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

88. A FORTUNE TELLER (Perry 161)

There was a kind of a petty Conjurer, that made it his Profession to resolve Questions, and tell Fortunes, and he held forth in the Market-Place. Word was brought him, in the very middle of his Schemes and Calculations, that his House was robb’d; and so away he scours immediately to learn the Truth on’t. As he was running home in all haste, a Droll takes him up by the Way, with this short Question, Friend (says he,) how come you to be so good at telling other Peoples Fortunes, and know so little of your own?
THE MORAL OF THE THREE FABLES ABOVE. There needs be more than Impudence and Ignorance, on the one side, and a superstitious Credulity on the other, to the setting up of a Fortune-teller.


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.