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Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)

Perry 71 (Chambry 62)

There was a certain greedy coward who found a lion of gold and said, 'I do not know how to act in such circumstances. This is driving me crazy! I can't decide what to do: my love of money and my innate cowardice are tearing me in two. What kind of accident or supernatural power could have produced a lion of gold? My mind is at war with itself when it confronts this problem: it longs for the gold but it fears the object which the gold has been made into. My desire urges me to seize it, but my character urges me to keep away. O fortune, you have given me this thing but you do not allow it to be taken! O treasure that offers no satisfaction! O welcome gift of a god that is so unwelcome! What to do? How can I get some advantage from this? How can I contrive a means to approach it? I will go get my servants and bring them here and order them to launch a mass attack and grab the lion, while I watch them from a distance.'
The story is suitable for a rich man who does not dare to touch his wealth or make use of it.

Source: Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura Gibbs. Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
NOTE: New cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.