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Bewick's Select Fables
OF ESOP AND OTHERS.
In Three Parts.
I. FABLES Extracted from Dodsley's.
TO WHICH ARE PREFIXED
THE LIFE OF ÆSOP, AND AN ESSAY UPON FABLE
Faithfully Reprinted from the Rare Newcastle Edition published
With the Original Wood Engravings by Thomas Bewick,
Jllustrated Preface by Edwin Pearson.
BICKERS & SON, LEICESTER SQUARE, W.C
N the various periods of the world's history men have appeared who were gifted with greater powers of mind and intelligence than the majority of the people in whose age they lived, who, by becoming the preceptors or teachers of the masses, evidently fulfilled the designs of the Creator, by promoting civilisation and happiness, by unity of thought and knowledge. Such men were Æsop, William Shakespeare, Fielding, Scott, and many others, and later, in our own time, Thackeray and Charles Dickens. One of the most ancient and interesting methods of conveying instruction was by the art of Fable, Allegory, or Parable.
Fable is an ingenious method of conveying advice and instruction, without seeming so to do, by a diverting little narrative, which, attracting atten
tion, irresistibly chains it till the moral is imperceptibly rooted in the mind, there to influence, for the better it may be, all future actions of importance. Esop was, and is, the most favourite of Fabulists, of whom a fair and goodly succession have since appeared; but still he maintains, and will continue to maintain the foremost place in literature as a writer of instructive and entertaining Fables. We here reprint an edition comparatively unknown in the present generation, illustrated by the graver of Bewick, and arranged by the pen of Goldsmith. Bewick and Goldsmith's early works are comparatively unknown to the literary and reading world. We all know that Bewick designed and engraved the inimitable "British Quadrupeds,” "Birds,” “Fables," &c., and that Goldsmith wrote the "Vicar of Wakefield," "Traveller," "Deserted Village," &c., but what do we know of their early works-the progressive steps by which they attained their wondrous and well-earned celebrity? It has been the pleasing pursuit of the writer (for some years) to search for, and rescue from destruction and oblivion, all possible early works of Bewick and Goldsmith. The result has exceeded his most sanguine expectations. He has discovered at least twenty little works written by Goldsmith during his weary hours of adversity, all bearing strong internal evidence of the author's mind and style. (A work on this subject is preparing for the press, profusely illustrated with original woodcuts, &c.) The early editions of the present work were printed by T.