Tyrants need no excuse.
A Wolf was drinking at a spring on a hillside. On looking up he saw a Lamb just beginning to drink lower down. "There's my supper," thought he, "if only I can find some excuse to seize it." He called out to the Lamb, "How dare you muddle my drinking water?"
"No," said the Lamb; "if the water is muddy up there, I cannot be the cause of it, for it runs down from you to me."
"Well, then," said the Wolf, "why did you call me bad names this time last year?"
"That cannot be," said the Lamb; "I am only six months old."
"I don't care," snarled the Wolf; "if it was not you, it was your father;" and with that he rushed upon the poor little Lamb and ate her all up.
Wolf, meeting with a Lamb astray from the fold, resolved not to lay violent hands on him, but to find some plea to justify to the Lamb the Wolf's right to eat him. He thus 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 of my well." "No," exclaimed the Lamb, "I never yet drank water, for as 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 supperless, even though you refute every one of my imputations."
The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny.
As a wolf was lapping at the head of a fountain, he spy'd a lamb, paddling at the same time, a good way off down the stream. The wolf had no sooner the prey in his eye, but away he runs open-mouth to't. Villain (says he), how dare you lye muddling the water that I'm a drinking? Indeed, says the poor lamb, I did not think that my drinking there below, could have foul'd your water so far above. Nay, says t'other, you'll never leave your chopping of logick till your skin's turn'd over your ears, as your fathers was, a matter of six months ago, for prating at this sawcy rate; you remember it full well, sirrah. If you'll believe me, sir, (quoth the innocent lamb, with fear and trembling) I was not come into the world then. Why thou impudence, cries the wolf, hast thou neither shame, nor conscience? But it runs in the blood of your whole race, sirrah, to hate our family; and therefore since fortune has brought us together so conveniently, you shall e'en pay some of your fore-fathers scores before you and I part; and so without any more ado, he leapt at the throat of the miserable helpless lamb, and tore him immediately to pieces.Moral
'Tis an easie matter to find a staff to beat a dog. Innocence is no protection against the arbitrary cruelty of a tyrannical power: but reason and conscience are yet so sacred, that the greatest villanies are still countenanc'd under that cloak and color.
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