Page:Fables by La Fontaine translated by Elizur Wright.djvu/12

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Fables of the chief among modern fabulists are almost as few in number as they were then. Mr. George Ticknor (the author of the ‘History of Spanish Literature,’ etc.), in praising Mr. Wright’s translation when it first appeared, said La Fontaine’s was ‘a book till now untranslated;’ and since Mr. Wright so happily accomplished his self-imposed task, there has been but one other complete}} translation, viz., that of the late Mr. Walter Thornbury. This latter, however, seems to have been undertaken chiefly with a view to supplying the necessary accompaniment to the English issue of M. Doré’s well-known designs for the Fables (first published as illustrations to a Paris edition); and existing as it does only in the large quarto form given to those illustrations, it cannot make any claim to be a handy-volume edition.

Mr. Wright’s translation, however, still holds its place as the best English version, and the present reprint, besides having undergone careful revision, embodies the corrections (but not the expurgations) of the sixth edition, which differed from those preceding}} it. The notes, too, have, for the most part, been added by the reviser.

Some account of the translator, who is still one of the living notables of his nation, may not be out of place here. Elizur Wright, Junior, is the son of Elizur Wright, who published some papers in math-