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Aesop's Fables: Caxton (1484)

1.15. Of the rauen and of the foxe
(Perry 124)

They that be glad and Ioyefull of the praysynge of flaterers oftyme repente them therof / wherof Esope reherceth to vs suche a fable / A rauen whiche was vpon a tree / and held with his bylle a chese / the whiche chese the fox desyred moche to haue / wherfore the foxe wente and preysed hym by suche wordes as folowen / O gentyll rauen thow art the fayrest byrd of alle other byrdes / For thy fethers ben so fayr so bryght and so resplendysshynge / and can also so wel synge yf thow haddest the voys clere and small thow sholdest be the moost happy of al other byrdes / And the foole whiche herd the flaterynge wordes of the foxe beganne to open his bylle for to synge / And thenne the chese fylle to the grounde / and the foxe toke and ete hit / and whan the rauen sawe that for his vayn glorye he was deceyued wexed heuy and sorowfull / And repented hym of that he had byleued the foxe /
And this fable techeth vs / how men ought not to be glad ne take reioysshynge in the wordes of caytyf folke / ne also to leue flatery ne vaynglory

Caxton published his edition of Aesop's fables in 1484. There are modern reprints by Joseph Jacobs (D. Nutt: London, 1889) and more recently by Robert Lenaghan (Harvard University Press: Cambridge, 1967). Lenaghan's edition is available at amazon.com.