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

123. A LYON IN LOVE (Perry 140)

A Lyon was in Love with a Country Lass, and desir’d her Father’s Consent to have her in Marriage. The Answer he gave was churlish enough. He’d never agree to’t he said, upon any Terms, to marry his Daughter to a Beast. The Lyon gave him a sour Look upon’t, which brought the Bumpkin, upon second Thoughts, to strike a Bargain with him, upon these Conditions: that his Teeth should be drawn, and his Nails pair’d; for those were things, he said, that the foolish Girl was terribly afraid of. The Lyon sends for a Surgeon immediately to do the Work; (as what will not Love make a body do?) and so soon as ever the Operation was over, he goes and challenges the Father upon his Promise. The Countryman seeing the Lyon disarm’d, pluck’d up a good Heart, and with a swinging Cudgel so order’d the matter, that he brake off the Match.
THE MORAL. An extravagant Love, consults neither Life, Fortune, nor Reputation, but sacrifices all that can be dear to a Man of Sense and Honour, to the transports of an inconsiderate Passion.

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.