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Aesop's Fables: Caxton (1484)

6.14. Of the yonge theef and of his moder
(Perry 200)

He whiche is not chastysed at the begynnynge is euyll and peruers at the ende / As hit appiereth by this fable of a yonge child whiche of his yongthe beganne to stele / and to be a theef / And the theftys whiche he maad / he broughte to his moder / and the moder toke them gladly / & in no wyse she chastysed hym / And after that he had done many theftys / he was taken / and condempned to be hanged / And as men ledde hym to the Iustyce / his moder folowed hym and wepte sore / And thenne the child prayd to the Iustyce / that he myght saye one word to his moder / And as he approuched to her / made semblaunt to telle her somme wordes at her ere / & with his teeth he bote of her nose / wherof the Iustyce blamed hym / And he ansuerd in this manere / My lordes ye haue no cause to blame me therfore / For my moder is cause of my deth For yf she had wel chastysed me / I had not come to this shame and vergoyne / For who loueth wel / wel he chastyseth /
And therfore chastyse wel youre wel youre children / to thende / that ye falle not in to suche a caas

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.