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Aesop's Fables: Caxton (1484)

3.16. Of the handes / of the feet / & of the mans bely
(Perry 130)

How shalle one do ony good to another / the which can doo no good to his owne self / As thow mayst see by this fable / Of the feet and of the handes / whiche somtyme had grete stryf with the bely / sayenge / Al that we can or may wynne with grete labour thou etest it all / and yet thow doost no good / wherfore thou shalt no more haue nothynge of vs / and we shalle lete the deye for honger / And thenne when the bely was empty and sore hungry / she beganne to crye & sayd Allas I deye for honger / gyue me somwhat to ete / And the feet and the handes sayd / thou getest no thynge of vs / And by cause that the bely might haue no mete / the conduyts thorugh the whiche the metes passeth became smal and narowe / And within fewe dayes after the feete and handes for the febleness whiche they felte wold thenne haue gyuen 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 bely / And he that gouerneth not wel his bely with grete payne he may hold the other lymmes in theyr strengthe and vertue /
wherfore a seruaunt ought to serue wel his mayster / to thende that his mayster hold and kepe hym honestly / and to receyue and haue good reward of hym / when his mayster shalle see his feythfulnesse

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.