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Aesop's Fables: Caxton (1484)

3.15. Of the wulf and of the dogge
(Perry 346)

Lyberte or fredome is a moche swete thynge / as Esope reherceth by this fable / of a wulf and of a dogge whiche by aduenture mette to gyder / wherfore the wulf demaunded of the dogge / wherof arte thow so fatte and so playsaunt / And the dogge ansuerd to hym / I haue wel kepte my lordes hows / & haue barked after the theues whiche came in the hows of my mayster / wherfore he and his meyny gyue to me plente of good mete / wherof I am fatte and playsaunt / and the wulf sayd thenne to hym / It is wel sayd my broder / Certaynly syth thow arte so wel atte thyn ease and farest so wel I haue grete desyre to dwelle with the / to thende that thow & I make but one dyner / wel sayd the dogge / come on with me yf thow wylt be as wel at thyn ease 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 so shauen / And the dogge ansuerd / it is by cause of my grete coler of yron / to whiche dayly I am fasted / And at nyght I am vnbound for to kepe the hows the better / Thenne sayd the wulf to the dogge / This I myster ne nede not / For I that am in lyberte / wylle not be put in no subiection / And therfor for to fylle my bely / I wylle not be subget / yf thou be acustommed for to be bound / contynue thow in hit / and I shalle lyue as I am wonte and acustomed /
therfore there is no rychesse gretter / than lyberte / For lyberte is better than alle the gold of the world /

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.