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Aesop's Fables: Caxton (1484)

4.18. Of the pylgrym and of the swerd /
(Perry 579)

An euylle man maye be cause of the perdycion or losse of many folke / As reherceth to vs this present Fable / Of a pylgrym / whiche fond in his way a swerd / And he asked of the swerd / what is he that hath lost the / And the swerd answerd to the pylgrym / A man alone hath lost me / but many one I haue lost /
And therfor an euyl man may wel be lost / but er he be lost he may wel lette many one / For by cause of an euylle man may come in a Countrey many euyls

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.