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Aesop's Fables: Caxton (1484)

5.2. Of the bore and of the wulf
(Perry 694)

Svche desyren to be grete lordes / and dyspreysen his parents / that at the last becomen poure and fallen in to grete dishonour / As thow mayst see by this present fable / Of a bore / whiche was amonge a grete herd of other swynes / And for to haue lordship and domynacion ouer alle them / he beganne to make grete rumour / and shewed his grete teethe for to make the other swynes aferd / but by cause they knewe hym / they sette nought by hym / wherof he displeased moche / and wold goo in to a herd of sheep / and emonge lambes / And whanne he was amonge the lambes / he began to make grete rumour / and shewed his sharp and long teeth / And whanne the lambes herd hym / they were sore aferd / and byganne to shake for fere / And thenne sayd the bore within hym self / here is the place wherin I must abyde & duelle For here I shalle be gretely worshipped / For euerychone quaken for fere of me / Thenne came the wulf there for to haue and rauysshe somme proye / And the lambes beganne alle to flee / but the bore as prowd wold not stere hym / ne go fro the place / by cause he supposed to be lord / but the wulf toke hym / and bare hym in to the wode for to ete hym / And as the wulf bare hym / it happed that he passid before the herd of swynes / whiche the bore had lefte / And thenne whanne the bore perceyued and knewe them / he prayd and cryed to them / that for the loue of god they wold help hym / And that withoute her help / he was deed / And thenne the swynes alle of one assent and owne wylle wente and recouered theyr felawe / and after slewe the wulf / And as the bore was delyuerd / and sawe hym amonge the swynes / and that alle his doubte and fere was gone / he beganne to haue vergoyne and shame / by cause that he was thus departed / and gone fro theyr felauship and sayd to them / My bretheren and my frends / I am well worthy to haue had this payne / by cause / I was gone & departed from yow /
And therfore he that is wel / lete hym beware / that he moue not hym self / For suche by his pryde desyreth to be a grete lord / whiche ofte falleth in grete pouerte /


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.