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Aesop's Fables: Caxton (1484)

Avyan 6. Of the two dogges
(Perry 332)

He that taketh within hym self vayne glorye of that thynge / by the whiche he shold humble hym self is a very fole / as hit appereth by this fable / of a fader of famylle / whiche had two dogges / of the whiche the one withoute ony barkyng bote the folke / & the other dyd barke & bote not / And whan the fader of famyll perceyued the shrewdnes and malyce of the dogge that barkyd not he henge on his nek a belle / to the ende that men shold beware of hym / wherfore the dogge was ouer prowd and fyers / and beganne to dyspreyse alle the other dogges / of the whiche one of the moost auncyent sayd to hym in this manere / O fole beest / now perceyue I wel thy foly and grete wodenesse to suppose / that this belle is gyuen to the for thyn owne deserte and meryte / but certaynly hit is not soo / For hit is taken to the for thy demerytes / and by cause of thy shrewdnesse / and grete treason / for to shewe / that thow arte fals and traytour /
And therfore none oughte to be Ioyeful and gladde of that thynge / wherof he oughte to be tryst and sorowful / as many foles done / whiche make Ioye of theyr vyces and euyll dedes / for a moche fole were the theef whiche that men ledde for to be hanged / and that he had a cord of gold aboute his neck / yf he shold make Ioye therof / how be hit that the corde were moche ryche and fayre


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.