eely admit that in
order to satisfy my gluttony I have devoured an appalling number of
sheep; and yet what had they done to me to deserve such a fate? Nothing
that could be called an offence. Sometimes, indeed, I have gone so far
as to eat the shepherd too! On the whole, I think I had better render
myself for this act of sacrifice; that is, if we agree that it is a
thing necessary to the general good. And yet I think it would be only
fair that every one should declare his sins as well as I; for I could
wish that, in justice, it were the most culpable that should perish."
"Sire," said the fox, "you are really too yielding for a king, and your
scruples show too much delicacy of feeling. Eating sheep indeed! What of
that?--a foolish and rascally tribe! Is that a crime? No! a hundred
times no! On the contrary your noble jaws did but do them great honour.
As for the shepherd, it may be fairly said that all the harm he got he
merited, since he was one of those who fancy they have dominion over the