Page:Fables by La Fontaine translated by Elizur Wright.djvu/14

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French artist Grandville's illustrations, which had first appeared only two years previously in the Paris edition of La Fontaine's Fables, published by Fournier Ainé. The book was well received both in America and England, and four other editions were speedily called for. The sixth edition, published in 1843, was a slightly expurgated one, designed for schools. The expurgation, however, almost wholly consisted of the omission bodily of five of the fables, whose places were, as Mr. Wright stated in his preface, filled by six original fables of his own. From his 'Notice,' affixed to this sixth edition, it seems evident that he by no means relished the task, usually a hateful one, of expurgating his author. Having, however, been urged to the task by 'criticisms both friendly and unfriendly' (as he says), he did it; and did it wisely, because sparingly. But in his prefatory words he in a measure protests. He says: 'In this age, distinguished for almost everything more than sincerity, there are some people who would seem too delicate and refined to read their Bibles.' And he concludes with the appeal: 'But the unsophisticated lovers of nature, who have not had the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the French language, I have no doubt will thank me for interpreting to them these honest and truthful fictions of the frank old Jean, and will beg me to proceed no farther in the work of expurgation.' The