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which have not only increafed our ftock, but improved this mode of conveying leffons of morality: And tho' of late years we have had feveral collections or books of this fort, yet few, if any of them, can lay any just claim to originality, further than putting old fop into a new drefs, juft as the fashion of the times prevailed. Our English poets, it must be acknowledged, have gone further; and by. their moft curious and valuable inventions, have greatly improved this useful branch of literature; particularly Mr Gay, Mr Moore, Mr Cunningham, and fome others.
The ufe of fable was firft established, if not originally introduced, by Æfop; a circumftance which not only manifefts his fhrewdness and fagacity, the quickness of his wit, and the fertility of his invention, but gives us alfo a strong idea of his good humour.
"Advice (fays a celebrated Writer) never comes with a better face, than when it comes with a laughing one :" And it is certain that fable rather pleafes than offends the niceft fenfibility; fince the inftruction it conveys is not magifterially obtruded upon us, but is obliquely derived by our own application, and falls from it as it were by accident.
In compiling the prefent collection, all or moft of our Fabulifts, ancient and modern, both in profe and verfe, have been confulted; and great care has been taken to felect fuch fables as are not only most easy and intelligible in the narrative, but also convey the most striking morals. The ancient fables, where the heathen mythology, is introduced in the fabulous part, are moftly omitted, as being thought too myfterious. The fables in verfe are excellent of their kind, and are much the best we have in our language; and as Gay's are of themselves ufed for a school-book, they are all retained in this, which is defigned for the ufe of schools ; and as it contains not only much more in quantity than any fable book extant, but alfo is fold at a lower price than most others, it will, 'tis hoped, have the preference, not only on that but other accounts.
The Editor does not expect the following collection will please all perfons, as fome will object to the want of cuts; in reply to this, more than double the number of fables are given for the like price, and wood cuts in general are fo badly executed, and the reprefentations fo imperfect, that little or no information or inftruction can be gathered.
from them: Others will fay, that fome of the
but that he meant well.
Fox and the Stork
Boys and Frogs
Lion and the Mouse
Court and Country Moufe
Wafp and the Bees
Bear and the two Friends
Wolf and the Mastiff
Lion and other Beafts hunting
Farmer, Cranes, and Stork