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The Ass and the Lion Hunting



The Lion took a fancy to hunt in company with the Ass; and, to make him the more useful, gave him instructions to hide himself in a thicket, and then to bray in the most frightful manner that he could possibly contrive. "By this means," says he, "you will rouse all the beasts within hearing of you, while I stand at the outlets and take them as they are making off." This was done; and the stratagem took effect accordingly. The Ass brayed most hideously, and the timorous beasts, not knowing what to make of it, began to scour off as fast as they could; when the Lion, who was posted at a convenient place, seized and devoured them as he pleased.

Having got his belly full, he called out to the Ass, and bid him leave off braying, as he had had enough. Upon this the lop-eared brute came out of his ambush, and, approaching the Lion, asked him, with an air of conceit, "how he liked his performance." "Prodigiously," says he; "you did it so well, that I protest, had I not known your nature and temper, I might have been frightened myself."


Boastful cowards may impose upon those who do not know them, but are held to be only ridiculous by those who do. Pompous persons who would wish themselves thought perfect Lions, when known are mostly found arrant Asses.

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