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The Horse and the Stag

The Horse and the Stag

AT ONE TIME the Horse had the plain entirely to himself. Then a Stag intruded into his domain and shared his pasture. The Horse, desiring to revenge himself on the stranger, asked a man if he were willing to help him in punishing the Stag. The man replied that if the Horse would receive a bit in his mouth and agree to carry him, he would contrive effective weapons against the Stag. The Horse consented and allowed the man to mount him. From that hour he found that instead of obtaining revenge on the Stag, he had enslaved himself to the service of man.

A horse.

The Horse and the Stag


A horse being driven by a man.

The Horse and the Stag

There was a Horse who had a meadow all to himself until a Stag came and began to injure the pasture. The Horse, eager to punish the Stag, asked a man whether there was any way of combining to do this. "Certainly," said the Man, "if you don't object to a bridle and to my mounting you with javelins in my hand." The Horse agreed, and was mounted by the Man; but, instead of being revenged on the Stag, he himself became a servant to the Man.

A man, made poor by agricultural distress, selling something to a happy money lender in order to pay his rent.


A child driving a horse with a toy whip.

Illustration 108

The Horse and the Stag

Within  a certain pasture,

There lived some creatures wild.

The sky was blue, the grass was green,

The air was very mild.

Now though this field was large and fine,

They could not live in love:

But for the grass in one large spot

A horse and stag once strove.

The stag was strongest in the strife,

And so the battle won;

And from the field the horse was sent

And with chagrin was stung.

So to the man the horse applied,

For help, the stag to beat,

And so effectual was his help,

The stag had to retreat.

But when to go away he tried,

The man held to him fast:

"Now that you are of use," he cried,

"You'll serve me to the last."

Illustration 109

The Horse and the Stag

The Horse had the plain entirely to himself. A Stag intruded into his domain and shared his pasture. The Horse, desiring to revenge himself on the stranger, requested a man, if he were willing, to help him in punishing the Stag. The man replied, that if the Horse would receive a bit in his mouth, and agree to carry him, he would contrive very effectual weapons against the Stag. The Horse consented, and allowed the man to mount him. From that hour he found that, instead of obtaining revenge on the Stag, he had enslaved himself to the service of man.

He who seeks to injure others often injures only himself.

THE HORSE AND THE STAG.THE HORSE AND THE STAG.

The Stag with his sharp horns, got the better of the Horse, and drove him clear out of the pasture where they used to feed together. So the latter craved the assistance of man; and, in order to receive the benefit of it, suffered him to put a bridle into his mouth and a saddle upon his back. By this way of proceeding he entirely defeated his enemy; but was mightily disappointed when, upon returning thanks, and desiring to be dismissed, he received this answer:—'No, I never knew before how useful a drudge you were; now I have found what you are good for, you may depend upon it I will keep you to it.'

APPLICATION.

As the foregoing fable was intended to caution us against consenting to any thing that might prejudice public liberty, this may serve to keep us upon our guard in the preservation of that which is of a private nature. This is the use and interpretation given of it by Horace, the best and most polite philosopher that ever wrote. After reciting the fable, he applies it thus:—'This,' says he, 'is the case of him, who dreading poverty, parts with that invaluable jewel, liberty; like a wretch as he is, he will always be subject to a tyrant of some sort or other, and be a slave for ever; because his avaricious spirit knew not how to be contented with that moderate competency, which he might have possessed independent of all the world.'



The Horse and the Stag


There was once a Horse who used to graze in a meadow which he had all to himself. But one day a Stag came into the meadow, and said he had as good a right to feed there as the Horse, and moreover chose all the best places for himself. The Horse, wishing to be revenged upon his unwelcome visitor, went to a man and asked if he would help him to turn out the Stag. "Yes," said the man, "I will by all means; but I can only do so if you let me put a bridle in your mouth and mount on your back." The Horse agreed to this, and the two together very soon turned the Stag out of the pasture: but when that was done, the Horse found to his dismay that in the man he had got a master for good.