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Aesop's Fables: Caxton (1484)

6.7. Of a fyssher
(Perry 11)

Alle thynges which ben done & made in theyr tyme & season ben wel made / as by this present fable it appereth Of a fyssher whiche somtyme touched his bagpype nyhe the Ryuer for to make the fysshe to daunse / And whan he sawe that for none songe that he coude pype / the fysshes wold not daunse / As wroth dyd cast his nettes in to the Ryuer / & toke of fysshe grete quantite / And whanne he had drawe oute his nettes oute of the water / the fysshe beganne to lepe and to daunse / and thenne he sayd to them / Certaynly hit appiereth now wel / that ye be euylle beestes / For now whanne ye be taken / ye lepe and daunse / And whanne I pyped and played of my muse or bagpype ye dayned / ne wold not daunse /
Therfore hit appiereth wel that the thynges whiche ben made in season / ben wel made and done by reason


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.