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Phaedrus, The Fables of Phaedrus (ed. Christopher Smart, Christopher Smart, A. M.), book 3, Of Doubt and Credulity (search)
Of Doubt and Credulity 'Tis frequently of bad event To give or to withhold assent. Two cases will th' affair explain- The good Hippolytus was slain; In that his stepdame credit found, And Troy was levell d with the ground; Because Cassandra's prescious care Sought, but obtain'd no credence there. The facts should then be very strong, Lest the weak judge determine wrong: But that I may not make too free With fabulous antiquity, I now a curious tale shall tell, Which I myself remember well. An honest man, that loved his wife, Was introducing into life A son upon the man's estate. One day a servant (whom, of late, He with his freedom had endu'd) Took him aside, and being shrewd, Supposed that he might be his heir When he'd divulged the whole affair. Much did he lie against the youth, But more against the matron's truth: And hinted that, which worst of all Was sure a lover's heart to gall, The visits of a lusty rake, And honour of his house at stake. He at this scandal taking heat, Prete