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Abstemius's Fables (Sir Roger L'Estrange)

307. (Abstemius 57) A River and a Fountain.

There happen'd a Dispute betwixt a River and a Fountain, which of the Two should have the Preference. The River valu'd it self upon the Plenty and Variety of Fish that it produc'd; the Advantages of Navigation; the many Brave Towns and Palaces that were built upon the Banks of it, purely for the Pleasure of the Situation. And then for the General Satisfaction, in fine, that it yielded to Mankind, in the Matter both of Convenience and Delight: Whereas (says the River) the Fountain passes obscurely through the Caverns of the Earth; lies bury'd up in Moss, and comes creeping into the World, as if it were asham'd to shew the Head. The Fountain took the Insolence and the Vanity of This Reproche so Heinously, that it presently Choak'd up the Spring, and Stopt the Course of its Waters: Insomuch that the Channel was immediately dry'd up, and the Fish left Dead and Stinking in the Mud; as a Just Judgment upon the Stream for Derogating from the Original and Author of All the Blessings it Enjoy'd.
He that Arrogates any Good to Himself, detracts from the Author of all the Good he Enjoys.


Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists: Abstemius's Fables by Sir Roger L'Estrange. Available online at Google Books.