The Master and His Dogs

In the midst of a storm the Dogs watch their Master kill his Sheep, Goats, and Oxen in order to sustain himself. The Dogs decided to be safe and leave!

He is not to be trusted as a friend who mistreats his own family.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

Certain man, detained by a storm in his country house, first of all killed his sheep, and then his goats, for the maintenance of his household. The storm still continuing, he was obliged to slaughter his yoke oxen for food. On seeing this, his Dogs took counsel together, and said, “It is time for us to be off, for if the master spare not his oxen, who work for his gain, how can we expect him to spare us?’


He is not to be trusted as a friend who mistreats his own family.

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version

A certain farmer was put to such a pinch in a hard winter for provisions, that he was forc’d to feed himself and his family upon the main stock. The sheep went first to pot; the goats next; and after them, the oxen; and all little enough to keep life and soul together. The dogs call’d a councel upon’t, and resolv’d to shew their master a fair pair of heeles for’t, before it came to be their turn; for (said they) after he has cut the throats of our fellow servants, that are so necessary for his bus’ness, it cannot be expected that he will ever spare us.


There’s no contending with necessity, and we should be very tender how we censure those that submit to’t. ‘Tis one thing to be at liberty to do what we would do, and another thing to be ty’d up to do what we must.

1001Canes et Agricola Penuria Laborans

Agricola, cum in ruri hiemasset multos dies, coepit tandem penuria laborare rerum necessariarum; oves interfecit, deinde et capellas, postremo quoque mactat boves, ut habeat quo sustentet corpusculum pene exhaustum inedia. Canes, id videntes, constituunt salutem quaerere fuga; etenim sese diutius non victuros, quando herus non pepercit bobus quidem, quorum opera utebatur in opere rustico faciendo.

Perry #052