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THE following selection contains seventy-one of La Fontaine's Fables. The spelling has been modernised, and the chronological order sacrificed to the more convenient plan of classification according to length.
The Fables are notoriously difficult, and should hardly be the very first translation book placed in a pupil's hands. The Editor has presumed, therefore, a certain slight knowledge of and practice in translation. In such an elementary book philological remarks are out of place. Few, if any, derivations will be found in the Notes. As the Vocabulary and the Notes are meant to supplement one another, translations are not given in the Notes where they can be supplied by an intelligent use of the Vocabulary. The Notes are preceded by a short Grammatical Introduction, and are followed by a few of the commonest irregular verbs.
It must be borne in mind that La Fontaine wrote some two hundred years ago, and that his French is, of course, in many points different from the French of the present day. His style, too, is full of archaic and familiar