The Eastern Prince And The African

An Eastern Prince was visited by an African with a tame lion. Ask how it got tame, the response was the lion was trained from youth.

Parents should exercise care in instructions to children.


JN Fable 068

Sketch: James Northcote; Wood drawing: William Harvey (1828)

A certain Eastern Prince one day giving audience to foreign Ambassadors, was surprised to see entering the hall of audience, an African leading by a little chain a majestic Lion, so tame and gentle that he fawned on his master like a Spaniel. This African, addressing himself to the Eastern Monarch, made him a present of the beast in the name of his own Prince. His Majesty was pleased with it, and asked the African by what means he had brought a creature of so fierce a nature to be so tame and gentle? He answered, by constantly feeding him with his own hand, and breeding him up from a little whelp. Upon this reply, the Prince turning to his attendants, “Hence learn,” said he, “from this admirable example, the power of early education, civility, and good usage, which can soften even the most savage beasts.”


This Fable holds out an example, to show how much may be expected from the effects of an early good education, and points out to parents the necessity of care and attention in their instructions to children, as so eminently does their future welfare depend upon it, that the very worst dispositions may no doubt be regulated into good habits, if not entirely eradicated. J. N.

JN Fable 068a

Wood drawing: William Harvey (1828)