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Aesop's Fables: Caxton (1484)

3.6. Of the foxe and of the wulf
(Perry 568)

Fortune helpeth bothe the good and euyll folke / and to alle them / whiche she helpeth not she sendeth euylle to them / And they that setten alle theyr malyce ageynste fortune ben subuertysed and ouerthrawen by her / wherof Esope reherceth suche a fable / Of a wulf whiche had assembled to gyder a grete proye / or moche mete for to haue lyued more delyciously / wherof the foxe had grete enuye / and for to haue robbed somme of this good / he came vnto the cauerne or hole where as this proye or mete was in / and sayd to the wulf / My godsep the wulf / by cause hit is longe syth I sawe the / I am in grete heuynesse and sorowe / and also by cause we haue not ben in long tyme gone chaced and gone to gyder / And whan the wulf knewe the malyce of the foxe / he sayd to hym thow arte not come hyder for to see me / ne how I fare / but thou arte come for to robbe and rauysshe my good / For the whiche wordes the foxe was moche angry / and wente toward a sheepherd / to whome he sayd / yf thow wylt be auenged of the wulf whiche is enemy of thy heerd or parke / on this day I shalle put hym vnder thy handes / And the sheepherd ansuerde to the foxe in this manere / yf thow doo as thow sayst / I shall paye the wel / And thenne the foxe shewed to hym the hool / wherin the wulf was / And the sheepherd Incontynent wente toward the hole / and with a spere he kyld the wulf / And by this manere the foxe was wel fylled and refresshyd of the good of other / but as he retorned homeward / he was taken & deuoured by somme dogges / wherfore he seyd to hym self / by cause that ryght euylle I haue done / euylle cometh now to me /
For synne retorneth euer vpon his mayster / And he that lyueth but of rauyn and robberye shal at the last be knowen and robbed /

Caxton published his edition of Aesop's fables in 1484. There are modern reprints by Joseph Jacobs (D. Nutt: London, 1889) and more recently by Robert Lenaghan (Harvard University Press: Cambridge, 1967). Lenaghan's edition is available at amazon.com.