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Aesop's Fables: Caxton (1484)

5.3. Of the foxe and of the cocke /
(Perry 562)

Oftyme moche talkynge letteth / As hit appiereth by this fable / Of a foxe / whiche came toward a Cocke / And sayd to hym / I wold fayne wete / yf thow canst as wel synge as thy fader dyde / And thenne the Cock shette his eyen / and beganne to crye and synge / And thenne the Foxe toke and bare hym awey / And the peple of the towne cryed / the foxe bereth awey the cok / And thenne the Cocke sayd thus to the Foxe / My lord vnderstandest thow not / what the peple sayth / that thow berest awey theyr cock / telle to them / that it is thyn / and not theyrs / And as the foxe sayd / hit is not yours / but it is myn / the cok scaped fro the foxe mouthe / and flough vpon a tree / And thenne the Cok sayd to the fox thow lyest / For I am theyrs and not thyn / And thenne the foxe beganne to hytte the erthe bothe with his mouthe & heed sayenge / Mouthe / thow hast spoken to moche / thow sholdest haue eten the Cok / had not be thyn ouer many wordes /
And therfor ouer moche talkyng letteth / and to moche crowynge smarteth / therfore kepe thy self fro ouer many wordes / to thende / that thow repentest the not

 


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.