A WAGGONER was once driving a heavy load along a very muddy way. At last he came to a part of the road where the wheels sank half-way into the mire, and the more the horses pulled, the deeper sank the wheels. So the Waggoner threw down his whip, and knelt down and prayed to Hercules the Strong. “O Hercules, help me in this my hour of distress,” quoth he. But Hercules appeared to him, and said:
“Tut, man, don’t sprawl there. Get up and put your shoulder to the wheel.”
The gods help them that help themselves.
Avian 32. Babrius 20. Greek Æsop, ed. Halm, 81. Not included by Caxton in his Selections. "Put your shoulder to the wheel" obviously comes from this fable, and thus ultimately from Avian's line:
"Et manibus pigras disce juvare rotas."
Also in La Fontaine vi. 18, Waldis ii. 14, L'Estrange 246.
Hercules and the Waggoner
Fables of Aesop, The
Aesop & Jacobs, Joseph
Macmillan & Co.
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