Aesop's Fables: Townsend (1867)
227. The Cobbler Turned Doctor (Perry
A COBBLER unable to make a living by his trade and made desperate by
poverty, began to practice medicine in a town in which he was not known.
He sold a drug, pretending that it was an antidote to all poisons, and
obtained a great name for himself by long-winded puffs and advertisements.
When the Cobbler happened to fall sick himself of a serious illness, the
Governor of the town determined to test his skill. For this purpose he
called for a cup, and while filling it with water, pretended to mix poison
with the Cobbler's antidote, commanding him to drink it on the promise
of a reward. The Cobbler, under the fear of death, confessed that he had
no knowledge of medicine, and was only made famous by the stupid clamors
of the crowd. The Governor then called a public assembly and addressed
the citizens: 'Of what folly have you been guilty? You have not hesitated
to entrust your heads to a man, whom no one could employ to make even
the shoes for their feet.'
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