Aesop's Fables: Sir Roger L'Estrange (1692)
1. A CAT AND A COCK (Perry 16)
It was the hard fortune once of a Cock to fall into the clutches of a
Cat. Puss had a Month's mind to be upon the Bones of him, but was not
willing to pick a quarrel, however, without some plausible colour for't.
Sirrah (says he) what do you keep such a bauling and screaming a Nights
for, that no body can sleep near you? Alas, says the Cock, I never wake
any body, but when 'tis time for People to rise and go about their Business.
Nay, says the Cat, and then there never was such an incestuous Rascal:
Why, you make no more conscience of lying with your own Mother, and your
Sisters.--In truth, says the Cock, again, that's only to provide Eggs
for my Master and Mistress. Come, come, says Puss, without any more ado,
'tis time for me to go to Breakfast, and Cats don't live upon Dialogues.
At which word she gave him a Pinch, and so made an end both of the Cock
and of the Story.
THE MORAL OF THE TWO FABLES ABOVE. 'Tis an easy Matter to find a Staff
to beat a Dog. Innocence is no Protection against the arbitrary Cruelty
of a tyrannical Power; But Reason and Conscience are yet so sacred, that
the greatest Villanies are still countenanc'd under that Cloke and Colour.
L'Estrange originally published his version of the fables in 1692. There is a
very nice illustrated edition in the Children's Classics series by Knopf: Sir
Roger L'Estrange. Aesop
- Fables which is available at amazon.com.