A Lion was with its kill. A thief demanded half but the Lion made him go away. A traveler, respecting the Lion, left but was called back for a share.
Respecting strength can yield rewards.
A Lion having pulled down a Bullock, stood over it, lashing his sides with his tail. A Robber who was passing by stopped and impudently demanded half shares. “You are always too ready to take what does not belong to you,” answered the Lion; “go your way, I have nothing to say to you.” The Thief saw that the Lion was not to be trifled with, and went off. Just then a Traveller came up, and seeing the Lion, modestly and timorously withdrew. The generous beast, with a courteous, affable air, called him forward, and, dividing the Bullock in halves, told the man to take one, and in order that he might be under no restraint, carried his own portion away into the forest.
Samuel Croxall (The Judicious Lion)
A LION having taken a young Bullock, stood over, and was just going to devour it, when a thief stept in, and cried halves with him. No, friend, says the Lion, you are too apt to take what is not your due, and therefore I shall have nothing to say to you. By chance, a poor honest traveller happened to come that way, and seeing the Lion, modestly and timorously withdrew, intending to go another way: upon which, the generous beast, with a courteous, affable behaviour, desired him to come forward, and partake with him in that, to which his modesty and humility had given him so good a title. Then, dividing the prey into two equal parts, and feasting himself upon one of them, he retired into the woods, and left the place clear for the honest man to come in for his share.
There is not one but will readily allow this behaviour of the Lion to have been commendable and just; notwithstanding which, greediness and importunity never fail to thrive and attain their ends, while modesty starves, and is for ever poor. Nothing is more disagreeable to quiet, reasonable men, than those that are petulant, forward, and craving, in soliciting for their favours: and yet favours are seldom bestowed but upon such as have extorted them by these teasing offensive means. Every patron, when he speaks his real thoughts, is ready to acknowledge that the modest man has the best title to his esteem; yet he suffers himself, too often, to be prevailed upon, merely by outrageous noise, to give that to a shameless, assuming fellow, which he knows to be justly due to the silent, unapplying, modest man. It would be a laudable thing in a man in power, to make a resolution not to confer any advantageous post upon the person that asks for it; as it would free him from importunity, and afford him a quiet leisure, upon any vacancy, either to consider with himself who had deserved best of their country, or to enquire, and be informed by those whom he could trust. But, as this is seldom or never practised, no wonder that we often find the names of men of little merit mentioned in the public prints, as advanced to considerable stations, who were incapable of being known to the public any other way.
Thomas Bewick (The Lion, The Wolf, and The Dogx)
A Lion having seized upon a Doe, while he was standing over his prize, a Wolf stepped up to him, and impudently claimed to go halves. No! said the Lion, you are too apt to take what is not your due. I therefore shall never have any thing to do with you, and I peremptorily insist on your immediate departure out of my sight. A poor honest Dog, who happened to be passing, and heard what was going on, modestly withdrew, intending to go about another way. Upon which the Lion kindly invited him to come forward and partake with him of the feast, to which his modesty had given him so good a title.
There is something in modesty which ought ever strongly to prepossess us in favour of those persons in whose nature it is interwoven; and men of discerning and generous minds have a pleasure in discovering it, and in bringing into notice the worthy man, who is diffident of his merit, and cannot prevail upon himself to challenge the praise or tribute he deserves. It is, however, to be lamented, that such patrons are not very numerous, and that the assuming arrogance and teasing importunities of the greedy forward man should so commonly succeed in attaining his ends, while modesty in silence starves unnoticed, and is for ever poor. Were men in exalted stations of life to pay more attention to the importance of this, and endeavour to discover modest worth, to draw merit from the shade, and virtue from obscurity, and distribute their patronage and their favours to such only, their own affairs, as well as those of the public, would be better managed, and the difference between the conduct of upstart pride and sensible plain honesty would soon shew itself in its true unvarnished colours.