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Aesop's Fables: Sir Roger L'Estrange (1692)

185. JUPITER AND MODESTY (Perry 109)

Man was made in such a Hurry (according to the Old Fable) that Jupiter had forgotten to put Modesty into his Composition, among his other Affections; and finding that there was no way of Introducing it afterwards, Man by Man, he proposed the turning of it Loose among the Multitude: Modesty took her self at first to be a little hardly Dealt withal, but in the end, came over to Agree to't, upon Condition that Carnal Love might not be suffer'd to come into the same Company; for where-ever that comes, says she, I'm gone.
THE MORAL. Sensual Love knows neither Bars nor Bounds. We are all Naturally Impudent; only by Custom, and Fig-leaves, we have been taught to Disguise the Matter, and look Demurely; and that's it which we call Modesty.


L'Estrange originally published his version of the fables in 1692. There is a very nice illustrated edition in the Children's Classics series by Knopf: Sir Roger L'Estrange. Aesop - Fables which is available at amazon.com.