<< Home Page | Caxton Index

Aesop's Fables: Caxton (1484)

1.1. Of the Cok and of the precious stone
(Perry 503)

/ As a Cok ones sought his pasture in the donghylle / he fond a precious stone / to whome the Cok sayd / Ha a fayre stone and precious thow arte here in the fylth And yf he desyreth the had found the / as I haue he should haue take the vp / and sette the ageyne in thy fyrst estate / 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 sayd Esope to them that rede this book / For by the cok is to vnderstond the fool whiche retcheth not of sapyence ne of wysedome / as the Cok retcheth and setteth not by the precious stone / And by the stone is to vnderstond this fayre and playsaunt book

Caxton published his edition of Aesop's fables in 1484. There are modern reprints by Joseph Jacobs (D. Nutt: London, 1889) and more recently by Robert Lenaghan (Harvard University Press: Cambridge, 1967). Lenaghan's edition is available at amazon.com.