Friday, May 2, 2014

Aesop's Fables: More Wolves

L'Estrange was an ardent Royalist, and thus an implacable foe of Oliver Cromwell and also a great foe of the Pilgrims. Remember that this book was published in 1692, so the events of the English Civil War and the activity of the Pilgrims and other English dissenters were not long-ago history for him, but more like current events.

[Notes by LKG]

These fables are part of the Aesop's Fables (English) unit. Story source: Story source: Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists by Roger L'Estrange (1692).



Aesop's Fables: More Wolves


An Agreement between the Wolves and the Dogs

The Wolves found themselves in a great Straight once how to deal with the Dogs, they could do well enough with 'em one by one they saw, but were still worsted and over-born by Numbers. They took the Matter into Debate, and came at last to this conclusion: That unless they could make a Party among them, and by a Parcel of Fair Words and Pretences, engage them in a Confederacy against their Masters and Themselves, there was no good to be done in the matter.

Upon this, they sent out their Spies among the Dogs, with Instructions to go to those among them that were nearest their own Make, Size and Colour, and to reason the matter with them, after this or the like manner. "Why should not we that are all of a Colour, and in a manner all of a Kind, be all of a Party too, and all of an Interest? You'll say perhaps, that your Masters, and your Fellows may take it Ill, and pick a Quarrel with ye. Well, and what will they be able to make on't then, against You and us together? If it comes to that once, 'twill be but One Push for all, and the Work is done."

This Discourse wrought as well as Heart could wish; for a great many of the Wolf-Colour'd-Dogs cry'd out, "Well mov'd upon't," and so went over to the other side.

And what came on't at last, but that after the Dogs had Deserted, the Wolves Worry'd one Part of their Enemies by the help of the Curs that went over to them; and they were then strong enough to destroy the Revolters themselves.

A House divided against it self cannot stand.


A Wolf turns Religious

A Wolf that was past Labour, had the Wit in his Old Age, yet to make the best of a bad Game: He borrows a Habit, and so about he goes Begging a Charity from Door to Door under the Disguise of a Pilgrim: And for ought we know, this may be one of the Pilgrims that were to have Landed at Milford Haven, in the Year 1677.

One of his Relations that had the Fortune to Meet him in this Holy Garb and Pretence, took him up Roundly, for stooping so much below the Dignity of his Family and Profession.

"Why what would you have me do?" says the Pilgrim Wolf. "My Teeth and my Heels are gone, so, that I can neither Run, nor Worry, and I must either Cant, and turn Religious, or Starve."

When People can live no longer by Downright Rapine and Villany, for want of Strength, Means or Ability to go on at the Old Rate, 'tis a common thing for 'em to Drive on the Old Trade still under a Semblance of Religion and Virtue: So that Impotency goes a great way toward the Conversion of an Old Sinner.


A Wolf turn'd Shepherd

There was a Crafty Wolf that Dress'd himself up like a Shepherd, with his Crook, and all his Trade about him, to the very Pipe and Posture. This Masquerade succeeded so well with him, that in the Dead of the Night once, when the Men and their Dogs were all fast Asleep, he would be offering at the Shepherd's Voice and Call too: But there was somewhat of a howle in the Tone, that the Country presently took an Alarm at, and so they fell in upon him in his Disguise; when he was so Shackled and Hamper'd, that he could neither Fight nor Fly.

'Tis the highest Pitch of a Public Calamity, when the People are Worry'd and Seduc'd by those that should Protect and instruct them. No Impostor is so Exquisite, as not to lye open some way or other to a Discovery.

Next: Dogs






(600 words)





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