Two Men, one who always spoke the truth and the other who
told nothing but lies, were traveling together and by chance
came to the land of Apes. One of the Apes, who had raised
himself to be king, commanded them to be seized and brought
before him, that he might know what was said of him among men.
He ordered at the same time that all the Apes be arranged in a
long row on his right hand and on his left, and that a throne be
placed for him, as was the custom among men.
After these preparations he signified that the two men should be
brought before him, and greeted them with this salutation: "What
sort of a king do I seem to you to be, O strangers?"
The Lying Traveler replied, "You seem to me a most mighty king."
"And what is your estimate of those you see around me?"
"These," he made answer, "are worthy companions of yourself, fit
at least to be ambassadors and leaders of armies."
The Ape and all his court, gratified with the lie, commanded that a
handsome present be given to the flatterer. On this the truthful
Traveler thought to himself, "If so great a reward be given for a lie,
with what gift may not I be rewarded, if, according to my custom,
I tell the truth?"
The Ape quickly turned to him. "And pray how do I and these my
friends around me seem to you?"
"Thou art," he said, "a most excellent Ape, and all these thy
companions after thy example are excellent Apes too."
The King of the Apes, enraged at hearing these truths, gave him
over to the teeth and claws of his companions.
(Translated by George Fyler Townsend, 1814-1900)