<< Home Page | Caxton Index

Aesop's Fables: Caxton (1484)

4.17. Of the Ant and of the sygale
(Perry 373)

It is good to purueye hym self in the somer season of suche thynges / wherof he shalle myster and haue nede in wynter season / As thow mayst see by this present fable / Of the sygalle / whiche in the wynter tyme went and demaunded of the ant somme of her Corne for to ete / And thenne the Ant sayd to the sygall / what hast thow done al the somer last passed / And the sygalle ansuerd / I haue songe / And after sayd the ante to her / Of my corne shalt not thou none haue / And yf thow hast songe alle the somer / daunse now in wynter /
And therfore there is one tyme for to doo some labour and werk / And one tyme for to haue rest / For he that werketh not ne doth no good / shal haue ofte at his teeth grete cold and lacke at his nede /


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.