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


Two young Fellows slipt into a Cook's Shop, and while the Master was busy at his Work, one of them stole a piece of Flesh, and convey'd it to the other. The Master miss'd it immediately, and challeng'd them with the Theft; He that took it, swore he had none on't: and he that had it, swore as desperately that he did not take it. The Cook reflecting upon the Conceit: Well, my Masters (says he) these Frauds and Fallacies may pass upon Men, but there's an Eye above that sees through them.
THE MORAL. There's no putting of Trickes upon an all-seeing Power; as if he that made our Hearts, and knows every Nook and Corner of them, could not see through the childish Fallacy of a double Meaning.

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.