Page:Fables by La Fontaine translated by Elizur Wright.djvu/24

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ADVERTISEMENT TO THE FIRST EDITION OF THIS TRANSLATION. [Boston, U.S.A., 1841.] Four years ago I dropped into Charles de Behr's repository of foreign books, in Broadway, New York, and there, for the first time, saw La Fontaine's Fa- bles. It was a cheap copy, adorned with some two hundred woodcuts, which, by their worn appearance, betokened an extensive manufacture. I became a purchaser, and gave the book to my little boy, then just beginning to feel the intellectual magnetism of pictures. In the course of the next year, he fre- quently tasked my imperfect knowledge of French for the story which belonged to some favourite vig- nette. This led me to inquire whether any English version existed ; and, not finding any, I resolved, though quite unused to literary exercises of the sort, to cheat sleep of an hour every morning till there should be one. The result is before you. If in this I have wronged La Fontaine, I hope the best-