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II.

called me

As a wolf was lapping at the head of a running brook, he spied a stray lamb paddling, at some distance, down the stream. Having made up his mind to seize her, he bethought hinıself how he might justify his violence. “ Villain !” said he, running up to her, “how dare you muddle the water that I am drinking?" “ Indeed," said the lamb, humbly, “I do not see how I can disturb the water, since it runs from you to me, not from me to you."

“ Be that as it may,” replied the wolf, “it was but a year ago

that

you many ill names.” “Oh, sir!” said the lamb, trembling, "a year ago I was not born.” “Well,” replied the wolf

, “if it was not you, it was your father, and that is all the same ;

but it is no use trying to argue me out of my supper ;”—and without another word he fell upon the poor helpless lamb and tore her to pieces.

A tyrant never wants a plea. And they have little chance of resisting the injustice of the powerful whose only weapons are innocence and reason.

Æsop's Fables, James's Translation.

III.

It was an old custom among sailors to carry about with them little Maltese lap-dogs, or monkeys, to amuse them on the voyage ; so it happened once upon a time that a man took with him a monkey as a companion on board ship. While they were off Sunium, the famous promontory of Attica, the ship was caught in a violent storm, and being capsized, all on board were thrown in the water, and had to swim for land as best they could. And among

them was the monkey. A dolphin saw him struggling, and, taking him for a man, went to his assistance, and bore him on his back

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straight for shore. When they had just got opposite Piræus, the harbour of Athens, the dolphin asked the monkey “ If he were an Athenian?” Yes," answered the monkey, “assuredly, and of one of the first families in the place.” “ Then of course, you know Piræus," said the dolphin. “Oh, yes," said the monkey, who thought it was the name of some distinguished citizen," he is one of my most intimate friends.” Indignant at so gross a deceit and falsehood, the dolphin dived to the bottom, and left the lying monkey to his fate.

Æsop's Fables, James's Translation.

IV.

A certain wealthy patrician, intending to treat the Rom people with some theatrical entertainment, publicly offered a reward to any one who would produce a novel spectacle. Incited by emulation, artists arrived from all parts to contest the prize, among whom a well-known witty mountebank gave out that he had a new kind of entertainment that had never yet been produced on any stage. This report being spread abroad, brought the whole city together. The theatre could hardly contain the number of spectators. And when the artist appeared alone upon the stage, without any apparatus, or any assistants, curiosity and suspense kept the spectators in profound silence. On a sudden he thrust down his head into his bosom, and mimicked the squeaking of a young pig, so naturally, that the audience insisted upon it that he had one under his cloak, and ordered him to be searched; which being done, and nothing appearing, they loaded him with the most extravagant applause.

A countryman among the audience observing what passed, “Oh!” says he, “ I can do better than this ; and immediately gave out that he would perform the next day. Accordingly on the morrow, a yet greater crowd was collected. Prepossessed, however, in favour of the mountebank, they came rather to laugh at the countryman than to pass a fair judgment on him.

They both came out upon the stage. The mountebank grunts away first, and calls forth the greatest clapping and applause. Then the countryman, pretending that he concealed a little pig under his garments (and he had, in fact, really got one) pinched its ear till he made it squeak. The people cried out that the mountebank had imitated the pig much more naturally, and hooted to the countryman to quit the stage ; but he, to convict them to their face, produced the real pig from his bosom. “And now, gentlemen, you may see,” said he, “what a pretty sort of judges you are !

It is easier to convince a man against his senses than against his will.

Æsop's Fables, James's Translation.

V.

In the days of old, when the frogs were all at liberty in the lakes, and had grown quite weary of following every one his own devices, they assembled one day together, and with no little clamour petitioned Jupiter to let them have a king to keep them in better order, and make them lead honester lives. Jupiter, knowing the vanity of their hearts, smiled at their request, and threw down a log into the lake, which by the splash and commotion it made, sent the whole commonwealth into the greatest terror and amazement. They rushed under the water and into the mud, and dared not come within ten leaps' length of the spot where it lay. At length one frog bolder than the rest ventured to pop his head above the water, and take a survey of their new king at a respectful distance. Presently, when they perceived the log lie stock-still, others began to swim up to it and around it; til? by degrees, growing bolder and bolder, they

at last leaped upon it, and treated it with the greatest contempt. Dissatisfied with so tame a ruler, they forthwith petitioned Jupiter a second time for another and more active king. Upon which he sent them a stork, who no sooner arrived among them than he began laying hold of them and devouring them one by one as fast as he could, and it was in vain that they endeavoured to escape him. Then they sent Mercury with a private message to Jupiter, beseeching him that he would take pity on them once

more ; but Jupiter replied, that they were only suffering the punishment due to their folly, and that another time they would learn to let well alone, ard not be dissatisfied with their natural condition.

Æsop's Fables, James's Translation.

VI.

A man who cared more for his notes than his nets, seeing some fish in the sea, began playing on his pipe, thinking that they would jump out on shore. But finding himself disappointed, he took a casting-net, and inclosing a great multitude of fish, drew them to land. When he saw the fish dancing and flapping about, he smiled and said, “ Since you would not dance when I piped, I will have none of your dancing now."

It is a great art to do the right thing at the right season.

Ibid.

THE END

LONDON :
BRADBURY AND EVANS, PRINTERS, WRITZIRIARE.

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