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Aesop's Fables: Caxton (1484)

1.16. Of the lyon / of the wyld bore / of the bole & of the asse
(Perry 481)

Whanne a man hath lost his dignyte or offyce / he muste leue his fyrst audacyte or hardyness / to thende / that he be not iniuryed and mocqued of euery one / wherof Esope sheweth vnto vs suche a fable / There was a lyon whiche in his yongthe was fyers and moche outragyous / And when he was come to his old age / there came to hym a wyldbore / whiche with his teeth rent and barst a grete pyece of his body and auenged vpon hym of the wrong that the lyon had doo to hym before that tyme / After came to hym the boole whiche smote and hurted hym with his hornes / And an asse came there / whiche smote hym in the forhede with his feete by maner of vyndycacion / And thenne the poure Lyon beganne to wepe sayenge within hym self in this manere / whan I was yonge and vertuous euery one doubted and fered me / And now that I am old and feble / and nyghe to my dethe / none is that setteth ne holdeth ought by me / but of euery one I am setten a back / And by cause that now I haue lost bothe vertue and strengthe / I haue lost alle good and worship /
And therefore this fable admonesteth many one whiche ben enhaunced in dygnyte and worship shewynge to them / how they must be meke and humble / For he that geteth and acquyreth no frendes ought to be doubtous to falle in suche caas and in suche peryls

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.