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Collected Works Aesop: Aesop’s Fables (illus-Rackham). v1. 10 Oct 2019
#1  GrannyGrump 10-10-2019, 08:39 AM
AESOP’S FABLES
375 BITS OF WISDOM AND WIT

SELECTIONS FROM SEVERAL SOURCES.
(Details available inside the book.)

TRANSLATIONS BY:
Thomas James (1809–1863)
George Fyler Townsend (1814–1900)
Joseph Jacobs (1854–1916)

LIFE OF AESOP BY:
Geo. F. Townsend (1814–1900)

COMMENTARY BY:
G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936)

ILLUSTRATIONS BY:
Arthur Rackham (1867–1939)
(Version without illustrations also available.)

WITH AN INDEX OF TITLES AND AN INDEX OF MORALS.


Just as the name “Grimm” has become synonymous with “fairytale,” so has the name “Aesop” become synonymous with “fable.” Presented here, 375 fables: brief bits of wisdom to entertain and instruct readers of all ages, with 75 delightful illustrations by the Grand Master, Arthur Rackham.

By definition, fables are not true stories. Nevertheless, these are maxims; proverbial truths we are already fully aware of, but nevertheless benefit from being reminded of from time to time.

These timeless stories have been passed down for thousands of years by different cultures around the world, including one of the stories discovered on Egyptian papyri from 3,000 years ago. The fine details have undoubtedly changed but the moral within each fable remains the same. So much so that they have become the “user guide to life,” the moral diet for educators; told and retold, easy to remember and understand by all ages.
… read these fables, be entertained, learn the origin of terms such as “sour grapes,” listen to the viper talking with the metal file, lose yourself in the absurd fantasies, and emerge a better person than you were yesterday.
—Sarah Boynton, from Introduction to “Aesop’s Fables” at seiyaku.com (used with permission).


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Most of us are familiar with the stories of the Hare and the Tortoise, The Fox and the Sour Grapes, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, The Ants and the Grasshopper…
Here some excerpts, a few that might not be quite so familiar…
Spoiler Warning below






Jupiter and the Two Bags

Jupiter, it is said, once gave to Man two bags—one for his neighbour’s faults, the other for his own. One was much smaller than the other, and both hung from a strap which was thrown over the shoulder so that one bag should hang in front, and one behind. The Man kept the large one in front for his Neighbours’ faults, and the small one behind for his own, so that, while the first was always under his nose, it took some trouble to see the latter.
This custom, which began thus early, is not quite unknown at the present day.


The Blacksmith And His Dog

There was a certain Blacksmith who had a little Dog. While he hammered away at his metal, the Dog slept; but whenever he sat down to his dinner, the Dog woke up, wagging his tail to be fed. “Sluggard cur!” said the Blacksmith, throwing him a bone; “you sleep through the noise of the anvil, but wake up at the first clatter of my teeth.”
Men are awake enough to their own interests, but turn a deaf ear to their friend’s distress.

The Lion and His Three Councillors

The Lion called the Sheep to ask her if his breath smelled: she said Aye; he bit off her head for a fool. He called the Wolf, and asked him; he said No; he tore him in pieces for a flatterer. At last he called the Fox, and asked him. He said, Truly he had got a cold, and could not smell.
Wise men say nothing in dangerous times.


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Read just one a day (two on holidays), and just think how wise you will be this time next year!
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