Aesop

"Pray cease to flow into me, and then you will not be made briny." »
O foolish creature that I am! For the sake of a little pleasant food I have deprived myself of my life. »
Equals make the best friends. »
"Unhappy bird! what have you done? By thus appearing before the springtime you have not only killed yourself, but you have wrought my destruction also." »
There is no believing a liar, even when he speaks the truth. »
"Ah, my good madam, even though you should turn into a meal-bag, we will not come near you." »
Every man for himself. »
Nature exceeds nurture. »
The Swan, threatened with death, burst forth into song and thus made himself known by his voice, and preserved his life by his melody. »
Count the cost before you commit yourselves. »
Better poverty without care, than riches with. »
Mercury, displeased at his knavery, not only took away the golden axe, but refused to recover for him the axe he had thrown into the pool. »
Might makes right. »
Fine feathers don't make fine birds. »
They are not wise who give to themselves the credit due to others. »
"Woe to me a stranger! that in this place where all others' rights are protected, I alone should suffer wrong." »
The larger the number of your family, the greater your cause of sorrow, in seeing them shut up in this prison-house. »
Harm hatch, harm catch. »
Self-interest alone moves some men. »
He thus lost both: that which he grasped at in the water, because it was a shadow; and his own, because the stream swept it away. »
They who act without sufficient thought, will often fall into unsuspected danger. »
In avoiding one evil, care must be taken not to fall into another. »
"O thou most base fellow? how can I believe thee, who hast disowned and wronged thy former patron?" »
Pride goes before destruction. »
The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny. »
Those who suffer most cry out the least. »
Our mere anticipations of life outrun its realities. »
"Ah, you will have to remain there, my friend, until you become such as you were when you crept in, and then you will easily get out." »
The Sheep, poor silly creatures, were easily beguiled and dismissed the Dogs, whereupon the Wolves destroyed the unguarded flock at their own pleasure. »
Be on guard against men who can strike from a distance. »
It is absurd to ape our betters. »
The memory of a good deed lives. »
"O you most perverse creatures, when I piped you would not dance, but now that I have ceased you do so merrily." »
The greatest kindness will not bind the ungrateful. »
"O wretched me! that those whom I cheer with my fruit should repay me with these painful requitals!" »
From that day the Hen became fat and sleek, and never once laid another egg. »
"My son, I am afraid that you are not only blind, but that you have lost your sense of smell." »
Avoid a remedy that is worse than the disease. »
How can you pretend to prescribe for others, when you are unable to heal your own lame gait and wrinkled skin? »
Stoop to conquer. »
The whole Body quickly became debilitated, and the hands, feet, mouth, and eyes, when too late, repented of their folly. »
Look before you leap. »
The hero is brave in deeds as well as words. »
The Dolphin, indignant at these falsehoods, dipped the Monkey under the water and drowned him. »
I am indeed glad that I was thought so little of, for I have lost nothing, nor am I hurt with any wound. »
Do not attempt too much at once. »
"I have been rightly served; why did I trust my sheep to a Wolf?" »
The Owl came forth from her hollow, seized her, and put her to death. »
The next day he attempted to snatch a lamb from the fold, but he himself fell prey to the huntsmen and hounds. »
"We would far rather be destroyed in our battle with each other than admit any interference from you in our affairs." »
"Just now I vowed to offer a lamb to the Guardian Deities of the forest if I could only find out who had robbed me; but now that I have discovered the thief, I would willingly add a full-grown Bull to the Calf I have lost, if I may only secure my own escape from him in safety." »
The Dogs listened favorably to these proposals, and, entering the den of the Wolves, they were set upon and torn to pieces. »
"The great do not always prevail. There are times when the small and lowly are the strongest to do mischief." »
Union is strength. »
The Hare said, "Oh, how I have longed to see this day, in which the weak shall take their place with impunity by the side of the strong." And after the Hare said this, he ran for his life. »
Slow but steady wins the race. »
"Oh! you fellow there! you say you can foretell the fortunes of others; how is it you did not foresee your own?" »
Benefits bestowed upon the evil-disposed increase their means of injuring you. »
"For these flies which you see are full of blood, and sting me but little, and if you rid me of these which are already satiated, others more hungry will come in their place, and will drink up all the blood I have left." »
"I should indeed have lost my senses if I should let go food ready in my hand, for the sake of pursuing birds which are not yet even within sight." »
"My daughter, you are rightly called wise; for unless what we do is useful, the glory of it is vain." »
"Since you have taught me to steal, you must keep a sharp lookout, or you will lose some of your own flock." »
"O wretched creature that I am! to take such precaution against the land, and after all to find this seashore, to which I had come for safety, so much more perilous." »
But thou art immortal and dost never fade, but bloomest for ever in renewed youth. »
"If you had not yourself lost your tail, my friend, you would not thus counsel us." »
"Get along with you! for I will now make you a present of the hare." »
Zeal should not outrun discretion. »
I rather deserve to be praised for what I have been, than to be blamed for what I am. »
Acquaintance softens prejudices. »
Persuasion is better than Force. »
"I despise the weak and yield to the strong. I know whom I may bully and whom I must flatter; and I thus prolong my life to a good old age." »
Some men underrate their best blessings. »
No one can be a friend if you know not whether to trust or distrust him. »
The dancing spectacle thus came to an end amidst the laughter and ridicule of the audience. »
"Why, to tell you the truth, I drank so much wine that I remember nothing. I do not know how I got out of the house." »
The King, as soon as he heard the tale, ordered the Lion to be set free again in the forest, and the Shepherd to be pardoned and restored to his friends. »
"I am rightly served; for what business had I who had never handled a net to try and catch fish?" »
We had better bear our troubles bravely than try to escape them. »
"Oh! that you would eat the dead and not the living." »
But as he still continued to stay, as time went on, the rich man became accustomed to the smell, and feeling no manner of inconvenience, made no further complaints. »
The least outlay is not always the greatest gain. »
Those who assume a character which does not belong to them, only make themselves ridiculous. »
for when I lost the use of my eyes, I saw in my house various chattels and valuable goods: but now, though he swears I am cured of my blindness, I am not able to see a single thing in it." »
Use serves to overcome dread. »
"he cannot eat the hay himself, and yet refuses to allow those to eat who can." »
Jupiter, displeased with all their complaints, sent a Heron, who preyed upon the Frogs day by day till there were none left to croak upon the lake. »
Hypocritical speeches are easily seen through. »
In quarreling about the shadow we often lose the substance. »
You must indeed be a simple-minded fellow if you expect to get anything from me, who am accustomed to take from everyone, and never to give anything in return. »
Straws show how the wind blows. »
In serving the wicked, expect no reward, and be thankful if you escape injury for your pains. »
for when the gold was there, you had it not, as you did not make the slightest use of it." »
"and do not be angry; for you would, I assure you, sooner burst than successfully imitate the hugeness of that monster." »
"Why do you ask me? Is it that the level way through the desert is closed?" »
"You must now go to the war on foot, for you have transformed me from a Horse into an Ass; and how can you expect that I can again turn in a moment from an Ass to a Horse?" »
"If your sister wishes for rain, and you for dry weather, with which of the two am I to join my wishes?' »
"I might possibly have been frightened myself, if I had not heard your bray." »
"Look here," he said, "this shows what sort of judges you are." »
"Where, O boaster, are now all thy gay trappings, thou who are thyself reduced to the condition you so lately treated with contempt?" »
"My good Crow, your voice is right enough, but your wit is wanting." »
Do nothing without a regard to the consequences. »
"It is a double grief to me," he exclaimed, "that I should perish by an arrow feathered from my own wings." »
"Pray stop, my boys: what is sport to you, is death to us." »
The dishonest, if they act honestly, get no credit. »
It is easy to kick a man that is down. »
"O unhappy me! who have found in that which I deemed a happy windfall the source of my destruction." »
Hence it is that when she appears they look to her as knowing all things, while she no longer gives them advice, but in solitude laments their past folly. »
"I am rightly served, for I should not have maltreated the Vine that saved me." »
"Your handling and mine are very different things. He catches you only for your wool, or your milk, but he lays hold on me for my very life." »
"If you think to stop my mouth, you will be greatly mistaken. This sudden kindness at your hands will only make me more watchful, lest under these unexpected favors to myself, you have some private ends to accomplish for your own benefit, and for my master's injury." »
Necessity is the mother of invention. »
Whatever you do, do with all your might. »
Fair weather friends are not worth much. »
"I shall no longer distress myself at being struck at by these Gamecocks, when I see that they cannot even refrain from quarreling with each other." »
"For this you were allowed to live in idleness, because you were presently to be sacrificed." »
"Think how many men there are who have reason to lament the loss of their children, whose deaths have been caused by you." »
A man is known by the company he keeps. »
"Woe is me! that I, who can wage war successfully with the hugest beasts, should perish myself from this spider, the most inconsiderable of insects!" »
"I must have made a mistake; my father, after all, could have been only an ass." »
"Now, my good man, if this be all true there is no need of witnesses. Suppose this to be Rhodes, and leap for us." »
"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." »
"harping on what was of yore, for it is the common lot of mortals to sustain the ups and downs of fortune." »
"I wish you both would look into the mirror every day: you, my son, that you may not spoil your beauty by evil conduct; and you, my daughter, that you may make up for your lack of beauty by your virtues." »
Old friends cannot with impunity be sacrificed for new ones. »
But finding the Fig-Tree denuded of leaves, the snow fell through to the ground, and did not injure it at all. »
"Well, since so huge a beast is afraid of a tiny gnat, I will no more complain, nor wish myself dead. I find myself, even as I am, better off than the Elephant." »
"I am rightly served, for why did I attempt the art of healing, when my father only taught me the trade of a butcher?" »
No arguments will give courage to the coward. »
He is not to be trusted as a friend who mistreats his own family. »
There, in the sight of the Eagle, the Fox gobbled them up. »
A Stag asked a Sheep to lend him a measure of wheat, and said that the Wolf would be his surety. »
I can easily make peace with myself, because I know there was no intention to hurt. »
"What a marvel it is that hairs which are not mine should fly from me, when they have forsaken even the man on whose head they grew." »
Every man should be content to mind his own business. »
It matters little if those who are inferior to us in merit should be like us in outside appearances. »
The King of the Apes, enraged at hearing these truths, gave him over to the teeth and claws of his companions. »
A willful man will have his way to his own hurt. »
They at once killed the Goat, and so healed the Ass. »
"I can no longer consider you as a friend," said the Satyr, "a fellow who with the same breath blows hot and cold." »
"It is again in want of dates, and therefore looks quiet." »
Birds of a feather flock together. »
"What a clamor you would raise if I were to do as you are doing!" »
The value is in the worth, not in the number. »
So desiring two ends, he obtained neither. »
"Let us cease lamenting, my mates, for, as it seems to me, sorrow is always the twin sister of joy; and it was only to be looked for that we, who just now were over-rejoiced, should next have something to make us sad." »
Attempt not impossibilities. »
"Well, I think thou art altogether contradictory and unreasonable; for when I paid you honor, I reaped no benefits: but now that I maltreat you I am loaded with an abundance of riches." »
Those who seek to please everybody please nobody. »
The foolish pair, thus hoping to become rich all at once, deprived themselves of the gain of which they were assured day by day. »
"We are all very well, and shall continue so, if you will only be good enough to go away, and leave us as we are." »
"I do it advisedly; for it would never do to have to sharpen my weapons just at the time I ought to be using them." »
The end of life was reserved for the Dog, wherefore the old man is often snappish, irritable, hard to please, and selfish, tolerant only of his own household, but averse to strangers and to all who do not administer to his comfort or to his necessities. »
It shows an evil disposition to take advantage of a friend in distress. »
"Pray, my dear friends, in my presence at least cease from such vain disputings." »
What is most truly valuable is often underrated. »
"Thank you. But I can't think that you, who refuse me a little matter now, will by and by confer on me a greater benefit." »
"Well, if you will buy these, I'll fling you that into the bargain." »
Every tale is not to be believed. »
but he could not prevent the smaller fish from falling back through the meshes of the net into the sea. »
"You should have moved your master not to ill, but to good, will." »
"Ah! you that lie there, may you prosper just in the same proportion as you are what you pretend to be!" »
I would rather have one barleycorn than all the jewels in the world. »
"Ah! you who so lately, when you supposed yourself safe, exulted over my calamity, have now reason to deplore a similar misfortune." »
"At least my enemy and I shall perish together." »
"Because in former times, falsehood was with few, but is now with all men." »
The more honor the more danger. »
"Why, I saw the Monkey do this very thing yesterday, and you all laughed heartily, as if it afforded you very great amusement." »
"O Hercules! if you will not help me against a Flea, how can I hope for your assistance against greater antagonists?" »
The Lion, seeing that the Ass was secured, immediately clutched the Fox, and attacked the Ass at his leisure. »
"What a beautiful head! Yet it is of no value, as it entirely lacks brains." »
"I am rightly served, for having let go of the food that I had in my hand for the chance of obtaining more." »
"Your words, O Hares! are good; but they lack both claws and teeth such as we have." »
I have reluctantly brooked the insults of the brave, but to be compelled to endure such treatment from thee, a disgrace to Nature, is indeed to die a double death. »
Try before you trust. »
Conquer, but conquer to your cost. »
In pain the birdcatcher threw down the twigs, and the noise made the Dove take wing. »
Misfortunes springing from ourselves are the hardest to bear. »
Now he considered that it would be neither an easy nor a necessary work to make himself such a house as would accommodate him. »
"I am in need of immediate help, and he is wont to give his good gifts very slowly." »
Little liberties are great offenses. »
I shall now with less scruple take your life, because you are willing to save it at the cost of betraying your friends and relations. »
If you had but touched me, my friend, you would have lost me, and all your locusts too! »
"I have already two oxen, who, without making any promises, do all these things. It is surely better for me to give the water to them than to you." »
"Stay, my friends, do not do as you intended; for you now see that there are creatures who are still more timid than ourselves." »
"On my word, you are rightly served, for how could you for a moment think of shutting up a Lion along with you in your farmyard when you know that you shake in your shoes if you only hear his roar at a distance?" »
It sometimes happens that one man has all the toil, and another all the profit. »
The safeguards of virtue are hateful to those with evil intentions. »
If men had all they wished, they would be often ruined. »
When they had done this, they found that they had only prepared for themselves greater troubles, for their mistress, no longer hearing the hour from the cock, woke them up to their work in the middle of the night. »
Thus the earth, the air, and the water alike refused shelter to a murderer. »
A wolf, having stolen a lamb from a fold, was carrying him off to his lair. »
What's bred in the bone will stick to the flesh. »
"Wretched me! this overestimation of myself is the cause of my destruction." »
Evil tendencies are shown in early life. »
But when the toothless, clawless Lion returned to repeat his request, the Woodman, no longer afraid, set upon him with his club, and drove him away into the forest. »
The rustic, ignorant of his danger, was about to drink, when the Eagle struck his hand with his wing, and, seizing the drinking horn in his talons, carried it aloft. »
But at last the Bitch, protected by the bodyguard of her Whelps, who had now grown up and were able to defend themselves, asserted her exclusive right to the place and would not permit the shepherd to approach. »
Self-help is the best help. »
"It is not thou who revilest me; but this mischance which has befallen me." »
"That, lifting up the load, you may place it again upon my shoulders." »
"I know not whether Jupiter will allot the prize to my son, but this I do know, that he is at least in the eyes of me his mother, the dearest, handsomest, and most beautiful of all." »
Happy is the man who learns from the misfortunes of others. »
In a change of government the poor change nothing beyond the name of their master. »
Even though you have the size of a lion among wolves, in a herd of lions you are definitely a wolf. »
"You silly creature! why have you hatched these vipers which, when they shall have grown, will inflict injury on all, beginning with yourself?" »
Don't make much ado about nothing. »
"O Monkey, and are you, with such a mind as yours, going to be King over the Beasts?" »
Men often bear little grievances with less courage than they do large misfortunes. »
Pleasure bought with pains, hurts. »
Do you not know that labor is the source of every blessing, and that none but those who work are entitled to eat?" »
"Why, forsooth! use I gave credence to the words of a woman!" »
"No, my friend, it is not for the pasture that you invite me, but for yourself, who are in want of food." »
The Cranes, being light of wing, fled away at his approach; while the Geese, being slower of flight and heavier in their bodies, were captured. »
The best intentions will not always ensure success. »
They found no treasure, but the vines repaid their labor by an extraordinary and superabundant crop. »
Do not attempt to hide things which cannot be hid. »
You ridiculed the idea of my ever being able to help you, not expecting to receive from me any repayment of your favor; now you know that it is possible for even a Mouse to confer benefits on a Lion. »
Hence it arises that Ills abound, for they come not one by one, but in troops, and by no means singly: while the Goods proceed from Jupiter, and are given, not alike to all, but singly, and separately; and one by one to those who are able to discern them. »
The loiterer often blames delay on his more active friend. »
"It would have been better for me to have been either starved by the one, or to have been overworked by the other of my former masters, than to have been bought by my present owner, who will even after I am dead tan my hide, and make me useful to him." »
Upon this, the old man, vexed and ashamed, made the best of his way home again, convinced that by endeavoring to please everybody he had pleased nobody, and lost his Ass in the bargain. »
I prefer my bare plowlands and roots from the hedgerow, where I can live in safety, and without fear. »
Therefore being condemned by each for his treachery, he was driven forth from the light of day, and henceforth concealed himself in dark hiding-places, flying always alone and at night. »
"I have brought it all on myself! Why could I not have been contented to labor with my companions, and not wish to be idle all the day like that useless little Lapdog!" »
"this very patting which you like, whenever it happens to me, brings with it my inevitable destruction." »
"Woe is me! that while I purposed to hunt another, I am myself fallen unawares into the snares of death." »
"You are indeed, sir, sadly deceiving yourself; you are indulging a hope strong enough to cheat you, but which will never reward you with enjoyment." »
"I should indeed be a very simple fellow if, for the chance of a greater uncertain profit, I were to forego my present certain gain." »
I return as an enemy only to those who injured me. »
The Ass resolved that he would live only upon dew, and in a short time died of hunger. »
Evil companions bring more hurt than profit. »
Contentment with our lot is an element of happiness. »
That I might attain your royal hand, there is nothing that I would not have promised, however much I knew that I must fail in the performance. »
Time and place often give the advantage to the weak over the strong. »
"I am treated according to my deserts. If I had only been willing to assist the Ass a little in his need, I should not now be bearing, together with his burden, himself as well." »
Notoriety is often mistaken for fame. »
My sons, if you are of one mind, and unite to assist each other, you will be as this faggot, uninjured by all the attempts of your enemies; but if you are divided among yourselves, you will be broken as easily as these sticks. »
Jupiter, vexed at his request because he was not satisfied with his size and strength of body, and desired yet more, not only refused to give him horns, but even deprived him of a portion of his ears. »
When the Fox approached the tree, the Dog sprang out and caught him, and tore him to pieces. »
False confidence often leads into danger. »
"Ah! if you had beaten me when I first stole and brought to you that lesson-book, I should not have come to this, nor have been thus led to a disgraceful death." »
"That is the very reason for which you should be put to death," they said; "for, while you do not fight yourself, your trumpet stirs all the others to battle." »
At this moment she tossed her head in unison with her thoughts, when down fell the milk pail to the ground, and all her imaginary schemes perished in a moment. »
No one truly forgets injuries in the presence of him who caused the injury. »
If words suffice not, blows must follow. »
Away, therefore, with your insolence, for I know well when to go fast, and when to go slow. »
Everyone is more or less master of his own fate. »
"Hark ye, old fellow, why, in striving to pry into what is in heaven, do you not manage to see what is on earth?" »
Change of habit cannot alter Nature. »
Then the Ass, seeing all these things, changed his mind, and commiserated the Horse. »
for if you now should crop my leaves, and cut me down to my root, I shall provide the wine to pour over you when you are led as a victim to the sacrifice." »
"Nay, my friend, blame not me, but Nature, which, while giving me the sovereignty of the sea, has quite denied me the power of living upon the land." »
Jupiter, indignant at such inveterate faultfinding, drove him from his office of judge, and expelled him from the mansions of Olympus. »
Example is more powerful than precept. »
"O you most ungrateful creatures! You provide wool to make garments for all other men, but you destroy the clothes of him who feeds you." »
But when the Mice further debated who among them should thus "bell the Cat," there was no one found to do it. »
Taking it up, the man returned to the same place, to find that the wall under which he had been sitting had fallen to pieces; and he marveled at the service rendered him by the Eagle. »
And thus they both, along with their families, perished from hunger, and afforded ample provision for the Cat and her kittens. »
"I knew that way long before you were born." »
The Fox, unable even to taste it, met with a fitting requital, after the fashion of her own hospitality. »
"You have only to thank yourselves for the misfortunes to which you are exposed: for if you did not make such excellent pillars and posts, and prove yourselves so serviceable to the carpenters and the farmers, the axe would not so frequently be laid to your roots." »
"May no friend of mine ever be in such a plight; for the weight of this chain is enough to spoil the appetite." »
I, indeed, who have experienced with what speed you run away, know right well that no dependence can be placed on your valor." »
A false tale often betrays itself. »
"To my certain knowledge he is a Daw; but he would like you to think an Eagle." »
Then summoning his laborers, he ordered that the Stag should be seized and killed. »
It was the time of the wheat harvest; but the Farmer reaped nothing that year and returned home grieving sorely. »
One story is good, till another is told. »
"Death would not be grievous to me, if I could only see my Enemy die before me." »
Self-help is the best help. »
"But you really must have been out of your senses to fasten yourself on me, who am myself always accustomed to fasten upon others." »
Men of evil reputation, when they perform a good deed, fail to get credit for it. »
The desire for imaginary benefits often involves the loss of present blessings. »
"If you were foolish enough to sing all the summer, you must dance supperless to bed in the winter." »
"It is just what I deserve; for I, who am only a butcher, should not have turned piper to please you." »
Some men are of more consequence in their own eyes than in the eyes of their neighbors. »
Children are not to be blamed for the faults of their parents. »
Hence it is that men are quick to see the faults of others, and yet are often blind to their own failings. »
Harm seek. Harm find. »
Misfortune tests the sincerity of friends. »
These are all contented with the endowments allotted to them. »
Evil wishes, like chickens, come home to roost. »
Counsel without help is useless. »
He is wise who is warned by the misfortunes of others. »
Blame not me, my good sir, but the winds, for I am by my own nature as calm and firm even as this earth; but the winds suddenly falling on me create these waves, and lash me into fury. »
Youth's first duty is reverence to parents. »
"Indeed, I should have thanked you fervently if your deeds had been as good as your words, and if your hands had not been traitors to your speech." »
"You do not see the difference between us: I was only running for a dinner, but he for his life." »
"It is better for us to make friends, than to become the food of Crows or Vultures." »
It is wise to turn circumstances to good account. »
"Master, how can you expect the sheep to be safe if you admit a wolf into the fold?" »
He who shares the danger ought to share the prize. »
From that hour he found that instead of obtaining revenge on the Stag, he had enslaved himself to the service of man. »
"And are you indeed to make yourself a judge of the dealings of Providence, who hast thyself in a similar manner treated these poor Ants?" »
We must make friends in prosperity if we would have their help in adversity. »
"Although you abound in specious apologies, I shall not remain supperless"; and he made a meal of him. »
Do not be in a hurry to change one evil for another. »
"The Grapes are sour, and not ripe as I thought." »
"Boast no more, but henceforth be content to give thy light in silence. Know that not even the stars need to be relit" »
"if you really wish me to be in good condition, you should groom me less, and feed me more." »
"The first step has lost us all. If we had not given up the rights of the ash, we might yet have retained our own privileges and have stood for ages." »
"Now you shall certainly die by mine own hands, for no evil, whether it be small or large, ought to be tolerated." »
"And how much more beautiful than you am I, who am decorated, not in body, but in mind." »
What will be our future condition if he should beget other suns?" »
Do not cultivate the favor of this man, but of your former owner, lest he should again hunt for you and deprive you a second time of your wings. »
"I see no indication whatever of your having slaughtered a sheep, while I do see very plainly every preparation for your dining on a bull." »
And thus his trick recoiled on him, for he now carried on his back a double burden. »
But when Jupiter proposed to make him king because of the beauty of his plumage, the birds indignantly protested, and each plucked from him his own feathers, leaving the Jackdaw nothing but a Jackdaw. »

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