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“La Fontaine était dans ses contes le poëte de sa société ; il est le poëte de tous les temps, de tous les états, de tous les âges dans ses fables. L'enfant s'y amuse, l'homme s'y instruit, le lettré les admire.”—DEMOGEOT, Histoire de la Littérature Française.

PREFACE.

The Fables of La Fontaine are the pride and delight of the French nation ; and the treasure of practical wisdom they contain, in stories told with charming simplicity, would have long ago introduced them more largely to the schools of this country, had not idiomatical difficulties and frequent allusions to mythological traditions barred their way. By furnishing an ample selection of the Fables of the

Inimitable,” with Explanatory Notes and a complete Vocabulary, the editor of this volume endeavoured to remedy these inconveniences, and indulges the hope of having procured for British schools a French reading book as useful as pleasant.

66

A. S.

EDINBURGH, March, 1884.

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