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Aesop's Fables: Caxton (1484)

6.5. Of the Foxe and of the busshe
(Perry 19)

Men ought not to demaunde ne aske help of them that ben more customed to lette than to do good or prouffit / as it appereth by this fable of a fox which for to scape the peril to be taken wente vpon a thorne busshe / whiche hurted hym sore / and wepynge sayd to the busshe / I am come as to my refuge vnto the / and thow hast hurted me vnto the dethe / And thenne the busshe sayd to hym / thow hast erred / and wel thou hast begyled thy self / For thow supposest to haue taken me as thow arte custommed to take chekyns and hennes /
And therfore men ought not to helpe them whiche ben acustomed to doo euylle / but men ought rather to lette them


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.