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Fable   Listen
noun
Fable  n.  
1.
A Feigned story or tale, intended to instruct or amuse; a fictitious narration intended to enforce some useful truth or precept; an apologue. See the Note under Apologue. "Jotham's fable of the trees is the oldest extant." Note: A fable may have talking animals anthropomorphically cast as humans representing different character types, sometimes illustrating some moral principle; as, Aesop's Fables.
2.
The plot, story, or connected series of events, forming the subject of an epic or dramatic poem. "The moral is the first business of the poet; this being formed, he contrives such a design or fable as may be most suitable to the moral."
3.
Any story told to excite wonder; common talk; the theme of talk. "Old wives' fables. " "We grew The fable of the city where we dwelt."
4.
Fiction; untruth; falsehood. "It would look like a fable to report that this gentleman gives away a great fortune by secret methods."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Fable" Quotes from Famous Books



... Lion hunts, one would be sorry To say who gains—until they've shared the quarry!" Such was the Moral Of the first chapter of our modern Fable. Is the co-partnership still strong and stable, Or are there signs of quarrel More than mere querulous quidnuncs invent To break companionship and ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 99, Sept. 27, 1890 • Various

... that high air Quickens imagination's flight, What monstrous bird and very rare Would in these parts some day alight; How, like a roc of Arab fable, A Zepp en route from London town, Trying to find its German stable, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, October 31, 1917 • Various

... the son of Gwalchmai.—This is a reference to a fable entitled "Einion and the Lady of the Greenwood," where the bard is led astray by "a graceful, slender lady of elegant growth and delicate feature, her complexion surpassing every red and every white in early dawn, the snow-flake on the mountain-side, and every ...
— The Visions of the Sleeping Bard • Ellis Wynne

... other's face. "Ha, senor! I remember your face at Nueva Cordoba! Have we here more of our conquered?" His speech began with the pomp of the frog in the fable, but at this point became maudlin again and returned to the one-time Governor of Nueva Cordoba's dealings with his creatures. "Why, Desmond was a fool to name such a price. One hundred pesos, perhaps—but four thousand! But Don Luiz smiled and paid down the silver, and the fool that was ...
— Sir Mortimer • Mary Johnston

... the Queen fell publicly on the evening of that day, but also some strange particulars that attended the King's return from the forest; and, being taken up and repeated, and confirmed, as many thought, by the unhappy sequence of his death, the fable found a little later almost universal credence, so that it may now ...
— From the Memoirs of a Minister of France • Stanley Weyman

... contains all the strongest and horridest ideas, of ghastliness, hypocrisy discovered, and the height of damnation, pain and cursing. A Benedictine monk, who was there at the same time, said to me of this picture: C'est une fable, mais on la croyoit autrefois. Another, who showed me relics in one of their churches, expressed as much ridicule for them. The pictures I have been speaking of are ill preserved, and some of the finest heads defaced, which was done at first by a rival of Le Soeur's. Adieu! dear West, take ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole - Volume I • Horace Walpole

... don't know and they had no conception of the Russian people. All of them peered at the Russian people through their fingers, and you do too; Byelinsky especially: from that very letter to Gogol one can see it. Byelinsky, like the Inquisitive Man in Krylov's fable, did not notice the elephant in the museum of curiosities, but concentrated his whole attention on the French Socialist beetles; he did not get beyond them. And yet perhaps he was cleverer than any of ...
— The Possessed - or, The Devils • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... laws do not assimilate with those of other continents, lies the great charm of Australian exploration. It is the spectacle of one man pitted against the whole force of nature—not the equal struggle of two human antagonists, but the old fable of the subtle dwarf and ...
— The History of Australian Exploration from 1788 to 1888 • Ernest Favenc

... so many hours away into the heart of a still more desert wilderness, my consciousness of things has been very much confused. I can only with difficulty realize that there is any such place as New York; and San Francisco is a fable. The world seems a great bare mountain plane; and I am hanging on to its edge by my fingertips, ready to drop away into space. Can you ...
— The New Penelope and Other Stories and Poems • Frances Fuller Victor

... 'that this yarn about your pearl is nothing but a damn silly fable that's been going the round in Marseilles. I don't know where it came from, or what sort of demented rotter invented it; I had it from a Johnnie in the Mediterranean Squadron, and you can have a copy of his ...
— John Thorndyke's Cases • R. Austin Freeman

... was an able Seaman; hear of his mishap— Not in wild mendacious fable, As 't was told by ...
— Shapes of Clay • Ambrose Bierce

... believe that children are more moral in the country, or that they here remain longer uncorrupted than in towns, whether large or small. Nor is it proved that in former times the country possessed any advantage in these respects, as compared with our own days and with the modern town. The entire fable of rural innocence appears to rest, not upon an actual comparison between town and country, but rather upon the more lively interest felt in town life, and especially in the life of the great towns: in towns, immorality has been more carefully studied and more ...
— The Sexual Life of the Child • Albert Moll

... thou wilt in allusions to allegory and fable; but bear always in thy most serious mind this truth, that men hold under an awful responsibility the talents with which they are entrusted. Kings have not so serious an account to render as they who exercise an intellectual influence over ...
— Colloquies on Society • Robert Southey

... near to the village the old men and the women began to meet them, and now a scene ensued that proved the fallacy of the old fable of Indian apathy and stoicism. Parents and children, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters met with the most rapturous expressions of joy; while wailings and lamentations were heard from the relatives of the killed and wounded. The procession, however, continued on with slow and measured step, ...
— Journeys Through Bookland - Volume Four • Charles H. Sylvester

... stood on my native hills, and saw plain and mountain stretch out to the utmost limits of my vision, speckled by the dwellings of my countrymen, and subdued to fertility by their labours, the earth's very centre was fixed for me in that spot, and the rest of her orb was as a fable, to have forgotten which would have cost neither my ...
— The Last Man • Mary Shelley

... felt the sweat start on his forehead at the picture of Dick sitting down to breakfast—Dick always ordered a big breakfast, having a hunter's appetite and a general impression that, the more he nourished himself, the more manly it would make his nose—and poring over the fable of his uncle's soul, or what seemed to be his soul, with eyes strained to their limit of credulity. However, it was of no use. Nothing was of any use when destiny had one of those ironic fits of hers and sat down to make a caricature of you, just for the fun of bursting her old sides over it. ...
— Old Crow • Alice Brown

... Italian scenery. But these evanescent graces seemed the effect of enchantment; and I imperceptibly breathed softly, lest I should destroy what was real, yet looked so like the creation of fancy. Dryden's fable of the flower and the leaf was not ...
— Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark • Mary Wollstonecraft

... was, or it was not? Does 'John' proceed with us as did the heathen bard, who drew a fictitious picture of the manner in which fire had been given to man; and left his readers to discover that the fact was not the fable itself, but only ...
— A Handbook to the Works of Browning (6th ed.) • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... set afloat, grew in wonder and magnitude through pure love of the marvellous or wild expansion of the fanciful tales of the Indians. Far inland, built on a lofty hill, so the fable ran, was a mighty city, whose very street watering-troughs were made of solid gold and silver, while "billets of gold lay about in heaps, as if they were logs of wood marked ...
— Historical Tales - The Romance of Reality - Volume III • Charles Morris

... dared conjecture for his city was safety. Even that is put in a highly hypothetical mood. The augury begins with an "if," regarding the apocryphal story of Romulus and the twelve vultures. But whether the fable of the vultures be true or not, the augury of twelve centuries of safety deduced from it is undeniably false, whether it refers to the material city, or to the political constitution then established. The city then built was burnt by Brennus, the Gaul. Its successor ...
— Fables of Infidelity and Facts of Faith - Being an Examination of the Evidences of Infidelity • Robert Patterson

... The marriage of children was not in the mores of the ancient Germans. The mediaeval church allowed child marriage for princes, etc. The motive was political alliance, or family or property interest.[1283] The fable was that Joseph was an old man and the Virgin Mary only a girl. This story was invented to make the notion of a virgin wife and mother easier. The marriage was only a child marriage. In England, from the end of the thirteenth to late in the seventeenth ...
— Folkways - A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals • William Graham Sumner

... of the human mind, that, having built his castle with so little view to durability, Walpole entailed the perishable possession with a degree of strictness, which would have been more fitting for a baronial estate. And that, too, after having written a fable entitled "The Entail," in consequence, of some one having asked him whether he did not intend to entail Strawberry Hill, and in ridicule of such ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 1 • Horace Walpole

... proceed to a regular examination of the tragedy before us, in which I shall treat separately of the Fable, the Moral, the Characters, the Sentiments, and the Diction. And ...
— Miscellanies, Volume 2 (from Works, Volume 12) • Henry Fielding

... man finds in entering into the kingdom of heaven; and, combining all these denunciations against opulence, let us heartily congratulate one another upon our lucky escape from the calamity of a twenty or thirty thousand pound prize! The fox in the fable, who accused the unattainable grapes of sourness, was more of a philosopher than we are generally willing to allow. He was an adept in that species of moral alchemy which turns everything to gold, and converts disappointment ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 84, October, 1864 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... the fable of the boys and the frogs with the poor old Dominie, forgetting that what may be sport to you is ...
— Jacob Faithful • Captain Frederick Marryat

... Fable of the Shepher- des and the Wolues, the Wolues requestyng the Bandogges: wherein is set forthe the state of eue- ry subiecte, the dignitie of a Prince, the honoura- ble ...
— A booke called the Foundacion of Rhetorike • Richard Rainolde

... the wind's challenge to contest for the traveler's cloak, I dare say all the spectators of the novel highway robbery—the moon, the stars, the trees, birds and beasts, and others that the fable does not mention—took odds that the wind would snatch off the wayfarer's garment in triumph. However, the wind whipped and thrashed the poor man in vain. The stronger it blew and the more it walloped the cloak's folds, the tighter and more determinedly the traveler held on to ...
— The Iron Game - A Tale of the War • Henry Francis Keenan

... in the fable, who after losing his tail tried to make that bereavement the fashion, failed in his undertaking; Dutch canal-boat dogs have, however, been successful where the fox failed, and are to-day pampered and prized for a curtailment that would condemn any other ...
— The Ways of Men • Eliot Gregory

... led into the ring, and one acted the gardener of the fable, went on a hunting trip, waltzed, took off its hat, and played dead. After this performance came the donkey. But it defended itself well; its kicks sent the dogs flying through the air like balloons; with its tail between its legs and its ears back, it ran around the ring trying ...
— Over Strand and Field • Gustave Flaubert

... connecting the tragic and mysterious element in Jericho's life with the ordinary, vain, worldly existence of his wife and daughters. It is startling to find ourselves in the regions of the impossible, just as we are beginning to know the persons of the fable. But the mind reassures itself. This Jericho, with his mysterious fate,—is not he, in this twilight of fiction, shadowing to us the real destiny of real money-grubbers whom we may see any day about our doors? Has not the money become the very life of many such? And so feeling, the reader goes ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I, No. 1, Nov. 1857 • Various

... supra. This expression deserves to be noticed particularly, inasmuch as it effectually disposes of the story—which can scarcely be regarded otherwise than as a fable—that the assassination of Lignerolles, a little over four months later (December, 1571), was compassed by Charles IX. and his mother, because they discovered that he had become possessed of the secret ...
— History of the Rise of the Huguenots - Volume 2 • Henry Baird

... indiscretions. Alas! Dough-Boy! hard fares the white waiter who waits upon cannibals. Not a napkin should he carry on his arm, but a buckler. in good time, though, to his great delight, the three salt-sea warriors would rise and depart; to his credulous, fable-mongering ears, all their martial bones jingling in them at every step, like Moorish scimetars in scabbards. But, though these barbarians dined in the cabin, and nominally lived there; still, being anything but sedentary in their habits, they ...
— Moby-Dick • Melville

... is the love and cherishing of these patrons. The gods of fable are the shining moments of great men. We run all our vessels into one mould. Our colossal theologies of Judaism, Christism, Buddhism, Mahometism, are the necessary and structural action of the human mind. The student of history is like a man going into ...
— Representative Men • Ralph Waldo Emerson

... of the Irish Saints contain an immense quantity of material of first rate importance for the historian of the Celtic church. Underneath the later concoction of fable is a solid substratum of fact which no serious student can ignore. Even where the narrative is otherwise plainly myth or fiction it sheds many a useful sidelight on ancient manners, customs and laws as well as on the curious and often intricate operations ...
— Lives of SS. Declan and Mochuda • Anonymous

... persons, notably in the case of Captain Miles Standish and John Alden, in which case the fair maiden herself is given the credit of admonishing the envoy to court for himself. It is very sure, however, that this latter story is a fable. It was probably founded on the ...
— Historical Tales, Vol 5 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality, German • Charles Morris

... one of these nuns. For all the care Parliament presently took to hurry the conclusion, these monks were exceedingly anxious to excuse her and justify themselves. Hence the important work of the monk Michaelis, a mixture of truth and fable; wherein he raises Gauffridi, the priest he had sent to the flames, into the Prince of Magicians, not only in France, but even in Spain, Germany, England, Turkey, nay, ...
— La Sorciere: The Witch of the Middle Ages • Jules Michelet

... attempt to paint or represent it to the senses can ever succeed. We can bear—at least we often have to bear—that a man should seem an ass to the mind's eye; but that he should seem such to the eye of the body is rather too much, save as it is done in those fable-pictures which have long been among the playthings of the nursery. So a child, for instance, takes great pleasure in fancying the stick he is riding to be a horse, when he would be frightened out of his wits, were the stick to quicken and expand into an actual ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson

... things. Imagination, the terrible madwoman, who was the mistress of the house, has become the servant. Look around you, Senor Penitentiary, and you will see the admirable aggregation of truths which has taken the place of fable. The sky is not a vault; the stars are not little lamps; the moon is not a sportive huntress, but an opaque mass of stone; the sun is not a gayly adorned and vagabond charioteer but a fixed fire; Scylla and Charybdis are not nymphs but sunken rocks; the sirens are seals; and ...
— Dona Perfecta • B. Perez Galdos

... whom they had dubbed saints, as well as to put faith in many other abominable falsehoods. They found, therefore, no difficulty in persuading the more ignorant people to believe this most blasphemous fable, which from henceforth became one of the most powerful engines for increasing the influence of the priests over the minds of men, though many, both learned and unlearned persons in our own and other countries loudly protested ...
— Villegagnon - A Tale of the Huguenot Persecution • W.H.G. Kingston

... or new, Sublime, or dreadful, in earth, sea, or sky, By chance, or search, was offered to his view, He scanned with curious and romantic eye. Whate'er of lore tradition could supply From Gothic tale, or song, or fable old, Roused him, still keen to listen and to pry. At last, though long by penury controuled, And solitude, his soul her ...
— The Minstrel; or the Progress of Genius - with some other poems • James Beattie

... very hard to define a landlord, and you will hear of some being landlords who do not get a shilling from their estates. Under these circumstances they would be like the fox in AEsop's fable who had lost ...
— The Reminiscences of an Irish Land Agent • S.M. Hussey

... of this plan is obvious. In truth the allegory could not be preserved unbroken through ten lines together. No art of execution could redeem the faults of such a design. Yet the Fable of the Hind and Panther is undoubtedly the most valuable addition which was made to English literature during the short and troubled reign of James the Second. In none of Dryden's works can be found passages more pathetic and magnificent, greater ductility and energy of language, or ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 2 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... can always engage That no fancy or fable shall sully our page, So take note of what follows, I beg. This creature so grand and august in its age, In its youth is hatched out of ...
— More Beasts (For Worse Children) • Hilaire Belloc

... and buried down there, after being thrown into the moat. The old people say that whenever her ghost is walking, the water of the moat bursts in and covers the floor of the vaults, that she may flit along it, as she used to do. But of course one must not listen to that sort of fable." ...
— Springhaven - A Tale of the Great War • R. D. Blackmore

... been a gigantic mistake, that the farther man has travelled from a primitive simple state the more unhappy has his lot become, that civilisation is radically vicious, was not original. Essentially the same issue had been raised in England, though in a different form, by Mandeville's Fable of the Bees, the scandalous book which aimed at proving that it is not the virtues and amiable qualities of man that are the cement of civilised society, but the vices of its members which are the support of all ...
— The Idea of Progress - An Inquiry Into Its Origin And Growth • J. B. Bury

... now to human proofs of the dignity of learning, we find that among the heathen the inventors of new arts, such as Ceres, Bacchus, and Apollo, were consecrated among the gods themselves by apotheosis. The fable of Orpheus, wherein quarrelsome beasts stood sociably listening to the harp, aptly described the nature of men among whom peace is maintained so long as they give ear to precepts, laws, and religion. It has been ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books, Volume XIII. - Religion and Philosophy • Various

... Robins:" these were designed by Thomas Bewick, and engraved by John Thompson, his pupil, who enriched Whittingham's celebrated Chiswick Press with his fine and tasteful work. A numerous series of little fable cuts by the same artist are to be found in this volume. One of the quaintest sets engraved at an early period by John Bewick (the Hogarth of Newcastle), are to "The Hermit, or Adventures of Edward Dorrington," or "Philip Quarll," as it was most popularly known by that title a century ago. ...
— Banbury Chap Books - And Nursery Toy Book Literature • Edwin Pearson

... his minister to France. But by this time, the Presidential nomination impending, Mr. Madison had made up his mind what to do. He was not exactly a wolf; neither was Great Britain a lamb; but the argument he used was the argument of the fable. Instead of advising—Bassano having declared the decrees still in force—a repeal of the non-importation act, as Great Britain claimed was in justice and comity her due, he recommended a war measure. But ...
— James Madison • Sydney Howard Gay

... portraits of both men and women of exquisite beauty; several consoles of oriental jasper, supporting ewers and basins of silver and of silver gilt, richly chased and filled with scented waters; a voluptuously rich divan, some seats, and an illuminated gilt fable, completed the furniture of this chamber, the atmosphere of which was impregnated ...
— The Wandering Jew, Complete • Eugene Sue

... fable that there was a race of men tried upon the earth once, who knew the future better than the past, but that they died in a twelvemonth from the misery which their knowledge caused them. They say that if any were to be born too prescient now, he would die miserably, before ...
— Selections from Previous Works - and Remarks on Romanes' Mental Evolution in Animals • Samuel Butler

... A FABLE tells us a fowler one day saw sitting in tree a wood-pigeon. This is a very shy bird, so he had to creep and maneuver to get within gunshot unseen, unheard. He stole from tree to tree, and muffled his footsteps in the long grass so adroitly that, just as he was going to pull ...
— Love Me Little, Love Me Long • Charles Reade

... a great distance, and whose country was unknown," established washing-places on the spot. They disappeared during the night, after having collected a great quantity of gold. It would be needless to show that this is a fable. Pyrites dispersed in quartzose veins, crossing the mica-slate, are often auriferous, no doubt; but no analogous fact leads to the supposition that the sulphuretted iron which is found in the schistose marls of the alpine limestone, contains gold. Some direct experiments, made ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America • Alexander von Humboldt

... the history of this strange fable, it will be well to extract the different accounts given of the Priest-King and his realm by early writers; and we shall then be better able to judge of the influence the myth obtained ...
— Legends That Every Child Should Know • Hamilton Wright Mabie

... bathe my feet in the cool current, and listen to the summer breeze playing among the tree-tops. My boyish fancy clothed all nature around me with ideal charms, and peopled it with the fairy beings I had read of in poetry and fable. Here it was I gave full scope to my incipient habit of day dreaming, and to a certain propensity, to weave up and tint sober realities with my own whims and imaginings, which has sometimes made life a little too much like an Arabian tale to me, and this "working-day world" rather like a region ...
— Wolfert's Roost and Miscellanies • Washington Irving

... that can't be mended, and that shattered my whole fortunes early," Warrington answered, "I said I would tell you about it some day, Pen: and will, but not now. Take the moral without the fable now, Pen, my boy; and if you want to see a man whose whole life has been wrecked, by an unlucky rock against which he struck as a boy—here he is, Arthur: and ...
— The History of Pendennis, Vol. 2 - His Fortunes and Misfortunes, His Friends and His Greatest Enemy • William Makepeace Thackeray

... gate on the bank of the Thames, and built over it a large tower, and under it a wharf for ships; and when he died his body was burned, and his ashes put into a golden urn on the top of the tower. Stow seems to doubt it. In Strype's edition, 1720, he says, concerning this gate, "Leaving out the fable thereof faming it to be builded by King Belin, a Briton, long before the incarnation of Christ." Burton, writing 1722, mentions the legend, but adds, "But whether of that antiquity is doubted." and John Brydall, in 1676, mentions it ...
— Notes & Queries 1850.01.12 • Various

... illuminating, details of the fable your friend at the bottom of Chancery Lane is fooling ...
— The Big Drum - A Comedy in Four Acts • Arthur Pinero

... man Some gift serviceable; Write I never could nor can Hungry at the table; Fasting, any stripling to Vanquish me is able; Hunger, thirst, I liken to Death that ends the fable. ...
— Wine, Women, and Song - Mediaeval Latin Students' songs; Now first translated into English verse • Various

... giants; and applied to great heathen conquerors like Nimrod and the mighty rulers of Syria, the Anakim, Giants and other peoples of Hebrew fable. The Akasirah are the Chosroes ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 7 • Richard F. Burton

... the saddest, sweetest, greatest stories ever written is Ellis' Pigsispigs Butler's fable of the contented little donkey that went round and round in the mill and thought he was traveling far. But that donkey was blind ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1920 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... embodiment of the natural philosophy of the primitive races of men;[156] whilst others have looked upon them as historical legends, having a substratum of fact, and, when stripped of the supernatural and miraculous drapery which accompanies fable, as containing the history of primitive times.[157] Some of the latter class have imagined they could recognize in Grecian mythology traces of sacred personages, as well as profane; in fact, a dimmed image of the patriarchal traditions ...
— Christianity and Greek Philosophy • Benjamin Franklin Cocker

... themselves for their ordeal in a brief soliloquy. Both monarchs get their wish, and a friendly relation ensues. Both scenes are purple patches of didacticism,—the author preaching a sermon to his contemporaries. Unfortunately Schiller did not have at hand a matchless fable to make his doctrine concrete and give it human interest. In places his language is abstract and difficult to follow, but taken as a whole the scene is admirable in its denotation of Posa's manly independence and ...
— The Life and Works of Friedrich Schiller • Calvin Thomas

... terrible doubt of appearances, Of the uncertainty after all, that we may be deluded, That may-be reliance and hope are but speculations after all, That may-be identity beyond the grave is a beautiful fable only, May-be the things I perceive, the animals, plants, men, hills, shining and flowing waters, The skies of day and night, colors, densities, forms, may-be these are (as doubtless they are) only apparitions, and the real something has yet to be known, (How often they dart out of themselves ...
— Leaves of Grass • Walt Whitman

... depraved who in this transgression would not feel a resistance and an abhorrence of himself, so that he must put a force on himself. It is impossible to explain the phenomenon that at this parting of the ways (where the beautiful fable places Hercules between virtue and sensuality) man shows more propensity to obey inclination than the law. For, we can only explain what happens by tracing it to a cause according to physical laws; but then we should not be able to conceive the elective will as free. Now ...
— The Metaphysical Elements of Ethics • Immanuel Kant

... the world; discovers many serious objections to the doctrine of Providence; insinuates that the gods are only poetical creations; is uncertain whether the soul be immortal, but is clear that popular doctrine of punishment in the world to come is only an idle fable. ...
— History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, Volume I (of 2) - Revised Edition • John William Draper

... insignificant a person. And he, whose conversation was so sought after in the gay season in town, was thrown for companionship upon a scarce-grown boy whose talk was about as salted, and whose intellect as great, as those of the cockerouse in our fable. He stood it about a se'nnight, at the end of which space Philip was put on his horse, will-he-nill-he, ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... was often very fortunate in his witty contests, even when he entered the lists with Johnson himself. Sir Joshua Reynolds was in company with them one day, when Goldsmith said, that he thought he could write a good fable, mentioned the simplicity which that kind of composition requires, and observed, that in most fables the animals introduced seldom talk in character. 'For instance, (said he,) the fable of the little fishes, who saw birds fly over their heads, and envying them, petitioned ...
— Life of Johnson - Abridged and Edited, with an Introduction by Charles Grosvenor Osgood • James Boswell

... it is clear that he has held to it in perfect sincerity of belief and has been quite unmoved by the bitterest persecution. But when he is offered honor and flattering respect, though he does not really change his belief and adherence, he compromises and partially surrenders his ideal. The fable is similar to that of Ibsen's The League of Youth, but the telling here is straighter and clearer. William White's self-deception is made evident to him and to us by his honest and courageous wife, ...
— The Atlantic Book of Modern Plays • Various

... management of a vestry, sometimes become dangerous to great empires? The secret of their power lies in the indolence or faithlessness of those who ought to take the lead in the redress of public grievances. The whole history of low traders in sedition is contained in that fine old Hebrew fable which we have all read in the Book of Judges. The trees meet to choose a king. The vine, and the fig tree, and the olive tree decline the office. Then it is that the sovereignty of the forest devolves ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 4 (of 4) - Lord Macaulay's Speeches • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... works at the end of the century. Soon after 1501 Bellini entered into relations with Isabela d'Este, Marchioness of Gonzaga. That distinguished collector and connoisseur writes through her agent to get the promise of a picture, "a story or fable of antiquity," to be placed in position with the allegories which Mantegna had contributed to her "Paradiso." Bellini agreed to supply this, and received twenty-five ducats on account. He seems, however, to have felt that he ...
— The Venetian School of Painting • Evelyn March Phillipps

... for the pleasant peace we knew, In the happy summers of long ago, When the rivers were bright, and the skies were blue, By the homes of Henrico: We dreamed of wars that were far away, And read, as in fable, of blood that ran, Where the James and Chickahominy stray, ...
— Campaigns of a Non-Combatant, - and His Romaunt Abroad During the War • George Alfred Townsend

... find that that story of "The Dog and the Water-lily" was "no fable," and that Beau really understood his master's wish when he fetched him a water-lily out of "Ouse's silent tide." How graceful are the last two stanzas of that sweet ...
— Heads and Tales • Various

... Vidularia, which was lost in the Middle Ages) all have the same general character, with the single exception of the Amphitruo. This is more of a burlesque than a comedy, and is full of humour. It is founded on the well- worn fable of Jupiter and Alcmena, and has been imitated by Moliere and Dryden. Its source is uncertain; but it is probably from Archippus, a writer of the old comedy (415 B.C.). Its form suggests rather a development of ...
— A History of Roman Literature - From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius • Charles Thomas Cruttwell

... Harry, bracing himself to demolish this absurd fable, and secure his release at a stroke. "Now, I don't understand very much about the doctrine of reincarnation, but I suppose, if I were really Manco Capac come to earth again, I should have some recollection of my former state of existence, shouldn't I? Well, will it surprise ...
— Harry Escombe - A Tale of Adventure in Peru • Harry Collingwood

... like so many steers, and as easily stampeded. When the Atlin boom struck the camp, Foy lost five hundred men in as many minutes. Scores of graders dropped their tools and started off on a trot. The prospector who had told the fable had thrown his thumb over his shoulder to indicate the general direction. Nobody had thought to ask how far. Many forgot to let go; and Heney's picks and shovels, worth over a dollar apiece, went away with the stampeders. As the wild mob swept on, the tethered blasters ...
— The Last Spike - And Other Railroad Stories • Cy Warman

... was his own fault for uncovering his eyes; the falconers always keeping their young birds hooded six weeks, till they are quite tamed. He offered to train it, if Fritz would part with it; but this Fritz indignantly refused. I told them the fable of the dog in the manger, which abashed Fritz; and he then besought his brother to teach him the means of training this noble bird, and promised to present ...
— The Swiss Family Robinson; or Adventures in a Desert Island • Johann David Wyss

... to Celtic music, At his violin's sound they grew, Through the moonlit eves of summer, Making Amphion's fable true. ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... discouragements. Of his fifty-three expeditions, eighteen were against the Saxons. As soon as he had cut off one head of the monster, another head appeared. How allegorical of human labor is that old fable of the Hydra! Where do man's labors cease? Charlemagne fought not only amid great difficulties, but perpetual irritations. The Saxons cheated him; they broke their promises and their oaths. When beaten, they sued for peace; but the moment his back was turned, ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume V • John Lord

... Russia. An abundant cheap supply, firstly, of English and French books, in English and French, but in the Russian character, by means of which Russians may rapidly learn French and English—for it is quite a fable that these languages are known and used in Russia below the level of the court and aristocracy—and, secondly, of Russian books in the Latin (or some easy phonetic development of the Latin) type, will do more ...
— What is Coming? • H. G. Wells

... gentle Earth, From all its painful memories of guilt? The whelming flood, or the renewing fire, Or the slow change of time?—that so, at last, The horrid tale of perjury and strife, Murder and spoil, which men call history, May seem a fable, like the inventions told By poets of the gods of Greece. O thou, Who sittest far beyond the Atlantic deep, Among the sources of thy glorious streams, My native Land of Groves! a newer page In the great record of the world is thine; Shall it be fairer? Fear, and friendly Hope, And ...
— Poetical Works of William Cullen Bryant - Household Edition • William Cullen Bryant

... keep both the original and the variety mainly true as long as they last, and none the less so because they have given rise to occasional varieties. The tailless Manx cats, like the curtailed fox in the fable, have not induced the normal breeds to dispense with their tails, nor have the Dorkings (apparently known to Pliny) affected the permanence of ...
— Darwiniana - Essays and Reviews Pertaining to Darwinism • Asa Gray

... conferred certain lands on Cippus, as a reward for his patriotism. He lived about two hundred and forty years before the Christian era. Pliny the Elder considers the story of the horns of Cippus as much a fable as that of Actaeon. It appears, however, that the account of the horns may have possibly been founded on fact, as excrescences resembling them have appeared on the bodies of individuals. Bayle makes mention of ...
— The Metamorphoses of Ovid - Literally Translated into English Prose, with Copious Notes - and Explanations • Publius Ovidius Naso

... sat upon the steps behind the school-house, anxiously poring over their books. But the larger boys of the Fable Class stood in an excited group beneath the shadow of the overhanging second story of the grammar-school, talking all at once, each louder than the other, ...
— Master Skylark • John Bennett

... traveller by degrees at length obliged him to lay aside that cloak which all the rage of the Wind could not compel him to resign. Learn hence, said the Sun that soft and gentle means will often accomplish what force and fury can never effect. (Fable of the Sun and the Wind. Boreas et Sol.) This is one of forty two fables ascribed to AEsop, which Avienus, a Latin poet who lived in the age of Theodosius turned into elegiac verse. The employment of apologues, ...
— The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning • Hugh Binning

... hooks, racks, and pincers of the torture chamber. There were horrible rumors current in the Middle Age of a machine called the "Virgin," used for putting men to death; but little was known about it, and it was generally supposed to be a fable, until, some years ago one of the identical machines was discovered in an old Austrian castle. It was a tall wooden woman, with a painted face, which the victim was ordered to kiss. As he approached to offer the salute, he trod on a spring, causing the machine ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... really deserve thanks?' asked De Stancy. 'I wish I deserved a reward; but I must bear in mind the fable of the priest ...
— A Laodicean • Thomas Hardy

... his Mother. "Now you are indeed like the cat in the German fable, Joachim! who voted himself like the bear, because he could lick his paws after the same fashion, though he could not imitate either his courage or his strength. Now let me look a little further into your education. Bring me your ...
— The Fairy Godmothers and Other Tales • Mrs. Alfred Gatty

... assume not only a general responsibility for all interests affected by his action, but also a special responsibility for those with whose direct execution he is charged, is an impartial judgment. It expresses a broad and intelligent view of the total situation. In the fable of the fox and the grapes, the action of the fox is due to the folly of a too fluent attention. Similarly, he who lets go his present hold of the web of interests simply because his eye happens to alight on another vantage-point, is as much the blind slave of novelty as the self-centred ...
— The Moral Economy • Ralph Barton Perry

... believed Melinza's pretty fable about Habana, and the excellent company there which his wife would enjoy, 'tis no wonder that she made a tangle of ...
— Margaret Tudor - A Romance of Old St. Augustine • Annie T. Colcock

... Sarah. It is true;—it is, indeed." She had now dragged her chair close to her aunt's seat upon the sofa, so that she could put her hands upon her aunt's knees. "All that about Miss Brownlow has been a fable." ...
— The Vicar of Bullhampton • Anthony Trollope

... fable ever dared such dragons to rescue some captive goddess as did this dauntless champion of civilization. Theseus, or Siegfried, or any knight of the fairy books might envy the ...
— Edison, His Life and Inventions • Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin

... that Narada had said, he began to repent greatly for his folly. Even in this way, O tiger among kings, a weak and foolish person, by provoking the enmity of a powerful one, is at last obliged to repent like the Salmali in fable. Even when possessed of equal might, people do not suddenly wage hostilities with those that have injured them. On the other hand, they display their might gradually, O king! A person of foolish understanding should never provoke the hostility of one that is possessed ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 - Books 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 • Unknown

... fable that Lamech, when he had grown old and was blind, was led by a youth into the woods to hunt wild beasts, not for the sake of their flesh but for their skins; circumstances which are altogether absurd, and at once prove the whole fable to be a lie. And they hold that Cain was there, ...
— Commentary on Genesis, Vol. II - Luther on Sin and the Flood • Martin Luther

... corner of his cab with fully half his cry to finish out; and, curiously, all the time a sad little story from an old holiday in the country kept haunting him. It was at once a fact and a fable concerning a happy little family of swallows, whose sudden tragedy he had seen with his own boyish, ...
— Young Lives • Richard Le Gallienne

... we English are, as good King Alfred found us to his sorrow a thousand years ago, very slow to move, even when we see a thing ought to be done. Let us hope that in this matter—we have been so in most matters as yet—we shall be like the tortoise in the fable, and not the hare; and by moving slowly, but surely, win the race ...
— Sanitary and Social Lectures and Essays • Charles Kingsley

... own ruin, she could not advance it more rapidly than she would do by a war or a difference with us. And this many think that she will do for the sake of one season's supply of American cotton! The fable of him who killed the goose for the sake of the golden egg becomes terrible when acted out by a great nation. And if this be true, then the uplifted sword of Albion is, verily, ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I. February, 1862, No. II. - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... the life of Abraham Lincoln savors more of romance than reality. It is more like a fable of the ancient days than a story of a plain American of the nineteenth century. The singular vicissitudes in the life of our martyred President surround him with an interest which attaches to few men in history. He sprang from that class which ...
— Modern Eloquence: Vol III, After-Dinner Speeches P-Z • Various

... time that Vignau appeared in Paris with a tale which could not but kindle excitement in the heart of an explorer. The basis of fact was that Vignau had undoubtedly passed the preceding winter with the Algonquins on the Ottawa. The fable which was built upon this fact can best be ...
— The Founder of New France - A Chronicle of Champlain • Charles W. Colby

... experiment with new forms. But Lowell revealed early extraordinary gifts of improvisation, retaining the old tunes of English verse as the basis for his own strains of unpremeditated art. He wrote "A Fable for Critics" faster than he could have written it in prose. "Sir Launfal" was composed in two days, the ...
— Modern American Prose Selections • Various

... said the Councillor, whom this piece of antiquity began to make considerably more cheerful. "Pray how did you come into possession of this rare print? It is extremely interesting, although the whole is a mere fable. Such meteorous appearances are to be explained in this way—that they are the reflections of the Aurora Borealis, and it is highly probable they are ...
— Andersen's Fairy Tales • Hans Christian Andersen

... New York there has ever been a fable about a lost town in the wilderness called Thendara. I never knew it to be true; but now they say that Walter Butler has assigned Thendara as his gathering place, or so it is reported in a letter to Sir Henry, which Sir Henry read to me. Have you ...
— The Reckoning • Robert W. Chambers

... everywhere, except in France and Spain, seems to have no good effect; but to continue, as I have done hitherto, to increase and strengthen your friends here, and to hinder your enemies from realising, at the expense of this Republic, the fable of the monkey who drew his chestnuts from the fire with the cat's paw. Malo esse quam videri ought to be the constant maxim of all those, who are called to serve so fine a cause as that of the American ...
— The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. IX • Various

... Philosopher hints, as of all other sorts of Poetry, so of Pastoral is the very Soul. and therfore Socrates in Plato says, that in those Verses which he had made there was nothing wanting but the Fable: therefore Pastorals as other kinds of Poetry must have their Fable, if they will be Poetry: Thus in Virgil's Silenus which contains the Stories of allmost the whole Fabulous Age, two Shepherds whom Silenus had often promis'd a Song, and as often deceived, seize upon him being drunk and asleep, and bind him ...
— De Carmine Pastorali (1684) • Rene Rapin

... Purloined Letter The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherezade A Descent into the Maelstroem Von Kempelen and his Discovery Mesmeric Revelation The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar The Black Cat The Fall of the House of Usher Silence—a Fable The Masque of the Red Death The Cask of Amontillado The Imp of the Perverse The Island of the Fay The Assignation The Pit and the Pendulum The Premature Burial The Domain of Arnheim Landor's Cottage William Wilson ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 2 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... with being the leader of the "sedition." I only ask you to look at the historical evidence of the existence of discontent with the laws, ever since 1693, and ask if Mr. Apes has been the author of this discontent. Let me remind you also, of the fable of the Huntsman and the Lion, when the former boasted of the superiority of man, and to prove it pointed to a statue of one of the old heroes, standing upon a prostrate lion. The reply of the noble beast was, "there are no carvers among the lions; if there were, for ...
— Indian Nullification of the Unconstitutional Laws of Massachusetts - Relative to the Marshpee Tribe: or, The Pretended Riot Explained • William Apes

... or write of my worthy parents, how I run on!—Excuse me, my good lady, and don't think me, in this respect, too much like the cat in the fable, turned into a fine lady; for though I would never forget what I was, yet I would be thought to know how gratefully to enjoy my present happiness, as well with regard to my obligations to God, as to your dear brother. But let me proceed to ...
— Pamela (Vol. II.) • Samuel Richardson

... patriot want more than to feel conscious that he has done his duty towards his country; and that, if life should not allow him time to see his endeavours crowned with success, his children will see it? The impatient patriots are like the young men (mentioned in the beautiful fable of LA FONTAINE) who ridiculed the man of fourscore, who was planting an avenue of very small trees, which, they told him, that he never could expect to see as high as his head. 'Well,' said he, 'and what of that? If ...
— Advice to Young Men • William Cobbett

... scribblers, who having no talents of a writer but what is taught by the writing-master, are yet nowise afraid nor ashamed to assume the same titles with the greatest genius, than their good brother in the fable was of braying in ...
— The History of Tom Jones, a foundling • Henry Fielding

... the Mons Sacer, some five hundred years before the Christian era, the Consul Menenius Agrippa brought them back by his well-known fable of the Belly and the Members. Perhaps it would be too much to expect to call back our seceders with a fable which they will hardly have the opportunity of reading in the present condition of the postal service, but the state of the case ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 8, No. 48, October, 1861 • Various

... happy child. Life is a sort of fairy garden, where he wanders as in a dream. "He can make abstraction of whatever does not fit into his fable; and he puts his eyes into his pocket just as we hold our noses in ...
— The Story Hour • Nora A. Smith and Kate Douglas Wiggin

... hardly be shown that the novel is not a drama, not a history, nor fable, nor any sort of philosophical treatise. It may have sentences, paragraphs, or perhaps chapters, in every style and of the highest excellence, as a shapeless architectural pile may rejoice in some exquisite features or ornaments; but combined passages, ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 6, No. 34, August, 1860 • Various

... the finish of the fable; Eliminate the worry as to what the years may hoard! You only waste your time upon the Babylonian Table— (Slang ...
— Something Else Again • Franklin P. Adams

... I believe to the great German antiquaries, his history seems a model history of a nation. You watch the people and their story rise before you out of fable into fact; out of the dreary darkness of the unknown north, into the clear light ...
— The Roman and the Teuton - A Series of Lectures delivered before the University of Cambridge • Charles Kingsley

... assisted by careful cultivation. Narrow indeed is the boundary which divides unfeminine flippancy from the graceful nonsense which good authority and our own feelings pronounce to be "exquisite."[85] The unsuccessful attempt at its imitation always reminds me of Pilpay's fable of the Donkey and the Lapdog:—The poor donkey, who had been going on very usefully in its own drudging way, began to envy the lap-dog the caresses it received, and fancied that it would receive the same ...
— The Young Lady's Mentor - A Guide to the Formation of Character. In a Series of Letters to Her Unknown Friends • A Lady

... forth, "that we all know, and you know that we all know, is but a fable. Doth not Madam Cavendish treat you as a son, and are you not a convict in name only, so far as she is concerned? I say, Harry, you can ride my horse to the winning on Royal Oak Day, at the ...
— The Heart's Highway - A Romance of Virginia in the Seventeeth Century • Mary E. Wilkins

... it could be. Let me tell you a fable. Imagine a cavewoman complaining to her mate. She doesn't like one single thing; she hates the damp cave, the rats running over her bare legs, the stiff skin garments, the eating of half-raw meat, her husband's bushy face, the constant battles, and the ...
— Main Street • Sinclair Lewis

... knew that tradition supplies a better fable than any invention can. If he lost any credit of design, he augmented his resources; and, at that day, our petulant demand for originality was not so much pressed. There was no literature for the million. The universal reading, the cheap press, were unknown. A great poet, who appears ...
— Essays • Ralph Waldo Emerson

... agent had been received there upon this matter, which was regarded at the prefecture as a fable. The invention of this fable ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo

... it, denounced him as a traitor; "and when he fled," added they, "his majesty ordered him to be brought to him dead or alive!"—for, in the days of our fathers, men used the license that is exemplified in the fable of the Black Crows, quite as much as it is used now. The king certainly had commanded that Andrew should be brought to him; but he had said nothing of ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, Volume III • Various

... an introverted and bounded action, no expansive upward tendency, and thence no poetry. But courage, when it is the servant of principle for large, unselfish ends, becomes poetical, exhibiting the moral beautiful, as in the fable of Curtius and the fact (or fable) of Winkelried. In the poetical there is always enlargement, exaltation, purification; animal feeling, self-seeking propensity, becoming so combined with the higher nature as to rise ...
— Essays AEsthetical • George Calvert

... rest of what I must be excused for calling a most unworthy performance. "Purgatory," &c. (he says) "was in fact, neither more nor less than the old schoolmaster come back to bring some new scholars to CHRIST." (p. 42.) (Is the Romish fable of Purgatory then to be put on the same footing as the Divine Revelation to Moses on Sinai?) It follows,—"When the work was done, men began to discover that the Law was no longer necessary." (Ibid.) (Is it thus that the head-master of Rugby ...
— Inspiration and Interpretation - Seven Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford • John Burgon

... "That, Charlie, is a fable about as unjust to the ocean, as some of AEsop's are to the animals. The ocean is a magnanimous element, and would scorn to assassinate a poor fellow, let alone taunting him in the act. But I don't understand ...
— The Confidence-Man • Herman Melville

... is not queen? And though experience has shown so much clemency in her majesty, as might, perhaps, make subjects forget their duty, it is not good to sport or venture too much with princes. He reminded them of the fable of the hare, who, upon the proclamation that all horned beasts should depart the court, immediately fled, lest his ears should be construed to be horns; and by this apologue he seems to insinuate, that even those who heard or permitted ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part D. - From Elizabeth to James I. • David Hume

... a pause, "there's a fable about a lion and a mouse. If, by your means, I have obtained my promotion, why then the mouse is a finer baste than the lion; but instead of being happy, I shall now be miserable until the truth is ascertained one way or the other, ...
— Peter Simple and The Three Cutters, Vol. 1-2 • Frederick Marryat

... an outlay, and increased the local taxation. The population had been led to expect a general diminution of imposts upon the suddenly-conceived British occupation, and the Cypriotes somewhat resembled the frogs in the fable when the new King Log arrived with a tremendous splash which created waves of hope upon the surface of the pool, but subsided into disappointment; they found that improvements cost money, and that British reforms, although they bestowed indirect benefits, were accompanied by a direct expenditure. ...
— Cyprus, as I Saw it in 1879 • Sir Samuel W. Baker

... a fable And longed for the bright-capped elves, The faery folk who are able To make us ...
— AE in the Irish Theosophist • George William Russell

... the way for others by an eternal silence—that seemed well. Punishment thereafter, the Cure would say. But was it not worth while being punished, even should the Cure's fond belief in the noble fable be true, if one saved others here? Who—God or man—had the right to take from him the right to destroy himself, not for fear, not through despair, but for others' sake? Had he not the right to make restitution to Kathleen for having given ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... Kitty, you are trying in vain to make a romance out of my life. What should I know of love? It is a myth, a fable, only to be found in story-books. You ...
— The Lure of the Mask • Harold MacGrath

... flattery of courtiers. This made the Cardinal break with me and thwart me openly at every opportunity, insomuch that when I was telling the Queen in his presence that the people in general were so soured that nothing but lenitives could abate their rancour, he answered me with the Italian fable of the wolf who swore to a flock of sheep that he would protect them against all his comrades provided one of them would come every morning and lick a wound he had received from a dog. He entertained me with the like witticisms three or four months together, of which this ...
— The Memoirs of Cardinal de Retz, Complete • Jean Francois Paul de Gondi, Cardinal de Retz

... satirical language, "It's little me husband cares about me, or he'd niver stand by and see me treated thus, and I niver making the least complaint in the world. It's mighty fine husbands there is in the world now, and it's little use they are to us fable females." ...
— The Gold Hunter's Adventures - Or, Life in Australia • William H. Thomes

... hold consultations together, and at last determined to emigrate, but as no one would come out of the ground to make a start, any more than a mouse could be found bold enough to put the bell on the cat's neck as told in the old fable, the grubs stopped there year after year, and had a very, very hard time of it. It was a regular feast-land for the birds; there were no such buds anywhere else to peck at, for so the tomtits and bullfinches thought; no such strawberries ...
— Featherland - How the Birds lived at Greenlawn • George Manville Fenn

... child a large store of beautiful images—images that are not only delightful to dwell upon, but are also elevating and refining in their influence upon character. The fairy tale, the folk tale, and the fable, owe their popularity with young children to the predominance of the imaginative element. The traditionary fairy tales and folk stories are usually more suitable than those that appear in teachers' magazines and modern holiday ...
— Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Literature • Ontario Ministry of Education

... opinion of poetry, the neo-Aristotelians among the critics began to stress the view that fable, design, and structure were the really essential elements in poetry, and that these were the product of reason, or judgment. And because reason was the means by which truth was discovered, poetry ...
— Essays on Wit No. 2 • Richard Flecknoe and Joseph Warton

... alone in the turret, but omits the statement (previously made by him) that he deprived Ruthven of his dagger, a very improbable tale, told falsely at first, no doubt, as Robertson the notary at first invented his fable about meeting with Henderson, coming out of the dark staircase. This myth Robertson narrated when examined in September, but omitted it in the trial in November. Henderson now explained about his first opening the wrong window, but he sticks to it that he ...
— James VI and the Gowrie Mystery • Andrew Lang

... their real disbelief in one half of Christian doctrine by judicious silence about it; or by flight to those refuges for the logically destitute, accommodation or allegory. But the faithful who fly to allegory in order to escape absurdity resemble nothing so much as the sheep in the fable who—to save their lives—jumped into the pit. The allegory pit is too commodious, is ready to swallow up so much more than one wants to put into it. If the story of the temptation is an allegory; if the early recognition of Jesus as the Son of God by the demons is an allegory; if the plain declaration ...
— Collected Essays, Volume V - Science and Christian Tradition: Essays • T. H. Huxley

... underlying principle of a world's backwater like this is restful stagnation. Here you must wallow in the uneventful. In vain you sniff around in quest of the exciting, mistaking like your fellow in the fable the shadow for the substance. The substance here is rest. ...
— The Beloved Vagabond • William J. Locke

... cage" in which Bajazet was imprisoned by Timur, so long and so often repeated as a moral lesson, is now rejected as a fable by the modern writers, who smile at the vulgar credulity. They appeal with confidence to the Persian history of Sherefeddin Ali, according to which has been given to our curiosity in a French version, and from which I shall collect ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... into a little wood; and, coming out of it presently, told them how the story had been revealed to me somehow, which for three-and-twenty months the reader has been pleased to follow. As I write the last line with a rather sad heart, Pendennis and Laura, and Ethel and Clive, fade away into Fable-land. I hardly know whether they are not true: whether they do not live near us somewhere. They were alive, and I heard their voices, but five minutes since was touched by their grief. And have we parted with them ...
— The Newcomes • William Makepeace Thackeray

... the ready trick and fable, Round we wander all the day; And at night, in barn or stable, Hug our ...
— Robert Burns - How To Know Him • William Allan Neilson

... occasion they could state accurately what was contained in a sealed envelope, or give a recognizable description of the photograph of a loved one hidden in another student's wallet. This provided the group with encouraging evidence that such abilities were, indeed, no fable and somewhere along the difficult road to Total Insight might be attained ...
— Ham Sandwich • James H. Schmitz

... march. She, too, had begun to doubt. Here, in the desert, the buried treasure was an intangible thing. In England, the promises of the Greek's dying message were satisfying by their very vagueness. In Africa, face to face with the tremendous solitude, they became unbelievable, a dim fable akin to the legends of vanished islands and those mysterious races to be found only in unknown lands, which have tickled the imaginations of mankind, ever since the dawn of human intelligence. So, a live ...
— The Wheel O' Fortune • Louis Tracy

... one of the thirteen states of Yemen; and prodigious tales are told of its opulence, its mosques and minarets, its baths of jasper, and its crescents and colonnades. But Arabia is proverbially a land of fable, and the glories of Aden exhibit Arabian imagination in its highest stage. Possibly, while it continued a port for the Indian trade, it may have shared the wealth which India has always lavished on commerce. But a spot without a tree, without a mine, and without ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 57, No. 352, February 1845 • Various

... the whole, my view of the operations of the Colonization Society, in relieving the slave States of the evil which weighs them down more than a hundred tariffs, is illustrated by an old fable, in which it is stated, that a man was seen at the foot of a mountain, scraping away the dust with his foot. One passing by, asked him what he was doing? I wish to remove this mountain, said he. You fool, replied the other, you can never do it in that ...
— Thoughts on African Colonization • William Lloyd Garrison

... ridicule, especially when they see the shifts to which we are put, in order to stretch onward at their own pace. However, we must drink when we are thirsty, as well as they, and if the water happen to be low in the cistern, which, indeed, is mostly the case with us, we must, as the rook in the fable did with the pebbles, throw in rack-renting, drivings, executions, mortgages, loans, &c, in order to bring it within our reach—for there is ingenuity in everything, as the proverb says, ...
— Valentine M'Clutchy, The Irish Agent - The Works of William Carleton, Volume Two • William Carleton

... the days and weeks that followed the devout and passionate fancy of a few mourning Galileans begat the exquisite fable of the Resurrection. How natural—and amid all its falseness—how true, is that naive and contradictory story! The rapidity with which it spread is a measure of many things. It is, above all, a measure of the greatness of Jesus, of the force with which he ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... who (if they have any moral sense, must be as much ashamed of their parents as these last are of them) are certainly a dangerous, because degraded part of the community. How much more so must be those unfortunate beings who stand in the predicament of the bat in the fable, whom both birds and beasts disowned? I am sorry to say that the progress of the British army, when it arrived, might be traced by a spurious and ambiguous race of this kind. But of a mulatto born before their arrival ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Vol. I. Jan. 1916 • Various

... Character melts to it, like metal in the steady furnace. The projector of plots is but a miserable gambler and votary of chances. Of a far higher quality is the will that can subdue itself to wait, and lay no petty traps for opportunity. Poets may fable of such a will, that it makes the very heavens conform to it; or, I may add, what is almost equal thereto, one who would be a gentleman, to consent to be a tailor. The only person who ever held in his course ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... discussion with my lord of Montacute and Master Sandy as to the origin of the snapdragon, which he, with his customary assumption of deep learning, declared was "but a modern paraphrase, my lord, of the fable which telleth how Dan Hercules did kill the flaming dragon of Hesperia and did then, with the apple of that famous orchard, make a fiery dish of burning apple brandy which he ...
— The Children's Book of Christmas Stories • Various

... will be evident that Scott had gained greatly in narrative power since the production of The Lay of the Last Minstrel. Not only are the elements of the "fable" (to use the word in its old-fashioned sense) harmonious and probable, but the various incidents grow out of each other in a natural and necessary way. The Lay was at best a skillful bit of carpentering whereof the several parts were nicely juxtaposed; The Lady of ...
— Lady of the Lake • Sir Walter Scott

... happened that on September fifteenth the name of Buonaparte was officially struck from the list of general officers on duty, "in view of his refusal to proceed to the post assigned him." It really appeared as if the name of Napoleon might almost have been substituted for that of Tantalus in the fable. But it was the irony of fate that on this very day the subcommittee on foreign affairs submitted to the full meeting a proposition to send the man who was now a disgraced culprit in great state and with a full suite ...
— The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - Vol. I. (of IV.) • William Milligan Sloane

... records exact statements of truth? Not always. The primitive human mind could only lisp its wonderful glimpses of truth in legend and myth. And so in fable and allegory the early Israelites sought to show the power of good over evil, and thereby stimulate a desire for right conduct, based, of course, on right-thinking. And thus it is that the most significant thing in ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... time. A few days went a long way in Chellaston towards making a stranger, especially if he was a young man with good introduction, feel at home there, and the open friendliness of Chellaston society, acting like the sun in AEsop's fable, had almost made this traveller take off his coat. Had Robert been a person who had formerly agreed with him, it is probable that when the subject was opened, he would have confessed the dubious condition of his heart, and they would together have ...
— What Necessity Knows • Lily Dougall

... to good purpose by the publication of the "Biglow Papers" and "A Fable for Critics," and stood revealed as one of the wisest, wittiest, most fearless and most patriotic of moralists and satirists. For the "Biglow Papers" mark a culmination of American humorous and satiric poetry which has never since been rivalled; and the "Fable for Critics" displays a satiric ...
— American Men of Mind • Burton E. Stevenson

... for instance, in Hebrew, tells us, in verses one and two, "As to origin, created the gods (Elohim) these skies (or air or clouds) and this earth. . . And a wind moved upon the face of the waters." Here we have the opening of a polytheistic fable of creation, but, so strongly convinced were the English translators that the ancient Hebrews must have been originally monotheistic that they rendered the above, as follows: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. . . . And the spirit of God (!) moved ...
— The Woman's Bible. • Elizabeth Cady Stanton

... Pond; and any unwonted noise was accounted for by the presence of this great beast, which was made into the fanciful proportions most adapted to excite awe and wonder." To his friend Hogg, in after-years, Shelley often spoke about another reptile, no mere creature of myth or fable, the "Old Snake," who had inhabited the gardens of Field Place for several generations. This venerable serpent was accidentally killed by the gardener's scythe; but he lived long in the poet's memory, and it may reasonably be conjectured that Shelley's peculiar sympathy ...
— Percy Bysshe Shelley • John Addington Symonds



Words linked to "Fable" :   hagiology, round table, Aesop's fables, fabulous, canard, Sangraal, fabulist, King Arthur's Round Table, untruth, Tristram, Arthurian legend, Holy Grail, Midas, fiction, Sisyphus, falsehood, Isolde, Tristan



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