and would need Kiss and Embrace it. Have a care of your Beard, says Prometheus; nay, and of your Chin too; for 'twill both Singe and Burn ye. And why, says the Satyr, would you bring down so Glorious a Temptation then to Plague the World withal? Why, says Prometheus, there were no Living without it; only the Mischief lies in the Abuse. It Burns, 'tis true, but then consider the Heat and the Light that comes along with it, and you shall find it serves us to all manner of Profitable, Delightful and Necessary Purposes, provided only that we make a Right Use of it.

The Moral. There's not One Grain in the whole Composition of the Universe, either too Much, or too Little; Nothing to be Added, Nothing to be Spar'd; nor so much as any One Particle of it that Mankind may not be either the Better or Worse for, according as 'tis Apply'd. The most Sovereign Antidotes have Poison in them; the most necessary Means of Life may be Corrupted or Perverted, and render'd the most Destructdive to us: As an Infected Air, for the purpose, a Raging Sea, or a Consuming Fire: But let this Air continue as God made it; the Waters be kept within their Bounds, and the Fire from breaking out into Conflagrations, and there's no Living without them under this Regulation.  


472. A Generous Lion

As a Lion was Bestriding an Ox that he had newly Pluck'd down, a Robber passing by, Cry'd out to him, Half-Shares. You should go your Snip says the Lion, if you were not so forward to be your own Carver. The Thief had but just turn'd his Back, when up comes an Innocent Traveller, that so soon as ever he saw the Lion, was going off again. The Lion bad him Fear Nothing, but take part of the Prey with him in Reward of his Modesty; Whereupon the Lion went immediately into the Woods to make Way for the Traveller.

The Moral. If Great Men in the World would but follow the Example of the Lion in this Fable, Sharpers should not Ride in Triumph any longer, while Honest Men go out at the Elbows.  


473. A Brother and a Sister. 


474. The Bees and the Drones.

There was a Controversie betwixt the Bees and the Drones about some Hony-Combs that were found in a Hollow Oak. They both laid Claim to 'em, and a Wasp was to be Judge, as one that well understood the Matter. Upon the Tryal of the Cause, they seem'd both to stand fair for't, as being of the same Size, Make and Colour. Now, says the Wasp, I am upon my Oath, and therefore let me see them work their Combs, and fill 'em here before me in the Court, and I shall be then the better able to Understand the Merits of the Cause. The Drones would not Agree to't, and so the Verdict went for the Bees.

The Moral. Pretences go a great way in the World with Men that will take Fair Words and Magisterial Looks for Current Payment: But the short and the certain way of bringing the Cause to a Fair Issue, is to put the Pretenders to the Test of Doing what they say. 


475. A Fox and a Dragon.

As a Fox was Earthing Himself, he Digg'd so Deep, 'till at last he came to a Dragon's Den, where he found a Prodigious Mass of Hidden Treasure. He made his Excuse for his Intrusion, and begg'd the Dragon's leave but to Ask him One Question. Pray (says he) where's the Pleasure or the Profit of Spending all your Days in a Hole thus, without either Light or Sleep? Why 'tis my Fate, says the Dragon, and there's no more to be said. Here's a Monstrous Hord, says the Fox, and I cannot find that you either Give or Use One Peny out of all this Store. 'Tis a Misery, says the other, that I am Doom'd to, and there's no Avoiding it. Why then says the Fox, He that's Born under Your Stars is certainly the most Wretched of Creatures.

The Moral. We are apt to do Amiss, and to Persevere in so Doing, and then to lay the Blame upon our Stars, on our Fortune as we call it, which in truth, is neither Better nor Worse then making Heaven the Author of Evil. The very sooth of it is, that an Ill Habit has the Force of that which we call an Ill Fate; and we Tye up our Selves, where Providence has left us at Liberty.


476. The Shipwreck of Simonides.

Simonides was a Learned Man, and an Excellent Poet, especially in the way of Panegyrick, or Encomium, to the Honour of the Great Men of his Age; insomuch that he made his Fortune by't. After some time spent abroad, and a great deal of Mony got by his Encomia upon the Hero's of those Times, he put Himself and his Treasure Aboard for his own Country again, in an Old Rotten Vessel. They fell into Foul Weather, and the Ship Miscarry'd. In the Hurry of the Shipwreck, while the Passengers were at their Wits end how to Save that which they took to be of the most Value, Simonides was the only Man that appear'd Unconcern'd, notwithstanding that his whole Fortune was at Stake in the Cargo. One Ask'd him, why he did not look after his Goods. Why so I do, says he, for all the Gods that I pretend to, I have now About me. In this Extremity, some made a shift to Swim A-shore; the greater Part  sunk under the weight of what they thought to Preserve; and in the mean time came in a Crew of Free-Booters, that Rifled and Stript those that Scap'd. The Men that were Paddling for their Lives, made a Port, where by great Providence there liv'd a Famous Philosopher that was a Passionate Admirer, and a Diligent Reader of Simonides, and hiw Writings. This Philosopher upon the First Encounter, found out Simonides by his very Discourse; took him into his House, Cloath'd him, Furnish'd him with Mony, Provided him Servants, and put him into a Condition in fine, to Live in Honour and Plenty. As Simonides was walking the Streets a while after, he saw several of his Shipwreck'd Companions begging their Bread from Door to Door, with a Certificate of this Misfortune. Well, says Simonides, and d'ye not find it True now as I told ye, that a Man of Letters and of Integrity, carries all his Goods about him?

The Moral. The Moral is no more then this, that Virtue shall never fail of a Reward in the Conclusion. 


477. Two Men and a Halter. 


478. A Mountebank and a Bear.

As a Quack was Exposing his Bills and his med'cines upon a Stage, in the Quality both of a Doctor and a Jack-Pudding, Thousands and Thousands of People Gaping and Staring at him with as much Reverence and Attention, as if every Word that came out of his Mouth had dropt from the Lips of an Oracle: It happen'd just in the Nick of this Interim, that an Officer of Paris-Garden was Leading one of his Majesties Bears, that way, with a Ring through the Nose of him. The Rabble immediately upon the Novelty of this Adventure, quitted the Mountebank, and Gather'd in Multitudes about the Bear, Shouting and Huzzaing along with him, as if it had been a Procession to a Pope-burning, or peradventure some more Pompous Spectacle. The Bear upon this Noise and Bussle (though none of the Quickest-Witted Animals) made a Speech to the Crowd after the best manner. Heark ye my Friends, says he, I'm Glad to see you so Merry at my being led like a Sot by the Nose thus; but pray let's Laugh at one another by Turns, for you are every Jot as Ridiculous to Me, as I am to You, the Mobile are led by the Ears just as the Bears are led by the Noses; and that's all the Difference in the Case betwixt us.

The Moral. The Mobile are altogether for Noise and Novelty, and One New Thing drives out another: Nay, we take Pleasure in the very Spectacle that Effectually Abuses us; as a Bear with a Ring in his Nose, is no more then an Emblem of every Man of us, for we are led as much as He, some by the Ear or Eye; others by our Lusts and Affections: But in fine, every Soul of us some way or other. 


479. A Skittish Horse.

There goes a Story of a Restiff, Skittish Jade, that had gotten such a Trick of Rising, Starting, and Flying out at his own Shadow, that he was not to be Endur'd; for the Discipline of the Spur and the Bit was wholly Lost upon him. When his Rider found that there was no Reclaiming of him by the Ordinary Methods of Horsemanship, he took him to task upon the Philosophy and Logick of the Bus'ness. 'Tis only a Shadow, says he, that you Boggle at: And what is that Shadow, but so much Air that the Light cannot come at? It has neither Teeth nor Claws, you see, nor any thing else to Hurt ye: 'Twill neither Break your Shins, nor Block up your Passage; and what are you afraid of then? Well says the Horse, (who it seems had more Wit then his Master) 'tis no new Thing in the World, even for the greatest Heroes to shrink under the Impression of Panick Terrors. What are all the Sprights, Ghosts and Goblins that you your Selves Tremble at, but Phantomes and Chimera's, that are bred and shap'd in your own Brain?

The Moral. Nature and Reason have Fortify'd us, if we will but make use of our Strength, against all Difficulties that can Befall us in this World. But if we will stand Boggling at Imaginary Evils, let us never Blame a Horse, for starting at a Shadow.


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