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With various living creatures, and the air
Replenished, and all thofe at thy command

To come and play before thee? Knoweft thou not
Their language and their ways? They also know,
And reafon not contemptibly: with thefe

Find paftime..

Paradife Loft, b. 8. 1, 370.

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Printed by Luke Hanfard, near Lincoln's-Inn Fields,

For G. & J. Robinfon, W. J. & J. Richardfon, J. Walker,
W. Lowndes, Scatcherd & Letterman, Lackington, Allen, & Co.
G. Wilkie, H. D. Symonds, C. Law, Longman, Hurst, Rees,
Orme, Vernor & Hood, J. Mawman, and E. Mathews.




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THE Fables of Esor have always been esteemed the best leffons for youth, as being well adapted to convey the most useful maxims, in a very agreeable manner. Accordingly, many writers, both in verfe and profe, have endeavoured to clothe them in an English drefs. It would ill become the Author of this work to animadvert upon their labours; but he thinks it may be faid with truth, and he hopes with modefty, that nothing of this kind, which has been published in profe, can justly difcourage him from the present undertaking.

In forming this collection, he has endeavoured to diftinguish, by two separate Books, the respective compofitions of the earlier and later Mythologifts; and he trufts it will not be found that he has often been mistaken in this diftribution, though an error of that

kind might perhaps appear of no great importance. His principal aim was to felect Juch Fables as would make the ftrongest and most useful impreffions on the minds of youth; and then to offer them in fuch unaffected language, as might have fome tendency to improve their style. If in this he Should be allowed to have at all fucceeded,

the work, it is prefumed, will not be unServiceable to young readers, nor wholly unentertaining to perfons of maturer judg


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To thefe he has ventured to add a third Book, confifting entirely of original FABLES; and be offers it to the Public with all the diffidence which ought to accompany modern productions, when they appear in conjunction with writings of established reputation. Indeed, whatever hopes he has, that the prefent work may be favourably received, arife chiefly from the confideration,


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that he has been affifted in it by gentlemen of the most diftinguished abilities; and that feveral, both of the old and the new FABLES, are not written by himself, but by authors with whom it is an honour to be connected; and who having condefcended to favour him 2 with their affiftance, have given him an opportunity of making fome atonement for his own defects.

The life of Efop prefixed to the former editions of thefe Fables, having been thought not fo full and fatisfactory as it might have 1 been, a learned and ingenious friend has been

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fo kind as to confult the ancient writers who

have made any mention of Esop. He hopes

he has added many facts and anecdotes of n his life, not hitherto taken notice of; and

that he has fet his character in a clearer S, and better light than it has hitherto appeared.

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