<< Home Page | L'Estrange Index

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

62. A FATHER AND HIS SONS (Perry 53)

It was the Hap of a very honest Man to be the Father of a contentious Brood of Children. He call’d for a Rod, and bad ‘em take it, and try one after another with all their Force, if they could break it. They try’d, and could not. Well (says he) unbind it now, and take every Twig of it apart, and see what you can do that Way. They did so, and with great ease, by one and one, and they snap’d it all to pieces. This (says he) is the true Emblem of your Condition: Keep together and y’are safe, divide and y’are undone.
THE MORAL. The Breach of Unity puts the World, and all that’s in’t, into a State of War, and turns every Man’s Hand against his Brother; but so long as the Band holds, ‘tis the Strength of all the several Parts of it gather’d into one.

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.