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Aesop's Fables: Caxton (1484)

3.2. Of the lyon and of the hors
(Perry 187)

Eche one ought to eschewe dyssymylyng / for none ought to were on hym the skyn of the wulf / but that he wyll be lyke to hym / For none ought to fayne hym self other than suche as he is / As to vs reherceth this fable / Of a lyon whiche sawe a hors / whiche ete grasse in a medowe / And for to fynde somme subtylyte and manere for to ete and deuoure hym / approched to hym / and sayd / god kepe the my broder / I am a leche / and with al a good phisycyen / And by cause that I see that thow hast a sore foote / I am come hyther for to hele the of hit / And the hors knewe wel all his euyl thought And sayd to the lyon / My broder I thanke the gretely / and thow arte welcome to me / I praye the that thow wylt make my foote hole / And thenne the lyon sayd to the hors / late see thy foote / And as the lyon loked on hit / the hors smote hym on the forhede / In suche wyse that he brake his hede and fyll oute of his mynde / & the lyon felle to the ground / And soo wonderly he was hurte / that almost he myght not ryse vp ageyne / And thenne sayd the lyon in hym self / I am wel worthy to haue had this / For he that sercheth euylle / euyll cometh to hym / And by cause that I dyssymyled and fayned my self to be a medycyn / where as I shold haue shewed my self a grete enemye / I therfore haue receyued good reward /
And therfore euery body oughte to shewe hym self suche as he is /


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.