Aesop's Fables (Cover and Spine: Aesop's Fables for Children)
Dobbs, Nellie Perkins
. Crane & Company Publishers, . Topeka, Kansas
PZ8.2.D63 Ae 1904 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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I have found a surprising amount in this unprepossessing little book of ninety-four fables based on the versions of Croxall and l'Estrange. The introduction finds that there are 231 fables attributed to Aesop, apparently in addition to those attributed to Babrius. Fables which, like 'The One-Eyed Doe,' present an offense insufficient to justify the punishment, excite pity in the reader to such an extent that the teaching of the fable is lost sight of (7-8). The introduction further argues that In the illustrations of the commonly known editions, the triumph of the strong over the weak and helpless, and the death agonies of our dearly loved pet animals, play, we believe, a too important part. The pictures of this book thus aim to portray the quainter, friendlier, and more lovable aspect of the characters (8). Finally, there are no morals here because children are quick to grasp the flaw that leads to the tragedy. Several fables here are new to me: The Cock and the Fox (83), A Cock and Horses (99), and The Mouse and the Boasting Rat (103). Several are differently told. The old woman had three maids; she somehow had learned that they killed her cock and awakened them at midnight as revenge for that murder (19). The Hares and the Frogs in a Storm (25) adds new background in the storm, in the hares' desire simply to change their habitat, and in their path being blocked by a lake. The Ass Eating Thistles (36) shortens Croxall's version so much as to lose pointedness. Is it usual for the ass to run away while its owner and the man who hired it are arguing (73)? There are two different versions of DLS here (72 and 88), with the owner and the fox, respectively, finding the ass out. In Jupiter and the Two Wallets (97), it took some pains to see the one behind him, whereas he usually cannot see the rear wallet at all. In TH (100), there is a distance--five miles--and a sum indicated: five pounds in a book published in the United States! There is no rock mentioned in the suggestion to the miser who had buried his gold (105). The Bear and the Gardener (119) has the bear paid with food and lodging for the work of keeping off the flies. On the other hand, The Monkey and the Cat (57) is unusually well told. The illustrations are initials and therefore unfortunately small. Perhaps the best of them presents the orator frog on 15. T of C at the beginning. The good copy is in excellent condition. Several pages of the extra copy are slightly torn: 48, 69, 110, 112.