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The Apes and the Two Travelers

from Aesop's Fables





TWO MEN, one who always spoke the truth and the other who told
nothing but lies, were traveling together and by chance came to
the land of Apes. One of the Apes, who had raised himself to be
king, commanded them to be seized and brought before him, that he
might know what was said of him among men. He ordered at the
same time that all the Apes be arranged in a long row on his
right hand and on his left, and that a throne be placed for him,
as was the custom among men. After these preparations he
signified that the two men should be brought before him, and
greeted them with this salutation: "What sort of a king do I seem
to you to be, O strangers?' The Lying Traveler replied, "You seem
to me a most mighty king." "And what is your estimate of those
you see around me?' "These," he made answer, "are worthy
companions of yourself, fit at least to be ambassadors and
leaders of armies." The Ape and all his court, gratified with the
lie, commanded that a handsome present be given to the flatterer.
On this the truthful Traveler thought to himself, "If so great a
reward be given for a lie, with what gift may not I be rewarded,
if, according to my custom, I tell the truth?' The Ape quickly
turned to him. "And pray how do I and these my friends around me
seem to you?' "Thou art," he said, "a most excellent Ape, and all
these thy companions after thy example are excellent Apes too."
The King of the Apes, enraged at hearing these truths, gave him
over to the teeth and claws of his companions.





Next: The Wolf and the Shepherd

Previous: The Man, the Horse, the Ox, and the Dog



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