Posted by jlubans on December 24, 2019

Caption: Griset’s own illustration for this fable.

A Wolf peeping into a hut where a company of Shepherds were regaling themselves on a leg of mutton, exclaimed, "What a clamour these fellows would have raised if they had caught me at such a banquet!"
Men, forsooth, are apt to condemn in others what they practice themselves without scruple.
In Victorian times illustrated books of fables were popular Christmas gifts.
Caption: Griset's merry end illustration for his fables book.

Griset, a French born English artist, capitalized on this trend with his own book.
Why did Griset draw a raffish wolf and dissolute shepherds? What is his message?
Do not the shepherds have a “right” to feast on one of their flock or are they filching from an absent owner’s “inventory”?
If the latter, then are they not as bad as the wolf running off with the goods?
The morale may be apt. I may well engage in objectionable behavior which I rationalize as appropriate yet condemn in others.
Aesop speaks to this in his Jupiter and the Two Sacks fable. We each wear two sacks – one visibly on the front of other’s people’s faults and a sack on the back – out of sight - full of our own failings.

*Source: Aesop's fables by Aesop; Griset, Ernest Henry, 1844-1907
London ; New York : Cassell, Petter, and Galpin 1874

© Copyright John Lubans 2019

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