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


Upon the Rout of an Army there was a Trumpeter made a Prisoner, and as the Soldiers were about to cut his Throat, Gentlemen (says he) Why should you kill a Man that kills No-body? You shall die rather for that, cries the one of the Company, for being so mean a Rascal, as to set other People together by the ears without fighting for your self.
THE MORAL. He that provokes and incites Mischief is the Doer of it. ‘Tis the Man that kills me, the Bullet is only a passive Instrument to serve his End that directs it.

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.