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Contents > Author > Fable Aesop > The Old Woman And The Physician 620 BC- 560 BC
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Fable Aesop
The Old Woman And The Physician
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An Old Woman having lost the use of her eyes, called in a Physician
to heal them, and made this bargain with him in the presence of
witnesses: that if he should cure her blindness, he should receive
from her a sum of money; but if her infirmity remained, she should
give him nothing. This agreement being made, the Physician, time
after time, applied his salve to her eyes, and on every visit took
something away, stealing all her property little by little. And when
he had got all she had, he healed her and demanded the promised
payment. The Old Woman, when she recovered her sight and saw
none of her goods in her house, would give him nothing. The
Physician insisted on his claim, and, as she still refused, summoned
her before the Judge. The Old Woman, standing up in the Court,
argued: "This man here speaks the truth in what he says; for I
did promise to give him a sum of money if I should recover my sight:
but if I continued blind, I was to give him nothing. Now he declares
that I am healed. I on the contrary affirm that I am still blind; for
when I lost the use of my eyes, I saw in my house various chattels
and valuable goods: but now, though he swears I am cured of
my blindness, I am not able to see a single thing in it."

(Translated by George Fyler Townsend, 1814-1900)

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