<< Home Page | Caxton Index

Aesop's Fables: Caxton (1484)

6.6. Of the man and of the god of the wodes
(Perry 285)

Of the euylle man somtyme prouffiteth somme other / he doth hit not by his good wylle / but by force / As reherceth to vs this fable / Of a man whiche had in his hows an ydolle the whiche oftyme he adoured as his god / to whome ofte he prayd that he wold gyue to hym moche good And the more that he prayd hym / the more he faylled / and became pouere / wherfore the man was wel wrothe ageynst his ydolle / and took hit by the legges / and smote the hede of hit so strongly ageynst the walle / so that it brake in to many pyeces / Oute of the whiche ydolle yssued a ryght grete tresoure / wherof the man was ful gladde and Ioyous / And thenne the man sayd to his ydolle / Now knowe I wel / that thou art wycked / euyl and peruers / For whanne I haue worshipped the / thow hast not holpen me / And now whanne I haue bete the / thow hast moche done for me /
And therfore the euylle man whanne he doth ony good / it is not of his good wylle / but by force /

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.