The Outline of Knowledge, Volume XIX: Fables and Fairy Tales
Richards, James A
. J. A. Richards . NY ,
PN6071.F15 F34 1924 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This is a standard collection of fairy tales and fables. The surprise to me is that starting on 425 of a 500-page book, the volume can include so many fables. The fables are divided into eleven from Caxton and about 225 from James, followed by two English folk tales, two Welsh fables, and one Hitpadesa fable. The biggest surprise about the first Caxton fable, FG, is that it is not from Caxton! Somehow a James text is presented as Caxton's. James tells the fable with the fox leaping more than once and getting tired, while Caxton's fox does not leap at all and goes away pronounced to be wise. I checked the next three Caxton fables and they are faithful to Caxton's text. One of the Welsh fables is the good story of Howel of Glamorgan, who stirs the king's envy by his wisdom and virtue. The queen, eager to help the king, arranges with visiting lime-burners to kill the man coming to them with a glass of mead. Howel, sent to the lime-burners with a glass of mead, hears scripture being read and has promised never to pass up a reading of scripture. While he listens to it, the king is eager to reward the lime-burners and so goes himself to them with a glass of mead as reward…. The Hitopadesa fable is of an ass in a lion's skin who terrifies everyone until one field-owner covers himself with an ass-skin. Seeing the kindred skin prompts a bray from the lion, and, as he approaches, the field-owner easily slays him with his bow and arrow.