Aesop at Play

An Athenian seeing Aesop in a crowd of Boys at play with nuts, stopped and laughed at him for a madman. As soon as the Sage,-a laugher at others rather than one to be laughed at,-perceived this, he placed an unstrung bow in the middle of the road; "Hark you, wise man," said he, "unriddle what I have done." The people gather round. The man torments his invention a long time, but cannot make out the reason of the proposed question. At last he gives up. Upon this, the victorious Philosopher says; "You will soon break the bow, if you always keep it bent; but if you loosen it, it will be fit for use when you want it"

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