Fables and Classical Sketches by a Clergyman
. John W. Parker and The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge . London
PN982.F33 1910 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This small book (4¼ x 7) has thirty-one items on 95 pages. The first twenty-eight are fables, and the last three are sketches, ancient historical anecdotes. All the fables seem to be original. The author, as his preface declares, wants to give some practical hints for the conduct of life, and to convey instruction, especially to the young, in a manner the least likely to offend… (v). He points to his first fable as a (counter-) symbol of what he can offer; there a proud glow-worm refuses to help an ant. Having turned its light off, the proud glow worm is crushed by a human being passing in the dark. The preface even lists in respective order the vices to be learned about in each of these fables. Thus the proud beetle steps up to the blacksmith expecting to be shod when the Pasha's horses are being cared for (13). Or in the next fable the blacksmith's son, who has slept during the hours of labor, is turned away when he shows up to eat (16). I could take reading six or eight of these. Perhaps I am overly offended by their didactic transparency. The illustrations strike me as superior to the texts here. The tailpiece of two horses on 18 is, for example, well done. There is one small detailed illustration and often a tailpiece for each fable. At least some of the illustrations are labeled F Parker. The spine of the book is starting to separate. The title is embossed in gold on the cloth cover.