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his mouth, and seeing his own shadow in the water, he supposed it to be another dog, with a more delicious morsel. He therefore sprung forward to seize it, and, in his eagerness, dropped his own piece into the stream. Thus, by catching at more, he lost what he had, and found, to his great grief, that he gets harm to himself, who contrives it for others; for what he had seen and greedily coveted was merely a shadow, while the substance which he let fall was now out of his reach, having been carried away by the current. All real need is soon supplied, but the cravings of ambition and of avarice are boundless. “ If your person,” said the Scythians to Alexander the Great, were as gia gantic as your desires, the world itself would not contain you.” Our minds can conceive much more than our bodies can perform. We contrive in minutes what we execute in years; and much of our life is lost in empty wishes. Man never is, but always to be blest; yet, while we hope for the best, we should prem pare for the worst ; nor should we ever allow our minds to dwell upon distant schemes, or future gains, so as to neglect our present business. Their folly will appear, who build castles in the air, or who, like the country maid in the fable, count their chickens before they be hatched,
12. A foolish frog, being struck with the size and majesty of an ox that was grazing in the marshes, wished to expand herself to the same portly magnie tude. After much puffing and swelling, she asked her young ones if she was as big as the ox; but they answered, No. A second time, she stretched out her wrinkled skin, and asked them again ; but still they said; No-till, after many fruitless efforts, the simple frog burst her body asunder, and expired on the spot
Thus, pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit, before a fall. 13. A vain tortoise, tired of her obscure way
of live ing, wished to go abroad and visit foreign countries. She applied to two ducks, who promised to assist her, and told her, that if she would fasten her mouth to the middle of a pole, they would take the two ends, and transport her wherever she pleased. She did so, and the ducks began their flight with her, when, meeting a crow in the air, who asked what they were carrying along, they replied—" The queen of the tortoises." The tortoise, vain of this new and unmerited title, was going to utter'some fine speech in return, when, opening her mouth for that purpose, she let go her hold, and was dashed to pieces by her fall.
14. Two cocks fought together, till one of them, being beaten, ran away to a thicket that was hard by, and hid himself there for some time; but he who had conquered, ascended a high piece of ground, and stood on the top of it, clapping his wings and crowing aloud, till an eagle, attracted by the noise he made, came
him and carried him away; whereas the other cock, who had skulked in the thicket, at length, coming out and being free from his rival, joined himself peaceably to the company of the hens. Many spoil their fortunes by excessive pride; for, by showing that they think too highly of themselves, they lead others to despise them, and sometimes even to plot their ruin.
15. When the mice were at war with the weasels, the commanders of the mice tied horns on their heads, to distinguish themselves from the common soldiers-and this did
very well while the battle lasted ; but the mice, being defeated, ran to their narrow holes, and most of
them escaped. The generals, however, on account of their horns, stuck fast in the entrance, and so were easily taken and devoured by the enemy. Every man, however little, makes a figure in his own eyes; but self love is the mother of mistake. Therefore be humble-judge not too highly of thyself, and think not too meanly of others.
16. A stag, when quenching his thirst in a clear lake, was struck with the beauty of his horns, which he saw reflected in the water. At the same time observing the extreme slenderness of his legs, he despised them as a set of spindle shanks, of which he felt himself almost ashamed. In the mean time, however, he was alarmed with the cry of a pack of hounds. Instantly taking to flight, he left his pursuers, and might have escaped; but, entering a thick wood, his horns were caught in the branches, and there he was held till the hounds came up and tore him in pieces. « Alas!" said he, when expiring, “how ill did I judge, in preferring ornament to use. The legs which I despised would have borne me away in safety, had not my favourite antlers betrayed me to ruin.”
17. A jackdaw, having plumed himself with peacock's feathers, in this borrowed garb, forsook his own tribe, and began to strut up and down among the peacocks ; but they speedily perceived the cheat, and being enraged at his impudence, they plucked off his gay plumage, and drove him back to his former associates, by whom he was now equally despised and justly punished with contempt and derision.
18. A crow having found a bit of flesh, sat upon a tree, when a fox observing him and wishing to have the flesh, came and stood below and praised him much, calling him a large and beautiful bird, skilled in hunt
ing, and of an elegant form, and fit to be king of the birds. - You have not an equal,” said he, “ if your voice be as sweet, as your appearance is handsome.” Flattered by these praises, the crow now opened his mouth, and letting fall the bit of flesh, set up an ime mense croaking. The fox catching up his prize, ran off with it, saying-—" You have every thing, crow, except sense -I find you are a fool, and filled with vanity.”
19. On one occasion, when the Roman people, have ing a quarrel with the senate, refused to fight against the public enemy, they were appeased and induced to return to their duty by the following fable, which one of the wisest and best of the senators addressed to them, “ The members," said he, “ of the human body, taking some offence at the conduct of the belly, resolved to withhold from it the usual supplies. The tongue first, in a seditious speech, set forth their com. plaints, and said that they did wrong in toiling from morning to night in the service of the belly, which in the mean time did nothing for itself, but lay at its ease in the midst of them all, and indolently grew fat upon their labours. This speech being greatly applauded, the hands declared that they would work for the belly no more. The feet vowed that they would carry it no longer ; and the teeth refused to prepare a single morsel more for its use. In vain did the belly beseech them to refrain from so senseless a rebellion, and to consider that what they bestowed upon it, was converted to their nourishment, and dispersed into every limb for the good of them all. The voice of reason was drowned by the clamours of passion ; and, as the belly could not quiet the tumult, it was starved for want of their assistance, and the body wasted away to a skeleton. The limbs, grown weak and languid, were sensible at last of their error, and would have returned to their duty ; but it was now too late, death had taken possession of the whole, and they all perished together.” Such are the evil effects of dissension and discontent in society. As different employments are always needed in the world, of course different degrees of wealth, honour, and consequence must follow; but, like the stones of a building, though some range higher and some lower, some must support and others be supported, some are for strength and others for ornament, yet all should unite in producing one regular and well proportioned whole.
20. A country mouse, who lived on homely fare, but in contentment and peace, was once enticed by an acquaintance to go into the city, that he might see in : what elegance and plenty they lived at court. It was late in the evening when they arrived at the palace ; and on entering, they found creams, and jellies, and sweetmeats without number. But scarcely had they begun to take their repast, when they were scared away by the barking and scratching of a dog ; then the mewing of a cat frighted them almost to death; and, by and by, a whole train of servants burst into the room, and removed all the dishes in an instant. As soon as the country mouse had recovered courage to speak, he said " Ah, my dear friend, I must bid you good night. Every mouthful you take, is at the risk of your life. I shall never again exchange my plain food and peaceful cottage, for a state of such alarm and danger as this. What is elegance without ease, or plenty with an aching heart !”
The true conveniencies of life are common to the king with the meanest subject. The king's sleep is not sweeter, nor his appetite better, than