Next morning, the learned man went out to drink coffee and read the newspapers.
This annoyed him: not so much because the shadow was gone, but because he knew there was a story about a man without a shadow.* It was known to everybody at home, in the cold lands; and if the learned man now came there and told his story, they would say that he was imitating it, and that he had no need to do.
The learned man then came home, and he wrote books about what was true in the world, and about what was good and what was beautiful; and there passed days and years--yes!
"Whom have I the honor of speaking?" asked the learned man.
"Nay; I cannot recover from my surprise!" said the learned man.
"Be quite at thy ease about that," said the learned man; "I shall not say to anyone who thou actually art: here is my hand--I promise it, and a man's bond is his word."
"Now I shall tell you my adventures," said the shadow; and then he sat, with the polished boots, as heavily as he could, on the arm of the learned man's new shadow, which lay like a poodle-dog at his feet.
These night lessons were so welcome that I think I learned more at night than the other children did during the day.
I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.
I think that having learned our letters we should read the best that is in literature, and not be forever repeating our a-b-abs, and words of one syllable, in the fourth or fifth classes, sitting on the lowest and foremost form all our lives.
We are underbred and low-lived and illiterate; and in this respect I confess I do not make any very broad distinction between the illiterateness of my townsman who cannot read at all and the illiterateness of him who has learned to read only what is for children and feeble intellects.
Let the reports of all the learned societies come to us, and we will see if they know anything.
1610, a learned Swiss, Isaac Nicholas Nevelet, sent forth the third printed edition of these fables, in a work entitled "Mythologia Aesopica." This was a noble effort to do honor to the great fabulist, and was the most perfect collection of Aesopian fables ever yet published.
Francis Vavassor, 15 a learned French jesuit, entered at greater length on this subject, and produced further proofs from internal evidence, from the use of the word Piraeus in describing the harbour of Athens, a name which was not given till two hundred years after Aesop, and from the introduction of other modern words, that many of these fables must have been at least committed to writing posterior to the time of Aesop, and more boldly suggests Babrias as their author or collector.
Francesco de Furia, a learned Italian, contributed further testimony to the correctness of the supposition that Babrias had made a veritable collection of fables by printing from a MS.