Aesop's Fables: Townsend (1867)
199. The Apes and the Two Travelers (Perry
TWO MEN, one who always spoke the truth and the other who told nothing
but lies, were traveling together and by chance came to the land of Apes.
One of the Apes, who had raised himself to be king, commanded them to
be seized and brought before him, that he might know what was said of
him among men. He ordered at the same time that all the Apes be arranged
in a long row on his right hand and on his left, and that a throne be
placed for him, as was the custom among men. After these preparations
he signified that the two men should be brought before him, and greeted
them with this salutation: 'What sort of a king do I seem to you to be,
O strangers?' The Lying Traveler replied, 'You seem to me a most mighty
king.' 'And what is your estimate of those you see around me?' 'These,'
he made answer, 'are worthy companions of yourself, fit at least to be
ambassadors and leaders of armies.' The Ape and all his court, gratified
with the lie, commanded that a handsome present be given to the flatterer.
On this the truthful Traveler thought to himself, 'If so great a reward
be given for a lie, with what gift may not I be rewarded, if, according
to my custom, I tell the truth?' The Ape quickly turned to him. 'And pray
how do I and these my friends around me seem to you?' 'Thou art,' he said,
'a most excellent Ape, and all these thy companions after thy example
are excellent Apes too.' The King of the Apes, enraged at hearing these
truths, gave him over to the teeth and claws of his companions.
George Fyler Townsend's translation of the fables, first published in 1867, is
in the public domain and can be found at many websites, including Project
Illustrations come from: Aesop's Fables, by George Fyler Townsend, with
illustrations by Harrison Weir, 1867, at Google