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Aesop's Fables: Caxton (1484)

6.15. Of the flee and of the man
(Perry 272)

He that dothe euyl / how be hit that the euylle be not grete men ought not to leue hym vnpunysshed / As it appyereth by this fable / Of a man whiche took a flee whiche bote hym / to whome the man sayd in this manere / Fle why bytest thow me / and letest me not slepe / And the flee ansuerd It is my kynd to doo soo / wherfore I praye the that thow wylt not put me to dethe / And the man beganne to lawhe / & sayd to the flee / how be it / that thow mayst not hurte me sore / Neuertheles / to the behoueth not to prycke me / wherfore thow shalt deye /
For men ought not to leue none euyll vnpunysshed how be hit that hit be not grete


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.