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fast in the mire. Upon this he threw himself immediately on the ground, and with loud cries implored the assistance of Jupiter and all the gods : « Why, you lazy blockhead, » says Jupiter to him, « lash » the horses well, and set your shoulder » tightly to the wheel, and then call to me » again , and perhaps I may give you a lift »
Use honest endeavours, and God will prosper them : for prayers without industry seldom prove effectual. Every man ought to exert his best efforts and do as much as he is able, and under an humble dependance leave the issue of things to the Divine Being : but we must not lie down in a ditch, and cry , « God help us, » and not strive to raise ourselves.
IX. The Lion grown weak with age.
A Lion, who by his cruelty and fierce ness , whilst youth and vigour lasted, had created to himself many enemies, when grown weak with infirmities and old age, was punished for his past barbarities.
The boar wounded him with his tusks ; the bull gored him with his horns; nay,
even the sluggish ass , thinking to wipe off his old stains of stupidity, folly and laziness, insulted him with ill words and lusty kicks. At which the afflicted and helpless lion said with sighs : « Those, whom I have for» merly injured, now deservedly punish me: » yet methinks it is hard to be ill used in » my distress and weakness by those, who , » whilst I had health and strength, did not » dare to attempt it; and still more unkind » to be treated cruelly by them , to whom » I have shown particular favours : but I > was a fool to make myself so many ene» mies, and a still greater fool in making » so bad a choice of my friends ». . .
Be not insolent in prosperity , lest in adversity you be made to smart for it. If it be possible, cause no one to become your enemy; but at the same time be very careful what friendships you contract : for false friends wound instead of serving you in time of necessity and distress.
X. The Collier and the Fuller.
A Collier very earnestly entreated a Fuller, that they might live both together in
one house. The fuller however could by no means consent to the proposal, and therefore made this reply : « You must excuse » me, good sir; it would be very improper » for us to live together under the same » roof. No pleasure or profit could accrue » to me thereby; nor indeed could I expect » any thing else but trouble and inconve» nience : for consider with yourself how » very pretty it will be , when I have made » my goods delicately clean , for you, to » make them as black as your coals ».
Never keep company nor associate with those persons , whom nature , fortune , and temper render unequal to or improper for you : nor let the vicious habits or con*versation of any one endanger the corruption of your virtue , by the secret and insensible contagion of too great or too frequent an intimacy.
XI. The Husbandman and his Sons.
A Countryman, who by his laborious and honest industry had lived creditably, though poorly , in the world , perceiving that his life drew near to an end , desired his Sops to follow his example , and acquire a good skill in husbandry; and gave them his advice in the following manner :
« My Sons », said he, « I am now going » the way of all flesh ; and the little » wealth and treasure, which I have to » leave you at my decease, lies hidden in » my vineyard : this I desire you will dig » and search diligently for ; and when » you have found it , divide it equally » amongst you ».
The father dying, and the funeral ceremonies being over, the sons, animated with the hope of finding a great treasure , fell to digging and turning the whole vineyard over and over; yet found no treasure : however the vineyard , being seasonably and thoroughly prepared , brought forth a most abundant crop, and enriched them with treasure sufficient.
The poor state of life, in which this husbandman lived, is much to be coveted; and the advice that he gave to his sons was his best legacy, and most to be desired. Certainly riches, gained by honest endeavours and continual industry , are the blessings of the Almighty; and to a good and virtuous man are as earnests of a far better
inheritance, than we can possibly enter upon in the present world.
XII. The Lamb and the Wolf.
An innocent Lamb, walking in the company and under the protection of a stout lusty goat , chanced to be met by a ravenous and hungry Wolf.
The wolf seemed to wonder at the matter, and with gentle and kind speeches asked the lamb, why it would leave its loving mother for the nauseous company of a nasty , rank , stinking he- goat ; and with other flattering words endeavoured to persuade the lamb to leave the goat, and return home to its dam, who longed to see it, and whose dugs were swelled out with sweet milk ready for it to suck.
The wolf took all this pains in hopes of separating the lamb from its stout and vigorous guardian ; but fate baffled the stratagems of the greedy and designing creature, the lamb thus rejecting his advice : » My good mother, thou subtle wolf, com» mitted me to the care and protection » of this kind friend, I shall therefore obey