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Aesop's Fables: Caxton (1484)

Avyan 8. Of the two felawes
(Perry 65)

Men ought not to hold felauship with hym / whiche is acustommed to begyle other / As hit appiereth by thys Fable / Of two felawes whiche somtyme held felauship to eche other for to goo bothe by montaynes and valeyes / And for to make better theyre vyage / they were sworne eche one to the other / that none of them bothe shold leue other vnto that the tyme of dethe shold come and departe them / And as they walked in a forest they mette with a grete wyld bere / & bothe felaws ran sone awey for fere / of the whiche the one clymmed vpon a tree / And whan the other sawe that his felawe had lefte hym leyd hym self on the erthe / and fayned to be dede / And Incontynent the bere came for to ete hym / but by cause the gallaunt playd wel his game / the bere went forthe his waye and touched hym not / And thenne his felawe came doun fro the tree whiche sayd to hym / I pray the to telle me what the bere sayd to the / For as me semeth he spake to the / and hath shewed to the grete synge or token of loue / And thenne his felawe sayd to hym / He taught to me many fayre secretes / but emonge alle other thynges he sayd to me / that I shold neuer trust hym who ones hath deceyued me

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.