Abstemius's Fables (Sir Roger L'Estrange)
338. (Abstemius 86) A Fox Praising Hare's Flesh.
As a Dog was pressing hard upon the very Breech of a Fox, up starts a Hare. Pray hold a little, says the Fox, and take that Hare there while she is to be had: You never tasted such a Morsel since you were born: But I am all over tainted and rotten, and a Mouthful of my Flesh would be enough to poison ye. The Dog immediately left the Fox, and took a Course at the Hare; but she was too nimble for him, it seems; and when he saw he could not catch her, he very discreetly let her go. The Hare had heard what pass'd, and meeting the Fox two or three Days after, she told him how basely he had serv'd her. Nay, says the Fox, if you take it so heavily that I spoke well of you, what would you have done if I had spoken ill?
A Design'd Back-Friend is the Worst of Enemies.
Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists: Abstemius's Fables by Sir Roger L'Estrange. Available online at Google Books.