Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
483. APHRODITE AND THE SLAVE-WOMAN
Perry 301 (Babrius
A man was in love with an ugly, wicked slave-woman from his own household
and was quick to give her whatever she asked for. This slave-woman, bedecked
with gold and trailing a delicate purple robe around her legs, would pick
fights with the master's wife at every opportunity. It was Aphrodite,
the goddess of love and beauty, whom she regarded as the cause of her
good fortune, so she lit lamps in the goddess's honour, sacrificing, praying,
begging, and beseeching her every single day. Finally the goddess came
to the couple as they were sleeping. She appeared to the slave-woman in
a dream and said, 'Do not give thanks to me; I certainly did not make
you beautiful! Indeed, I am furious that this man would even think you
were worth looking at.'
Note: An epimythium probably added by a
later editor reads: 'Only a man who is out of his mind and hated
by the gods delights in ugly things as if they were beautiful.'
Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura
Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.