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Full text of "The fables of Aesop, as first printed by William Caxton in 1484, with those of Avian, Alfonso and Poggio, now again edited and induced by Joseph Jacobs"

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The Fables 

OP Aesop 

ZTbc jfablc£> of Hcsop, 



Zbc Jfablct? of Bceoi'^ 

as fust printed hy William Caxtdn /;/ '4^4 

iL'ith those of Avian, Alfonso and Poggio, 

now again cdiled and induced 

by Joseph Jacobs. 


Tkxt and Glossary. 

LoNDO!^. Published by David Nuti is 
THL Strand, m.v.ccci.xxxix. 


If ibrrr hrg;pnnrtl) tlje ftook 

of ti)c 0ubtpl i)i0tori)C0 antJ J^aMc.g 
of C0opc tDljicljr tocrc rransIarcD 

out of JPrfn3sf)E in to Crnglossfjc 
bo failliam Caiton 


2t GHcBtmonetrc I-n tf]f ofrr of ourc HortJf 
.m. ccrc.Iirii'tj 







C "^Hxt bfffmutlj tljE prrfact or prologue of 
tljE forste book of Csope 

Romulus fon of tliybere of the 
Cyte of Atyque/ gretyng/ Efope 
man of grece / fubtyll and In- 
geiiyous/ techeth in his fables 
how men ought to kepe and 
rewle them well/ And to thende that he 
Ihold Ihewe the lyf and cuftomes of al maner 
of men/ he induceth the byrdes/ the trees and 
the beetles fpekynge to thende that the men 
niriy kmnve wherforc the fables were tbund / 
In the wliiche he hath wrelon the malyce of 
the euylle people and the argument of the 
Improbes/ He techeth aUb to be humble and 
tor to vie wordes / And many other fayr En- 
lamples reherccd and declared here after/ the 
whiche I Romulus have tranflated oute of frekes 
tongue in to latyn tongue/ the whiche yf thou 
rede them / they llialle aguyfc and (liarpe thy 
wytte and ihal gyue to the caufe of Joye/ 


C 2rf)£ first fable is of t!)£ coch anti of tfje 
precious ftone / 

s a Cok ones fought his pafture in 
the donghylle / he fond a precious 
ftone/ to whome the Cok fayd/ 
Ha a fayre ftone and precious 
thow arte here in the fyhh And 
yf he that defyreth the had found the/ as I 
haue he wold haue take the vp / and fette the 
ageyne in thy fyrft eftate / but in vayne I haue 
found the/ For no thynge I haue to do with 
the/ ne no good I may doo to the ne thou 
to me/ And thys fable fayde Elope to them 
that rede this book/ For by the cok is to 
vnderftond the fool which retcheth not of 
fapyence ne of wyfedome/ as the cok retcheth 
and fetteth not by the precious ftone / And by 
the ftone is to vnderftond this fayre and play- 
faunt book 


C Cbis fccontJ fnblf fs of t^e touU ant5 tbt 
lambf / 

i-iS^lt' the Innocent and of the {hrewe 
p:ibpe reherceth to vs luche a 
table/ howe it was lb/ that the 
lambe and the wulf had bothe 
thurl^ / and went both to a Ryuer 
for to drynke / C It happed that the wulf dranke 
aboue & the lambe dranke bynethe / And as the 
wulf fawe & percyued the lambe/ he fayd with 
a hyghe voys/ Ha knaue why haft thou troubled 



and fowled mywater/ whiche Illiold now drynke / 
Alias my lord fauf your grece/ For the water 
Cometh fro yow toward me/ Thenne fayd the 
wulf to the lambe / Haft thou no Ihame ne drede 
to curfe me / And the lambe fayd My lord with 
your leue/ And the wulf fayd ageyne/ Hit is 
not fyxe raonethes paflyd that thy fader dyd to 
me as moche / And the lambe anfuerd yet was 
I not at that tyme born / And the wulf faid 
ageyne to hyni / Thou haft ete my fader/ And 
the lambe anfuerd / I have no teeeth / Thenne 
faid the wulf/ thou arte wel lyke thy fader/ 
and for his fyne and myfdede thow fhalt deye/ 
The wulf thenne toke the lambe and ete hym / 
This fable flieweth that the euylle man retcheth 
not by what maner he may robbe and deflroye 
the good and Innocet man. 


C Z\)t tfiur^ fablr is of t!]c rat / ant) of tljc 
froggf / 

y^'-^ ^-^-1 

^|o\v it be lb/ that as the rat went in 
pylgremage / he came by a Ryuer / 
and demaunded helpe of a frogge 
tor to pall'e/ and go over the 
water/ And thenne the frogge 
bound the rats foote to her foote/ and thus 
fwynied vnto the myddes ouer the Ryuer/ And 
as they were there the frogge ftood liylle/ to 
thende that the rat (hold be drowned/ And in 
the meane whyle came a kyte vpon them / and 
bothe bare them with hym / This fable made 
Efope for a fymylytude whiche is proutfitable to 
many folkes / For he that thynketh evylle ageynft 
good/ the evil whiche he thynketh lliall ones 
falle upon hym felf. 


C JUl^e fourt]^ fable is of tfje tiogcfe anti i^z 

the men chalengynge / whiche ever 
be fekynge occalion to doo fome 
harme and dommage to the good / 
laith Efope fuche a fable / Som- 
tyme was a dogge/ whiche de- 
maunded of a llieep a loof of brede that llie had 
borowed of hym / And the fheep anfuerd that 
neuer fhe had none of hym/ The dogge made 
her to come before the Juge/ And by caufe the 
ilieep denyed the dette/ the dogge provyfed and 
broughte with hym fals wytnes / that is to wete 
the wulf / the mylan & the fpaehawk / And 
whanne thefe wytnes Ihold be examyned and 
herd / the wulf fayd to the Juge / I am certayne 
& me remembreth wel / that the dogge lend to 
her a loof of brede/ And the myllan went and 
fayd/ ihe receyued hit prefente my perfone/ 
And the fperowhawk faid to the fheep / come 
hyder why denyeft thow that whiche thow hall 
take and recyiied / And thus was the poure fheep 
vaynquyffhed C And thenne the Juge com- 
maunded to her that Ihe Ihold paye the dogge / 



wherfore ftie fold awey before tlic wvntcr her 
flees and wulle for to pave that/ that the neuer 
had/ and tlius was the poure llieep delpoylled/ 
In fuche maner done the euylle hongry peple 
which by theyr grete vntrouthe and nuilyce 
robben and delpoillen tl>e poure folke 



C 2r]^e fuftfje fable is of tl^e bacfge antJ of t^e 
P2£ce of flessf) 

e that defyreth to haue other mens 
goodes oft he lofeth his owne 
good/ whereof Efope reherceth to 
vs fuche a fable/ In tyme paffed 
was a dogge that wente ouer a 
brydge/ and held in his mouthe a pyece of 
flefflie/ and as he paffed ouer a brydge/ he 
perceywed and fawe the fhadowe of hym / 
and of his pyece of flefllie within the water/ 
And he wenynge that it had be another pyece 
of fleffhe/ forthwith he thought to haue take 
it/ And as he opened his mouthe/ the pyece 
of fleffhe fylle in to the water/ and thus he loft 
it/ Ryghte foo is of many/ for whanne they 
thynke to robbe other/ they lefe theyr owne 
and propre good / wherfor for the loue of a vayn 
thynge men ought not to leue that whiche is 


C Crf)e faj fnfalc is of tfif luon anb of tf]f cotof / 
of the gootc ant) of tjjc fi)ccp 

sn fayen that it is not good to ete 
plommes with his lord/ ne to the 
poure it is not good to have par- 
tage and dyuyfyon with hymwhich 
is ryche & myghty / wherof Efope 
reherceth fuche a fable/ The cowe/ the gote & 
the fheep went ones a hutyng & chafe/ with the 
Ivon and toke a herte/ And whanne they cake/ 
[came] to haue theyr parte/ the lyon fayd to 
them / My lordes I late you wete / that the fyrft 
part is myn by caufe I am your lord/ the fecond 
by caufe/ I am ftronger than ye be/ the thyrd / 
by caufe I ranne more fwifter tlian ye dyd / and 
who fo ever toucheth the fourthe parte/ he (hall 
be myn mortal enemy/ And thus he took for 
hym felfe alone the herte/ And tlierfore this 
fable techeth to al folk/ that the poure ought 
not to hold felaufliip with the myghty/ For 
tiie myghty man is neuer fcythtull to the poure 


C Ef)t feuentf) fafile I'g of t]^e tl^eef ant of 
tfjE fonne. 


^|0 man is chaunged by nature but 
of an euyll man maye wel yffue 
bj and come a wers than hymfelf / 
wherof Efope telleth fuche a 
fable / A theef held the feeft of 
his weddynge/ And his neyghbours came there 
as the feft was holden and vvoriliipped/ and bare 
honour to the theef/ And as a wyfe man fawe 
that the neyghbours of this theef were ioyeful 
and glad / he fayd to them / Ye make joye & 
gladnes of that/ wherof ye fliolde wepe/ take 
hede thenne to my wordes and vnderftond your 
ioye/ C The fonne wolde ones be maryed / But 
alle the Nacions of the world were ageynft hym / 
& prayd lupiter that he {hold kepe the fonne 
fro weddyng/ & Jupiter demauded of them 
the caufe why they wolde not haue hym to be 
wedded/ the one of them faid/ lupiter thou 
knoweft wel / how ther is but one fonne &: yet 
he brenneth vs al / & yf he be maryed & haue 
ony children / they flual deftroye al kynde / And 
this fable techeth vs that we ought not to be 
reioyflhed of euyll felowfhip / 


C Z\)t faifj fable is of tlic iriulf anti of tfjc 

]Ho fo euer doth ony good to the 
cuyll man he fynneth as Efope 
.v liith/ for of ony good which is 
Sd tion to the euils cometh no prou- 
tfit / wherof Efope reherceth to 
vs fuche a fable / A wulf ete & deuoured a fheep 
of wlios bones he had one in his throte which he 
collide not liaue out &: fore it greucd hym / thenne 
went the wulf t^- praid the crane that Ihe wold 
draw oute of his throte the bone/ & the crane 
put her nek in to his throte & drewe out the bone 
wherby the wulf was hole / C And the crane de- 
maunded of hym to be payd of her falary C And 
the wulf anfwerd to her/ Thou arte well vn- 
conyng & no good connyng/ remembryng the 
good that I haue done to the/ for whan thou 
haddeft thy neck within my throte/ yf I had 
wold/ I might haue ete the/ and thus it ap- 
piereth by the fable how no prourttte cometh of 
ony good whiche is done to the euyle 



C STfje II fable is of tfje tfea 62tc!)£0 

t is not good to byleue what flaterers 
and euyll men faye / for by theyr 
iVete wordes/ they deceyue the 
good folke/ whereof Efope re- 
herceth fuch a fable/ This was a 
bytche which wold lyttre and be delyuerd of her 
lytyl dogges/ and came to the hows of another 
bytche / & prayd her by fwete and fayre wordes 
that flie would lene to her a place for to lyttre 
her lytyll dogges / And this other lend to her / 
her bed and her hows wenynge to doo wel / 
And whan the bytche had lyttred her lytyl 
dogges/ the good bytche fayd to the other/ that 
it was tyme that Ihe fhold goo and departe oute 
of her hows And then the bytche and her young 
dogges ranne vpon the other / and boot and 
called her oute of her owne hows / and thus for 
to have doo well / grete dommage cometh ofte 
therfore And ofte the good men lefe theyr goodes 
by the decepcion and tiaterye of the peruers and 
evylle folke / 



C Z\}t tcntf)c fnfale ts of tfje man anlJ of the 

• K that leneth and hclpeth the euylle 
men/ lynnetli/ tor at'ier that men 
have doo to them Ibme good / 

_^)| they hurte them afterward/ For 

as men layen comynly / yf ye 
kepe a man tVo the galhows/ he Ihalle neuer 
loue yow after/ wherof Elope reherceth luche 
a table/ C A man was fom tyme whiche tond a 
lerpent within a Vyne/ and for the grete wynter 
and froll the ferpent was hard / and almoft dede 
for cold wherof the good man had pyte and toke 
and bare her in to his hows and leyd her before 
the fyre/ and fo moche lie dyd that that flie 
came ageyne in to her ftrengthe and vygour/ 
She begaime thynne to crye and whyftled about 
the hows and troubled the good wyt / and the 
children / wherfor this good man wold haue her 
oute of his hows / And whanne he thoughte to 
have take her Ihe fprange after his neck for to 
have ftrangled hym / And thus hit is of the 
euyll folk whiche for the good done to them / 
iheyyeld ageyne euyll and deceyuen them whiche 
have had pyte on them / And alfu iheyre felau- 
lliip is not good ne vtyle / 



C m^z ij fabk IS of tj^e Igan anb of t!)e affe 

;,F them whiche mocken other efope 
reherceth fuch a fable Ther was 
an affe which met with a lyon to 
whom he laid my broder god 
faue the & the lyon Ihaked his 
hede and with grete payne he myght hold his 
courage / to have forth with deuoured hym / 
But the lyon fayd to hym felf / It behoueth not 
that teethe foo noble and fo fayre as myn be 
touchen not / ne byten fuche a fowle beeft / For 
he that is wyfe muft not hurte the foole ne take 
hede to his wordes / but lete hym go for fuche 
as he is 



C Cfjc iij fable 13 of \])t ttoa rat3 


Etter wortlic is to lyue in pouerte 
lurely / than to lyue rychely beyng 

r\-' euer in daunger/ Whcrof Elope 
J4: tellelh fuche a fable / There were 
two rats wherof the one was grete 
and tatte/ and held hym in the celer of a Ryche 
man And the other was poure and Icne / C On 
a daye this grete and fat ratte wente to fporle 
hym in the feldes and mette by the way the 
poure rat / of the whiche he was receyued as 
well as he coude in his poure cauerne or hole/ 
and gaf from of fuche mete as he had / Thenne 
fayd the fatte ratte come thow wyth me/ And 
I Ihalle gyue the wel other metes/ He went 
with hym in to the toune/ and enterd bothe 
into the celer of the ryche man/ the whiche 
celer was full of alle goodes/ And when they 
were within the grete rat prefented and gaf to 
the poure rat of the delycious metes / faying thus 
to hym/ Be mery and make good chere/ and 
ete and drynke Joyoully / C And as they were 
etynge/ the bouteler of the place came in to the 
celer/ & the grete rat fled anon in to his hole/ 


1 8 LIBER 

& the poure rat M^ift not whyther he fhold goo 
ne flee/ But hyd hym behynd the dore with 
grete fere and drede / and the bouteler turned 
ageyne and fawe hym not/ And whan he was 
gone the fatte rat cam out of his cauerne or 
hole/ and called the poure ratte/ whiche yet 
was fhakynge for fere/ and faid to hym/ come 
hyder and be not aferd / & ete as moche as thou 
wylt/ And the poure rat fayd to hym/ for 
goddes loue lete me go oute of this celer/ For I 
haue better ete lome corne in the feldes and lyue 
furely / than to be ever in this torment/ for thou 
arte here in grete doubte & lyueft not furely/ 
And therfore hit is good to lyue pourely & 
furely For the poure lyueth more furely than 
the ryche 



( Z\}t liij fnfalc is of the drglc nntJ of iljc foif 

^0\v tlie puylKint & mvglity niuft 
double the teble Elope reherceth 
to vs fuche a fable / Ther was an 
j^lJj|/^'^_^i Egle whiche came ther as young 
I'oxes were / and took awey one of 
them / and gaf hit to his younge Egles to fede 
them with The foxe wente after hym & praid 
hym to reftore and gyue hym ageyne his yong 
foxe / and the Egle laid that he wold not / For he 
was ouer hym lord and mailler/ C And thenne 
the foxe fuUe of Ihrewdnes and malyce beganne 
to put to gyder grete habondaunce of ftraws 
round aboute the tree/ where vpon the egle and 
his yonge were in theyr neft/ and kyndeled it 
with fyre/ C And whan the fmoke and the 
tlambe began to ryfe vpward / the Egle ferd- 
fulle and doubtyng the dethe of her lytylle egles 
reftored ageyne the younge foxe to his moder 
C This fable Iheweth vs / how the myghty men 
oughte not to lette in ony thynge the fmall folke / 
For the lytyle ryght ot'te may lette and trouble 
the grete 



C i2rtf liiif fa&Ic ts of tj^e W^ to!)tcf)e bare a 
nutte m iji's iecke anti of tfje rauen 

^^^Y^^^e that is fure and wel garnyffhed yet 
l\ WkJj^Sl VA by fals counceyll may be betrayed / 
wherof Efope telleth fuche a fable / 
C An Egle was fomtyme vpon a 
tree / whiche held with his bylle 
a nutte/ whiche he coulde not breke/ the rauen 
came to hym / and fayd/ Thow Ihalt neuer 
breke it / tylle thow fleeft as hyghe as thow 
mayft / and thenne late it falle vpon the ftones / 
And the Egle beganne to flyhe and lete fall his 
proye / and thus he loft his notte / C And thus 
many one ben deceyued thorughe fals counceylle / 
and by the fals tongue of other 



C Zht iM fable 13 of H)c rniicn nnti of tiic foic 

H(.'y that be glad and Joyetull of the 
praylynge of flaterers oftyme re- 
pente them therof/ wherof Efope 
reherceth to us fuche a fable/ A 
rauen whiche was vpon a tree/ 
and held with his bylle a chcfe/ the whiche 
chcfe the fox defyred moche to haue/ whertore 
the foxe weiite and preyfed hym by fuche wordes 
as folowen / O gentyll rauen thow art the fayrell 
byrd of alle other byrdes / For thy fethers ben fo 
fayr fo bright and fo rel'plendyflhynge/ and can 
alfo fo wel fy nge/ yf thow haddeft the voys clere 
and fmall thow Iholdell be the mooll happy of 
al other byrdes / And the foole whiche herd the 
flaterj'ringe wordes of the foxe beganne to open 
his bylle for to fynge/ And then the chefe fylle 
to the grounde/ and the fox toke and ete hit/ 
And whan the rauen fawe that for his vayn 
glorye he was deceyued wexed hevy and forow- 
full / and repented hym of that he had byleued 
the foxe/ And this fable techeth vs / how men 
ought not to be glad ne take reioyflhynge in the 
wordes of caytyf folke/ ne alfo to leue flatery ne 
vayn glory 


C STfje ibi fafilc f3 of tfje Igon / of t^e iuglte 
iore/ of tf)£ bole ^ of tfje affe 

Ihanne a man hath loft his dignyte or 
otFyce/ he mufte leue his fyrft audu- 
cyte or hardynefs/ to thende/ that 
he be not iniuryed and mocqued of 
euery one / wherof Efope Iheweth 
vnto fuche a fable / There was a lyon whiche 
in his yongthe was fyers and moche outragyous / 
C And when he was come to his old age / there 
came to hym a wyldbore/ whiche with his 
teeth rent and barft a grete pyece of his body 
and auenged upon hym of the wrong the lyon 
had doo to hym before that tyme / C After 
came to hym the boole whiche fmote and hurted 
hym with his homes / And an afle came there / 
whiche fmote hym in the forhede with his feete 
by maner of vyndycacion / And thenne the poure 
Lyon beganne to wepe fayenge within hym felf 
in this manere / When I was yonge and uertuous 
euery one doubted and fered me / and now that 
I am old and feble/ and nyghe to my dethe/ 
none is that fetteth ne holdeth ought by me/ 
but of euery one I am fetten aback / I haue loft 



alle good and wurlhip / and therlore this fable 
admonelleth many oik- whichc bt-n eiihaunced 
in dygnyte and worlhip llu-wingc to iheni/ liow 
tliL-y mull bo meke and humble/ For he tliat 
geteth and ac(iuyrelh no frendes ought to be 
doubtous to fjUe in luche caas and in luche 



C STije i&tj fable is of tfjc affe anti of tfje 
song t!055£ 

one ought to entermete hym of that 
what he can not do wherof Efope 
recyted fuche a fable / Of an afle 
whiche was in the hows of a lord / 
whiche lord had a lytyle dogge/ 
whiche he loued wel / and gaf hyn:i mete and 
ete vpon his table / And the lytyle dogge loked 
and chered / and lepte vpon his gowne/ And to 
alle them that were in the hows he made chere / 


PRIAfUS. 25 

whcrfor the aire was cnuyous and fayd in hyiii 
felf / y{ my lord and his meyny loue this myf- 
chaunt belle by caufe that he chereth and maketh 
telle to euery body/ by gretter reafon they ought 
to loue me vf I make chere to them / Thenne 
layd he in hym fcIf/ Fro henforth I Ihall take 
my difporie and Ihall make Joye and playe 
with my lord/ and wyth his meyny/ And ones 
as the all'e was in this thoughte and ymagyna- 
cion / hit happed tiiat he fawe his lord whyche 
entryd in to his hows/ the afle beganne thenne 
to daunle and to make feert and Ibnge with his 
fwete voys/ and approched hym felf toward his 
lord & went & lepte vpon his lliolders/ and 
beganne to kylVe and to lykke hym / The lord 
thenne beganne to crye oute with a hyghe voys 
and fayd/ lete this fowl and payllard/ whiche 
hurteth and byteth me fore/ be bete and putt 
awey/ The lordes feruauntes thenne toke anone 
grete llaues/ and beganne to fmyte vpon the 
poure affe / and lb fore corryged and bete hym / 
that after he had no lufte ne courage to daunfe/ 
nc make to nonne chere ne fefte / and therfore 
none ought to entermete hym felf for to doo a 
thynge/ whiche as for hym impolTyble is to be 
done/ For the vnwyfe difplefeth there/ where 
as he fuppofeth to pleafe 



C Wiyi ibifj table is of t^je loan antJ of 
tfje rat/ 

^s^^^He myghte and puyffant mud par- 
donne and forgyue to the lytyll 
and feble/ and ought to kepe hym 
fro al euylle / For oftyme the lytyll 
may wel gyue ayde and help to 
the grete / wherof Elbpe reherceth to vs fuche a 
fable Of a lyon whiche flepte in a foreft and the 
rats defported and playd aboute hym / It happed 
that the rat wente vpon the lyon / wherfore the 
lyon awoke / and within his clawes or ongles he 
tooke the rat / C And whanne the rat fawe hym 
thus taken & hold fayd thus to the lyon / My 
lord pardonne me / For of my deth noughte ye 
fhalle Wynne/ For I fuppofed not to haue done 
to yow ony harme ne difplayfyre / C Thenne 
thought the lyon in hym felf that no worfhip ne 
glorye it were to put it to dethe / wherfor he 
graunted his pardonne and lete hym go within 
a lytyll whyle/ After this it happed fo that the 
fame lyon was take at a grete trappe / and as he 
fawe hym thus caught and taken/ he beganne 
to crye and make forowe/ and then whan the 



rat herd hyiii crye / he approchcd hyni &: de- 
maunded ot hym whertbr he cryed / And the 
lyon anfucrd to hym / Seeft thou not how I am 
take & bound with thisgynne/ Thenne fayd the 
ratte to hym/ My lord I wylle not be vnkynde/ 
but euer I Ihal remembre the grace whiche thou 
haft done to me/ And if I can I fliall now liclpe 
the/ The ratte beganne thenne to byte the lace 
or cord/ and lb K)ng he knawed it that the lace 
brake / And thus the lyon elcaped / C Thertbre 
this fable techeth vs how that a man myghty and 
puyflant ought not to dyl'prayfe the lytyll/ For 
fomtyme he that can no body hurte ne lette may 
at a nede gyue help and ayde to the grete 



C STIje III fable is of tf)e tnglan irr]^tc!)e toas 
feke anti of ^(s motiec 

E that euer doth euylle ought not 
to luppofe ne haue no truft that 
his prayer at his nede llialle be 
herd / Of the whiche thynge Efope 
fheweth to us fuche a fable / Of 
a mylan whiche was feke / fo moche that he had 
no trufte to recouer his helthe/ And as he fawe 
hym fo vexed with feblenes / he prayd his moder 
that Ihe Ihold praye vnto the goddes for hym / 
And his moder anfuerd to hym / My fone thow 
haft fo gretely ofFendyd and blafphemyd the 
goddes that now they wol auenge them on the / 
For thow preyeft not them by pyte ne by loue/ 
but for dolour and drede / For he whiche ledeth 
euylle lyf/ and that in his euylle delynge is ob- 
ftynate / ought not to haue hope to be delyuered 
of his euyll / For whan one is fall into extremyte 
of his fekenes/ thenne is the tyme come that he 
muft be payed of his Werkes and dedes / For he 
that ofFendeth other in his profperyte/ whan he 
falleth in to aduerfyte / he fyndeth no frendes / 



C STfjc II fable m.ikctli mnicion of tfjc ftaaloinr/ 
anil olbcr bgrlirs 

E that byleueth not good councovll / 
may not fayll to he euylle coun- 
ceyllcd / wherof Efope reherceth 
to vs fuche a fable/ Of a j)Io\vgh 
man/ whiche fowed lynfeed / and 
the fwalowe feyng that of the fame lynfeed men 
myght make nettes and g)'nnes/ wente and fayd 
to al other byrdes/ Come with me ye al & lete 
vs plucke vp al this/ For yf we leue hit growe/ 
the labourer llial mowe make therof gunnes and 
nettes for to take vs al / Alle the byrdes defprayfed 
his counceyl/ C And thenne as the fwalowe 
fawe this/ he wente and herberowed her in the 
plowgh mans hows / C And whanne the flaxe 
was growen and pulled vp / the labourer made 
grynnes and nettes to take byrdes/ wherwith he 
took euery day many other byrdes/ and brought 
them to his hows / to the whiche byrdes the 
fwalowe thenne fayd / I told yow wel / what 
that ihold happe therof/ wherfore men ought 
not to defprayfe good councylle/ For he that is 
euyl aduyfed and not wel counceyled Ihalle haue 
moche payne 

C %lc:t: fongsstjcU t!jc forct loohc of Crsopc/ 


C f^ere foloiijctf) tfjc profjetnge of tfje stcontj 6cofe 
of fables of csope/ man iugSE subtgU auti 

vft^gflle maner of fables ben found for to 
fhewe al maner of folk / what 
maner of thyng they ought to 
enfyewe and folowe / C And alfo 
what maner of thyng they muft 
and ought to leue and flee/ for fable is as 
moche to feye in poeterye / as wordes in theo- 
logye/ C And therfor I fhalle wryten fables 
for to fliewe the good condycions of the good 
men / for the lawe hath be gyuen for the tref- 
pacers or myfdoers / And by caufe the good ond 
Jufte be not fubget to the lawe as we fynde and 
rede of alle the Athenyens/ the whiche lyued 
after the lawe of Kynde / And alfo they lyued 
at theyr lyberte / but by theyre wylle wold haue 
demaunded a kynge for to punyflhe alle the 
euyll / but by caufe they were not cuftomed to 
be refourmed ne chaftyfed / whan ony of them 
was corre6ted / and punyflbed / they were gretely 
troubled / whan theyr newe kynge made Juftyce / 
For by caufe that before that tyme they had 



neuer be viuUt no niaiis lubjctlion / nnd was 
greto cliarge to tliein to be in leruytudc/ wher- 
fure they were forowful that euer they liad dc- 
maunded ony thynge/ ageynft the whiche efope 
reherceth luche a fable whiche is the fyrft and 
formeft of this fecond book 



C 2rf)c fgrst fable is of tl^e frogges ant of 

j'O thyng is fo good as to lyue Juftly 
and at lyberte For fredome and 
lyberte is better than ony gold or 
fyluer/ wherof Efope reherceth 
to vs fuche a fable/ There were 
frogges whiche were in dyches and pondes at 
theyre lyberte / they alle to gyder of one aflente 
& of one wylle maade a requeft to Jupiter that 
he wold gyue them a kynge/ And Jupyter be- 



ganne thcrof to meriieylle/ And for tlicyr kyng 
he called to them a grete pyece of wood / whiche 
niaade a grete fowne and noyfe in the water/ 
wherof alle the frogges had grete drede and 
fered moche / And after they approched to tlieyr 
kynge for to make obeyflTaunce vnto hym / C And 
whanne they perceyued tliat hit was but a pyece 
of wood/ they torncd ageyne to Jupiter prayenge 
hym fwetely that lie wold gyue to them another 
kynge/ And Jupiter gaf to them the Heron for 
to be theyr kynge/ And then the Heron beganne 
to entre in to the water/ and ete them one after 
other/ And whanne the frogges fawe that theyr 
kyng deftroyed / and ete them thus/ they beganne 
tendyrly to wepe / fayeng in this manere to the 
god Jupiter/ Ryght hyghe and ryght myghte 
god Jupiter pleafe the to delyuere vs fro the 
throte of this dragon and fals tyraunt which eteth 
vs the one after another/ And he fayd to them/ 
tlie kynge whiche ye haue demounded Ihalle be 
your mayfter/ For whan men haue that/ which 
men oughte to haue/ they ought to be ioyful 
and glad And he that hath lyberte ought to kepe 
hit wel / For nothyng is better than lyberte / Fur 
lyberte Ihold not be wel fold tor alle the gold 
and fyluer of all the world 



C STfje fcconti fable is of t^z Columbes or "bouues 
of tfie totE anti of Hje fpcrcljaiuke 

Ho that putte and fubmytteth hym 
felf vnder the faue gard or protec- 
tion of the euylle/ thou oughteft 
to wete & knowe / that whan he 
afl^eth & demanded ayde & helpe/ 
he geteth none / C Wherof Efope reherceth to 
vs fuche a fable/ Of the douues whiche de- 
maunded a fperehawke for to be theyr kynge / 
for to kepe them fro the kyte or mylan/ And 
whanne the fperehawke was maade kynge ouer 
them/ he beganne to deuoure them/ the whiche 
columbes or douues fayd amonge them / that 
better it were to them to fufFre of the kyte than 
to be vnder the fubje6lion of the fperehawke / 
& to be martyred as we be / but therof we be 
wel worthy/ For we oure felf ben caufe of this 
mefchyef / And therfore whanne men done ony 
thyng/ men ought well to loke and confydere 
thende of hit/ For he dothe prudently and 
wyfely whiche taketh good hede to the ende 


C Z\]t ttiortf fablf is of tljr ti;fcf a;;ti of ific 

^<p"'^y^i^\l.\nnc that one gyuetli ony thyng/ 
' ^' \'rk '"'''" ought wel to take hede/ to 

A hat ende hit is gyuen / wherof 
[• Klope reherceth I'uche a fable/ 

< )f a theef which came on a nygt 
wnuiii a iiiins hows for to haue robbed hyni / 
And the good mans dogge beganne to bark at 
hym/ And thenne the theef cafted at hym a 
pyece of brede/ And the dogge fayd to hym/ 
thow caftell not this brede for no good wylle / 
but only to the ende/ that I hold my pees/ to 
thende that thow mayft robbe my mayfter/ and 
therf'ore hit were not good for me/ that for a 
morfell of brede/ I ihold lefe my lyf/ wherfore 
goo fro hens/ or els I ihalle anone awake my 
mayfter and alle his meyne / The dogge theynne 
beganne to bark/ and the theef beganne to flee/ 
And tlius by couetyfe many one haiie oftyme 
receyued grete yeftes/ the whiche haue been 
caufe of theyr dethe and to lefe theyre heedt-s / 

C Wherfore 


C Wherfore hit is good to confydere and loke 
wel/ to what entencion the yeft in gyuen/ to 
thende that none may be betrayd thurgh yeftes/ 
ne that by ony yeftes none maketh fome traylbn 
ageynft his mayfter or lord 



C J!ri)c fourtljf mahtlf) mmryon of tijc foluc 
nut) of ll]c toulf 

T is not good to bylcue all fuche 
iliynges as men may here/ wherof 
Elope fayetli fuche a fable/ Ot a 
wulf whiche came toward a fowe 
whiche wepte and made forowe 
for tlie grete payne that llie felte / by caufe flie 
wold make her young pygges/ And the wulf 
came to her fayeng/ My fuller make thy yonge 
pygges furely / for ioyoully and with good wylle / 
I ihalle helpe &: ferue the/ And the fowe fayd 
thcnne to hym/ go forth on thy waye/ for I 
h;uie no nede ne myller of fuche a fcruaunt/ For 
as longe as thow ihalt flonde here I Ihal not 
delyuere me of my charge/ For other thyng 
thou defyreft not / than to haue and ete them / 
The wulf then wente/ and the fowe was anone 
delyuerd of her pygges/ For yf fhe had byleuyd 
hym Ihe had done a forowful byrthe/ And thus 
he that folyllhly byleueth it happeth to hym 



C 2r]^e fgftlje fable maketfi tnencpon of tfje 
montaon inl^tcije fj^ofee 

;|Yght fo it happeth / that he that 
menaceth hath drede and is ferd- 
ful / wherof Efope reherceth to vs 
luche a fable Of a hylle whiche 
beganne to tremble and fhake by 
caufeof the moUewhiche delued hit/ Andwhanne 
the folke fawe that the erthe beganne thus to 
Ihake / they were fore aferd and dredeful / and 
durft not wel come ne approche the hylle/ But 
after whanne they were come nyghe to the mon- 
tayne/ & knewe how the molle caufed this hylle 
Ihakynge/ theyr doubte and drede were con- 
uerted vnto Joye/ and beganne alle to lawhe/ 
And therfore men ought not to doubte al folk 
which ben of grete wordes and menaces/ For 
fome menacen that haue grete doubte 



C Z\}t hi fable is of tfjc bjulf aiitj of Hit lambc 

P^^T^tS^Hc byrtli caufcth no lb nioche togete 
funic freiides/ as cloth the good- 
nes/ wherof Efope reherceth to vs 
luche a fable/ Of a wulf whicliL- 
lawe a lambe among a grete herd 
of gootes/ the whiche lambe fovvked a gote/ 
And the wulf wente and fayd to hym / tliis gote 
is not thy moder/ goo and feke her at the Mon- 
tayn/ for the flialle nouryflhe the more fwetely 
and more tendyrly than this gote ihalle/ And 
the lambe anfuerd to hym/ Thisgootenouryflhetii 
me inllede of my moder/ For ihe leneth to me 
her pappes foner than to ony of her own chil- 
dren / And yet more/ hit is better for me to be 
here with thefe gootes than to departe fro hens / 
and to talle in to thy throte for to be deuoured/ 
And therfore he is a foole whiche leueth fredome 
orfurete/ For to put hym felf in grete perylle 
and daungcr of del he/ For better is to lyue 
furely and rudely in fewrte than fwetcly in peryll 
ic daunger 



C 2CfjE bii fable fpeltetT^ of tfi£ oltJ 'Ooqqz antJ 
of fjis magster 

^En ought not to dyfprayfe the aun- 
^" cyent ne to putte a bak/ For yf 
thow be yonge / thow oughte to 
defyre to come to old age or aun- 
cyente/ and alfo thow ou3teft to 
loue and prayfe the fayttes or dedes whiche they 
haue done in theyr yongthe / wherof Elbpe re- 
herceth to vs fuche a fable/ Of a lord whiche 
had a dogge/ the whiche dogge had be in his 
yonghe of good kynde / For ye wote wel / that 
of kynde the dogges chacen and hunten in theyr 
yongthe/ and haue grete lufte to renne and take 
the wyld beeftes/ whan thenne this dogge was 
come to old age / and that he myght no more 
renne / It happeth ones that he lete fcape and go 
fro hym an hare / wherfore his mayfter was forow- 
fuU and angry/ and by grete wrathe beganne to 
bete hym / The dogge fayd thenne to hym / My 
mayfter/ of good feruyfe thow yeldeft to me 
euylle gwerdone & reward / For in my yonge 
age I ferued the ful wel/ And now that I am 
comen to myn old age/ thow beteft and fetteft 



me a bak / hnue memoryc how in myn yong 
age/ I was llrongc and hilly/ And how I made 
grete outtragesand eHbrs/ the whiche caul'cd my 
yonglhe/ And now when I am bycome old and 
f'eble thow Ibttcll nought of me / C This fable 
techeth that who fo euer doth ony good in his 
yongthe/ in his aimcyenle and old age he llialle 
not contynue in the vertucs which he pollcdcd 
in his yong age 



C STfje fat'ij fable is of tf}e l^arcs atttj of t^e 

En fay conynly that after that the 
tyme goth / fo muft folke go / For 
yf thow makeft deftindion of the 
tyme thow ihalt wel accord the 
Scryptures / wherof Efope reher- 
ceth to vs fuche a fable / And fayth thus / that 
he whiche beholdeth the euylle of other/ mult 
haue pacyence of the euyile that maye come 
vpon hym / For fomtyme as a hunter chaced 
thurgh the feldes and woodes/ the hares beganne 
to flee for fere And as they ranne / they adreffyd 
them in to a medowe fuUe of frogges / C And 
whanne the frogges herd the hares renne they 
beganne alfo to flee and to renne fall / And thenne 
a hare whiche perceyued them fo ferdfuU fayd 
to alle his felawes / Lete us no more be dredeful 
ne doubtuous / for we be not alone that haue had 
drede/ For alle the frogges ben in double/ and 
haue fere and drede as we haue / Therfore we 
ought not to defpayre/ but haue truft and hope 
to lyue / And yf fomme aduerfyte cometh vpon 
us/ we muft here it pacyently/ For ones the 



tyme llialle come that we IhnlK- be oute of payne 
and oute of all drede / Thertbre in the vnhappy 
and Intortunat tynie men ought not to be del- 
payred / but oughte euer to be in good hoi)e to 
haue ones better in tyme ot'prolperyte / Vot atter 
grete werre cometh good pees/ And alter the 
rayne cometh the tair weder 


C STl^e II fable makEtfj ntencgon of tfje feulf 
anti of tijc jkuliti£ 

5^0od Children ought to obferue and 
kepe euer the comaundements of 
theyr good parents and frendes/ 
wherof Efope reciteth to vs fuche 
a table/ Of a gote whiche had 
made her yonge kyde/ and honger toke her foo 
that ilie wold haue gone to the feldes for to ete 
fome graffe / wherfore Ihe fayd to her kyd / My 
child / beware wel / that yf the wulf come hyder 
to ete the / that thou opene not the dore to hym 
C And whanne the gote was gone to the feldes/ 
came the wulf to the dore/ And faynynge the 
gotes voyce fayd to the kydde / My child opene 
to me the dore / And thenne the kydde anfuerd to 
hym / goo hens euylle and fals befte / For well 
I fee the thurgh that hole / But for to haue me 
thow fayneft the voyce of my moder/ C And 
therfore I Ihalle kepe me well fro openynge of 
ony dore of this hows / And thus the good chil- 
dren ought euer to kepe wel / and put in theyr 
hert & memory the do6lryne and the techyng of 
theyr parentes/ For many one is vndone and loll 
for faulte of obedyence 



C Zht tfntlir fnblf is of the goot) man anli 
of tijc fcrpcntc 

K that ought not to be alVowerd that 
applykcth and letteth hym to doo 
loinme other eny euyll/ wherof 
elope reherceth Tuche a table/ Ot" 
a lerpent/ whiche wente & came 
into the hows of a poure man/ which ferpent 
lyued of that whiche telle tVo the poure mans 
table/ For the whiche thynge happed a grete 
fortune to this poure man and bycame moche 
ryche/ But on a daye this man was angry 
ageynrte the ferpent/ and took a grete Ilaf/ and 
fmote at hym / and gretely hurted him / wherfore 
the ferpente wente oute of his lious And therin 
he came neuer ageyne/ And within a lytyll 
whyle after this / this man retourned and telle 
ageyne in to grete pouerte/ And thenne he 
knewe that by the fortune of the Serpent he was 
bycome ryche/ and repented hym moche of that 
he fmote the ferpent/ And thenne this poure 
man wente and hubled hym before the lerpent 
layenge to hym / I prayc the that thow wylt par- 
donne me of thoffenfe that I have done to the/ 



C And thenne fayd the ferpente to the poure 
man / Syth thow repenteft the of thy myfdede / 
I pardonne andforgyueit to the/ But as longeas 
I Ihalle be on lyue / I Ihalle remember me of thy 
malyce / For as thow hurteft me ones / thow 
maeft as wel hurte me another tyme/ For the 
wounde that thow madeft to me/ may not for- 
gete the euylle whiche thow haft done to me 
wherfore he that was ones euylle / flialle euer be 
prefumed & holden for euylle/ And therfore 
men ought to prefume ouer hym / by whome 
they receyue fomme dommage and not haue fuf- 
pe6te theyr good and trewe frendes 


C JThf li fablf is of the htrU j of llif fl]ffp .^ 
of tijc iuulf 

He thynge wliich is promyfed by 
force & for drcde is not to be 
hold/ wherof efope reherceth fuche 
a fable of a hcrt which in the 
prefence of a wulf demuaded of 
a fheep that flie ihold paye a buflhel of corn/ 
And the wulf commauded to the Ihcep to paye 
hit/ And whanne the day of payment was come 
the herte came and demaunded of the lliecp his 
corn And the Iheep fayd to hym/ the conenaunces 
and paftyons made by drede and force oughte 
not to be holden / For it was force to me beynge 
to fore the wulf to promytte &: graunte to g>'ue 
to the that whiche thou neuer leneft to me / And 
therfor thow flialt haue ryght nought of me/ 
wherfore fomtymc it is good to make promilVe 
of fome thynge for to efchewe gretter dommage 
or lolle/ For the thyngs whiche are done by 
force haue none fydelyie 



C Wi}Z It] fable ts of tl^e balleti man/ 
anti of ti^e flg^/ 

F a lytyl euylle may wel come a 
gretter/ Wherof Efope recyteth 
fuche a fable / Of a flye / whiche 
pryked a man vpon his bald hede / 
And whanne he wold have fmyte 
her/ fhe flewgh awey/ And thus he fmote hym 
felf/ wherof the fly beganne to lawhe/ And the 
bald man fayd to her/ Ha a euylle beeft thow 
demaundeft wel thy dethe/ yf I fmote my felf 
wherof thow lawheft and mocquefl me / But yf I 
had hytte the/ thow haddeft be therof flayne/ 
And therfore men fayen comynly that of the 
euylle of other/ men ought not to lawhe ne 
fcorne/ But the Iniuryous mocquen and fcornen 
the world/ and geteth manyenemyes/ For the 
whiche caufe oftyme it happeth that of a fewe 
wordes euyll fette/ cometh a grete noyfe and 



C E\}t liij fnfalc is of tfic foif nntj of the ftorkc 

Hdw oughtell not to doo to other 
that wliiche thow woldelt not that 
men iliold doo to the/ wherof 
j^JlLst^^ Efope reherceth to vs fiiche a 
"^^~ table/ Of a foxe whiche conueyed 
a llorke to Touper/ And the foxe put the mete 
vpon a traunclier/ the whiche mete the ftorke 
myght not ete/ wherof the tooke & had grate 
difplayfaunce/ & wente & departed oute of the 



foxes hows al hungry and wente geyne to her 
lodgys/ and by caufe that the foxe had thus 
begyled her / flie bythoughte in her felf / how 
Ihe myght begyle the Foxe / For as men faye / 
it is meryte to begyle the begylers/ wherfore the 
ftorke prayd the foxe to come and foupe with 
her/ and put his mete within a glas/ And 
whanne the foxe wold haue eten / he myght not 
come ther by / but only he lycked the glas / by 
caufe he cowde not reche to the mete with his 
mouthe / And thenne he knewe wel that he was 
deceyued / And thenne the ftorke fayd to hym / 
Take of fuche goodes as thow gauell to me/ 
And the poure foxe ryght fliameful departed fro 
thens/ And with the ftaf whiche he had made 
he was bete And therfore he that begyleth other / 
is oftyme begyled hym felf/ 



C 2rf)E liii} fable is of tlir toulf ant of tfjc 
tftf mans i^ctif 

\ny one ben whiche haue grete 
worlliip and glorj'e/ but noo pru- 
dence / ne nooWyfedom they haue 
in them wlierof Elope reherceth 
liiche a fable / Of a wulf which 
1. .1 vicJe mans hede/ the whiche he torned 
vp fo doune with his foote/ And fayd/ Ha a 
how fayr haft thow be and playfaunt / And now 
thow hall in tlie neyther wytte/ ne beaute/ & 
yet thow arte withoute voys and withoute ony 
thought / and therfore men ought not only to 
behold the beautte and fayrenelfe of the body / 
but only the goodnes of the courage/ For fom- 
tyme men gyuen glorye and worlliip to fome / 
whiche haue not del'eruyd to haue hit/ 



C QCfjc i& fable is of tfje Sage anti of tl^e pecofe 

One ought to were and putte on 
hym the gowne of other / wherof 
Elope reherceth to vs fuche a 
fable Of a Jaye full of vayne 
glory/ whiche tooke and putte 
on hym the fethers of a pecok / and with them 
he a[d]ourned/ and arayed hym felf well/ And 
whanne he was wel dreflyd and arayed / by his 
oultrecuydaunce or ouerwenynge wold haue gone 
and conuerfed amonge the pecoks / and def- 
prayfed alle hisfelawes / And whanne the pecokes 
knewe that he was not of theyr kynd / they anone 
plucked of alle his fethers / and fmote and bete 
hym by fuche maner/ that no fethers abode 
vpon hym / And he fledde away al naked and 

C And thenne whanne his felawes fawe 
hym / they fayd to hym / What gallaunt come 
hyther/ where ben thy fayre fethers/ whiche 
thow haddeft but late a gone / Haft thow no 
fhame ne vergoyne to come in oure companye / 
And thenne alle the byrdes cam vpon hym/ 
and fmote & bete hym / fayenge thus to hym / 


yf lliou haddeft be content of thyn owne vt-lty- 
mcntes/ thow hadert not come to thisvylony/ 
Ther for hit appereth that hit is not good to 
were another mans gowni* / For fuche weren 
fayre gownes and fayr gyrdels of gold that haue 
thevr teeth cold at home 



C 2E]^c ibj fable is at tfje mule ant( of tf)e flge. 

Omme maken gretemenaces/ whiche 
haue no myghte / C Wherof Efope 
reherceth fuche a fable / C Of a 
carter/ whiche ladde a Charyot 
or carte/ whiche a Mule drewe 
forthe/ And by caufe the Mule wente not faft 
ynough / the flye fayd to the Mule / Ha a payllart 
Mule / why gooft thow not fafter / I fhalle foo 
egrely pryke the/ that I fhalle make the go 
lyghtely / C And the Mule anfwered to the 
flye / God kepe and preferue the naone for the 
wolues/ For I haue ne grete drede ne fere of 
the/ But I drede and doubte fore my mayfter/ 
whiche is vpon me / whiche conftrayneth me to 
fulfylle his wylle / C And more I oughte to 
drede and doubte hym more / than the/ whiche 
arte nought/ and of no valewe ne myght/ 
CAnd thus men ought not to gette by ne 
double them/ whiche haue no myght ne that 
ben of no valewe 


C tL\}c ibij fnblf is of ibc antf nnti t}]f Qdc. 

C) make booll and auauntyngc is but 
^:^;tI n^^«4j vayne s;lor)'e and folye/ wlicrof 
) I -/. Elope recyteth fuclie a fable/ Of 

*f ^' . v^)^J '^'*^ ^"^*^ '^'^ formyce and of the 

tiye/ whiche rtryued to gyder/ 
for to wete whiche was the moll noble of 
them bothe/ & the tlye fayd to the formyce/ 
Come hyder formyce / wylt thow compare thy 
felf to me that dwelle in the kynges places and 
palays/ and ete and drynke at theyr table/ And 
alfo I kylfe bothe kynge and quene/ and the 
moft fayre maydens / and thow poure and myf- 
chaunt beeit thow arte euer within the erthe/ 
And the formyce anfuerd to the five/ Now 
knowe I wel thy vanyte and folye / C For thow 
auauntert the of that wherof thou Iholeft def- 
prayfe the / 

For fro alle places where as thow good or 
flycft / thow arte hated chaced and put oute / and 
lyueft in'grete daunger/ for aflbne as thewynter 
Ihalle come thow (halt deye/ And I flial abyde 
on lyue alone within my chamber or hole / 
where as I drj-nke and ete at my playfyr/ Ft)r 



the wynter Ihalle not forgyue to the thy myf- 
dede / but he Ihalle llee the/ CAnd thus he 
that wylle mocque or defpreyfe fomme other/ 
he ougt fyrft to loke and behold on hym lelf 
wel / For men fayn comynly / who that be- 
holdeth in the glas/ well he feeth hym felf/ 
(I And who feeth hym felf/ wel he knoweth hym 
felf/ And who that knowith hym felf/ lytel he 
preyfeth hym felf/ C And who that preyfeth 
hym felf lytyll / he is ful wyfe and fage. 



C JTlic lUiij fable is of thf toulf / of i\)t: foif 
nnti of tf)C ape 

IE that ones talk-th in to ibmiiie 
euylle faytte or decle / he Ihalle 
euer lyue with delhoiiour and in 
lul'pccion/ of the peple/ C And 
how be it that by aduenture he 
purpoled to doo ibmme prouffitable ihynge to 
I'omme other/ yet he (hold not be trufted ne 
byleued / wherof Efope reherceth to vs fuche a 
fable / Of a wulf whiche maade the foxe to be 
cyted before the Ape/ C And the wulf fayd 
that the foxe was but a theef and a pay Hart and 
a knaue of poure folke/ And the foxe fayd that 
he lyed / and that he was a good and trewe man / 
And that he dyde moche good/ 

C And thenne the Ape whiche was fette as 
a Juge/ gaf fuche a fentence/ and fayd to the 
wulf/ Come hyther/ tliow haft not loll al that 
wliiche thow demaundelt / C And thow Foxe 
I beleue wel that thow haft vfurped and robbed 
fom thynge/ howe be it/ that thow denyeft hit 
in Juftyce/ But for as moche that pees may be 
bytwcxe yow bothe / ye ihalle parte to gyder 



your good/ to thende/ that none of yow haue 
no hole parte/ For he that is wonte and acuf- 
tomed to robbe and gnawe / with grete payne he 
may abfteyne hym felf fro hit / For a begyler 
wylle euer begyle other / C And by caiife that 
the ape fehe them bothe guky and fufpycious 
made theyr dyfference to be acorded / and parted 
half by half/ For they that ben cuftomed to doo 
ony frawde or falfhede/ Ihall euer lyue rygte 
heuyly and in fufpycon 



C iTtjc III fable 15 of tlif man nnt] of i\]t 


En ought wel to loke and behold the 
courage & thought of hyin/ whiclie 
dothe good/ and the ende/ wher- 
tor he dothe hit / wherof Elope 
reherccth fuche a fable / Of a man 
whiclie tooke a wefell / the whiche chaced after 
the rattes wythynne his hows/ C And after 
whanne he had taken her/ he wold haue kylled 
her/ C And whanne the poure Wefelle fawe 
the wrathe and furour of her mayfter/ ilie cryed 
to hym / mercy/ fayenge thus/ My lord I re- 
quyre and praye the/ that thow wylt pardonne 
to nie/ and that thow wylt reward ine of the 
grete feruyfe whiche I haue done to the/ For 
euer I haue chaced the rats oute of thy hows/ 

C And tlic man fayd to her/ thow dydeft not 
that for the loue of me/ but only thow haft done 
it for to fylle thy bely For yf thow haddeft done 
it for the loue of me / I Ihold haue pardonned to 
the/ C And by caufe that thow dydeft not for 
to ferue me/ but for to iette and adomage me/ 
Fur that the rattes myght not ete/ thou bareft 



it awey / And foo bycaufe / that thow arte wexed 
fatte of myne owne brede/ thow muft rendre 
and geue to me alle the fatneffe/ whiche thou 
haft conquered and goten here / For he that 
robbeth Ihall be robbed/ Juxta illud/ pellatores 
pillabuntur / For hit fuftyfeth not to doo wel / 
but men muft haue good wylle and good enten- 
cion for to do hit / For an almeffe that is done 
for vayne glorye/ is not merited/ but difmeryted / 
wherfore I fhal not pardonne the/ but incon- 
tynent and withoute taryenge thow fhalt deye / 
For by caufe that thow haft deferuyd no mercy / 
thow {halt now be putte to dethe 



C Z\)t II fnblr mnUcth mrnn'on of t!ic ©it/ nnt) 
of tlir froggc / toijirlie loalti liauc comparfti 
her to fium 

S^S^He poure ought not to compare hym 
felf to hym which is ryche and 
niyghty/ As fayth this fable of a 
frogge / whiche was in a medowe / 
when Ihe afpyed and fawe an oxe 
whiche palhired / She wold make her felf as grete 
and as myghty as the oxe / and by her grete 
pryde llie beganne to fwelle ageynfte the oxe/ 
And denaunded of his children yf ihe was not 
as grete as the oxe and as myghty/ And theyr 
children anfuerd and fayd nay moder/ For to 
loke and behold on the oxe / it femeth of yow to 
be nothynge/ And thenne the frogge beganne 
more to fwelle/ C And when the oxe fawe her 
pryde/ he thraddeand threlled her with his fote/ 
and brake her bely / Therfore hit is not good to 
the poure to compare hym felf to the ryche/ 
Wherfore men favn comynly / Swelle not thy 
felf/ to thende that thow brefte not 

C liUre fonDSs])^ tfjc fcconli bookf of Csopc/ 


C '^zxt bcggnet!) t]^E tl)2rtitie ioofee of tf)e ftihtgle 
failfs of (^sope/ iDfjcrof tfje fgrste tnakct]^ 
mencton/ of tfje Igon/ & of t]^e pastour or 


' f^""^ ! He myghty and puyflant oughte not 
^ ' to be llowfull of the benefetes 

done to them by the lytyl and 
fmalle And oughte not alfo to for- 
gete them / but that they may be 
rewarded of them / C And this fable approueth 
efope & fhoweth vnto vs / of a lyon whiche ranne 
after a beeft/ and as he ranne/ a thorne entred 
into his foote/ whiche hurted and greued hym 
gretely / wherfore he mught no ferther goo / 
but as wel as he cowde he came to a fhepeherd 
whiche kepte his fheep and beganne to flatere 
with his taylle lliewynge to hym hys foote / whiche 
was fore hurted and wounded / The fhepherd 
was in grete drede and cafted before the lyon 
one of his fheep/ But the lyon demaunded no 
mete of hym / For more he defyred to be me- 
dycyned and made hole of his foote/ C And 
after whenne the lliepherde fawe the wounde/ he 



with a iivdlo lubtylly drewe outc of liis foote the 
thorne/ and had oute of the wound alle the 
roten fleflhe/ and enoynted hit with fwete oyne- 
inents/ C And anone the lyon was hole/ And 
for to haue rendryd graces and thankys to the 
Ihepherd or paftour the lyon kylVed his handes/ 
And after he retorned ageyn in to the hyelt of 
the woode/ And within a lyiel whyle after it 
happed that this lyon was taken and conueyed 
to the Cyte of Rome and was put amonge the 
other beeftes for to deuoure the myfdoers / Now 
it befelle that the fayd Ihepherd commyfed a 
crymynous dede / whertore he was condempned 
to be deuoured by thefe beftes/ And ryght fo as 
he was call among them the lyon knewe hym / 
and beganne to behold on hym/ and made to 
hym chere and lykked hym with his tongue/ 
And preferued and kepte hym from alle the 
other beftes/ Thenne knewe the Ihepherd that 
it was the lyon whiche he maade hole/ And 
that he wold thenne haue rccompenfed hym of 
the good whiche he had done to hym / wherof 
alle the Romayns were all wonderly abafihed/ 
And wold knowe the caufe of hit And the 
Iheepherd fayd to them as aboue is fayd/ 
C And whanne they knewe the caufe / they 
gaf leue to the Iheepherd / to goo home and 
fente ageyne the lyon in to the foreft / And 



therfore this is notary and trewe that al maner 
of folke ought to rendre and gyue thankynges 
grace and mercye to theyr good doers / For 
flowfuhies is a fynne/ whiche is moche difplay- 
faunt to god 



C iThc Ccccnb fable is of tlir loon nnti of tlir ijors 

~^Ciie one ought to efchewe dylVymy- 
lyng/ for none 01131 to were on hym 
the fkyn of the wulf/ but that he 
wyll be lyke to hym / For none 
ongt to fayne hym felf other than 
fuche as he is/ As to vs reherceth this fable/ 
C Of a lyon whiche fawe a hors/ whiche ete 
gralVe in a medowe/ And for to fynde fomme 
fubtylyte and manere for to ete and deuoure 
hym approched to hym / and fayd / God kepe 
the my broder/ I am a leche/ and with al a good 
phefycyen/ C And by caufe that I fee that 
thow haft a fore foote / I am come hyther for 
to hele the of hit/ And the hors knewe wel 
all his euyell thought And fayd to the lyon / 
My broder I thanke the gretely / and thow arte 
welcome to me/ I preye the that thow wylt 
make my foote hole/ And thenne the lyon fayd 
to the hors/ late fee thy foote/ And as the lyon 
looked on hit/ the hors fmote hym on the for- 
hede/ In fuche wyfe that he brake his hede and 
fyll oute of his mynde/ & the lyon felle to the 
ground/ and foo wonderly he was hurte / that 




almoll he myght not ryfe vp ageyne / And thenne 
layd the lyon in hym felf/ I am wel worthy to 
haue had this / For he that fercheth euylle / 
euyll Cometh to hym/ And by caufe that I 
dyffymyled and fayned my felf to be a medycyn / 
where as I fhold haue fhewed myfel a grete 
enemye/ I therfore haue receyued good reward/ 
and therfore euery body oughte to Ihewe hym 
felf fuche as he is / 



t Crtjf l{)url) fablr mahrllj mnicioii af tljr nssc/ 
of t{}E Ijors/ ^ of tfjCDv foitunc 

IE tliat is wel fortuned and happy/ 
and is atte vppereft of the whele 
of fortune/ may wel falle doune/ 
And therfore none oughte to def- 
prayfe the poure / but oughte to 
thynke how the whele of fortune is moche 
doubtous as Ihewethe this prefent fable/ Of a 
tayr hors whiclie was wel harnayfed and arayed / 
and his fadel and brydel garnyfllied with gold / 
whiche hors mete with an afTe fore laden in a 
narowe way / And by caufe that the alVe tourned 
hym not a bak Incontyncnt the hors fayd to 
hym / Ha a chorle hall thow noo Ihame ne ver- 
goyne/ that thow dofte ne berell none worlhippe 
ne reuerence vnto thy lord / who holdelh now 
me/ that wyth my foote I breke not thyn hede/ 
by caufe that thow putteft not thy felf afyde 
and oute of my waye / fo that I myght parte 
& goo on my wave/ The poure affe anfuerd 
ne fayd to hym neuer a word/ and was fore 
aferd that the horfe fliold haue bete hym / wher- 



fore he held his pees as wyfe and fage / And 
the hors wente his waye / C And within a lytyl 
whyl after / it befelle / that fortune tourned his 
whele vp fodoune / For thys fayre hors became 
old lene and feke / C And whanne his mayfter 
fawe that his hors was thus lene and feke and 
oute of profperyte/ he comauded that he Ihold 
be had in to the toun and that in ftede of his 
ryche fadel men fhold put and fette on his 
backe a panyer for to here dounge in to the 
feldes / Now it happed that the alfe whiche was 
in a medowe etyng grafle perceyued and fawe 
the hors and wel knewe hym / wherof he was 
wonder abaflhed / and merueylled moche that 
he was thus poure and lb lene bycome / C And 
the afle went toward hym andfayd / Ha a felawe, 
where is now thy fayre fadel/ and thy ryche 
brydel/ garnyfflied with gold/ how arte thow 
now bycome loo lene and fuche a payllard / 
what haue prouffyted to the thy fayre and ryche 
rayments / and what auaylled now to thy grete 
fyerfte and pryde/ and thy grete prelumpcion 
whiche ones thowfheweft to me/ Thynke now/ 
how thow arte lene and vnthryfty/ and how 
thow and I ben now of one offyce / And the 
mylerable and vnhappy hors was abaflhed /and 
for Ihame loked dounward/ & anfuerd neuer 
one word / for alle his felicitie was thenne 



turned into aduerfyte / C And therforc they that 
ben in fclycite / oughte not to dyfprayfe tlieni / 
whiche ben in aduerlyte/ For many one I 
knewe ryche and myghty / whiche are now 



C ^^z Hi} fable maketfi mmcpn of tl^e berstes 
anti of t^z hixtJZQ 

[One maye do no good to two lordes 
at ones/ whiche ben cotrary one 
to that other/ as layth to vs this 
fable that the beeftes made grete 
werre ageynll the byrdes / & fought 
euery day to gyder/ And the backe feryng the 
wulues And that the beeftes fhold vaynquyffhe 
and ouercome the byrdes / wold haue hold with 
the beeftes / and be ageynft the byrdes / And 
whanne the batylle was ordeyned on bothe fydes / 
the egle beganne to entre in to the batayll of 
the beeftes by fuche a ftrengthe / that with the 
help of the other byrdes he gat the feld / 
and vaynquyflhed / and ouercame the beftes / 
wherfor the beftes maade pees with the byrdes / 
and were alle of one accord and of one wylle / 
And for the treafon that the backe had made / 
Ihe was condempned to neuer fee the day/ And 
neuer flee / but only by nyght / And alfo fhe was 
defpoylled of alle her fethers / And therfore he 
that wylle ferue two lordes cotrary one to other 
may-not be good ne trewe / And they wheche 


TER'nUS. 71 

relynquen and leue theyr owne lordes for to 
Terue another Itraunger/ whiclie is enemy to 
theyr lord/ ben wel worthy to be punylllied / 
For as the Eiiangcle fayth/ None may ferue 
bothe god and the deuyl 


C E^t fa fable is of t!)e nggl[)t2ngalE anli of 
tf)e fp£r£|)airik£ 

E that opprefleth the Innocents 
'^ ihalle haue an euyl ende / wherof 

Elope reherceth to vs fuche a 
fable/ Of a fperehawk/ whiche 
dyd put hym within the neft of 
a nyghtyngale/ where he fond the lytyl and 
yonge byrdes/ the nyghtyngale came and per- 
ceyued hym / wherfore Ihe praed the fpere- 
hawke/ fayeng/ I requyre and praye the as 
moche as I may/ that thow haue pyte on 
my fmal byrdes / And the fperehawke anfuerd 
and fayd / yf thow wylt that I graunte the 
thy requeft / thow muft fynge fwetely after my 
wylle and gree And thenne the nyghtyngale 
beganne to fynge fwetely/ not with the herte/ 
but with the throte onely / For he was fo fulled 
with forowe that otherwyfe he myght not doo / 
The fperehawk fayd thenne to the nyghtyngale / 
This fonge playfeth me not / And toke one of the 
yonge byrdes and deuoured hit / And as the fayd 
fperehawke would haue deuoured and eten the 
other came there a hunter whiche dyd cafte a 



gretc nette vpon the I'perehawk / And whanne fhe 
wold haue fleen awey / he myght not / for he 
was taken / And therfore he that doth harme & 
lettcih the Innocents / is wortliy to deye of euylle 
dethc/ As Cayni dyd whiche llewe liis broder 


C E^t Umnt}} fable fs of tfje iaxz antj of 
tf)£ toulf 

Ortune helpeth bothe the good and 
euylle folke/ and to alle them/ 
whiche fhe helpeth not fhe fendeth 
euylle to them/ And they that 
fetten alle theyr malyce ageynfte 
fortune ben fubuertyfed and ouerthrawen by 
her/ wherof Elope reherceth fuche a fable/ Of 
a wulf whiche had affembled to gyder a grete 
proye / or moche mete for to haue lyued more 
delycioufly / wherof the foxe had grete anuye/ 
and for to haue robbed fomme of this good/ he 
came vnto the cauerne or hole where as this 
proye or mete was in/ and fayd to the wulf / 
Mygodfep the wulf/ by caufe hit is longefyth I 
fawe the / I am in grete heuynefle and forowe / 
and alfo by caufe we haue not been in longtyme 
gone chaced and gone to gyder/ C And whan 
the wulf knewe the malyce of the foxe / he fayd 
to hym thow arte not come hyder for to fee me / 
ne how I fare / but thou arte come for to robbe 
and rauyflhe my good/ For the whiche wordes 
the foxe was moche angry / and wente toward a 

ftieepherd / 


ftieepherd / towhome he fayd / yf thnw wvit hu 
auenged of the wulf wliiche is enemy of thy hccrd 
or parke/ on this day I Ihalle put hym under 
thy handes/ And the Ihepherd aufuerede to the 
tbxe in this manere/ yf thow doo as thow fayll / 
I fliall paye the wel / And thenne the foxe 
lliewed to hym the hool/ wherin the wulf was/ 
And the Ihepherd Incontynent wente toward 
the hole/ and with a fpere he kyld the wulf/ 
And l)y this manere the foxe was wel fylled and 
refreflliyed of the good of the other/ but as he 
returned home ward / he was tuke and deuoured 
by fommedogges/ wherfore he fayd to hym felf/ 
by caufe that r}'ght euylle I haue done/ euylle 
Cometh thow to me/ For fynne retorneth euer 
vpon his maylter/ And he that lyueth but of 
rauyn and robberye llial at the lall be knowen 
and robbed/ 



C ST'^e feuent!) fable is of tfje l^erte atitr of tlje 

^En preyfen fomtyme that / that 
Ihold be blamed & vitupered / 
And ofte men blamen & vytu- 
peren that / that iliold be preyfed / 
as reciteth to vs this fable of a 
herte / To whome it happyd on a tyme that he 
drank in a fonteyn or welle as he dranke / he 
fawe in the water his hede which was horned / 
wherfore he preyfed moche his homes/ And 
as he loked on his legges/ whiche were 
lene and fmal / he defpreyfed and vytupered 
them / And as he was drynkynge in the fontayne 
he herd the voys and barkynge of dogges / 
wherfore he wold haue fledde awey in to the 
foreft for to faue hym felf / but as he fawe the 
dogges fo nyghe hym he wold haue entred within 
a buflhe / but he myght not / for his homes 
kepte hym withoute / And thenne feyng that 
he myght not efcape began to faye within hym 
felf/ I haue blamed and vytupered my legges / 
whiche haue ben to me vtyle and prouffitable / 
and haue preyfed my homes / whiche ben now 



caule of my dethe/ And thertbre men ought to 
dcfprayre that thyngc/ whiche is vnproutfitable/ 
and preyle that whiche is vtyle and prourtitable/ 
And tht'V ought to prfylc and loue the chirche and 
tlie conunaundenicnts of the fame/ the whiche 
ben moche vtyle 6c prouftytable/ And defpreyfe 
and flee al fyniie and vyce/ whiche ben inutyle 
harmetul and domniaseable 


C 2Efje bitj fafele malket!) ntEncion of Suno / of 
Ucnus / anti of tf)0 otfjer irigmmm 

Efore the goddes and the goddeffes 
men mufte euer preyfe chaftyte / 
for it is a worfhipful & an honefl 
thyng to a woman to hold hyr 
contente with a man alone / but 
Venus for her defporte & for to dryue aweye the 
tyme / wold Interprete the fayenge of the hennes / 
wherfore fhe demaunded a henne whiche was 
in her hows / but at this tyme I fhal kepe my 
tongue / and no ferther I fhalle fpeke therof/ 
For many wyfe men whiche haue fene and 
redde alle this book vnderftanden wel alle the 
nature of hit / and by caufe it is lycyte & honefl: / 
And that we alle ben bounden to kepe the ladyes 
in theyre worlliip and honour/ alfo that in euery 
place where hit Ihalle be pofl}'ble to vs we ought 
to preyfe them / We flialle now ceffe to enquere 
ferther of this matere/ and hiftoryye/ whiche 
we fhall leue in latyn for tlie grete clerkes / & in 
efpecial for them that wylle occupye theyr tyme 
to judge and rede the glofe of the fayd Elope 



C (E|}e nuntl)c fable is of i\)t knugljt anb of 
tljc luntiotoc 

g ^-^n -j j^i,^ ' He woman wliiche lyueth in this 
world witliout reproche or blame 
is worthely to be gretely preyl'ed / 
Wherof Efope reherceth fuche a 
table of a man and of a woman / 
whiche loued moche eche other/ It happed thenne 
by the effors of Atropos or dethe/ the whiche 
we al muft fuffer that the fayd man deyde/ 
And as men wold haue borne hym in to his 
graue/ whiche was withoute the toune there to 
be buryed / his wyf made grete forowe and wepte 
pyteoully / And whanne he was buryed / Ihe wold 
abyde Ih'ile vpon the graue/ and lete do make a 
lytyll lodge or hows therupon/ and oute of this 
lodge Ihe wold neuer departe for no prayer ne 
fayr word / neyther for ony yeftes ne for menaces 
of her parents Now it befell in the toun that amy f- 
doer was condampned to be hanged / C And to 
thende that he lliold not be taken fro the gallows / 
hit was thenne commaunded that a knyght lliold 
kepe hym / And as the knyght kepte hym / grete 
ihurfte took hyra / And as he perccyued the lodge 



of the fayd woman he wente to her / and prayd 
her to gyue hym fomme drynke/ And fte with 
good 'herte gaf hym to drynke/ And the knyght 
dranke with grete appetyte / as he that had grete 
thurlte/ & whan he had dronke/ he torned ageyne 
to the galhows ward/ This knight came another 
tyme to the woman for to comforte her/ And 
thre tymes he dyd foo / And as he was thus goyng 
and comynge / doubtynge hym of nobody / his 
hanged man was taken and had fro the galhows / 
And whanne the knyght was come ageyne to 
the galhows & fawe that he had lofte his dede 
man / he was gretely abaffhed & not withoute 
caufe For hit was charged to hym vpon peyne 
to be hanged/ yf he were take awey/ This 
knyght thenne seynge his Judgement/ tourned 
and went ageyne to the fayd woman / & call: 
hym at her feete / and laye before her as he 
had be dede / And fhe demaiided of hym / My 
frend/ what wylt thow that I doo for the/ Alias 
fayd he/ I praye the that thow focoure and 
counceylle me now at my grete nede/ For by 
caufe I haue not kept wel my theef/ whiche 
men haue rauyflhed fro me/ the kynge flialle 
make me to be put to dethe / And the woman 
fayd / Haue no drede my frend / For well I fhalle 
fynde the manere wherby thow llialt be delyuerd/ 
For we lliall take my hufbond/ and Ihalle 


TF.RTIUS. 8 1 

hange hym in ftcde of thy tliecf/ C Tlienne 
begaiine ihe to dclue/ aiul tooke out of tlie crthc 
her hulboncl/ and at m}t Ihe hanged hym at 
the galhows in ftede of the other/ and fayd to 
the knyght/ My ryght dere frend I pray the 
that this be kept well fecrele/ For we doo hit 
tlieerty/and thus the dede men haue fomme/ 
whiche make forowe for them/ but lliat forowe 
is fone gone and palFyd/ And they whiche ben 
on lyue haue fome whiche drede them / but 
theyr drede wantith and faylleth whan they ben 


C (C'[)£ tentf)£ fabU mafeetfj mracgon of tl^e gong 
man/ anti of tlje comcn inoman 

MF the comyn and folyfihe wymmen 
Efope reherceth to vs fuche a 
fable/ Of a woman whiche had 
to name Tahys / the whiche was 
caufe by her feyned loue of the 
dethe and loffe of many yonge men / to one of the 
whiche flie had be bete ofte before that tyme / 
Ihe fayd to hym in this wyfe/ My ryght dere 
loue and good frende / I fuppofe that of many 
one I am wel byloued and defpred / Neuertheles 
I fhall fotte my loue on thy felf alone / wherfore 
I pray the that thow mayrt be myn / and I fhalle 
be thyn for alle thy goodes I retche not/ but 
only I defyre thy fwete body / And he that 
knewe the feyntyfe and falflieed of the woman / 
anfuered to her / ryght benyngly and fwetely / thy 
wyll and the myn ben both but one alone / For 
thow arte fhe whiche I mooft defyre / and the 
whiche I fhalle loue all the terme of my lyf / Yf 
thow deceyue me nomore / For by caufe that 
thow haft decyued me in tyme paffed / I am 
euer aferd of the/ but notwithftondynge this/ 



thow arte now moche playfaunt and fayr to the 
lyghte of mc/ And thus the one bcgyled that 
other/ For the loue of a comyn woman is not to 
be trulled / For thow oughtell to knowc and 
thynk within thy felf/ that the comyn and 
folyflh woman loue the not / but the loucth thy 



C QTi^c ij fable ts at tf)e fatiet antJ of tfje 
Eimlle fone 

He good and wyfe fader ought to 
chaftyle his children in theyr yong 
age / and not in theyr old age / 
For thenne hit is moche dyffycyle 
to make them bowe As to us 
reciteth this fable/ Of a fader of famylle/ 
whiche had a fone / the whiche dyd no thynge 
that he oughte to haue done/ but euer was 
goynge and playeng in the toune/ And the 
fader for the cryme and myfrewle of his fone 
brawled euer and bete his meyny/ And fayd to 
them fuche a fable/ Of a ploughman or la- 
bourer/ whiche bond a bole by the homes to 
an oxe The booU wold not be bound / and 
fmote ftrongly whith his feet after the man/ and 
launched his homes at hym / C And at the laft 
whan he was bound / the labourer fayd to them 
I haue ioyned and bound you bothe to gyder/ 
to thende that ye doofomme labour/ But I wyll 
that the left of yow two/ that is to wete the 
boole/ be lerned and corryged of the mofte/ 
whiche is the oxe/ For I muft fayd the labourer 



to hym fclf byiulc them thus to gyder / to thciule 
that the bole/ whiche is yong fyen and maly- 
cious and Itrong/ fmyie ne hurte nobody/ 
wherot grete donimage myght come to me / But 
by caul'e that I bote well / that the oxe Ihalle 
teche and corryge hym wel / I haue put and 
bound them bothe to gyder/ CThus this fable 
Iheweth to vs / that the fader ought to teche and 
gyue good enfample to his children and chaftyfe 
them whanne they be yong For he that well 
loueth / wel he ehalh'reth 



C Cf)e iij fa&Ie is of tije ferpent 

He Auctor that is to wete Efope 
reherceth to vs fuche a fable of 
two euyls/ fayeng that a ferpent 
entryd fom tyme within the forge 
of a fmythe / for to ferche fomme 
mete for her dyner/ It happed/ that ihe fond a 
fyle whiche fhe beganne to gnawe with her 
teethe/ Thenne fayd the fyle to her/ yf thow 
byte and gnawe me / yet fhalt thow doo to me 
no hurte/ but bytynge and gnawyng on me/ 
thow fhalt hurte thyn owne felf / For by my 
ftrengthe alle the yron is planed by me / And 
therfore thow arte a foole to gnawe me/ For 
I telle the/ that none euyll may hurte ne adom- 
mage another as euylle as he / Ne none wycked 
may hurte another wycked / ne alfo the hard 
ageynft the hard flialle not breke eche other/ 
ne two enuyous men fhal not both ryde vpon an 
afle / wherfor the myghty and ftronge muft loue 
hym whiche is as myghty and as flrong as hym 
felf is 


C Z\)( ii'ij fable 13 of tl;c toulucs auti of 

t\)t ff)Cfp 

iHanne men haue a good liede/ and 
a good dct'cnknir / or a good Capi- 
tayne/ men oughte not to leue 
hym/ for he that leueth hym re- 
pcnteth hym alter ward of hit/ as 
to vs reherceth this fable/ Of the iheep whiche 
liad werre and defcencion with the wolues / And 
by caufe that the wuhies made to ftronge werre 
ageynft the Iheep/ the Ihepe thenne tooke for 
theyr help the dogges/ and the whethers ahb/ 
And thenne was the bataylle of the ftieep fo grate 
and fo llronge / & fought fo vygoroully ageynll 
the wolues that they put them to fly3t C And 
whanne the wolues fawe the ftrengthe of theyr 
aduerfaryes/ they fent an ambalTade toward the 
iheep for to trete the pees with them / the whiche 
Ambalfade fayd to the iheep in this maner/ yf 
ye wylle g>'ue us the dogges/ we fhalle fwere 
vnto yow oure feythe / that we Ihalle ncuer kepe 
ne hold werre ageynll yow / And the iheep 
anfuerd / yf ye wylle gyue vs your fayth / we 
Ihalle be content / And thus they made pees to 



gyder/ but the wulues kyld the dogges/ whiche 
were capytayns and prote6tours of the Iheep / 
And the dogges dyde but lytyll hurteto the wulues/ 
wherfore whanne the lytyl and yong wulues 
were growen in theyr age / they came of eche 
part and countrey / and affembled them to gyder / 
and all of one accord and wylle layd to theyr 
aunceftres and faders/ we muft ete vp alle the 
iheep / And theyr faders anfuerd thus to them / 
we haue made pees with them/ Neuertheles the 
yonge wolues brake the pees and ranne fyerfly 
vpon the iheep/ and theyr faders wente after 
them / C And thus by caufe that the flieep had 
delyuerd the dogges to the wolues / the whiche 
were theyr capitayns / and that they had none 
that kepte them / they were all eten and de- 
uoured of the wulues/ Therfore hit is good to 
kepe well his capytayne / whiche may at a nede 
o-yue focor and helpe / For a trewe trend is 
oftyme better at a nede than a Royalme/ For 
yf the fheep had kepte the loue of the dogges/ 
the wolues had neuer deuoured them / wherfore 
it is a lure thynge to kepe wel the loue of his 
protedour and good frende/ 



C liiij fnblf is of ttjf man anti of tfjt bjooti 

that gyiioth aydc and help to his 
enemy is caufe of his dethe / as 
rccvteth tliis fable of a man 
['_i : A^-^J;! whiclie made an axe / And after 
that he had made his axe/ lie 
alked of the trees/ and fayd / ye trees gyue yow 
to me a handle / and the trees were content / 
C And whanne he had maade faft his handle to 
the axe/ he began to cutte and throwe doune to 
the ground alle the trees/ wherfore the oke and 
tlie aflhe layd / yf we be cutte / hit is wel tyght 
and reafon / For to oure owne felf we ben cut 
aiul thrawen doune/ C And thus hit is not 
good to put hym felf in to the daunger and fub- 
iection of his enemye / ne to helpe hym for to 
be adomaged / as thou maift fee by this prefente 
table / For men ought not to gyue the llaf by 
whiche they may be beten with 


C W^z lii fa6l£ 10 of t|^e toulf aiiH of tf)e "fiogge. 

lyberte or freedome is a moche fwete 
thynge / as Elope reherceth by 
this fable / of a wulf and of a 
dogge whiche by aduenture mette 
to gyder/ wherfore the wulf de- 
maunded of the dogge/ wherof arte thow fo 
fatte and fo playfaunt / And the dogge anfuerd 
to hym / I haue wel kepte my lordes hows / & 
haue barked after the theues whiche came in the 
hows of my mayfter / wherfore he and his meyny 
gyue to me plente of good mete / wherof I am 
fatte and playfaunt/ and the wulf fayd thenne 
to hym / It is wel fayd my broder / Certaynly 
fyth thow arte fo wel atte thyn eafe and fareft fo 
wel I haue grete defyre to dwelle with the/ to 
thende that thow & I make but one dyner/ wel 
fayd the dogge / come on with me yf thow wylt 
be as wel at thyn eafe as I am / and haue thou 
no doubte of no thynge / The wulf wente with 
the dogge/ and as they wente by the way/ the 
wulf beheld the dogges neck/ whiche was al 
bare of here/ and demaunded of the dogge/ 
My broder why is thy neck fo Ihauen / And the 



dog anfuered/ it is by caufe of my c;rctc color 
of yron / to the whiclie dayly I am falted / And 
at nyglit I am vnbouiul for to kcpc the hows the 
better/ Thenne layd the wulf to the doggc/ 
This I wyllie ne iiede not / For I that am in 
lyberte/ wylle not be put in no fubiedlion / And 
therefor for to fylle my- bely / I wylle not be 
fubget / yf thou be acuftommed for to be bound / 
contynue thow in hit / and I Ihalle lyue as I 
am wonte and acuftomed / therfore there is no 
rychelle gretter / than lybete / for lyberte is 
better than alle the gold of the world / 


C iH^z lijj fable tnakctlf nt£nct0n of tl^e j^anties / 
of tf)£ f ££t / antj of t\)z mans ftelg 

^Ow fhalle one do ony good to an- 
other / the whiche can doo no 
good to his owne felf/ as thow 
mayft fee by this fable/ Of the 
feet and of the handes / whiche 
fomtyme had gredeftryf with the bely / fayenge / 
Al that we can or may wynne with grete labour 
thow eteft it all / and yet thou dooft no good / 
wherfore thou Ihalt no more haue nothynge 
of vs/ and we llialle lete the deye for honger/ 
And thenne when the bely was empty and fore 
hongry/ fhe beganne to crye and fayd Alias I 
deye for honger/ gyue me fomwhat to ete/ and 
the feet and handes fayd / thou geteft no thynge 
of vs/ and by caufe that the bely myght haue no 
mete/ the conduyts thorugh whiche the metes 
pafleth became fmal and narowe/ And within 
fewe dayes after the feete and handes for the 
feblenes whiche they felte wold thenne haue 
guuen mete to the bely / but it was to late / for 
the conduits were ioyned to gyder And therfore 
the lymmes myght doo no good to other/ that 


is to wete the bcly/ And he that gouernetli not 
wel liis bely withe grete payne he may liold the 
other lymmes in theyr llrengthe and vertuc/ 
wherfore a feruaunt ought to I'erue wel his 
mayller/ to thende that his niayller hold and 
kepe hvm honelUy / and to rcceyue and haue 
good reward of hym / when his mayllcr ihalle 
fee his t'eythtulnclle 



C Cfjc i&ij fable IS of i^t ^pe anti of tfje foie. 

ua^^'iF the poure and of the Ryche Efope 
reherceth fuche a fable / Of an 
ape/ whiche prayd the foxe to 
gyue hym fomme of his grete 
taylle for to couere his buttokes 
therwith/ fayenge thus to hym/ what auaylleth 
to the foo long a taylle/ hit doth but wagge/ 
And that whiche letteth the/ fhalle be prouffit- 
able and good for me/ The foxe faid to hym 
I wold that hit were yet lenger/ For rather I 
wold fee hit al to fowled and dagged / than hit 
Ihold here to yow fuche honour/ as to couere 
thy fowle buttoks therwith / And therfore gyue 
thou not that thynge of whiche thow haft nede 
of/ to the ende that afterward thow myfter not 
of hit 



C vTijc lUiij fnbic is of i{)c marchnunt nnti 
of tl)f ns3£ 




Kit joxz 








any one ben trauaylled after ihcyr 
dcthe / wherfore men ought not 
to defyre the dethe/ As reherceth 
Elope by this fable/ Of a mar- 
chaunt whiche ladde an afle laden 
vnto the market/ And for to be ilie fooner at 
the market/ he bete his afTe/ and fore prycked 
hym/ wherfore the poure alfe wyflhed & defyred 
his owne deth / wenyng to hyni that after his 
dethe he fliold be in refte/ And after that he 
had be wel bete and chaced he deyde/ And 
his mayfter made hym to be flayne/ and of his 
fkynne he dyd doo make tumbours whiche ben 
euer bete/ And thus for what payne that men 
ujay haue durynge his lyf/ he ought not to 
defyre and wylThe his dethe/ For many one 
ben/ whiche haue grete payne in this world 
that fliall haue a gretter in the other world/ 
For the man hath no refte for the dethe but for 
his merytes 



C 2r]^e iti fable is of tfje fjerte anti of tf)£ oie 

Nely for to flee is alTured to fcape 
the daunger wherfore he fleeth / 
As thow fhalt nowe fee by this 
fable / Of a herte whiche rane 
by fore the dogges / and to thende 
that he fliold not be take/ he fledde in to the 
fyrft toun that he found/ & entryd in to a ftable 
where as many oxen were / to whom he fayd the 
caufe why he was come there / prayeng them 
fwetely that they wold faue hym / And the 
oxen fayd then to hym / Alias poure herte thow 
arte amonge vs euylle adreffyd/ thow fholdelt 
be more furely in the feldes C For yf thow be 
perceyued or fene of the oxeherd or els of the 
mayfter / Certaynly thow arte but dede / Helas 
for god & for pyte I praye yow that ye wylle 
hyde me within your racke / and that ye deceyue 
me not/ and at nyght next comynge/ I fhalle 
goo hens / and ihalle putte my felf in to a fure 
place/ CAnd whanne the feruaunts came for 
to gyue hey to the oxen / they dyd caft heye 
before the oxen / and wente ageyne theyre waye 
and fawe not the hert / wherof the herte was 
gretely reioyflhed wenynge to haue fcaped the 



penile of dethe/ He tlifime rendred thnnke 
and grace to the oxen/ and one of the oxen I'ayd 
tohym/ It is facyle to fcape out of the handes 
of the blynd but hit is not facyle to fcape out of 
the handes of liym thet feeth wel / For yf oure 
mayfter come hyther whiche hath more than an 
honderd even/ Certayn thow arte deed yf he 
perceyue the C And yf he fee the not / cer- 
taynly thow arte laued / and llialt goo forthe on 
thy waye furely/ 

The mayfter within a lliort whyle after entryd 
in to the ftable/ And after he comniaunded to 
vyfyte and fee the hey / whiche was before his 
oxen / And hym felf went and tafted / yf they 
had ynough of hit / And as he tafted thus the 
heye/ he felt the homes of the herte with his 
hand/ and to liyni felf he fayd / what is that 
that I fele here / and bcynge dredeful called alle 
his feruauntes / and demaunded of the manere 
how the herte was come thyder/ And they fayd 
to hym/ my lord I knowe nothynge therof/ 
And the lord was full gladde and made the 
herte to be taken and ftayne / and maade a grete 
feeft for to haue ete hym/ Therfore it happeth 
oftyme/ that he whiche fuppofeth to flee is 
taken and hold within the lace or nette/ For he 
that fleeth awey is in grete perylle/ wherfore 
men ought wel to kepe them felf to doo fuche 
dede/ that they muft nedes flee therfore 


C STfjc XI fable tna^tct]^ mrnrion of tfjc fallace of 
t!jc loon/ ^nti of fiis conuersacion 


^^^^S^O conuerfe with foike of euylle lyf 
"^^l is a thyng moche peryllous / And 
only to fpeke with them letteth 
moch other/ As this fable reher- 
ceth of a lyon ryght ftrong and 
ryght myghty / the whiche made hym felf kynge 
for to haue grate renommee and glorye / And fro 
thenne forthon he beganne to chaunge his con- 
dycions and cuftomme Ihewing hym felf curtois / 
and fwore that he Ihold hurte no beftes / but 
fhold kepe them ageynft euery one / And of this 
promelTe he repented hym by caufe hit is moche 
dytfycyle and hard to chaunge his owne kynd / 
And therfore whanne he was angry/ he lad 
with hym fomme fmalle beeftes in to a fecrete 
place for to ete and deceyue them / And de- 
maunded of them / yf his mouthe ftanke or not / 
And alle they that fayd that it ftanke or not 
were al faued / And alle they the whiche an- 
fuered not he kylled/ & deuoured them al/ It 
happed that he demaunded of the Ape/ yf his 
mouthe ftanke or not / And thape fayd no but 



that liit riiiclletli lyke bame/ And thenne the 
lyon had lliame to llee the ape / but he tond a 
grete taUlieed for to put hym to dethe/ He 
fayned to be feke and conimaunded that al his 
leches A: Cyrurgyens ihold anone come vnto hyni / 
whan they were come/ he commaunded them 
to loke his vryne/ And whan they had I'ene hit/ 
they layd to hym / Syre ye Ihalle Ibone be hole / 
But ye mull ete lyght metes/ And by caule 
that ye be kynge / alle is at your commaunde- 
ment/ And the lyon anfuerd Alias Ryght tayne 
I wold ete of an Ape/ Certaynly fayd the 
medecyn that fame is good mete/ Thenne was 
the Ape fente for And notwiihltondyng that 
he worlhipfuUy fpak and anfuerd to the kynge/ 
the kynge made hym to dye/ and deuoured 
hym CTherfore hit is peryllous and harmeful 
to be in the felaulhip of a Tyraunt / For be hit 
euylle or good he wylle ete and deuoure euery 
thynge/ And wel happy is he/ that may ecape 
fro his blody handes/ And that may efchewe 
and flee the felaulhip of the eyyll tyraunt 

C %]txt fonosshfli t{)£ tl)Drl)t)c boolu of tlje 
fubtnlc fables of Csope / 



C SEfje ti^tst fable tnakct]^ meTtcgon of ii}Z foie 
antJ at tfje ragsgns 

E is not wyfe / that defyreth to haue 
a thynge whiche he may not 
haue/ As reciteth this fable Of 
a foxe / whiche loked and beheld 
the rayfyns that grewe vpon an 
hyghe vyne / the whiche rayfyns he moche 
defyred for to ete them C And whanne he 
fawe that none he myght gete/ he torned his 
forowe in to loye/ and fayd thefe rayfyns ben 

fowre / 

QUART us. 


lowre / and yf I had Iuiik- I wold not cte them / 
And tliertorc this tabic ihcwetli that he is wyfe/ 
wliichc t'lyncih not to del'yre that tliynge the 
whiche he may not haue/ 



C 2E]^E seconli fable 10 of tfje atmcoent toesel anti 
of tfje rat / 

Ytte is better than force or ftrengthe/ 
As reherceth to vs this fable of 
an old wefel/ the whiche myghte 
no more take no rats/ wherfore 
fhe was ofte fore hongry and be- 
thought her that flie fhold hyde her felf with- 
ynne theflowrefor to take the rats whiche came 
there for to etc hit. And as the rats came to the 
floure / Ihe took and ete them eche one after 
other/ And as the oldeft rat of all perceyued 
& knewe her malyce / he fayd thus in hym 
felf/ Certaynly I fhalle kepe me wel fro the / 
For I knowe alle thy malyce & falfhede CAnd 
therfore he is wyfe that fcapeth the wytte and 
malyce of eyylle folke/ by wytte and not by 

QUART us. 


C ^\)C tln'ilic fable is of tlir toulf an^ of tlir 
sfifcpf]crtj anti of tiic fnmtcr 

Any folke Ihewe themfelf good by 
theyr wordes whiche are ful of 
grete tantafyes / As reherceth to 
vs thys fable of a wulf whiche 
fledde byfore the hunter/ and as 
he fledde he mette with a flieepherd / to whome 
he faid my frende I praye the that thow telle 
not to hym that folowith me whiche wey I am 
gone/ & the Iheep herd faid to hym haue no 
drede ne fere nothynge / For I Ihalle not accule 
the/ For I Ihalle Ihewe to hym another way/ 
And as the hunter came/ he demaunded of the 
flieepherd yf he had fcne the wulf paffe/ And 
the hunter both with the heed and of the even 
Ihewed to the hunter the place where the wulf 
was/ &c with the hand and the tongue Ihcwed 
alle the contrarye / And incontynent the hunter 
vnderftood hym wel / But the wulf whiche per- 
ceyued wel all the fayned maners of the Ihcep- 
herd fled awey / C And within a lytyl whylle 
after the Iheepherd encountred and mette with 
the wulf/ to whome he fayd/ paye me of that 


104 LIBER 

I haue kepte the fecrete / (I And thenne the 
wulf anluered to hym in this maner/ I thanke 
thyn handes and thy tongue / and not thyn hede 
ne thyn eyen/ For by them I lliold haue ben 
betrayed/ yf I had not fledde aweye/ CAnd 
therfore men mull not trulle in hym that hatli 
two faces and two tongues/ for fuche folk is 
lyke and femblable to the fcorpion / the whiche 
enoynteth with his tongue/ and prycketh fore 
with his taylle 

QUART us. 105 

C Z\)t fouitf) fablt is of Euno tf]f goTJtJcssc ant) 
of tbc peroh nntj of tlic nggbtgngalc 

'Very one oughte to be content of 
kynde / and of fuche good as god 
hath fente vnto hym/ wherof he 
muft vfe lullly/ As reherceth 
this fable of a pecok whiche came 
to luno the goddelfe/ and fayd to her I am 
heuy and forowful / by caufe I can not fynge 
as wel as the nyghtyngale For euery one 
mocketh and fcorneth me/ by caufe I can not 
fynge/ And luno would comforte hym and 
fayd/ thy fayre forme and beaute is fayrer and 
more worthy and of gretter preyfynge than the 
fonge of the nyghtyngale/ B'or thy fethers and 
thy colour ben refplendyUhyng as the precious 
Emerawd And theyr is no byrde lyke to thy 
fethers ne to thy bcaulte/ C And the pecok 
fayd thenne to luno/ All this is nought / fyth 
I can not fynge / And thenne luno fayd ageyne 
thus to the pecok for to contente hym/ This is 
in the defpofycion of the goddes / whiche haue 
gyuen to eyther of yow one propyrle/ and one 
vertue/ fuche as it pleafyd them/ As to the 


io6 LIBER 

they haue gyuen fayr fygure / to the egle haue 
they gyuen ftrengthe/ and to the nyghtyngale 
fayr & playlaut Ibnge / And fo to all other 
byrdes / wherfore euery one muft be content 
of that that he hath For the myferable auary- 
cious / the more goodes that they haue the more 
they defyre to haue 



C €\}t b fable makctfi mention of tlic pantijirr 
antJ of tijc fa^laons 

Very one ought to do wel to the 
ftraunger and forgyue to the 
myferable/ As reherceth this 
fable of a panthere whiche fylle in 
to a pytte/ And whan the vy- 
laynes or chorles of the country fawe her/ 
fomme of them beganne to fniyte on her/ and 
the other fayd pardonne and forgyue her/ for 
Ihe hath hurted no body / and other were that 
r'af to her breed / And another fayd to the 
vylayns/ beware ye well that ye ilee her not/ 
And by caufe that they were al of dyuerfe wyll / 
euerychone of them wente and retorned home 
ageyne wenynge that flie fliold deye within the 
fayd pytte / but lytyl and lytyl (he clymmed vp / 
and wente to her hows ageyne/ and made her 
to be wel medicyned / in fo moche / that foone 
llie was al hole/ C And within a whylle after 
fhe hauynge in her memorye the grete Iniurye 
that had be done to her came ageyne to the 
place where ihe had be hurte and fore bete/ & 
began to kylle & flee al the belles whiche were 


io8 LIBER 

there about and put al the llieepherds and fwyne- 
herds & other whiche kepte beeftes all to flyght / 
Ihe brente the Corne & many other euyl and 
grate harme Ihe dyd then aboute/ And whanne 
the folke of the country fawe the grete dom- 
mage that llie dyd to them / they came toward 
her/ prayenge that lliewold haue pyteon them/ 
And to them Ihe anfuerd in this manere / I am 
not come hyther to take vengeaunce on them 
whiche haue had pyte and myierycorde of me/ 
but only on them that wold haue llayne me/ 
And for the wycked and euyele folk I recyte this 
fable/ to thende that they hurte no body/ For 
yf alle the vylaynes hadde hadde pyte/ the one 
as the other of the poure panthere or ferpent 
whiche was ftraunger and myferable / as moche 
as (he was fallen in to the pytte / the for I'ayd 
euylle and dommyge had not come to them 


C CTlic bi fafalc is of t!]c borfjcrs nntj of tf)c 

jHanne a lygnage or kynred is in- 
dyrferent or indyuyfvon / not 
lyghtly theyllialledoo ony thynge 
to theyr falute/ as reherceth to vs 
this fable/ Of a bocher whiche 
entryd within a rtable full of whethers /And after 
as the whethers fawe hym / none of them fayd 
one word/ And the bocher toke the fyrfl that 
he fonde/ CThenne tlic whethers fpake al to 
gyder and fayd/ lete him doo what he wylle/ 
And thus the bocher tooke him all one after 
another fauf one onely/ And as he wold haue 
taken the laft / the poure whether fayd to hym / 
lulllv I am worthy to be take/ by caufe I haue 
not holpen my felawes/ For he that wylle not 
hclpe ne comforte other / ought not to demaunde 
or alke helpe ne comforte / For vertue whiche is 
vnyed is belter than vertue feparate 


C STfie feumt]^ fable 10 of tlje faiDltoner anti of 

He wyfe ought to kepe and obferue 
the good couceyll / And in no 
wyfe they ought not to doo the 
contrarye/ As reherceth to vs 
this fable / Of the byrdes whiche 
were loyeful and gladde/ as the prymtemps 
came/ by caufe that theyr neftes were thenne al 
couerd with leues/ And Incontynent they be- 
held and fawe a fawkoner whiche drelfyd and 
leyd laces and nettes for to take them/ C And 
thenne they fayd al to gyder / Yonder man hath 
pyte of vs / For whanne he beholdeth vs he 
wepeth / C And thenne the pertryche / whiche 
had experymented and alfayed all the deceytes 
of the fayd Fawkoner/ fayd to them/ kepe yow 
alle wel fro that fayd man and flee hyghe in to 
the ayer / For he feketh nothynge / but the 
manere for to take yow / or to the markette he 
flialle here yow for to be fold / And they that 
byleuyd his couceylle were faued/ And they 
that byleuyed it not were taken and loft / C And 
therfore they whiche byleue good councylle are 
delyuerd oute of theyr peryles / And they whiche 
byleue it not ben euer in grete daunger 

QUART us. 


-r ^j^S. S tyme pafled men preyfyd more 

•^i S^ ^''^ *"^'^^" *"" "^ •^''>'"gcs and falf- 
vf,}^, Ifei^ hrde llian the man tuUot" troiuhe/ 
the whiche thynge regneth gretely 
vnto this daye/ As we may lee 
by this prelent table/ Of the man of trouthe 
and of the man lyar / whiche went to gyder 
thorugh the countrey / And fo h)nge they wente 
to gyder by theyr journeyes/ that they came in 
to tiie prouynce of the apes/ And the kynge of 
thapes made them bothe to be taken and brought 
before hym And he beynge in his Royal magefte / 
where as he fatte lyke an Emperour/ and alle 
his Apes aboute hym / as the fubgets ben aboute 
theyr lord/ wold haue demaunded/ and in dede 
he demaunded of the Iyer / who am I / And the 
lefynge maker and Haterer layd to hym/ thow 
arte emperour and kynge/ the fayrell creature 
that is on earthe/ C And after the kynge de- 
maunded of hym ageyne / who ben thefe whiche 
ben al aboute me / And the lyar anfuerd / Syre 
they ben thy knyghtes & your fubgcttes for to 


112 LIBER 

kepe your perfone / and your Royalme/ And 
thenne the kynge fayd thow arte a good man / I 
wylle that thow be my grete ftyward of my 
houlliold / and that euery one here to the honour 
and reuerence/ And whan the man of trouthe 
herd alia this he fayd to hym felf/ yf this man 
for to haue made lefynges is foo gretely en- 
haunced / thenne by gretter rayfon / I fhalle 
be more worlhipped and enhaunced / yf I faye 
trouthe / C And after the kynge wold afke the 
trewe man / and demaunded of hym / who am 
I / and alle that ben aboute me / And thenne 
the man of trouthe anfuerd thus to hym / thow 
arte an ape and a befte ryght abhomynable/ 
And alle they whiche ben aboute the are lyke 
and femblable to the/ CThe kynge thenne 
commaunded that he Ihold be broken and toren 
with teeth and clawes and put alle in to pycees / 
And therfore it happeth ofte that the lyers and 
flaterers ben enhanced / and the men of trouthe 
ben fet alowe and put aback / For oftyme for 
to faye trouthe men lefe theyre lyues / the whiche 
thynge is ageynft luftyce and equyte 

QUART us. 


C nrijc II fable is of t!)c bors / of tl]c IjunUr ant) 

of lt]C \}CXt/ 

P,Onc ought to put hym felf in lubiec- 
tion tor to auenge hym on other/ 
-i- > ) I ^"'" ^<^^^^'' '^ "°^ *° fubmytte hym- 
'^ik^^'-' lelf/ than after to be lubmytted / 
As reherceth to vs this fable/ Of 
an hors whiche had enuye ouer an herte / by 
caufe the herte was fayrer than he / and tlie 
hors by enuye went vnto an hunter/ to whome 
he fayd in this manere/ yf thow wylt byleue 
me/ we llialle this day take a good prove/ 
Lcpe vpon my bak / and take thy fwerd / and 
we flialle chace the herte/ and thow Ihalt hytte 
hym with thy fwerd/ and kylle hym/ and 
Ihalt take hym/ and thenne his fleflhe thow 
mayft ete/ and his fkynne thow mayfl. felle/ 

C And thenne the hunter moued by auaryce / 
demaunded of the hors/ thynkeft thow by thy 
feythe that we may take the herte/ of whomme 
thow fpckeft to me of/ C And the horsanfwcrd 
thus/ SutFyfe the/ For thcr to I flialle put al 
my dylygence and alle my ftrengthe/ lcpe vpon 
me/ and doo after my counccyllc/ C And 



114 LIBER 

tlienne the Hunter lepte forthwith vpon the 
hors backe/ And the hors beganne to renne 
after the herte/ And whanne the herte fawe / 
hym come he fled / And by caufe that the hert 
ranne fafter/ than the hors did/ he fcaped fro 
them / and faued hym / C And thenne when the 
hors fawe and felte hym moche wery / and that 
he myght no more renne / he fayd to the hunter 
in this manere/ alyght fro my back/ For I may 
bere the no more and haue myft of my proye / 
Thenne fayd the hunter to the hors Syth thow 
arte entryd in to my handes / yet fhalt not thow 
efcape thus fro me / thow haft the brydel in thy 
mouthe wherby thow mayeft be kepte ftylle and 
arrefted / And thow wylt lepe / the fadell fhalle 
faue me / And yf thow wylt cafte thy feet fro 
the/ I haue good fpores for to conftrayne and 
make the goo whether thow wylt or not where 
as I wylle haue the/ And therfore kepe the 
wel / that thow {heweft not thy felf rebelle vnto 
me/ C Therfore it is not good to put and 
fubmytte hym felf vnder the handes of other 
wenynge therby to be auenged of hym / ageynfte 
whome men haue enuye / For who fubmytteth 
hym felf vnder the myght of other/ he byndeth 
hym felf to hym 

QUART us. 


C 5rf)e tmtf)C fable is of tlic assr anti of tfir Igon 

He grete callers by thcyr liyghc and 
lowd crye luppofen to make folke 
aterd/ As recyteth this fable/ Of 
an alfe whiche fomtynie mette 
with a lyon / to the whiche the 
aire fayd / lette vs clymme vpon the montayne / 
and I Ihalle rtiewe to the/ how the beeftes ben 
aferd of me/ and the lyon beganne to fmyle/ 
and he anfuerd to the alVe/ Goo we my broder/ 
And whan they were on the top of the hylle/ 
the alfe byganne to crj'e/ And the foxe and 
hares beganne to flee/ And whanne thafle faw 
them flee fayd to tlie lyon/ Seell thow not how 
thefe beeftes dreden and doubten me / and the 
lyon fayde / I had ben afo ferdtuU of thy voys/ 
yf I had not knowen veryly that thow arte but 
an afle / C And therfore men nede not double 
ne drede hym that auanceth hym felf for to do 
that that he may not doo/ For god kepe the 
mone fro the wulues/ Ne alfo men nede not 
doubtc a foole for his menaces / ne for his hyghe 


C 3rf)e ij fa6Ie is of tf)e l^atofte antJ of atfjcr 

^^^^'He ypocrytes maken to god a herd 
5j^5j of ilrawe / As recyteth to vs this 
fable / Of a hawke / whiche fom- 
tyme fayned/ that he wold haue 
celebrated and holden a natal 1 or 
a grete fefte / the whiche fefte (hold be celebred 
within a Temple / And to this fefte and folemp- 
nyte he Inuyted and fomoned alle the fmal 
byrdes / to the whiche they came / And Inkon- 
tynent as they were all come in to the temple/ 
the hauk fhette the gate and put them alle to 
dethe / one after an other / C And therfore this 
fable Iheweth to vs / how we muft kepe our felf 
fro all them / whiche vnder fayre femynge haue 
a fals herte/ and that ben ypocytes and decep- 
tours of god and of the world/ 



C Zht ii'j fafalf 13 of t!)E foxf / antj of i\}c han 

Ayre doctryne taketh he in hym 
felt"/ that chaftyfeth hym by the 
pcn'lle of other/ As to vs re- 
herceth this prefent fiible / Of a 
lyon whiche fomtyme faygned 
hym felf feke/ C And whanne the beetles 
knewe that tlie lyon was feke/ they wold goo 
alle to vylyte and fee hym as theyr kynge/ 
C And Incontynent as the beetles entryd in to 
his hows for to fee and comfortc hvm / he dc- 
uonred and ete them/ C And whan the foxes 
were come to the yate for to haue vylyded the 
lyon / they knewe wel the fallace and fallhede 
of the lyon and falewed hym at the entre of tlie 
yate/ And entryd not within/ C And whan 
the lyon fiwe that they wold not entre in to his 
hows/ he demanded of them/ why they wold 
not come within/ And one of the foxes fayd to 
hym/ we knowe wel by thy traces/ that alle 
the beetles whiche haue entryd in to thy hows 
came not oute ageyne/ And alio yf we entrvd 
within / nomore rtiold we come ageyne C And 
thertor he is wel happy that takelh onfimple 


ii8 LIBER 

by the dommage of other/ C For to entre 
in to the hows of a grete lord / it is wel facyle / 
but for to come oute of hit ageyne it is moche 
dyffycyle / 



C STfjE lifj fnbic is of {\)t asse / an"b of t{)e toulf 

^^^^^^^O none cyylle man fcythene trouthe 
"H^^ ^^ ought neuer to be adioufted / 

^^1 fable/ Of a wulf whiche vyfyted 
an alVe whiche was wel feke the 
whiche wulf bcganne to fele and tafte hym / and 
demaunded of hym / My broder and my frend 
where aboute is thy fore/ And the afle fayd to 
hym/ there as thow taftefl C And thenne the 
wulf faynyng to vyfyte hym / beganne to byte 
and fmyte hym / C And therfore men muft not 
truft flaterers/ For one thynge they faye/ and 
done another 


C STije liiij fable is of tf)e fjetigeljosse antj of t!jE 

"T behodeth not to the yong and 
lytyl of age to mocke ne Icorne 
theyr older / As this fable fayth / 
of thre lytyl hedgehogges / whiche 
mocked a grete hedgehogge/ 
whiche fled before a wulf/ And whanne he 
perceyued the fcornyng of them / he fayd to 
them / Ha a poure fooles & wood ye wote not 
wherfore I fle / For yf ye wyft and knewe wel 
thyn conuenyent and paryll / ye ihold not mocke 
of hit/ And therfore whan men feen that the 
grete and myghty ben ferdful and doubtous/ 
the laffe or lytyll oughen not to be afTured / For 
whan the toune is taken and goten by fortune 
of warre the Country aboute is not therfore 
more acertayned / but ou3t to tremble and fhake 

QUART us. 

C SEfjeiij fafale is of tljc man nnti of tfic luon/ 

^En ought not to byleue the paynture / 
but the trouthe and the dede / 
As men may fee by this prefent 
Fable/ Of a man & of a lyon 
whiche had ftryf to gyder & were 
in grete difcenlion for to wete and knowe/ 
whiclic of them bothe was more ftronger / 
CThe man fayd that he was ftronger than the 
lyon / And for to haue his fayenge verytyed / 
he Ihewed to the lyon a py6tour/ wlitre as a 
man had vyctory ouera lyon/ As the pyttour of 
Sampfon the ftronge CThenne fayd the lyon 
to the man / yf the lyon coude make py6tour 
good and trewe / hit had be herin paynted / 
how the lyon had had vydorye of the man / 
but now I flialle lliewe to the very and trewe 
wytnelfe therof/ The lyon thenne ledde the 
man to a grete pytte/ And there they fought 
to g)'der/ But the lyon cafte the man into the 
pytte/ and fubmytted hym in to his fubiedion 
and fayd/ Thow man/ now knowell thow alle 
iIk- trouthe/ whiche of vs bothe is ftronger/ 
C And therfore at the werke is knowen the bell 
and molt fubtyle wcrkcr/ 


C STfje ibj fable is of tl^e camel / anti of tfje flee 

i]E that hath no myght ought not to 
gloryfye ne preyfe hym felf of no- 
thynge/ As reherceth to vs this 
prefente fable of a camell / whiche 
bare a grete charge or burden 
It happed that a flee by caufe of the camels 
here lepte to the back of the camel / and made 
her to be borne of hym all the day And whanne 
they had made a grete way/ And that the 
camel came at euen to the lodgys/ and was put 
in the liable/ the flee lepte fro hym to the 
grounde befyde the foote of the camel/ And 
after fayd to the camel/ I haue pyte of the/ 
and am comen doune fro thy back by caufe that 
I wylle nomore greue ne trauaylle the by the 
berynge of me/ And the camel fayd to the 
flee/ I thanke thee/ how be it that I am not 
fore laden of the / And therfore of hym which 
may neyther helpe ne lette men nede not make 
grete eftymacion of 


J 23 

C STfiE ibij fable 13 of i\)t 3lnt ant) of ilir fogale 

r is good to purucyc hym Iclf in the 
lonier fealbii of fuche thynges/ 
wluTot" he llialle niyfter and haue 
nedc in wynter lealon / As thow 
mayll lee by this prefent fable/ 
Of the lygalle / whiche in the wynter tyme went 
and deniaunded of the ant fomme of her Corne 
for to ete/ C And thcnne the ant fayd to the 
fygall / what hall thow done al the fomer lall 
palled / And the lygalle anfuerd / I haue fonge / 
CAnd after fayd the ante to her/ Of my corne 
ftiallt not thou none haue / And yf thow hall 
fonge alle the fomer/ danfe now in wynter/ 
C And therfore there is one tyme for to doo fome 
labour and werk / And one tyme for to haue 
roll / For he that werkcth not ne doth no good / 
thai haue ofte at his teeth grele cold and lacke 
at his nede/ 



C STfje ibi'ij fable is of tf}e pglgrgm antJ of tfjc 

In euylle man maye be caufe of the 
perdycion or lofle of many foike / 
As reherceth to vs this prefent 
Fable/ Of a pylgrym/ whiche 
fond in his way a fwerd C And 
afked of the fwerd / what is he that hath loft 
the / C And the fwerd anfwerd to the pylgrym / 
A man alone hath loft me/ but many one I 
haue loft / And therfor an euyl man may wel 
be loft / but er he be loft he may wel lette many 
one / For by caufe of an euylle man may come 
in a Countrey many euyls 

QUART us. 


C Z\)c III fablf 13 of tfjE sljcrp anti of tijc Crotuc 

En ought not to iniurye ne dcl- 
prayle the poure Innocentes ne 
the lyniple tblke ■ As reherceth 
this fable/ Of a Crowe/ whiche 
fette her felf vpon the back of a 
llieep / And whan the Iheep had born her a 
grete whyle (he fayd to her/ thow Ihalt kepe 
thy felf wel to fette vpon a dogge/ CAnd 
thenne the crowc fayd to the Iheep/ Thynke 
thow poure Innocent that I wote wcl with 
whonie I playe/ For I am old and malycious/ 
and my kynde is to lette all Innocents/ and to 
be frende vnto the euyls/ C A[n]d therfore this 
fable wylle telle and faye/ how ther be folke 
of fuche kynde/ that they wyl doo no good 
werk/ but only to lette euer the Innocents and 
fymple folke 



C 9Cf)e IX fable malfert^ menctDn of tljE iut antj 
0f tfje reetJ / 

One ought to be prowd ageynft his 
lord / but oughte to humble hym 
felf toward hym / As this fable 
reherceth to vs of a grate tre/ 
whiche wold neuer bowe hym 
for none wynd / And a reed whiche was at his 
foote bowed hym felf as moche as the wynd 
wold / And the tree fayd to hym / why doft 
thow not abyde ftylle as I doo/ And the reed 
anfuerd/ I haue not the myght whiche thow 
haft/ And the tree fayd to the reed prowdly/ than 
haue I more ftrengthe / than thow / And anone 
after came a grete wynde / whiche threwe doune 
to the ground the fayd grete tree / and the reed 
abode in his owne beynge/ For the prowde 
Ihall be allway humbled And the meke and 
huble fhalle be enhaunced/ For the roote of 
alle vertue is obedynce and humylyte 

C "^tn fgngssfjftlj tfie fourtl^e fioofe of tl^e ^uh-- 
tgle iFailes of ©sopc / ^nti ^oto &k it tljat 



nior of tficm fafn not fountJ in onu iug 
gstie/ i\aifrti)clf5 many otiur fables conu 
posctj fag \)^m! taue ben fount)tn taljicfje 
i)n:e after folotocn 




C (2r!)e fgrste fabU mafeetfj tnmcfon of tl^e tnulet/ 
of tf)e foie / ant( of t!)E inulf 

En Calle many folke Afles/ that 
ben wel fubtyll/ And fuche 
wenen to knowe moche/ and to 
be a grate clerke that is but an 
aire / As hit appiereth by thys 
fable / Of a mule whiche ete grafTe in a medowe 
nyghe to a grate foreft/ to whome came a foxe 
whiche demaunded of hym / What arte thow / 
And the mule anfuerd I am a beeft/ And the 
foxe fayd to hym / I ne demaunde ne afke of 
the that / but I aike who was thy fader / C And 
the mule anfuerd/ my grate fader was a hors/ 
And the foxe fayd ageyne I ne demaunde to the 
that / but only that thow telleft me / who thow 
arte named / And the mule fayd to the foxe / 
I ne wote / by caufe I was lytyll whanne my 
fader deyde / Neuertheles to thende that my 
name Oiold not be forgoten/ my fader made hit 
to be wreton vnder my lyfte foote behynde / 
wherfore uf thow wylt knowe my name / goo 
thow and loke vnder my foota/ C And whanne 
the foxe vnderftood the fallace or faliliede/ he 



wente ageyne into the forcil / And met with 
the wult'/ to whome he I'ayd/ Ha myfchaunt 
beeft/ what doll thow here/ Come with me 
and in to thy hand I fhall put a good proy 
Loke in to yonder medowe/ there Ihalt thow 
t'ynde a fatte beeft Of the whiche thow mayft 
be fylled / C And thenne the wulf entryd in 
to the medowe/ and fonde there the mule/ 
Of whom he demaunnded/ who arte thow/ 
And the mule anfuerd to the wulf/ I am 
a beeft/ And the wulf fayd to hym / This 
is not that that I afke to the/ but telle how 
thow arte named / And the mule fayd I wote 
not / but neuertheless yf thow wylt knowe my 
name/ thow ftialt fynde it wreton at my lyfte 
foote behynde / Thenne fayd the wulf/ I praye 
the / vouche fauf to ftiewe it to me / And the 
mule lyft up his foote/ CAnd as the wulf 
beheld and ftudyed in the foote of the mule/ the 
Mule gaf hym fuche a ftroke whith his foote 
before his forhede/ that almoft the brayne ranne 
oute of his hede / And the foxe whiche was 
within a bulThe and fawe alle the maner beganne 
to lawhe and mocque the wulf/ to whomme 
he fayd/ Foole becfte thow woft wel / that 
thow canft not rede / wherfore yf euylle is therof 
come to the / thy felf is caufe of hit / For none 
ought not to entremete hym to doo tliat/ that 
Impoft'yble is to hym / 



C STfjE feconti fable is of tfie bore antj of t^e toulf 

1 Vche defyren to be grete lordes / 
and dyfpreyfen his parents/ that 
at the laft becomen poure and 
fallen in to grete diflionour/ As 
thow mayft fee by this prefent 
fable / Of a bore / whiche was amonge a grete 
herd of other fwynes/ And for to haue lordlhip 
and domynacion ouer alle them / he beganne to 
make grete rumour / and fhewed his grete teethe 
for to make the other fwynes aferd/ but by 
caufe they knewe hym / they fette naught by 
hym / wherof he difpleafed moche/ and wold 
goo in to a herd of flieep/ and emonge lambes/ 
And whanne he was amonge the lambes/ he 
began to make grete rumour/ and fhewed his 
fharp and long teeth C And whanne the lambes 
herd hym/ they were fore aferd/ and begganne 
to ihake for fere / C And thenne fayd the bore 
within hym felf/ here is the place wherin I 
muft abyde and duell For here I flialle be 
gretely worfhipped/ For euerychone quaken 
for fere of me/ C Thenne came the wulf there 
for to haue and rauyffe fomme proye/ And 



the lambes beganne alle to flee/ but the bore 
as prowd wold not llere hym / ne go fro the 
place/ by caul'e he fuppofed to be lord/ but the 
wulf toko hym / and bare hym in to tlie wode 
for to ete hym/ C And as the wulf bare hym/ 
it happed that he parted before the herd of 
fwynes/ whiche the bore had lefte/ C And 
thenne whanne the bore perceyued and knewe 
them / he prayd and cryed to them / that for the 
loue of god they wold helpe hym/ And that 
withoute her help/ he was deed/ And thenne 
the fwynes alle of one alTent and owne wylle 
wente and recouered theyr felewe/ and after 
flewe the wulf/ And as the bore was delyuerd/ 
and fawe hym amonge the fwynes/ and that alle 
his double and fere was gone/ he beganne to 
haue vergoyne and lliame/ by caufe that he was 
thus departed / and gone fro theyr felaufhip and 
fayd to them / My bretheren and my frendes / I 
am well worthy to haue had this payne/ by 
caufe/ I was gone & departed from yow/ And 
therfore he that is wel / lete hym beware that 
he moue not hym felf / For fuche by his pryde 
defyreth to be a grete lord/ whiche ofte falleth 
in grete pouerte / 

132 LIBER 

C 5rf)£ tfigrtJ fable i& of tfje foie anti of t^e corftc / 

^Ftyme moche talkynge letteth / As 
hit appiereth by this fable/ Of a 
foxe / whiche came toward a 
Cocke/ And fayd to hym/ I 
wold fayne wete/ yf thow canft 
as wel fynge as thy fader dyde / And thenne 
the Cock ihette his eyen / and beganne to crye 
and fynge / C And thenne the Foxe toke and 
bare hyni awey/ And the peple of the towne 
cryed / the foxe bereth awey the cok / CAnd 
thenne the Cocke fayd thus to the Foxe/ My 
lord vnderllandell thow not/ what the peple 
fayth / that thow bereft awey theyr cock / telle 
to them/ that it is thyn / and not theyrs/ And 
as the foxe fayd/ hit is not yours/ but it is 
myn / the cok fcaped fro the foxe mouthe / and 
flough vpon a tree / And thenne the Cok fayd 
to the fox thow lyeft/ For I am theyrs and not 
thyn / And thenne the foxe beganne to hytte 
erthe bothe with his mouthe & heed fayenge/ 
mouthe/ thow haft fpoken to moche/ thow 
fholdeft haue eten the Cok/ had not be thyn 



oucr mnny wordes / And tlierfor ouer moche 
talkyiig letteth/ and to nioclji; crowyngc Iniart- 
eth/ therfore kepe thy H*lf fro ouer many 
wordes/ to thende/ that ihow rcpcnlell the 



C STfjE faurtf)e fable i& of t^e tiragon anlJ of tl^e 

plEn ought not to rendre euylle for 
good / And them that helpen 
ought not to be letted / As re- 
herceth thys fable Of a dragon 
whiche was within a Ryuer/ and 
as this Ryuer was dymynuyfihed of water / the 
dragon abode at the Ryuage / whiche was al 
drye / And thus for lack of watre he coude 
not Here hym / A labourer or vyiayne came 
thene that waye / and demaunded of the dragon / 
what doll thow there/ And the dragon anfuerd 
to hym/ I am here lefte withoute water/ with- 
oute whiche I can not meue/ but yf thow wilt 
bynd me / and fette me vpon thyn affe / and 
lede me in to my Ryuer/ I fhal gyue to the 
habondaunce of gold and fyluer/ And the 
vyiayne or chorle for courtyfe bound and ledde 
hym in to his repayre / And whanne he had 
vnbounden hym / he demaunded his fallary / 
and payment / And the dragon fayd to hym / 
By caufe that thow haft bounden me/ thow 



wylt be payd And by cnufe that I am now 
hongry/ I (halle ete the/ and the vylayne 
anUierd and I'ayd / For to haue done wel/ thow 
wylt ete and deuoure me/ And as they ttryued 
to gyder/ the toxe whiche was within the foreft 
herd wel theyr quelVion and diti'erent came to 
them/ and fayd in this manere/ Stryue ye no 
more to gyder/ For I wyll acord/ and make 
pees bytwixt you Late eche of yow telle to me 
his realbn for to wete/ whiche of yow hath 
ryght/ And whanne eche of them had told 
his caas the foxe fayd to the vylayne/ Shewe 
thow to me/ how thow boundelt the dragon/ 
to thende/ that I may gyue therof a trewe and 
lawfuU fentence / And the vylayne put the 
dragon vpon his alfe/ and bound hym as he 
had done before/ And the fox demaunded of 
the dragon / helde he thenne the fo faft bounden / 
as he dothe now/ And the dragon anfuerd/ ye 
my lord/ and yet more hard/ And the foxe 
fayd to the vylayn/ Bynde hym yet more 
harder/ For who that wel byndeth/ well can 
he vnbynd And whanne the dragon was faft 
and wel bounden/ the fox fayd to the vylayne/ 
here hym ageyne there as thow fyrll tokell hym / 
And there thow (halt leue hym bounden as he 
is now / And thus he Ihalle not ete ne deuoure 
the/ For he that dothe euylle/ euylle he murt 

haue / 

136 LIBER 

haue/ For Juftly he fhall ben punyffhed of 
god/ they that done harme and dommage to 
the poure folke For who fo euer rendreth 
euylle for good / he fhalle therof iuftly be re- 


C 2rij£ fa fabit IS of tlje foir anlD of fPir catte / 

^ Here is many folke/ whiche auaun- 
ccn them and faye that they ben 
wyle and fubtyle/ whiche ben 
grete fooles and knowynge no 
thynge / As this fable reherceth 
Of a foxe whiche fom tyme mette with a 
Catte/ to whome he fayd / My godfep/ god 
geue yow good daye / And the catte anfwerd/ 
my lord god gyue yow good lyf / And thenne 
the toxe demaunded of hym / My godfep what 
canft thow doo / And the catte fayd to hym/ 
I can lepe a lytyl / And the fox fayd to hym / 
Certaynly thow art not wortiiy to lyue/ by caufe 
that thow canll nought doo / And by caufe that 
the cat was angry of foxes wordes/ he alked and 
demaunded of the foxe / And thow godfep what 
canll thow doo/ A thoufand wyles haue I fayd 
the toxe / For I haue a sak ful of fcyences and 
wyles/ And I am fo grete a clerke/ that none 
maye begyle ne dcceyue me/ And as they were 
thus Ipekyng to gyder the cat perceyued a knyght 
comynge toward them / whiche had many dogges 
with hym/ and fayd to the foxe/ My godfej)/ 


138 LIBER 

certaynly I fee a knygtt comynge hyther ward / 
whiche ledeth with hym many dogges/ the 
whiche as ye wel knowe ben our enemyes / The 
foxe thenne anfuerd to the cat/ My godfep/ 
thou fpekeft lyke a coward / and as he that is 
aferd / lete them come and care not thow / And 
Incontynently as the dogges perceyued and fawe 
the foxe and the catte / they beganne to renne 
vpon them / And whanne the foxe fawe them 
come / he fayd to the kat / Flee we my broder / 
flee we / To whome the kat anfuerd / Certaynly 
godfep/ therof is none nede/ neuer the les the 
foxe bylued not the cat / but fledde / and ranne 
as faft as he myght for to faue hym/ And the 
catte lepte vpon a tree and faued hym felf/ 
fayenge/ Now fhalle we fee/ who fhalle playe 
beft for to preferue and faue hym felf/ And 
whanne the catte was vpon a tree/ he loked 
aboute hym / and fawe how the dogges held the 
foxe with theyr teethe / to whome he cryed and 
feyd / O godfep and fubtyle foxe / of thy thow- 
fand wyles that fyth late thow coudeft doo / lete 
me now fee / and lliewe to me one of them / 
the foxe anfuerd not/ but was killed of the 
dogges fend the catte was faued/ CAnd ther- 
fore the wyfe ought not to defprayfe the fymple/ 
For fuche fuppofeth to be moche wyfe whiche 
is a kynd and a very foole / 



C Sr^c faj fable is of tf)e fjrrjaotc anti of t!]e Iriulf 

fe''^':-^'"^^)"^He feble ought not 10 arme hym 

•J^iSi [y^/l , n .u„ A / A, t^tU 

ageynd the ftronge/ As recyteth 

~" ^''' this prelent fable of a wulf/ whiche 
fome tyme ranne after a hegoot / 
and the hegoot for to faue hym 
lept vpon a rocke / and the wulf befyeged hym/ 
C And after whan they had duelled there two 
or thre dayes / the wulf beganne to wexe hongry / 
and the hegoote to haue thurft/ And thus the 
wulf went for to ete / and the hegoot went for 



to drynke / And as the hegoot dranke he fawe 
his fhadowe in the water/ and fpeculynge and 
beholdynge his fliadowe profered and fayd fuche 
wordes within hym felf/ Thou haft so fayre 
legges / lb fayr a herd / and lb fayre homes / and 
haft fere of the wulf/ yf hit happed that he 
come ageyne/ I flialle corryge hym wel/ and 
ftialle kepe hym wel/ that he Ihalle haue no 
myght ouer me / C And the wulf whiche held 
hys peas /and herkened what he fayd / toke hym 
by the one legge thus fayenge / what wordes ben 
thefe whiche thow profereft & fayft brorder He- 
goote/ CAnd whanne the hegote fawe that 
he was taken / he beganne to faye to the wulf/ 
Ha my lord / I faye no thynge / and haue pyte 
of me/ I knowe wel / that it is my coulpe / And 
the wulf toke hym by the neck and ftrangled 
hym/ CAnd therfore it is grete folye whan 
the feble maketh werre ageynft the puylfant and 


C STfjc faij fafalc (3 of tfif toulf nnb of i\}t affe 

r^^'-^'^.-'En ought not to byleue lyghtly the 
couiiccylle of hym towhome men 
purpolen to lette/ As ye maye 
lee by this fable/ Of a wulf 
whiche fomtyme mette with an 
Alfe / lu the whiche he fayd / My broder I am 
l)ongry/ wherfor I mull nedes ete the/ C And 
thenne the Alle anluerd ryght benyngly/ My 
lord/ with me thow mayll doo what ibmeuer 
thow wylt / For yf thow eteft me / thow ihalt 
putte me oute of grete payne/ But I preye the 
yf thow wylt ete me/ that thou vouchefauf to 
ete me oute of the way/ For wel thow knowert 
that I brynge home the rayfyns fro the vyne/ 
and fro the feldes home the come/ C Alio wel 
thow knoweft/ that I here home wood fro the 
foreft/ And whanne my maifter wel do buyld 
fomme edylfyce / 1 mull go fetche the ftoiies 
from the montayne / And at the other parte I 
berc the corne vnto the mylle / And after I here 
home the floure/ And for alle Ihort conclulions 
I was borne in a curfyd houre / For to alle payne 
and to alle grete labours I am fubniyttcd &: lub- 


142 LIBER 

get to hit/ For the whiche I wylle not that 
thow ete me here in the waye for the grete ver- 
goyne and fhame that therof myght come to 
me/ But I pray the/ and Inftantly requyre the/ 
that thow wylt here my counceylle / whiche is / 
that we two go in to the foreft / and thow flialt 
bynde me by thy brefte / as thy feruant / And 
I fhalle bynd the by thy neck as my mayfter 
And thow fhalt lede me before the in to the 
wood where fomeuer thow wylt/ to the ende 
that more fecretely thow ete me/ to the whiche 
counceylle the wulf acorded and fayd / I wylle 
wel that it be donnefo/ CAndwhanne they 
were come in to the foreft/ they bounde eche 
other in the maner as aboue is fayd/ CAnd 
whanne they were wel bounden / the wulf fayd 
to the Afle / goo we where thow wylt/ and goo 
before for to fhewe the waye/ And the afle 
wente before and ledde the wulf in to the ryght 
waye of his mayfters hows/ CAnd whanne the 
wulf beganne to knowe the way/ he fayd to the 
afle/ we goo not the ryght way/ to the whiche 
the aflTe anfuerd/ C My lord faye not that/ 
For certaynly/ this is the ryght wey/ But for 
alle that / the wulf wold haue gone backward / 
But neuerthelefs the aflTe ledde hym vnto the 
hows of his mayfter/ C And as his mayfter and 
alle his meyny fawe how the AiTe drewe the 



wulf after hym / and wold liauc cntrcd in to tlie 
hows ihoy came oute with Ihiues and clubbes 
and linoie on the wulf/ C And as one of tliem 
wold haue carta and fmyten a grete ftroke vpon 
the wulfes hcede/ he brake the cord/ wherwith 
he was bounden / And fo fcaped and ranne awey 
vpon the niontayne fore hurted and beten/ And 
thenne the alVe for the grete ioye he hadde of 
that he was fo fcaped fro the wulf/ beganne to 
fynge / And the wulf whiclie was vpon the 
niontayne/ He herd the voys of thalle beganne to 
faye in hym felf/ thow mayft wel cry and calle/ 
For I flialle kepe the wel another tyme/ that 
thow Ihalt not bynd me as thow hall done/ but 
late gone/ CAnd therfore hit is grete folye to 
byleue the counceylle of hym/ to wliome men 
will lette/ And to pulte hym felf in his fub- 
iedion / And he that ones hath begyled / muft 
kepe hym fro another tyme that he be not de- 
ceyucd/ For he to whome men purpofen to 
doo fomme euylle tourn / fylh men holden 
hym at auauntage/ men mufte putte him felf at 
the vpper fyde of hym/ And after men Ihall 
purueye tor their counceylle 

144 LIBER 

C Cfje &iij fable is of tl^e fetpent anti of tfje 

^^^HE Auctor of this booke reherceth 
luche another Fable and of fuche 

fentence/ as the precydent/ that 
is to wete/ that men {hold not 
byleue hym / to whome / men 
hath done eyylle/ And fayth that fomtyme in 
herueft tyme a labourer wente for to fee his 
goodes in the feldes/ the whiche mette on his 
way a ferpent / And with a flaf whiche he bare 
in his hand fmote the fayd ferpent / and gaf hym 
fuche a ftroke vpon the heed/ that nyghe he 
flewe hym / C And as the ferpent felte hym 
felf fo fore hurted / he wente fro the man / and 
entryd in to his hole / And fayd to the labourer / 
O euylle Frende/ thow haft bete me/ But I 
warne the / that thow neuer byleue not hym / 
to the whiche thow haft done ony eyylle / Of 
the whiche wordes the labourer made lytyl ex- 
tyme and went forthe on his waye / 

C It befelle thenne in the fame yere/ that 
this labourer wente ageyne by that waye / for 
to goo laboure and ere his ground / To whome 


(JULXTUS. 145 

the fayd Scrpcnl I'avd / i. 1 1.i niv trend / wlivtla-r 
gooll thuw / And the labourer niil'wcrd to hym / 
I goo ere and pluwe my ground/ And the Ser- 
pent layd to liym/ I'owe not to moche/ For 
this yere llialle be rayntuU and grete habond- 
aunce ot" waters llialle talle/ But byleue not to 
hym/ to whome thow hall Ibmtyme done ony 
euylle/ And wiihoute ony wordes the labourer 
wente forthe on his waye / and byleued not the 
lerpent / but made alle his ground to becultyued 
and ered / and fowed as moche corne as he 
myghte/ In that lame yere telle grete habond- 
aunce of water/ whertore the fayd labourer had 
but lytyl of his corne / For the moofte parte of 
the corne that he had fowen perylllied that lame 
yere by caufe of the grete rayne that felle that 
lame yere/ C And the next yere after folow- 
ynge / as this labourer pallyd before the repayre 
or dwellynge place of the fayd Serpent and 
went for to fowe his ground / the Serpent de- 
maunded thenne of hym/ My Frend whyiher 
gooft thow/ C And the labourer anfwerd / I 
goo for to fowe my ground wylh corn and With 
other g[r]aynes fuche as I hope that Ihalle ben 
necellary for me in tyme comynge / And thene 
the Serpent faide to hym/ My frend fowe but 
lytyl come/ F'or the Somer next comynge llialle 
be foo grete and foo bote / that by the dryenes and 



146 LIBER 

hete/ that alle the goodes fowen on the erthe 
fliall peryfllie But byleue not hym / to whome 
thow haft done ony euylle/ C And withoute 
fayenge ony word / the labourer wente / and 
thought on the wordes of the Serpent / C And 
wenynge / that the Serpent hadde foo fayd for 
to deceyue hym / he fowed as moche corne and 
other graynes / as he myght / CAnd it happed 
that the Somer next folowynge was fuche/ as 
aboue is fayd/ Therfor the man was begyled / 
C For he gadred that fame yere notliynge / 
C And the next yere after folowynge / the fayd 
feafon as the poure labourer wente ageyne for 
to ere and cultyue his ground the ferpent fawe 
hym come fro ferre/ CAnd as he came and 
palfed before his repayre he afked of the labourer 
in fuche maner/ C My friend whyther gooft 
thow / And the labourer anfuered / I goo cultyue 
and ere my ground / C And thenne the ferpent 
feyd to hym / My Frend fowe not to moche ne 
to lytyl of corne and of other graynes / but fowe 
bytwene bothe / Neuertheles byleue not hym / 
to the whiche thou haft done euyl C And I 
telle the that this yere ftialle be the most tem- 
perate and the mooft fertyle of alle maner of 
corne / that euer thow faweft / And whanne the 
labourer hadde herd thefe wordes / he wente 
his waye / and dyd as the Serpent had fayd / 



And that yt-rc hv gadred nioche good / by caufe of 
the good difpofycion ot the reafon and tyme/ 
C And en a daye of tlie fame yere / the fcrpcnt 
lawe the fayd hibourer comynge fro the herucft / 
to whonie he came ageynfte/ And fayd/ Now 
faye me my good Frend/ Haft ihow not fond 
now grete plente of goodes/ as I had told to 
the byfore And the labourer anfuerd and fayd 
ye certaynly / wherof I thanke the/ C And 
thenne the Serpent demaunded of hym Re- 
muneracion or reward / C And the labourer 
thenne demaunded what he wold haue of hym / 
And the Serpent fayd I ne demaunde of the 
nothynge/ but only that to morowe on the 
mornyng thow wylt fende me a dyflh ful of niylk 
by fom of thy children/ CAnd thenne the 
ferpent fliewed to the labourer the hole of his 
dwellyng / & fayd to hym / telle thy lone 
that he brynge the mylke hyther/ but take 
good heede to that that other whyle I told to 
the/ that thow byleueft not hym/ to whome 
tlum haft done euylle/ CAnd anone after 
whanne thefe thynges were fayd/ the labourer 
wente homeward/ and in the morninge next 
folowynge/ he betoke to his fone a dyflhe full 
of mylke/ whiche he brought to the ferpent/ 
and fette the dyfthe before the hool / And 
anone the ferpent came oute and llewe the 


148 LIBER 

child through his venym / and when the labourer 
cam fro the feld/ and that he came before the 
repayre or dwellinge of the ferpent/ he fond his 
fonne whiche laye doune deed on the erthe / 
Thenne beganne the fayd labourer to crye with 
a hvghe voys/ as he that was ful of forowe and 
of heuyneffe fayiuge fuche wordes / Ha curfed 
& euylle ferpent/ vermyn and fals traytour/ 
thow haft deceyued me / Ha wycked and de- 
ceytfuU beeft/ ful of all contagyous euyll thow 
haft forowfuUy flayne my fone/ 

CAnd thenne the ferpente fayd to hym/ I 
wylle well / that thow knowe / that I haue not 
flayne hym forowfully/ ne withoute caufe/ but 
for to auenge me of that / that thow hurteft me 
on that other daye withoute caufe / and haft not 
amended hit/ Haft thow now memorye/ how 
ofte I fayd to the/ that thow Iholdeft not byleue 
hym / to whome thow haft done eyyll / haue 
now thenne in thy memorye/ that I am auengyd 
of the / 

CAnd thus this fable flieweth how men ought 
not to byleue ne bere feythe to them / to whome 
men hath done fonmie harme or euylle. 



C Jrf)c II fable is of lf)f foic/ of tijc inulf/ antJ 
of tlic luon/ 

F hit be loo that any hath hen 
adommaged by other lie ought 
not to take vengeauce by the 
tong in gyuyng Iniuryous wordes / 
and the caufe why/ is by caule/ 
that luche vengeaunce is dilhonert. As to us re- 
herceth this prelent fable/ Somtyme was a foxe / 
that ete fyflhe in a Ryuer/ C It happed/ that 
the wulf came that waye / C And whanne he 
fawe the foxe/ whiche ete with fo grete appe- 
tyte / He beganne to laye / My broder gyue me 
fomme fvllhe / And the foxe anfuerd to hym / 
Alias my lord / It behouveth not that ye ete the 
releef of my table/ but for the worfliip of your 
perlbne I Ihall counceylle yow wel / Doo foo 
moche to gete yow a balket / And I Ihalle teche 
yow how men ihalle lake fyflhes/ to thende/ 
that ye may take fomme whan ye Ihalle be 
hongry/ And the wulf wente in to the ftreete/ 
and ftalle a balket/ whiche he brought with 
hym/ the foxe tooke the bafket / and bound 
it with a cord at the wiilfs taylle/ C And 



whanne he was wel bounden / the foxe fayd 
to the wulf/ goo thow by the Ryuer/ and I 
Ihalle lede and take hede to the bafket/ And 
the wulf dyde as the foxe had hym do / C And 
as the wulf was goynge within the water / the 
foxe fylled the bafket fulle of ftones by his 
malyce / C And whan the bafket was full / 
the foxe fayd to the wulf/ Certaynly my lord/ 
I maye no more lyfte ne hold the bafket / fo full 
it is of fyfflie / C And the wulf wenynge that 
the foxe had fayd truthe / profered fuch wordes / 
fayenge / I render graces and thankes to god / 
that I maye ones fee thyn hyghe and excellente 
wyfedome in the arte and crafte of fyflhynge/ 
C And thenne the foxe fayd to hym / My lord 
abyde me here/ And I llialle fetche fome to 
helpe vs for to haue and take the fyflhe oute 
of the bafket / And in fayenge thefe wordes / 
the foxe ranne in to the ftrete/ where he fond 
men/ to whome he fayd in this manere/ My 
lordes what doo ye here / why are yow werk- 
lefs / fee yonder the wulf/ which ete your fheep / 
your lambes / and your beeftes / and yet now he 
taketh your fyfflies oute of the Ryuer/ and 
ete them / C And thenne alle the men came to 
gyder/ fomme with flynges/ and fomme with 
bowes/ and other with flaues vnto the Ryuer/ 
where they fond the wulf/ whiche they bete 


QUIS'TUS. 151 

outragyoufTlv / C Aiul whanne the poure wiilt' 
lawe liym thus opprelll-d/ it vexed with llrokes 
beganiie with alle his ftrengthe &: myghte to 
drawe/ and liippofed to haue caryed the fylllie 
awey/ but lb llroiigly he drewe/ tliat lie drewe 
and pulled his taylle fro his ers/ and thus he 
leaped vnnethe with his lyf/ C In the mene- 
whyle thenne happed/ that the lyonwhiche was 
kynge ouer alle beetles telle in a grete lekenefle / 
for the whiche caufe euery beeft wente tor to lee 
hym/ as theyr lord/ C And when the wulf 
would haue gone thyder/ he lalewed his lord / 
laying thus to hym / My kynge I lalewe yow / 
pleale it you to knowe that I haue gone round 
aboute the countre and prouynce/ and in alle 
places of hit for to ferche Ibmme medycynes 
prouffitable for yow / and to recowere your 
helthe/ but nolhyng I haue found good for 
your fekeneire/ but only the Ikynne of a foxe 
fycrs and prowde and nialycious/ whiche is 
voure body medycynal / but he dayneth not to 
come hyther to fee you But ye Ihalle calle 
hym to a counceylle/ and whanne ye hold 
hym/ lete his fkynne be taken from hym/ 
And thenne lete hym renne where he wylle/ 
and that fayr fkynne which is lb holfome/ ye 
Ihalle make hit to be fette and bound vpon 
your bely/ And within fewe dayes after hit 


152 LIBER 

flialle rendre yow in as good helthe/ as euer ye 
were / C And whanne he had fayd thefe wordes / 
he departed fro the lyon and toke his leue/ but 
neuer he had fuppoled / that the foxe had 
herd hym / but he had / For he was within 
a terryer nyghe to the lodgys of the lyon / 
where he herd alle the propofycion of the 
wulf/ to the whiche he dyd put remedye and 
grete prouyfyon / For as foone as the wulf was 
departed fro the lyon / the foxe wente in to the 
feldes/ And in a hyghe way he fond a grete 
donghyll/ within the whiche he put hym felf/ 
d And as he fuppofed after his aduys to be de- 
fowled and dagged ynough / came thus arayed 
in to the pytte of the lyon / the whiche he 
falewed as he oughte to haue done to his lord / 
fayenge to hym in this manere/ Syre kynge god 
yeue good helthe/ And the lyon anfuerd to hym 
God falewe the fwete frend/ come nyghe me 
and kyffe me / & after I ihalle telle to the fomme 
fecrete / whiche I wylle not that euery man 
knowe/ to whome the foxe fayd in this maner 
Ha a lyre kynge be not difplealyd/ for I am to 
fowle arayed and al to dagged / by caule of the 
grete way / whiche I haue gone / fekynge al 
aboute fomme good medycyne for you/ wher- 
fore it behoueth not me/ for to be lb nyghe your 
perfone For the ftenche of the donge myght 


QUI NT us. 153 

wel greue you for the grete fekenefTe that ye 
haue/ but dere lyre/ ythit pleafe to the or euer 
I come ncrer to your Royal niagefte I Ihalle g(Jo 
bathe me and make me fayre and clene/ And 
thenne I Ihall come ageyne to prelente my ll'lf 
bytbre thy noble perlone/ And notwithllond- 
ynge al this/ alio er I goo/ pleafe the to wcte 
He knowe that I come from alle the contrees here 
aboute/ and from alle the Royalmes adiacent 
to this prouynce/ for to fee yf I coudefyndefomme , 
good medycyn dulynge and nedeful to thy (ike- 
nelfe / and tor to recoucre thy helthe/ but cer- 
taynly I haue foud no better couceylle than the 
couceylie of an aiicycnt greke with a grete &: 
long herd/ a man of grete wyfdom/ fage & 
worthy to be prnyfed/ the whiche fayd to me/ 
how in this prouvnce is a wulf withoute taylle/ 
the whiche hath loft his taylle by the vertue of 
the grete medycyn whiche is within hym / For 
the whiche thynge it is nedeful and expedyent/ 
that ye doo make this wulf to come to yow for 
the recoueraunce of the helthe of your fayr and 
noble body/ And whan he is come dyllymylle 
and calle hym to counceylle/ fayenge that it 
Ihallc be for his grete worlhip &: prothte / &: as 
he Ihal be nyghe vnto yow call on hym vour 
armed feel/ and as fwetely as ye maye pulle the 
fkynne fro the body of hym &: kope it hoole / 


154 LIBER 

fauf only that ye flialle leue the heed and the 
feet / And thenne lete hym gone his way to leche 
his auenture/ And forthwith whan ye fhalle 
haue that fkynne/ al hot and warme ye fhal do 
bynd hit al aboute your bely/ And after that or 
lytyll tyme be pafled / your helthe fhalle be 
reftored to yow / and ye fhal be as hole as euer 
in your lyf ye were / C And thenne the foxe 
toke his leue of the kynge/ and departed/ and 
wente ageyne in to his terryer / C Soone after 
came then the wulf for to fee the lyon/ And 
Incontynent the lyon called hym to counceylle / 
and caftynge foftly his feet vpon hym dyfpoylled 
the wulf of his fkynne fauf the fkynne of his hede 
and of his feet/ And after the lyon bound it al 
warme about his bely / G And the wulf ranne 
aweye fkynles / wherfore he had ynough to doo 
to defende and put from hym the flyes/ whiche 
greued hym fore/ And for the grete deftrefle 
that he felte by caufe of the flyes/ that thus ete 
his fleflhe/ he as wood beganne to renne/ and 
paflyd vnder an hylle / vpon the whiche the foxe 
was / CI And after whanne the foxe fawe hym / 
he beganne to crye/ and calle/ lawhyng after 
the wulf/ and mocked/ and fayd to hym / who 
arte thow that pafTefl there before with fuche a 
fayre hood on thy heed and with ryght fayr 
glouues in thyn handes/ Herke herke/ what I 



(halle faye to the/ whan thow wente & caincll 
by the kynges hows/ thow werte bleiVed ot the 
lord/ & whan thou were at the Court thow her- 
kcnell and alio layert many good wordes and 
good taikynge of al the world/ 

C And thertbre my godlep be it euyl or good / 
thow mufte al lete pall'e/ and goo/ and haue 
pacyence in thyn aduerlyte / 

C And tinis tiiis table ihcwcth vnto vs/ that yf 
ony be hurted or dommagcd/ by lb mm e othtr 
he muli not auenge hym Iclt by his tonge lor 
to make ony trelbn / ne for to fay of other ony 
harme ne open blafphemye/ For he ought to 
conlydere / that who fo euer maketh the pylte 
redy for his broder/ ofte it happeth that he hym 
felf falleth in the fame/ and is beten with the 
fame rodde that he maketh for other 



C (irf)E I fable IS of t^c toulf irrI}icIjE matie a fart 

T is folye to wene more / than men 
ought to doo / For what Ibmeuer a 
foole thynketh • hit femeth to hym 
that hit fhalle be/ As it appiereth 
by this fable/ of a wulf/ whiche 
fomtyme rofe eriy in a mornynge / And after 
that he was ryfen vp fro his bedde/ as he retched 
hym felf / made a grete fart / and beganne to faye 
to hym felf/ bleffed be god therfore/ thefe ben 
good tydynges / this daye / I Ihalle be wel for- 
tunate and happy/ as myn ers fyngeth to me/ 
And thenne he departed from his lodgys/ and 
biganne to walke and goo / & as he wente on his 
way he fonde a fek ful of talowe/ whiche a 
woman had lete falle/ and with his foote he 
torned hit vpfo doune / and fayd to hym / I fhalle 
not ete the/ For thow fholdeft hurte my tendre 
ftomak/ and more is/ I Ihall this day haue better 
mete/ and more delycious / For well I knowe 
this by myn ers/ whiche dyd fynge it to me/ 
And fayenge thefe wordes went his way/ And 


QUI NT us. 157 

anone after he fond a grcte pyccc of bakon \\ cl 
failed/ the whiclie he tourned and retourned vp 
fodoune/ And whan he had torned and returned 
hit longe/ ynough / l)e fayd / I dayne not to ete 
of tills mete/ by caufe that hit lliold caufe nic 
for to drynke moche/ for it is to falte And as 
niyn ers fonge to me lalt I llialle ete this fame 
day better and more delycious mete/ €And 
thenne he beganne to walke ferther/ And as he 
entryd in to a fayr medowe/ he fawe a mare/ 
and her yong foole with her/ and fayd to hyni 
felf alone/ I rendre thankes and graces to the 
goddes of tlie godes that they fend me/ Tor wel 
1 wyll and was certayne/ that tliis daye I lliuld 
fynde fomme precious mete/ And thenne he 
came nyghe the mare and fayd to her/ Ceriaynly 
my fuller I ihalle ete thy child / And the mare 
anfuerd to hym/ My broder doo what fomeucr 
hit llialle pleafe the/ But fyrft I praye the that 
one playfyre thow wylt do to me/ I haue herd 
faye that thow art a good Cyrurgyen / wherfore 
I praye the/ that thou wylt hele me of my foote/ 
I faye to the my good broder/ that yefter daye 
as I wente within the foreft / a thorne entryd in 
to one of my feet behynd/ the whiche greueth 
me fore/ I praye the/ that or thow ete my 
fool/ thow wylt drawe and haue it oute of my 
foote/ And the uulf aufwerd to the mare tiiat 
llialle I doo ghully my good fufter/ lliewe me 



thy foote / C And as the mare (hewed his foote 
to the wulf/ fhe gaf to the wulf fuche a ftroke 
bytwexe bothe his eyen / that alle his hede was 
aftonyed and felle doune to the ground / and a 
longe fpace was the wulf lyenge vpon the erthe/ 
as deed / And whanne he was come to hym felf 
ageyne/ and that he coud fpeke/ hefayd/ I care 
not for this myiliap / For wel I wote that yet 
this day I flialle ete / and be fylled of delycious 
mete/ And in fayenge thefe wordes lyft hym 
felf vp / and wente aweye / C And whanne he 
had walked and gone a whyle/ he fond two 
rammes within a medowe whiche with theyr 
homes lauched eche other/ And the wulf fayd 
to hymfelf/ Bleffed be god/ that now I flial 
be wel fedde / he thenne came nyghe the two 
rammes/ & faid/ Certaynly I (hall ete the one 
of you two And one of them fayd to hym / 
My lord doo alle that it plefe yow / but fyrft ye 
mufl: gyue vs the fentence of a procefTe of a 
plee whiche is bytwixe vs bothe/ And the wulf 
anfuerd/ that with ryght a good wylle he wold 
doo ,hit / And after fayd to them / My lordes 
telle my your refons and caas / to thende that the 
better I may gyue the fentence of your dyferent 
and queftion / And thenne one of them beganne 
to fay/ My lord/ this medowe was bylongynge 
to our fader/ And by caufe that he deyde with- 



oute makyngc ony ordonnnucc or teftamcnt / we 
be now in debate and llryf for the parlynge of 
hit/ wherfore we praye the that thow vouchc- 
fauf to accorde oure dyferent / fo that pees 
be made bytwene vs/ And thenne the wulf 
deniaunded of the ranimes how theyr queftion 
myght be accorded / Ryght wel fayd one of 
them/ by one manere/ whiche I ftial telle to 
the/ yf hit pleafe to the to here me/ we two 
llialle be at the two endes of the medowe/ and 
tliow llialt be in the myddes of it/ And fro 
thende of the medowe/ we bothe at ones llialle 
renne toward the/ And he that fyrft flialle come 
to the/ Ihalle be lord of the medowe/ And the 
laft Ihalle be thyn / Wei tliene fayd the wulf/ 
thyn aduys is good and wel purpofed / late fee 
now who fyrft Ihalle come to me/ Thenne wente 
the two rammes to renne toward the wulf/ And 
with alle theyr myght came and gaf to hym 
fuche two ftrokes bothe at ones ageynft bothe 
his fydes/ that almoft they brake his lierte within 
his bely / & then fyll doune the poure wulf alle 
afwowned / And the rammes wente theyr way/ 
C And whanne he was come ageyn to hym felf / 
he took courage and departed / fayenge to hym 
felf/ I care not for alle this Iniurye and ftiame/ 
For as myn ers dyde fvnge to me/ yet ihalle I 
this day etc Ibmnie good and delycious mete/ 


i6o LIBER 

C He had not long walked/ whanne he fond a 
fowe/ and her Ihial pygges with her/ And In- 
contynent as he lawe her/ he fayd/ bleffed be 
god of that I Ihalle this daye ete and fvlle my 
bely with precious metes/ and fhalle haue good 
fortune/ And in that fayenge approched to the 
fowe/ & fayd to her/ My fufter I muft ete 
fomme of thy yonge pygges And the fowe wente 
and fayd to hym / my lord I am content of alle 
that/ whiche pleafeth to yow/ But or ye ete 
them / I praye yow that they maye be baptyfed 
and made clene in pure and fayre water/ And 
the wulf fayd to the fowe/ Shewe me thenne 
the water / And I Ihalle waiihe and baptyfe 
them wel / And thenne the fowe wente and 
ledde hym at a flange or pond where as was a 
fayr mylle CAnd as the wulf was vpon the 
lytyl brydge of the fayd mylle/ and that he wold 
haue take one pygge/ the fowe threwe the wulf 
in to the water with her hede/ and for thefwyft- 
nelTe of the water/ he muft nedes paffe vnder 
the whele of the mylle / And god wote yf the 
wynges of the mylle bete hym wel or not/ And 
as foone as he myght / he ranne away / And as 
he ranne feyd to hym felf/ I care not for foo 
lytyl a Ihame/ ne therfore I ihall not be bette/ 
but that I ihalle yet this daye ete my bely full 
of metes delycious/ as myn ers dyd iynge it erly 



to me/ C And as he palFed thurgh the ftrete / 
he lawe fomme flieep/ and as tlie Ihepe fawe 
hym / they entryd in to a ftable / C And whan 
the wult came there he I'ayd to tliem in this 
manere / God kepe you my fullers/ I muft ete 
one ot vow/ to thende/ that I may be tyllcd 
and rnllalyed of my grete honger/ And thenne 
one of them fiyd to hym/ Certaynly my lord/ 
ye are welcome to palfe/ For we ben comcn 
hyder for to hold a grete folempnyte/ wherfore 
we alle praye yow / that ye pontyfycally wylle 
fvnge And after the feruyfe complete and done/ 
doo what ye wyll of the one of vs / & thenne the 
wulf for vayn glory/ faynyng to be a prelate be- 
ganne to fynge and to howle before the Iheep/ 
CAnd whanne the men of the toune herd the 
voys of the wulf/ they came to the rtable with 
grete Ihuies and with grete dogges / and wonderly 
they wounded the wulf/ and almoft brouo-ht 
hym to deth/ that with grete payne he coude 
goo/ neuertheles he fcaped/ and wente vnder 
a grete tree/ vpon the whiche tree was a man 
whiche hewe of the bowes of the tree/ The 
wulf thenne beganne to lyghe fore/ and to make 
grete forowe of his cuylle fortune/ and favd / Ha 
Jupiter how many euyls haue I had and filtered 
thisdaye/ but wel I prcfume and knowe/that 
hit is by me and by niyn owne caufc / and i)y 



i62 LIBER 

my proud thoughte / For the daye in the morn- 
ynge I fond a fak ful of talowe / the whiche I 
dayned not but only fmelle hit. And after I 
fond a grete pycece of bakon / the whiche I wold 
neuer ete for drede of grete thurft and for 
my folyflhe thought/ And therfore yf euylle is 
fyn happed to me it is wel beftowed and em- 
ployed/ My fader was neuer medecyn ne leche/ 
and alfo I haue not ftudyed and lerned in the 
fcyence of medycyn or phifyke / therfore if it 
happeth euylle to me/ whanne I wold drawe 
the thorne oute of the mares fote it is wel em- 
ployed / C Item my fader was neuer neylher 
patryarke ne Biffhop / and alfo I was neuer 
lettred / and yet I prefumed / and toke on me 
for to facryfyce and to fynge before the goddes / 
faynyng my felf to be a prelate / but after my 
deferte I was wel rewarded/ C Item my fader 
was no legift ne neuer knewe the lawes / ne alfo 
man of Juftyce / and to gyue fentence of a plee / 
I wold entremete me / and fayned my felf grete 
Juflycer / but I knewe neyther / a / ne / b / 
C And yf therfore euylle is come to me / it 
is of me as of ryght it fhold be/ O Jupyter I 
am worthy of gretter punycyon whanne I haue 
ofFenfed in fo many maners/ fende thow now to 
me from thyn hyghe throne a fwerd or other 

vepen / 

QUL\TUS. 163 

vepen / wherwith I maye ftrongly puiiylllie and 
bete me by grete penaunce/ For wel worthy I 
am to reccyue a gretter dcfciplyne/ And the 
good man whichc was vpon the tree / herkened 
alle thefe wordes and deuyfes/ and I'ayd no 
word/ C And whanne the wulf had fynyllhed 
alle his lyghes and coniplavntes/ the good man 
toke his axe/ wherwith he had kytte awey the 
dede braunches tVo the tre/ and call it vpon the 
wult"/ and it felle vpon his neck in fuche maner 
that the wulf torned vplbdoun the feet vpward 
and laye as had ben dede/ And whan the wulf 
mygiil releue and drcfie hym felf / he lokcd and 
byheld vpward to the heuen / and beganne thus 
to crye/ Ha Jupiter I fee now wel that thow 
haft herd and enhaunced my prayer /and thenne 
he perccyued the man whiche was vpon the tree/ 
& wel wende that he had ben Jupiter/ And 
thenne with alle his myght he fledde towards 
the foreft fore wounded/ and rendred hym felf 
to humylyte/ and more meke and humble he 
was alicrwards than euer before he had ben 
fyers ne prowde/ C And by this fable men 
may knowe and fee that moche refteth to be 
done of that/ tliat a foole thynketh/ And hit 
Iheweth to vs/ that whan fomme good cometh 
to fomme/ it ought not to be reffufed/ For it 


i64 LIBER 

maye not ben recouerd as men wyll / And alfo 
it Iheweth / hou none ought to auaunte hym to 
doo a thynge whiche he can not doo / but ther- 
fore euery man ought to gouerne and rewle 
hym felf after his eftate and faculte / 



C QTijEXJ fable is of the mucous tioggc/ 

one ought not to haue enuye of 
V\ good of other/ As it appiereth 
by this fable / Of a dogge whiche 
was enuyous/ and that fomtyme 
was within a liable of oxen/ the 
whiche was ful of heye/ This dogge kept the 
oxen that they Ihold not entre in to theyr ftable/ 
and that they ihold not ete of the fayd hey/ And 
thenne the oxen fayd to hym / thow arte wel 
peruers and euylle to haue enuye of the good/ 
the whiche is to vs nedefull and prouffitable/ 
and thow haft of hit nought to doo/ for thy 
kvnde is not to ete no hey / And thus he dyd of 
a grete bone / the whiche he held at his mouthe / 
and wold not leue hit by caufe and for enuye of 
another dogge/ whiche was therby / And ther- 
fore kepe the wel fro the company or felaulhip 
of an enuyous body/ For to haue to doo with 
hym hit is moche peryllous and dyftycyle / As 
to vs is wel ftiewen by Lucyfer 

i66 LIBER 

C El^c itj fable i& of tj^e biulf anti of t^e 
|)ongr2 boggE / 

]Uche fuppofen fomtyme wynne that 
lefen / As hit appiereth by this 
Fable/ For hit is fayd comunly 
that as moche delpendeth the 
nygard as the large/ As hit ap- 
piereth by this fable of a man whiche had a grete 
herd of llieep / And alfo he had a dogge for to 
kepe them fro the wulues / To this dogge he gaf 
no mete / for the grete auaryce whiche held hym / 
And therfore the wulf on a daye came to the 
dogge and demaunded of hym the rayfon / wh}^ 
he was foo lene / and fayd to hym / I fee wel 
that thow dyefl; for honger/ by caufe that thy 
mayfler gyueth the no mete / by his grete fcar- 
cyte/ but yf thow wylt byleue me I fhalle gyue 
to the good counceylle / And the dogge fayd to 
hym / Certaynly I myfter gretely of good coun- 
ceylle / C Thenne the wulf fayd to hym / This 
ihalt thow doo/ Lete me take a lambe/ And 
whanne I fhalle haue hit I iTialle renne awey/ 
and whanne thow Ihalt fee me renne / make 



thenne femblant to renne after mc / and Icte thv 
fflf falle faynynge that thow canft not ouertnke 
me/ for lack and fawte of mete/ whiche maketh 
the fo feble/ And thus whanne the fheepherd 
Ihalle fee that thow mayft not haue the lambe fro 
nic by caufe of the grete feblenelle and debylyto 
(if thy lene body/ he lliell telle to thy lord that 
thow myghtcft not focoure the lambe/ by caufe 
that thow arte ("0 fore ahongryd/ and by this 
means thow Ihalt haue mete thy bely ful / C The 
dogge thenne acorded this with the wulf/ and 
eche of them made and dyde as aboue is fayd / 
C And whane the Iheep herd fawe the dogge 
falle/ fuposed wel / that honger was a caufe of 
it Forthe whiche caufe whanne one of the 
Iheep herdes came home he told hit to his mayf- 
ter/ And whan the mayfter vnderftood hit/ he 
fayd as a man wroth for Ihame/ I wylle that 
fro hensforthon he haue breed ynough / C And 
thenne euery daye the fayd dogge hadde foppes 
of brede/ and of drye breed he hadde ynough/ 
C Thenne the dogge toke ftrengthe/ and vygour 
ageyne/ C It happed within a lytyl whyle after/ 
that the wulf came ageyne to the dogge/ and fayd 
to hym / I perceyue wel / that I gaf to the good 
counceylle/ And the dogge fayd to the wulf/ 
My brodcr thow fayft foothe/ wherfore I thanke 
the moche/ For of hit I hadde grete nedc/ 


1 68 LIBER 

C And thenne the wulf fayd to hym / yf thow 
wylt I {hall gyue to the yet better counceylle / 
And the dogge anfuerd hym with ryght a good 
wylle I fhalle here hit / And yf hit be good I 
Ihalle do after hit/ C Thenne fayd the wulf to 
hym Lete me take yet another lambe/ and doo 
thy dylygence for to haue hit fro me/ and to 
byte me / and I flialle ouerthrowe the thy feet 
vpward/ as he that hath no puyffaunce ne 
llrength withoute hurtynge of thy felf / byleue 
me hardyly/ and wel hit fhalle happe to the/ 
And whanne thy mayfters feruaunts flialle haue 
fene thy dylygence/ they fhal fliewen hit to thy 
mayfter how that thow flial kepe ful wel his 
folde/ yf thow be wel nouryflhed/ C And 
thenne the dogge anfuerd to the wulf that he 
was contente / And as hit was fayd / ryght fo 
hit was done/ and bothe of them maad good 
dylygence The wulf here aweye the lambe/ 
and the dogge renne after hym / and ouertook 
hym/ & bote hym fayntly/ And the wulf ouer- 
threwe the dogge vpfodoune to the ground / 
And whan the llieepherdes fawe gyue fuche 
ftrokes amonge the dogge & the Wulf/ fayd 
Certaynly we haue a good dogge / we mufte telle 
his dylygence to our mayfter/ and foo they dyd/ 
& how he bote the wulf/ and how he was ouer- 
throwen / And yet fayd Certaynly yf he hadde 


QUI NT us. 169 

hadde euer inete ynough / tlic wulf lincl not 
borne awey the lainbe/ Thenne the lord com- 
niaunded to gyue hym pleiite of mete/ wherof 
the dogge took ageyne al llrengthe and vcrlue/ 
And within a wliyle alter the wultcame ageyne 
to the dogge/ and layd to hym in tliis nianere/ 
My broder haue I not g)'uen to the good coun- 
ceylle/ And thenne the dogge anfuerd to hym/ 
Certaynly ye/ wherof I thanke yow / And the 
wult" fayd to the dogge/ I praye the my broder 
and my good frend that thow wylt yet gyue 
another lambe/ and the dogge fayd to hym/ 
Certaynly my broder/ wel hit maye futfyfe the 
to haue had iweyne of them/ C Thenne fayd 
the wulf to the dogge/ (I At the left waye I 
maye haue one for my labour and fallarye/ That 
flialt thow not haue fayd the dogge/ Haft thow 
not had good fallarye for to haue hadde two 
lambes oute of my mayfters herd / C And the 
wulf anfuerd to hym ageyne/ IMy brother gyue 
hit me yf hit pleafe the/ C And after fayd the 
dogge to hym/ Nay I wylle not/ And yf thow 
takell hit ageynlie my wylle/ I promytte and 
warne the/ that neuer after tyme thow flialt 
ete none/ And thenne the wulf fayd to hym/ 
Alias my broder I deye for honger/ Counceylle 
me for goddys loue what I Ihalle doo/ And the 
dogge fayd to hym/ I flial couceylle the wel a 



walle of my mayfters celer is fallen doune / go 
thyder this nyght and entre in hit/ and there 
thow mayft both ete and drynke after thy play- 
lyr / For bothe breed flefllie and wyn {halt thow 
fynde at plente there within/ And thenne the 
wulf fayd to hym/ Alias my broder/ beware 
wel thenne / that thow accufe ne deceyue me 
not / And the dogge anfuerd / I waraunt the / 
but doo thy faythe foo pryuely / that none of my 
felawes knowe not of hit/ C And the wulf 
came at the nyght/ and entryd in to the celer/ 
and / ete and dranke at his playfyre / In fo 
moche that he wexed dronke And whanne he 
hadde dronke foo moche / that he was dronke / 
He fayd to hym felf / whanne the vylaynes ben 
fylled wyth metes/ and that they ben dronke/ 
they fynge theyr fonges / and I wherfore fhold 
I not fynge / C And thenne he beganne to crye 
and to howle / And the dogges herd the voys of 
hym wherfore they beganne to barke and to 
howle / And the feruaunts whiche herd them 
fayd/ It is the wulf/ whiche is entryd within 
the celer/ And thenne they al to gyder wenten 
thyder/ and kylled the wulf/ And therfore 
more defpendeth the nygard than the large/ 
For auaryce was neuer good / For many one 
ben whiche dare not ete ne drynke as nature 
requyreth/ But neuertheles euery one oughte 



to ufe and lyuc priulently of all fuche goodcs 
as god lendeth to hym / This fable alfo fticweth 
to vs/ that none ought to do ageynfte his kynde / 
as of the wulf whiche wexed dronke/ for the 
whiche caufc he was Ilayne 



C W-\)t xii} fable tnaketl^ mcncgon of i])t fatier 
anti of ijis tf}re c|)illiren 

E is not wyfe / whiche for to haue 
vanyte and his plefyr taketh debate 
or ftryf / As hit appiereth by this 
fable / Of a man whiche hadde 
thre children/ and at the houre 
of his dethe he byquethed / and gaf to them his 
herytage or lyuehode/ that is to wete a grete 
pere tree/ a gote & a mylle/ CAnd whanne 
the fader was deed/ the bretheren aflembled 
them thre to gyder/ and wente before the Juge 
for to parte their lyuehode/ and fayd to the 
Juge/ My lord the Juge/ Oure fader is dede 
whiche hath byquethed to vs thre bretheren al 
his herytage and as moche of hit fhold haue 
the one as the other And thenne the Juge 
demaunded/ what was theyr lyuehode/ And 
they anfuerd a pere tree/ a gote and a mylle/ 
And thenne the Juge fayd to them / that they 
fhold fette and make partyes egal of your lyue- 
lede/ And the one to haue as moche of hit as 
the other/ hit is a thynge moche dyffycyle to 
doo/ but to your aduys how (hold ye parte it/ 



And thenne the cldeft of the three brethcrcn 
fpake and layd/ I flialle take fro the pere tree 
alio that is croked and vpright/ And the fecond 
fayd / I fhalle take fro tlie pere tree alle that is 
grene and dr)'e / And the thyrd fayd I fliallc 
haue alio the rote/ the puUe or mafte and alio 
the branches of the pere tree/ CAnd thenne 
the Juge fayd to them / He that thenne flialle 
haue the mofl: parte of the tree/ lete hym be 
Juge/ For I no none other may know ne 
vnderrtande who Ihalle haue the more or lefle 
parte/ And therfore he that can or Ihalle proue 
more openly/ that he hath the moft parte Ihal 
be lord of the tree/ C And after the Juge de- 
maunded of them / how that theyr fader had 
deuyfed to them the gote/ And they fayd to 
hym/ he that (lialle make the fayreft prayer and 
requeft mutl haue the gote/ And thene the 
fyrrte broder made his requeft/ and fayd in this 
manere/ wold god that the goot were now foo 
grete that the myght drynke alle the water 
whiche is vnder the cope of heuen / And that 
whanne Ihe hadde dronken it / fhe Ihold yet be 
fore thurfty C The fecond fayd/ I fuppofe that 
the gote Ihalle be myn / For a fayrer demaunde 
or requeft than thyn is I Ihalle now make/ C I 
wold/ that alle the hempe/ and alle the Flaxe 
and alle the wuile of the worlde were made in 

174 LIBER 

one threed alone / And that the Gote were fo 
grete / that with that fame threde men myght 
not bynde one of his legges/ CThenne fayd 
thirdde/ yet fhalle be myn the gote/ G For I 
wolde/ that he were foo grete/ that yf an Egle 
were at the vppermoft of the heuen / he myght 
occupye and haue thenne as moche place as the 
Egle myght loke and fee in hyght/ in lengthe and 
in breed/ CAnd thenne the Jugefayde to them 
thre / who is he of yow thre / that hath maade the 
fayreft prayer/ Certaynly 1 nor none other canne 
not faye ne gyue the Jugement/ And therfore 
the goote fhalle be bylongynge to hym that of 
hit fhalle fay the trouthe C And the Mylle how 
was hit deuyfed by your Fader for to be parted 
amonge yow thre/ (I And they anfuerde and 
fayde to the Juge / He that fhalle be mooft Iyer/ 
moofte euylle and moll Howe ought to haue hit/ 
C Thenne fay the eldell fone /lam mooft flow- 
full/ For many yeres I haue dwellyd in a grete 
hous / and laye vnder the conduytes of the fame / 
oute of the whiche felle vpon me alia the fowle 
waters / as pyffe / dyfllie water / and alle other 
fylthe that wonderly ftanke / In fo moche that 
al my fleflhe was roten therof / and myn eyen 
al blynd / and the durt vnder my back was a foot 
hvghe/ And yet by my grete llouthe I hadde 
leuer to abyde there / than to tourne me / and 
haue lyfte me vp C The 

QUI ST US. 175 

C The fecond l';iy<i/ I luppofe wel / that the 
mylle Ihalle bo myn / For yf I had failed twenty 
yere/ And yt" I hadde come to a table couerd of 
al maner of precious and delyate metes/ tlierof 
I myght wel etc yf I wold take of the belt/ I 
am lb llouihfuU thai I maye not ete Withoute 
one fliold putte the mete in to mv niouthe/ 

C And the tliyrde fayd / the mylle ihalle be 
myn/ For I am yet a gretter lyar and more 
llouthfuU/ than ony of yow bothe/ For yf I 
hadde ben athurlt vnto the dethe/ And yf I 
found thenne my lelf within a fayre water into 
the neck/ I wold rather deye/ than to meue ones 
my heed for to drynke therof only one drop / 
C Thenne fayd the Juge to them/ Ye wote not 
what ye I'aye/ For I nor none other maye not 
wel vnderftande yow/ But the caufe I remytte 
and put amonge yow thre/ And thus they wente 
withoute ony fentence/ For to folylthe de- 
maunde behoueth a folyllhe anfuere 

C And therfore they ben fooles that wylle 
plete fuche vanyte one ageynlle other/ And 
many one ben fallen therfore in grete pouerte/ 
For for a lytyl thynge ought to be made a lytyl 




C STfie xtij fable is of tfje Innlf antJ of tfje foie 

One maye not be mayfter without 
he haue be fyrfte a difciple/ As 
hit appiereth by this Fable / Of 
a Foxe whiche came toward a 
wulf / and layd to hym / My lord 
I praye yow that ye wylle be my godfep / 
And the wulf anfuerd/ I am content/ And the 
foxe toke to hym his fone prayenge hym that to 
his fone he wold fhewe and lerne good doftryne/ 
the whiche the wulf tooke / and wente with hym 
vpon a montayne/ And thenne he fayd to the 
lytyll foxe whanne the beetles fhalle come to the 
feldes calle me/ And the foxe wente and fawe 
fro the top of the hylle / how the beeftes were 
comynge to the feldes/ and forth with he wente 
and called his godfader/ and fayd My godfader 
the beeftes comen in to the feldes / And the wulf 
demaunded of hym / what beftes are they / and 
the fox anfuerd / they be bothe kyne & fwyn to 
gyder/ Wei fayd the wulf/ I gyue no force for 
them / lete them go for the dogges ben with 
them / And foone after the foxe dyd loke on 
another fyde/ and perceyued the mare whiche 



wente to the feldes/ and he wente to his god- 
fader & fayd/ godfader the mare is goo to the 
teldes/ & the wulf demaunded of hym where 
aboute is (he/ And the foxe anfuered fhe is by 
the foreft / And the wulf layd / Now go we to 
dyner/ And the wulf with his godfone entryd 
in to the wood/ and came to the mare/ CThe 
wulf perceyued wel and fawe a yonge colt/ 
whiche was by his moder/ the wulf tooke hym 
bv the neck with his teethe and drewe hit within 
the wood/ and ete & deuoured hym bytwene 
them bothe/ C And whan they had wel eien 
the godfon fayd to his godfader/ INIy godtader 
I commaude yow to god and moche I thanke 
yow your doftrine / For wel ye haue taught me / 
in fo moche/ that now I am a grete clerke/ &: 
now I wylle goo toward my moder/ And thenne 
the wulf fayd to his godfon / My godfone yf 
thow goft awey/ thow flialt repente the ther- 
fore/ For thow haft not yet wel ftudyed/ and 
knoweft not yet the Sylogylmes/ C Ha my 
godfader fayd the Foxe / I knowe wel al / C And 
the wulf fayd to hym/ Sythe thow wylt goo/ 
to god I commaunde the/ 

C And whanne the Foxe was come toward 
his moder/ ftie fayd to hym/ Certaynly/ thow 
haft not yet ftudyed ynough/ C And he thenne 
fayd to her/ Moder I am loo grete a ck-rke that 



178 LIBER 

I can caft the deuylle fro the clyf / Lete vs go 
chace/ and ye flialle fee yf I haue lerned ought 
or not/ C And the yong foxe wold haue done 
as his godfader the wulf dede / and faid to his 
moder/ make good watche/ CAnd whanne 
the beetles llialle come to the feld/ lete me 
haue therof knowlege / And his moder fayd/ 
wel my fone fo iTialle I doo / She maade good 
watche / And whanne flie fawe that bothe kyne 
and fwyne wente to the feldes / {he fayd thenne 
to hym My fone the kyne and the fwyn to gyder 
ben in the feldes / And he anfuerd / My moder 
of them I retche not / lete them goo / for the 
dogges kepe them wel/ CAnd within a fliort 
whyle after / the moder fawe come the mare 
nyghe vnto a wode/ and wente/ and fayd to 
her fone / My fone the mare is nyghe the wood 
And he anfuerd/ My moder thefe ben good 
tydynges/ Abyde ye here/ For I goo to fetche 
our dyner/ and wente and entred in to the 
Wode / And after wold doo as his godfader 
dyd before/ and wente and tooke the mare by 
the neck/ But the mare tooke hym with her 
teeth / and bare hym to the iheepherd And 
the moder cryed from the top of the hylle/ 
My fone lete goo the mare/ and come hyder 
ageyne/ but he myght not/ For the mare 
held hym faft with her teethe/ CAnd as the 



fheepherde cnmc for to kylle hym / the moder 
crycd and layd wepynge/ Alias my (one thow 
dydell not Icrne wel/ And hnft ben to lytel 
a whyle atte fchole / wherfore thow mult now 
deye myferably/ And the Iheepherdes took and 
flewe hym/ For none ought to fay hym lelf" 
mayfter withoute that he haue fyrll ftudyed / 
For fome wene to be a grete clerke/ that can 
nothyng of clergye/ 



C 2E]^e i& fable is of tl)e tjorjge / of tfje toulf antj 
of tfjE iri]^£tt)£r 

Rete folye is to a fool that hath no 
myght/ that wylle begyle another 
ftronger tha hym felf / as reher- 
ceth this fable of a fader of 
famylle whiche had a grete herd 
or flock of flieep / and had a grete dogge for to 
kepe them which was wel ftronge / And of his 
voys all the wolues were aferd wherfore the 
fheepherd flepte more furely/ but it happed/ 
that this dogge for his grete age deyde/ wher- 
fore the flieepherdes were fore troubled and 
wrothe/ and fayd one to other/ we fhall no 
more llepe at oure eafe by caufe that our dogge 
is dede / for the wulues fhall now come and 
ete our llieep / C And thenne a grete wether 
fyers and prowd / whiche herd alle thefe wordes 
came to them and fayd / I fhalle gyue yow good 
counceylle/ Shaue me/ and put on me the 
Ikynne of the dogge And whanne the wulues 
fhalle fee me / they Ihalle haue grete fere of me/ 
C And whanne the wulues came and fawe the 
wether clothed with the ikynne of the dogge/ 



they beganne all to flee/ and ranne awey/ C It 
happed on a clay that a wulf whiche was I"<;re 
hongry/ came and toke a lambe/ and after ran 
awaye therwitli / C And thenne the layd wether 
ranne atter hym / And the wulf whiche fuppokd 
that it had ben tlie dogge fhote thryes by the 
waye for the grete fere that he had/ And ranne 
euer as faft as he coude/ and the wether alfo 
ranne after hym withoute cefTe/ tyl that he 
ranne thurgh a bulihe full of lliarp thornes / the 
whiche thornes rente and brake alle the dogges 
lliynne/ whiche was on hym/ And as the wulf 
loked and fawe behynde hym / beynge moche 
doubtous of his dethe/ fawe and perceyued alle 
the decepcion and falfliede of the wether/ And 
forthwith retorned ageynlte hym/ and demaunded 
of hym / what beell arte thow / And the wether 
anluerd to hym in this maner / My lord I am a 
wether whiche playeth with the/ And the wulf 
fayd/ Ha mayfter ought ye to playe with your 
mayfter and with your lord/ thow haft made me 
fo fore aferd / that by the waye as I raime before 
the/ I dyte Ihyte thre grete toordes/ And thene 
the wulf ledde hym unto the place where as he 
hadihyte/ fayenge thus to hym/ lokehyther/ 
callelt thow this a playe/ I take hit not for playe/ 
P'or now I llialle ftiewe to the/ how thow ought- 
eft not to playe fo with thy lord/ And thenne 


1 82 LIBER 

the wulf took and kylled hym / and deuoured 
and ete hym/ C And therfore he that is wyfe 
mufle take good hede/ how he playeth with 
hym whiche is wyfer/ more fage/ and more 
ftronge / than hym felf is / 


C Z\)c ibj fable mnhrti) mrncnon of tlir man/ of 
tliE Igon N't of Iu3 fonc 

^E tliat reffufeth the good dottryne 
^ of liis fader / yf euyl happe cometh 

to liym / it is but ryglit / As to vs 
J^ij reherccth this fable of a Libourer/ 

whiche fomtyme lyucd in a deferte 
of his ciiltyuynge and laboure / In this deferte 
was a lyon/ whiche waited and deftroyed all 
the fede/ which euery daye the fayd labourer 
fewed/ and alfo this lyon deftroyed his trees/ 
And by caufe that he bare and dyd to hym fo 
grete harme and dommage/ he made an hedge/ 
to the whiche he putte and fette cordes and 
nettes for to take lyon/ And ones as this lyon 
came for to ete corne he entryed within a nette/ 
&: was taken / And thenne the good man came 
lliyder/ and bete and fmote hym fo wonderly/ 
that vnnethe he myght fcape fro deth / And by 
caufe that the lyon fawe that he myght not 
efcape the fubtylyte of the man / he took his 
lytyl lyon / and went to dwelle in another 
Regyon / and within a lytyl whyle after that 
the lyon was wel growen and was fyers k 


1 84 LIBER 

llronge he demaunded of his fader/ My fader 
be we of this Regyon / Nay fayd the fader/ 
For we ben fledde awey fro oure land/ And 
thenne the lytyl lyon afked/ wherfore/ And 
the fader anfuerd to hym / For the fubtylyte of 
the man / And the lytyl lyon demaunded of 
hym what man is that / And his fader fayd to 
hym / he is not foo grete ne fo ftronge as we 
be / but he is more fubtyle and more Ingenyous / 
than we be/ and thene fayd the fone to the 
fader/ I Ihalle goo auenge me on hym And 
the grete lyon fayd to hym / goo not / For yf 
thow gofi: thyder thow fhalt repente the ther- 
fore/ and Ihalt doo lyke a fole And the fone 
anfuerd to his fader / Ha by my heed I Ihalle goo 
thyder/ and llialle fee what he can doo/ And 
as he wente for to fynde the man/ he mette an 
oxe within a medowe/ and an hors whofe back 
was al fleyen / and fore/ to whome he faid in 
this manere/ who is he that hath ledde yow 
hyder/ and that fo hath fo hurted yow/ And 
they fayd to hym / It is the man / C And 
thenne he fayd ageyne to them/ Certaynly/ 
here is a wonder thynge / I praye yow / that 
ye wylle fhewe hym to me And they wente 
and Ihewed to hym the labourer/ which ered 
the erthe/ And the lyon forthwith and with- 
oute fayinge of ony moo wordes wente toward 



the man/ to whome he layd in this mancr/ 
Ha man thow haft done ouer many euyls/ 
boihe to me and to my Fader/ and in lyke 
wyle to oure beeftes/ Wherfore I telle the that 
to me thow Ihalt doo Juilyce/ And the man 
anfuerd to hyiu/ I promytte and warne tlit-/ 
that yf thow come nyghe me I ihalle llee with 
this greele clubbe/ And after with this knyt" I 
Ih.dl tlee the/ And the lyon layd to hyni / 
Come thenne bet'ore my fader/ and he as kynge 
llialle doo to vs good Jullyce/ And thenne the 
man fayd to the lyon/ I am content/ yf that 
thow wylt fwere to me/ that thow fhalt not 
touche me/ tyll that we ben in the prefence of 
thy fader/ And in lyke wyfe I llialle fwere to 
the/ that I Ihai go with the vnto the prefence 
of thy fader/ And thus the lyon and the man 
fwered eche one to other / and wente toward 
the grete lyon/ and the man beganne to goo 
bv the way where as his cordes and nettes were 
drelled/ And as ihey wente/ the lyon lete hym 
I'clf falle within a corde/ and by the feet he was 
take/ fo tli:it he myghte not tarther goo/ And 
by caufe he coude not goo he fayd to the man / 
O man I prey the that thow wilt hclpe me/ 
For I may no more goo/ And the man anlwerd 
to hym/ I am fworne to the that I llialle not 
touche the vnto the tynie that we ben before thy 

fader / 

1 86 LIBER 

fader / And as the lyon fuppofed to haue vnbound 
hym felf for to fcape / he fylle in to another nelte 
And thenne the lyon beganne to crye after the 
man / fayenge to hym in this manere / O good 
man I praye the that thow wilt vnbynde me/ 
And the man beganne to fmyte hym vpon the 
hede/ (I And thenne whanne the lyon fawe 
that he myght not fcape / he fayd to the man / 
I praye the / that thow fmyte me no more vpon 
the heed/ but vpon myn erys/ by caufe that I 
wold not here the good counceylle of my fader/ 
And thenne the man beganne to fmyte hym at 
the herte and llewe hym/ the whiche thyng 
happeth ofte to many children whiche ben 
hanged or by other maner executed and put to 
dethe/ by caufe that they wil not byleue the 
dodryne of theyr faders and moders / ne obeye 
to them by no wyfe 



C iTfif xhi fnlilf h of t!ic Imnglit nntj of tf]f 
fcruaunt/ lljc tof]ic{jc foutJ tlic ifoic/ 

I Any ben tliat for theyr grete lelyngcs 
I'uppofen to put vnder alle the 
world / but euer at lall theyr le- 
lyngcs ben knowen and many- 
felted / as hit appiereth by tiiis 
fable of a knyght whiche fomtyme wente with 
an archer of his thurgh the lande/ And as they 
rode/ they fonde a Fox And the knyght fayd 
to the archer in good Ibothe I lee a grete Foxe/ 
And the archer beganne to faye to his lord / My 
lord / merueylle ye therof / I haue ben in a Regyon 
where as the Foxes ben as grete as an oxc/ And 
the knyght anl'uerd In good Iboihe theyr Ikynnes 
were good for to make mantels with / yf fkynners 
mvght haue them/ And as they were rydynge / 
they telle in many wordes and deuyfes/ And 
thenne by caufe the knyght perccyued wcl tiic 
Icfynge of his Archer/ he beganne to make 
preyers and or)'fons to the goddes/ for to make his 
Archer aferd/ And fayd in this manere/ O Jupiter 
god almyghty/ CI preye the/ that this daye 
thow wylt kepe vs fro all lefynges/ lb that we may 


i88 LIBER 

fauf paffe thys flood and this grete Ryuerwhiche 
is here before vs / and that we may furely come 
to oure hows / And whanne the Archer herd 
the prayer and oryibn of his lord / he was moche 
abaffhed C And thenne the Archer demaunded 
of hym / my lord wherfore prayeft thow now foo 
deuoutely / And the knygt anfuerd woft thou not 
wel that hit is wel knowen and manyfefted / that 
we foone muft pafle a ryght grete Ryuer / And 
that he who on al this daye fhalle haue made ony 
lefynge/ yf he entre in hit / he fhalle neuer come 
oute of hit ageyne / Of the whiche wordes the 
Archer was moche doubtous and dredeful/ And 
as they had ryden a lytyl waye / they fond a lytyl 
Ryuer/ wherfore the Archer demaunded of his 
lord / Is this the flood whiche we mufl; pafle / Nay 
fayd the knyght/ For hit is wel gretter/ O my 
lord I faye bycaufe that the foxe whiche ye fawe 
may wel haue fwymmed and pafled ouer this lytyl 
water/ And the lord fayd/ I care not therfore/ 
CAnd after that they had ryden a lytyl ferther/ 
the fond another lytyll Ryuer / And the Archer 
demaunded of hym/ Is this the flood that ye fpake 
of to me/ Nay fayd he/ For hit is gretter & 
more brode/ And the Archer fayd ageyne to 
hym / My lord I fay fo / by caufe that the foxe 
of the whiche I fpake of to daye was not gretter 
than a calf/ C And thene the knyght herkyng 



the dyflTymylacion of his archer/ anfwerd not/ 
And loo they rode fbrlhc To longe that they lond 
yet anollier Ryuer And thi-nnc the Archer 
dcmaunded of his lord/ Is this the fame hit/ 
Nay fayd the knyght / but foone we llialle come 
therto / O my lord I faye fo by caufe that the 
Foxe wlierof I fpak to vow this daye/ was not 
gretter than a iheep / C And when they had 
ryden vnto euen tyme they fond a grete Ryuer 
and of a grete brede/ C And whan tharcher 
fawe hit/ he began al to fliake for fere/ and de- 
maunded of his lord / My lord is this the Ryuer/ 
Ye fayd the knyght / O my lord I enfure you on 
my feythe/ that the Foxe of the whiche I fpake 
to daye/ was not gretter than the Foxe/ whiche 
we fawe to day/ wherfore I knowlege and con- 
felfe to yow my fynne/ C And thenne the knyght 
beganne to fmyle/ and fayd to his Archer in this 
manere/ Alfo this Ryuer is no wors than the 
other whiche we fawe to fore and haue paiVed 
thurgh them/ And thenne the archer had grete 
vergoyne and was fliameful / by caufe tliat he 
myght no more couere his lefvnge / And ther- 
fure hit is fayre and good for to faye euer the 
trouihe/ and to be trewe bothe in fpeche and in 
dcde / For a Iyer is euer begyled / and his le- 
fynge is knowen and manyfelled on hym to his 
grete fhame Sc dommage 

( Here 


G ^txc after foIotoEtx iame iFables of Cfope 

after tf)c neine tranflacion / tf)£ iDi^ic|e 

jfabks bm not founticn ne toreton 

in tfje bookcs of t{}e pl)ila= 

fopljcr Eomulus 


C El)c forft fable is of ilic etjif nnb of tijt 

"One ought to take on liyni lelf to 
doo a thynge / whiche is peryllous 
withoute he fele hym felf itrong 
•^^^^! ynou5 to doo hit/ As reherceth 
this Fable/ Of an Egle/ whiche 
fleynge took a lambe/ wherof the Rauen hadde 
grete enuye whcrlur vpoii another tyme as/ the 
layd rauen fawe a grete herd of Iheep / by his 
grete enuy &: pryde &: by his grete ouhrage de- 
fcended on them/ And by fuciie fachon and 
manere fmote a wether that his clowes abode to 
the riyes of hit/ In foo moche that he coude 
not flee awey / The llieep herd thenne came and 
brake and toke his wynges from hym / And after 
bare hym to his children to playe them with/ 
And demaunded of hym/ what byrd he was/ 
And the Rauen anfuerd to hym / I fuppofed to 
haue ben an Egle / And by my ouerwenynge I 
wcnde to haue take a lambe/ as the egle dyd/ 
but now I knowe wel that I am a Rauen/ wher- 
torc the leblc ought not in no wyfe to compare 



hym felf to the ftronge/ For fomtyme when he 
fuppoleth to doo more than he may/ he falleth 
in to grate deihonour/ as hit appiereth by this 
prefent Fable/ Of a Rauen/ whiche luppolen 
to haue ben as lironge as the ejjle 


( Zhc fcronli jTablf is of [he rglr nnti of ttic 

One for what lb euer mvt^ht that 
he li.iue / ought not to defpreyfe 
the other/ As liit appiereth by 
this prefent table of an Egle/ 
whiche chaced fomtyme after an 
hare And by caufe that the hare myght not 
refyfte ne withflande ageynll the egle / he de- 
maunded ayde and heipe of the wefel/ the whiche 
tooke hym in her kepynge/ And by caufe that 
the egle fawe the wefel foo lytyl/ he defpreyfed 
her/ and before her toke the hare/ wherof the 
wefel was wrothe/ And therfore the wefell wente/ 
and beheld the Egles nell whiche was vpon a 
hyghe tree / And whanne Ihe fawe hit / the lytell 
wefell clymmed vpon a tree/ and toke and caft 
doune to the ground the yonge egles wherfore 
they deyde/ And for this caufe was the Egle 
moche wrothe and angry / and after wente to the 
god Jupiter And prayd liym that lie wold fynde 
hym a fure place where as he niyght leye 
his egges and his lytyl chykynes/ And Jupiter 
graunted hit and gaf hyni fuche a gyfte/ that 




whan the tyme of childynge fhold come/ that 
{he ftiold make her yong Egles within his bofome/ 
And thenne whanne the wefel knewe this/ (he 
gadred and alfembled to gyder grete quantite of 
ordure of fylthe / and therof made an hyghe hylle 
for to lete her felf falle fro the top of hit in to 
the bofome of Jupiter/ And whanne Jupiter 
felte the ftenche of the fylthe/ he beganne to 
{hake his bofome / and both the wefel and the 
egges of the egle telle doune to the erthe/ And 
thus were alle the egges broken and lofl / And 
whanne the Egel knewe hit / fhe made auowe / 
that llie {hold neuer make none egles/ tyll of 
the wefel {he were afluerd / And therfore none 
how {Ironge and myghty that he be / ought not 
defpreyfe fomme other/ For there is none foo 
lytyl / but that fomtyme he may lette and auenge 
hym felf/ wherfore doo thow ne defplayfyr to 
none / that defplayfyre come not to the 


C Clje tligrblf fable is of {\)t iloif nnti of 
tl)c flote 

^^^'■^^n ^ ^'liiche is wyfe and fagc ought 
i} n.'ii M tyrft to loke and behold the ende/ 


or he begynneth the werke or 
dede/ as hyer appiereth by this 
^ " table/ Of a tbxe & of a gote/ 
that loiiitynie defcended and wente doune in 
to a depe welle / for to drynke. And Whanne 
they had wel dronke/ by caufe that thei coude 
not come vpward ageyne / the Foxe fayd to the 
gote in this maner/ my frend yf thow wylt heipe 
me/ we iliall Tone ben bolhe oute of this welle/ 
For yf thow wylt fette thy two feet ageynfte the 
walle/ I llial wel lepe vpon the/ &: vpon thy 
homes And iheune I llial lepe oute of this 
welle/ C And whanne I ihalle be oute of hit/ 
thow Ihalt take me by the handes/ and I Ihal 
plucke and drawe the oute of the welle/ And 
at this requeft the gote/ acorded and anfuerd/ 
I wylle wel/ And thene the gote lyfte vp his 
feet ageynfl the walle/ and the foxe dyd fo 
moche by his malyce that he got out of the 
welle/ And whan he was oute/ he began to 



loke on the gote/ whiche was within the welle/ 
& thenne the gote fayd to hym/ help me now 
as thow haft promyfed/ And thene the foxe 
beganne to lawhe and to fcorne hym / and fayd 
to hym/ O mayfter goote/ yf thow haddeft be 
wel wyfe with thy fayre berde / or euer thow 
haddeft entryd in to the welle/ thow fholdeft 
fyrft haue taken hede/ how thow fholdeft haue 
comen oute of hit ageyne / 

CAnd therfore he whiche is wyfe/ yf he 
wyfely wylle gouerne hym felf / ought to take 
euer good hede to the ende of his werke 


C Z\)t fourtf)C fnfale is of Hit rattc antj of 
tbf rbuiun. 

""E whiche is fals of kynde/ & hath 
bcgonne to deceyue Ibme other/ 
L'uer he wyl ufe his craft/ As it 
appiereth by this prefent Fable 
of a kat whiche fomtyme toke a 
chyken/ the whiche he beganne Ilrongly to 
blame / for to haue fonde fomme caufe that he 
myght ete hit / and fayd to hym in this manere/ 
Come hyther thou chyken/ thow doll none 
other good but crye alle the nyght/ thow 
letell not the men Uepe / And thenne the chyken 
anfuerd to hym/ I doo hit for theyre grete 
prouffite/ And ouer ageyne the catte fayd to 
hym/ yet is there wel wors/ For thow arte 
an incefte & lechour For thow knowell natu- 
relly both thy moder and thy doughter And 
thenne the chyken fayd to the cat/ I doo hit 
by caufe that my mayfter maye haue egges tor 
his etynge/ And that hys mayller for his prou- 
tfyte gaf to hym hot he the moder and the 
doughter for to muhyplye the egges/ And 
thenne the catte fayd to hym/ by my feythe 


godfep thow haft excufacions ynough / but 
neuertheless thow ilialt pafle thurgh my throte/ 
for I fuppole not to fafte this day for alle thy 
wordes/ CAnd thus is it of hym whiche is 
cuftommed to lyue by rauyn/ For he can not 
kepe ne abfteyne hym felf fro hit/ For alle 
thexcafacions that be leyd on hym. 


C <rf)e b fable is of t!)c jFoic nn'b of tf]c buffer. 

lEn 01151 not to demaude ne a(ke 
help of them that ben more cuf- 
tomed to lette than to do good 
r proutfit/ as it appereth by this 
fable of a fox which for to fcnpe 
the peril to be taken wente vpon a thorne 
bufllie/ whiche hurted hym fore/ And wep- 
ynge fayd to the buflhe/ I am come as to my 
refuge vnto the/ and thovv haft hurted me vnto 
the dethe/ And thenne the bufhe fayd to hym/ 
thow haft erred / and wel thou haft begylod 
thy felf/ For thow fuppofcft to haue taken me 
as thow arte cuftommed to take chekyns and 
hennes / C And therfore men ought not to 
heipe them whiche ben acuftomed to doo euylle/ 
but men ouirht rather to lette them. 

C 2rf)£ bj fable is of tlpje man anb of tfje qoH of 
tj^c irrotJES 

l^i^F the euylle manibm tyme prouffiteth 
fome other/ he doth hit not by 
his good wylle/ but by force/ As 
reherceth to vs this fable / Of a 
man whiche had in his hows an 
ydolle the whiche oftyme he adoured as his god / 
to whome ofte he prayed that he wold gyue to 
hym moche good And the more that he prayed 
hym / the more he faylled / And became pouere/ 
wherfore the man was wel wrothe ageynft his 
ydolle/ and took hit bythelegges/ and fmote 
the hede of hit fo ftrongly ageynft the walle / fo 
that it brake in to many pyeces/ Oute of the 
whiche ydolle ylfued a ryght grete trefoure/ 
wherof the man was ful gladde and Joyous / 
And thenne the man fayd to his ydolle/ Now 
knowe I wel/ that thow art wycked/ euyl and 
peruers / For whanne I haue worfhipped the / 
thow haft not holpen me/ And now whanne I 
haue bete the/ thow haft moche done for me/ 
C And therfore the euylle man whanne he doth 
ony good / it is not of his good wylle / but by 


C 3r[)c bij fable 13 of a fofffjcr 

Uile thynges which ben done & made 
in theyr tyme & leal'on ben wel 
made/ as by this prefent fable it 
appereth Ota fyllher whiche Ibm- 
tyme touched his bagpype nylie 
the Ryuer for to make the fyflhe to daunce/ 
C And whan he fawe that for none fonge that 
he coude pvpe/ the fyflhes wold not daufe/ As 
wroth dyd call his neltes in to the Ryuer/ & toke 
of fyllhe grete quantite / And whanne he had 
drawe oute his nettes oute of the water/ the 
fyllhe beganne to lepe and to daufe/ and thenne 
he fayd to them / Certaynly hit appiereth now 
wel / that ye be euylle beetles / For now whanne 
ye be taken/ ye lepe and daunfe/ And whanne 
I pyped and played of my mule or bag pype ye 
dayned/ ne wold not daunfe/ Therfore hit ap- 
piereth wel that the thynges whiche ben made 
in feafun/ ben wel made and done by realbn 

C El)z £5gl)t fable is of t^e cattc antf of tfjc rat 

^E whiche is wyfe/ and that ones 
hath ben begyled/ ought not to 
trufte more hym that hath begyled 
^^jjl'l^^^ hym As reherceth this Fable of a 
catte whiche wente in to a hows/ 
where as many rats were/ the whiche he dyd 
ete eche one after other/ G And whanne the 
rats perceyued the grete fyerfnes and crudelyte 
of the catte / held a counceylle to gyder where 
as they deterrayned of one comyn wylle/ that 
they fliold no more hold them ne come nor goo 
on the lowe floore . wherfore one of them mooft 
auncyent profered and fayd to al the other fuche 
wordes/ C My bretheren and myfrendes/ ye 
knowe wel/ that we haue a grete enemye/ whiche 
is a grete perfecutour ouer vs alle / to whome we 
may not refyfte / wherfor of nede we muft hold 
our felf vppn the hyghe balkes / to thende that 
he may not take vs / Of the whiche propofycion 
or wordes the other rats were wel content and 
apayd/ and byleuyd this counceylle/ And whanne 
the kat knewe the counceylle of the rats/ he 
hynge hym felf by his two feet behynd at a pynne 



of yron whiche was flyked at a balkc/ fcynynge 
hyni felt' to be dcde/ And whanne one of the 
rats lokynge dounward fawe the katte beganne 
to lawhe and fayd to the cat/ O my Frend yf 
I fuppoled that tliow were dede/ I ihold guo 
doune / but wcl I knowe the fo fals & peruers / 
that thow mayft wel haue hanged thy felf/ fayn- 
ynge to be dcde / whcrfore I Ihall not goo doune / 
And tliert'ore he that hath ben ones begyled by 
fomnie other/ ought to kepe hyni wel fro the 


C E])z ix fable is of tf)E labourer anti of tfje 

E whiche is taken with the wicked 
and euyll ou3te to fufFre payne 
and punycyon as they / As it 
appiereth by this fable/ Of a la- 
bourer whiche fomtyme dreffyd 
and fette his gynnes and nettes for to take the 
ghees and the cranes/ Whiche ete his corne/ It 
happed thenne that ones amonge a grete meyny 
of ghees and cranes/ he took a pyelarge/ whiche 
prayd the labourer in this maner/ I praye the 
lete me go/ For I am neyther goos ne cranne 
nor I am not come hyther for to do the ony 
eyylle / The labourer beganne thenne to lawhe / 
and fayd to the pyelarge / yf thow haddeft not be 
in theyr felauihip / thow haddeft not entryd in to 
my nettes/ ne haddeft not be taken/ And by 
caufe that thow arte founde and taken with them / 
thow flialt be punyffhed as they llialle be Ther- 
fore none ought to hold companye with the euylle 
with oute he wylle fufFre the punycion of them 
whiche ben punyflhed 


C Z\)£ Unt\) fable is cf tfic c!)ilti / trifiirlic luptc 
tljc fijrcp 

'E whiche is acaftomed to make lef- 
>(] y"o*^s/ how be it that he faye 
trouthe/ Yet men byleue hym 
not/ As reherceth this fable/ Of 
a child whiche fomtymc kepte 
Iheep/ the whiche cr}-ed ofte withoute caufe/ 
fayenge/ Alias for goddes loue focoure yow me/ 
P'or ihe wulf wylle ete my llieep / And whanne 
the labourers that cultyued and ered the erthe 
aboute hym / herd his crye / they come to helpe 
hym / the whiche came fo many tymes / and fond 
nothyng/ And as they fawe that there were no 
wulues/ they retorned to theyr labourrage/ And 
the child dyd fo many tymes for to playe hym/ 
CIt happed on a day that the wulf came/ and 
the child cryed as he was acuftomed to doo / 
And by caufe that the labourers fuppofed / that 
hit had not ben trouthe/ abode ftylle at theyr 
laboure/ wherfore the wulf dyd ete the fheep/ 
For men bileue not lyghtly hym/ whiche is 
knowen for a Iyer 


C E^t X} faftle is of f^t ante anti at tfje cclutnbe 

One ought to be flowful of the good 
whiche he receyueth of other/ As 
reherceth this fable of an Ante/ 
whiche came to a fontayne for 
to drynke / and as fhe wold haue 
dronke llie felle within the fontayn / vpon the 
whiche was a columbe or douue / whiche feyng 
that the Ante fhold haue ben drowned withoute 
helpe/ took a braunche of a tree/ & caft it to 
her for to faue her felf / C And the Ante wente 
anone upon the braunche and faued her/ C And 
anone after came a Fawkoner / whiche wold haue 
take the douue / And thenne the Ante whiche 
fawe that the Fawkoner drefl)'d his nettes came 
to his foote / and foo fall pryked hit / that fhe 
caufed hym to fmyte the erthe with his foote/ 
and therwithe made foo gret noyfe/ that the douue 
herd hit/ wherfore flie flewhe aweye or the 
gynne and nettes were al fette/ C And therfore 
none ought to forgete the benyfyce whiche he 
hath receyued of fome other/ for flowfulneffe is 
a grete fynne 


C iTljc iij fable is of the I5rr nut) of Hupitcr 

,^:^iO\v the euyl which men wylihe to 
ivrin, other/ cometh to liym whiche 
wyilheth hit/ as hit appiereth by 
this fable / of a Bee whiche olfred 
and gaf to J upyter a pyce of hony / 
wherof Jupyter was moche Joyous / And thenne 
J upyter fayd to the bee / demaunde of me what 
thi)w wylt/ and I ihalie graunte and gyue hit to 
the gladly/ And thenne the Bee prayed hym in 
this manere/ God almyghty I pray the that thow 
wylt gyue to me and graute/ that who fo euer 
fhal come for to take awey my hony / yf I pryke 
hyni / he may fodenly deye/ And by caufe that 
Jupyter loued the humayn lygnage he fayd to 
the Bee/ Suliyfe the/ that who fo euer llialle 
goo to take tliy hony / yf thow pryke or Itynge 
hym/ Incontynent thow flialt deye/ And thus 
her prayer was tourned to her grcte dommage/ 
For men ought not to deinaude of god/ but fuche 
thynges that ben good and lionell 


C QTIiE xtij fable is of a carpenter 

N as moche as god is more propyce 
and benygne to the good and holy / 
moche more he punyflheth the 
wycked and euylle/ As we may 
fee by this fable/ Of a carpenter 
whiche cutte wode vpon a Ryuer for to make a 
temple to the goddes / And as he cutte wode / 
his axe felle in the Ryuer/ wherfore he beganne 
to wepe and to calle helpe of the goddes/ And 
the god Mercurye for pyte appiered before hym 
And demaunded of hym wherfore he wepte / and 
fhewed to hym an axe of gold / and demaunded 
of hym yf hit was the axe whiche he had loft/ 
& he fayd nay/ And after the god fhewed to hym 
another axe of fyluer/ And femblably faid nay 
And by caufe that Mercurius fawe that he was 
good and trewe / he drewe his axe oute of the 
water/ and took hit to hym with moche good 
that he gaf to hym/ And the carpenter told thy- 
ftory to his felawes / of the whiche one of them 
came in to the fame place for to cutte woode as 
his felawe dyd before / & lete falle his axe within 
the water/ and beganne/ to wepe and to de- 



mauiui tlie lielpe and ayde of the godcles/ And 
thfiine Mercuryappierc'd to tore liym/ and ihewcd 
to hym an axe of gold/ and demaunded of hvni 
in fuchc manere/ Is the fame hit that thow iiall 
lofl/ And he anfuerd to Mercury/ ye fayre fyre 
and myghty god the fame is it / And Mercury 
feynge the malyce of the vylayne gaf to hyni 
neyther the fame ne none other/ and lefte hym 
wepynge/ For god whiche is good and Jurt re- 
warded the good and trewe in this world / or 
eche other after his deferte and punyflheth the 
eyylle and Iniulte 

G E^t xiiij fabU ts of a -grnQt iijtd anti of i)is 

e whiche is not chaftyfed at the 
begynnynge is euyll and peruers 
at the ende/ As hit appiereth by 
this fable of a yonge child whiche 
of his yongthe beganne to ftele/ 
and to be a theef / And the theftys whiche he 
maad/ he broughte to his moder/ and the moder 
toke them gladly / & in no wyfe fhe chaftyfed 
hym / And after that he had done many theftys / 
he was taken / and condempned to be hanged / 
And as men ledde hym to the Juftyce/ his moder 
folowed hym and wepte fore/ And thenne the 
child prayed to the Juftyce / that he myght faye 
one word to his moder/ And as he approuched 
to her/ made femblaunt to telle her fomrae 
wordes at her ere / & with his teeth he bote of 
her nofe / wherof the Juftyce blamed hym / And 
he anfuerd in this manere/ My lordes ye haue 
no caufe to blame me therfore/ For my moder 



is caufe of my deth For yf flie had wel chaftyled 
me/ I had not come to thislliame and vergoyne/ 
For who loueth wel/ wel he chadyleth / And 
therfore chaftyfe wel youre children/ to thende/ 
that ye f'alle not in to fuche a caas 


C Cfje lb fable (0 of tfje flee antj of t]}t man. 

E that dothe euyl/ how be hit 
that the euylle be not grete 
men ought not to leue hym 
vnpunyfllied / As it appereth 
by this fable/ Of a man whiche 
took a flee whiche bote hym / to whome the 
man fayd in this manere / Fie why byteft thow 
me/ and leteft me not flepe/ and the flee 
anfuerd It is my kynd to doo foo / wherfore 
I praye the that thow wylt not put me to 
dethe/ And the man beganne to lawhe/ & 
fayd to the flee/ how be it/ that thow mayll 
not hurte me fore / Neuertheless / to the be- 
houeth not to prycke me / wherfore thow fhalt 
deye / For men ought not to leue none euyll 
vnpunyfllied how be hit that hit be not grete. 


C iCf)t ibi fablf IS of thf iiufbonli ant) of bis 

11230 toDUCS. 

Oo thynge is werfe to the man than 
the woman/ As it appereth by 
this fable/ of a man of a meane 
age/ whiche tookc two wyues/ 
that is to wete an old/ cS: one 
yong/ whiche were both dwellyng in his hows/ 
& by caufe that the old defyred to haue his 
loue / fhe plucked the blak herys fro his hede 
and his berde / by caufe he fliold the more be lyke 
her/ And the yonge woman at the other fyde 


214 LIBER 

plucked and drewe oute alle the whyte herys/ 
to the ende / that he fhold feme the yonger / 
more gay and fayrer in her fyghte/ And thus 
the good man abode withoute ony here on his 
hede And therfore hit is grete folye to the 
auncyent to wedde them felf ageyne/ For to 
them is better to be vnwedded/ than to be 
euer in trouble with an euyl wyf/ for the 
tyme in whiche they fhold refte them/ they 
put it to payne and to grete labour. 

QUI NT us. 


C ^ht 3ijij fable is of t!ie labourer antJ of bis 


e thnt laboureth and werketh con- 
tynuelly maye not faylle to haue 
plente of goodes/ as it appiereth 
'^ ?vji by this prel'ent table/ Of a good 
man labourer/ whiche all his lyf 
liad laliourcd and wrought/ and was ryche/ 
and whan he ihold deye / he fayd to his chil- 
dren/ My children I multe now deye/ and 
my trefour I haue lefte in my vyne/ And 
after that the good man was dede/ his children 
whiche fuppofed that his trefour had ben in the 
vyne/ dyd nothyng al day but delued hit/ & 
it bare more fruyte than dyd before/ C For 
who trauaylleth wel / he hath euer brede ynough 
for to ete/ And he that werketh not dyeth for 

C Itjctf fnnoffbfn tbf jFablcs of (!?fcipc 

C -llnti after foloturtb i\)t 

fables of Huuan 



C ^\}t fgrft fable is of t^e oltJ tooman antJ of 
ti)E taulf 

En ought not by byleue on al maner 
fpyrytes/ As reherceth this fable 
of an old woman / which faid to 
her child bicaufe that it wept/ 
certeynly if thow wepll ony more / 
I thai make the to be ate of the wulf / & the 
wulf heryng this old woman / abode ftyll to fore 
the yate/ & fuppofed to haue eten the old 
womans child/ & by caufe that the wulf had foo 
longe taryed there that he was hongry / he re- 
torned and went ageyne in to the wood/ And 
the {hewulf demaunded of hym / why haft thow 
not brought to me fome mete/ And the wulf 
anfuerd / by caufe / that the old woman hath be- 
gyled me / the whiche had promyfed to me to 
gyue to me her child for to haue ete hym / And 
at the lafte I hadde hit not / And therfore men 
ought in no wyfe to truft the woman/ And he 
is wel a fole that fetteth his hope and trufte in a 
woman/ And therfore trufte them not/ and thow 
fhalt doo as the fage and wyfe 



C QTfjr fcron^ fafalc is of the tortofc anlj of tijc 
other borlics 

^E that enhauncetli hym felf more 
than he oughte to do To hyni 
oughte not to come noo good / 
As hit appiereth by this prefent 
fable/ Of a tortofe/ whiche faid 
to the byrdes / yf ye lyft nie vp wel hyghe fro 
the ground to the ayer I Ihalle Ihewe 10 yow 
grete plente of precius llones/ And the Egle toke 
her and bare her fo hyghe/ that Ihe myghte not 
fee the erthe/ And the Egle fayd to her Ihewe 
me now thefe precius ftones that thow proniyfet 
to fhewe to me/ And by caufe that the tortofe 
myght not fee in the erthe/ and that the Egle 
knewe wel that he was dcceyued / threlted his 
clowes in to the tortofes bely/ and kylled hit/ 
For he that wylle haue and gete worlhip and 
glorye may not haue hitwithoute grete labourc/ 
Therfore hit is better and more fure/ to kcpe 
hym lowely than to enhaunce hym fell on hyghe/ 
and after to deye IhamefuUy and myferably/ 
C For men fayn comynly/ who fo mounteth 
hyher/ than he ihold/ he faileih lower than he 



C Wcit tfjgrt) fable is of tfje tfao CreuofCES 

E whiche will teche and lerne fome 
other/ ought firft to corryge & 
examyne hym felf / as it appereth 
by this fable of a creuyfle / whiche 
wold haue chaftyfed her owne 
doughter bicaufe that fhe wente not wel ryght / 
And fayd to her in this manere / My doughter / 
hit pleafeth me not that thow gooft thus back- 
ward / For euylle myght wel therof come to the / 
And thenne the doughter fayd to her moder My 
moder I fhalle go ryght and forward with a good 
will but ye muft goo before for to fhewe to me 
the waye/ But the moder coude not other wyfe 
goo / than after her kynd / wherfore her doughter 
fayd unto her/ My moder fyrft lerne your felf 
for to goo ryght and forward / and thenne ye 
Ihalle teche me And therfore he that wylle teche 
other / ought to lliewe good enfample / For grete 
fliame is to the do6lour whanne his owne coulpe 
or faulte accufeth hym 



C 2r!)C fourtf)E fable is of i\\t nsse / anli of H]c 
fkonnr of \\]t iigon 

'/^xTV/y^l^"*^ ought not to gloryfye hyni Iclf 
v"^ z' of the goodes of other . as recyteth 
"^./X^ j^'! this fable of an alfe whiche fom- 
^^J^^^\ y tyme fond the fkynne of a lyon / 
the whiche he dyd & wered on 
hym/ but he coude neuer hyde his eres ther- 
with/ &: when he was/ as he fuppofed wel 
arayed witli the fayd fkynne/ he ranne in to 
tlie torell / And whanne the wyld bcel^es fawc 
hym come/ they were fo fcrdfull that they alle 



beganne to flee / For they wend / that it had be 
the lyon / And the mayiler of the affe ferched and 
foughte his affe in euery place al aboute And 
as he had foughte longe/ he thoughte that he 
wold go in to the foreft for to fee yf his affe 
were there/ And as foone as he was entryd 
in to the foreft / he mette with his affe arayed 
as before is fayd / but his mayfter whiche had 
foughte hym longe fawe his erys/ wherfore he 
knewe hym wel / and anone toke hym / and 
fayd in this manere / Ha a mayfter affe/ arte 
thow clothed with the ftcynne of the lyon / thow 
makeft the beftes to be aferd / but yf they knewe 
the/ as wel as I do/ they fhold haue no fere of 
the/ but I enfure the/ that wel I flialle bete the 
therfore / And thenne he toke fro hym the fkynne 
of the lyon / and fayd to hym Lyon Ihalt thow be 
no more / but an afle fhalt thow euer be / And 
his mayfter tooke thenne a ftaf/ andfmotehym/ 
foo that euer after he remembryd hym wel of 
hit/ And therfore he whiche auaunceth hym 
felf of other mennes goodes is a very foole / For 
as men fayn comynly he is not wel arayed nor 
wel appoynted / whiche is clothed with others 
gowne/ ne alfo it is not honefte to make large 
thonges of other mennes leder 

OF A i'lA N. 

C E\)t fa fable is of i\}t froggc anti of t\)t jFoie 

"lOne ought to auaunce hym I'elt" to 
doo that whichc he he can not 
doo / As hit appiereth of a frogge / 
whichc lomtyme yllued or came 
oute of a dyche/ the whichc 
prefumed to haue lepte vpon a hyghe mon- 
tayne/ And whanne Ihe was vpon the moun- 
tayne/ (he fayd to other beettes/ I am a mayf- 
trelVe in medecyn / and canne gyue remedy to 
al manere of fekenes by myn arte/ and fubtylyte/ 
and Ihalle rendre and brynge yow vp ageyne in 
good helthe/ wherof fome byleued her/ And 
thenne the Foxe whiche perceyued the folylihc 
byleue of the beetles/ beganne to lawhe/ and 
fayd to them/ poure beeftes/ how may tliis 
fowle and venemous beert whiche is feke and 
pale of colour render and gyue to yow helthe/ 
f\)r the leche whiche wylle hele fomme other/ 
ought fyrlle to hele hym felf/ For many one 
counterfayteth the leche/ whiche can not a 
word of the fcyence of medecyne / trum the 
whiche god prefcruc and kepe vs 



G STfje &j fable is of i^z ttoo boggES 

E that taketh within hym felf vayne 
glorye of that thynge / by the 
whiche he fliold humble hym felf 
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 and bote not/ And whan the 
fader of famyll perceyued the fhrewdnefs and 
malyce of the dogge that barkyd not he henge 
on his nek a belle/ to the ende that men (hold 
beware of hym / wherfore the dogge was ouer 
prowd and fyers / and beganne to dyfpreyfe alle 
the other dogges / of the whiche one of the mooft 
auncyent fayd to hym in this manere / O fole 
beeft/ now perceyue I wel thy foly and grete 
wodeneffe to fuppofe / that this belle is gyuen to 
the for thyn owne deferte and meryte / but cer- 
taynly hit is not foo/ For hit is taken to the for 
thy demerytes / and by caufe of thy fhrewdnelfe / 
and grete treafon / for to Ihewe / that thow arte 
fals and tray tour/ And therfore none oughte to 
be Joyeful and gladde of that thynge/ wherof 


OF AVIAN. 223 

he oughte to be trylt and ibrowful / as many foles 
done/ whiclie make J<»yc 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 ihold make Joye therof / how be hit that the 
corde were moclie ryche and fayre 


C STl^e bij fable is at tfjc camel anti of Jupiter 

"|Uery creature ought to be content 
of that/ that god hath gyuen to 
hym withoute to take their hery- 
taunce of other / As reherceth this 
fable Of a camel whiche fom 
tyme complayned hym to Jupiter of that the 
other beeftes mocqued hym / by caufe that he 
was not of fo grete beaute/ as they were of/ 
wherfore to Jupiter Inftantly he prayd in fuche 
maner as foloweth/ Fayr fyre and god/ I re- 
quyreand praye that thow wylt gyue to me homes/ 
to thende that I maye be nomore mocqued / 
Jupiter then beganne to lawhe/ and in ftede of 
homes/ he took fro hym his erys/ and fayd/ 
thow haft more good than hit behoueth thee to 
haue/ And by caufe that thow demaundeft that/ 
whiche thow oughteft not to haue I haue take 
fro the that whiche of ryght and kynd thow 
ou3teft to haue/ For none ought not to defyre 
more than he ought to haue / to the ende that 
he lefe not that whiche he hath/ 



<' iTljr cogiit fnblc is of tijc tino fclatofs 

S^^ii^Z^^En ought not to hold felaulhip with 
• V^ ■ r-^:^ /I ''}'"! / whiche is acuftomnied to 
Wv " .-' hegyle other/ As hit appiereth 
0^-iXfcyi ^^ ^^^^ Fable/ Of two felawes 
whiche lomtyme held felaulhip 
to eche other for to goo bothe by montaynes and 
valeyes And for to make better theyr vyage/ they 
were fworne eche one to the other/ that none 
of them boihe Ihould leue other vnto that the 
tynie of dethe Ihold come and departe them / 
And as they walked in a forelt they mette with 
a grete wyld here / & bothe felaws ran lone awey 
for fere/ of the whiche the one clymmed/ vpon 
a tree/ And whan the other fawe that his felawe 
had lefte hym leyd hym felf on the crthe/ and 
fayned to be dede/ And Incontynent the here 
came for to ete hym / but by caufe the gallaunt 
playd wel his game/ the here went forthe his 
waye and touched hym not / And thene his felawe 
came doun fro the tree whiche fayd to hym / I 
pray thee to telle me what the bore fayd to the/ 
For as me femeth he fpake to the/ and haih 



(hewed to the gretefygne or token of loue/ And 
thenne his felawe fayd to hym / He taught me 
many fayre fecretes/ but emonge alle other 
thynges he fayd to me/ that I Ihold neuer truft 
hym who ones hath deceyued me 


C Cljc ix fable makctfj mtnci'on of tfje ttoo pottcs 

He poure ought not to take the 
Ryche as his felawe as it ap- 
piereth by this fable of two pottcs / 
of the whiche the one was coper/ 
and the other of erthe/ the whiche 
pottes dyd mete to gyder within a Ryuer/ C& 
by caufe that the erthen pot wente fwyfter than 
dyd the coper potte/ the pot of coper fayd to 
the pot of erthe/ I praye the that we may goo 
to gyder/ And the erthen potte anfuerd and 
fayd to the coper pot/ I wylle not go with the/ 
For it {hold happe to me as it happed to the 
glas and of the morter For yf thow Iholdeft 
mete with me/ thow Iholdeft breke and putte 
me in to pyeces/ C And thertbre the poure is 
a fole that compareth and lykeneth hym felf to 
the ryche and myghty / For better is to lyue in 
pouerte than to deye vylaynoufly and opprellyd of 
the ryche 



C QTfjc I fable is of tfie Igon antJ of t\)t boole 

T is not alweye tyme to auenge hym 
felf of his enemye / As it appiereth 
by this fable, of a bole/ whiche 
fomtyme fledde before a lyon/ 
And as the bole wold entre with- 
in a cauerne for to faue hym / a goto wente 
geynfte hym for to kepe and lette hym that 
he fhold not entre in it/ to whome the bole 
fayd / It is not tyme now to auenge me on the / 
for the lyon that chafeth me / but the tyme ilialle 
come that wel I flialle fynde the/ For men 
ought not to doo to hym felf dommage for to 
be auengyd of his enemy/ but oughte to loke 
for tyme and place couenable for to doo hit 


C ^l)t xi fable 13 of tljc ^pc nntj of I113 foiu 

fowler a thyng is to the man / than 
with his mouth to preyfehym lelf/ 
As this fable reherceth to vs/ Of 
Jupiter kynge of alle the world 
whiche made alle the beeftes and 
alle the bvrdes to be airembled to gyder for 
to knowe theyr bounte/ and alfo theyr kynd / 
Emonge alle the whiche came the Ape/ whiche 
prefented his fone to Jupiter/ fayenge thus/ 
Fayre fyre and myghty god/ loke and lee here 
the fairelt Ijeell that euer thow created in this 
world/ And Jupiter thenne beganne to lawhe/ 
and after fayd to liym / thow arte wel a fowlc 
beeft to preyfe foo thy felf/ For none oughte 
to preyfe hym felf/ but oughte to doo good 
and vertuous werkes/ wherof other may preyfe 
hym / for it is a lliameful thyng to preyfe hym 


C S:f)e lij fable 10 of tfje crane antJ of tlje pcrock 

Or what vertue that ony man haih/ 
none oughte to preyfe hym felt"/ 
As hit apiereth by this fable / Of 
a pecok/ whiche fomtyme made 
a dyner to a crane/ And And 
whanne they had eten and dronken ynough / 
they had grete wordes to gyder / wherfore the 
pecok fayd to the crane / Thow haft not fo fayre 
a forme ne fo fayre a fygure as I haue / ne alfo 
fayr fethers / ne foo refplendyffliynge as I haue / 
To whome the crane anfuerd / and fayd / It is 
trouthe / Neuertheles thow haft not one good / ne 
one fo fayre a vertue as I haue/ For how be hit 
that I haue no fo fayre fethers as thow haft/ 
yet can I flee better than thy felf doft/ For 
with thy fayre fethers thow muft euer abyde 
on the erthe/ and I may flee where fomeuer 
hit pleafeth me / And thus euerychone ought to 
haue futFyfaunce and to be content of that/ that 
he hath/ without auanncynge or prayfynge of 
hym felf/ and not to dyfpreyfe none other. 

OF AVIAN. 231 

C Z\)e liij fable is of tf)c fjimtcr anti of the togre 

vyErse is the ftroke of a tonge / than 
L/* Yy /^ the lUoke of a fpere as hit ap- 
/\ r-^\ piercth by this fable/ Of a hunter/ 
whiche with his arowes huiied the 
wyld beeftes/ in fuche wyfe that 
none fcaped fro hym / to the whiche belles a 
tygre fyers and hard fayd in this nianere/ Be 
not aferd / For I llialle kepe yow well / And as 
the Tygre came in to the wode/ the hunter was 
hyd witliin a buflhe/ the whiche whan he fawe 
palle the tvgre before the buHlie / he ihote at hym 
an arowe / and hytte hym on the thye/ wher- 
fore the tygre was gretely aballlied And wepynge 
and fore fyghynge fayd to the other beeftes/ I 
wote not from whens this cometh to me / C And 
whanne the foxe fawe hym foo gretely abafllied / 
al lawhynge fayd to hym / Ha a tygre / thow arte 
fo myghty and fo ftronge/ And thenne the tygre 
fayd to hym/ My ftrcngthe auaylled me not at 
that tyme/ For none may kepe hym felf fro 
treafon And therfore fome fecrete is here / whiche 
I knewe not before But notwithflandynge this I 
maye wel conceyue / that there is no wors arowe/ 



ne that letteth more the man / than tharowe 
whiche is fhotte fro the euyll tongue/ For whanne 
lorn peribne profereth or layth fom wordes in a 
felaufliip / of fommen a of honeft & good lyf / 
alle the fehiufhip fuppofeth that that whiche this 
euylle tongue hath fayd be trewe / be hit trewe 
or not/ how be it that it be but lefynge/ but 
notwithftondynge the good man fhalle euer be 
wounded of that fame arowe/ whiche wound 
ftialle be Incurable / And yf hit were a ftroke of 
a fpere/ hit niyght be by the Cyrurgyen heled/ 
but the ftroke of an euylle tongue may not be 
heled / by caufe that Incontynent as the word is 
profered or fayd / he that hath fayd hit / is no 
more mayfter of hit / And for this caufe the ftroke 
of a tongue is Incurable and withoute guaryfon 



C (Tfjc liifj fable in of \\]t four oicn 

^^_^En oughte not to breke his feythe 
' l^ ageynlle his good Frend/ ne to 
I ' leue his felaulhip/ as hit appiereth 
'^ by this fable / of four oxen whiche 
to gyder were in a fair medowe / 
(I And by caufe that euer they were and kepte 
them to gyder / none other beeft durfte not airaylle 
tliem/ and alfo the lyon dradde them moche / 
the whiche lyon on a daye came to them / And 
by his deceyuable wordes thoughte for to begyle 
them/ & to rauOhe & take them the better/ 
maade them to be fepared eche one fro other / 
CAnd whanne they were fepered/ the lyon 
wente / and toke one of them/ And whan the 
lyon wold haue ftrangled hym / the oxe fiyd to 
hym/ godfep/ He is a foole whiche byleueth 
fals and deceyuable wordes And leuelh the felaw- 
ihip of his good frende / For yf we had ben euer 
to gyder / thow haddcft not taken me / And 
therfore he whiche is/ and llandeth wcl fure / 
ought to kepe hym foo that he falle not / For 
to whiche is wel / meue not hvni fclf 



C €i}t lb faile is of t!)e tufflje/ anti of t^e 
aufeuer tree 

jOne for his beaute ought not to 
defpreyfe fome other/ For fom- 
tyme iuche one is fayre that 
foone wexeth lothely and fowle / 
and to hyghe falleth vnto lowe / 
as it apperyth by this fable / Of a fayr tree 
whiche mocqued and fcorned a lytyl bufihe/ 
and fayd / CI Seeft thow not / my fayre fourme 
and my fayre fygure / And that of me men 
and byldeth fayre edefyces as palays and caftellis / 
galeyes & other fliippes for to faylle on the fee / 
And as he auaunced & preyfed hym felf thus/ 
came there a labourer with his axe for to hewe 
and fmyte hym to the ground / And as the 
labourer fmote vpon the fayre tree/ the bufllie 
fayd/ Certaynly my broder yf now thow were 
as lytel/ as I am / men fliold not hewe ne fmyte 
the doune to the erthe/ And therfore none 
oughte to reioyflhe hym felf of his worlhip/ 
For fuche is now in grete honour and worfhip / 
that herafter fhalle falle in to grete vytupere 
..fhame and difhonour 


C STfjc ibj fafak 13 of the fofffirr/ antj of tf)e 
lotul fuffiie 

En ought not to leue that thynge 
whiche is fure & certayne / for 
hope to haue the vncertayn / as 
to vs reherceth this fable of a 
fylHier whiche with his lyne toke 
a lytyll fyllhe whiche fayd to hym / My frend I 
pray the/ doo to me none euylle/ ne putte 
nie not to dethe/ For now I am nought/ for 
to be eten / but wlianne I Ihalle be grete/ yf 
thow come ageyne hyther/ of me Ihalt thow 
mowe haue grete auaylle/ For thenne I Ihalle 
goo with the good whyle/ And the Fyflher 
fayd to the fyffhe . Syn I hold the now/ thou 
(halt not fcape fro me/ For grete foly hit were 
to me for to feke the here another tyme / For 
men ought not to lete goo that/ of what they 
be fare of/ hopynge to haue afterwards that 
that they haue not and whiche is vnccrtayne. 



C E^t lijij faile is of pfiebns / of tfje ^aar2ci0us / 
nn"Q of t\)z ETiugaus 

[]One oughte to doo harme or dom- 
mage to fomme other for to re- 
ceyue or doo his owne dommage / 
As hit appereth by this fable / Of 
Jupiter whiche fent phebus in to 
therthe for to haue al the knowlege of the 
thou3t of men CThis phebus thenne mette 
with two men / of whiche the one was moche 
enuyous / And the other ryght couetous / Phebus 
demaunded of them what theyr thought was / 
We thynke faid they to demaunde and afke of 
the grate yeftes / To the which phebus anfuerd / 
Now demaunde that ye wylle/ For all that that 
ye fhalle demaunde of me/ I Ihalle graunte hit/ 
And of that/ that the fyrft of yow ihalle aike / 
the fecond haue the dowble parte/ or as moche 
more ageyne/ And thenne the auarycious fayd/ 
I wyl that my felawe afke what he wyll fyrlt 
wherof the enuyous was wel content/ whiche 
fayd to Phebus Fayre fyre I praye the that I 
maye lefe one of myn eyen / to thende that 
my felawe may lefe al bothe his eyen / wherfor 


OF AVIAN. 237 

phebus beganne to lawhe whiche departed and 
wente ageyne vnto Jupiter/ and told hym the 
grete malyce of the enuyous/ whiche was Joye- 
ful and ghid of the harme and dommage ot' an 
other/ & how he was wel content to liUfre 
payne for to haue adommagod fomme other 



C Cfje ibfij fable ts of tfje t^cef / anb of tj^e 
cljilti inirfje irEpte 

J]E is a fole that putteth his good in 
jeopardy to lefe it for to gete & 
haue fom others good/ as it ap- 
pereth by this fable of a theef 
whiche fond a child wepynge be- 
fyde a welle / of whom the theef dyde afke why 
he wepte/ & the child anfwerd to hym I wepe/ 
by caufe that I haue lete falle within this welle 
a loket of gold/ & thenne the theef toke of his 
clothes/ & fette them on the ground and wente 
doune in to the welle/ And as he was doune 
the child toke his gowne & lefte hym within 
the welle / And thus for couetyfe to wynne / he 
loft his gowne / For fuche fuppofen to wynne 
fomtyme whiche lefen / And therfore none 
ought to wyljhe that/ that he hath not/ to 
thende that he lefeth not that / that he hath / 
For of the thynge wrongfully and euylle goten / 
the thyrd heyre Ihalle neuer be ppireffour of hit. 



C Eht lii fable 13 of tfic luon nnb of the gott 

is wyfe that can kepe hym iVlf 
tVuin the wyly and fals / as hit 
appcrctli by this fable / Of a lyon / 
whiche ones mette with a gote/ 
whiche was vpon a montayne 
And whanne the lyon fawe her/ he fayd to her 
in this manere/ For to gyue to her occacion to 
come doune fro the hylle/ to thende that he 
niyght ete her/ My fuller why comeft thow not 
hyder on this fayre and grene medowe for to ete 
of thefe fayre herbes or gralVe / And the gote 
anfuerd to hym / How be hit / that thow fayft 
trouthe/ Neuertheles thow fayft it not/ neyilu-r 
for my wele ne for my prouftyte/ but thow fayft 
iiit/ by caufe that thow woldeft fayne ete and 
deuoure me/ but I trufte not in thy fayre fpeche/ 
For many tymcs I haue herd faye of my graut 
moder/ he that is wcl / meue not hym felf/ For 
he whiche is in a place wel fure/ is wel a folc to 
go fro hit / and to putte hym fclf in gretedaungcr 
and porylle 



C 2rf)£ II tMt toas of tfje crofee lii|)icf)e irias a 

Etter is crafte and fubtylyte than 
force/ As reherceth to vs this 
fable/ Of a crowe whiche vpon 
a day came for to drynke oute 
of a boket/ and by caufe that fhe 
myght not reche to the water/ flae dyd fyll the 
boket ful of fmal ftones / in foo nioche that the 
water came vpward / wherof flie dranke thenne 
at her wylle/ and playfyre/ And therfore hit 
appiereth wel / that wytte or fapyence is a moche 
fayr vertue For by fapyence or wytte / thow Ihalt 
mowe refyfte to all faultes / 



C E\)t iij fafak is of tlir bolnrne nnti of tlir 
ronrjc bolt/ 

I'^E whiche is of euylle and fhrewd 
kyiui / with grete payne he inny 
h ym lelt'/ as it appereth by 
ible/ Of a vylayne/ whiche 
had a yongc bole / the whiche he 
myght not bynd / by caufe that euer he fmote 
with his homes/ wherfore the vylayne cutte of 
liis homes / C But yet whan he wold haue bound 
hym / the bole cafted his fute fro hym / in fuche 
w yfe that he fufFred noman to come nyghe hym / 
And whan the vylayne perceyucd the malvce of 
the bole/ he fayd to hym/ I ihalle challyfe the 
wel/ For I flialle take the in to the bouchers 
handes / And thenne was the bole wel chaftyfed / 
C And thus ought men to doo of the euvlle/ 
curfyd & rebelles/ whiche doo no thynge but 
playe with dees and cardes and to rutfule/ Such 
folke ought men to put in to the handes of the 
boucher for to Icde them to the galhows/ For 
better may no man challyfe them/ For with 
grete payne may he be chaftyfed / w hiclie tk-eth 
alle good werkes oiid alle good teluulliip 



C €')z iitj fable is of tl^e btator or palmer antj 
of Sature 

En ought to beware & kepe hym 
felf from hym whiche bereth both 
fyre and water/ as reherceth to vs 
this Fable Of a pylgrim / whiche 
fomlyme walked in the wynter/ 
and wente thurgh a grete foreft/ CAnd by 
caufe that the fnowe had couerd al the wayes / 
he wift ne knewe not whyther he wente/ 
ageynfte the whiche came a wodewofe named 
Satyre by caufe he fawe hym a cold/ whiche 
aproched to the pylgrym and brought hym in 
to his pytte / And whan the pylgrym fawe 
hym / he hadde grete drede by caufe that a 
wodewofe is a monflire lyke to the man/ as hit 
appiereth by his fygure / C And as the wode- 
wofe or Satyre ledde the pylgrym in to his 
pytte / the pylgrym dyd blowe within his handes 
for to chauft'e them / For he was fore cold / 
And thenne the wodewofe gaf to hym bote water 
to drynke / C And whan the pylgrym wold 
haue dronken hit/ he beganne to blowe in hit/ 
And the wodewofe demaunded of hym / why 


OF A UIA N. 243 

he (lyd hinwe in hit / And the pylgryni fayil tc; 
hym / I blowe in hit / for to haue it foniwhat 
more cold than hit is/ The wodewofe thenne 
fayd to hym / Thy felauihip is not good to me / 
by caufe tliat thow berell bothe the tyre and the 
water in tliv niouihe/ therfore go hens fro my 
pyt and neiicr retorne ageyne/ For the felautliip 
of the man whiche hath two tongues is nought/ 
And the man wiche is wyfe ought to flee the 
felaufhip of flaterers/ For by flateryng &: adu- 
lacion many haue ben beg)'led and decejmed 



C 2rf)e ni'ij fnbic is of tfje axe antj of tfje rat 

^^^He lordes ought to loue theyr fub- 
gettis/ For he whiche is hated of 
his tenaunts and fubgets / is not 
lord of his land / as hit appereth 
by this Fable / Of an oxe / whiche 
fomtyme was within a ftable / and as the oxe 
on a tynie wold haue llepte fayne/ a rat came/ 
whiche bote the oxe by the thyes / And as the 
oxe wold haue fmyten hym / he ran awaye into 
his hole / And thenne the oxe beganne to men- 
ace the rat / And the ratte fayd to hym / I am 
not aferd of the And yf thow arte grete / thy 
parentes ben caufe therof and not thy felf/ And 
therfore the ftronge ought not to defpeyfe the 
feble/ but ought to loue hym as the chyef or 
hede ought to loue his lymmes/ For he that 
loueth not/ oughte not to be loued/ And ther- 
fore the lord muft loue his fubgettys / yf of them 
he wylle be loued 



C Che iiii:j fable is of tlic goos nnti ol Ijcr loit) 

]K that ouer ladeth hym felf/ is 
euylle ftrayned / As this fable 
fayeth / of a man / whiche had 
a goos/ that leyd euery day an 
egge of gold / The man of 
auaryce or couetoufnes commaunded and bad 
to her/ that euery daye Ihe lliold leye two 
egges / And flie fayd to hym / Certaynly / my 
maylU'r 1 maye not / wherfore the man was 
wrothe with her/ and llewe her/ wherfore he 
loft that fame grete good/ of the whiche dede 
he was moche forowful and wrothe/ how be 
it that it was not tyme to fliette the ftable 
whan the horfes ben lofte / & gone/ And he 
is not wyfe whiche does fiich a thynge/ wherof 
he Oialle repente hym after ward/ ne ht-alfo/ 
whiche doth his owne dommage for to auenge 
hym felf on fomme other/ For by caufe that 
he fuppofeth to wynne al / he lefeth all that 
he hath. 



C 2rfje Ufa fa&Ie 10 of tlje ape anb of Ijts ttoo 

E that fomtyme men defpreyfen / 
may wel heipe fomme other/ as 
hit appereth by this Fable of an 
Ape / whiche had two children / 
of the whiche he hated the one/ 
& loued the other / whiche he toke in his armes / 
and with hym fled before the dogges/ And 
whanne the other fawe/ that his moder lefte 
hym behynde/ he ranne and lepte on her back/ 
And by caufe that the lytyl ape whiche the fhe 
ape held in her armes empeched her to flee / 
flie lete hit falle to the erthe/ And the other 
whiche the moder hated held faft and was 
faued / the whiche from thens forthon kylled 
and embraced his moder/ And And flie thenne 
beganne to loue hym wherfore many tymes 
it happeth / that that thynge whiche is def- 
preyfed/ is better than that thynge whiche is 
loued and preyfed/ For fomtyme the children 
whiche ben preyfed and loued / done laife good 
than they whiche ben defpreyfed and hated 



C E\)t utij J?nble is of t\)t toontJ ant) of 
tl}crtf)cn pot 

^^?^^Sje that ouer mochc eiiliauncetli hyin 
vl iv>r^ \m '"^l^/ iooner than he wold / he 
\Kyi Kj falleth doune/ as hit appereth by 
riiy/'iw^ this fable / Of an erthen pot 
maker whiclie made a grete pot 
of ertiie/ tlie whiche he dyd fette in the fonne/ 
by caufe that more furely hit ihold haue ben 
(Iryed/ Ageynfte the whiche came and blewe a 
grete wynd / And whanne the wynd fawe the 
potte he demaundcd of hym / who arte thow / 
And the pot anfuerd to hym / I am a potte the 
beft made that men can fynde/ & none may 
lette ne empeche me/ And how fayd tlie 
wynde/ thow art yet al lofte / and haft neyther 
vertue ne none force/ and by caufe I knowe wel 
thy ouer pryde / I ihall breke the/ and putie 
the in to pyeces/ to thende/ that thow of lliy 
grete pryde mayrt haue knowlege / And therfore 
the feble ought to meke and humble hym feif 
and obeyc to his lord / and not lo enhance hym 
more tlian he ought/ to thende/ lie tallclh nut 
from hyhe to lowe 



C Efje iifatj fable is of i^z toulf anti of tfje lamfte 

two euyls men ought euer to 
efchewe and flee the worfl: of 
bothe/ yf ony of them may be 
efchewed / as hit appiereth by 
this fable/ of a wulf/ whiche 
ranne after a lambe/ the whiche lambe fled 
into the hows where as gotes were / And whan 
the wulf fawe that he niyght in no wyfe take 
the lambe / he fayd to hym by fwete wordes / 
Leue thy felaulhip / and come with me into the 
feldes / for yf thow come not / thow fhalt be 
take by them / and Ihalt be facryfyed to theyre 
goddes / And the lamb anfuered to the wulf/ 
I haue leuer to Ihede al my blood for the loue 
of the goddes/ and to be facryfyed/ than to be 
eten and deuoured of the / And therfore he is 
ful of wyfedome and of prudence / who of two 
grete euyls may and can efcape the grettefl: of 
bothe / 

C "^txz fgngffi)?!! tfje fables of 3luian / SntJ 
after follotoen tlje fables of ^Ifance 



C Eht forft fable tnaiutfi mcncion of tficifiortn- 
cion of fapocncc or tuufctjomc anb of louc 

Ilabe of Lucanye fayd to his Tone in 
tliis nianer/ My lone beware & 
loke that the tbrmyce be not 
more prudent or wyler / than 
" thy lelt"/ the whiche gadreth & 
airembleth to gyder in the Ibmer all that to 
her nedeth to haue in the wynter / and beware 
that thow llcpe no lenger/ than the Cocke 
dot h the whiche watcheth and wakelh atte matyns 
tyme/ and that he be not wyfer and more I'age 
than thy lelf / the whiche rewleth and gouerneth 
wel ix hennes/ but hit futiyfeth wel / that thow 
rewle and gouerne one wel/ And alio that the 
dogge be not more noble than thy felt" / the 
whiche forgeteth neuer the good whiche is done 
to hym / but euer he remcnibryth it / C Item my 
fone fuppofc it not a lytyll thynge to haue a good 
PVend but doubte not to haue a thowfand frendes/ 
C And whannc A rabe wold deye / he demaunded 
of his fone/ My fone how many good trendes 
hast thow / And his fone anfwerd to hym / My 
fader I haue as I fupp(jfc an hondcrd frendes / 



And the fader anfuerd to hym / beware and loke 
wel that thow iuppofe none to be thy frendes 
withoute that thow haft affayed & proued hym/ 
For I haue lyued lenger than thy felf hafte/ 
& vnnethe I haue gete half a frend / wherfore 
I meruaylle moche how thow haft geten fo 
many frendes / And thenne the fone feynge the 
admyracion or wonder of his fader / demaunded 
of hym / My fader . I praye yow that ye wylle 
gyue to me counceil how I ftialle mowe preue 
and eflaye my frend / And his fader fayd to hym 
/ goo thou and kylle a calf / and putte it in a fak 
al blody / and here hit to thy fyrft frend / and 
faye to hym that hit is a man whiche thou haft 
flayne / And that for the loue of whiche he 
loueth the / that he wylle kepe thy myfdede 
fecretely and burye hit / to thende that he may 
faue the / the which counceylle his fone dyd / to 
whome his frend fayd / retorne ageyne to thy 
hows / For yf thow haft done euylle / I wylle 
not here the payne for the / For within my hows 
thow Ihalt not entre / And thus one after other 
he affayed alle his frendes / and euery of them 
made to hym fuche an anfuere as the fyrft dyd / 
wherof gretely he was abaflhed / And thenne 
he retorned ageyn to his fader / and told hym / 
how he had done / And his fader anfuerd to 
hym / Many one ben frendes of wordes only / 



but fewe l)cn in t'ayth or dede / but I lliallc telle 
to the what thow Ihalt doo / Goo thou to my 
halt" frende / and bere to hym thy calf / and 
thow llialt here and Tee what he llialle faye to 
the / And whanne the lone came to the half 
frende of his tader / he fayd to hym as he dyd 
to the otlier / And whanne the half frende vn- 
derftode his fayt or dede / he anone toke hyni 
fecretely in to his hows / and ledde hym in to 
a fure and obfcure place / where he dyd burye 
his dede calf / wherof the fone knewe the trouthe 
of the half frendes loue / Thenne the fone of 
Arabe torned ageyne toward his fader / and told 
to hym all that his half frende had done to 
hym / And thenne the fader fayd to his fone / 
that the philofopher faith that the very and 
trewe trend is fond in the xtreme nede / Thenne 
allied the fone of his fader / faweft thou neuer 
man whiche in his lyf gate a hole frend / & 
his fader faid to hym / I fawe ncuer none / but 
wel haue I herd it fay / And the fone anfuered / 
My fader I praye the that thow wylt reherce hit 
to me / to thendc / that by aduenture I maye 
gete fuche one / And the fader fayd to hym / 
My fone / fom tyme haue I herd of two mar- 
chaunts whiche neuer had fene eche other/ tlu- 
one was of Egypte / and the other was of Baldak 
but they had knowleche eche of other by theyr 



lettres / whiche they fente and wrote frendly one 
to the other/ hit befelle thenne that the mer- 
chaunt of Baldak came in to egypte for to chepe 
& bye fomme ware or marchaundyfe / wherof 
his frend was moche gladde / and wente to mete 
hym and brought him benyngly in to his hows/ 
And after that he had chered and feftyed hym 
by the fpace of xiiij dayes/ the fame marchaunt 
of baldak wexed and became feke/ wherof his 
frend was sorowfuU and ful heuy/ and Incon- 
tynent fente for phifycyens or leches thurugh 
alle egypte for to recouere his helthe / And whan 
the medecyns had fene and vyfyted hym / and 
his vryne alfo / they fayd that he had no bodyly 
fekeness/ but that he was rauyfihed by loue/ And 
whan his Frend herd thefe wordes/ he came 
to hym / and fayd / My frende 1 pray the / that 
thou wilt fhewe and telle to me thy sekenes/ 
And his frend laid to hym I praye the / that thow 
wylt make to come hyder alle the wymmen 
and maydens whiche ben in thy hows/ for to 
fee / yf fhe whiche my herte defyreth is emonge 
them / And anone his Frend made to come be- 
fore hym bothe his owne doughters & feruants 
Emonge the whiche was a yonge mayde / whiche 
he had nouryfftied for his playfyre/ And whan 
the pacyent or feke man fawe her/ he fayd to 
his frend / the fame is iTie whiche maye be caufe 



of iny lyf or my deth/ the whiche his trend gaf 
to hyni for to be his wyf with alle fuche goodes 
as he had of her/ the whiche he wedded/ and 
retorned with her in to baldak. with grate Joye/ 
but within a whyle alter it happed and fortuned 
fo tliat this marchaunt of egvpte fylle in pouerte/ 
and for to haue fomme confolacion and coniforte 
he tooke his way toward baldak / and fuppofed 
to goo and fee his frend/ And aboute one euen 
he arryued to the Cyte/ And for as moche that 
he was not well arayed ne clothed/ he had 
Ihame by daye ly3t to go in to the hows of his 
Frend/ but wente and lodged hym withynne a 
Temple nyghe to a Frendes hows 

C It happed thenne that on that fame nyght 
that he laye there a man llewe another man 
before the yate or entre of the fayd Temple / 
wherfore the neyghbours were fore troubled / 
And thenne all the peple moeued therof came 
in to the Temple/ wherin they fond no body 
fauf only thegypcyen / the whiche they toke / 
and lyke a murderer Interroged hym why he 
had llayne that man whiche lay dede before the 
portall or gate of the teinple / He thenne feynge 
his Infortune and pouerte/ confefled/ that he 
had kylled hym / For by caufe of his euyll fortune 
he wold rather deye than lyue ony more/ wher- 
fore he was had before the Juge/ and was con- 



dempned to be hanged / And whan men ledde 
hym toward the galhows / his frend fawe and 
knewe hym/ and beganne to wepe fore/ remem- 
bryng the bienfayttes whiche he had done to 
hym / wherfore he went to the Juftyce and fayd / 
My lordes this man dyd not the homycyde / For 
hit was my felf that dyd hit / And therfore ye 
lliolddogrete fynneyfye dyd put this Innocent and 
gyltles to dethe/ And anone he was take for be 
had vnto the galhows / And thenne the Egypcyen 
fayd/ My lordes/ he dyd hit not/ And therfore 
euylle Ihold ye doo to put him to dethe/ And as 
the two frendes wold haue been hanged eche 
one for other/ he whiche had done the homycyde 
came and knewe and confefTyd there his fynne / 
and adreffed hym felf before the Juftyce and 
fayd / My lordes / none of them bothe hath done 
the dede / And therfore punyfllie not ye thefe 
Innocents / For I allone ought to here the payne/ 
whereof all the Juftyfe was gretely meruaylled/ 
And for the doubte whiche therin was grete/ the 
Juftyce toke them al thre / & ledde them before 
the kyng And when they had reherced to the 
kynge all the maner/ after enqueft theupon 
made / and he knewe the very trouthe of hit / 
graunted his grace to the murderer / and fo alle 
thre were delyuerd / And the frend brought his 
frend in to hys hows/ and receyued hym Joyoully / 



and after he gaf to hym bothe gold and fyluer/ 
And the egypcyen torned ageyne in to his hows/ 
And whan the fader had fayd and reherced all 
this to his fone / his fone fayd to hym / My fader 
I knowe now wel that he whiche may gete a 
good frende is wel happy/ And with grete labour 
as I fuppofe I ihal gete fuche one. 



C K\)t itcanti fable is of tlje commsfCon of pccung 
or ntoncg 

Spaynard arryued fomtyme in to 
the lande of egipte and by caufe 
that he doubted to be robbed 
within the defertys of Arabe/ he 
purpofed and bethought in hym 
felf that it were wyfely done to take his money 
to fomme trewe man for to kepe hit vnto his re- 
torne ageyne / And by caufe that he herd fomme 
faye/ that within the Cyte was a trewe man / he 
anone wente to hym / and toke to hym his fyluer / 
for to kepe hit/ And whan he had done his 
vyage he came ageyne to hym / and demaunded 
of hym his fyluer / whiche anfuerd to hym in this 
manere / My frend / I ne wote who thow arte / 
for I fawe the neuer that I wote of/ And yf 
thou fayeft or fpekeft ony more wordes / I llialle 
make the to be wel bete/ Thenne was the 
fpaynard forowful and wroth/ and therof he 
wold haue made a playnte to his neyghbours/ 
as he dyde/ & the neyghbours fayd to hym/ 
Certaynly/ we be wel abaffhed of that/ that 
ye telle to vs / for he is emonge vs alle reputed 




and liolden for a good man and trewe / And 
therforc retorne ageyne to liyni / and bv fwelc 
wordes telle liym that he wyl rendre to the thy 
good ageyne/ tlie whiche thynge he dyd / and 
the old man anfuerd to hym more fliarpely and 
wonderly than he had done before/ wherot" the 
Ipaynard was wonderly wrothe/ And as he de- 
parted oute of the old mans hows/ he mette with 
an old woman/ the whiche demaunded of hym / 
wherfore he was foo troubled and heuy/ And 
after that he had told to her the caufe why / 
thold woman fayd to hym/ make good chere/ 
For yf hit is fo as thow fayft/ I Ihalle counceylle 
the how thou llialt recouere thy lyluer/ And 
thenne he demauded of her/ how hit myght be 
done/ And fhe fayd to hym bryng hyther to me 
a man of thy country whonie thow trultefl/ and 
doo to be mad(5 four layre chelles / and fylle 
them alle with ftones / and by thy felawes thow 
(halt make them to be borne/ in to his hows/ 
and to hym they Ihalle fay/ that the marchauts 
of fpayne fend them to hym for to kepe furely/ 
And whan the cheftes ihalle be within his hows/ 
thow (halt go and demade of hym thy fvluer/ 
whiche thynge he dyd/ And as the fayd cheftes 
were borne within his hows / the fpaynard 
wente with them / that bare them / the whiche 
ftraungers fayd to the old ma My lord / thefe 




four cheftes ben al ful of gold / of fyluer and of 
precious ftones / whiche we brynge to yow / as to 
the trewell: man and feythful that we knowe for 
to kepe them furely by caufe that we fere and 
doubte the theues/ whiche ben within the defert/ 
After the whiche wordes fayd / came he / whiche 
the old woman had counceylled / and demaunded 
of hym his fyluer And by that caufe the old man 
doubted / that the fpanynard wold haue def- 
preyfed hym / he fayd thus to hym / Thow arte 
Welcome / I merueylled how thow taryeft foo 
longe for to come / And Incontynent he reilored 
to hym his fyluer/ And thus by the counceylle 
of the woman whiche he gretely thanked/ he 
had his good ageyn / and retourned ageyne in to 
his countrey / 



C i2rf)c tfjurtJ fable fpcluti) of a fubtolc Iniinr 
cion of a fcntrncE ggucn upon a tJcrlu anli 
obfruvf caiiff. 

^It befelle fomtynie that a good man 
labourer wente fro lyf to deth / 
the wliiche labourer lefte nothyng 
to liis lone / but only a hows / 
the whiche fone lyued by the 
laboure of his handes pourely / This yong man 
had a neyghbour whiche was made ryche 
whiche demauded of the fayd yong man yf he 
■wold felle his hows / but he wold not felle it / 
by caufe that it was come to hym by inherytauce 
and by patrymony whertbre the ryche man his 
neygbour conuerlyd & was ful oft with hym for 
to deceyue hym / but the yong man fled his 
company as moche as he myght / &: whan the 
ryche man perceyued that the yong man fled 
from hym / he bethougt hym felf of a grete 
decepcion & faUhede / &c demauded of the poure 
yong man that he wold hyre to hym a parte of 
his hows tor to delue & make a celer / the whidie 
he (hold hold of liym paycng to hym yerely rent / 
& the poure yong man liyrcd it to liym / S: whan 



the celerwas made/ theryche man did do bryng 
therin x tones of oylle of the which the v were 
ful of of oylle / & the the other v were but half 
full / & dyd do make a grete pytte in the erthe / 
& dyd do put the fyue tonnes whiche were half 
ful in hit/ & the other fyue aboue them/ And 
thenne he fhytte the dore of the celer / and de- 
lyuerd the keye to the poure yonge man / and 
prayd hym frawdelently to kepe wel his oylle/ 
but the poure yonge man knewe not the malyce 
and fallhede of his neyghboure/ wherfore he 
was contente to kepe the keye / And within a 
whyle after as the oylle became dere/ the ryche 
came to the poure / and afked hym his good / and 
the yong man toke to hym the keye / this Ryche 
man thenne fold his oylle to the marchaunts/ 
and waraunted eche tonne al ful / And when the 
marchaunts mefured theyr oylle/ they fond but 
fyue of the x tonnes full/ wherof the ryche man 
demaunded of the poure yonge man reftitu- 
cion / and for to haue his hows he maade hym to 
come before the Juge / C And whanne the poure 
man was before the Juge/ he demaunded terme 
and fpace for to anfwere / For hym thought and 
femed that he had kepte well his oylle / and the 
Juge gaf and grauted to hym day of aduys/ & 
thene he went to a philofophre which was pro- 
curatour of the poure peple/ &: prayd hym for 

charyte / 


clmryic/ that he wold gyue to hym good couccylle 
of his grete nede / & he reherced and told to hyni 
al his caufe & Iwore vpon the holy euangely that 
he toke none of the ryche mans oylle/ And 
thenne the philofopher anfuerd to hyni in this 
manere / My fone / haue no fere / for the troiithe 
may not faylle/ And the next niorowe after/ the 
philofopher wente with the poure man in to 
Jngement/ the whiche philofopher was confti- 
tued by the kynge for to gyue the Jull fentence 
of hit/ And after that the caufe had be wel 
dertended and pleted by bothe partyes / the 
philofophre fayd / the fame ryche man is of good 
renommce ' and I fuppofe not that he demaunded 
more than he lliould haue/ And alfo I byleue 
not that this poure may be maculed ne gyliy of 
the blame/ which he putteth on hym/ but not- 
withftondynge for to knowe the trouthe of hit / I 
ordeyne and gyue fentence/ that the oylle pure 
and clene of the v tonnes whiche are tul to be 
mefured / and alfo the lye therof / And after that 
the pure and clene oylle of the fyue which been 
but half ful to be alfo meafured / and with the lye 
thereof/ and that men loke yf the lye of the fyue 
Tonnes half ful is egal and lyke to the lye of the 
fyue Tonnes/ whiche ben fulle/ And yf hit be 
not soo/ that as moche lye be fond within tlie 
vellels whiche ben but half full as in tiic other/ 



he llialle thenne be fuffyfauntly &: ryghteoyfly 
proued/that none oyle hath be taken oute of 
them / but yf ther be fond as moche lye in the 
one as in the other/ the poure lliall be con- 
dempned/ and of this fentence the poure was 
contente/ & the trouthe was knowen/ wherfore 
the poure man went quyte/ and the ryche was 
condempned/ For his grete malyce and falfheed 
was knowen and manyfefted / For there is no 
fynne or myfdede done / but that ones it flialle be 
knowen and manyfefted. 



C Z\]z fourUif fviblc mnkctlj mrncion of tf)r Uw- 
trnrr giiucix up tf}c pccunu or monrg toljirfje 
toas founli. 

Ryche man fomtyme wente by a 

t '" / ' \ '"^ ^y^^/ -^^^ ^^ h^ walked fro one 
N'//;^^V^ lyde to that other/ fylle fro hym 
a grete purfe / wherin were a 
thoufand Crownes/ the whiche a 
poure man fond/ and toke them for to kepe to 
his wyf / wherof Ihe was ful gladde/ and fayd/ 
thanked be god of al the goodes whiche he 
fendeth to vs/ yf he fendeth now this grete 
fomme kepe we hit wel / And on the next morne 
after folowyng/ the Ryche man made to be 
cryed thurgh the cyte/ tliat who fomeuer had 
fond a thowfand Crownes in a purfe/ he lliold 
rellitue/and brynge them to hym ageyne/ and 
that he Ihold haue for his reward an honderd of 
them/ And after that the poure man had herd 
this crye/ he ranne Incontynent to his wyf/ & 
fayd to her/ My wyf ' that/ that we haue fond 
mull be rendred or yolden ageyne / For hit is 
better to haue a C crownes withoute fynne than 
a thowfand witli fynne ^ wrongfully/ And how 



be hit that the woman wold haue refyfted / 
Neuertheles in thende Ihe was content / And thus 
the poure man reftored the thowfand crownes to 
the Ryche / and demaunded of hym the honderd 
crownes / And the ryche full of frawde or falf- 
hede fayd to the poure/ thow rendreft not to 
me al my gold/ whiche thow fondeft/ For of 
hit I lack four honderd pyeces of gold And 
whanne thow (halt rendre and brynge to me 
ageyn the fayd four hondred pyeces of gold/ 
thow Ihalt haue of me the C crownes too whiche 
I promyfed to the / And thenne the poure anfuerd 
to hym / I haue take and brought to the al that 
I haue found/ wherfore they fylle in a grete 
dyfferent or ftryf/ in fo moche that the caufe 
came before the kyng / to be decyded and pletyd/ 
of the whiche the kyng made to be callyd before 
hym a grete philofopher whiche was procuratour 
of the poures / And whanne the caufe was wel 
difputed/ the philofopher moued with pyte/ 
called to hym the poure man/ and to hym feyd 
in this maner/ Come hyther my frend/ by thy 
feythe haft thow reftored alle that good whiche 
thou fondeft in the purfe/ and the poure anfuerd 
to hym / ye fyre by my feythe / And thenne the 
philofophre fayd before thafliftantes/ Syth this 
ryche man is trewe and feythfull/ and that hit 
is not to byleue/ that he fliould demaunde more 


OF ALI'OSCn. 26s 

than he ought to doo / he ouglit to be byleued / 
And as to the other parte men mufte byleue that 
this poure man is of good renomme and knowen 
for a trewe man wherfore the philofopher fayd 
tothekyiige / Syre I gyiie by my lenience/ that 
thow take thcfc thowfand crownes/ and that an 
C thow take of them/ the whiche honderd thow 
Ihall delyuerc to tliis poure man whiche fond 
tliem/ And after whan he that hath loft them 
ihall come/ thow reftore them to hym / And yf 
it hanpeth that another perfone fynde the thow- 
fand & four C crownes/ they flial be rendryd 
and taken ageyne to the fame good man whiche 
is here prefent whiche fayth that he hath loll 
them/ the whiche fentence was moche agreable 
and plefaunt to al the companye/ And when the 
rj'che man fawe that he was deceyued/ he de- 
maunded myferycorde and grace of the kynge 
fayenge in this manere / Syre this poure man 
that hath fond my purfe / trewely he hath re- 
ftored ic to me all that I ou5t to haue / but 
certaynly I wold haue deceyued hym/ whcrtore 
I praye the that thouwylt haue pyte and myler)'- 
cordeonme Andthennethe kynge had niylery- 
corde on hym/ And the poure man was wel 
contented and payd / and al the malyce ot the 
ryche man was knowen and manyfelled 


C Wciz & fable is of tfje fcutl^E of tfje t^re felatoes. 

Fte it happeth that the euyll whiche 
is procured to other cometh to 
hym whiche procureth it / as hit 
apperyth by the felawes/ of the 
whiche tweyn were burgeys/ & 
the thyrd a labourer/ the whiche alfembled them 
to gydre for to go to the holy fepulcre/ This 
thre felawes made fo grete prouyfyon of flour for 
to make theyr pylgremage/ in fuche wyfe/ that 
it was all chauifed/ and confumed/ excepte only 
for to make one loef only/ And whan the 
Burgeis fa we thende of theyre floure they fayd 
to gyder/ yf we fynde not the maner and cau- 
tele for to begyle this vylayn / by caufe that he 
is a rygt grete gallaunt/ we Ihalle deye for hongre/ 
wherfore we mufl: fynde the maner and facyone 
that we may haue the loof whiche fhall be maad 
of alle oure floor/ And therfore they concluded 
to gyder and fayd/ whanne the loof flialle be putte 
within the ouen we flialle go and lye vs for to 
flepe/ and he that flialle dreme beft/ the loof 


or ALFONCE. 267 

fliall he his/ And by caufc that we bothe ben 
I'ubtyle and wyl'e / he ftialle not mowe dreme 
as wel as we Ihalle/ wherof the loot" be ours/ 
wherot" alle they thre were wel content/ and al 
byganne to llepe / 

C But whanne the labourer or vylaync knewe 
and perceyued all theyre lallace/ and I'awe that 
his two t'elawes were a fleep/ he wente and 
drewe the Joof oute of the ouen and ete hit/ 
C And alter he feyned to be a llepe/ and thene 
oncot'the burgeys rofevp and fayd to hys felawes/ 
I haue drcmed a wonder drenie/ For two Angels 
haue taken &: borne me with grete Joye before 
the dyuyn magefte/ And the other burgeys his 
felawe awoke and fayd / Thy dreme is merueyl- 
lous and wonderful] / but I fuppofe that the myn 
is fayrer / than thyn is / For I haue dremed that 
two Angels drewe me on hard ground for lo 
lede me in to helle / And after they dyd awake 
the vylayne whiche as dredeful fayd/ who is 
there/ and they anfuerd/ we be thy felawes/ 
And he fayd to them / how be ye foo foone 
retourned / And they anfwerd to hyni / how 
retorned / we departed not yet fro hens / And he 
fayd to them by my feythe/ I haue dremed that 
the Angels had led one of yow in to paradys or 
heuen / and the other in to helle/ wlurtur I 
fuppofed ' that ye lliold neucr have comen 



ageyne / And therfore I aroos me fro fleep / and 
by caufe I was hongry/ I wente and drewe oute 
of the ouen the loef and ete hit/ For ofte hit 
happeth that he whiche fuppofeth to begyle 
fomme other / is hym felf begyled. 



C C!)t faj f -falc IS of the labourrr antj of tlic 

SOmtyme there was a labourer/ 
whiche had a gardeyn wel play- 
faunt and moche delycious / in to 
the whiche he ofte wente for to 
take his defporte and playfure/ 
And on a day at euen when he was wery and 
had trauaylled fore/ for to take his recreacion he 
cntryd in to his gardyn and fette himfelf doune 
vnder a tree/ where as he herd the fonge of a 
nyghtyngale/ And for the grete plefyre and Joye 
whiche he took therof/ he fought and at the lall 
fond the meanes for to take the nyghtyngale/ to 
thende/ that yet gretter joye and playfauncc he 
myght haue of hit/ And whan the nyghtyn- 
gale was take/ he demaunded of the labourer/ 
wlierfore hall thow take fo grele payne for to 
take me/ For wel thow knoweft that of me 
thow mayft not haue grete proufFyie/ And the 
vylayne anfuerd thus to the nyghtyngale/ I"or to 
here the fonge of the I iiaue taken the/ And the 
nyghtyngale anfuerd Ccrtaynly in vayne thou 
hall payned and laboured/ For/ for no good I 



wylle fynge whyle that I am in pryfon / And 
thenne the labourer or vylayne anfuerd / yf thow 
fyngefl not wel/ I fhalle ete the/ And thenne 
the nyghtyngale fayd to hym / yf thow putte me 
within a potte for to be foden/ lytyl mete flialt 
thou thenne make of my body/ and yf thow fettefl. 
me for to be rolled / lefle mete llialle be thenne 
made of me/ And therfor neyther boylled ne 
rofted fhalle not be thy grete bely fylled of me / 
but yf thow lete me flee / hit fhall be to the a 
grete good proutFyte/ For thre do£lrynes I fhall 
teche the whiche thow fhalt loue better than 
thre fat kyne / and thene the labourer lete the 
nyghtyngale flee / And whan he was oute of his 
handes / and that he was vpon a tree / he fayd to 
the vylayne in this maner/ My Frend I haue 
promyfed to the/ that I fliall gyue to the thre 
doctrynes/ wherof the fyrfl: is this that thow 
byleue no thynge whiche is Impoflyble/ The 
fecond is that thow kepe wel that thyn is / And 
the thyrd is/ that thow take no forowe of the 
thynge loft whiche may not be recouererd / And 
foone after the nyghtyngale beganne to fygne/ 
& in his fonge fayd thus / bleflTyd be god / whiche 
hath delyuerd me oute of the handes of this 
vylayne or chorle/ whiche hath not knowen/ 
fene / ne touched the precious dyamond whiche 
I haue within my bely/ For yf he had foude 



hit/ he had be nioche ryche/ And tro his handes 
I had not leaped / And ihenne the vyhiyne whiche 
herd this lunge/ beganne to coniphiyne and to 
make grete forowe . and after I'ayd 1 am wel 
vnhappy/ that haue U)ll lb fayre a trelour / 
whiche 1 had wonne/ and now I haue loft hit/ 
And the nyghtyngale leyd thenne to the chorle/ 
iS'ow knowe 1 wel that thow arte a Tool/ For 
tliow takeft Ibrowe ot" that wherot" thow iholdell 
haue none/ and fone thow haft forgeten my 
dodryne/ by caufe that thow wencft tliat within 
my bcly Ihold be a precious ftone more of weyght 
than I am/ And I told and taught to the/ that 
thow llioldelt neuer byleue that thynge/ which 
is Impolfyble / And yf that ftone was thyn / why 
haft thow loft hit/ And yf thow haft loll hit and 
mayft not recouere hit / why takelt thow forowe 
for hit/ And thert'ore hit is foly to clialtyfe or to 
teche a fole/ whiche neuer byleuelh the lernynge 
and dodtryne whiche is gyuen to hym. 



C CfjE bfj Cable is of a l^ftfjornctan antj oC a 
croirift ftacketi / 

Philofopher fayd ones to his fone/ 
i^::^^//^\ v-»s<i4 that whan he were falle by fortune 
S^^T^ii^ \^ in to fomme dommage or perylle/ 
the fooner that he myght he fhold 
delyuere hym of hit/ to thende/ 
that afterward he fhold no more be vexed ne 
greued of hit / As hit appiereth by this fable of a 
rethoryque man or fayr fpeker/ whiche ones 
demaunded of a kynge / that of alle them whiche 
fhold entre in to the cyte/ hauynge fomme faulte 
of . kynde on theyr bodyes / as crouked or coun- 
terfayted / he myght haue and take of them at 
thentre of the yate a peny / the whiche demaunde 
the kynge graunted to hym / and made his lettres 
to be fealed and wreton vnder his fygnet/ And 
thus he kepte hym ftyll at the yate/ And of 
euery lame / fcabbed / & of alle fuche that had 
ony counterfaytour on theyr bodyes / he tooke a 
peny / C It happed thene on a day that a 
croukbacked and counterfayted man wold haue 
entryd within the Cyte withoute gyuynge of ony 
peny/ and bethought hym felf/ that he ihold 



take and put on hym a layrc nianti'I and thus 
arayed came to the yate/ C And tlicnne whan 
the porter byheld hym / he perceyued that he 
was goglyed / and fayd to hym pay me of my 
dowte, And the goglyed wold paye nought/ 
whertore he toke from hym his mantel/ And 
thenne he Tawe tluit he was erowkbacked and 
fayd to hym / thow woldelt not to fore paye a 
peny / but now thou Ihalte paye tweyne/ C And 
whyle that they ftryued to gydcr/ the hat anil 
the bonet fclle from his hede to the erthe/ And 
the porter whiche fawe his fcabbed hede/ fayd to 
hym/ Now Ihalt thou paye to me thre pens/ 
and thenne the porter yet ageyne fetted his 
handes on hym/ and felte / that liis body was al 
fcabbed / And as they were thus wraftlynge to 
gyder/ the crowkbacked fylle to the ground/ 
and hurted hym felf fore on the legge / And the 
porter fayd thenne to hym/ Now ilialt thow 
paye v pens / For thy body is al counterfayted / 
wherfore thow (halt leue here thy mantele/ And 
yf thou iuuklctl payd a peny/ thow haddeft gone 
on thy waye free and quyte/ wherfore he is wyfe 
that payeth that/ that he oweth of ryght / to 
thende that therof come not to hym grcttcr 


C Cfje Efj2f)t fable is of tfje tifcgple/ anti of 
ti)£ fljccp / 

Difcyple was fomtyme/ whiche 
toke his playiyre to reherce and 
telle many fables / the whiche 
prayd to his mayfter/ that he 
wold reherce vnto hym a long 
fable / To whome the mayfler anluerd / kepe and 
beware wel that hit happe not to vs / as it happed 
to a kyng and to his fabulatour And the difcyple 
anfuerd/ My mayfter I pray the to telle to me 
how it befelle/ And thenne the mayfter fayd to 
his defcyple / CI Somtyme was a kynge whiche 
hadde a fabulatour/ the whiche reherced to 
hym at euery tyme / that he wold fleep fyue 
fables for to reioyflhe the kynge / and for to 
make hym falle in to a flepe / It befelle thenne 
on a daye / that the kynge was moche forowful 
and fo heuy/ that he coude in no wyfe falle a 
flepe / And after that the fayd fabulatour had 
told and reherced his fyue fables / the kynge 
defyred to here more/ And thenne the fayd 
fabulatour recyted vnto hym thre fables wel 
ftiorte/ And the kynge thenne fayd to hym/ I 



wold fayne here one wd longe / And tlKime 
llialle I Icuc wel the llepe / The fabulatour 
thenne rehorccd vnto hym fuche a fable/ Of a 
ryche man whiche wente to the market or feyre 
for to bye Iheep/ the which man bought a 
thowfand llieep/ And as he was retornynge fro 
the feyre/ he cam vnto a Ryuer/ and by caufe 
of the grete waiues of the water he coude not 
parte ouer the br)'dge/ Neuertheles he wente 
foo longe to and fro on the Ryuage of the fayd 
Ryuer/ that at the laft he fonde a narowe way/ 
vpon the whiche myght palfe fcant ynough thre 
fheep attones / And thus he parted and had ihiin 
ouer one after another/ And hyderto reherced 
of this fable/ the fabulatour felle on rtepe/ And 
anon after the kynge awoke the fabulatour/ and 
fayd to hym in tliis manere/ I pray the that 
thow wylt make an ende of thy fable/ And the 
fabulatour anfuerd to hym in this manere Syre 
this Ryuer is rj'ght grete/ and the rtiip is lytyl / 
wherfore late the marzhaunt doo pafs ouer his 
(heep/ And after I rtialle make an ende of my 
fable/ And thenne was the kynge wcl appeafed 
and pacyfyed/ C And therfore be thow content 
of that I haue reherced vnto the/ For there is 
folke fuperrtycious or capaxe/ that they may not 
be contented witli t'ewe wordes 



C 2rf)e II fable ts of tlje toulf/ of i\)t labourer/ 
of tl)c foic / ^ of tlje cfjcfe 

Omtyme was a labourer wgiche vn- 
nethe myght gouerne and lede his 
oxen by caufe that they fmote with 
theyr feet/ wherfore the labourer 
fayd to them/ I pray to god that 
the wulf may ete yow/ the whiche wordes the 
wulf herd/ wherfore he hyd hym felf nyghe 
them vnto the nyght/ And thenne came for to 
ete them / C And whanne the nyght was come / 
the labourer vnbonde his oxen/ and lete them 
goo to his hows / C And thenne whanne the 
wulf fawe them comynge homeward / he fayd / 

thow labourer many tymes on this day thow 
dydeft gyue to me thyn oxen / and therfore hold 
thy promeffe to me / C And the labourer fayd 
to the wulf/ I promyfed to the nought at al / in 
the prefence of whome I am oblyged or bound / 

1 fwore not neyther to paye the/ and the wulf 
anfuerd/ I Ihalle not leue the goo/ withoute 
that thow hold to me that/ that thow promyfeft 
and gaueft to me / C And as they had foo grete 
ftryf and defcencion to gyder/ they remytted 



the caufo to be (lifcutod or pleted l)efore tlie 
Juge/ And as they were I'echynge a Jiige/ tliey 
mette with the foxe/ to wliome they recounted 
or toltl alle theyr dyfferent and ftryf/ C Thenne 
lliyd the Foxe vnto them/ I Ihalle accorde yow 
bothe wel/ and I llialle gyue on your caule or 
plee a good lentence/ But I nnill \\->vkc w'uli 
eche one of yow bothe a part or allone/ And 
they were content / C And the Foxe wente and 
told to the labourer/ thow llialt gyue to me a 
goodhenne/ And another to my wyf / And I 
Ihalle hit foo make/ that thow with alle thyn 
oxen flialt frely goo vnto thy hows/ wherof the 
labourer was wel content / C And after the 
foxe wente and fayd to the wulf / I haue wel 
laboured and wrought for the/ For the labourer 
Ihall gyue to tlie therfore a grete chefe/ and lete 
hym goo home wyth his oxen/ And the wulf 
was wel content/ 

C And after tlie Foxe fiayd to the wulf/ come 
thow wyth me/ and I flialle lede the/ where 
as the chefe is/ C And thenne he ledde hym 
to and fro/ here and there vnto the tyme that 
the mone fliyned ful bryghtly/ And that tiu-y 
came to a welle/ vpon the whiche the Foxe 
lepte/ and fhewed to the wulf the (hadowe of the 
mone/ whiche reluced in the well/ & fayd to 
hym/ loke now godfep/ how that chefe is tayre/ 




grete and brode / hye the now and goo doune 

& after take that chefe / C And the wulf fayd 

to the Foxe/ thow muft be the fyrfte of vs 

bothe/ that flialle goo doune/ And yf thow 

niayft not brynge hit with the/ by caufe of his 

greteneffe/ I flialle thenne goo doune for to 

helpe the/ And the Foxe was content/ by caufe 

two bokettys were there / of whiche as the one 

came vpward/ the other wente dounward/ and 

j the foxe entryd in to one of the fame bokettis / 

and wente doune in to the Welle / And whanne 

he was doune / he fayd to the wulf/ godfep come 

i hyther and helpe me / For the chefe is fo moche 

and foo grete that I maye not here hit vp/ and 

tlienne the wulf was aferd of that the Foxe lliold 

! ate hit/ entryd \vythynne the other boket/ and 

I as fafle as he wente dounward / the Foxe came 

I vpward / and whan the wulf fawe the Foxe 

; comynge vpward / he fayd to hym / My godfep 

ye goo hens / thow fayft trewe fayd the Fox / 

For thus hit is of the world/ For when one 

cometh doune/ the other goth vpward/ and thus 

the foxe wente awey/ and lefte the wulf within 

( the welle / And thus the wulf loft bothe the oxen 

and the chefe/ wherfore hit is not good to leue that 

whiche is fure and certayne/ For to take that 

1 whiche is vncertayne/ For many one ben therof 

deceyued by the fallheed and decepcion of the 

Aduocate and of the Juges 



C (Tbf I f'lb'f is of tljc f)uffaonli ant) of tbf 
motjcr v^ of f)gs togf 

Omtyme was a merchaunt whiche 
maryed hyni to a yonge woman / 
the whiche had yet her moder on 
lyue/ It happed that this Mar- 
chaunt wold ones haue gone lom- 
where in to ferre country for to by Ibme ware or 
marchaundyfe / And as he was goynge / he betoke 
his wyf to her moder for to kepe and rewle 
her honeltly tyll he come ageyne/ C His wyf 
thenne . by the owne confentynge and wylle of 
her moder/ enamoured her klf of a ryght gen- 
tyl/ fayre and yong man wiiiche fournyflhed to 
thappoyntement / And ones as they thre made 
good chere the hulbond came ageyne fro the 
feyre and knocked at the dore of the hows/ 
wherfore they were wel abaflhed/ Thenne layd 
the old moder thus to them/ haue no fere/ but 
doo as I fhalle telle to yow/ and care yow not/ 
And thenne the fayd to the yonge man / hold 
this fwerd/ and goo thow to the yate/ and be- 
ware thy felf that thow faye no word to hym / 
but lete me doo/ And as the hulbond wold haue 



entryd his hows/ and that he fawe the yong 
man holdynge a naked fwerd in his handes / lie 
was gretely aferd / And thenne the old woman 
layd to hym / My lone thow arte ryght welcome / 
be not aferd of this man / For thre men ranne 
ryght now after hym for to haue flayne hym / 
and by auenture he fond the yate open / and this 
is the caufe why he came here for to faue his 
lyf / And thenne the hufbond faid to them / ye 
haue done wel / And I can yow grete thanke / 
And thus the yonge amerous wente his waye 
furely by the fubtylyte of the moder / of his wyf / 
to the whiche trufte thy felt not / and thow fhalt 
doo as fage and wyfe 


C E^e rj fnfalf 15 of an oYb fiarlottc or faalulic 

^ Noble man was Ibiutynie / whiche 
had a wyf moche challe and was 
wonder fayr / This noble man 
wold haue go on pylgrimage to 
Rome/ and lefte his wyf at home/ 
by caule that he kncwe her for a chafte and a 
good woman / C It happed on a daye as Ihe 
wente in to the toun A fayre yonge man was 
efpryfed of her loue/ and took on hym hardynes/ 
and re(]uyred her of loue/ and promyfed to her 
many grete yeftes / But llie whiche was good had 
leuer deye than to confente her therto/ wherfore 
the yonge man deyde almoolle for forowe/ to 
the whiche felawe came an old woman / whiche 
demaunded of hym the caufe of his fekenelle / 
And the yonge man manyfefted or dcfcouered 
vnto her alle his courage and herte/ alkynge help 
and counceylle of her/ And the old woman 
wyly and malycious fayd to hym/ Be thow 
gladde and Joyous/ and take good courage/ For 
wei I ihallc doo/ and br)-nge aboute thy faytte/ 
in foo moclie thr)w ihalt haue thy wyll fulfylled/ 
And after thys the old bawde wcnte to her hows/ 



and maade a lytyl catte which flie hadde at 
homme to fafte thre dayes one after another/ 
And after fhe took fomme breed with a grete 
dele or quantite of moftard vpon hit / and gaf hit 
to thys yonge Catte for to ete hit/ C And 
whanne the Catte fmelled hit/ fhe beganne to 
wepe and crye / C And the old woman or 
Bawde wente vnto the hows of the fayd yonge 
woman / and bare her lytyl Catte with her / the 
whiche yonge and good woman receyued and 
welcomed her moch honeftly/ by caufe that alle 
the world held her for a holy woman / C And 
as they were talkynge to gyder/ the yong woman 
hadde pyte of the catte whiche wepte/ And 
demaunded of the old woman / what the cat 
eyled / And the old woman fayd to her / Ha a 
my fayr doughter &: my fayre Frend / renewe 
not my sorowe / And fayinge thefe wordes llie 
beganne to wepe/ and fayd/ My frend for no 
good I wyl tell the caufe why my catte wepeth / 
And thenn/ the yonge woman fayd to her/ My 
good Moder I praye yow that ye wyll telle me 
the caufe & wherfor your catte wepeth / And 
thenne the old woman fayd to her/ My Frend 
I wyll wel / yf thow wilt fwere that thou llialt 
neuer reherce it to no body / to the whiche pro- 
meffe the good and trewe yonge woman accorded 
her felf / fuppofyng / that hit had ben all good 



and fayd / I wyll wcl / And thcnne tlic old 
woman fayd to her in this manere / My frend 
this fame catte whiche thow I'eelt yonder was 
my daughter/ the whiche was wonder fayre 
gracious and chalte/ whiche a yonge man loued 
moche / and was lb moche elpryled of her lone/ 
that by caul'e that ihe rett'ufed hym / he deyde tor 
her loue / whertore the goddes hauyng pyte on 
hym/ haue torned my daughter in to this catte/ 
And the yonge woman whiche fuppoled that the 
old woman had fayd trouthe fayd to her in this 
manere/ Alias my fayr moder/ I ne wote what 
I Ihalle doo/ For fuche a caas myght wel happe 
to me / For in this Towne is a yonge man / 
whiche deyeth almoft for the loue of me/ But 
for loue of my hulTj^^md / to whome I oughte to 
kepe chafiyte/ I haue not wylle graunte hym/ 
Neuertheles I Ihall doo that/ that thow ihalt 
counceylle to me / And thenne the old woman 
fayd to her / iVIy frend haue thow pyte on hym 
as foone as thow mayft / foo that hit befalle not 
to the lyke as it dyd to my doughter/ 

C The yonge woman tlienne anfwerd to her/ 
and fayd/ yf he requyre me ony more/ I ihalle 
accorde me with hym / And yf he recjuyre me no 
more/ yet Ihalle I profere me to hym / C Ami to 
thende/ that I offende not the goddes/ I Ihalle 
doo and accomplyfllie hit / as foone as I maye/ 

C ihe 


C The old woman thene took leue of her/ and 
wente forthwith to the yong man/ And to hym 
ihe reherced and told all thefe tydynges / wherof 
hys herte was fylled with Joye/ the whiche 
anone wente toward the yonge woman / and 
with her he fulfylled his wylle / C And thus ye 
maye knowe the euyls/ whiche ben done by 
bawdes and old harlottes/ that wold to god/ 
that they were al brente 



t vTljc lij fablf is of a blunt) man anli o( 
i)is togf/ 

Here was fomtyme a blyiid riKin 
whiche had a f;iyre wyt/ of tlie 
whiche he was moche Jahius / He 
kepte her lb that Ihe myght not 
goo nowher/ For ewer he liad her 
by the hand/ And after that fhe was enamoured 
of a gentil felawe/ they coude not fynde the 
maner ne no place for to fulfylle theyr wyll / but 
nolwithllandyng the woman whiche was fubtyle 
and Ingenyous counceylled to her frende that he 
lliold come in to her hows / and that he iliold 
entre in the gardyn and that there he IhoUl 
clymme vpon a pere tree/ And he did as fhe 
told hym / and when they had made theyr enier- 
pryfe/ the woman came ageyne in to the hows/ 
and fayd to her hulbond / My frend I praye yow 
that ye wylle go in to our gardyn for to defpofe 
us a lytel whyle there/ of the whiche prayer the 
blynd man was wel content / and fayd to his 
wyf / wel my good frend I will wel / lete vs go 
thyder/ And as they were vnder the pere tree/ 
llic f.iyd to licr hulbond / My frentle I praye the 



to lete me goo vpon the pere tre / And I fhalle 
gader for vs bothe fome fayre peres/ wel my 
frend iiiyd the blynd man / I wylle wel & graut 
therto/ And when (lie was vpon the tree/ the 
yong man begann to ihake the pere tree at 
one lyde / and the yonge woman at the other 
fyde/ And And as the blynd man herd thus hard 
{hake the pere tree / And the noyfe whiche they 
made / he fayd to them / Ha a euyelle woman / 
how be it that I fee hit not / Neuertheles I fele 
and vnderftande hit well/ But I praye to the 
goddes / that they vouchefauf to fende me my 
lyght ageyne / And as foone as he had made his 
prayer Jupiter rendryd to hym his fyght ageyn 
C And whanne he fawe that pagent vpon the 
pere tree / he fayd to his wyf Ha vnhappy 
woman / I flialle neuer haue no Joye with the / 
And by caufe that the yonge woman was redy 
in fpeche and malycious/ fhe anfuerd forth with 
to her hulbond/ My frend thow arte wel be- 
holden and bounden to me / For by caufe and 
for the loue the goddes haue reflored to the thy 
fyght / wherof I thanke alle the goddes and 
godeffes whiche haue enhaunced and herd my 
prayer/ For I defyryng moche that thow myght 
fee me / celfed neuer day ne nyght to pray them / 
that theye wold rendre to the thy fyghte/ wher- 
fore the goddefTe Venus vyfybly Ihewed her felf 



to me/ and fayd / that yf I wold ibnime play- 
lyre to the layd yonge man Ihe Ihold reftore to 
the thy lyght/ And thus I am caule of it And 
thenne the good man fayd to her/ My ryght 
dere wyf ^- good frende / I remercye and thanke 
yow gretely/ For r^-ght ye haue and 1 grete 


C (Kl^e itfj fable is of i^t STagllcr/ of a fegnge/ 
ant of ijis feruaunts 

P^^^En ought not to doo fome other/ 
that whiche he wold not that it 
were done to hym / As it appiereth 
by this prefent fable/ of a kynge 
whiche had a tayller whiche was 
as good a workman of his craft / as ony was at 
that tyme in alle the world / the whiche tayller 
had with hym many good feruauntes/ wherof 
the one was called Medius/ whiche furmounted 
alle the other in fhapynge or fewynge / wher- 
fore the kyng commaunded to his ftyward that 
the fayd tayllers fliold fare wel/ and haue of the 
bell metes and of delycious drynke / C It happed 
on a daye that the maylter Styward gaf to them 
ryght good and delycious mete in the whiche 
was fome hony/ And by caufe that Medius was 
not atte that fefte/ the fly ward fayd to the other/ 
that they fliold kepe for hym fomme of their 
mete/ And thenne the maylter tayller anfuerd/ 
he muft none haue / For yf he were here / he 



lliold not etc of hit/ For he etc nouer no hony/ 
And as they had done/ Medius came/ and de- 
maunded of his felawes/ why kepte you not 
parte of this mete for me/ And the ftyward 
anfuerd and fayd to hym / By caufe that thy 
mayller layd to me/ that tliow etc neuer no 
hony/ no parte of the mete was kepte for the 
And Medius anfuerd thenne neuer one word/ 
but beganne to thynke/ how he myght paye his 
mayller/ And on a day as the ftyward was allone 
witli Medius/ he dcmaunded of Medius/ yf he 
knewe no man that coude werke as wel as his 
mayrter/ And Medius fayd nay/ And that it 
was grete dommage of a fekenefs that he had/ 
And the Ityward demaunded what fekenefs hit 
was/ And tlienne Medius anfuerd to hym/ My 
lord whan he is entryd in to his franfy or 
wodenes/ there cometh vpon hym a rage/ And 
how Ihalle I knowe hit fayd the ftyward/ Cer- 
taynly my lord fayd Medius/ whan ye ftiall fee 
that he Ihalle fette at his werke/ and that he 
llialle loke here and there / and ftial fmyte vpon 
his borde with his fyft/ thene may ye know 
that his fekeneffe cometh on hym/ And thene 
withoute ye take and bynde hym and alio bete 
hym wel/ he ftialle doo grete harme and dom- 
mage/ And the ftyward fayd to hym/ Care not 
therof my frend/ For wel I Ihalle beware my 




lelf of hym / And on the mornynge next folow- 
ynge the ftyward came for to fee the tayllers/ 
And whan Medius whiche knewe wel the caufe 
of his comynge/ tooke awaye fecretely his 
mayfters flieres / and hydde them / And anone 
his mayfter beganne for to loke after them/ and 
fawe and ferched al aboute here and there/ and 
beganne to fmyte his fyfte vpon the borde/ And 
thenne the mayfter ftyward beganne to loke on 
his maners/ and sodenly made hym to be take 
and holde by his feruaunts/ And after made 
hym to be bond and wel beten/ Thenne was 
tlie mayfter tayller al abafftied/and demauded 
of them / My lordes wherfor doo ye bete me foo 
outrageoufly/ what ofFenfe haue I done/ wher- 
fore I muft be bound and thus be bete/ And 
thenne the Sty ward fayd to hym in thys maner/ 
by caufe that Medius told me/ that thow art 
frantyk And yf thow be not wel bete/ thow 
iholdeft doo grete harme and dommage/ And 
thene the mayfter came to his feruaunt Medius 
and rygoroufly fayd to hym / Ha a euyl boye 
fylled whan [with] euylle wordes/ whan faweft 
thow me madde/ And his feruaunt proudely 
anfuerd to hym / My mayfter whan dydeft thow 
fee that I ete no hony/ And therfore I threwe 
to the one bole for another/ And the mayfter 
ftyward / and alle his feruaunts beganne thenne to 



lawhe/ nnd fayd al that he hadde wcl done/ 
C And thertbre men ought not to doo to ony 
other that thynge wliiche they wylle not that 
men dyd to them / 

C^crc cnljfn thf fables of !llfonrc 

i: Hull fololucu oilja- fabk'j of ^Jogc tfjc jplorciu 



C 2rf)E forft fable is of tf)£ fubtolcte of ti^e inoman 
for to liecEguE \\ti ijiifbonti 

»He cautele or falfliede of the woman 
is wonder merueyllous / as it ap- 
piereth by this fable/ Of a mar- 
chaut whiche was wedded of newe 
vnto a fayre and yong woman / 
the whiche marchaunt wente ouer the fee for to 
bye & felle / and for to gete fomwhat for to lyue 
honeftly / And by caufe that he dwellyd to longe/ 
his wyf fuppofed that he was dede/ And ther- 
fore the enamoured her felf with another man / 
whiche dyd to her mykle good/ as for to haue 
doo make and bylde vp his hows of newe the 
whiche had grete nede of reparacion / and alfo he 
gaf to her all new utenfyles to kepe houlliold / 
And within a long tyme after the departyng of 
the marchaunt he came ageyne in to his hows 
whiche he fawe newe bylded/ & fawe dyflhes 
pottes / pannes / and fuche other houfhold / wher- 
fore he demaunded of his wyf how and in what 
maner fhe had foude the facion and the mean 
for to haue repayred fo honeftly his hows / And 
Ihe anfuerd that it was by the grace of god / And 



he anfuerd / BIcfTyd be god of hit / And when he 
was witliin the chambre/ he fawe the bedde 
rychely couerd / & the walles wel hanged / and 
demaunded of his wyf he had done before/ And 
llie thenne anfuerd to hym in lykc maner as Ihe 
dyd before/ And therfore he thanked god as he 
had done to fore / And as he wold fette hym at 
his dyner/ there was brought before hym vnto 
his wyf a child of thre yere of age/ or there 
aboute / wherfore he demaunded of his wyf/ 
My frend to whome belongeth this fayre child/ 
And Ihe anfuerd/ My Frend the holy ghooft of 
his grace hath fente hit to me/ Thene anfuerd 
the merchaunt to his wyf in this manere/ I 
rendre not graces ne thankes not to the holy 
ghooll of this / For he hath taken to moche 
payne and labour for to haue it made up myn 
owne werke/ And I wyll that in no maner wyfe 
he medle no more therwith / For fuche thynge 
belongeth to me for to doo hit / and not to the 
holy ghooft. 

294 ^^^ FABLES OF 

C 2Eije iaaria fable is of ti)E fcooman anb of 
tJ^E gpocrgte 

He generacion or byrth of the ypo- 
cryte is moche dampnable and 
euylle/ As it appiereth by this 
fable/ and as poge reherceth to 
vs whiche fayth/ that fomtyme 
he fond hym felf in a good felaufliip / where he 
herd a fable/ whiche was there reherced / Of 
the whiche the tenour foloweth/ and feyth the 
layd poge / that of alle the goodes of this world / 
the ypocrytes ben poffeffours / For how be hit / 
that an ypocryte haue fomtyme wylle for to 
helpe fomme poure and Indygent/ Neuertheles 
he hath a condycyon within hym felf/ that is to 
wete / that he fliold rather fee a man at the poynt 
of dethe than for to faue his lyf of an halfpeny / 
And this prefumpcion is called ypocryfye/ as ye 
Ihal here herafter by the fable folowyng the 
whiche fayth that one beynge in the felaufhip of 
Poge reherced / that fomtyme the cuftomme of 
alle the poure was that they wente before the 
folkes dores withoute fayenge ony word It 
happed thenne on that tyme that a poure man 



moche fairc and of good lyf wttite to ferceli 
his lyf fro one dore to another/ And vpon a 
day emonge other he wente and fette hym I'elf 
vpon a grcte llone before the yate of a wydowe/ 
whiclie wydowe was acullommed to gyue Iiym 
eucr fomwhat/ C And wluui the good woman 
knewe that he was at liir tlore ihe dyJ brynge 
to hym his porcion as llie was cullommcil tor to 
doo/ And as llie gaf to hym the mete Ihe lokcd 
on hym / and feyng liyni Too fayre / and wel 
made of body/ llie thenne fylled of carnal con- 
cupifcence/ and brennynge in the fyre of loue/ 
requered and Inltantly prayd hym that he wold 
retorne thyder within thre dayes/ and promyfeil 
to him that Ihe ihold gyue to hym a ryght good 
dyner/ And the poure man fayd to her that he 
lliold doo foo / and whanne he came ageyne / he 
fette hym felf as before / atte dore of the wydowes 
hows/ whiche the woman knewe well whanne 
he ihold come/ wherfore Ihe came to the yate 
and fayd/ Come within good man ' For now we 
flialle dyne/ to the whiche prayer the poure 
man allented / & entred within the hows/ the 
whiche wydowe gaf to hym good mete/ and 
good drynke / And whanne they had wel dyned / 
the fayd wydowe prelfyd the good man llrongly 
and after llie kylled hym / requyrynge hym / that 
ihe might liaue the copye of his loue/ And thene 



the poure man al afhamed & vergoynous know- 
ynge her thoughte and her wylle/ anfuerd thus 
to her Certaynly my good lady I dare not/ but 
neuertheles he wold fayne haue done hit / And 
the wydowe al embraced with loue befeched and 
prayd hym more and more/ And thenne whan 
the poure man fawe that he myght not excufe 
hym felf / he fayd to the wydowe in this manere / 
My frend fvth that thow delyreft it for to doo 
foo moche and loo grete an euylle / I take god 
to my wytnes / that thow arte caufer of hit/ For 
I am not confentynge to the faytte or dede / but 
fayenge thefe wordes he confented to her wylle 

C Ej^c tl^grli fable is of a gonge tooman tof}icl)e 
accufEtJ l)£r Ijufbonti of coxilpe or tlantE 

[Omitted. Cf. Poggio Facetice 45.] 


C Z-\}t fourtf) fable is of tf)c fjuntonrjc antJ 

^^Oge Florentyn reherceth to vs/ how 
ones he was in a felauihip where 
men fpak of the fuperflue cure of 
them whiche gouerne the dogges 
and hawkes/ wherof a mylannoys 
named Pauhis beganne to lawhe/ and lawhyng 
requyred of Poge that he wold reherce fomme 
fable of the fayd hawkes/ And for loue of alle 
the felauihip he fayd in thys manere/ Somtyme 
was a medecyn whiche was a Mylannoys This 
medecyn heled al foles of al maner of foly/ and 
how & in what manere he dyd hele them/ I 
Ihall telle hit to you This medycyn or leche had 
within his hows a grete gardyn And in the 
myddes of hit was a depe and a brode pytte / 
whiche was ful of rtynkynge and Infe6tod water/ 
And within the fame pytte the fayd medycyn 
put the foles after the quantyte of theyr folyfth- 
nes / fomme vnto the knes/ and the other vnto 
the bely/ And there he bonde them fait at a 
port/ but none he putte depper/ than vnto the 
I^omack lor double of gretter Iiiconuenicnt / It 



happed thenne that emonge other was one 
brought to hym / whiche he putte in to the fayd 
water vnto the thyes/ And whan he had be by 
the I'pace of xv dayes within the fayd water/ he 
beganne to be peafyble and gate his wytte ageyne / 
And for to haue take fomme difporte and confola- 
cion he prayd to hym whiche had the kepynge 
of hym that he wold take hym oute of the water/ 
and promyfed to hym that he Ihold not departe 
fro the gardyn/ And thenne the kepar that kepte 
hym vnbounde hym fro the ftake / and had hym 
oute of the water / And whanne he had be 
many dayes oute of the pytte / he wente wel vnto 
the yate of the gardyn / but he durft not go oute/ 
lelTe that he fhold be put ageyne within the fayd 
pytte / And on a tyme he went aboue vpon the 
yate / and as he loked al aboute / he fawe a fayr 
yong man on a horfbak/ whiche bare a fpere- 
hawk on his fyfte / and had with hym two fayre 
fpaynels / whereof the fayd fole was al abaflhed / 
And in dede as by caas of nouelte/ he callyd 
the fayd yong man / and after he fayd to hym 
benyngly/ My frend I praye the that thou wilt 
telle me what is that wherupon thow arte fette / 
And thenne the yonge fone fayd to hym / that 
it was a hors whiche prouffited to hym to the 
chace/ and bare hym where he wold/ And after 
the fole demaunded of hym /And what is that 



wliiclio thou bereft on thy fylle / ami uher to is 
it good / and the yong man anluerd to liym / It 
is a Iperehawk whiche is good for to take par- 
tryches and quaylles/ And yet ageyne the tole 
demaunded ot hyni/ My trend what are thoos 
tliat tblowe the/ & wherto ben they good/ And 
the yonge man anluerd to hym / they be dogges 
whiclie are good tor to lerclie and tynde partryches 
cSc (juaylles/ And whan they haue reyled tliem/ 
my I'perehawke taketh them / wherot" procedeth 
to me grete Ibhis and phiyl'yre / And the tble 
demaunded ageyne / To your aduys tlie takyng 
that ye doo by them in a liole yere/ how moche 
is hit/ fhalle liit bere to the grete proutiyte/ 
And the yong man anluerd to hym lour or tyue 
crownes or ther aboute/ And no more fayd the 
fole/ And to your aduys how moche llialle they 
difpende in a yere / And the yong man anluerd 
xl or I crownes / C And whanne the fole herd 
thefe wordes/ he fayd to the fayd yonge man / O 
my frend I pray the that foone thow wylt departe 
fro hens/ For yf our fyficien come/ he llialle 
putte the within the fayd pytte by caufe that 
thow arte a fole/ I was put in it vnto the thyes/ 
but therin he Ihold putte tlie vnto the chynnc/ 
for thow doll the grettcll foly that euer 1 herd 
fpeke of/ CAnd therfore the lludye of the 
huntynge and hawkynge is a llouful cure/ And 



none ought to doo hit withoute he be moche 
ryche and man of lyuelode / And yet hit ought 
not to be done ful ofte / but fomtyme for to take 
difporte and folas/ and to dryue awey melan- 


C vCfjc b fable is of tfic refotacion of fomme 

T^Oge of I'Morence recyteth how in his 
tyme one named Hugh prynce 
of the medycyns/ fawe a calte 
whiche had two hedes and a 
calf whiche alfo had two hedes 
And his legges bothe before and behynde were 
double/ as they had be Joyned al to gyder/ 
as many folke fawe/ Jtem about the marches 
of ytalye withynne a medowe was fomtyme a 
Cowe/ the whiche Cowe maa^i^ and delyuerd 
her of a ferpent of wonder and Ryght mcrueyl- 
lous gretteneile/ Ryghte hydous and ferdful / 
C For fyrfte he hadde the heede gretter than the 
hede of a calf/ C Secondly/ he had a necke of 
the lengthe of an Alfa/ And his body made after 
the lykenelle of a dogge / and his taylle was 
wonder grete/ thycke and longe withoute com- 
paryfon to ony other . 

C And whanne the Cowe fawe that Ihe hadde 
maade fuche a byrthe/ And that within her 
bely ihe had borne foo ryght horryble a becrte / 
Ihe was al ferdful / and lyfte her fclf up / and 



luppofed to haue fledde aweye/ but the Ser- 
pent with his wonder longe taylle enlaced her 
two hynder legges/ And the Serpent thenne 
beganne to fouke the Cow/ And in dede foo 
moche/ and foo longe he Ibuked tylle that he 
fond fomme mylke/ (I And whanne the Cowe 
myght efcape fro hym / Ihe fledde vnto the other 
kyne/ C And Incontynent her pappes and her 
behynder legges and all that the Serpent touched 
was all black a grete fpace of tyme C And 
foone after the fayd Cowe maade a fayre calf/ 
The whiche merueylle was announced or fayd 
to the fayd Pope he beynge atte Ferrare / 

C And yet ageyne foone after that / ther was 
fond within a grete Ryuer a monftre maryn / 
or of the fee of the forme or lyknefle whiche 
foloweth / 

C Fyrfte he hadde from the nauylle vpward 
the fymplytude or lykenefle of a man / And fro 
the nauylle dounward/ he had the fourme or 
makynge of a Fyffhe / the whiche parte was iu- 
melle that is to wete double/ C Secondly he 
hadde a grete berd / and he hadde two wonder 
grete hornys aboue his eres/ C Alfo he hadde 
grete pappes / and a wonder grete and horryble 
mouthe/ and his handes retched unto his en- 
traylles or bowellys/ And at the bothe his 
elbowes he hadde wynges lyght brode and grete 



of fyflhes maylcs/ whcrwith he fwynimed/ and 
only he hadde but the hede oute of the water/ 
C It happed thenne as many wymmen bouked 
and wellhed at the porte or hauen of the fayd 
Ryuer/ that thys horryble and ferdfuU beelte 
was/ for lacke and defaulte of mete cam & 
fwymmyng toward the fayd wymen / Of the 
which he toke one by the liand / and fuppofed 
to haue drawe her in to the water/ but Ihe was 
ftronge/ and wcl auyfed and refyfted agevnlle 
the fayd monftre/ And as Ihe dertended her 
felf/ llie beganne to crye with a hyhe voys/ lielp 
help/ to the whiche came rennynge fyue wym- 
men / whiche by hurlynge and drawynge of 
ftones kyld and llewe the layd monftre/ For he 
was come to ferre within the fonde/ wherfore he 
myght not retorne in the depe water/ And after 
whanne he rendryd his fpyryte/ he made a ryght 
lytyl crye/ fayenge wo that he was fo deformed 
and foo moche cruel / For he was of grete corpu- 
lence more than ony man's body/ And yet fayth 
Poge in this manere / that he beyng at Ferrare lie 
fawe the fayd monftre/ And faith yet/ iliat the 
yonge children were cuftomed for to go bathe 
and wcllhe them within the fayd Ryuer/ but 
they came not all ageyne/ wherfore the wymen 
wellhed ne bouked nomore theyr clothes at the 
faid porte/ For the folke prefumed and fuppofed 



that the monftre kyld the yonge children / whiche 
were drowned / C Jtem alfo within a lytyl whyle 
after hit beielle aboute the marches of ytaly that 
a child of fourme humayne whiche hadde two 
hedes and two vyfages or faces beholdynge one 
vpon the other/ & the armes of eche other 
embraced the body/ the whiche body fro the 
nauyl vpward was Joyned fauf the two hedes/ 
and from the nauyll dounward the lymmes were 
all fepared one fro other in fuche wyfe that 
the lymmes of generacion were fhewed many- 
feftly / Of the whiche child the tydynges came 
vnto the perfone of the pope of Rome 


C ICf)c foithf fable is of tfif parfonc / of ijis 
torjge/ 3nt3 of tf)e 15ifftiop 

Yluer clothe and caufeth alle tliynge 
to be done vnto the halowynge 
ageyne of a place whiche is pro- 
phane or Interdide/ As ye flialle 
niowe here by thys prefente F'ablc / 
C Ut" a preelt dwellynge in the countrey whiche 
I'omtyme had a dogge/ whiche he loued moche/ 
the whiche preeft was moche ryche/ The fayd 
dogge by procelTe of tyme deyde / & whan he was 
dede/ he entered and buryed liit in the chirche 
yerd for caufe of the grete loue whiche he loued 
hym / it happed thenne on a day his biuliop 
knewe hit by thaduertyfement of fomme other/ 
whcrfore he fente for the fayd preeft/ and fup- 
jiofed to haue of hym a grete fomme of gold / 
or els he lliold make hym to be ftraytly punylllied/ 
And thenne he <\'rote a lettre vnto the fayd preeft 
of whiche the tenour conteyned only that he 
ftiold come and fpeke with hym/ And whan the 
preft had redde the lettres/ he vnderltood \\\\ 
alle the caas/ and prefuppofed or bethought in 
his courage/ that he wold haue of hym (bmme 



fyluer/ For he knewe wel ynough the condy- 
cions of his biflliop/ & forth with he toke his 
breuyarye / & an C crownes with hym / the pre- 
late beganne to remembre and to (hewe to hym 
the enormyte of his myfdede/ And to hym 
anfwerd the preeft whiche was ryght wyfe fay- 
enge in this manere/ O my ryght reuerende 
fader / yf ye knewe the fouerayne prudence of 
whiche the fayd dogge was fylled / ye fliold not 
be merueylled yf he hath wel defernyd for to be 
buryed honeftly andworlhipfuUyamonge the men/ 
he was al fylled with humayn wytte as wel in his 
lyf / as in thartycle of the dethe / And thenne the 
biffhop fayd / how may that be / reherce to me 
thenne al his lyf/ Certaynly ryght reuerende fader 
ye ought wel to knowe that whanne he was atte 
thartycle and at the poynt of dethe/ he wold 
make his teftament/ And the dogge knowyng 
your grete nede and Indygence / he bequethed 
to yow an C crownes of gold/ the whiche I 
brynge now vnto yow/ And thenne the Biffhop 
for loue of the money he alToylled the preft And 
alfo graunted the fayd fepulture / And therfore 
fyluer caufeth alle thynge to be graunted or 



( Z\)t bij fnbic is of i\}t jFoie of Hjc (TorU anti of 
t})c togrjcs 

"i^-^V^^-Sisj^^lle tlie lallar)' or payment of them 
that mokken other is for to be 
mocqued at the laft / as hit ap- 
piereth by this prefent Fable /of 
a Cock whiche fomtyme fawe a 
foxe comynge toward hym fore hongry and 
famyllhed / whiche Cock fuppofed Wei that he 
came not toward hym/ but for to etc fomme 
henne/ for whiche caufe the Cock maade al his 
hennes to flee vpon a tree / And whan the foxe 
beganne tapproche to the faid tree / he began to 
crye toward the cock good tydynges good tyd- 
ynges/ And after he falewed the cok ryght 
rouerently / &: demaunded of hym thus/ O god- 
ll'p/what doft thow ther foo hyghe/ And thy 
hennes with the/ haft not thow herd the good 
tydynges worthy and prouffitable for vs CAnd 
ihenne the Cok ful of malyce anfucrd to hym/ 
Nay veryly godfep / but I praye the/ telle and 
rehcrce them vnto vs / Thenne fayd the foxe to 
the cok/ Certaynly godfep/ they be the beft 
that euer ye herd/ For ye may goo and come/ 



talke and communyque emong alle beeftes with- 
oute ony harme or dommage/ And they fli alle 
doo to yow bothe pleafyr and alle feruyfe to 
them poiilible/ for thus it is concluded and 
accorded / and alfo confermed by the grete 
counceyll of all beftes / And yet they haue made 
commaundement that none be fo hardy to vexe 
ne lette in no wyfe ony other/ be it neuer foo 
lytyll a beefl / For the whiche good tydynges I 
praye the / that thow wylt come doune / to 
thende/ that we may goo and fynge / Te deum 
laudamus / for Joye/ And the cok whiche 
knewe ■wel the fallaces or falfliede of the foxe 
anfuerd to hym in this manere / Certaynly my 
broder and my good Frend thow haft brought to 
me ryght good tydynges / wherof more than C 
tymes I llialle thanke the/ And fayenge thefe 
wordes the Cock lyfte vp his neck / and his feet/ 
and loked farre fro hym/ And the foxe fayd to 
hym / what godfep/ where aboute lokeft thow/ 
And the Cok anfuerd to hym/ Certaynly my 
broder I fee two dogges ftrongly and lyghtly 
rennynge hytherward with open mouthes / 
whiche as I fuppofe come for to brynge to vs 
the tydynges whiche thou haft told to vs / And 
thenne the Foxe whiche Ihoke for fere of the 
two dogges fayd to the Cock / god be with you 
my frend / It is tyme that I departe fro hens / or 



thefe two dogges come nerer/ And fayinge tliefe 
wordes toke his waye/ & ranne as fart as he 
niyght / And thenne the cock demaiinded and 
cryed after hym / godfep/ why rennell thow 
thus/ yf the kiyd paAe is accorded/ thow ouglitert 
not to doubte no thynge Ha a godfep fayd the 
Foxe from ferre / I doubte that thefe two dogges 
haue not herd the decreet of tlie pees/ And 
thus whanne a begyler is bcgyled / he receyued 
the fiUary or payement / whiche he ouL,'ht to 
haue/ wherfore lete euery man kepe hym fcif 
ther fro 

"'■•/I'll ^^'Vnimen in Rome/ whiche he 
^"^cxi knewe of dyuerfe age and forme/ 

FJ^^^'^^^^T^^Ogius reherceth that there were two 

m . 

ik^lOfvi' ^^'hich came to a Curteyzan by 
caufe to haue and wynne foniwhat 
wvth theyr bodyes/ whome he receyued and 
happed tliat lie knewe the fayreft of botlie twyes/ 
and that other ones/ and foo departed/ And 
afterward whanne they Ihold departe/ he gaf to 
them a pyece of lynen clotlie/ not decernynge 
how moche eche of them Ihold haue to her 
parte and porcion / And in the partynge of the 
fayd clothe fylle bitwene the wymmen a rtr)'f by 



caule one of them demaunded two partes after 
thexygence of her werke/ And that other the 
half after theyre perfones / eche of them fliew- 
ynge dyuerfly theyr refons / that one fayeng that 
Ihe hadde fuffred hym twyes to doo his pleafyr/ 
and that other pretended / that fhe was redy and 
in her was no defawte And foo fro wordes they 
came to ftrokes and cratchyng with naylys/ 
and drawynge theyr here/ in fo moche that 
theyr neyghbours came to this batayll for to 
departe them / And alfo of theyr owne and 
propre hulbondes/ not knowynge the caufe of 
theyr ftryf and debate / eche of them defendynge 
his wyues caufe / And fro the fyghtynge of the 
wymmen hit aroos and came to theyr hufbondes 
with buffettis and caftynge of ftones/ foo longe 
that men ranne bytwene them / And after 
the cufiomme of Rome bothe the hutbondes 
were brought to pryfon berynge enemyte eche 
to other/ & knewe no thynge the caufe wher- 
fore/ The fayd cloth is fette in the handes of 
the wymen fecretely yet not departed/ but is 
fecretely argued amonge the wymmen in what 
wyfe that this mater Ihal be deuyded/ And I 
demaunde of dodoures what the lawe is of it 

C He fayeth alfo that a marchaunt of Florence 
bought an hors of a man/ and made his couenaunt 



with the Hilar for xxv ducattes for to paye forth- 
wiili in liatule xv ducattes/ And as for the rell 
he Ihold abyde dettour and owe/ And the fellar 
was content / and therupon delyuerd the hors and 
receyued the xv ducattes/ After this a certayne 
terme the fellar demaunded of the byar the 
refydue / And he denyed the payment / & had 
hvm hold his couenant/ For the byer layd we 
were accorded that I Ihold be thy debtour/ And 
yf I Ihold fatylfye and paye the I Ihold nomore 
be thy dettour/ ct cetera/ and foo he abode 


JE telleth alfo that ther was a carryk 
of Jene hyred in to frauce for to 

make warre ayenft englifflimen / 
of the whiche caarrick the patrone 
bare in his flield painted an oxe 
hede / whiche a noble man of frauce beheld and 
fawe / & fayd he wold auenge hym on hym that 
bare tho armes / wherapon aroos an altercacion 
fo moche / that the frenflliman prouoked the 
Janueye to bataylle and fyght therfore/ The 
Januey acceptyd the prouocacion/ & came at 
the day alfigned in to the felde withoute ony 
araye or habyllements of warre / And that other 
frenfllie man came in moche noble apparayll in 
to the feld that was ordeyned/ & thene the 
patrone of the carrik faid wherfore is it that 
we two (hold this day fyght & make bataill fore 
I faye faid that other that thyn armes ben myn / 
& bylonged to me to fore that thow haddeft 
them/ Thenne the Januey faid It is no nede to 
make ony bataylle therfore / For the armes that 
I bare is not the hede of an oxe but it is the hede 
of a cowe whiche thynge fo fpoken the noble 
Frenlihe man was abafflied and fo departed half 


Ifo he faith that then was a pliifycyfii 
1 d^^ellyng in a Cyte/ whiche was 
^^ / -\ \^ a grete & a connyng man in that 
icycnce/ & he had a leruaut a 
yong man whiche made pyllcs 
after a certayne forme that he ftiewed to hym / 
& whan this yong man/ had dwellid long with 
hym/ & coude part^ly make the pylles/ he 
departed fro his mayfter / and went in to ftrauge 
countre where as he was knowen/ and lete men 
there to vnderltonde that he was a connynge 
philycyen/ and coude gyue medycynes for al 
nianer maladyes and fekenefles/ and myniftyred 
alwey his pylles to euery man that came to hym 
for ony remedy / And hit was foo that a poure 
man of that place where he was came to hym/ and 
complayned how he had lofte his alTe/ and prayd 
hym to gyue to hym a medycyne for to fynde 
his affe ageyne/ And he gaf to hym the fayd 
pylles/ & badde hym to receyue and take them / 
And he fliold fynde his afle/ And this poure 
man dyd foo / and after wente in to the feldes 
and paltures to feke and loke after his alfe / And 
foo doynge the pylleys wrongth foo in his bely/ 
that he muft nedes go purge hym/ and went 




amonge the reed and there eafyd hym/ And 
anonet here he fonde his afle / wherof he beyng 
moche Joyeful ranne in to the toune/ and told 
and proclamed/ that by the medecyn that he 
had receyued of the phifycyen he had found his 
afle/ whiche thynge knowen alle the fymple 
peple reputed hym for a moche connynge man / 
whiche coude no thynge doo but make pyllyes/ 
And thus many fooles are ofte taken for wyfe 
and connynge/ For he was reputed to hele all 
maner fekenefles / and alfo to fynde afles. 

^^^^Here was in a certayne towne a 
wydower wowed a wydowe for 
to haue and Wedde her to his 
wyf/ And at the laft they were 
agreed and fured to gyder / C And 
whan a yonge woman beynge feruaunt with the 
wydowe herd therof / fhe came to her mayftreffe / 
and fayd to her / Alias mayftrefle what haue ye 
doo / why fayd Ihe / I haue herd fay fayd the 
mayde/ that ye be aflured and fhalle wedde 
fuche a man / And what thenne fayd the 
wydowe/ Alias fayd the mayde I am fory for 
yow / by caufe I haue herd faye that he is a 
peryllous man/ For he laye fo ofte and knewe 



To moch his other wyf that llie ck-ydc thcrof/ 
And I am lory therof/ that yf ye lliuld falle in 
lyke caas / to whorae the wydowe anfwerd and 
Ihyd/ Forfothe I wold be dede/ For thcr is hut 
forowe and care in this world/ This was a 
curteys excule of a wydowe 

Ow thcniic I wylle tynyrihe alle 
thefe fables wyth this tale that 
fiiloweth whiche a woriliipful 
preell and a parfone told me late/ 
lie layd / that there were duel- 
lynge in Oxenford two prelles bothe mayftres of 
arte / of whome that one was quyck and coude 
puttc hym lelf forth / And that other was a good 
fymple preeft / And foo it happed that the 
mayrter that was perte and quyck was anone 
promoted to a benefyce or tweyne/ and after to 
prebendys / and for to be a Dene of a grete 
prynces chappel / fuppofynge and wenynge that 
his felaw the fymple preeft {hold neuer haue be 
promoted but be alwaye an Annuel / or at the 
moft a paryflhe preeft / So after longe tyme that 
tliis worihipful man this dene came rydynge in 
to a good paryllh with a x or xij horfes/ lyke a 
prelate/ and came in to the chirche of the fayd 
paryllhe/ and fond there this good fymple man 



fomtyme his felawe/ whiche cam and welcomed 
hym lowely/ And that other badde hym good 
morowe mayfter Johan / and toke hym fleyghtly 
by the hand/ and axyd hym where he dwellyd/ 
And the good man fayd in this paryilh/ how 
fayd he/ are ye here a fowle preell or a paryilh 
prefte/ nay fyr faid he/ for lack of a better 
though I be not able ne worthy I am parfon 
and curate of this paryffhe/ and thenne that 
other aualed his bonet and faid mayfter par- 
fon I praye yow to be not defpleafyd/ I had 
fuppofed ye had not be benefyced/ But mayller 
fayd he / I pray yow what is this beniyce worth 
to yow a yere/ Forfothe fayd the good fymple 
man/ I wote neuer/ for I make neuer accomptes 
thereof/ how wel I haue had hit four or fyue 
yere/ And knowe ye not faid he what it is 
worth / it {hold feme a good benefyce / no For- 
fothe fayd he/ Bat I wote wel what it ftialle be 
worth to me / Why fayd he / what Ihalle hit be 
worth / Forfothe fayd he / yf I doo my trewe 
dylygece in the cure of my paryfllies in prechyng 
and techynge/ and doo my parte longynge to 
my cure / I Ihalle haue heuen therfore / And yf 
theyre fowles ben loft or ony of them by my 
defawte / I fliall be punyfflied therfore / And 
herof am I fure/ And with that word the ryche 
dene was abaflhed And thought he Ihold be the 



better/ And lake more hede to liis cures and 
benefyces tlian he had done / This was a good 
anfwere of a good prcell and an honell / 

SntJ lirrc taitb I: foirjffijc H)is booh/ tranriatcti 

Si cmpvyntrt fan mc JUlilliam Caiton nt 

OTfftmyufur in Uiabbrg / anli fi:nDfCijct) 

tiif nuj tiauc of iflarcbc the ocre 

of ourc lorD fil €€€€ liiiiiij / 

SlntJ tlje forft ucrr of tf)c 

tQuc of iiung I\uc|)^ 

art) ll]f ttjyrtir. 


Those in Gothic are in the original Caxton. 





Uccctb/ Ubcunc, 

teeth / Thenne. 














































IR0 beat) tng. 





























thyn conuenynt,' 




























tban &v^. 

then hyt dyd. 



be be, " 




sommen of n, 

soni men of a. 



an^ bvlfctb, 

oinii and. 











HnJ Hn^, 

















a Rabe. 

























abhomynable, 112 

adommage, hurt, 237 

aguyse, adorit, 3 

almesse, a.'nis, 60 

ambassade, embassy, 87 

ainerous, lazer, 2S0 

Annuel {generally Annueler, 
cf. Chaucer, Cant. Taks, 
12,940), priest who says 
masses on the anniversary 
of death, 315 

aspyed, spied, 61 

assoylled, absolved, 306 

aswowned, in a swoon, 159 

aualed, took ^,316 

aubyer, bramble, 234 

backe, bat, 70 

balkes, ridges in fields, 202, 

herd, beard, 116 
bienfayttes, benefits, 254 
boot, bote, bit, 14, 168 
bouked, boiled, 303 

brente, burnt, 2S4 
breste, burst, 61 
burgeys, citizen, 266 

can, knaiv, 179, 221, 280? 
carryk, _f(7/.V^, 312 
Caym, Cain, 73 
caytyf, cunning, 2 1 
cliepe, j^//, 252 
commysed, committed, 63 
condempned, condemned, 63, 

254, 262 
cope, canopy, 173 
corr)'ged, chastened, 25, 89 
counterfayt, deceive, 272, 273 
cratchyng, scratching, 310 
cr}'mynous, crimina', 63 
curtois, courteous, 98 
curteys, cunning Ci), 315 
Cyrurgcons, surgeons, 99, 


dagged,ya^^</, 152 
dees, (//V^, 241 



departed, divided, 310 
dommage, danger, 85 
dommageable, dangerous, 77 
doubtou^, doubtful, 67, 120, 
181, 188 

empeched, prevented, 246, 

ensample, example, 85 
en9,yQwe, purstie, 30 
entremete, meddle with, 24, 

25, 129 
entre, entrance, 253 
erys, ^ar^, 186, 220 
esprysed, taken, 281, 283 
euerychone, <;i/^ry otte, 230 
excusations, excuses, 198 

facyle, (fajy, 97 

fallace, /rfl^co', 267 

fayt, deed, 251 

flough,y?d?ic/, 132 

fiyes,Jleece, 191 

force, give no, care not, 1 76 

formyce, ant, 55 

fyeisie, fierceness, 68 

gallaunt, glutton (?), 266 
glose, comment, 78 
goglyed, goggle-eyed, 273 
grate father, grandfather, 

grynnes, /r^/j', 29 
guaryson, £r;<r<', 232 
gwerdone, reward, 40 

Ha a, /^a / a^/ ^^j^. 
habondaunce, abundance, 19 
heed, by, i^_y [God's] head, 

herberowed, harboured, 29 

Incontynent, ' immediately, 

67, 75, 106, 116, 258 
induceth, introduces, 3 
iumelle, ^zi'z'w, 302 

Janneye, Genoese, 312 
Jene, Genoa, 312 

kynde, nattire, 98, 105, 125, 
218, 224, 272 

labourage, labour, 205 

large, generous, 166 

lawhe, laugh, 38 

leneth, supports, 15 

lese, /^Jd', 236, 2 38 

lesyng, /yzwi--, 1 87, 1 88, 205 

\q\.\.q, prevent, 122, 124, 125, 

134, 141, 143, 199, 228, 

longynge, belonging, 316 
luste, desire, 40 
lygnage, lineage, 207 
lyuebode, inheritance, 172, 


maculed, _fM27/y, 261 
marzhaunt, 7nerchant, 275 
meane, middle, 213 


meke, fo huriihU, 247 
molycyn, (/ Jot tor, 66, 99 
incuc, tHOVf, 175 
megny, men, comptwy, 84, 

90, 204 
molie, ntoU, 38 
moo, mcn'f, 1S4 
niowc, way, 240, 267 
mulct, mule, 128 
mylnii, ^•//<", 8 
myscliaunt, mischin'ous, 55, 

myster, miss (?), 94 

n:L\.2.\\, birthday feojt, 1 16 
notary, i-/t(n('n, 64 

orysons, prayers, 187, 1S8 
oultrecuyflaunce, ovenceen- 
ing presumption, 52 

pactions, agreements, 47 
partage, /ar/«crjA//, II 
parysshcs, parishioners, 316 
payllard, coicani, 25, 54, 57, 

pleted, pleaded, 261 
pourc, rt /'('(J/' wrtw, 261 
procurSlour, proctor, 260 
liropycc, propitious, 20S 
prdvysed, prai-ided, 8 
prymtcmps, j/r/«^, IIO 
\m\\e,/niit of heech, 173 
purvcyc, provide, 143 
I^yclarge, magpie, 204 

Rabc, raM/, 294, 251 
rclccf, leavings, 149 
rtluced, J^ow^•, 277 
remercye, thanks, 287 
rcsplcnrlysshynf^c, bright, 21 
retcheth, rtr,i-j, 6, 82 
ruffulc, swagger, 241 

salcwed, w/m/a/, 117 
semblable, ///r, 1 1 2, 208 
sewrte, surety, 89 
separed, separated, 233 
slowful, ungrateful, 206, 299 
slowfulness, ingratitude, 64, 

slyked, cloven, 203 
sonde, sound, bay, 303 
sowne, sound, 33 
slanpe, /c^o/, 16 1 
spaehawk, deerha-wk (?), S 
sperehawk, sparrowha'ck, 72 
subget, subject, 30, 91, 244 
subvertysed, subz'erted, 74 
sygalle, .?ra.rjA^//Vr, 123 

terryer, /(J«>, 152, 154 
theefly, //>t<!' « //"</, 81 
thradde, /r^i/, 61 
thrested, thrusted, 61, 217 
tryst, j<7(/, 223 
tumbours drums, 95 

verqoyne, shame, 52, I42. 

189, 211 
vergoynou"!, ashamed, 296 



vnconyng, stlly, 13 
vnyed, united, 109 
vpperest, uppermost, 67 
vpso doun, upside down, 68, 

157, 163 
vtyle, useful, 15, 76 
vytupercd, blamed, 76 

wodenes, madness, 222 

wood, mad, 120, 242, 154 
wod'ivvose, monster, 242, 243 
wreton, written, 272 

yate, gate, 117, 216, 253, 

272, 279, 295 
ye, yea, pass. 
yeftes, ^;7j, 35, 36, 251 
yeue, give, 152 
yonglhe, _y(7«//;, 41 

BalliiJtiync Press : Edinburgh and London. 

I D »ri«fz 







The fables of Aesop 




>^.>WMr^ .. ^■.»%»^H^_^->.A^tJ..^-l.>^ .j: