Page:The fables of Aesop, as first printed by William Caxton in 1484, with those of Avian, Alfonso and Poggio. Vol 1.djvu/29

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had become Mesdames N. and M., and M. Hervieux has probably long ere this learned the art of being grandfather. The results of his critical Odyssey ultimately appeared some five years ago in the shape of two bulky tomes, running to 1500 pages, German in their thoroughness, German also in their want of netteté and coup d'œil.[1] He has given in the first of these volumes a full and accurate account of all the MSS. of Phædrus and his imitators, with slight biographical sketches of their authors, scribes, owners and owners' grandfathers, and in his second volume he has edited the whole Corpus of Latin fabulists from Phædrus to Neckam.[2] It must be our first task to get a ground-plan to this forest of investigations in which it is by no means easy to find one's way owing to the number of the trees and the size of their branches.[3]

  1. I hope M. Hervieux will pardon this. One of the few touches which lighten his pages is the recital of his patriotic scruples in applying to German librarians, who as a general rule have responded with a courtesy that might have softened a Hannibal.
  2. With an important exception; he has reserved Avian and his adapters for a future occasion.
  3. M. Gaston Paris has given an admirable compte-