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Aesop's Fables: Sir Roger L'Estrange (1692)


A Physician undertakes a Woman, with sore Eyes, upon the terms of a No Cure, No Money. His way was to dawb 'em quite up with Ointments, and while she was in that pickle, to carry off a Spoon or Porringer, or somewhat or other, at the End of his Visit. The Woman’s Eyes mended, and still as she came more and more to her self again, there was every day less and less left in the House to be seen. The Doctor came to her at last, and told her, Mistress, says he, I have discharg’d my part, your Eyes are perfectly well again, and pray let me be paid now according to our Agreement. Alas, Sir, says she, I’m a great deal worse that I was the first Minute you undertook me; for I could see Plate, Hangings, Paintings, and other Goods of Value about my House, till you had the ordering of me; but now I am brought to such a pass, that I can see nothing at all.
THE MORAL. There are few good Offices done for other People, which the Benefactor does not hope to be the better himself for’t.

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.