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é's wel bir be traced in the later and complete edition, the latter shows astrations to a considerable improvement upon the work of his “ 'prentice
hand.” The complete work was published, as we have not maker
said, in 1841. It appeared in an expensive and sumptuous
form, and was adorned with the French artist Grandville's Is it the
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 Wr. Wright stated in his preface, filled by six original fables of his own. From his “Notice” afixed 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 first of the substituted fables of the sixth edition-The Fly and the Game, given below—may also be viewed as a protest to the same purpose. As a specimen of Mr. Wright's powers at once as an original poet and an original fabulist, we here print (for the first time in
England, we believe) the substituted fables of his sixth edition. We may add, that they appeared in lieu of the following five fables as given in Mr. Wright's complete edition--and in the present edition :-The Bitch and her Friend, The Mountain in Labour, The Young Widow, The Women and the Secret, and, The Husband, the Wife, and the Thief. It should also be borne in mind that these original fables were inserted in an edition professedly meant for schools rather than for the general public.
A KNIGHT of powder-horn and shot
Once filld his bag-as I would not,
Unless the feelings of my breast
By poverty were sorely pressid-
With birds and squirrels for the spits
Of certain gormandizing cits.
With merry heart the fellow went
Direct to Mr. Centpercent,
Who loved, as well was understood,
Whatever game was nice and good.
This gentleman, with knowing air,
Survey'd the dainty lot with care,
Pronounced it racy, rich, and rare,
And callid his wife, to know her wishes
About its purchase for their dishes.
The lady thought the creatures prime,
And for their dinner just in time;
So sweet they were, and delicate,
For dinner she could hardly wait.
But now there came-could luck be worse ?-
Just as the buyer drew his purse,
A bulky fly, with solemn buzz,
And smelt, as an inspector does,
This bird and that, and said the meat--
But here his words I won't repeat-
Was anything but fit to eat.
• Ah!' cried the lady, “there's a fly
I never knew to tell a lie;
A DOG and cat, messmates for life,
Were often falling into strife,
Which came to scratching, growls, and snaps,
And spitting in the face, perhaps.
A neighbour dog once chanced to call
Just at the outset of their brawl,
And, thinking Tray was cross and cruel,
To snarl so sharp at Mrs. Mew-well,
Growl'd rather roughly in his ear.
* And who are you to interfere ?'
Exclaim'd the cat, while in his face she flew;
And, as was wise, he suddenly withdrew.
It seems, in spite of all his snarling,
And hers, that Tray was still her darling.
A FATHER once, whose sons were two,
For each a gift had much ado.
At last upon this course he fell :
• My sons,' said he,“ within our well
Two treasures lodge, as I am told ;
The one a sunken piece of gold,
A bowl it may be, or a pitcher,
The other is a thing far richer,
These treasures if you can but find,
Each may be suited to his mind;
For both are precious in their kind.
To gain the one you'll need a hook ;
The other will but cost a look.
But 0, of this, I pray,
You who may choose the tempting share,–
Too eager fishing for the pitcher
May ruin that which is far richer.'
Out ran the boys, their gifts to draw:
But eagerness was check’d with awe,
How could there be a richer prize
Than solid gold beneath the skies ?
Or, if there could, how could it dwell
Within their own old, mossy well ?
Were questions which excited wonder,
And kept their headlong av’rice under.
The golden cup each fear'd to choose,
Lest he the better gift should lose;
And so resolved our prudent pair,
The gifts in common they would share.
The well was open to the sky.
As o’er its curb they keenly pry,
It seems a tunnel piercing through,
From sky to sky, from blue to blue;
And, at its nether mouth, each sees
A brace of their antipodes,
With earnest faces peering up,
As if themselves might seek the cup.
"Ha!' said the elder, with a laugh,
“We need not share it by the half.
The mystery is clear to me;
That richer gift to all is free.
Be only as that water true,
And then the whole belongs to you.”
That truth itself was worth so much,
It cannot be supposed that such
A pair of lads were satisfied ;
And yet they were before they died.
But whether they fish'd up the gold
I'm sure I never bave been told.
Thus much they learn’d, I take for granted, -
And that was what their father wanted :-
If truth for wealth we sacrifice,
We throw away the richer prize.
AMONG the beasts a feud aruse.
The lion, as the story goes,
Once on a time laid down
His sceptre and his crown;
And in his stead the beasts elected,
As often as it suited them,
A sort of king pro tem.,-
Some animal they much respected.
At first they all concurr'd.
The horse, the stag, the unicorn,
Were chosen each in turn;
And then the noble bird
That looks undazzled at the sun.
But party strife began to run
Through burrow, den, and herd.
Some beasts proposed the patient ox,
And others named the cunning fox.
The quarrel came to bites and knocks;
Nor was it duly settled
Till many a beast high-mett led
Had bought an aching head,
Or, possibly, had bled.
The fox, as one might well suppose,
At last above his rival rose,
But, truth to say, his reign was bootless,
Of honour being rather fruitless.
All prudent beasts began to see
The throne a certain charm had lost,
And, won by strife, as it must be,
Was hardly worth the pains it cost.
So when his majesty retired,
Few worthy beasts his seat desired.
Especially now stoud aloof
The wise of head, the swift of houf,