Aesop's Fables: Townsend (1867)
65. The Old Woman and the Physician (Perry
AN OLD WOMAN having lost the use of her eyes, called in a Physician to
heal them, and made this bargain with him in the presence of witnesses:
that if he should cure her blindness, he should receive from her a sum
of money; but if her infirmity remained, she should give him nothing.
This agreement being made, the Physician, time after time, applied his
salve to her eyes, and on every visit took something away, stealing all
her property little by little. And when he had got all she had, he healed
her and demanded the promised payment. The Old Woman, when she recovered
her sight and saw none of her goods in her house, would give him nothing.
The Physician insisted on his claim, and. as she still refused, summoned
her before the Judge. The Old Woman, standing up in the Court, argued:
'This man here speaks the truth in what he says; for I did promise to
give him a sum of money if I should recover my sight: but if I continued
blind, I was to give him nothing. Now he declares that I am healed. I
on the contrary affirm that I am still blind; for when I lost the use
of my eyes, I saw in my house various chattels and valuable goods: but
now, though he swears I am cured of my blindness, I am not able to see
a single thing in it.'
George Fyler Townsend's translation of the fables, first published in 1867, is
in the public domain and can be found at many websites, including Project
Illustrations come from: Aesop's Fables, by George Fyler Townsend, with
illustrations by Harrison Weir, 1867, at Google