Wolf, meeting with a Lamb astray from the fold, resolved not to lay violent hands on him, but to find some plea to justify his right to eat him. So he addressed him: “Sir, last year you grossly insulted me.”
“Indeed,” bleated the Lamb in a mournful tone of voice, “I was not then born.”
Then said the wolf, “You feed in my pasture.”
“No, good sir.” replied the Lamb “I have not yet tasted grass.”
Again said the Wolf, “You drink from my well.”
“No,” exclaimed the Lamb, “I never yet drank water, for as of yet my mother’s milk is both food and drink to me.”
Upon which the Wolf seized him and ate him up, saying. “Well! I won’t remain starved, even though you refute every one of my accusations.”
The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny.
Reflect that the chief source of all evils to man, and of baseness and cowardice, is not death, but the fear of death. Against this then harden yourself, to this let all your reasonings, your exercises, your readings tend. Then shall you know that thus alone are men set free.
He is free who lives as he wishes to live, to whom none can do violence, none hinder or compel; whose impulses are unimpeded, whose desires attain their purpose, who falls not into what he would avoid. Who then would live in error? – None. Who would live deceived and prone to fall, unjust, intemperate, in abject whining at his lot? – None. Then does no wicked man live as he would, and therefore neither is he free.
A Wolf who had a bone stuck in his throat hired a Crane, for a large sum, to put her head into his mouth and draw out the bone. When the crane had extracted the bone and demanded the promised payment, the Wolf, grinning and grinding his teeth, exclaimed: “Why, you have surely already had a sufficient compensation, in having been permitted to draw out your head in safety from the mouth and jaws of a Wolf.”
In serving the wicked, expect no reward, and be thankful if you escape injury for your pains.
What you avoid suffering, do not attempt to make others suffer. You avoid slavery: take care that others are not your slaves. For if you endure to have a slave, you appear to be a slave yourself first. For vice has no community with virtue, nor freedom with slavery.
A guide, on finding a man who has lost his way, brings him back to the right path – he does not mock and jeer at him and then take himself off. You also must show the unlearned man the truth, and you will see that he will follow. But so long as you do not show it him, you should not mock, but rather feel your own incapacity.
A Donkey having heard some Grasshoppers chirping, was highly enchanted; and, desiring to possess the same charms of melody, demanded what sort of food they lived on to give them such beautiful voices. They replied, “The dew.” The Donkey resolved that he would live only upon dew, and in a short time died of hunger.
As the sun does not wait for prayers and incantations to be induced to rise, but immediately shines and is saluted by all: so do you also not wait for clappings of hands, and shouts and praise to be induced to do good, but be a doer of good voluntarily, and you will be beloved as much as the sun.