1400 to 1799

1400 - 1549

1461/1972 Der Edelstein. Ulrich Boner. Boxed set; #429 of 950. Hardbound. Original: Bamberg: Albrecht Pfister; Reproduction: Stuttgart: Verlag Müller und Schindler/Buchdruckerei Holzer. €400 from Kunstantiquariat Joachim Lührs auf der Fleetinsel, Hamburg, Germany, April, '09.

This book was my bible for a month in the summer of 2009 as I prepared a paper for the Renard Society on Boner's Der Edelstein. Actually, I had scanned the facsimile into my computer before I left. Then in Mannheim I worked through about three fables and their illustrations per day. This is a beautifully made book! The original was published by Albrecht Pfister in Bamberg. Maybe the best testimony I can give to the quality of these reproductions is that I made my own set from the scans of this facsimile but also ordered a set from the library that has the world's only known copy of this book, the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel. The scans of the reproductions were better than the pictures of the original! This is the first illustrated book ever printed, and it may be the first book ever published in German. For me the great quality of this book is its illustrations and especially their coloring. Exquisitely done! Commentators note that the woodcut maker is not particularly adept at animals; it is often hard to decipher from a woodcut which animal is being pictured. But his humans are excellent! They are often pictured from the back. The colorist's great gift is shading within a specific color. As I mentioned in my Renard paper given in Utrecht, this is an unusual book: it has no title-page, no page numbers, no sentence punctuation, no end stops for its poetry, and no titles for its fables. The woodcuts serve as the great markers. There is a raised dot for the end of each line of verse and -- when the rubricator remembers - a line through the first letter of the new line following. There is a companion volume, which I will list separately. Together the two books make up a boxed set. See Bodemann #1.1. There is a second, distinct edition a few years later with new woodcuts, and there is also only one copy of that edition, in Berlin.

1476/1972 Aesop's Fables Coloring Book. Ulm illustrations of 1476, along with "new retellings...based closely on old Greek texts." NY: Dover. $1.50.

Valuable because of the nicely enlarged and clear Ulm drawings.

1476/1992 Aesopus: Vita et Fabulae Ulm 1476 (Faksimile). Heinrich Steinhöwel. #128 of 800; boxed, with commentary booklet. Hardbound. Ludwigsburg: Edition Libri Illustri Verlag. Sw Fr 1680 from Erasmus Haus, Basel, Sept., '05.

I never thought we would have a copy of this wonderful book in the collection. From the time I first saw subscriptions being invited, I feared it would always be beyond our means. Prayers do get answered! This is a beautiful facsimile. The hand-colored illustrations from the copy in the Otto Schäfer collection are lovely. Many of them seem like old friends from the many times I have seen them reproduced in various forms. Looking through this tome helps me understand now some of the features of the accompanying Kommentar. The famous title-page, for example, is missing in the Schäfer copy and so is reprinted there in black-and-white from another copy. Other pages illustrated there seem to be the missing pages from this copy. The facsimile offers everything, including bruises and marks. A few of these occur in the lovely illustrations. I note one poorly printed colored illustration: it occurs two pages after the illustration of a man watching his own excrement; it is, I believe, a presentation of Aesop's resolution of the challenge to drink the sea dry. I found an extra copy of one page from the "Extravagantes." Its verso begins and pictures Fable IX, "The Fox, Wolf, and Lion." I will leave it loose at the back of this edition. This big book is a treasure I will keep coming back to!

1476/1980? Aesop's Fables Coloring Book. Ulm. Paperbound. NY: Dover. $1.25 from The Great Northwest Bookstore, Portland, August., '84.

Here is the second generation of Dover's lovely coloring book. The price has gone up from $1.50 to $2.50. It will go up at least twice more in my history of collecting it, though I found this copy for half-price. As I mentioned about the original publication, the book is valuable because of the nicely enlarged and clear Ulm drawings. Dover has changed the bottom of the back-cover to include the book's ISBN number.

1476/1985? Aesop's Fables Coloring Book. Ulm. Paperbound. NY: Dover. $2.75 from an unknown source, August., '87.

Here is the third generation of Dover's lovely coloring book. The price has gone up from $1.50 to $2.50 to $2.75. It will go up at least once more in my history of collecting it. As I mentioned about the original publication, the book is valuable because of the nicely enlarged and clear Ulm drawings. The format seems unchanged from that in the second generation.

1476/1995? Aesop's Fables Coloring Book. Ulm. Paperbound. NY: Dover. $2.75 from an unknown source, August., '95.

Here is an unusual member of the fourth generation of Dover's lovely coloring book. The price has, as in the case of other books in this fourth generation, gone up from $1.50 to $2.50 to $2.75 to 2.95. The difference is that the verso of the title-page does not add Canadian or UK publishers, even though it notes the inclusion of the work in Dover's Pictorial Archive Series. As I mentioned about the original publication, the book is valuable because of the nicely enlarged and clear Ulm drawings. The format finds a bar code added on the bottom right-hand of the back cover with the ISBN printed in relation to it. I presume that this book was published before the others in the fourth generation.

1476/1995?    Aesop's Fables Coloring Book.  Ulm.  Paperbound.  NY: Dover Pictorial Archive Series:  Dover.  $2.95 from an unknown source, August., '95.

Here is the fourth generation of Dover's lovely coloring book.  The price has gone up from $1.50 to $2.50 to $2.75 to 2.95.  As I mentioned about the original publication, the book is valuable because of the nicely enlarged and clear Ulm drawings.  The format finds a bar code added on the bottom right-hand of the back cover with the ISBN printed in relation to it.  The verso of the title-page also adds Canadian and UK publishers and notes the inclusion of the work in Dover's Pictorial Archive Series.

1483/1972 Aesop: Subtyll Historyes and Fables of Esope. Westminster 1483. Caxton's edition and illustrations in facsimile (apparently, but nowhere acknowledged). #439 of The English Experience: Its Record in Early Printed Books Published in Facsimile. Printed in the Netherlands. NY: Da Capo Press, Plenum Publishing Corporation. $65 from the publisher, 1989.

The reproductions are not at all as good as in the Scolar Press edition. The lack of a title page and of more bibliographical information is surprising in so lovely a book.

1484/1976 The History and Fables of Aesop. Translated and Printed by William Caxton, 1484. Reproduced in facsimile from the copy in the Royal Library, Windsor Castle, with an introduction by Edward Hodnett. #79 of 500 copies. London: The Scolar Press. $62.50 at Marshall Fields Rare Book Room, Nov., '86.

A wonderfully reproduced book. The text can use the help of Jacobs' later reprinting. The 186 woodcuts (many for the life of "Esope") have their own charm but are distinctly inferior to the Ulm woodcuts from which they ultimately are derived. The introduction gives an excellent account of the derivation of early printed Aesop illustrations.

1484/1984 Aesop's Fables in William Caxton's Original Illustrated Edition. Edited by Bamber and Christina Gascoigne. Dust jacket. Printed in Belgium. For sale in U.K. only. London: Hamish Hamilton Ltd. $8 at Swindon, Hong Kong, May, '90.  Extra copy for $15 from Black Oak, Berkeley, July, '00.

This book of 37 fables has two very positive features: the coloring of Caxton's (primitive) woodcuts and the faithful rendition of his text with modern spelling and orthography. Different: the ox also steps on the expanding frog, and the boy bites off his mother's nose. The moral of 2W is different: If you are old, do not marry again! "The Widow of Ephesus" is included. There are nice partial images interspersed with the text in addition to the woodcuts.

1488?/1989 The Medici Aesop. Edited by Adele Westbrook. Translated from the Greek by Bernard McTigue. Color photographs of both sides of the 75 folios of the 1488(?) manuscript, including the miniatures of Gherardo di Giovanni. Dust jacket. Printed and bound in Japan. NY: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. Gift of my nieces, Christmas, '89. Second copy for $48 from (more) Moe's. Another extra copy for $29.98 from Powell's, Portland, July, '93.

What a treasure! A good introduction gives a concise history of Aesop, the text of the fables, and the illustrations. This hand-written and hand-painted manuscript was done from a printed book, Bono Accurzio's 1480 version of Planudes' 1310 text. The versions are surprisingly concise and witty. Several morals wander into generalities. Well told: "The Old Woman and the Doctor" (44). Differently told: "The Eagle and the Fox" (20). The illustrations are magnificent but small. They often read from right to left. Some excellent illustrations: "The Fox and the Mask" (33), "The Broken Vow" (40), "The Thieving Child and His Mother" (71), OF (105), "The Ant-Man" (131), "The Thirsty Dove" (143). The boar sharpens his tusks on a whetting stone (78)! AD (64) story has a net, while its illustration has a bow.

1488?/2005 The Medici Aesop. Translated from the Greek by Bernard McTigue. Gherardo di Giovanni. Introduction by Everett Fahy. Afterword by H. George Fletcher. Paperbound. NY: The New York Public Library. $27.50 from Powell's, Portland, August, '08.

This book was published in a hardbound version by Harry N. Abrams in 1989. The lovely illustrations remain as precisely rendered here as there. In a curious move, Adele Westbrook, editor of the hardbound version, is not even mentioned here. Let me repeat my comments from that book. What a treasure! A good introduction gives a concise history of Aesop, the text of the fables, and the illustrations. This hand-written and hand-painted manuscript was done from a printed book, Bono Accurzio's 1480 version of Planudes' 1310 text. The versions are surprisingly concise and witty. Several morals wander into generalities. Well told: "The Old Woman and the Doctor" (44). Differently told: "The Eagle and the Fox" (20). The illustrations are magnificent but small. They often read from right to left. Some excellent illustrations: "The Fox and the Mask" (33), "The Broken Vow" (40), "The Thieving Child and His Mother" (71), OF (105), "The Ant-Man" (131), "The Thirsty Dove" (143). The boar sharpens his tusks on a whetting stone (78)! AD (64) story has a net, while its illustration has a bow.

1489/1929  Fábulas de Esopo. Reproducción en facsímile de la primera edición de 1489. Apparent title of original: La vida del ysopet con sus fabulas hystoriadas. Bibliography (and editing?) by Emilio Cotarelo y Mori. Madrid: Real Academia Española. $95 by mail from PRB&M, April, '95.

Palau calls this tall paperbound folio a "magnífica reproducción facsímile" (81959). The editors seem not to know of the Toulouse edition of 1488; see my Esopete Ystoriado (Toulouse 1488), published in 1990. Nor do they refer to this 1489 edition, as that 1990 book does, as from Zaragoza. This edition nicely lists on vii the five main parts of the 1489 book: (1) four books of Aesop, totalling eighty fables; (2) "extravagantes" of Aesop, totalling seventeen; (3) Remicio's Aesopic fables, totalling seventeen; (4) Avianus, totalling twenty-six; and (5) "colletas" of Pedro Alfonso, Poggio, and others--mostly satiric and picaresque--totalling twenty-two and finishing with MSA. There is on 20-52 an extensive bibliography of Spanish fable editions, including Iriarte, Samaniego, and other authors. I count twenty-nine illustrations for the life of Aesop besides the frontispiece, and I agree that they are good imitations of Steinhöwel. I am surprised to see that every one of the 162 fables gets a woodcut. I think this is my only facsimile of something directly related to Steinhöwel, and so it may be one of my most complete resources for his work too. A major find. Fable vii of the "extravagantes" is mis-numbered as viii (LXXVIII).

1518/1933 Aesop's Fables. Samuel Croxall's Translation with a Bibliographical Note by Victor Scholderer and Numerous Facsimiles of Florentine Woodcuts. Limited Editions Club. #1037 of 1500. Signed by Bruce Rogers. Boxed. Oxford: University Press. $120 at Santa Fe BookSeller, May, '93.

One of the nicest books I have. A triumph of the bookmaking art. The 46 facsimiles are beautifully reproduced. Very close to del Tuppo (eg #37 and #192), they often show two or three phases in one scene. #83, #162, #168, and #197 are well told and funny. In #173, the bat leaves both sides on his own initiative. How were the facsimiles printed?

1518/1933 Aesop's Fables: Samuel Croxall's Translation with a Bibliographical Note by Victor Scholderer. Numerous Facsimiles of Florentine Woodcuts. Victor Scholderer. #280 of 1500; signed by Bruce Rogers. Hardbound. Boxed.  Oxford: Limited Editions Club: Oxford University Press. $30 through eBay, Nov., '10.

I went after a second copy of this book because it was being offered so economically on eBay. I think it eluded the notice of other serious seekers. This copy includes from August, 1933, "The Monthly Letter of the Limited Editions Club" with a lead article on "B R's Aesop." Like the first copy I found, this is boxed, numbered, and signed by Bruce Rogers. As I mentioned when I first found that other book nineteen years ago, this is one of the nicest books I have. A triumph of the bookmaking art. The 46 facsimiles are beautifully reproduced. Very close to del Tuppo (eg #37 and #192), they often show two or three phases in one scene. #83, #162, #168, and #197 are well told and funny. In #173, the bat leaves both sides on his own initiative. How were the facsimiles printed? This and several similar cases have convinced me now to keep all the copies of valuable books like this -- especially those that have any difference like different numbering -- in the collection as separate listings.

1518/1933 Aesop's Fables: Samuel Croxall's Translation with a Bibliographical Note by Victor Scholderer.  Numerous Facsimiles of Florentine Woodcuts.  #289 of 1500; signed by Bruce Rogers.  Hardbound.  Oxford: Limited Editions Club:  Oxford University Press.  $42 from A. Dielski, Chicago, through eBay, August, '15.

I went after a third copy of this book because it was being offered so economically on eBay.  I think it eluded the notice of other serious seekers.  Like the first copy I found, this is numbered and signed by Bruce Rogers.  As I mentioned when I first found that other book many years ago, this is one of the nicest books I have.  A triumph of the bookmaking art.  The 46 facsimiles are beautifully reproduced.  Very close to del Tuppo (eg #37 and #192), they often show two or three phases in one scene.  #83, #162, #168, and #197 are well told and funny.  In #173, the bat leaves both sides on his own initiative.  How were the facsimiles printed?  This and several similar cases have convinced me now to keep all the copies of valuable books like this -- especially those that have any difference like different numbering -- in the collection as separate listings.  This copy once belonged to Howard Eleveth.

1542/1967 Emblematum Libellus. Andreas Alciatus and Wolfgang Hunger. Hardbound. Paris/Darmstadt: Christian Wechel/Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. €24 from Antiquariat Wirthwein, Mannheim, July, '07.

This is my first chance to look more carefully into Alciato. This volume itself is one of many good books I found at Wirthwein. I had not known that the Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft had done a reprint of Alciato's book of emblems. I seem to read that the original book of his that began the whole emblem movement was published in 1531. Perhaps it was a more modest book than this 1542 edition. Here we have one hundred and fifteen emblems, beginning on 18 and ending on 253. There is no apparent index. A typical pair of pages features on the left, a page number and standard page title ("And. Alc. Emblem. Lib."); a short title phrase and emblem number; an image regularly about 2½" x 2¾"; and a Latin poem of six or eight lines. The right hand page has a regular page title ("Das buechle der verschroten werck."), a German title and emblem number; and a German poem of about eight lines. Fable motifs occur but do not dominate. Emblem XXII is about the blind carrying the lame. Emblem XXXV -- "non tibi, sed religioni" -- is the fable of the ass carrying a religious image. He thinks that the people are honoring him. Emblem XLVIII shows the fox contemplating a human face and is titled "Mentem, non formam plus pollere." Emblem LI shows an ass carrying great food but stopping to eat a thistle. Emblem LIIII presents the beetle that got revenge on the eagle by getting all his eggs broken. Emblem LV presents the captured soldier-trumpeter who claimed -- without success -- that he had hurt no one. Emblem LVIII (misnumbered on the right page as LVII) is 2P. In Emblem LXXXIII, a man aiming his bow at a flying crane is killed by a snake: "Qui alta contemplantur cadere." Emblem LXXXIIII, "Impossibile," is about washing an Ethiopian white. Emblem LXXXVI has a curious mouse caught by an oyster that has clapped shut around him. In Emblem XCI (misprinted "CXI"), a goat has to suckle a young wolf and knows that this will not end well.

1544 Historia Vitae Fortunaeque Aesopi, cum Fabulis Illius. Joachim Camerarius. Apparently first thus. Hardbound. Leipzig: Ex Officina Recente Valentini Papae. $2200 from Serendipity, Dec., '08.

First, this little book has caused me as much anguish as any I have tried to win for the collection. For over three years I have been looking for it, thinking it lost. I presumed as a last hope that the book had got in with fable materials other than books and I hoped that I would find it, because I have sought it among my books many times over. I wondered if Serendipity had ever sent or given it to me, since I had to come up with a good deal of money to purchase it. I looked under the bed in my sister's guest room a year after purchasing it and then visiting there. Recently I had to clear some shelves in my room and came across this "Historia" book. That one word stands alone on the book's spine. It had been sitting on the shelf looking at me for three years. I presumed it was an old historical book someone had given me for some reason. Was I ever glad to be wrong! Though illustrations make many of the books in the collection very appealing, this book is one of the collection's special stars to me. The basic structure of this book includes a life of Aesop, Aesopic fables, "Narrationes Aesopicae" taken from various authors, and explication of Greek authors bearing on the fables. There is a letter to Rotingus dated 1539, alphabetical indices of characters and "subjects" in the sense of virtues and vices commented upon, and two pages of errata. I will excerpt here at length from Serendipity's description. Small octavo (14x9 cm), 19th-century March, '4 dark brown cloth, light brown pebbled cloth sides, marbled edges, plain endpapers. Six woodcut initials (white on black). Collation is Aa8, Bb4, A-Z8, a-m8, n3. ([xxi], 538, [xxviii]). Title continues: " ... pluribus quingentis, & aliis quibusdam narrationibus, compositis studio & diligentia Ioachimi Camerarii Pab. Quibus additae fuere & Liuianae duae, et Gellianae ac aliorum aliquot. His accessit interpretatio Graecorum & aliorum etiam quorundum multo quam ante uberior. Et indices duo, ipsi quoque accuratius quam prius editi." In Latin, with some Greek. This copy, while in excellent condition, has been closely trimmed, in a few places affecting the running titles. Some old underlining and marginalia; signature of Thomas Rhodes (great grandfather of Cecil Rhodes??) on title page. We can find no records of an earlier edition of this exact title by the renowned humanist, naturalist and scholar; however, less extensive collections of Aesop's fables by Camerarius (with or without biographical information) appeared in 1538 and 1539 in Tubingen and Nuremburg, 1540 in Nuremburg, and 1542 in Tubingen and Antwerp. Bodemann (no.34.1) notes that the first illustrated edition (1565) is an expanded version of a 1538 text. Camerarius was a prolific scholar, and Aesop seems to have been a continuing interest for him. He held academic appointments in the Classics at Nuremburg, Tubingen, and, as of 1541, Leipzig. Earlier editions of Aesop printed in Leipzig are Dorpius (1515 and 1517) and a small book of aphorisms (1497). Scarce. Does the tally of "more than 500 fables" make this book more comprehensive than L'Estrange's?

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1550 - 1599

1550/1934 Fabeln von Erasmus Alberus. Ein Nachwort von Wilhelm Matthiessen. 15 Holzschnitte von Vergil Solis. Berlin: Greif Bücherei. DM 8 at Antiquariat Richart Kulbach in Heidelberg, Aug., '88. Extra copy for DM 8 from Bücherwurm, Heidelberg, August, '01.

Good strong rhymes in Gothic script. The "Nachwort" is real Third Reich stuff, speaking of "eine Rückkehr zu den Urkraftquellen deutschen Volkstums." The stories are all Aesopic. There are wonderful woodcuts (which probably originally appeared in 1566) for the 15 fables and on the front cover. A little pearl!

1551 Aesopi Phrygis Fabulae Elegantissimis iconibus veras animalium species ad viuum adumbrantibus. Adam Knopff. Hardbound. Lyon: apud Ioannem Tornaesium. $600 from Thomas Joyce, Joyce and Company Antiquarian Booksellers, Chicago, July, '96.

This little book is an earlier edition of what had long been the oldest book in the collection, listed under "1619?" This book is Bodemann #29. What a great thing! Bodemann's twenty-ninth oldest book! See my description of the later edition, including the following. One of the gems of this collection. Undersized and fragile. Bilingual in columns of Greek and Latin through 179, including: definitions of fable by Aphthonius and Philostratos, life of Aesop, and 150 fables (beginning on 119). Then several sections are bilingual on facing pages: 43 fables of Gabrius, the Battle of Mice and Frogs, the Battle of Cats and Mice. This book does not have the last section that appears in the edition I have put in 1619, namely 42 Latin fables by Avienus. There are many wonderful small illustrations with the 150 fables. The best of the illustrations: "The Fox and the Goat" (125), "The Ass and the Horse" (189), "The Eagle and the Turtle" (192), "The Ethiopian" (206), "The Mistress and the Two Servants" (209), and WC (273). I notice that, though all the illustrations here seem identical with their later counterparts, others from the later edition are not here, like "The Cat and the Mice" (154). There is an AI of fables at the back. Pages 129-130 are lacking. The spine and binding are badly damaged.

1570 Aesopi Phrygis Fabulae Elegantissimis iconibus veras animalium species ad viuum adumbrantibus.  Hardbound.  Lyon: apud Ioannem Tornaesium.  £505 from C. Rodrigues, Littlehampton, UK, through eBay, Jan., '14.  

Here is a precious addition to the collection, both for its antiquity and its excellent condition.  The one shortcoming of its condition is that the title-page seems to be a xerox copy.  As Bodemann #29.2, it fits into this collection as a later edition of Bodemann #29.1 from 1551.  I also have Bodemann #29.4 from 1614.  Bodemann calls this an expanded and changed reprinting of the 1551 edition.  There is no longer an address to the reader by Adam Knopff, then the editor.  The expansion involves the forty-two fables of Avienus now included at the end, before the AI of fables.  The book now has 410 + 6 pages, whereas the 1551 printing had 375 + 7.  The woodcuts are "Nachschnitte."  That volume had 39 fable illustrations but this one has 61. Bilingual in columns of Greek and Latin through 179, including: definitions of fable by Aphthonius and Philostratos, life of Aesop, and 150 fables (beginning on 119).  Then several unillustrated sections are bilingual on facing pages: 43 fables of Gabrius beginning on 288, the Battle of Mice and Frogs, the Battle of Cats and Mice.  Some of the best illustrations are: "The Fox and the Goat" (125: my choice for best illustration overall), "The Birdcatcher and the Viper" (160), "The Woodcutter and Mercury" (177), "The Ass and the Horse" (194), "The Eagle and the Turtle" (198), "The Ethiopian" (212), and "The Mistress and the Two Servants" (215).  Not all of the illustrations are equally distinct or equally well done.

1570/1621/1832 The Moral Fables of Robert Henryson. Reprinted from the edition of Andrew Hart. Edinburgh: The Maitland Club. $15 at Goodspeed's, March, '89.

A lovely old book, the cover of which is in bad shape. This is not a facsimile but a reprint, and so the print is much more legible than in the Da Capo edition. The morals are printed in contemporary script. T of C near the rear. A roster of the Maitland Club and a discussion of Henryson appear at the beginning of the volume.

1570/1970 Aesop: The Morall Fabillis of Esope the Phrygian. ...in Eloquent, and Ornate Scottis Meter. Be Maister Robert Henrisone. Newlie Imprentit at Edinburgh, be Robert Lekpreuik (?) at the expensis of Henrie Charteris. No illustrations. NY: Da Capo Press: Plenum Publishing Co. $25 from the publisher, Feb., '89.

This is a facsimile of the 13 fables in this very early collection. Seven-line stanzas, medium print quality, difficult vocabulary and orthography.

1571/1987 The Moral Fables of Aesop by Robert Henryson. An Edition of the Middle Scots Text, with a Facing Prose Translation, Introduction, and Notes by George D. Gopen. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press. Hardbound $11.50 at MacIntyre & Moore, June, '91. Paperback at the same time from Harvard Book Store for $5.38. Extra paperback for $7.50 at Avenue Victor Hugo, Boston, April, '89.

A first-rate piece of scholarship that puts Henryson within our reach. Very readable versions of the 13 fables. Henryson's morals are strongly allegorical and (like the fables) lengthy, but the stories are well done, especially "The Fox, the Wolf, and the Cadger"; "The Fox, the Wolf, and the Farmer"; and "The Wolf and the Wether." Clever Lawrence the fox outwits everyone. There is strong, eloquent social criticism, e.g. concerning the sheep misaccused by the dog before the wolf. At times Henryson is preachy, e.g. about the maids that sweep a jewel out of the house just to get the floor clean! There is fun in the stories, as when the fox with a penance of no meat during Lent takes a kid to water and brings him out a salmon, or the frightened wolf defecates three times when pursued by (a wether disguised as) a dog. Many mice come to help the roped-in lion. WL is less well done; I think I might have killed that talky lawyerlike lamb myself!

1579/1975 Mythologia Ethica. Arnoldus Freitag. Illustrations by Marcus Gheeraerts. Hardbound. Antwerp/Athens: Philippe Galle, Christophorus Plantinus/George Ladias Limited. $102.51 from G. Spanos, Athens, Greece, through eBay, May, '08.

This may be the first true emblem book in this collection, and it is high time. This is a fine example. Bodemann (51.1) may be slightly incorrect when it gives the sequence for each of these 125 fables. On the left page is a title, Latin prose text, and moral. On the right hand page (not the left) is a short "motto," a Gheeraerts illustration, and an apt scriptural quotation. The Gheeraerts illustrations are better presented in A Moral Fable-Talk (1987), but here they are put together with the emblematic materials that constituted a strong phase of the fable tradition. The title-page here offers this description: "Hoc est moralis philosophiae per fabulas brutis attributas, traditae, amoenissimum viridarium. In quo humanae vitae labyrintho demonstrato virtutus semita pulcherrimis praeceptis, veluti Thesei filo docet." That "viridarium" is a pleasure-garden. Unfortunately, Bodemann does not offer a specific source for these texts. Are they Freitag's own? The bottom of each page has the first syllable of the following page, even moving from a left to a right page. Some of the impressions are understandably light. Even in this slightly shadowy representation, Gheeraerts' work is splendid!

1593/1976/96  Esopo No Fabulas. Photographic facsimile of the original edition owned by the British Library. Explained by Kunimichi Fukushima. Ninth edition. Tokyo: Benseisha Co. ¥1349 at the Sophia University Bookstore, July, '96.

Fr. Francis Mathy was good enough to order this for me after we found out in our conversation with Satoru Obara, S.J., that this facsimile was still in print. Obara reports on this booklet in his little monograph, Companions of Jesus in the Kirishitan Era in Japan (1994), a copy of which he was good enough to give me. There is also an article on it, "Aesop's Arrival in Japan in the 1590's" by Yuichi Midzunoe, in Peter Milward's The Mutual Encounter of East and West, 1492-1992 (1992), a copy of which Peter was kind enough to give me. This book of Aesop's fables was the first translation of European literature into Japanese. It includes an abridged life of Aesop and some seventy fables. It exists bound with two other works in a single copy in the British Library (note the stamp on 142). The other stories are "The Heike Story" and "A Collection of Golden Words." My understanding is that the Aesop booklet was meant as much to help Catholic missionaries learn the language as it was to give them a small arsenal of not-immediately-Christian stories to use in their first contacts with Japanese people. Thus the script is Western, and there is a long vocabulary on 101-142 after a short T of C for the fables (97-100) and before four pages of contemporary notes. This was one of the earliest books printed on the press that the Jesuits brought to the Far East. Aesop appears here at a critical moment in the encounter of East and West. From this little start, the fables endured with the Japanese people much longer than the Jesuits were allowed to!

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1600 - 1649

1602/1974 The Etymologist of Aesops Fables. Containing the construing of his Latine fables into English; also The Etymologist of Phaedrus fables, containing the construing of Phaedrus (a new found yet auncient Author) into English, verbatim. Both very necessarie helps for young schollers. Compiled by Simon Sturtevant. London: Printed by Richard Field for Robert Dexter. Reprinted by Walter J. Johnson, Inc. Amsterdam: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, Ltd. $20 from Dundee Books, Nov., '92.

Sixty-nine pages of phrase-by-phrase and then word-by-word construing of some fifty or so Latin fables of Aesop. Then, after the straight verse texts of the 31 fables of Book 1 of Phaedrus, they are treated the same way. The introductions "to the industrious and discreet Schoolemaister" (A ii and 87) may give a good idea of early 17th-century pedagogy.

1614 Aesopi Phrygis Fabulae Elegantissimis iconibus illustratae. Hardbound. Lyon: Jean Jullieron. $499 from Salomon Rosenthal, TX, Sept., '13.

Bodemann finds the texts here stemming from the Jean de Tournes edition of 1551 in Lyon. Bodemann also sees the fable illustrations as copies of those in the Jean de Tournes-Guillaume Gazeau edition of 1549 from Lyon. The Bodemann description fits this little book down to the five added pages for the T of C after the 427 pages of the book. Small in format, 3⅛" x 4½", it is in exceptional condition for its age. The title-page advertises the addition of desired illustrations (twenty-seven of them) to the life of Aesop. The first of the images, which accompanies the excerpt from Philostratus, is a strong depiction of Aesop himself with animals--though, of course, like all the images, it is unfortunately small (2" x 1½"). There are fifty-two illustrations for the fables. As an example, try "The Fox and the Goat" on 145. This book is another pearl in this collection! 

1619? Aesopi Phrygis Fabulae. Elegantissimis iconibus veras animalium species ad viuum adumbrantibus. Title pages missing. Identical with a volume, dated 1619 and published "apud Ioannem Tornaesium" in London, found in the Leighton library, Dunblane. This book is dated in pencil "1570 or 1582" by someone. Front cover separated. $85.50 at McNaughton's, Edinburgh, July, '92.

One of the gems of this collection. Undersized and fragile. Bilingual in columns of Greek and Latin for its first few sections: definitions of fable by Aphthonius and Philostratos; life of Aesop; and 150 fables (beginning on 119). Then several sections are bilingual on facing pages: 43 fables of Gabrius; the Battle of Mice and Frogs; the Battle of Cats and Mice. The last section has just Latin: 42 fables by Avienus. There are many wonderful small illustrations with the 150 fables, some of them marked with ink or color. The best of the illustrations: "The Fox and the Goat" (125), "The Cat and the Mice" (154), "The Ass and the Horse" (194), "The Eagle and the Turtle" (198), "The Ethiopian" (212), "The Mistress and the Two Servants" (215), "The Man and the Satyr" (260), WC (281). There is also a great hand-drawn ink cartoon (of some teacher?) on 299. There are bookplates from two prior owners. See the attached title-page and index-card xerox from the Leighton library.

1621 The Moral Fables of Robert Henryson. Reprinted from the edition of Andrew Hart. Edinburgh: The Maitland Club. See 1570/1621/1832.

1645? Candidatus Rhetoricae. (Or Novus Candidatus.) Author unknown. Handwritten card says "Elzevers ed., Amsterdam." $20 at Blake, June, '93.

This little book is a find whatever it finally turns out to be! For now it seems to be a Jesuit collegium text in rhetoric following the Progymnasmata of Aphthonius. If one works from the back of the book, there is an apparently independent 48-page work, Angelus Pacis by Nicolas Caussini (Latinized name), S.J. The rest of the book seems to be a commentary on or presentation of Aphthonius' Progymnasmata in 3 parts covering 435 pages, followed by a T of C and an AI, which is often one page off. Pars II is titled "Rhetoricae Praecepta," Pars III "De Panegyrico seu Laudatione." Pars I seems to be "Apparatus ad Fabulam et Narrationem." Fable is handled on 15-31. After the famous Greek definition of Theion done into Latin ("sermo falsus veritatem effingens"), the author distinguishes "rational" (human) and "moral" (animal) fables, with "mixed" fables including both. He holds (19) that the sense of the fable generally needs to be expressed; otherwise people often miss the point of a fable. His Latin for promythium is "praefabulatio," for epimythium "affabulatio." "Apologus" and "parabola" are identical for him with "fabula." After describing the qualities and uses of fables, the author presents some nine fables that exemplify various levels of style, twice telling the same stories on two levels (WL and FC). The last example is of the florid style: "The Silkworm and the Spider" takes four pages to tell! I found this book sitting in a box of disparate, unmarked, old books. It pays to look!

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1650 - 1699

1651 The Fables of Aesop Paraphras'd in Verse, and adorned with Sculpture. By John Ogilby. Franz Cleyn. London: Printed by Thomas Warren for Andrew Crook. $2,300 from Scott Ellis, Nov., '00.

Bodemann #70.1. Here is the costliest book in my collection. I never thought I would have a chance at it! This book has lost its binding, though its boards are still present. After an "epistle dedicatory," a tribute by W. D'Avenant, another tribute by James Shirley, and an imprimatur, we find the eighty-one verse fables in four books (including 22, 20, 18, and 21 fables, respectively). Bodemann rightly calls these "Fabelnachdichtungen." As she says, Aesopic material is broadened by additions, examples, dialogues, citations from ancient history and mythology, and royalistic allusions to contemporary events. Cleyn's frontispiece of Ogilby seems to be lacking, but the second frontispiece is here: Aesop talks to the people in the midst of the animals. There is one plate for Fables 14 and 15. Plate 58 is lacking here. Bodemann says that the image motifs are oriented to Gheeraerts but include many new creations. To my surprise, neither the text nor the illustrations are a clean match for the 1668 reprint from the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. That reprint was done from the second edition, which seems to have had not only new art but changes in the text and a considerable addition of footnotes and notations. Some images here have been colored. Among the images I find best are "The Mountain in labour" (#8), "Of the Boare and the Asse" (#11), "Of the Husband-man and the Serpent" (#16), "Of the Old Hownd and his Master" (#18), "Of the Dog and the Thief" (#21), "Of the Lyon grown old" (#23), FS (#26), "Of the Horse and laden Asse" (#48), SW (#65), OR (#67), and "Of the Youngman and the Cat" (#73). My favorite remains "Of the Rebellion of the Hands and Feet" (#47). In general, these illustrations seem sketchier than those of the 1668 second edition. Note that Ogilby follows the tradition of having a wolf rather than a fox come upon the carved head (#22). This book is crumbling in my hands, but it is a treasure!

1659 Les Fables d'Esope Phrygien: Traduction Nouuelle. Illustrée de Discours Moraux, Philosophiques & Politiques. Par J[ean] Baudoin. Avec les figures en taille douce. Hardbound. Paris: Chez Pierre Rocolet. €280 from Antiquariat Canicio, Heidelberg, August, '12.

I already have a copy of a 1660 Baudoin. I mention there the Paris edition by du Bray in 1659. Bodemann writes at the end of the comment on that 1659 edition that other copies have three other publishers' names: Rocolet, Courbé, and Sommaville. This is one of the Rocolet copies. Bodemann calls the 1659 edition a slightly altered and reduced "Nachdruck" of the 1631 original published by Courbé and Sommaville. This copy is not identical in pagination with that 1660 copy that we have. This copy has flaws. 15-16 and 102-9 are missing in this copy, and there are two sets of pages 581-90, though both sets of pages are where they should be. The printer simply forgot to change his second digit. The illustration for "The Sick Ass and the Wolf" on 328 has been colored green. The illustration for "The Tortoise and the Eagle" (504) has a hole. The illustration for "The Lion and the Goat" (608) is damaged. Canicio counts 120 illustrations. Baudoin's first edition in 1631 in Paris contained only 117 Aesopic fables, reportedly translated by Pierre Boissat. Roman page numbers run through the life and T of C, and start anew at Roman 1 for the fables. Philelphus has his own newly paginated section of 110 pages right after 712. However it happened, this edition has 118 fables. Generally, a fable in large print about a page long is followed by a discourse in small print about two pages long. Some of the discourses reach considerable length; "The Greedy and the Envious" (582) and CP (612) seem to get the record with about seventeen pages of discourse each! Several fables have not a "discours" but only a "remarque." Every fable has an impressive numbered full-page copper-plate, like those in the 1631 edition always on the left side facing the beginning of the fable. Sometimes, as on 61, that process means leaving a whole right page blank. The source for the visual motifs is Gheeraerts, as can be seen in "The Satyr and the Traveller" (638). Two of my favorites among the magnificent illustrations are DS (20) and "The Laborer and the Serpent" (34). "The Dog and the Ass" (84) is also strong. In FK (108), Jupiter in the heavens already has the log in his hand. "The Thief and the Dog" (120) represents more good work. The clear vase in FS (164) allows the fox to see what he is missing inside it. "The Man and the Lion" (338) reverses the monument-relief's lie right before our eyes. The cut-away of the well is curious in "The Fox and the Wolf" (386). 2W (478) shows a man with a curious facial expression as both women work diligently on him. The excellent picture of Aesop facing his life (1) is the only one I notice here to have "Briot sc" inscribed. "Du Laboureur et du Serpent" (34) does not have Briot's name, as it seems to have in the 1660 copy. One hinge of the spine-cover is detached. A great find on a day in Heidelberg! 

1660 Les Fables d'Esope Phrygien: Traduction Nouuelle. Illustrée de Discours Moraux, Philosophiques & Politiques. Par J[ean] Baudoin. Avec les figures en taille douce. Hardbound. Rouen: Chez Jean & David Berthelin. £175 from Abbey Antiquarian, June, '98.

Fabula Docet lists three Baudoin editions in its catalogue (#12, 17, 123). Baudoin's first edition in 1631 in Paris contained only 117 Aesopic fables, reportedly translated by Pierre Boissat. With the ethical and political commentary promised in the title, the book already came to 653 pages! For the new edition in 1645, Baudoin broadened the vita and in 1649 he added 18 fables of Franciscus Philelphus (1398-1481). Fabula Docet also presents on 100 the Paris edition of 1659 published by Jean Du Bray. The picture of Aesop as frontispiece to his vita there seems to be the source in mirror-reverse-view for mine here facing the beginning of the vita. (Roman page numbers run through the vita and T of C, and start anew at Roman 1 for the fables.) Bodemann (#67) says of the 1631 edition that its Aesopic fables follow the selection and sequence of the anonymous French collection of 1547. She lists several derivative Baudoin editions--all including the fables of Philelphus--but not this one. The title-plate of this copy is noteworthy. A strong figure at its center holds the instruments of military and hunting power and communicates with the animals arranged below him. I find in this copy 118 fables listed, and I do not see any reference to Philelphus. The whole work finishes on 638. Generally, a fable in large print about a page long is followed by a discourse in small print about two pages long. Some of the discourses reach considerable length; CP (551) seems to get the record with almost seventeen pages of discourse! There is already a hint here of the way Croxall will build sermons on top of the fables! OF (200) allows a reader to catch breath, since it has not a "discours" but only a "remarque." Every fable has an impressive numbered full-page copper-plate, like those in the 1631 edition always on the left side facing the beginning of the fable. Sometimes, as on 201, that means leaving a whole right page blank. The source for the visual motifs is Gheeraerts, as can be seen clearly in "The Satyr and the Traveller" (574). DS (16) is the first to have "Marie Briot sc" inscribed, and it is one of the best illustrations. "Du Laboureur et du Serpent" (28) is another strong Briot illustration. "The Dog and the Ass" (100) is also strong. The illustrations, e.g. of the master's face here, can have so much more detail than smaller ones I have been looking at recently, like those of Chauveau or Remondini. In FK (118), Jupiter in the heavens already has the log in his hand. "The Thief and the Dog" (130) represents more good work. The clear vase in FS (166) allows the fox to see what he is missing inside it. "The Man and the Lion" (308) reverses the monument-relief's lie right before our eyes. The cut-away of the well is curious in "The Fox and the Wolf" (350). 2W (426) shows a man with a curious facial expression as both women work diligently on him. I had to hand carry this book in my travels from Cheltenham to Naples and through Germany. We became very good friends!

1664 Vita Di Esopo Frigio, Prudente, & Facetto Favelatore. Tradutto dal Sig. Conte Giulio Landi. Hardbound. Venice: Per Il Cestari. $183.50 from Brakov, Hampshire, UK through eBay, July, '08.

Here is a great little addition to the collection. It most closely approximates Bodemann #52.3 but was published nine years earlier. The publisher there is listed as "Erben des Giovanni Baptista Cestari," with a publication date of 1673. Here it is simply "Per Il Cestari" in 1664. The dimensions, page numbers, and other bibliographical specifics of the book seem otherwise the same. With vellum covers, this little Italian translation of 400 fables on 419 pages with a T of C at the end has lost its spine. The "Vita" lasts through 144. After each fable there is a "Sentenza." Bodemann #52.3 has 139 illustrations. That number is at least approximately correct for this version. As in that edition, there is frequent repeating of images. Thus the image on 147 is the same as that on 386, and the image on 191 is the same as that on 214. The front cover shows a number of worm holes. The illustrations are delightful but of varying quality, both in their artistic conception and in their printing. The book is very fragile.

1666 Aesop's Fables with his Life: in English, French, and Latin, Newly Translated. English by Thomas Philipott, French and Latin by Robert Codrington. Illustrated with one hundred and ten sculptures by Francis Barlow. First edition. Hardbound. London. $4000 from Stephen Zabriski, Dublin, CA, April, '06.

Here is one of the foremost treasures of this collection! Barlow did a first edition, to which this book belongs, in 1666. As Hobbs reports, "The original edition had been printed in 1666, a year after Ogilby's folio collection, but most copies vanished in the Great Fire of London. Barlow's one hundred and ten vigorous compositions -- which he etched himself -- gave fresh impetus to the ever-persisting influence of Marcus Gheeraerts' genre pictures, which had yielded a whole succession of imitations since their first appearance in 1567." There are actually one hundred and twelve illustrations, including the frontispiece -- Aesop and the animals -- and title-page. The title-page actually dates the book to 1665. After three lives of Aesop -- English, French, and Latin -- each fable has its own program: a French prose version with "Le Sens Moral"; the half-page illustration including the English verse version; and the Latin prose version with its moral. So many of these illustrations are either memorable or famous or both! I feel as though I have seen half of them elsewhere in various histories in tribute to Barlow. There are some curious features of the book. The consistency of the paper is different on different pages. The illustrations (including the English verse) are clearly imprinted onto the paper in a separate operation from the printing of the prose texts, and the two do not always align well with each other. There are some problems, as could only have been expected in bringing together many different elements. Thus on 99 the illustration is of the ant and fly. It is labeled "Ant and Grasshopper." On 143 there is a picture of a man and cat; the title is "The Nurse and her Child," already used correctly on 139. Is "The Old Lyon" (199) a repeat picture? There is a bit lacking on the book's last page; there are some repeated tears (e.g., on 132); and there is some water damage. But what a glorious book! "Even more than Gheeraerts, Barlow 'in turning fable illustrations from humorous pantomime or stylized morality plays into often moving domestic drama' (Hodnett 1979) achieved 'a sense of credibility that is the mark of distinguished illustration" (Hobbs, 62). Besides Stephen Zabriski, this book has belonged to Charles Butler; Edward Cheney; and John Griffith and Justice Edwards.

1667/1750? Phaedri Augusti Caesaris liberti, Fabularum Aesopiarum libri quinque, notis perpetuis illustrati et cum integris aliorum observationibus (Rigaltii, Rittershusii, Schoppii, Meursii, Fabri, Schefferi) in lucem editi a Joanne Laurentio. Laurentius. Illustrated by Christian Hagens, NA. Hardbound. Amsterdam?: Jansson Westberg and Vidua Elzaeus Weyerstraet? £75 from T.F.S. Scott, at a Great Russell Book Fair in London, June, '98.

This exquisite book lacks a title page and 177/78. Besides, 179 is misprinted as 197. It remains for me an exquisite mystery book. If it were not for the fact that it seems to end on 400, I would think that it is either a copy or a descendant of Laurentius' 1667 edition, because the illustrations match so exactly those given by Bodemann in Fabula Docet (19 and 144). The Laurentius edition is Bodemann's #68 in Fabula Docet and #75.1 in Das Fabelbuch. I can find no mention of reproductions of Hagens' work in Carnes or Bodemann. Here is work for a researcher more skilled than I! In the meantime, it is a lovely little book, very well preserved and nicely bound.

1668 Fables choisies, mises en vers par M. de la Fontaine. Illustrations by Francois Chauveau. Hardbound. First edition. Paris: Denys Thierry. $369 from Lorne Scharf, Hampstead, Quebec, through eBay, Sept., '03.

I never thought that I would be able to place a copy of La Fontaine first edition of 1668 into the collection. Whoopee! The edition includes the first six books of La Fontaine's fables. There is an AI at the front, along with the dedicatory letter to "Monsieur le Dauphin" and a life of Aesop. Each fable (except the second of double-fables and the last two) receives a small (2.5" x 2" ) illustration. In the past, I have criticized Chauveau's illustrations. Here I find more to praise. First, do not miss the very nice hand-colored "Les deux Taureaux & une Grenouille" (II 4). (I also notice some coloring in OF, I 3). Some of the illustrations show more force and drama than others, like "Lex deux Mulets" (I 4). I have already praised I 14 (the palace crumbles), III 1 (MSA), and V 12 (Les Medecins). I still think that the illustration for II 13 may miss the point; the star-specialist here is looking at something in his hand. III 14 shows difficulty in depicting a lion's head. A previous owner has made a list of missing items on the blank pre-title-page. One page of the T of C is missing (roughly from "H" to "O"). First first leaf of "La vie d'Ésope" is not here. Pages 215-218 are not here (V 10 and V 11). Pages 58, 252, 258, and 260 have been restored. Pages 265 and 267 are missing small but important portions--important in that they belong to illustrations. Finally, 280-281 is missing. This book is a treasure!

1668/1930  Fables choisies, mises en vers par M. de la Fontaine. Illustrated by FranH ois Chauveau. #185 of 600 facsimiles. Original: Paris: Denys Thierry. Facsimile: Paris: Firmin-Didot. $24 at Crescent City Books, New Orleans, August, ’96.

A prize and a surprise. Here is a fine facsimile of the first six books that La Fontaine published together in 1668. Two pages of notes at the conclusion name the differences from the authorized version of 1678 and 1679. There is an AI at the front, along with the dedication, preface, and life of Aesop. Each fable (except the second of double-fables and the last two) receives a small (2.5" x 2") illustration. Perhaps I expected too much from such a classic, but they are disappointing: small, uninspired, derivative, and stylized. The best of them might be I 14 (the palace crumbles), III 1 (MSA), and V 12 (Les Medecins). Both text and illustration are strong in VI 8 ("Le Vieillard & l’Asne"); I think the real point here is that any master is our enemy. The illustration for II 13 may miss the point; the star-specialist here is looking at something in his hand. III 14 shows difficulty in depicting a lion’s head. There seem to be horizontal and vertical lines across the engravings; are these in the original or the facsimile? I cut the pages of this book. I find it a frail treasure!

1668/1965 The Fables of Aesop Paraphras'd in Verse. John Ogilby. Illustrations especially by Wenceslaus Hollar, also by Stoop and perhaps by Francis Barlow. Introduction by Earl Miner. Los Angeles: William Andrews Clark Memorial Library: UCLA. $8 from the publisher, 1985. Extra copy for $6.38 at Murphy-Brookfield Books, Iowa City, April, '93.

The versions here are longish and filled with topical references. The illustrations are quite faint. Several put another fable's picture in the background. The best illustrations for me might be "The Head and the Members" [with a great belly-face] and FS.

1673 Phaedri Fabularum Aesopiarum Libri Quinque. Cum adnotationibus Joannis Schefferi Argentoratensis et Francisci Guyeti. Notis Nunquam antea publicatis. Editio Tertia Prioribus Emendatior & Auctior in qua iungitur interpretatio Gallica cum notis, & Index Latinus uberrimus. Hamburg: Gothofred Schultzen and Amsterdam: Joannes Janssonium a Waesberge. $15 at Goodspeed's, Jan., '89.

There is a nice French translation immediately after the text of each fable. Copious notes. Guyeti's additional notes begin on 248. They are in French and seem to include some Greek. A steal for the price!

1675 Aesopicks or a Second Collection of Fables Paraphras'd in Verse, Adorned with Sculpture, and Illustrated with Annotations. By John Ogilby. Illustrated by Wenceslaus Hollar?, Francis Barlow?, and Joshua English?. Third edition. London: Printed for T. Basset, R. Clavel, and R. Chiswel at the George in Fleetstreet, at the Peacock, and the Rose and Crown in St. Paul's Church-yard. $130 from June Clinton, April, '98.

Bodemann #76.1 is the first edition of this work. I take it that the first edition was a large-format work. I suspect that the annotations there were done in the margin. Here "Androcleus" and "The Ephesian Matron" are the two last texts, following fifty fables and finishing on 267. A T of C follows next, and then the annotations are separately paginated on 32 pages. I will be curious to compare the full-page illustrations here someday with those in the first edition. I presume that these are copies by another hand. My favorites among them are: "Of the Swan and the Stork" (#5), "Of the Crab and her Mother" (#9), DW (#43), "Of the Fox and the Eagle" (#46), and "Of the Panther and Rusticks" (#49). The best images for "Androcleus" may be the human images facing 213 and 217, and for "The Ephesian Matron" the human image facing 229. The illustration for FC (#8) seems to be missing. Not every fable receives an illustration; several pairs or sets of three seem to use the same illustration (e.g., #24-26 and #27-28, respectively). Some fables (like #36) may simply be missing their illustration. The book is in good condition--especially when compared with my copy of the first edition!

1677/1982 Labyrinte de Versailles 1677. Présenté par Charles Perrault. Avec des gravures de Sébastian Le Clerc. Postface de Michel Conan. Hardbound. Paris: Le Temps des jardins: Editions du Moniteur. €30 from Michel Besombes, Le Marché George Brassens, Paris, July, '12.

This is perhaps the sixth book I have found presenting the Labyrinthe at Versailles. I continue to be fascinated and somewhat confused by the subject. My confusion here arises from a book I just catalogued: Contes et Fables: Texte Integral, a contemporary work including what seem to be Perrault's labyrinth fables. Each of these includes a prose summary and a verse moral, which is almost always amatory in character. Now I go back to this facsimile of Perrault's 1677 work and find the prose summaries, separate from the illustrations, but I find none of the verse morals about love. There is a verse moral with each fable here, but it seems different and not focussed particularly on love. In the early part of this book, the prose rendition of each fable is followed by a description of the fountain scene presented in the Labyrinth. The rendering of LeClerc's plates is adequate. The Labyrinth, the back cover tells us, was destroyed in 1774. The postface by Michel Conan includes nine illustrations, listed just after the postface.

1678/2010 Fables d'Esope en Quatraines dont Il y en a une Partie au Labyrinthe de Versailles. (Isaac) Benserade. Illustrations by Pierre le Sueur I. Paperbound. Paris/La Vergne, TN: Sebastien Mabre-Cramoisy/Kessinger Publishing. AU$32.49 from The Nile Publishing Company, Australia, Sept., '10.

One learns from Wikipedia that André Le Nôtre initially planned a maze of unadorned paths in 1665, but in 1669, Charles Perrault advised Louis XIV to include thirty-nine hydraulic fountains each representing one of the fables of Aesop. The work was carried out between 1672 and 1677. In 1675 the poet Isaac de Benserade provided the quatrains accompanying each fountain. Here Benserade adds enough fable quatrains to make a total of 221, the additional ones following the pattern he had set with the 1675 fountain quatrains. A number of the quatrains here are marked "Versailles"; apparently those are the very ones used in the labyrinth. The publisher of this original book is the same that published Perrault's book on the labyrinth a year earlier. Though this copy, like most on-demand reprints, suffers from inexact xeroxing, the cameos are surprisingly detailed and quite pleasing. Take as a sample Fable LXXII on 73. The quatrain is simple and clear. The cameo presents the characters, a serpent and a hedgehog, clearly and has them face each other, as they may well have done during their spirited dialog! As Metzner notes in his Bodemann description, the quatrain often serves as a title for the cameo. I have three books from the labyrinth tradition: Labyrinte de Versailles (1683?) by Perrault, with Sébastian Le Clerc as illustrator and Nicolaus Visscher as publisher; Labyrinte de Versailles (1690?) by Johann Ulrich Krauss, reproduced in a contemporary version by Helmut Eisendle; and Aesop at Court (1768) by Bellamy, with Bickham as an illustrator and W. Faden as publisher.

1683? Labyrinte de Versailles. Isaac de Benserade; Charles Perrault. Sébastian Le Clerc? Second edition? Hardbound. Amsterdam: Nicolaus Visscher. €2200 from Librairie de l'Avenue, St. Ouen , Paris, June, '09.

Finding this book was a terrific surprise! Laurence Veyrier had shown me a number of fable books. As I finished, she mentioned offhand that I probably would not be interested in the Versailles labyrinth. I have looked for it for years! At last I had it in my hand. I breathed deeply and considered my policy that I should buy any book that I have not had in my hand before. We negotiated and I finally agreed to have the book sent to me in Heidelberg, so that I would carry it back to the USA. (A box of books from Germany had been lost in the mail a year before.) I love the book! There are several clues to its structure. First, the text sections are all in fours to accommodate the four languages. The title-page thus has four titles. After what look like two "imprimi potest" statements in Dutch, there are four addresses to the "Courteous Reader." After four descriptions of the labyrinth, quartets of fable texts plus fountain explanations follow, both in prose. Pagination of this section ends on 82. Four "explanations of the platform" follow, an enumerated list of fables. New pagination then marks the illustration section. Two beginning illustrations show the labyrinth's plan and the two statues -- Aesop and Cupid -- at its entrance. Then follow thirty-nine engravings of the fountains. On the left facing each illustration is Benserade's quatrain and a poetic rendering into quatrains in the other three languages. The key to understanding the artistry of the fountains is, I believe, that the water is the animals' speech. They frequently spew forth in competition with each other. The pattern is at its simplest in Fable III, UP. Cock spews back a lie for the fox's lie. That the stream of water is speech-as-attack seems to me clear in Fable XXI, WC, where only the wolf spews water. The same effect is at work in "The Fox and the Goat" (XXIV), where the goat is in the water and not spewing it, while the fox pours insults onto him. Of course a well is a perfect setting for a part of a fountain! Stories that are new to me include "The Cock and the Turkey-cock" (Fable VIII) and "The Parrot and the Ape" (XVII). I had mentioned the latter in my comment on the reprint version of this book done by Helmut Eisendle in 1975. The mother monkey squeezes her son to death in Fable XI; might the water be pressured out of him by her embrace? Favorites of mine include Fable XII, a domed enclosure in which the birds and beasts fight it out with their water streams; Fable XXII, the kite's party in which the guests learn that they are the meal; Fable XXVI, in which the frogs are stupidly spewing forth their desires about kingship; and Fable XXXVIII, "The Serpent and the Porcupine," where torrents of water represent the porcupine's quills. Fountains XIII and XIV are the two phases of FS, beautifully done. Fable XIX has the frog carrying the mouse on his back in the water. I have trouble finding that a good version of this story. It may be a sample of what had become of some fables in the tradition: the principal twist of the story is lost, and good artists are working with inferior stories. Bodemann #79 mentions four editions in a LeClerc tradition: 1677 in Paris, 1679 in Paris (first and second editions by Mabre-Cramoisy); about 1700 by Krauss in Augsburg (the edition used by Eisendle); and 1768 in London with plates by Bickham. Hobbs describes the Visscher edition (60) and seems confident that the illustrations are from LeClerc. Veyrier calls this a second edition. A pencilled date is either 1682 (Visscher's first edition) or -- more likely -- 1683.

1686 Ad Iambum Ut Carolum Pererium V. Cl. admoneat Fabulam iamdudum promissam in lucem edere. Carolus Pererius, Joannes Comirius. Paperbound. Paris: Andreae Cramoisy. €5 from Antiquariat Müller & Gräff, Stuttgart, August, '09.

Here is a strange little eight-page pamphlet that seems to be a dialogue between two fabulists, Carolus Pererius and Joannes Comirius, S.J. At first there is an introduction and then a fable, "Mus, Feles, & Muscipula," that is, "The Mouse, the Cat, and the Mousetrap." Pererius responds in an iamb, which is followed by an address to Comirius, followed by another fable, "Leo Aeger, Vulpes & Lupus," that is, "The Sick Lion, the Fox, and the Wolf." Burrowing into the medieval Latin verse here will have to wait for another day! 

1689 Fables d'Esope, avec les Figures de Sadeler.  Pierre du Fresne.  Illustrations after (Aegidius) Sadeler.   Traduction Nouvelle.  Hardbound. Paris: Pierre Auboyn, Pierre Emery, & Charles Clouzier.  $1500 from Scott Schilb, April, '18.

Here is the French translation of the original German "Theatrum Morum" of 1608, published by Paul Sesse in Prag.  The illustrations, however lovely, are done "after" Sadeler, not by him.  After a signed frontispiece offering humans on an upper tier and animals on a lower tier, there are 139 prose fables, each with a rectangular illustration covering about half of the right-hand page with a "sens moral," while the text takes up the left-hand page.  There are some unfortunate brown stains on this lovely old book's pages.  Apparently Sadeler follows in the tradition of de Dene.  In any case, these are wonderfully active and detailed illustrations!  279 pages.  This book has clearly been around for a while!  My prizes among the illustrations go to "The Thief and the Dog" (41); "The Ass and the Lapdog" (103); WLS (131); and "The Bull and the Calf" (135).

1692 Fables of Aesop and other Eminent Mythologists with Morals and Reflexions. By Sir Roger L'Estrange, Kt. First edition. London: R. Sare, T. Sawbridge, B. Took, M. Gillyflower, A. & J. Churchil, and J. Hindmarsh. $465 from Emil Reimer, Steinbach, MB, Canada, through Ebay, Nov., '00.

Bodemann #86.1. Included are these elements: Frontispiece, Title-Page, Preface, Aesop Engraving, Life of Aesop in eighteen chapters (with pages in Arabic numerals 1-28), AI, Errata, and (starting on a new Arabic "1") five hundred numbered fables without illustration finishing on 480. Bodemann offers a division of the fables: Aesop (1-201), Barlandus, etc. [from Aesopus Dorpii] (202-214), Anianus, etc. (215-252), Abstemius, etc. (253-351), Poggius (352-373), Miscellany fables [= Fables in the Common School-Book] (374-383), Supplement [of more recent authors] (384-500). The frontispiece portrait of L'Estrange is by G. Kneller. Facing the "Life of Aesop" is a full-page engraving of Aesop among the animals and birds. Bodemann seems to speak of 132 text-illustrations, but there are none here. Do I understand correctly that they were appended as a group after the fables? I do not think I have yet seen an illustrated edition of L'Estrange. There is some water damage perceptible on many pages, especially early in the book. The bottom of the outer spine is worn away. Internally the book seems sound. Signed "Charles Wright 1692" on cover page. Ex Libris "Scott Chad." This is the year during which I have seen to digitizing L'Estrange's 500 fable texts. I am delighted to have found this book at just the right time!

1693 Esope en Belle Humeur.  Aesop.  Hardbound.  Brussels: Chez François Foppens.  $599 from Scott Schilb, Columbia, MO, August, '15.

The title continues ""Ou Derniere Traduction et Augmentation de ses Fables, en Prose, et en Vers."  As Bodemann notes, there are 157 fables on 360 pages, followed by an AI.  A strong frontispiece starts the book facing the inside front cover: a capped Aesop, carrying an object, walks through a pastoral scene surrounded by animals and perhaps a child.  The title-page is followed by a ten page envoy "Esope au Lecteur."  This Aesop promises the reader "une plaisante affaire," especially because he is in good humor.  The illustration at the start of the two-page life of Aesop is especially lively: Aesop dances while monkeys play music (15).  That pagination makes clear, I believe, that the printer has been counting pages from the very first page.  The illustrations, about 2" by 1½", are strong and well defined.  Among the strongest are "The Eagle and the Fox" (26); "The Stag Caught by His Antlers" (55); "The Horse and the Stag" (109); "The Dog and the Ass" (122); "An Old Dog and His Master" (179); TMCM (199); TB (208); "Two Lobsters" (258); OR (265); 2W (287); 2P (297); "The Greedy and the Envious" (302); and "The Eagle and the Crow" (347).  It seems to me that I have seen this book's illustration for GA (233) before.  La Fontaine's GA appears without illustration in its original form on 244 and is soon followed by a number of other La Fontaine texts, usually without illustration.  Other fables too, like "The Charlatan" (194) and "L'Alouette et ses Petits" (224) lack illustrations.  This book is another star in this collection!  About 6" x 3½".  Formerly owned by Denis du Peage.

1698 Phaedri Augusti Liberti Fabularum Aesopiarum. Libri V. Cum integris commentariis Marq. Gudii, Conr. Rittershusii. Nic. Rigaltii, Nic Heinsii, Joan. Schefferi, Jo. Lud. Praschii, & excerptis aliorum. Curante Petro Burmanno. Curante Petro Burmanno (Peter Burman). Frontispiece drawn by Tiedemann, engraved by Joseph Mulder. Hardbound. Amsterdam (Amstelaedami): Heinrich Wetstein (apud Henricum Wetstenium). $299.99 from The Holy Graal, Edmonton, Canada, through ebay, Nov., '11.

I had been looking for some time for a second full copy of Peter Burman's famous commentary on Phaedrus, reproduced so many times in so many different ways. I had previously found a 1745 Luchtmans edition from Leiden. I noticed this copy on eBay and went for it. It turns out that this is the editio princeps of Burman! Bodemann #90.1 and Carnes #94. Carnes writes "The first Pieter Burman (1668-1741) edition of Phaedrus, which is to become generally the standard Phaedrus for the next century, and (through second and third) generation editions, well into the nineteenth century. This popularity results in a pedigree almost impossible to follow. Burman's edition will be the foundation for many other editions, all through Europe and North and South America, some of which will credit Burman, though most do not. Burman himself will see three editions through the press, together with a shorter school version. The 1698 edition contains the first edition of the transcription of the R manuscript. Contains also commentaries by Marquard Gude (1635-1689), Konrad Rittershausen (1560-1613), Nicolas Rigault (1577-1654), Nicolaus Heinsius (1620-1681), Johannes Scheffer (1621-1679), and Johann Ludwig Prasch (1637-1690)." Bodemann is more exact in recording the unusual pagination as one moves from introduction to texts to index to commentaries to an index on the commentaries: [54], 312, [58], 203-462, [58]. I cannot find the promised contribution of Heinsius here. Scheffer and Prasch have praefationes early in the book.

1699 Fables of Aesop and other Eminent Mythologists with Morals and Reflexions. By Sir Roger L'Estrange, Kt. The Third Edition Corrected and Amended. London: R. Sare, B. Took, M. Gillyflower, A. & J. Churchil, G. Sawbridge, and H. Hindmarsh. £40 from June Clinton, May, '96.

Bodemann does not seem to have a separate listing for other than the 1692 first edition of L'Estrange's work. The second edition was in 1694. Here is the third. By a random sampling, I conclude that the entire work has been newly typeset. This copy lacks the frontispiece portrait of La Fontaine; it also does not have the preface or the portrait of Aesop that faced the "Life of Aesop" in my first edition. There is no longer a list of errata facing the first fable; presumably they have all been corrected! There are 476 pages, whereas the first edition had 480. The title-page print area is crowded into the upper left corner of the page. Two names among the publishers have changed their initial; they had been T. Sawbridge and J. Hindmarsh. I have put down the price that June Clinton charged me for this book, but that is a joke. It should be listed simply as a gift--because that is what it is. My understanding is that one of L'Estrange's major contributions to the history of fable publishing is the addition of the "Reflexion" to the moral. We will pay dearly for this innovation in reading L'Estrange's political and religious adversary, Croxall! The reflections include undisguised social and political commentary with more than a hint of Jacobitism.

1699/1910? Fables of Aesop and other Eminent Mythologists with Morals and Reflexions. By Sir Roger L'Estrange, Kt. The Third Edition Corrected and Amended. London: R. Sare, B. Took, M. Gillyflower, A. & J. Churchil, G. Sawbridge, and H. Hindmarsh; Reprinted and Published by W.H. Allen and Co. $50 from an unknown source, July, '98.

One of two different copies I have of this reprint, originating from different publishers. The surprising thing is that I have a third edition of L'Estrange, and neither of these books is an exact reproduction of it. The typesetting is new. Did the reproducers set the type for a whole new edition? The order of elements in this volume is this: Frontispiece, Title-Page [with the misprinted date of 1669], acknowledgement of the reprinter, AI, blank, Life of Aesop (1-30), Preface, and the 500 Fables (1-476). This edition has gilt page-edges all the way around, a green cloth cover, and a gold-on-red label "Aesop's Fables" on the spine. Good condition.

1699/1910? Fables of Aesop and other Eminent Mythologists with Morals and Reflexions. By Sir Roger L'Estrange, Kt. The Third Edition Corrected and Amended. London: R. Sare, B. Took, M. Gillyflower, A. & J. Churchil, G. Sawbridge, and H. Hindmarsh; Reprinted and Published by John Gray and Co. $85 from Chanticleer, Sonoma, July, '00.

Here is the fancier reprint of l'Estrange's third edition from 1699. As far as I can ascertain, it is--except for one difference--exactly identical internally with the edition by W.H.Allen and Company, which I have listed under the same date. As I mention there, the surprising thing is that I have a third edition of L'Estrange, and neither of these books is an exact reproduction of it. The typesetting is new. Did the reproducers set the type for a whole new edition? The beginning order of elements in this volume is this: Frontispiece, Title-Page [with the misprinted date of 1669], acknowledgement of the reprinter, AI, blank, Life of Aesop (1-30), and Preface. Then there appears here, facing the last page of the preface, the full-page engraving of Aesop among the animals. That engraving does not appear in my copy of the Allen reproduction. The engraving's blank back faces the first of the 500 numbered fables, which again run from 1 to 476. Full leather. The front cover is separated. Marbled inside covers and endpapers. The spine has in gold on red "Fables, of Aesop &c. L'Estrange." At the spine's bottom is "1669."

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1700 - 1724

1700 Fables Choisies de M. de La Fontaine.  Henrik Cause, after Chauveau.  Hardbound.  The Hague: Chez Henry van Bulderen.  $69 from Sand Lake Farm, through eBay, Feb., '16.

This book becomes one of the stars of the collection!  Bodemann #77 describes a family of editions that starts with Denys Thierry's 1668 publication of La Fontaine's first six books of fables, illustrated by Chauveau (Bodemann #77.1).  The first "Gesamtausgabe" of the twelve books was published between 1669 and 1694 in five "volumes," each of which contained one to three "books" of La Fontaine's fables (Bodemann #77.3).  Were these five, published by different publishers over twenty-five years, bound together to make one volume?  Volume I contained La Fontaine's first three books, and Volume II the next three books.  Life gets trickier with Volume III: it contained what we know as Books 7 and 8 of La Fontaine's fables, but they were called "Books I and II" and their pages were freshly paginated.  Volume IV contained what we know as Books 9-11 but called them "Books III to V."  Volume V contained what we know as Book 12 but called it, mistakenly, "Book VII."  Bodemann correctly notes "richtig VI."  Henrik von Bulderen published the next version of this book in 1688 (Volumes I through IV) and 1694 (Volume V): Bodemann #77.4.  He republished it in 1700 (Bodemann #77.8).  This volume continues the unusual numbering of books and the mistaken numbering of the final volume.  My understanding is that Henrik Cause is the engraver and he models these engravings after the drawings of Chauveau.  Bodemann describes the title-page picture in terms of a satyr pointing to the pictorialized character of fable.  In fact, the illustrations are very well preserved here.  The book itself is not well preserved.  Both front and back cover boards are separated.  270 pages plus 346 pages, separately paginated.  Bodemann says of #77.3 that it contains 235 illustrations.  The illustrations are surprisingly large: 2¾" x about 3".  Some foxing.

1701   Phaedri, Aug. Liberti Fabularum Æsopiarum Libri V. Notis illustravit in usum Serenissimi Principis Nassavii David Hoogstratanus (David Hoogstraten). (Medallion engravings by Jan van Vianen). Amstelædami: Ex typographia Francisci Halmae (François Halma). $525 from Michael Hirschfeld, April, '95.

One of the jewels of this collection. I am so delighted to have found this book! Hobbs describes it accurately when she uses its fifth plate to open her little essay "Five Hundred Years of Illustration and Text." There are eighteen such plates with six medallions apiece, and they are wonderful! That fifth plate and the twelfth (92) are particularly beautiful; among the best individual illustrations are I.IX (the sparrow and the hare), I.XII (the deer admiring its horns), II.II (2W), II.VI (the eagle, the turtle, and the crow), III.X (the wife-suspecting man who kills his son in bed), IV.XXIV (Simonides saved from an earthquake), and V.IX (the bull in the doorway). Individual medallions do an excellent job of portraying in several planes the several phases of a given story or both the fable and its exemplification in life. Even the initials are beautiful, particularly that for the prologue to Book I. There are other designs, some repeated, throughout the book, particularly involving Bacchanalia. The folded-in portrait of the Prince of Nassau is torn and repaired. Book IV is off twice in relation to Perry's numbering, since Perry 4.1 and 4.13 are missing. Thus Hoogstraten 4.1-11 are Perry's 4.2-12, and Hoogstraten's 4.12-24 are Perry's 4.14-26. Hoogstraten's 4.13 does not have the usual Latin title in the circle around the medallion; this image (of a woman with a bird seated on a crocodile) seems to have nothing to do with the fable's subject of a woman's tongue and private parts. There is an appendix of five fables from "Marquardo Gudio," the illustrations for the fourth and fifth of which are misnumbered. Hobbs mentions "moral indexing" that I cannot find here. I do find an AI of Latin titles just before the fables begin and, at the end, indices (1) of all vocables and (2) of items in the notes worthy of observance. Hoogstraten was a classics scholar. Some pages (e.g., 57 and 157) have a square cut out of the lower outside corner. Is the ribbon as old as the book? Michael mentioned that he had had the book rebound in Europe.

1703 Aesop's Fables in English & Latin, Interlineary, for the Benefit of those who not having a Master, Would Learn Either of these Tongues. (John Locke). Hardbound. London: A.and J. Churchil. $1592.95 from Owl Books, Leitrim, Ireland, Dec., '09.

There are 337 pages for two-hundred-and-thirty fables. I think I laughed at Locke's project when I first read of it. It makes more sense to me now. He is trying to help people who cannot get to school to learn Latin, and he wisely conjectures that his book can also help those who already know Latin but need to learn English. He admits in his preface that the English here will not be stellar. But it will clearly reflect the Latin. The printer does a good job of varying the typeface, so that a reader can easily see which Latin and English words correspond to each other. While I am still not a fan of this method of learning, I admire the project and the practical working of Locke's mind to offer a method for learning Latin. The title-page promises sculptures but they are not here. As I recall, they are not so much fable illustrations as animal illustrations, perhaps meant for the young who may not yet have experienced some of the various animals mentioned here. There is a page of errata just before the beginning AI. Bodemann mentions the five pages of illustrations, with sixteen pictures each of individual animals. I had forgotten that Locke's name is not mentioned in the book and was frustrated at first when searching for the book in Bodemann under Locke's name. This is apparently the first edition (1703) without pictures. I wonder why no one has ever reprinted this book.

1703/2010 Aesop's Fables in English & Latin, Interlineary, for the Benefit of those who not having a Master, Would Learn Either of these Tongues. (John Locke). Paperbound. London/LaVergne, TN: A.and J. Churchil/Kessinger Publishing. AU$39.49 from The Nile, Australia, through eBay and Premier Books, Roseburg, OR, Sept., '10.

I closed my remark on my original copy of this book with this comment: "I wonder why no one has ever reprinted this book." Here is my answer. This copy, manufactured at request, provides a good supplement to the original edition. First of all, it contains the illustrations that are missing in that copy. Secondly, it provides a book that can be used without harming that fragile copy over 300 years old. I am slightly confused over buying a book from an Australian firm on eBay, having it printed in Tennessee, and shipped to me by a bookdealer in Oregon! Let me include some comments from the original copy. There are 337 pages for two-hundred-and-thirty fables. I think I laughed at Locke's project when I first read of it. It makes more sense to me now. He is trying to help people who cannot get to school to learn Latin, and he wisely conjectures that his book can also help those who already know Latin but need to learn English. He admits in his preface that the English here will not be stellar. But it will clearly reflect the Latin. The printer does a good job of varying the typeface, so that a reader can easily see which Latin and English words correspond to each other. While I am still not a fan of this method of learning, I admire the project and the practical working of Locke's mind to offer a method for learning Latin. There is a page of errata just before the beginning AI. I had forgotten that Locke's name is not mentioned in the book and was frustrated at first when searching for the book in Bodemann under Locke's name.

1704/1966 Aesop Dress'd or a Collection of Fables Writ in Familiar Verse. Bernard Mandeville. Introduction by John S. Shea. No illustrations. Original: London: Lock's-Head. Reprint: Los Angeles: The Augustan Reprint Society Publication Number 120: William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. $6.50 at the Book House on Grand, St. Paul, Nov., '94. Extra for $1.90 at Bargain Bookstore, San Diego, Aug., '93.

Thirty-eight fables, almost all from LaFontaine, done in couplets apparently based on the rhythms of Samuel Butler. They move along swiftly enough. LaFontaine is clearly behind this work. I first found this pamphlet thinking that I had one at home. In fact all I had was a xerox for $15 from the publisher because the work had been sold out! I would rather be lucky than good!

1706 Novus Candidatus Rhetoricae. Hardbound. Lyon: Antonius Molin. $79 from Don Nash, Plymouth, MA, Oct., '04. 

The fuller title includes the following: "Altero se candidior comptiorque, non Aphthonii solum Progymnasmata ornatius concinnata; sed Tullianæ etiam Rhetoricæ Præcepta clarius explicata repræsentans Studiosis Eloquentiæ Candidatis. Accessit nunc primùm Dissertatio de Panegyrico, Auctore P. Francisco Pomey, e Societate Jesu." This book seems to represent an updating and amplification of the Candidatus Rhetoricae of which I have a copy from perhaps 1645. It seems to lack the Greek that one could find in the earlier book. As I wrote there, the book seems to be a Jesuit collegium text in rhetoric following the Progymnasmata of Aphthonius. If one works from the back of the book, there is still present an apparently independent 48-page work, Angelus Pacis by Nicolas Caussini (Latinized name), S.J. The title-page for this is exactly the same as the title-page for the whole present work, with only the bottom few lines changed to indicate not Antonius Molin in Lyon in 1706 but Wilhem Friessem and and Joannes Everardus Fromart in Cologne in 1706. The next element includes two statements of royal privilege. Previous to that, after 418, is first a T of C titled "Index Titulorum" and then an AI titled "Index Rerum." The newly expanded and attributed Pars III is Franciscus Pomey's Dissertation on the Panegyric covering 343-418; in the earlier edition it had simply been titled "De Panegyrico seu Laudatione." Did Pomey amplify the previous classroom material offered by an anonymous teacher and writer? Pars II remains "Rhetoricae Praecepta" and runs from 133-312. Pars I runs through six chapters touching fable and narration, and covers, respectively: fable (8-23), narration, chria, sententia, thesis, and a combination of "locus communis, destructio, and confirmatio." The fable section seems to remain the same. After the famous Greek definition of Theion done into Latin (" sermo falsus veritatem effingens" ), the author distinguishes "rational" (human) and " moral" (animal) fables, with " mixed" fables including both. He holds that the sense of the fable generally needs to be expressed; otherwise people often miss the point of a fable. His Latin for promythium is "praefabulatio," for epimythium "affabulatio." After describing the qualities and uses of fables, the author presents some nine fables that exemplify various levels of style, twice telling the same stories on two levels (WL and FC). The last example is of the florid style: "The Silkworm and the Spider" takes four pages to tell!

1707/2009 Esope En Belle Humeur, Ou Derniere Traduction Des ses Fables / Der Lustige und Anmuthige Aesopus.  Christian Friedrich Hunold, Nach der letzten Frantzösischen Ausfertigung Seiner Fabeln Ins Teutsche übersetzt Von Menantes.  Illustrations after Jan van Vianen.  Mit einem Vorwort von Dirk Rose.  Hardbound.  Hildesheim, Germany: Bewahrte Kultur:  Georg Olms Verlag.  €43.50 from Brungs und Hönicke Medienversand, Berlin, Jan., '15.  

This is a valuable reprint of one of the many books celebrating Aesop having fun.  The frontispiece identifies Hunold as Menantes.  The illustrations are only adequate.  According to Bodemann, they are based upon Solis and Salomon.  It is great to have them in the collection, even in a reproduction.   Those leanings upon earlier great fable illustration conceptions are clear in the second fable: "Fox and Goat."  The illustration is excellent but also derivative.  The French and German are presented in two columns on each page.  There is a typical problem with the lion's face on 19 and again on 23.  For each fable there is about a one-third page illustration above the two columns with their respective titles for the fables.  Further French fables are inserted in open space or open pages after the two-column fables.  The last of the fables -- XCV -- has an excellent illustration of the fox and wolf.  It is followed, as Bodemann notes, by seven French fables without German translation or illustration.  276 pages.  About 5" x 7".

1708 A New Translation of Æsop's Fables, Adorn'd with Cutts.  J.J. Gent (= John Jackson).  By the Most Ingenious Artist Christopher Van Sycham.  Apparent first printing.  Hardbound.  London: Tho(mas) Tebb.  $220 from ElevenEleven Books, Clarkson, NY, through eBay, Oct., '13.

The title continues "Suited to the Fables Copied from the Frankfurt Edition. By the Most Ingenious Artist Christopher Van Sycham.  The Whole being rendered in a Plain, Easy, and Familiar Style, adapted to the Meanest Capacities. Nevertheless Corrected and Reform'd from the Grossness of the Language, and Poorness of the Verse us'd in the now Vulgar Translation: The Morals also more accurately Improv'd; Together with Reflections on each Fable, in Verse."  Whew!  I was surprised to find this book offered on eBay, and I am delighted to save it.  The copy is, as the seller noted, in poor condition.  The good news is that the title-page and fable contents are intact, even if the spine has deteriorated and several early pages are lost.  I am amazed that this book is not in Bodemann.  The Van Sycham illustrations are strong, if simple.  As far as I can tell, there is an illustration on every right-hand page.  Excellent for its sheer vigor is the illustration for "The Wolf and the Sow" on 41.  The illustration for TMCM (15) follows a different tradition than do most illustrations and even this text; the center of the action appears to be not a dining room (as in the text) but an outdoor grain bin.  Is that a cat perched on the grain bin?  In all, the book's 288 pages -- followed by an eight-page AI -- contain some 215 fables.  There must be over a hundred illustrations.  I have ordered an inexpensive print-on-demand xerox of this book and will add that to the collection.  This is a tender little treasure!

1708 Fables of Aesop and other Eminent Mythologists with Morals and Reflexions, bound with: Fables and Storyes Moralized, Being a Second Part of the Fables of Aesop and other Eminent Mythologists, etc. By Sir Roger L'Estrange, Kt. Vol I: The Fifth Edition Corrected; Vol II: the Second Edition. Hardbound. Printed in London: Printed for R. Sare, A. & J. Churchil, D. Brown, T. Goodwin, M. Wotton, J. Nicholson, G. Sawbridge, B. Tooke, and G. Strahan; Vol. II printed for Richard Sare, also in 1708. $100 from an unknown source, July, '98.

Bodemann does not seem to have a separate listing for other than the 1692 first edition of L'Estrange's work. The second edition was in 1694, the third in 1699. In the same year, L'Estrange put out a second volume. My favorite private collector quotes Mark Kishlansky's essay "Turning Frogs into Princes" from Political Culture and Cultural Politics in Early Modern England: "L'Estrange's Aesop was so popular that it achieved three editions in seven years and then was followed by a second volume of non-Aesopic fables in the same format." We get both volumes here in one stout book. The page-format is smaller than in the first three editions of the first volume. Page-numbering starts anew in the second volume after the 550 pages of the first volume. This copy has a frontispiece portrait of L'Estrange; it also has the preface and the portrait of Aesop facing the "Life of Aesop." There is a set of advertisements for L'Estrange's writings just before the first fable. Again, this edition of L'Estrange seems typical for its heavy concentration on text. My understanding is that one of L'Estrange's major contributions to the history of fable publishing is the addition of the "Reflexion" to the moral. We will pay dearly for this innovation in reading L'Estrange's political and religious adversary, Croxall! The reflections include undisguised social and political commentary with more than a hint of Jacobitism. This copy is cracked in half. Its binding and spine are very weak and fragile, and the front cover has broken free but is present.

1708 Les Fables d'Esope Phrygien, Avec Celles de Philelphe: Traduction Nouvelle, Vol. 1. Jean-Baptiste Morvan de Bellegarde. Copper etchings after Baudoin. First edition. Hardbound. Amsterdam: Pierre Mortier. £100 from R. Macauley, Norfolk, UK, through eBay, Sept., '11.

"Enrichie de Discours Moraux & Historique, & de Quatrains à la fin de chaque Discours." In fact, these "moral discourses" are a feature of this lovely little (4" x 6¼") book. The discourses can run to several pages of ruminations on the fables. Each of the seventy-eight fables in this first volume has an excellent copper etching. Bodemann #97.1 points out that these go back to Baudoin. I would have seen Barlow also in their background. With the extensive introductory material, particularly the Planudes life of Aesop in 29 chapters, fables do not begin until 94. Among the finest illustrations are "The Ass and the Dog" (134); "The Old Dog and His Master" (160); FS (175); "The Ass and the Horse" (204); "The Stag and the Horse" (236); "The Fox and the Wolf" (270); and BW (293). One can see the imprint the printer made in putting these pictures "into" the page. The engraver has the common problem with lions' faces, here particularly challenging on 244. There is a tear through 267. This is one of the stars of this collection. Now I need to find the second volume. The book is split through the spine at 96.

1708 Truth in Fiction or Morality in Masquerade: A Collection of Two hundred twenty five Select Fables of Aesop and other Authors Done into English Verse. Edmund Arwaker. Hardbound. London: J. Churchill. $50 from Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts Company, through abe, August, '06.

Four books of fables in English verse in blind-stamped cloth, covers detached, cloth lost over spine. Lacking the title-page, first leaf of the dedication, and last six pages. Back free endpaper and pastedown with pocket and slip. Pages browned and foxed, with some waterstaining to first few leaves; last few leaves with edges a bit ragged. The foregoing comments are almost all from PRBM's description. The four books contain, respectively, 68, 68, 58, and 31 fables. Helpful subtitles often give the theme of the fable. Thus the first three fables are "The Peasant and Hercules: or No Pains, No Profit"; "Jupiter and the Tortoise: or Home is Home"; and "The Ass, Ape, and Mole: or Sufferings lightned [sic] by Comparison." I have been able to supply the lost title-pages and the final pages of the book from a copy on the Internet Archive. It also helps to be able to read the book online without disturbing this very fragile book! The format changes slightly in Book III, where the "theme" comes before the subject. There are a few fables which I do not immediately recognize as traditional here, including "The Mad-house: or Expensive Sports, destructive Folly" (I 32); "The Bigamists" (II 9); "The Lapwing" (II 11); "The Coffee-House: or A Man's Credit is His Cash" (III 29); and "The Miss: or the Sponge Squeezed" (III 53).

1708/2013 A New Translation of Æsop's Fables, Adorn'd with Cutts.  J.J. Gent (= John Jackson).  By the Most Ingenious Artist Christopher Van Sycham.  Facsimile.  Paperbound.  London/NA: Tho(mas) Tebb/Gale Ecco Print Editions.  $3.41 from Amazon, Oct., '13.

Here is apparently a print-on-demand facsimile found at a sharply reduced price.  I ordered the book after I enjoyed cataloguing the original.  Before I include my comments from that book, I have a theory that the xerox bookmaking machine skipped a page just before the first page of fables here (1).  In the original, all the illustrations are on right-hand pages.  Here they are all on left-hand pages.  As I wrote there, the title continues "Suited to the Fables Copied from the Frankfurt Edition. By the Most Ingenious Artist Christopher Van Sycham.  The Whole being rendered in a Plain, Easy, and Familiar Style, adapted to the Meanest Capacities. Nevertheless Corrected and Reform'd from the Grossness of the Language, and Poorness of the Verse us'd in the now Vulgar Translation: The Morals also more accurately Improv'd; Together with Reflections on each Fable, in Verse."  Whew!  The Van Sycham illustrations are strong, if simple.  As far as I can tell, there is an illustration on every right-hand page.  Excellent for its sheer vigor is the illustration for "The Wolf and the Sow" on 41.  The illustration for TMCM (15) follows a different tradition than do most illustrations and even this text; the center of the action appears to be not a dining room (as in the text) but an outdoor grain bin.  Is that a cat perched on the grain bin?  In all, the book's 288 pages -- followed by an eight-page AI -- contain some 215 fables.  There must be over a hundred illustrations.

1713 Phaedri Aug. Liberti Fabularum Aesopiarum Libri Quinque. Hardbound. London: Jacob Tonson and John Watts; Michael Mattaire. £52.25 from Elaine Robinson, Rye, East Sussex, UK, Nov., '12.

Here is a Bodemann #100.1, a Phaedrus edition with a number of printer's designs. Unfortunately, this copy lacks the frontispiece featured in Bodemann 100.1. The printer's designs that mark the beginning and ending of each book and chapter seem unrelated to the fables themselves. Beginnings are further marked with elaborate initials. The five books of Phaedrus' fables conclude on 57 and are followed by "Fabulae Quaedam a Marquardo Gudio e veteri Manuscripto desumptae," containing five Latin fables, and a list of variant readings. The very detailed index to Phaedrus' fables starts after 62 and runs over seventy pages. The following appendix begins with a number of Greek fables: "Fabulae Graecae Latinis Phaedri Fabulis respondentes; Ex Aesopo." Then follow nine quatrains from "Gabrius," nine Latin prose fables, and finally forty-two Latin verse fables titled "Avieni Aesopicarum Fabularum Liber." A curious English language element headed "Anner" and signed "Dartmouth" follows the title-page; it seems to announce Michael Mattaire as the publisher. I do not understand how he fits with Tonson and Watts. I suspect that they put up the money and he did the publishing. Thereupon follow the dedication, lives of Phaedrus and "Avienus," a letter from Avianus to Theodosius, and an AI of the fables of Phaedrus. The book once belonged to Thomas Robyns. 

1715 Fables and Stories Moralized, Being a Second Part of the Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists, etc., Vol. II. Third edition. By Sir Roger L'Estrange, Kt. Hardbound. London: Printed for Richard Sare near Grayes-Inn-Gate in Holborn. $80 from Patty Rosen, Bend, Oregon, Dec., '03.

Formerly presented to the Portsmouth Athenaeum by George Jaffrey, Esq. The covers are separated. Otherwise it is in fair to good condition. 5" x 7½". There are 277 numbered fables with morals and without illustrations. The format is what we are used to from L'Estrange: good prose fables separated from each other by a line across the page. Following each is a longish "Moral" in smaller typeface. Elements of the fable are frequently italicized. My favorite private collector quotes Mark Kishlansky's essay "Turning Frogs into Princes" from Political Culture and Cultural Politics in Early Modern England: "L'Estrange's Aesop was so popular that it achieved three editions in seven years and then was followed by a second volume of non-Aesopic fables in the same format." Bodemann surprisingly seems to list only the first edition of the first volume. Neither Hobbs nor Snodgrass is any help on the sources of the fables here. I notice several familiar old friends like "The Blind and the Lame." Ms. Rosen was good enough to sell me the book after I was able to answer some of her questions about it.

1717 Sir Roger L'Estrange's Fables, With Morals And Reflections, In English Verse. E. Stacy. London: Thomas Harbin. $35 at Ahab, Cambridge, MA, June, '91.

A curious little treasure. There are poetic versions of 201 of l'Estrange's 500 prose fables published in 1692, with shorter applications (they still seem long!). Stacy says that earlier verse attempts have been "flat and insipid" (l'Estrange's words for earlier attempts generally). The advertisement facing 1 promises a second volume. L'Estrange was not originally illustrated, and neither is Stacy. AI at the beginning.

1718 Favole Scelte.  Translated by Balthasar Nickisch.  Illustrations after Jan van Vianen?  Hardbound.  Ausburg: Johann Ulrich Krauss.  €320 from Antiquariat am Dom, Trier, July, '17.

Here is the top prize of the books I found on this summer trip around Europe.  We had an overnight in Trier.  I got to the bookstore in the afternoon, and Dr. Jochen Staebel mentioned that he had a fine old book at home.  We arranged that I would be back when he opened the next morning.  The book belonged to the head of the public library in Trier.  It is missing pages 1-2 and so does not have the first part of the first fable.  The book seems to be a printing 5 years later of Bodemann #88.4, itself a reprinting of a Krauss edition of 1707.  The edition -- even the title -- is trilingual.  The three languages are side by side for the fables but consecutive in the pages before the fables.  Illustrations -- with titles in all three languages -- come two to a page and measure about 3" x 2 1/2".  There are 95 fables on 106 pages.  Picture pages are not printed on the obverse and do not figure in the pagination.  According to Bodemann, the illustrations are based on #88.1 from 1695.  Where Bodemann's #88.4 has a frontispiece that sounds like the same as in #88.1, the frontispiece here is an elaborate scene situated on a pedestal.  Under the pedestal and on its front are scripts very difficult to read.  Vegetation grows up on both sides of the scene seated on the pedestal, offering various perches for birds and other animals, presumably characters in fables.  The viewer sees into a long background of waters, mountains, forests, and human habitation.  At the front of this scene, two human characters converse, surrounded by further animals including two mice at the front of the scene. An apparently older character seated on the left reaches a hand in explanation.  Similarly the standing character on the right reaches out his right hand, while his left hand balances what seems to be some kind of spear or perhaps a pruning hook.  I cannot find a similar frontispiece illustration in Bodemann.  For good samples of the fable illustrations here, consider "The Man and the Satyr" facing 16, OF facing 28, and DS facing 40.

1720 Fables Nouvelles Dediées au Roy. M. (Antoine Houdar) de La Motte. Quatrième Edition. Hardbound. Leiden: Balthasar Herwart. $53.67 from Robert Patocchi, Novato, CA, through eBay, June, '09.

I have wanted to dip into de La Motte's fables, and this book at last gives me a chance. Luckily, Google has a copy of an English translation online: One hundred new court fables: written for the instruction of princes, translated by a Dr. Samber, apparently in 1721. The book opens with a fable about the beautiful woman and the mirror. The mirror tells her that she is beautiful and that she has a few faults to correct. While the mirror is talking, admirers show up and she charms them -- and forgets the wise advice of the mirror. So, de La Motte suggests, is it with fable readers, and in this case the king as fable reader. After a long discourse on fable, the first fable of Book One speaks of an eaglet who tries his first look into the sun and his first flight. He can get only so far. Then he sees a mature eagle looking regularly into the sun and flying very high; that vision inspires him to keep trying and to seek greater things. "Thus Reading may begin, but 'tis Example that must accomplish all." A second fable strikes me particularly. It contrasts the pelican who returns to the nest without food and opens her chest to feed her children her own blood. A spider nearby calls the pelican a fool. Her food supply is her young! She shall never fail to have food because she consumes them! De La Motte challenges the kings of the world: Will you be pelicans or spiders to your subjects? Five books, without about twenty fables in each book. These are not as inaccessible as I feared they would be. 

1722 Fables of Aesop and Others. Newly done into English. With an Application to each Fable. Illustrated with Cutts. S.[amuel] Croxall. Cuts by Elisha Kirkall. First edition. London: Printed for J. Tonson at Shakespear's Head in the Strand, and J. Watts at the Printing Office in Wild-Court, near Lincolns-Inn Fields. $950 from Scott Ellis, Oct., '00.

At last I have arrived at a first edition of Croxall! And it is a good copy. Bodemann #107.1. Croxall is first mentioned at the end of the dedication to Halifax. At the beginning, what is labeled "The Contents of the Fables" is an AI. Use that to find a fable by one of its characters. This is a larger-format book (5¼" x 8¼") than any of its later editions or imitations that I know of. The Kirkall illustrations are the same size as, e.g., in the 1731 Third Edition, but the print and the margins are both larger here. It is such a pleasure to see the engravings distinct! Some that are especially clear and strong include FC (16), TMCM (63), GGE (101), "The Tunny and the Dolphin" (111), FWT (115), "The Thief and the Dog" (185), "The Thief and the Boy" (189), DM (223), "The Envious Man and the Covetous" (232), WSC (275), "The Fox in the Well" (285), and "The Ape and Her Two Young Ones" (316). I believe that I do not have Kirkall's frontispiece -- a statue of of Aesop proclaiming "panta mythos" -- in any other edition. Bodemann comments that about half of the visual motifs are taken from Barlow. 196 fables, 344 pages. Croxall gives at the end an "index" especially to qualities and persons.

1723 Selectiores Aesopi Phrygis Fabulae et Luciani Samosatensis Dialogi, Isocratis Orationes duae, Cebetis Thebani Tabula. Graece et Latine. In usum Juventutis Scoticae Graecarum literarum studiosae. Edinburgi: In Aedibus Tho. Ruddimanni, Sumptibus Geo. Stewart. $25.65 at B.D. McCutcheon "Bookshop," Stirling, Scotland, July, '92.

A typical early-18th century bilingual textbook for learning Greek, presumably from the already known Latin. 62 fables. AI by Latin names on 63-4. It was very nice to find something old done in Scotland to bring back with me. A real find in a bookshop where I was told several times "There is nothing here for you!"

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1725 - 1749

1727 Fabellae Aesopicae Quaedam Notiores, in Scholis usitatae et compositae a Joachimo Camerario. M. Alberto Reineccio. Hardbound. Printed in Leipzig: M.G. Weidmann. $99 from BizWebEBooks, through Ebay, Feb., '02.

This is a surprising book. It is basically a student's complete resource work to understand perhaps 200 of Camerarius' fables in Latin prose. And so, while each right-hand page contains Camerarus' fable texts, each left-hand page is in two columns, giving respectively word and phrase vocabularies in German for the Latin of the fables. This is a seventeenth-century student help book! I cannot find it listed in either Bodemann or my favorite private collector. Page 1 may be lost. Note that only the right-hand pages count in the book's pagination. After 153 of these pages, there are indices of fables and commonplaces from the fables. Some of the fables include a Greek moral, and a third index pulls these Greek references together. The title goes on this way: "nunc vero nova ac utilissima ratione adjectis e regione vocabulis ac phrasibus Latino-Germanicis, ut & triplici indice, primo fabularum, altero rerum & locorum communium, tertio graecarum vocum analytico, in gratiam studiosae iuventutis adornatae." Camerarius' fables seem to have appeared first in 1538.

1728/1727 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par M. de La Fontaine, Partie 1 - Partie 2.  Illustrator: Henrik Cause, after Chauveau.  Hardbound.  Amsterdam:  Chez Zacharie Chatelain.  $49.99 from njrambler through eBay, Sept.,' 17. 

This very fortunate find on eBay joins another book in the collection dated 1727/1728 and containing the third through fifth "books" of La Fontaine's fables.  These "books" do not correspond to La Fontaine's usual books but are rather Books VII through XII.  This pair of volumes comprises a fine reprint by Chatelain of an edition originally done in 1700 by van Bulderen, a copy of which is in this collection.  The anomaly of its dating appears to be that Partie 2 appeared first in 1727, to be followed by Partie 1 a year later.  Or perhaps the first half of this volume -- Partie 1 -- is a 1728 reprint of a work first done in 1727.  The frontispiece, presumably by Picard with a full explanation in French below it, shows Aesop dictating to La Fontaine with his muse.  Aesop looks up to Fable draping truth in clothing, while Morale is their companion.  Aesop and La Fontaine are surrounded by the animals active in their stories.  There is red print on the title page for Partie 1 (Books I-III) but not for Partie 2 (Books IV-VI); the other Chatelain volume does the same: red for the first but not for the second and third title-pages.  This book has the same size illustrations as that volume.  Henrik Cause is the engraver and he models these engravings after the drawings of Chauveau, as is clear already in GA (3).  The surprisingly large (2¾" x about 3") illustrations are well preserved here.  Among the best of them are perhaps "The Thieves and the Ass" (28); OR (45); SS (66); CW (80); MSA (88); "The Ass and the Lapdog" (152); GGE (214); and "The Horse and Ass" (259).  268 pages plus an AI.

1727 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par M. de La Fontaine, Partie 3 - Partie 5.  Henrik Cause, after Chauveau.  Hardbound.  Amsterdam: Chez Zacharie Chatelain.  £ 21 from Wisdom Pedlars, Nov., '15.

This book has waited for cataloguing for several months.  Even now, I only happened to pick it up.  As it happens, I just catalogued a book in the same family yesterday!  That was Henry van Bulderen's 1700 volume containing all of La Fontaine's fables.  Bodemann #77 describes a family of editions that starts with Denys Thierry's 1668 publication of La Fontaine's first six books of fables, illustrated by Chauveau (Bodemann #77.1).  The first "Gesamtausgabe" of the twelve books was published between 1669 and 1694 in five "volumes," each of which contained one to three "books" of La Fontaine's fables (Bodemann #77.3).  Were these five, published by different publishers over twenty-five years, bound together to make one volume?  Volume I contained La Fontaine's first three books, and Volume II the next three books.  Life gets trickier with Volume III: it contained what we know as Books 7 and 8 of La Fontaine's fables, but they were called "Books I and II" and their pages were freshly paginated.  Volume IV contained what we know as Books 9-11 but called them "Books III to V."  Volume V contained what we know as Book 12 but called it, mistakenly, "Book VII."  Bodemann correctly notes "richtig VI."  Henrik von Bulderen published the next version of this book in 1688 (Volumes I through IV) and 1694 (Volume V): Bodemann #77.4.  He republished it in 1700 (Bodemann #77.8).  Zacharie Chatelain in Amsterdam published a similar volume in 1727, and here we have its second half.  That half includes Parts 3 through 5, that is, Books VII through XII of La Fontaine's fables.  This volume continues the unusual numbering of books and the mistaken numbering of the final volume.  My understanding is that Henrik Cause is the engraver and he models these engravings after the drawings of Chauveau.  The illustrations are very well preserved here.  133 pages (Parts 3 and 4) plus 123 pages (Part 5).The illustrations continue to be surprisingly large: 2¾" x about 3".  Parts 3 and 4 are each dated 1727 but Part 5 is dated 1728.

1727/38/1967 Fables. John Gay. Introduction by Vinton A. Dearing. Facsimiles of 1727 Fables and 1738 Fables: Volume the Second. Los Angeles: William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA. $8 from the publisher, 1987.

The program is summed up in introduction: "Thus ev'ry object of creation/Can furnish hints to contemplation,/And from the most minute and mean/A virtuous mind can morals glean." 50 and 16 talky, preachy fables. Occasional wit: in I 5, the ram says that sheep get their revenge on mankind by supplying drums and parchment (for war). In I 10 a Greek-speaking elephant gets into a bookseller's shop. In I 12 a pet deer gets frisky and loses all inhibitions; the moral is pointed against country girls with soldiers. I 21 "The Ratcatcher and the Cats" comes close to Aesopic fable: touching and wise. Likewise, I 50's hare is deserted by all "friends"; the last of them says "We'll lament you"! The second volume has one great couplet: "And what's a butterfly? At best,/He's but a caterpillar, drest..." Fables are regularly turned against mankind as the most bestial of animals. Gay seems angry. I's illustrations are poor; Gravelot's in II are larger and better. It was a chore to read this book.

1727? (Fables of Aesop and Others.  Newly done into English.  With an Application to each Fable.  Illustrated with Cutts).  Samuel Croxall.  Elisha Kirkall.  Second edition?  Hardbound.  $150 from Mercy in Action Books, Oct., '15.

This book lacks a title page.  It was sent to me for analysis by Mercy in Action, to which it had been donated.  It also lacks a spine and cover, and has copious writing and doodling, for example, on the early pages. It seems to have been inscribed in 1781.  I have compared it with three other editions that I have, including a first edition from 1722.  That edition has no date at the end of the preface and has 1722 on its title-page.  It measures about 8” x 5”.  I also have a third edition from 1731 in very good condition but without a frontispiece.  I do not know if it is known whether the 1731 edition when published featured a frontispiece.  That 1731 edition includes the 1722 date at the end of the dedication and has 1731 on its title page.  That 1731 edition measures, like the present copy, about 6.5” x 4”.  I have an eleventh edition from 1778.  That edition has a different frontispiece.  The publishers have changed.  It retains the 1722 date at the end of the dedication and has 1778 on its title-page.  The frontispiece here is a redoing of the original larger 1722 frontispiece.  In both cases, it shows a statue of Aesop on top of a base declaring “Everything is a story” and quoting the Latin below the whole image: “The Attic Greeks created a huge statue and put a slave onto an eternal foundation.”  The fable illustrations in all four of these editions are, as far as I can tell, the original Elisha Kirkall illustrations.  The illustrations here are the same size as in both the 1722 and 1731 editions.  Bodemann calls the eleventh-edition fable illustrations “Nachschnitte,” but I am not convinced.  Perhaps I have missed some clues, but I think the printer in all these later editions had the same blocks that the 1722 printer had.  This present copy does not have a date after the dedication.  It does not have the same typesetting as either my first edition or my third edition, which are also different from each other.  The difference between this copy and my third edition is already clear in the different typesetting of the first page of the dedication, which is the first element after the title-page.  Bodemann has the first (1722) edition and then nothing until the eleventh (1778).  My guess then is that this copy is a second edition, whenever that was between 1722 and 1731.  I have guessed at 1727.  The absence of the date after the dedication may suggest a date like this.  The frontispiece’s similarity to the first edition’s frontispiece also pushes in the direction, I believe, of that dating.  Alternatively, it may be a fourth or later edition, from sometime between 1731 and 1778.  The late inscription tends in that direction.  In any case it is a lovely, tender book!  196 fables, 357 pages, plus seven pages of Croxall's "index" of qualities and persons.

1728 Fables By Mr. Gay. John Wootton and William Kent. The Second Edition. Hardbound. London: J. Tonson and J. Watts. $125 from Edward Pollack, August, '00.

I had just finished cataloguing several Gay editions when I received an offer from Edward Pollack for a set of two second editions, one each of the two volumes of Gay's fables. I am delighted to have this very good copy, marred only by a hole at the top of the spine. See my remarks on the fourth edition of 1733. I would add to my commendations there that of the dynamic illustration of "The tame Stag" (49). The final pages were missing in that edition. They are here. "Fable XXI" is not misprinted. The paper here is very robust. There are a couple of pencillings and one or two tears and chips along the way. Now can I work my way all the way back to a first edition? Someone wrote "Plates by Bewick" on the front endpaper. I do not think his career began for another generation.

1729 Esope en belle humeur ou l'elite de ses fables enrichies de figures/Esopus bey der Lust. Carl Mouton. First edition. Hardbound. Hamburg: Johann Christoph Kißner. $300 from The Book Chest, NY, Jan., '02.

Bodemann #88.6 and Fabula Docet #44. I am so lucky to have found this little (3½" x 6") book! Kißner represents the beginning of the bilingual "Esope en belle humeur" tradition, which will include my 1750 Christian Herold edition. The red and black title pages (one in French and one in German, separated by the frontispiece) are striking. After a preface and a vita with its own following T of C, the main sections here start with a basic Aesopic section of 99 "Fables Diverses" or "Unterschiedliche Fabeln," each offered in French and German columns with an excellent illustration. The attachments or appendices to individual fables in this section are printed only in French. This section is followed by one of 59 fables of Phaedrus and Philelphus, again in two columns, though without illustration. The following section offers 26 fables of de la Motte, with the two versions given on facing pages rather than in two columns. There are three T of C's at the end, corresponding to the sections of Aesop, Phaedrus, and de la Motte. Several sections reported in Bodemann #88.6 seem to be lacking here, as they are in the Wolfenbüttel exemplar they report on, namely "Les Devoirs de l'honnete Homme" and "fables des Grands et des Petits" (59 fables after Bidpai). Are we to assume that Philelphus is Pilpai? See also Die Bilderwelt im Kinderbuch, 14, 58, for a reference. Full new leather.

1729 Esope en belle humeur ou l'elite de ses fables enrichies de figures/Esopus bey der Lust.  Carl Mouton.  First edition.  Hardbound.  Hamburg: Johann Christoph Kißner.  $75 from 88backnorth, Ontario, Canada, through eBay, June, '16.

Here is a second copy of this book, bound in a different order and lacking several of the pages in my better copy.  Because it is different, I will keep it in the collection.  First, what did I write about the original copy that applies also to this copy?  Bodemann #88.6 and Fabula Docet #44.  I am so lucky to have found this little (3½" x 6") book!  Kißner represents the beginning of the bilingual "Esope en belle humeur" tradition, which will include my 1750 Christian Herold edition.  The main sections here start with a basic Aesopic section of 99 "Fables Diverses" or "Unterschiedliche Fabeln," each offered in French and German columns with an excellent illustration.  After most of these "major" fables, there is a shorter fable only in French without illustration.  This section (1-298) is followed by one of 59 fables of Phaedrus and Philelphus, again in two columns, though without illustration (289-408).  The following section (409-513) offers 26 fables of de la Motte, with the French and German versions given on facing pages rather than in two columns.  There are again three T of C's at the end, corresponding to the sections of Aesop, Phaedrus, and de la Motte.  What is different?  This copy lacks the red and black title pages (one in French and one in German, separated by the frontispiece), but the frontispiece is still here, perhaps formerly separated and pasted back in?  It now comes after a single black-and-white page giving the overall title.  It stands facing the title-page for the "Aesop" section.  The next difference is that the life of Aesop (1-101) with its own following T of C now is bound at the end of this volume.  The covers and spine are coming loose from this volume, and it went through a fire sometime in its existence.  Still, it is a lovely little treasure, especially for the illustrations!  Several sections reported in Bodemann #88.6 seem to be lacking here, as they are in the Wolfenbüttel exemplar they report on, namely "Les Devoirs de l'honnete Homme" and "fables des Grands et des Petits" (59 fables after Bidpai).  Are we to assume that Philelphus is Pilpai?  See also Die Bilderwelt im Kinderbuch, (14, 58) for a reference.

1729 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par M. de la Fontaine avec la Vie d'Esope, Tome Troisième. Illustrations after Chauveau. Nouvelle Edition. Hardbound. Paris: La Compagnie des Libraires; L'Imprimerie de Pierre Prault. £ 26 from Elaine Dayes, East Yorkshire, UK, through eBay, July, '04.

Bodemann 77.12. This is the third of three volumes, covering Books X-XII. The "12" in Bodemann's catalogue indicates that this edition is one of many that copied Chauveau's illustrations from the first edition of La Fontaine's fables. Apparently, according to Bodemann, the first eleven books contain copies of the Amsterdam edition of 1698, while the twelfth book has direct imitations of Chauveau's early work, first published for the twelfth book in 1694. There is a T of C for this volume at the beginning and an AI for all three volumes at the end. Though the work here copies Chauveau, I find these illustrations often more distinct and dramatic. At 3" x 2½", they are also often larger than Chauveau's original work. A good typical instance of the work here might be the illustration for "Le Cerf Malade" (113). The characters and the problem are clearly presented. Other good illustrations include "Le Renard, les Mouches, & le Hérisson" (140) and "Le Renard, le Loup, & le Cheval" (156). T of C, 262 pages, "Approbation," "Privilege du Roy," AI, and "Fautes à corriger." Inscribed July 6, 1732 in Paris. Now I need to find the other two volumes of this set!

1731  Aesop's Fables English and Latin/Aesopi Fabulae Anglo-Latinae. Charles Hoole. London: J. Read. $125 from Carl Sandler Berkowitz, March, '95.

A fine little bilingual (on facing pages) edition offering 233 fables in its first book and (starting on 154) 208 fables in its second. There is an English AI after 267. The title-page and early pages are worm-eaten. The book is highly fragile. The fables are carefully divided and literally translated. Worn calf. This is a book to handle carefully!

1731 Fables of Aesop and Others. Newly done into English. With an Application to each Fable. S[amuel] Croxall. Illustrations by Elisha Kirkall, not acknowledged. 3rd edition. Hardbound. London: Printed for J. Tonson at Shakespear's Head in the Strand, and J. Watts at the Printing Office in Wild-Court, near Lincolns-Inn Fields. $370 from Alibris, March, '00.

What a delight to have found so early an edition of Croxall in good to very good condition! This copy fits Bodemann's description of the first edition from 1722 (#107.1) except for the number of pages (345 here, 344 there). Here, apparently as there, Croxall is first mentioned at the end of the dedication to Halifax. To quote Alibris' description: "Simply bound in modern full leather, contrasting label, gilt. Spine with raised bands. The title-page has been laid down. A good, clean copy." The Kirkall illustrations are done here with various levels of firmness. Some are unfortunately somewhat faint, e.g. on 32 and 247, others more distinct, e.g. on 155 and 236. Somewhere I had mis-learned that the first edition was done anonymously and that only a subsequent edition had added Kirkall's illustrations to Croxall's texts. While Kirkall is mentioned neither here nor in the first edition, these are his illustrations, as Bodemann makes clear. Unfortunately, Gerard van der Gucht's frontispiece--if it was printed with this edition--is missing here. Croxall gives at the end an "index" especially to qualities and persons. At the beginning, what is labeled "The Contents of the Fables" is an AI. Use that to find a fable by one of its characters.

1731 Nouveau Recueil des Fables d'Esope, Mises en François. Nouvelle Edition. Hardbound. Paris: Charles LeClerc. £79 from Paul Foster, Bookseller, London, through eBay, Oct., '05. 

This lovely little book has one of those endless titles. Here is more of it: "Avec le Sens Moral en quatre Vers & des Figures à chaque Fable. Dedié a la Jeunesse. Nouvelle Edition, augmentée des Quatrains du Sieur de Benserade." The source behind this book, according to Bodemann #80.1, was published by Sebastian Mabre-Cramoisy in Paris in 1678. LeClerc apparently brought out an edition in 1718. Bodemann's #80.2 is a 1756 printing. This book of mine would have preceded that one and followed the 1718 edition. It has the requisite 442 pages and 223 fables. As Bodemann notes, the last two of these fables are imageless epigrams without illustration added to the 1678 edition's 221 illustrated fables. There is an AI immediately following the 442 pages of text. The illustrations are oval. Bodemann's comments underscore their narrow dimensions, the concentration on the main characters, the lack of attention paid to background or scenery, the frequent cross-hatching, and the broken contours within the ovals. The illustrations are well preserved here! A good, typical example is FS on 53. This book may be one of the few I have that includes Benserade's quatrains.

1731/1975? Fables and Other Short Poems Collected from the Most Celebrated English Authors. Illustrated by John and George Bickham. London: Thomas Cobb. Williamsburg reprint undated. $5 in Williamsburg, '85. Extra copy, a gift of Greg Haille, Dec., '87.

A wonderfully curious collection of nice moralistic rhymed fables. Almost all match Gay's titles perfectly, but these are not Gay's fables! Each has a pleasing engraving. Between the fables come samples of good handwriting, moral precepts, and other goodies!

1731/1991 Fables and Other Short Poems Collected from the Most Celebrated English Authors. Illustrated by John and George Bickham. London: Thomas Cobb. Reproduced by The Friends of the Osborne and Lillian H. Smith Collections, Toronto Public Library. $25 with membership in the Friends of the Osborne Collection, Jan., '94.

This book adds Volumes II and III to my 1731/1975? book from Williamsburg. Volume II includes ten fables, assorted other material, and A New Introduction to the Art of Drawing. The third volume includes eleven fables. How and why these fables can match Gay so carefully for titles are mysteries to me. Jill Shefrin's afterword states simply that the fables here "are from the first volume of Gay's collection. Their order has been changed and within each fable lines have been deleted, transposed or revised." The afterword goes on to note frequent cases by the Bickhams of what we would call copyright infringement. Each fable has a pleasing engraving. Between fables are samples of good handwriting, moral precepts, and other goodies!

1732 Aesopi Phrygis Fabulae Nunc demum ex Collatione Optimorum Exemplarium ab infinitis pene Mendis repurgatae una cum nonnullis Variorum Autorum Fabulis adjectis et indice correctiori praefixo. Hardbound. London: Typis T. Wood, Impensis Societatis Stationariorum. $45 from Caliban Book Shop, Feb., '02.

This is a strange little (3½" x 5½") volume to come from England. It follows the structure of many of the earliest little fable editions, beginning with a six-page life of Aesop excerpted or digested from that of Planudes, with a curious last page number of 67. Next comes an eight-page AI of fables offered in the volume, followed by a list of "Interpretes." These include Adrianus Barlandus, Angelus Politianus, Anianus, Aulus Gellius, Erasmus Roterodamus, Gulielmus Gaudanus, Gulielmus Harmanus, Joannes Antonius Campanus, Laurentius Abstemius, Laurentius Valla, Nicolaus Gerbelius Phorcensis, Petrus Crinitus, Plinius secundus Novocomensis, and Rimicius. A section given to each of these seems to follow, though I cannot find the section given to Angelus Politianus. Poggio (not mentioned in the list of Interpretes) is the last of the authors, finishing on 176. The book is very frail, and both covers have long since separated from the book. A worm did some powerful eating between about 70 and 120.

1732/1970? The Fable of the Bees: Or Private Vices, Publick Benefits. By Bernard Mandeville. Original Fourth Edition: London: J. Tonson. Reprint: Seattle: Entropy Conservationists. $1 in Denver, March, '94.

I read this work over a Big Mac in Boulder and enjoyed it! Originally the bees were full of vices and they were thriving. "Their crimes conspired to make them great" (5). Then Jove removed fraud, and there were surprising results. Prices went down; lots of trades went out of business; pride and luxury decreased; eventually all arts and crafts shut down; the whole economy stopped. Moral: Vice is beneficial when constrained by justice. The text itself is 13 short pages.

1733 Fables By Mr. Gay. John Wootton and William Kent. The Fourth Edition. Hardbound. London: J. and R. Tonson and J. Watts. Gift of June Clinton, June, '98.

Here is a wonderful little treasure! It falls between Bodemann 110.1 (the first edition) and 110.2 (the fifth edition). It includes only the first 50 fables because the additional seventeen were first published in only 1738. This is a beautiful little book, which June got at Sotheby's sale of the Earl of Granard's library in July, '93. That may be his bookplate facing hers inside the front cover. I am particularly taken on this trip through with the dynamism of "The Lady and the Wasp" (VIII), the foppishness of "The Monkey Who Had Seen the World" (XIV), the exactitude of "The Pin and the Needle" (XVI), and the turbulence of "The Farmer's Wife and the Raven" (XXXVII) complete with broken eggs. The monkeys of XXII ("The Goat without a Beard") are curiously human. Pages 189-92 are missing, including the illustration for the last fable (L). There are a number of small repairs to the paper of particular pages. "Fable XXI" is misprinted as "Fable XIX." I wonder how many copies of this book in this edition still exist around the world.

1733? Fables By Mr. Gay. John Wootton and William Kent. (The Fourth Edition). Hardbound. (London): (J. and R. Tonson and J. Watts). $50 from an unknown source, Jan., '08.

This book is a lovely little anomaly. It seems another copy of the fourth edition of Fables by Mr. Gay, published by J. and R. Tonson and J. Watts in 1733. It matches up very well with a copy I have of that book. It thus has several tell-tale signs. Its illustrations are reversed from those of the second edition (1728) but are the same in orientation as those of the seventh (1753). Like the fourth edition, it has the misprint of "Fable XIX" for what should be "Fable XXI." This mistake is in neither the second nor the seventh edition. This copy is singular for a deficiency and an addition. The deficiency is the lack of all pages up to the "Introduction to the Fables" on a page that is marked "B." The addition is a page inserted after the introduction and before the first regular fable. This page is a handwritten T of C with page numbers. This copy has the pages lacking in my other copy, namely 189-92. The front cover is literally hanging on by a thread. The engravings show the same deep indentation in the paper. Let me repeat some of my comments made on the other copy. Here is a wonderful little treasure! It falls between Bodemann 110.1 (the first edition) and 110.2 (the fifth edition). It includes only the first 50 fables because the additional seventeen were first published in only 1738. I am particularly taken on this trip through with the dynamism of "The Lady and the Wasp" (VIII), the foppishness of "The Monkey Who Had Seen the World" (XIV), the exactitude of "The Pin and the Needle" (XVI), and the turbulence of "The Farmer's Wife and the Raven" (XXXVII) complete with broken eggs. The monkeys of XXII ("The Goat without a Beard") are curiously human. I wondered ten years ago and wonder still how many copies of this book in this edition still exist around the world.

1734 Fables and Tales from La Fontaine in French and English Now First Translated, To which is prefix'd the Author's Life. Anonymous. Hardbound. London: Printed for A. Bettsworth and C. Hitch and C. Davis. $550 from Charta Book Co., Indianapolis, Feb., '00. 

I quote from my favorite private collector (F-0405, with a duplicate C-159): "An attractive edition with the text in French and English on facing pages. Not illustrated, but decorated throughout with a great variety of printers' ornaments used as head and tailpieces. The translator erroneously claims his version to be the first in English. Possibly the first version to have the text in both languages. The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, Vol. II, p. 784 lists a Mandeville translation of 1703." One hundred fables rendered into English prose, with four additional tales. Bound here with The Tales and Fables of the late Archbishop and Duke of Cambray, Author of Telemachus, in French and English, that is, Fénelon, published in 1736 by John Hawkins. Be careful: Bettsworth is spelled in various ways. Bodemann lists it with another "e" before the "w." The advertisement on the very last page of this rather thick and hefty book includes a second "e" but drops the "s"! I notice that in SW on 239, La Fontaine's appropriate wager "Which of us will strip his shoulders" is changed in the English here to the less appropriate "who of us two shall first oblige yon Man on Horseback to uncover his Shoulders."

1736  Le Cento Favole di Gabbriello Faerno e Una Favola di Batista Mantovano, Tradotte in Versi Volgari da D. Giovan-Grisostomo Trombelli. Venezia: Francesco Pitteri. $125 from The Owl at the Bridge, Cranston, August, ’96.

I am glad at last to have a copy of Faerno’s fables, certainly one of the mainstays of the fable tradition. This edition, without illustrations, has Latin and Italian on facing pages. A sampling of the fables finds them traditional and their Latin easier than I had expected. I found only one surprise. In IV, the wolf, having been kicked by an ass, says something like "I who am a cook should not have tried to do a doctor’s work" ("Neque enim, coquus qui sum, agere medicum debui"). Mantovan’s fable (130-31) shows the silliness of transplanting an old tree instead of enjoying its fruit. There is an AI on 144-7. For Faerno, see Hobbs 44.

1736 The Tales and Fables of the late Archbishop and Duke of Cambray, Author of Telemachus, in French and English. Francois de Salignac de la Mothe Fénelon; by Nathaniel Gifford, of the Inner-Temple, Gent. Illustrated with Twenty-nine Copper-Plates Engraven by George Bickham, Junior. Hardbound. London: Printed for John Hawkins, and Sold by John Osborn. $360 from Suzanne and Truman Price, Columbia Basin Books, Monmouth, OR, June, '03. 

The title continues: "Written originally for the Instruction of a Young PRINCE, And now publish'd for the Use of SCHOOLS. To which is prefix'd, An Account of the Author's LIFE, extracted from the Memoir's of the Chevalier Ramsay, Author of the Travels of Cyrus. With a particular and curious Relation of the Method observed in training up the young Prince, even from his Infancy, to Virtue and Learning." Twenty-eight stories in French and English facing. I count perhaps sixteen fables, namely #10 through #25. Shapiro (xvi) speaks well of the "rather turgid moralizings of Fénelon's seventeenth-century fables written for the edification of the young duc de Bourgogne." These are prose fables, and for that reason Shapiro does not include them in his anthology. I found it rather difficult to get through these belabored texts. Among the best is "The Two Foxes." Two foxes slaughter a cock and many hens and chickens. The older one wants to eat only some now and return tomorrow and succeeding days for others. The younger one wants to gorge himself on what they have slaughtered. Both do as they please. The younger scarcely makes it back to his home before he dies. The older returns the next day and is killed by the farmer. Each age has its own vices. In the following fable, the wolf talks the lamb into jumping over the fence to enjoy some good grass. That is of course the end of the lamb. Among the best illustrations are those for "The Dragon and the Two Foxes," "The Wolf and the Lamb," and "The Owl that long'd to be married." Not in Bodemann or Snodgrass. I am very happy at last to have Fénelon in English. Apparently the first publication of the fables by Fénelon was about 1718 or 1719, and the first English translation was in 1729, published in London by J. Wilcox.

1736 The Tales and Fables of the late Archbishop and Duke of Cambray, Author of Telemachus, in French and English. Francois de Salignac de la Mothe Fénelon; by Nathaniel Gifford, of the Inner-Temple, Gent. Illustrated with Twenty-nine Copper-Plates Engraven by George Bickham, Junior. Hardbound. London: Printed for John Hawkins, and Sold by John Osborn. $550 from Charta Book Co., Indianapolis, Feb., '00. 

Identical with another volume in the collection with the same bibliographical data, except that this copy is bound with Fables and Tales from La Fontaine, published by Bettsworth and Hitch in 1734. See my comments on the Fénelon book under that item.

1738 Fables. John Gay. Introduction by Vinton A. Dearing. Facsimiles of 1727 Fables and 1738 Fables: Volume the Second. Los Angeles: William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA. See 1727/38/1967.

1738 Fables By the late Mr Gay, Volume the Second. Illustrations by Hubert Francois Gravelot. The First Edition. Hardbound. London: J. and P. Knapton and T. Cox. £33.33 from H & K Gostling, The Antique Shop, Thatcham, Berks, UK, through eBay, March, '06. 

At last I have made my way back to a first edition of this second volume of Gay's fables. I will repeat some of what I wrote for the second edition, which I found some six years ago. I find the Gravelot illustrations strong. They take up the full page and remind one of Oudry's work. It may be that Hobbs' use of it (71) has prejudiced me in its favor, but I find "The Man, the Cat, the Dog, and the Fly" (69) among the best. See her good comments there. This is Bodemann #110.5. I agree with Bodemann's description of the illustrations as "geschickt komponierte und in den Tonwerten fein nuancierte Rokokostiche." The frontispiece of Gay's grave-monument, missing in my second edition of this second volume, is present here. Bodemann reproduces it with her comment on this volume. Gravelot signs each of the illustrations, but I cannot find him otherwise acknowledged in this book. The back cover is becoming separated. A great find, especially at this price!

1738 Versuch in poetischen Fabeln und Erzehlungen. Friedrich von Hagedorn (acknowledged?). Engravings by C.A. Wagner and Christian Fritzsch. First edition. Hardbound. Hamburg: Conrad König. €164 from Antiquariat Niedersätz, Berlin, July, '07.

Here is a lovely first edition that I found at one of the first bookstores I tried on this trip to Berlin. It contains seventy-one verse fables, taken particularly from Burkhard Waldis, La Fontaine, and French fabulists just before Hagedorn's time. The leisurely T of C at the end of the book lists the source(s) for each fable. Besides numerous designs after fables, apparently unrelated to each fable's content, there are only three illustrations in the whole 210-page book. The title-page engraving shows truth personified. The illustration atop the foreword shows the freeing of Aesop. The illustration to the first text shows Bathsheba at her toilette. This illustration thus refers more to the frame-narrative than to the fable told by Nathan to the king. For its age, this book is in good condition. I cannot find Hagedorn's name anywhere in the book!

1740 Herrn Daniel Wilhelm Trillers Philos. Ac Med. D. Archiatri Nassouici, Neue Aesopische Fabeln. Daniel Triller. (missing copper engraving). Hardbound. Hamburg: Christian Herold. €80 from Dresdener Antiquariat, August, '09.

The unassuming present-day green cloth cover hides a lovely book here! I have known Herold as publisher of the 1750 editions of Carl Mouton, including Esope en belle humeur. This volume has the same compact size, the same lack of margins, and the same preference for red ink on the title-page. This is Bodemann #118.1. What this volume lacks -- as the bookdealer noted -- is its one illustration, the copper engraved frontispiece. It is illustrated in Bodemann at #118.1. An explanation of the frontispiece is in fact the first element in the book. Bodemann's entry gives a good sense of the book: "150 Versfabeln, in den Motiven teilweise auf aesopisches Traditionsgut zurückgehend, dazu zahlreiche neu erfundene Fabeln zumeist mit dinglichen Protagonisten, was gemäss der Absicht des Dichters grosse Verwunderung und damit Aufmerksamkeit beim Leser hervorruft. Am Ende jeder Fabel eine manchmal als Sprichwort formulierte Lehre." With "dinglichen Protagonisten" Bodemann refers, I believe, to such subjects as diamonds, magnets, books, flame, and smoke. Triller sometimes gives a source for his numbered fables. I tried several and found them quite traditional, if perhaps a bit simple. "Das Kind und der Frosch" (222) teaches that a frog wants the swamp: "Art lässet nimmermehr von Art." "Das Rohr und die Eiche" (223-4) leads up to a sudden change of fortune. "Was sich nicht biegen lässt, muss brechen." There are two "Registers" at the end, one alphabetical by first subject and the other alphabetical by beginning of the "Sittenlehre." 335 pages. 

1740/53? Aesop's Fables. With Instructive Morals and Reflections Abstracted from all Party Considerations, Adapted To All Capacities; and design'd to promote Religion, Morality, and Universal Benevolence. Containing Two Hundred and Forty Fables, with a Cut Engrav'd on Copper to each Fable. And the Life of Aesop prefixed, by Mr. Richardson. York: Printed for T. Wilson and R. Spence. $45 at Spivey's, Kansas City, May, '93.

I have changed the date on this edition after getting a copy of a London edition, for which I have guessed a date of 1761. This edition seems to be that which Ulrike Bodemann places as a second edition of 1753, at the same time as an identical edition from London with a long list of publishers. Notice Richardson's attempt, even on the title page, to avoid the factionalism that surrounded l'Estrange and others. He himself finds two English editions worthy of notice: l'Estrange and Croxall. At the end of the preface (xii-xiii), there are lists of fables from l'Estrange not included here, of fables given new morals or reflections, and of fables altered from the l'Estrange version. A life of Aesop and an alphabetical index follow, still before the fables. "Morals" and "Reflections" are presented separately from each other, though sometimes two fables are handled together and share both of the above. Missing: 101-4 and the pages of illustrations for #101-110, #131-40, and #161-70. Many of the illustrations are water-colored. They are simple in design and execution. They differ apparently from the illustrations, six to a page, in Lessing's translation of Richardson in 1757. Depictions of lions and of frogs are particularly haphazard (117, 155, 156, 158). There are many new fables for me, and some traditional ones are told differently. The miller throws his ass into the water (#226)! Errata: 89 at top has "Aesop's Fbales." 137 (#175) has in its moral my for may. #212 has in its fifth-to-last line feul for fuel. #233 has "conside-able." It needs an r. I can report now, in Feb., '97, that these text errors are not in the Huntington copy, for which some hand has guessed 1750 as a date. Its title page lists "London: Printed for J. Rivington, R. Baldwin" and a list of some thirteen others. One of those thirteen is a J. Dodsley. Bodemann comments aptly that the illustrations are based on those of Barlow.

1740/61? Aesop's Fables. With Instructive Morals and Reflections Abstracted from all Party Considerations, Adapted To All Capacities; and design'd to promote Religion, Morality, and Universal Benevolence. Containing Two Hundred and Forty Fables, with a Cut Engrav'd on Copper to each Fable. And the Life of Aesop prefixed. by Mr. Richardson. Hardbound. London: For T. & T. Longman, C. Hitch & L. Hawes, I. Hodges I. & I. Rivinton, G. Keith & R. Dodsley. £70 by mail from D.M. Fairburn at Rarebooks, Leeds, June, '99.

I had been working with my York Richardson from Spivey in Kansas City, which I had suspected was a second and maybe even a secondary edition. See my comments there. Now I am delighted to get this book. Some bookseller has written "1761" in pencil on the title-page. Though the date is likely in general, it may come from the fact that Dodsley, listed as the last of the publishers here, published his own fable book in 1761. So far I can find no record of a 1761 printing of this book. Ulrike Bodemann's Katalog Illustrierter Fabelausgaben 1461-1990, Vol. 2, Item 131.2 speaks of an original 1749 publication date with J. Osborne as publisher in London. I think the original publication was rather in 1740. She lists two identical copies of a 1753 second edition: York: T. Wilson and R. Spence (my Spivey copy mentioned above) and London: J.F. & C. Rivington, T. Longman, B. Law, W. Nicol, G.G.J. & J. Robinson, T. Cadell, R. Baldwin, S. Hayes, W. Goldsmith, W. Lowndes, Power & Co. My favorite private collector's notes do not indicate a 1761 edition but rather editions in 1739/40, 1747?, 1773, and 1776? He has an edition that he seems to date to 1776, but that publisher's list is different from mine. Common to mine and his 1776 are five of my eight names: Longman, Hawes, Rivinton (sic), Keith, and Dodsley. Common to mine and Bodemann 1753 are two of my eight names: Rivinton (sic) and Longman. Does this comparison not suggest that my edition belongs between the two dates of 1753 and 1776? In any case, this is a remarkably clean copy for its age. The typos I had found in the York edition are not here, though there is the unusual spelling FEWEL in #212. A page of ten life-vignettes faces the title-page, and the other twenty-four pages of fable-vignettes are intact. In all 192 pages long. I am just delighted to have found this book!

1740/2010 Aesop's Fables with Instructive Morals and Reflections, abstracted from all party considerations, adapted to all capacities: and design'd to promote religion, morality, and universal benevolence. Samuel Richardson. Paperbound. London/La Vergne, TN: Eighteenth Century Collections Online Print Editions: J. Osborn, Junior/Gale Ecco. $21.09 from Amazon.com, Oct., '10.

This is a good publish-on-demand printing of apparently the most original of the Samuel Richardson editions. Ecco says the title-page is engraved "Published November 20, 1739." Bodemann #131.1 is their first copy, printed in 1749, but they indicate a first copy done in 1740. Both have Osborn(e) as publisher. As I comment on my earliest copy of Richardson, notice Richardson's attempt, even on the title page, to avoid the factionalism that surrounded l'Estrange, Croxall, and others. Richard himself finds two English editions worthy of notice: l'Estrange and Croxall. At the end of the preface (xii-xiii), there are lists of fables from l'Estrange not included here, of fables given new morals or reflections, and of fables altered from the l'Estrange version. A life of Aesop and an alphabetical index follow, still before the fables. "Morals" and "Reflections" are presented separately from each other, though sometimes two fables are handled together and share both of the above. The illustrations are simple in design and execution. They differ apparently from the illustrations, six to a page, in Lessing's translation of Richardson in 1757. Depictions of lions and of frogs are particularly haphazard (117, 155, 156, 158). The miller throws his ass into the water (#226)! 

1741 Aesop's Fables with their Morals: in Prose and Verse, Grammatically Translated.  Illustrated with Pictures and Emblems.  Hardbound.  London: J. Hodges.  DK 7500 from Norlis Antivariat, Oslo, July, '14.  

"Together with the History of His Life and Death.  Newly and Exactly Translated out of the Original Greek."  This edition was first published by Francis Eglesfield in London in 1651 (Bodemann #71.1) and then by Philiips Rhodes and Taylor in London in 1715 (Bodemann #71.2).  Bodemann calls both this edition and the latter a "leicht veränderter Nachdruck."  The full-page frontispiece shows Aesop with animals.  Bodemann registers 213 fable and 31 "vita" illustrations, always just before the appropriate text.  Metzner, who did the listing, notes the varying quality of the various streams of illustration here.  The first elements in the book are an AI of the fables and a chronological T of C of the life.  The fables are numbered.  The woodcuts are surprisingly rudimentary.  Those that rise above this description include FC (17); "The Dog Invited to Supper" (213); "Aesop and Xanthus' Naked Wife" (333); and "The People of Delphi Cast Aesop from a Cliff" (369).  Some are attractive in their elementary way, like "The Swallow and Other Birds" (26); TB (137); "The Fox and the Goat" (179); and "The Mother Ape and Her Two Sons" (263).  This book represents my most serious purchase during the European trip of 2014.  I was happy to find it in Norway, where the offerings were particularly slim.  Each fable adds a poem in rhyming couplets to its prose story and moral..  "The Rape of the Lock" (1751) is bound in at the book's end.

1741 Fables in English and French Verse Translated from the Original Latin of Gabriel Faerno. Texts of Gabriel Faerno, translated by Charles Perrault. English by Claude Du Bosc? With One Hundred Copper-Plates (by Claude Du Bosc). Marbled boards. London. Printed for Claude Du Bosc. £175 from London Antiquarian Book Arcade, Ltd., Oct., '97.  Extra copy without title-page for $35 from Goodspeed's, Boston, April, '89.

Bodemann 119.1. This is the first English-French bilingual edition of Faerno. Faerno's Latin verse fables were first published in 1563, two years after his death. The preface here gives a lively account of their history and standing. Perrault first published his French translation of Faerno in 1699. See comments on these fables in my edition without title page, which I have listed as "Fables in English and French" under "1780?". This 1741 edition contains two volumes in one. There is thus new pagination and a new T of C at the beginning of the second volume, which contains Books IV and V. In all there are five books with twenty fables in each. Du Bosc's copper engravings, very bright and clean here, are derived especially from Gheeraerts. Narrator and artist are at their best in "The Fox and the Mask" (I 9), "The Fly and the Race-Horses" (II 4), "The Fox changing his Wish" (new to me, II 13), SS (III 6), "The Woman and the Doctor" (IV 1), "The Fox and the Hedge-Hog" (IV 18), "The Thief and his Mother" (V 14), and "The Fox and the Eagle" (V 18). There is the usual problem here with lions' faces. After examining this book, I took a close look at a book which lacks a title-page. I had listed it earlier under "1780?" and given it the title "Fables in English and French." There may be several references to it in various places in this catalogue. The closest examination I can do finds no difference between the books. It is, I am now convinced, a worn copy of this book. I will keep it in the collection and add here the comments I had made on this volume then: "The Drowned Wife" (I 31) makes sense of LaFontaine's difficult fable. The fox here leaps for the "raisins." "Mercury and the Statuary" (IV 5) is well told. The fables in the early books range from 8 to 14 lines, but are longer in the later books. This copy is heavily annotated and corrected. Dedication to Mrs. Boyle. Further good engravings include "The Ass and the Wolf" (II 6), BC (IV 4), "The Fox" (IV 10), "The Fox, the Ass, and the Lion" (IV 11), "The Dog, the Cock and the Fox" (V 8), and MSA (V 20). In this last fable, the clown throws his ass over the bridge.

1741 Fables in English and French Verse Translated from the Original Latin of Gabriel Faerno. Charles Perrault. With One Hundred Copper-Plates (by Claude Du Bosc). Hardbound. London: Claude Du Bosc. $65 from Behr's Books & Bazaar, San Antonio, TX, through eBay, Nov., '11.

Bodemann 119.1.  Here is a third copy of this fine book.  This copy lacks the first page of the dedication immediately following the title-page.  This copy's covers have separated but are present.  As I wrote of the good copy found in 1997, this is the first English-French bilingual edition of Faerno.  Faerno's Latin verse fables were first published in 1563, two years after his death.  The preface here gives a lively account of their history and standing.  Perrault first published his French translation of Faerno in 1699.  This 1741 edition contains two volumes in one.  There is thus new pagination and a new T of C at the beginning of the second volume, which contains Books IV and V.  In all there are five books with twenty fables in each.  Du Bosc's copper engravings are derived especially from Gheeraerts.  Narrator and artist are at their best in "The Fox and the Mask" (I 9), "The  Fly and the Race-Horses" (II 4), "The Fox changing his Wish" (new to me, II 13), SS (III 6), "The Woman and the Doctor" (IV 1), "The Fox and the Hedge-Hog" (IV 18),  "The Thief and his Mother" (V 14), and "The Fox and the Eagle" (V 18).  There is the usual problem here with lions' faces.  Earlier I had found a book which lacks a title-page.  I had listed it earlier under "1780?" and given it the title "Fables in English and French."  There may be several references to it in various places in this catalogue.  The closest examination I can do finds no difference between the books.  It is, I am now convinced, a worn copy of this book.  I will keep it in the collection and add here the comments I had made on this volume then: "The Drowned Wife"  (I 31) makes sense of LaFontaine's difficult fable.  The fox here leaps for the "raisins."   "Mercury and the Statuary" (IV 5) is well told.  The fables in the early books range from 8 to 14 lines, but are longer in the later books.  This copy is heavily annotated and corrected.  Dedication to Mrs. Boyle.  Further good engravings include "The Ass and the Wolf" (II 6), BC (IV 4), "The Fox" (IV 10), "The Fox, the Ass, and the Lion" (IV 11), "The Dog, the Cock and the Fox" (V 8), and MSA (V 20).  In this last fable, the clown throws his ass over the bridge.

1742 Fables By the late Mr Gay, Volume the Second. Illustrations by Hubert Francois Gravelot. The Second Edition. Hardbound. London: J. and P. Knapton and T. Cox. $125 from Edward Pollack, August, '00.

I had just finished cataloguing several Gay editions when I received an offer from Edward Pollack for a set of two second editions, one each of the two volumes of Gay's fables. I am delighted to have this good copy of Volume II. I find the Gravelot illustrations strong. They take up the full page and remind one of Oudry's work. It may be that Hobbs' use of it (71) has prejudiced me in its favor, but I find "The Man, the Cat, the Dog, and the Fly" (69) among the best. See her good comments there. The frontispiece of Gay's grave-monument (pictured with Bodemann 110.5) seems to be missing. This is bound uniformly with the second edition of the first volume which I bought with it. It has a green cloth spine over green boards.

1743/2010 Aesop Naturaliz'd: in a collection of fables and stories from Aesop, Locman, Pilpay, and others. The fifth edition, with the addition of above fifty new fables. Paperbound. London/La Vergne, TN: D. Midwinter and A. Ward/Ecco Print Editions. $17.75 from amazon.com, July, '10.

This is a standard versified Aesop from the eighteenth century featuring some one-hundred-and-eighty fables. Because it lacks all illustration, it is not in Bodemann. The "naturalized" of the title refers, I believe, to the rendering into English of the fables. My online dictionary offers this third meaning for "to naturalize": "to introduce or adopt (foreign practices, words, etc.) into a country or into general use: to naturalize a french phrase." Perhaps the most engaging part of this book for me is the preface of three pages. I find it endearing and true to the fable form. As the author has diverted himself by creating them, he intends to offer readers "some little pleasure." Those who look down on these fables should try creating a fable themselves. They would find it as hard to make a good fable as most people do to practise the fable's moral! Fables form an easy and pleasant way to instruct, all the more when they are in verse. Further, fables correct people's faults without offending the guilty. A person passes sentence on his own folly before he reflects what he is doing. A final reason for a fable is that it is short and aims to teach us one point at a time. Here a picture is worth a thousand words. The author does not expect to please everyone; he is not altogether pleased with the collection himself. "The worst may please some, and the best will not please all." In any case, he professes that he meant well. This "printed on demand" book is more carefully done than some others I have received.

1744 Cent Fables en Latin et en François, choisies des Anciens Auteurs, Mises en Vers Latins Par Gabriel Faerne et Traduites par Mr. Perrault. Avec de nouvelles Figures en Taille-douce (Claude Du Bosc). Nouvelle Édition. London: C. Marsh, T. Payne, et al. £150 from Nicholas Goodyer, London, July, '99.

Bodemann #119.3. Du Bosc took his 1741 English/French edition and made it into a 1743 Latin/French edition (Bodemann #119.2). Here new publishers one year later present a reprinting of that edition. See my comments under "1741" and "1780?". This edition contains, as did the 1743 Du Bosc edition, a good deal of material beyond the fables, including the preface of the London editor, the carmina and opuscula of Faerno, dedications, letters, and testimonia. There is at the beginning an "Index" (T of C) giving a full listing of materials, but its ordering of materials seems confusing. I understand it only if one removes "G. Faerni centum Fabulae" and "Index Fabularum" and puts them at the bottom of the list. There is a simple T of C of fables, the promised "Index Fabularum," at the book's very end. The order of fables here is different from that in my copy of the 1741 edition. Further, they are numbered not in books but sequentially from 1 to 100. Thus I 1 there is XXXV here. The plates are indeed the same ones used in Du Bosc's 1741 edition, including for example the comically small donkey-pelt carried by the horse in XVI on 40. Both covers have separated, and the spine is crumbling. The book is split between 90 and 91. While "Astrologus" on 168 is numbered LXXIII, "L'Astrologue" on 169 is (incorrectly) LXXIV, just as "Leo & Vulpes" is correctly numbered LXXIV on the next page. This beautiful old book needs a preservationist!

1744  Fables for the Female Sex. (Edward Moore.) Illustrations by F. Hayman. First edition? London: R. Francklin. £45 at Henry Pordes, London, May, '97.

See my comments under the 1744/83? reprinting of these 16 fables. I count this book something of a find. The bookstore mentioned it to me on my second visit during this brief stay in London. They did not know who had written it. (It has two cuts in the title page, the lower perhaps to remove the name of a former owner.) I noted the date, made an unaccepted offer of £30, went home and looked up the date in my own records and noted that 1744 was indeed the date of Moore's first edition. I presumed therefore (and still do) that this is that first edition. I immediately called to reserve the book. Two trips back to get it were frustrated by an explosion and a bank holiday, respectively, but I left a note, and they were good enough to send it to me. The illustration pages are often slightly damaged, but usually without loss to the strong illustrations. In a few there is a tear affecting the image itself: VIII (47), XI (67), XIII (81), and XVI (149). My favorites are IX (55), "The Farmer, the Spaniel, and the Cat" and XIV (89), "The Sparrow, and the Dove."

1744/83? Fables for the Female Sex. Edward Moore. Publisher unknown (title page missing). $25 at Bookhouse, Arlington, Oct., '91.

A book that apparently went through a number of editions. 1783 seems to be some bookdealer's guess for this one. 16 fables strong on morality, less good on story. The "fable" itself really becomes a derivative illustration of what is basically either sermon or satire. The "woman's world" that emerges here is frightening to imagine today. Frail fair thing, if she loses her honor once, a woman is doomed forever ("The Female Seducers"). Parents giving her to a man whom she has not chosen are the mother sheep giving her lamb to the wolf! Vanity claims in the last fable to rule the whole female race: "Trust me, from titled dames to spinners,/'Tis I make saints, whoe'er makes sinners." The manifold advice may not be easy to put together: character will keep a man much more than looks; clothing should make a man imagine--not see--the best; "striving nature to conceal/you only her defects reveal." A woman has fleeting beauty and gives it to a man for protection; he is grateful for the gift remembered and continues to protect her out of gratitude for what once was. Do not tease the man to whom you have said yes.

1744/67/1966/67 A Little Pretty Pocket-Book. John Newbury. Facsimile with introductory essay and bibliography by M.F. Thwaite. Dust jacket. NY: Harcourt, Brace & World. $10 at Bookworks, Chicago, Sept., '92.

This beautiful little book is the first American edition of a facsimile done in Great Britain in 1966 from the 11th edition of 1767. An extensive introduction stresses that Newbury was following Locke's revolutionary philosophy. One result was that amusement was announced as a (new) goal for this piece of children's literature. Traces Newbury's fascinating life and career as a publisher. "Aesop's Fables" books around his time came from Croxall and Richardson; Newbury himself also did a book of fables by Abraham Aesop, Esq. (145), which is mentioned in the final section made up of ads for Newbury's other books (141ff.). Simple woodcuts throughout; introduction points out that Bewick will soon revolutionize book illustration. The pages move through "Great A" to "Little a" and so on. At "Great X" we get four fables: "The Wolf and the Kid," "The Husbandman and the Stork," BW, and "Mercury and the Woodman" (with only 2 hatchets involved). After each there is a nice little letter of application from Jack the Giant Killer. Good proverbs on 137-40.

1745 Phaedri Augusti Liberti Fabularum Aesopiarum. Libri V. Cum integris commentariis Marq. Gudii, Conr. Rittershusii. Nic. Rigaltii, Is. Neveleti, Nic Heinsii, Jo. Schefferi, Jo. Lud. Praschii, et excerptis aliorum. Curante P.B. Ed. tertia emendatior, et majoris in quarto Ed. Indice aucta. Peter Burman. Hardbound. Leiden: Samuel Luchtmans. £ 85 from Ruth Kidson, East Sussex, UK, Sept., '00. Extra copy with missing spine for $15 from Goodspeed's, April, '89.

Here is one of the classics of this collection. Carnes 217. Lamb speaks warmly of the standard which Burman set with his variorum edition containing the comments of previous critics. The present volume is a third edition of a work Luchtmans first put out in 1727 (Bodemann 90.2). "To this day Burman's edition of 1727 is the only complete commentary on Phaedrus and has not been superseded" Lamb vi). There are two parts, separately paginated: 60+398 and 250+70 pp. The first part contains copious notes under the text of the five books. Then comes an appendix of other Aesopic fables (367-98). The second part consists of notes from three commentators, followed by indices on the text, notes, and authors cited. In the charming frontispiece, Phaedrus and the muse look up upon Aesop and the animals inhabiting a stage just above and behind them.

1745  The Fables of Phaedrus translated into English prose, as near the original as the different idioms of the Latin and the English languages will allow. With the Latin text and order of Construction on the opposite page; and critical, historical, geographical, and classical Notes in English. Joseph Davidson, translator. London: Printed for Joseph Davidson. $120 from Serendipity, Berkeley, Feb., '97.

This book, bound in leather, is in surprisingly good condition. Besides the notes, which seem generally to use a good deal of parallels from classical texts, there is a prose paraphrase next to each Latin text. There is an English AI at the back. Mentioned in Carnes' bibliography of editions of Phaedrus.

1746 Select Tales and Fables with Prudential Maxims and other Little Lessons of Morality in Prose and Verse Equally Instructive & Entertaining for the Use of Both Sexes, Vols. I-II. Benj. Cole, Engraver. Hardbound. London: For T. Osborn and J. Nourse. £18.22 from Stuart Caulfield, Edinburgh, through eBay, August, '12.

This fine little book has one of those titles that goes on forever. It continues: "Wherein Their Foibles as well as Beauties are presented to their View in the fairest & most inoffensive point of Light...The whole embellished with threescore original designs, expressive of each subject, neatly engraved on copper plates." The pattern in this children's fable book is for sets of four pages. First there are two pleasing almost square illustrations on the first left page, followed by two texts on the first right page. Then follow two adaptations on the second left page, with the second right page conveniently left blank as the verso of the next set of illustrations. The illustration pages and their blank versos are not counted in the page numbers. The prolog is adapted from "Phoedrus." Each volume has 80 pages. After the thirty fables in the first volume, there are three sets each of prudential maxims, first in prose and then in verse, arranged alphabetically for easier memorizing. "Art polishes and improves Nature. Beauty is a fair, but fading Flower." Next come "Fifty Select Counsels or Rules of Life Without Regard to Alphabetical Order." Young readers of this book certainly got enough admonitions! Next come "The Precepts of Pythagoras" and "The Golden Verses of Pythagoras." Finally there are fifty-one "Select Historical Reflections on Various Subjects, Equally Instructive and Entertaining." Volume II follows a similar pattern. Good sample illustrations are those facing 15 in Volume I, FG and "The Farmer and His Sons," and facing 9 in Volume II, "The Fox and the Eagle" and WC. They add "J. Wale Delin." to "B. Cole Sculp." My best find comes from the second book: "The Apple and the Horse-Turd" (23). The two lie on a road when a rainstorm sweeps them away. The horse-turd says to the other "See how we apples swim!" Fable XXVIII in Volume II is a poor man's version of Lessing's great fable about the scholar asked if he does not feel alone who answers that he has never felt so alone as in this conversation. Here the student answers the clown "Thy company is worse than none" (27). The date for the book is given on the second volume's title-page. A possible pre-title-page for the first volume may be missing. Pages 3-10 of the first volume are missing. Not in Bodemann. 

1747 Aesop's Fables. With Instructive Morals and Reflections Abstracted from all Party Considerations, Adapted To All Capacities; and design'd to promote Religion, Morality, and Universal Benevolence. By Mr. Richardson. Hardbound. London: J. Rivington, R.Baldwin, L. Hawes, W. Clarke, R. Collins, T. Caslon, J. (S?) Crowder, T. Longman, B. Law, R. Withy, J. Dodsley, G. Keith, G. Robinson, J. Roberts, T. Cadell. $130.27 from Minglewood Books, Chesterfield, VA, August, '05. 

This is my third early copy of this book. I have dated the first of my other two copies "1740/53?" It was published by Wilson and Spence in York and it is Bodemann #131.2. I dated my second copy "1740/61?" It was published by Longman, Hitch, Hawes et al in London. Neither is what Bodemann lists as her first edition (#131.1), published by J. Osborne in London in 1749. My favorite private collector's notes state "the Richardson bibliography lists a first edition of [1739-1740], a second edition of 1747 (?) and another edition of 1773." He himself has an edition which he dates to c1776; he notes that this edition substitutes as the publisher W. Nicol for R. Withy and W. Stuart for J. Roberts who died in 1776. I had read this latest copy of mine as dated, on its title-page, "1777." As I have looked more closely, I believe that it is actually "1747." That dating would make sense of the remark made just above about the edition of c1776, for my present edition includes the names "R. Withy," and "J. Roberts," for whom that edition substitutes "W. Nicol" and "W. Stuart," respectively. The latter died, according to that note, in 1776. He would not have been a publisher of a "1777" edition. So I say a cautious "Eureka!" This seems to be the 1747 second printing. This copy has no front cover and begins with the title-page. The title-page's illustration includes some brown and blue coloring. There is some coloring of the illustrations, e.g., those facing 32 and 57. Other than that, the illustrations have survived quite well; all 240 are present. Only part of Story #239 survives, and #240 and any pages following at the book's end have been lost. There is significant foxing at various points in the book. The back cover is detached. The typos that I found in the York edition of c1753 are not here; this edition shares with the London edition of c1761 the spelling of "fewel" in #212. This is a lovely, fragile little treasure!

1748/54  Phaedri Augusti liberti Fabulae. Ad manuscriptos codices et optimam quamque editionem emendavit Steph. And. Philippe. Accesserunt notae ad calcem. Vita Phaedri a J. Scheffero. De Aetate Phaedri a Gerar. Jo. Vossio. Judicia et testimonia de Phaedro. Appendix Fabularum a M. Gudio. Fabulae latine, pluraeque ejusdem cum Phaedri fabulis argumentis. Flavii Avieni Fabularum Aesopiarum liber unicus, accurante S. A. Philippe. L. Annaei Senecae ac P. Syri Mimi Sententiae et notis J. Gruteri. Edited by Stephan Andreas Phillipe [de Prétot]. Paris: Typis Josephi Barbou. $12 at Serendipity, Berkeley, Feb., '97.

Contains a wealth of good things, including the life of Phaedrus by Scheffer (v-xiv), an 'Indiculus editionum Phaedri' (xxxiv-xxxvii), the 1747 edition of Avianus: 'Flavii Aviani Fabularum Aesopiarum, liber unicus', (149-204), and the Sententiae of Seneca and Publilius Syrus. First published both by Barbou and by Grangé in 1748. Carnes notes this 1754 reprint, but says it has 395 pages, whereas this book, like the original he describes, has only 305 after the initial xlviii. At 147-8 there is a leaf lacking; in this copy is pencilled "a blank leaf taken out." Carnes mentions a title-page for Avianus that may have been 147. Formerly in the University of California Bancroft Library, and, before that, in the library of Henry Swinburne. All this for $12, and I found it by chance among the Classics books while she was writing up the cost of my other purchases! Twelve small but engaging illustrations at the beginning (and sometimes ends) of books of fables.

1749 Le Nouvel Esope: Fables Choisies. Paperbound. Paris: Chez la Veuve Delormel et Fils. €60 from Librairie Hatchuel, Paris, August, '02.

Twenty-six rhyming verse fables on 52 pages. Marbled paper covers. No introductory or concluding material other than a colophon on the last page indicating various permissions and a registration. There are printer's decorations on the title-page and first page, and the first initial is done dramatically. The accent in the title apparently belongs on the "nouvel." These are new fables after the fashion of Aesop. In the first fable, "L'Aigle et le Pie," the eagle ends up killing the magpie prophet who predicted bad things for the eagle but long life for the magpie. Do not anger the powerful! The second fable has a humble swan refuting the proud claims of the peacock to be the most beautiful. We all have some points of beauty but lack others. So it goes, through fables featuring respectively two books, a monkey and a fox, and love and absence. It is wonderful to have an older book like this in the collection, but these fables so far do not excite my interest. One of the fables here, "Le Mouton, et le Loup," appears in The Fabulists French (74) as the work of Delaunay, though the work referred to there is Recueil de Fables from 1732. Delaunay died in 1751. "Le Mouton, et le Loup," Shapiro rightly comments, is "typical of the conventional wisdom found in many another animal fable.." Delaunay seems to have written several theatrical pieces using fables. Might this book be a collection of some of those fables that first appeared in his plays?

1749 Mythoi Aisopou: Aesopi Fabulae Graeco-Latinae. Cum novis Notis, nec non Versione emendata. Editio, prioribus antehac editis correctior; Et ad Usum Juventutis Regiae Scholae Etonensis accommodata. Etonae: J. Pote. $85.50 at McNaughton's, Edinburgh, July, '92.

Unusual bilingual reader: The 144 Greek fables are given first, with helpful and extensive Latin notes right after the individual Greek fable. After 122, we start over again with the very same 144 fables in Latin, this time without notes, on 92 pages. There follow two pages of revealing advertisements for Pote's books for Eton's young scholars.

1749 Recueil de Fables Choisies Dans le Goût de M. De la Fontaine. Nouvelle Edition Revue, corrigée & augmentée. Hardbound. Paris: Chez Ph. N. Lottin & J.H. Butard. $100 from Kindel McNeill, Houston, through eBay, July, '05.

The title continues "Sur de petits airs & Vaudevilles connus notés à la fin pour en faciliter le chant." Not in Bodemann. Six books of fables on 322 small (2½" x 5") pages. Notice that both the texts and the organization of the fables is original. Though the book follows La Fontaine, the six books of fables seem not to be organized according to the pattern of La Fontaine's twelve books, and the texts seem redone with a special eye towards providing an appropriate meter for the music. After the texts, there is a ten-page AI. Following a royal permission to publish comes finally the special feature of this little book: 32 pages of musical notation, apparently fitted to the fables. These pages contain some hundred different musical arrangements, usually of two or three lines. The notation system in these pages is surprisingly close to ours. The introduction to each fable in the volume indicates which "air" is appropriate for it.

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1750 - 1774

1750 Esope en belle humeur ou l'elite de ses fables/Esopus bey der Lust oder dessen auserlesenste mit Kupfern, Moralien und Versen gezierte Fabeln. Nachgesehen, verbessert u. vermehret von Carl Mouton. Hamburg: bey Christian Herold. $80 from James Dast (Madison), Nov., '87.

After 99 fables from Aesop, all in both French and German and each with an excellent illustration, several other volumes are bound together (without illustrations): Phedrus and Philadelphus, Pilpai, and les devoirs de l'honnete homme (the latter two only in French). AI for Aesop begins after 513. See Die Bilderwelt im Kinderbuch, 14, 58, for a reference.

1750 Les Plus Belles Fables Morales de Phedre et de Philelphe; Des Phaedri und Philelphi angenehmste Sinn- und Lehr-reiche Fabeln. Carl Mouton. Hardbound. Hamburg: Christian Herold. €70 from Hamburger Antiquariat, Sept., '05.

This book is a separate later printing by another publisher of a part of the edition I have titled "Esope en belle humeur ou l'elite de ses fables enrichies de figures/Esopus bey der Lust" by Johann Christoph Kißner in 1729, right down to its pagination. This little (3½" x 5½") book is really two parts bound together; the title for the second part, starting on 409, is "Fables Choisies/Auserlesene Fabeln" of de la Motte. I suspect that my 1750 "Esope en belle humeur/Esopus bey der Lust" supplies the very pages preceding this edition's abrupt beginning of pagination with 291. Unlike either of those editions, there are no illustrations here. In the 1729 edition, illustrations were limited to the early "Aesop" section. That is, there were no illustrations in its second and third sections, reproduced here. There are 59 fables of Phaedrus and Philelphus in two columns. The following section offers 26 fables of de la Motte, with the two versions given on facing pages rather than in two columns. There are three T of C's at the end, corresponding to the sections of Aesop (which is not in this book!), Phaedrus, and de la Motte. I ask there and ask again here if Philelphus is Bidpai. The number (book and fable) of the de la Motte fable is given under the title in both languages. On 458, there is a sudden shift to naming the number of the fable in both languages without reference to a book. The series starting there with "second fable" continues through "eleventh" on 503. 504-513 covers maxims and short poems. This copy is heavily cropped. Somehow the printer gets 408 instead of the correct 410 for de la Motte's "Les Dieux d'Egipte," which had been "Les Dieus d'Egipte" in the 1729 edition. The printer's designs throughout are different in the two editions.

1750 Phaedri Aug. Liberti Fabularum Aesopicarum Libri V. Cum Indice verborum Locupletissimo. Inscribed 1772. Londini: Typis I. Brindley. $28.50 at Skoob Books, London, July, '92.

Exquisite small-format book, with the five books of Phaedrus followed by an appendix of 34 fables gathered from various manuscripts. Straightforward text followed by an alphabetical list of inscriptiones (titles) and a very extensive AI (phrase list). No notes.

1753 Fables By the Late Mr. Gay (Vol. I). John Gay. John Wootton and William Kent. The Seventh Edition. Hardbound. London: J. and R. Tonson and J. Watts. $42 from Second Story Books, DuPont Circle, Washington, Dec., '98.

Bodemann 110.7. Though she indicates that this is a two-volume work, there is no second volume present or indicated here. This volume includes Gay's original 50 fables, apparently with prints of the original Wootton and Kent engravings. Notice the physical impression these engravings make on the paper of these pages! As to the engravings themselves, they are disappointing to me as I come directly from viewing the Stockdale engravings that imitated them. The imitations there seem to me stronger and livelier than the originals here. I am surprised by the degree to which the Stockdale edition followed the visual motifs set down by Wootton and Kent. This is a great example of an "old book" in my collection. It is in fair condition or better. I am amazed that I found it--and found it for this kind of price.

1753 Fables de Phedre Affranchi d'Auguste, Traduites en François, avec le Latin à coté. Nouvelle Edition, revue & corrigée. Hardbound. Strasbourg: Chez Jean-François Leroux. $113.76 from Antiquariat Dr. Wolfgang Rieger, Freiburg, March, '04. 

This small 3¼" x 5¼" book offers a facing French prose translation for Phaedrus' fables. Its singular contribution, I believe, is that it marks the prose word-order of Phaedrus' text with superscribed numbers. Reading this little book can be slightly confusing because the French and Latin switch sides with every turn of a page! There is a T of C in French at the end. To my surprise, I cannot find this book mentioned in Carnes' bibliography of Phaedrus, nor can I find a close relative among his books. In case the book's purpose is not clear enough from its structure and from that word-counting technique, the title-page tells us: "Pour servir à bien entendre la Langue Latine, & à bien traduire en François." It is, that is, for learning how to understand Latin and to translate it well.

1753 The Fables of Phaedrus translated into English prose. Translated by Joseph Davidson? Second edition. Hardbound. London: Printed for the Assigns of Joseph Davidson. $31 from NobleSpirit LLC, Pittsfield, NH, Jan., '06. 

The book delivers exactly what its longish title promises: "The Fables of Phaedrus translated into English prose, as near the original as the different idioms of the Latin and the English languages will allow. With the Latin text and order of Construction on the opposite page; and critical, historical, geographical, and classical Notes in English." One of the most valuable elements of this book is a section at the left of Phaedrus' verse of each fable. This section is called "Ordo" and it offers a full prose version of what is stated more succinctly in verse at the right. The book has not grown from the first edition's vi+180 pages. The first edition of 1745 is listed in Pack Carnes' unpublished bibliography of Phaedrus. This present copy once belonged to the Ministerial Library in Peterboro; it came there, apparently, as a gift in 1839. The book's binding is leather; its name on the spine is "Davidson's Phaedr."

1754 Phaedri Augusti liberti Fabulae. Ad manuscriptos codices et optimam quamque editionem emendavit Steph. And. Philippe. Accesserunt notae ad calcem. Vita Phaedri a J. Scheffero. De Aetate Phaedri a Gerar. Jo. Vossio. Judicia et testimonia de Phaedro. Appendix Fabularum a M. Gudio. Fabulae latine, pluraeque ejusdem cum Phaedri fabulis argumentis. Flavii Avieni Fabularum Aesopiarum liber unicus, accurante S. A. Philippe. L. Annaei Senecae ac P. Syri Mimi Sententiae et notis J. Gruteri. Edited by Stephan Andreas Phillipe [de PrJtot]. Paris: Typis Josephi Barbou. See 1748/54.

1754 Select Fables by Mr. Charles Denis.  Frontispiece by Hayman and Grignion.  Hardbound.  London: J. and R. Tonson and S. Draper.  $120 from Argosy Book Store, NY, August, '16.

This is a large volume of 120 fables fashioned after La Fontaine, Aesop, and others.  There is a frontispiece: an angel (?) kneels before a ruler as two goddesses hover above.  There is also an introduction commending the work to George, Prince of Wales.  The verse fables seem to follow on La Fontaine's themes, but done in Denis' own way.  Ulysses wants to release his men from their bestiality before he has sex with Circe, but they refuse.  The prince should not follow their example.  I find the rhyming verse tiring.   There is a good moral to FG: "Whenever an attempt proves vain, As well to sneer, as to complain" (227).  I have the impression after reading a few of these fables that La Fontaine was briefer.  I am surprised that this book is not in Bodemann.  A copy is presently on sale on the web for $6000.

1755 Fables Choisies, Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine, Tome Premier. Jean Baptiste Oudry. Jean-Jacques Bachelier. C.N. Cochin. First edition, first issue. Hardbound. Paris: Dessaint & Saillant; Durand; Imprimerie de Charles-Antoine Jombert. $1,350 from Dailey Rare Books Ltd., Los Angeles, Oct., '02.

Bodemann #135.1. What a spectacular book! I had not dared to dream that I could find a copy for the collection. Dailey quotes Ray: "one of the most ambitious and successful of all illustrated books." The magnificent Oudry engravings are complemented by Bachelier's woodcut fleurons following each fable. The 275 full-page engravings in the four books are numbered consecutively in Roman numerals through the four volumes following their fables (some with more than one illustration). This numbering of fables runs from I through CCXLIV. Hobbs #20. Fabula Docet #51, which urges viewers to take note of the illustrations for fables I (GA here) and CLXXI ("Les Deux Pigeons"). My favorites on this trip through the first volume are IX (TMCM); XXV ("Le Loup Plaidant Contre le Renard Pardevant le Singe"); XXXII (SS); XXXV ("L'Astrologue Qui Se Laisse Tomber Dans une Puits"); XLIII 4 (MSA); and LIX ("La Belette Entrée Dans un Grenier").

1755 Fables Choisies, Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine, Tome Second. Jean Baptiste Oudry. Jean-Jacques Bachelier. C.N. Cochin. First edition, first issue. Hardbound. Paris: Dessaint & Saillant; Durand; Imprimerie de Charles-Antoine Jombert. $1,350 from Dailey Rare Books Ltd., Los Angeles, Oct., '02. 

Bodemann #135.1. What a spectacular book! I had not dared to dream that I could find a copy for the collection. Dailey quotes Ray: "one of the most ambitious and successful of all illustrated books." The magnificent Oudry engravings are complemented by Bachelier's woodcut fleurons following each fable. The 275 full-page engravings in the four books are numbered consecutively in Roman numerals through the four volumes following their fables (some with more than one illustration). This numbering of fables runs from I through CCXLIV. Hobbs #20. Fabula Docet #51, which urges viewers to take note of the illustrations for fables I (GA) and CLXXI ("Les Deux Pigeons"). My favorites on this trip through the second volume are LXIV ("Le Jardinier et Son Seigneur"); LXV ("L'Âne et le Petit Chien"); LXXXVIII ("La Vieille et les Deux Servantes"); CIII (DLS); CXII ("Le Cerf Se Voyant Dans l'Eau"); and CXXIV ("La Jeune Veuve").

1755/1969 Fables de La Fontaine: Tome Premier. Avec les figures d'Oudry dans l'édition Desaint et Saillant de 1755. La Fontaine. Hardbound. Printed in France.  Paris: Jean de Bonnot. 75 Francs from Brancion Used Book Market, Paris, August, '99.

Back in 1988 in Paris I had found the knockoff version of this first volume along the Seine. Now I am delighted to have found the whole set of the good edition. If there is a drawback to this exquisite set of volumes, it lies in their size: about 5" x 8". The excellent paper frequently displays its watermark of two cannon barrels, cannonballs, and a fleur de lis. The Oudry illustrations are very nicely done. Each fable has its own title-page and at least one illustration, all without printing on the reverse. This edition complements my two other complete Oudry sets, dated "1880?" from Tallandier and 1985 from Livre de Poche. Is the pretty gold-embossed red cover really leather? Note that the illustrations are numbered consecutively, not by the twelve book numbers. My favorites on this trip through are BC (XXIV), SS (XXXII), and "Le Goutte et l'Araignée (L, 2e Planche). Examples of the majestic composition overwhelming the narrative may lie in XXVII, "La Chauve-Souris et les deux Belettes" and LVII, "Philomèle et Progné. That apparent fault helps the effect in LIX, "La Belette entrée dans un Grenier," since just a little head sticks out into a big world that the fat little beastie cannot reenter yet. I would like to see or hear something on the relationship between the two illustrations for LX, "Le Chat et un vieux Rat."

1755/1969 Fables de La Fontaine: Tome Deuxième. Avec les figures d'Oudry dans l'édition Desaint et Saillant de 1755. La Fontaine. Hardbound. Printed in France. Paris: Jean de Bonnot. 75 Francs from Brancion Used Book Market, Paris, August, '99.

See my comments on the first volume. My favorites on this trip through are LXIV, "Le Jardinier et son Seigneur" (both plates); LXVIII, "L'Homme et l'Idole de Boix," where the illustration captures the breakup of the statue in mid-air; LXXV, "Le Loup, la Chèvre et le Chevreau; XCIX, "Le Lièvre et la Perdrix"; C, "L'Aigle et le Hibou," where the image seems to have something in common with both Gustav Doré and Caspar David Friedrich; CXII, "Le Cerf se Voyant dans l'Eau"; and CXIV, "L'Ane et ses Maitres." An example of the majestic composition overwhelming the narrative may lie in CVI, SW--or perhaps here Oudry becomes overwhelmed with classical mythologizing at the cost of a good simple narrative! Like many artists, Oudry has trouble with lions' faces.

1755/1969 Fables de La Fontaine: Tome Troisième. Avec les figures d'Oudry dans l'édition Desaint et Saillant de 1755. Avec les figures d'Oudry. Hardbound. Printed in France. Paris: Jean de Bonnot. 75 Francs from Brancion Used Book Market, Paris, August, '99.

See my comments on the first volume. My favorites on this trip through are CXXXV, "Le Curé et le Mort"; CXLVIII, "Les Femmes et le Secret," in which even the child is telling a secret to the dog!; CLXV, "La Torrent et la Rivière," with its surprising view of the man and horse tipping over and struggling in the water; CLXXII, "Le Singe et le Léopard" (both plates); and CLXXXV, "Le Trésor et les deux Hommes."

1755/1969 Fables de La Fontaine: Tome Quatrième. Avec les figures d'Oudry dans l'édition Desaint et Saillant de 1755. Avec les figures d'Oudry. Hardbound. Printed in France. Paris: Jean de Bonnot. 75 Francs from Brancion Used Book Market, Paris, August, '99.

See my comments on the first volume. My favorites on this trip through are CXCIV, "Le Loup et les Bergers"; CCX, "Le Loup et le Rénard": CCXIX, "Le Cerf malade"; and CCXLIII, "La Matrone d'Ephese" (both plates).

1755/1982 Fables de La Fontaine: Tome Premier. Avec les figures d'Oudry dans l'édition Desaint et Saillant de 1755. Paris: Chez Jean de Bonnot. $5 at a stall along the Seine, Aug., '88.

An exquisite book. I went to Paris hoping to find an Oudry. Though this volume contains only the first three books of LaFontaine, the engravings are exquisite. Surprisingly inexpensive on the Seine. The paper is excellent. The cover seems leather.

1755? Fables by the late Mr Gay.  In two volumes.  Hardbound.  Glasgow: Printed for Alexander McKenzie.  £ 6.63 from Philip Need, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, through eBay, Oct., '14.  

This little book of 192 pages, about 4" x 6½", has leather covers -- the front cover is separated -- and marbled endpapers.  There is a 1922 owner's signature on the front endpaper. Light pencil marks in the text highlight certain pieces. The book has generally very clean and fresh contents with a tight text block.  The beginning T of C covers both volumes, which are continuously paginated.  The book has a curious place in bibliographical history, as described by the eBay seller.  163-164 are numbered 164-163. The printer, Foulis, has been identified by the type. This is a very rare title but there are two recorded variants. In one, page 35 has the signature E2 and in the other the signature is lacking. This present volume lacks the E2 signature. On COPAC the Cambridge University copy lacks E2 but their list of identifying features are not found in this present volume and in the Cambridge volume pages 163-164 are correctly numbered.  Edinburgh University and the National Library of Scotland each have a copy where E2 is present. There is no record on COPAC of a copy without E2 but also without the variations listed in the Cambridge copy. This present copy may therefore be a third variant.  I would add that one of the dating points for the book is the presence here of the "long s," that met its demise in the 1790's.

1756 Fables Choisies, Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine, Tome Troisieme. Jean Baptiste Oudry. Jean-Jacques Bachelier. C.N. Cochin. First edition, first issue. Hardbound. Paris: Dessaint & Saillant; Durand; Imprimerie de Charles-Antoine Jombert. $1,350 from Dailey Rare Books Ltd., Los Angeles, Oct., '02.

Bodemann #135.1. What a spectacular book! I had not dared to dream that I could find a copy for the collection. Dailey quotes Ray: "one of the most ambitious and successful of all illustrated books." The magnificent Oudry engravings are complemented by Bachelier's woodcut fleurons following each fable. The 275 full-page engravings in the four books are numbered consecutively in Roman numerals through the four volumes following their fables (some with more than one illustration). This numbering of fables runs from I through CCXLIV. Hobbs #20. Fabula Docet #51, which urges viewers to take note of the illustrations for fables I (GA) and CLXXI here ("Les Deux Pigeons"). My favorites on this trip through the third volume are CXXVI ("Le Mal Marié"); CXXIV (MM); CXXV ("Le Curé et le Mort"); CXXIX ("La Fille"); CXLIV ("Le Savetier et le Financier"); CLXIX ("Le Loup et le Chasseur"); and CLXXXIII ("Le Chat et le Renard"). As Dailey points out, the illustration for CLXXII ("Le Singe et le Léopard") lacks the words "Le Léopard" on the flag identifying the building in this first issue of the first edition.

1756 Nouvelle Methode pour Apprendre le Lingue Latine, Tome Premier. M. de Launay. Hardbound. Paris: Veuve Robinot et Babuty Fils. $22.50 from Melissa Hearth, Hauppauge, NY, through Ebay, May, '00.

In this new method, each pair of pages has four elements. The whole left page is taken up with a running vocabulary. The top of the right-hand page is a prose presentation of the Latin, with the appropriate French word written above each word. The middle of this page is occupied by the present portion of the Latin text, which might be three or four lines. The bottom of the page is a French prose translation of these lines into Latin. At the end of the volume there is a straight Latin presentation of just the texts of the fables. All of this work deals only with the thirty fables of the first book of Phaedrus. The second volume, published in 1759, adds another step to the method, still dealing with only these thirty fables. The front cover has separated from the spine. Apparently in neither Carnes nor Lamb.

1756/1969 Poems, Fables, and Plays by Edward Moore. Hardbound. Printed in Heppenheim, West Germany. Original: London: R. and J. Dodsley. Reprint: Westmead, England: Gregg International Publishers. $13.50 from Seattle Book Center, Seattle, July, '00.

This is a photographic reproduction of a collection of works by Moore. Among them we find the same fifteen fables--and in the same order--as in my 1744 edition by R. Francklin. See my comments there. This is a sturdy and even weighty book. There are a few printer's designs but no illustrations.

1757  Fables by the Late Mr Gay. In Two Volumes (here bound and paginated in one). London. Printed for C. Hitch, and L. Hawes, J. and R. Tonson, J. Rivington, J. Rivington and J. Fletcher, J. Ward, W. Johnston, R. Horsfield, J. Richardson, P. Davey and B. Law. $50 from Richard Barnes, Evanston, Oct., '94.

This is my earliest Gay edition except for the 1967 facsimile reprint of the 1727 and 1738 editions by the William Andrews Clark Library. The illustrations here are clearly related to those but not identical with them. Nor are these the later plates several of which William Blake did in 1793 (Hobbs 80-81). Like many, these plates seem to be modeled on the work of Gravelot (Hobbs 70-71). I like these strong illustrations. Were the illustrations perhaps done independently and inserted later into the text? The plates (e.g., between 24 and 25) do not match the surrounding pages well. This title-page design seems to be the reverse of the title-page design in the 1738 edition.

1757 Fables Choisies, Mises en Vers par Monsieur de La Fontaine.  Avec un Nouveau Commentaire par M. Coste.  Illustrations by Picart and Caron.  Hardbound.  Paris: Humblot.  $20 from Purpleaceofbase through eBay, Sept., '13.

This is a lovely little book, the earliest Coste edition I have.  It is certainly in the family of Bodemann #121.  The date matches with #121.2, but the editor there is Prault fils aîné, whereas here it is Humblot.  The description of #121.1, published in 1743, also seems to match up well.  Here as in #121.2 the printer is Didot.  The frontispiece by Picart has Aesop explaining his fables to La Fontaine.  There is a lovely vignette at the beginning of each book, several of them labeled "Caron."  The description for #121.1 refers to two landscapes in conjunction with two dedications, but I cannot find them.  All twelve books are here in two volumes separately paginated.  What a lovely inexpensive find!

1757 Fables Choisies, Mises en Vers par Monsieur de La Fontaine.  Avec un Nouveau Commentaire par M. Coste.  Illustrations by Picart and Caron.  Hardbound.  Paris:  Le Clerc.  £ 25 from John Creek through eBay, Feb., '16.

This book is almost identical with another of the same date but from Humblot as the publisher.  The title page changes the printer's design and the publisher and publisher's address.  The plates inside the book, including the illustrations, seem identical.  The errata page inserted there at 271 at the end of the second volume has been removed, but I cannot locate the erratum in the first volume of that first copy anyway!  Both copies were printed by Didot.  This book is inscribed at its back by Catharine and Sarah Bullock on November 21, 1788.  That is a curious time in history!  At its beginning, there are the names of J. Parry and Fanny Parry in 1833.  This little book has had quite a history!  I will include and slightly reshape my comments from the Humblot edition.  This is a lovely little book, the earliest Coste edition I have.  It is certainly in the family of Bodemann #121.  The date matches with #121.2, but the editor there is Prault fils aîné, whereas here it is Humblot.  The description of #121.1, published in 1743, also seems to match up well.  Here as in #121.2 the printer is Didot.  The frontispiece by Picart has Aesop explaining his fables to La Fontaine.  There is a lovely vignette at the beginning of each book, several of them labeled "Caron."  The description for #121.1 refers to two landscapes in conjunction with two dedications, but I cannot find them here either.  All twelve books are here in two volumes separately paginated.  Both books represent lovely inexpensive finds!

1757/1976 Fabeln aus den Zeiten der Minnesinger. (Johann Jacob) Bodmer. Hardbound. Zurich/Leipzig: Orell und Compagnie/Zentralantiquariat der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik. €16 from Antiquariat Canicio, Heidelberg, August, '12.

This is a fascinating book much of whose treasure is beyond me. What I find before me includes 94 texts many of which are recognizable old German versions of Aesopic fables. The curiosities about the book begin with a book that, if one did not check the cover, never reveals its author. "Bodmer" on the cover and on the spine is all that we get. The next curiosity is that a bit of checking on the web regularly brings up Ulrich Boner's name along with Bodmer's as the author of this book. Is some of what we find in the book identical with Boner? The first text is indeed about the ape and the nuts, the second about a hunter and tiger, the third about a frog and mouse. Comparison with what we find in Der Edelstein would be revealing. This small (about 4" x 6") book itself is very nicely produced. I find it a real triumph of old DDR printing and bookbinding.

1757/1977 Sittenlehre für die Jugend in den auserlesensten aesopischen Fabeln. Samuel Richardson, translated by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. Mit einer Vorrede von Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. Mit Kupfern. Boxed. Hardbound. Leipzig: Weidmannische Handlung/Insel Verlag. €19 from Dresdener Antiquariat, Dresden, August, '06.

I already have a pair of German editions representing the original German texts and illustrations of the 1757 translation of Samuel Richardson's 1749 London edition, Aesop's Fables, with Instructive Morals and Reflections, Abstracted from all Party Considerations, Adapted to All Capacities; and Designed to Promote Religion, Morality, and Universal Benevolence. Now there is a title! The title of the present book also runs further: "Mit dienlichen Betrachtungen zur Beförderung der Religion und der allgemeinen Menschenliebe vorgestellet." What does this book offer that the other two do not? It is a "Faksimile nach einem Exemplar der Erstausgabe" from the Sächsische Landesbibliothek Dresden. Everything is presented here as it was in 1757. The images in particular are often superior to the reproductions in those volumes. The images occur in groups of six gathered without spacing between them on a single page. Neither the original 1757 German edition nor this reproduction appears in Bodemann, though the 1749 edition, published in London by J. Osborne, appears as #131.1. A reprinting by T. Wilson and R. Spence in York in 1753 appears as #131.2. The texts are presented here, as in the original, in Gothic script. There is an AI at the end. There are two hundred and forty prose fables. This book comes boxed with a paperbound "Nachwort zur Faksimileausgabe" by Thomas Höhle, also from Insel-Verlag in 1977. See my comments on it.

1757/1987 Äsopische Fabeln mit moralischen Lehren und Betrachtungen. Samuel Richardson. Aus dem Englischen übertragen und mit einer Vorrede von Gotthold Ephraim Lessing sowie den vierzig Kupfertafeln [creator unacknowledged] der Erstausgabe von 1757. (Richardson's Aesop's Fables first appeared in 1740.) Berlin: Hennsel. $21 from Herder in Münster, Aug., '88.

Delightful edition with morals and applications, sometimes after a pair of fables. Lessing's prose is a pleasure to read. Each copperplate contains six small engravings, simple and ordinary, numbered to match the fables. The best may be MM (#239). These less successful decorations show the greatness by contrast of someone like Bewick for dealing with small spaces. Alphabetical register on 361.

1757/1999 Äsopische Fabeln mit moralischen Lehren und Betrachtungen. Samuel Richardson. Aus dem Englischen übertragen und mit einer Vorrede von Gotthold Ephraim Lessing sowie den vierzig Kupfertafeln der Erstausgabe von 1757. Mit einer Nachrade von Walter Pape. Paperback. Zurich: detebe-Klassiker: Diogenes Taschenbuch. DEM 11 from Tanja Brozek, Berlin, through Ebay, August, '00.

This is the later paperback reproduction of the Hennsel Verlag edition of 1987. This paperback colors in the cover illustration and adds a few pages of advertisements at the end. Though the book is smaller in every dimension and the print pages seem to be shortened slightly, the illustrations seem to be the same size as they were in the Hennsel edition. See my notes on the original hardbound edition.

1757? Aesopi Phrygis et Aliorum Fabulae. Hardbound. Venice/Bassano: Typis Io: [Johannis] Antonij Remondini. 250000 Lire from Soave, Turin, Sept., '97.

I found this little treasure during a break in Renard meetings in Turin. The bookstore owner had not been aware of it, but recognized it promptly when I found it and was even able to look up a list of Remondini publications for me on the spot. Apparently this publishing house specialized in portable books to be sold by men who walked with them on their backs through northern Italy and Switzerland. Bodemann lists as #64.2 a Remondini edition with this title done in 1743 in Bassano. This may well be a later printing of that book. Someone wrote "1757" at the bottom of this title-page. See Bodemann #64.1 for a full listing of all that is contained in the 1623 Brescia edition with this title. The book begins with a list of authors included and turns next to Planudes' "Life of Aesop" (5-50, not illustrated). Then come selections from Aphthonius and Hermogenes on fable and a dedicatory epistle from Valla. The fables begin on 57. Bodemann counts 76 fable illustrations, double-framed, in her edition, and the number seems right here. The woodcuts are strong and simple, probably done ultimately after the "Aesopus Dorpii." Good examples of their strength might be "Ass and Horse" (70), "The Man Who Found an Axe on the Road" (95), "The Shepherd Up a Tree Whose Cloak Is Eaten Beneath Him" (117), WC (125), and "The Fox and the Hunters" (214). The fabulists listed here are Laurentius Valla, Gulielmus Gudanus, Hadrianus Barlandus, Gulielmus Hermanus, Rimicius, Angelus Policianus, Petrus Crinitus, Plinius Secundus Nonocomensis, and Aulus Gellius, all of whose work is easy for me to identify. The opening list then promises thirteen fables from various writers and a group of fables finally from Gabrius, and these I do not find. AI at the end. A lovely little early treasure!

1757? Les Fables d'Esope Phrygien avec Celles de Philelphe.  Traduction Nouvelle.  Mr. de Bellegarde.  Hardbound.  Copenhagen: DK 2408 from Herman H.J. Lynge & Son, Kopenhagen, July, '14.

"Edition nouv. avec nouvelles Fig."  The date is unfortunately cut off the bottom of the page.  This copy seems to line up perfectly with Bodemann #97.3 except for the frontispiece, which here has Aesop (?) on a pedestal in front of an upper balcony of human beings and behind a ground-level group of animals.  (Bodemann #97.3 has six scenes from the life of Aesop.)  That edition was published by Witwe des Gabr. Christ. Rothen.  The title-page is a mix of black and red ink.  The strength of this edition lies in its 117 illustrations, generally about 2¼" x 2¾".  Except for the last illustration, "The Bear and the Bees" (290), these occur two to a page close to their fable texts.  Among the best of these often dark illustrations I would list FC (102); FK (120); FS (138); "Peacock and Juno" (180); "The Stag and the Horse" (184); "The Mule and the Wolf" (200); 2W (231); "The Bulls and the Lion" (258); "The Boy and the Greedy Man at the Well" (264); and CW (278).  Each fable gets a generous paragraph of French prose and then a full page or more of "Sens Moral," climaxed by a rhyming quatrain.  CJ is first in the order of fables.  The illustrations between 204 and 220 have received additional inking from some hand; so have the numbers above them.  Several other illustrations besides these have been inked; in some of these cases, one can find traces of the ink that seeped through the page.  Some pages of illustrations have large block letters on their lower right.  Were these perhaps a guide to the bookbinder concerning the order of images?  Aesop's fables finish on 292, and on 293 those of Philelphe begin.  They finish on 339, to be followed by "Fables Diverse Tirées d'Esope" by "Gabrias and Avienus."  These conclude on 437, to be followed by "Les Contes d'Esope", which finish on 478.  After 478 there is a T of C for each of the sections of the book, starting with the life of Aesop at the book's beginning.  This book represented my one big purchase during my short stay in Copenhagen.

1759 Fables Choisies, Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine, Tome Quatrieme. Jean Baptiste Oudry. Jean-Jacques Bachelier. C.N. Cochin. First edition, first issue. Hardbound. Paris: Dessaint & Saillant; Durand; Imprimerie de Charles-Antoine Jombert. $1,350 from Dailey Rare Books Ltd., Los Angeles, Oct., '02.

Bodemann #135.1. What a spectacular book! I had not dared to dream that I could find a copy for the collection. Dailey quotes Ray: "one of the most ambitious and successful of all illustrated books." The magnificent Oudry engravings are complemented by Bachelier's woodcut fleurons following each fable. The 275 full-page engravings in the four books are numbered consecutively in Roman numerals through the four volumes following their fables (some with more than one illustration). This numbering of fables runs from I through CCXLIV. Hobbs #20. Fabula Docet #51, which urges viewers to take note of the illustrations for fables I (GA) and CLXXI ("Les Deux Pigeons"). My favorites on this trip through the fourth volume are CLXXXIX ("Les Deux Rats, le Renard et l'Oeuf"); CXCVII ("Le Chien A Qui On A Coupé les Oreilles"); CCX ("Le Loup et le Renard"); CCXVI ("Le Thesauriseur et le Singe"); CCXIX ("Le Cerf Malade"); CCXXXII ("Le Singe"); and CCXLIII ("La Matrone d'Ephese").

1759 Francisci-Josephi Desbillons e Societate Jesu Fabularum Aesopiarum Libri Quinque Priores Diligenter Emendati. Hardbound. Editio tertia. Paris: J. Barbou. DM 150 from Buch- und Kunstantiquariat Ernst Hoffmann, Frankfurt, July, '01.

Bodemann #141.1. This seems to be the first Desbillons edition in Bodemann. It is in two parts. Apparently Part 1, including the first five books, was first published in 1754. To it is now added Part 2, which includes five further books. It is not clear to me what other edition lay behind this "third edition," with Desbillons' comment "quam solam auctor agnoscit," the only edition that the writer acknowledges. An appendix includes twenty-two "joci," five "narrationculae," and "selecta philosophorum veterum placita." There are also alphabetical indices of fables and jokes at the back and various permissions and approbations, including, of course, that of the Jesuit provincial superior. As Bodemann points out, there are here 348 verse fables with ending moralisations. Most is inherited material. As Desbillons will do in later editions, he tries to recognize borrowing wherever he knows he has borrowed. This book brings to seven the number of Desbillons books I have. Two are radically different: Phaedrus editions of 1786 and 1825. Following on this present edition is an edition of fifteen books of fables in two volumes in 1768 and a later edition of the same in 1789, also in two volumes. This volume has only a frontispiece involving Phaedrus, the Muse, and, according to Bodemann, Genius. Desbillons offers notes under the fable texts on literary parallels and sources, vocabulary, style, and animal life. As I mention of the later volumes, Desbillons' Phaedrus-like fables are remarkable for their clarity. Seldom have I encountered Latin so intelligible on the first reading. Thus II 15 does GGE well in five lines. My impression of Desbillons' own contributions, like I 7, "Pueruli Fratres," is that they are good but not overpowering. This fable has a boy weeping over his sick brother one day but refusing him a share of his cookies the next day. Upbraided, he answers that nature gives tears, not cookies. Several of the fables seem to have a sad tone. Thus II 29 has a sick man's wife call on death, seeming to offer herself as his victim if necessary. When death appears, she gives up her husband immediately. The introduction covers more than twenty fabulists who lie behind Desbillons' work, from Aesop down to French fabulists who died only a few years before the book's publication. For me, this is certainly another one of the treasures of this collection!

1759 Francisci-Josephi Desbillons e Societate Jesu Fabularum Aesopiarum Libri Quinque Priores Diligenter Emendati. Editio tertia. Hardbound. Paris: J. Barbou. $36 from Elf Eldar, Thessaloniki, Greece, through eBay, Nov., '12.

Here is a second copy of this book by my favorite Jesuit fabulist. It seems to be lacking the frontispiece at the beginning and the errata page at the end. The binding is different from my original copy, which cost almost three times as much as this copy. I keep this book in the collection because it belongs to the subcollection I am developing of Desbillons copies. As I wrote there, this is Bodemann #141.1. This seems to be the first Desbillons edition in Bodemann. It is in two parts; apparently Part 1, including the first five books, was first published in 1754. To it is now added Part 2, which includes five further books. It is not clear to me what other edition lay behind this "third edition," with Desbillons' comment "quam solam auctor agnoscit," the only edition that the writer acknowledges. An appendix includes twenty-two "joci," five "narrationculae," and "selecta philosophorum veterum placita." There are also alphabetical indices of fables and jokes at the back and various permissions and approbations, including, of course, that of the Jesuit provincial superior. As Bodemann points out, there are here 348 verse fables with ending moralisations. Most is inherited material. As Desbillons will do in later editions, he tries to recognize borrowing wherever he knows he has borrowed. Following on this present edition is an edition of fifteen books of fables in two volumes in 1768 and a later edition of the same in 1789, also in two volumes. Desbillons offers notes under the fable texts on literary parallels and sources, vocabulary, style, and animal life. As I mention of the later volumes, Desbillons' Phaedrus-like fables are remarkable for their clarity. Seldom have I encountered Latin so intelligible on the first reading. Thus II 15 does GGE well in five lines. My impression of Desbillons' own contributions, like I 7, "Pueruli Fratres," is that they are good but not overpowering. This fable has a boy weeping over his sick brother one day but refusing him a share of his cookies the next day. Upbraided, he answers that nature gives tears, not cookies. Several of the fables seem to have a sad tone. Thus II 29 has a sick man's wife call on death, seeming to offer herself as his victim if necessary. When death appears, she gives up her husband immediately. The introduction covers more than twenty fabulists who lie behind Desbillons' work, from Aesop down to French fabulists who died only a few years before the book's publication. For me, this is certainly another one of the treasures of this collection! 

1759 Nouvelle Methode pour Apprendre le Lingue Latine, Tome Second. M. de Launay. Hardbound. Paris: Veuve Robinot et Babuty Fils. $22.50 from Melissa Hearth, Hauppauge, NY, through Ebay, May, '00.

Note that the first of this two-volume set was published in 1756. This second volume spends 328 pages on a questionable task. Each word of the thirty fables of the first book of Phaedrus is thoroughly parsed and construed. Perhaps that is why the title pages, both here and in the first volume, promise a set of four volumes. I wonder if the third and fourth volumes were ever published. I find no reference to this work in either Carnes or Lamb.

1759/1964 The Fables of Jean de la Fontaine. Monograph by Frances J. Brewer. With a Leaf from the Memorial Edition of the Fables Choisies, illustrated by Jean-Baptiste Oudry and printed in Paris by Charles-Antoine Jombert, 1755-59. Boxed. LA: Dawson's Bookshop. Gift of Glen Dawson, May, '90.

An impressive pair of pages with the fable of "l' Hymenee et l' Amour." Beautifully boxed and presented. Unfortunately, the Oudry illustration is lacking. Brewer's monograph seems sensible and direct.

1760 Poesies Diverses du R. Pere (Jean Antoine) du Cerceau, Tome I. Nouvelle Édition. Hardbound. Paris: Chez les Frères Estienne. $49.50 from alkhudra through eBay, Oct., '10.

This volume of du Cerceau's poetry contains three sections: Epitres, Pieces Critiques, and Pieces Mélées. This is a small volume, about 3½" x 5½", containing 336 pages with a T of C at the end. Leather binding, marbled endpapers, and a place-marking ribbon. Jean Antoine du Cerceau (1670-1730) was a Jesuit priest, poet, and man of letters. French Wikipedia has these two curious notes about him: "Il devint précepteur du prince de Conti et périt accidentellement, tué par son élève qui le frappa involontairement en maniant un fusil." Beware, teachers! Volume II of this set contains fables. 

1760 Poesies Diverses du R. Pere (Jean Antoine) du Cerceau, Tome II. Nouvelle Édition. Hardbound. Paris: Chez les Frères Estienne. $49.50 from alkhudra through eBay, Oct., '10.

This is a small volume, about 3½" x 5½", containing 305 pages with a T of C at the end. Leather binding, marbled endpapers, and a place-marking ribbon. Jean Antoine du Cerceau (1670-1730) was a Jesuit priest, poet, and man of letters. French Wikipedia has these two curious notes about him: "Il devint précepteur du prince de Conti et périt accidentellement, tué par son élève qui le frappa involontairement en maniant un fusil." Beware, teachers! This volume of du Cerceau's poetry contains fables, Contes, one "Histoire," epigrams after Martial, other epigrams, two plays, and several texts for musical pieces. The ten fables are on 1-42. I tried three fables. "Le Singe et le Chat" (10) seems to have a monkey asking a wise cat why he has no friends. The cat answers that he pinches and bites and makes fun of people. "Injure people and you set them against you." "La Lionne et le Renard" (11) seems to have the fox convincing the parent lion that her young son should no longer receive her milk but should rather be drinking the blood of victims. Flattering advice is always listened to, and the son soon becomes as silly as his parent. We hear every parent speak of the genius that is his or her son. (Is that word "fan" a form back then of "faim"?) In Fable IX, an aristocrat invites a carter to become a coachman. What dignity! Unfortunately, the coachmen soon wrecks the coach and overturns the master. Not in Bodemann or Shapiro. 

1761 Select Fables of Esop and Other Fabulists. In Three Books. R. and J. Dodsley. Illustrations by Samuel Wale (NA). Including "The Life of Esop, Collected from Ancient Writers" by Mons. de Meziriac and an Essay on Fable by Robert Dodsley. First edition. Hardbound. Birmingham: John Baskerville. £250 from Rose's, Hay-on-Wye, June, '98. Extra copy lacking the frontispiece, with extensive foxing, for $150 from Lighthouse Books, St. Petersburg, FL, Oct., '97.

Here is Bodemann #145.1, with the description fulfilled in every detail. I have been so delighted to find a Dodsley first edition! I had worked with Dodsley at length at the Pierpont Morgan during my sabbatical. The book is in excellent condition. I think I had hoped for more in the original illustrations, presented as a set of from four to (more usually) twelve medallion-like circles on one page. They are simple and straightforward. In the size in which they are presented, there is not much room for detail or nuance. They show up much better on Hobbs' end-papers, since they are so much larger. My Rose's copy is beautifully bound in leather with "1671" at the base of the spine. There are of course here three books, respectively of ancient, modern, and original fables (54, 53, and 52 fables respectively). There is an introductory illustration and a closing vignette for each book. After all three books, there is a comprehensive listing of morals, deliberately kept separate from the stories themselves. Since there is neither a T of C nor an AI, this index also serves as the best way of finding a fable's place within the collection. For my comments on the text of Dodsley, see Crukshank's edition of 1798.

1762 École du Monde, Tome Sixième. Par Monsieur Le Noble. Nouvelle Édition, avec Figures. Hardbound. Liege/Bruxelles: J.F. Bassompierre and J. Van den Berghen (Bruxelles). $29.98 from Eleftheria Ntanoura, Perea, Thessaloniki, Greece, Oct., '11.

The title continues "Ou Instruction d'un Pere à un Fils, Touchant la maniere dont il faut vivre dans le Monde, divisée en Entretiens." This little book contains four discussions, "Vingt-Unième Entretien" through "Vingt-Quatrième Entretien." Timagene and Aristippe are the dialogue partners. Each discussion ends with a fable. At the end of XXI is "Du Loup et de la Tête de Bois" (59); of XXII "De la Biche et du Rhinocéros" (122); of XXIII "Du Loup et de l'Agneau" (175); and of XXIV "Du Coque et du Diamant" (241). The fables are all in verse. Several are over two pages long. The two illustrations face 1 and 125; the former is "Le Temps et L'Etude menent a la Sagesse" and the latter "La Vertu triomphe de tous ses Ennemis."

1763 Dodsley's Select Fables of Esop and Other Fabulists. In Three Books. As well for the Use of Schools as Young Gentlemen. Including "The Life of Esop, Collected from Ancient Writers" by Mons. de Meziriac and an Essay on Fable by Robert Dodsley. Hardbound. Dublin: T. and J. Whitehouse. Gift of June Clinton, June, '97.

See my comments on the Birmingham first edition by Baskerville in 1761. June had collected this book because, I believe, of her particular interest in books in Ireland. A first difference that strikes the eye here is that the frontispiece is changed from "The Unveiling of Truth" to the same bright mask that so often serves as frontispiece to Gay's fables. The plates seem to be identical. The title-page for the first book occurs here before the first set of illustrations, whereas there it came after these illustrations. The book itself has suffered some wear. The first set of illustrations for Book III has lost its bottom tier; the remaining illustrations have been pasted onto a page facing the first fable of the book (65), which has itself been laid in. The index at the back stops after the first five fables of the third book. Calf binding with marbled boards. A precious gift from a dear friend!

1763 Sammlung vermischter Schriften von C.F. Gellert (bound after Lehrgedichte und Erzählungen von C. F. Gellert).  Hardbound.  €15 from Dresdener Antiquariat, Dresden, July, '17. 

Here is a surprising little treasure!  I had not realized that I did not have an early edition of Gellert.  This volume comes from his lifetime, since he died in 1769.  It is in fact two volumes, as I found when I kept trying to match the closing T of C with the beginning texts.  The first volume does not include fables, while the second does.  Gellert's famous "Fabeln und Erzahlungen" was published in 1746, with a second part in 1748.  I have the sense that the fables here may be later works, and may not be as trenchant as his earlier work.  I notice that the latest paperback version of Gellert includes none of the fables offered here.  I tested three of those here.  "Der Leichtsinn," can indicate recklessness, carelessness, frivolity.  Leichtsinn was banned from human company and came to the gods to find a home.  Zeus had Mercury bring him to Cupid, where his work has been ever since to precede love.  Since then he has done his duty quite regularly (30)!  "The Will":  A dying father gives his son his last will.  "You will inherit little from me except this wisdom.  Be a just man.  That is the true happiness."  "Vergiss es nicht: das wahre Glück allein/Ist ein rechtschaffner Mann zu seyn" (32).  "The Young Man and the Old Man": The former asks the latter how to rise.  Answer: be courageous and wise.  "But those are hard.  I had hoped for easier ways."  Then be a fool.  Fools also often rise (37).  There is no indication of a publisher or place of publication.

1764 Select Fables of Esop and Other Fabulists. In Three Books. R. and J. Dodsley. Samuel Wale (NA). The Life of Esop, de Meziriac; Essay on Fable by Dodsley. (Second edition). Hardbound. Birmingham: John Baskerville. $20 from Serendipity Books, Berkeley, Dec., '07.

This is, by all indications, the 1764 second edition of the Birmingham Dodsley. Tips from Serendipity's markings and from my favorite private collector have helped me. The private collector's description indicates that this second edition lacked the "medallion" illustrations of the first edition. The illustrations here thus include a frontispiece, identical with that in the first edition. Bodemann #145.1 illustrates this frontispiece and describes it this way: "Aesop hebt den mit Fabelmotiven bedruckten Schleier der Wahrheit." Further illustrations occur at the beginning of each of the three books: beehive and bees; swan and stork; and squirrel. There is also an elaborate design at the end of each book. All six of these are signed by S(amuel) Wale. The print of the text is much larger in this edition. Thus the first page presents only about two-thirds of the material presented in the first edition. The cover of this copy has separated, and there is significant foxing throughout. There is a note, perhaps from Serendipity, that fourteen of the fifteen illustrations are missing. I think now that that statement may be incorrect for this second edition, which seems never to have had illustrations beyond those present here. Here is what my favorite private collector writes of his 1764 edition: "In three books. Second edition. 8vo., engraved frontispiece each of the 3 books with an illustration at head of fable 1 and a tail piece at the end of the book. pp. [ii], lxxvii, [i], 186, [28] index." All that information squares with this book. Notice that that "index" at the back of the book is really a T of C, and it lasts for twenty-eight pages. For my comments on the text of Dodsley, see Crukshank's edition of 1798.

1764 Select Fables of Esop and Other Fabulists. In Three Books. R. and J. Dodsley. Samuel Wale (NA). Second edition?. Hardbound. Birmingham: John Baskerville. £140 from Knightsbridge Antiquarian, London, through eBay, Dec., '10.

This book is a delightful anomaly. It stands directly between my first edition Dodsley from 1761 and my second edition Dodsley from 1764, which lacks the medallion illustrations. This copy is marked 1764 on the title-page but has the illustrations. The illustrations here include the medallions and a frontispiece, identical with that in the first edition. Bodemann #145.1 illustrates this frontispiece and describes it this way: "Aesop hebt den mit Fabelmotiven bedruckten Schleier der Wahrheit." Further illustrations occur at the beginning of each of the three books: beehive and bees; swan and stork; and squirrel. There is also an elaborate design at the end of each book. All six of these are signed by S(amuel) Wale. Was there a second edition that had the illustrations and one that did not? Notice that that "index" at the back of the book is really a T of C, and it lasts for twenty-eight pages. For my comments on the text of Dodsley, see Crukshank's edition of 1798. E Libris C.H. Hardy.

1764/1965 An Essay on Fable. Robert Dodsley. Introduction by Jeanne K. Welcher and Richard Dircks. Publication #112 of the Augustan Reprint Society. UCLA: William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. $2.50 from Amaranth, Evanston, Sept., '91.

A well researched introduction finds Dodsley's essay, attached to his edition of fables, the first comprehensive, original study of the genre in English. The essay itself surprises me with its sense and taste. Fable for Dodsley causes the reader to collect the moral. It is better not to express the moral; Aesop never did. If it is expressed, it is better put before the story, to put the reader on the scent. A fable must be clear, unified, and natural; the final criterion has Dodsley criticizing many popular fables. "Apologues" give beasts thought and speech but should not change their characteristics otherwise; foxes should not want grapes, and geese should not lay golden eggs. The style should be familiar, like LaFontaine's, not indelicate and low, like L'Estrange's.

1765 A Poetical Translation of the Fables of Phaedrus with the Appendix of Gudius. Christopher Smart. Frontispiece by S. Wale and C. Grignion. Hardbound. London: J. Dodsley. $100 from Rooke Books, Bath, UK, through eBay, April, '11.

"And an accurate edition of the original on the opposite page, to which is added a parsing index for the use of learners." Whew! Those eighteenth-century titles! The "parsing index" is a special feature of this book. It runs for some sixty-four pages. It seems to be a rather complete dictionary of words used in Phaedrus' fables. The Gudius appendix, as the opening T of C shows, contains five fables: "The Sick Kite," The Hares Weary of Life," "Jupiter and the Fox," "The Lion and Mouse," and "The Man and the Trees." The frontispiece by S. Wale and C. Grignion shows Phaedrus composing in the foreground underneath a statue, perhaps of Aesop. Birds and animals move about in the background. As the title indicates, this little book is bilingual on facing pages, Latin on the left and English rhyming couplets on the right. The frontispiece page has been repaired. There seems to have been a second title-page, perhaps identical with the first, just before the parsing index; its imprint remains on the facing page. Not in Bodemann.

1765 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine: Nouvelle Edition Gravée en taille-douce, Vol. I. Le Texte par le Sr. Montulay. Les Figures par le Sr. (Etienne) Fessard. Hardbound. Paris: Chez des Lauriers, Md. De Papiers. Gift of the Right Reverend Frank Griswold, Philadelphia, April, '10.

This set of six volumes is one of the treasures of this collection! Apparently one of the causes of the publication was an urge to outdo Oudry's sumptuous edition of 1755-59. Many would say that Fessard succeeded. Metzner writes in Bodemann that this is the first fully engraved LaFontaine edition. Montulay was apparently the engraver for the texts. This first volume has 77 pages before one finds a fable: an engraved title-page and frontispiece, two dedications, a preface, a life of Aesop, a life of la Fontaine by the Abbe d'Olivet, and a Table of Fables I - XLII. When the fables begin, pagination moves from Roman to Arabic numerals. The pagination skips the full engraved plates, which are not printed on the verso. These full-page illustrations are presented in frames similar to those one would find around Oudry's work. Almost every fable receives three illustrations: a full-page engraving, a headpiece, and a tailpiece. Metzner gives a good sense of the artistic sources for each volume, but I am surprised not to find Oudry mentioned. Perhaps these engravings remind me of his work because they reflect the same culture and artistic tendencies. They are suitable for presentation on tapestries, with large outdoor backgrounds. The various smaller illustrations before and after each fable may show more insight, I believe. Contrast, for example, WL's two illustrations on and facing 23. Compare 2W on and facing 39: they form something of a "before and after," as do the pair for FS on and facing 41. GA, the first fable, has an insightful presentation. Though we are given an overwhelming scene by contrast with the minuscule grasshopper and ant, this scene bears on the understanding of the fable. It is a campfire with a number of people around it. The fable is about welcoming the artist and rewarding the artist for singing his song. TMCM's engraving facing 21 is a new perspective: the two rats scamper down a stairway as the servant tidies the table. Other strong images include "L'Enfant et le Maître d'École" (43), OR (50), AD (78), and CW (91). This last engraving gives Fessard a chance to portray both a voluptuous female and a catlike woman -- in one! The engraving -- on a stone -- within an engraving on 93 has the misprint "furea" for "furca," a two-pronged fork. Half-calf over five raised bands on the spine, marbled endpapers, and a page-marking ribbon. This first volume's spine has a piece tearing loose at its top. Appraised at $6200 for the set of six volumes. That figures with the range of costs for the editions presently for sale on ABE. There seem to have been two issues of the first edition. The first issue, pictured as Bodemann #150.1, has several lines commencing with "Chez l'Auteur" between "A Paris" and "MDCCLXV." This second issue has only Chez des Lauriers, Md. De Papiers, rue St. Honoré." Critics seem to agree in finding this issue inferior -- even mediocre -- by comparison with the other. The problem seems to concern the paper and the quality of the impressions. Thomas Fothergill of Hellmut Schumann Antiquariat in Zurich has been helpful to me in sorting out the distinction of issues. There seems also to be a variant of this second issue with "Chez Durand" instead of "Chez des Lauriers" (J. Levine, Bibliography of Eighteenth Century Art and Illustrated Books, 275).

1765 Phaedri Aug. Liberti Fabularum Aesopiarum Livri V et Novarum Fabularum Appendix. Cura et Studio Petri Burmanni. Frontispiece by D. Coster (?). Hardbound. Lugduni Batavorum (Leiden): Apud Sam. Et Joh. Luchtmans. $48.50 from Titcomb's Bookshop, E. Sandwich, MA, Nov., '05. 

This little book is somewhat remarkable for allocating 98 pages for the texts of Phaedrus and then adding an index that is almost as long! There are no comments in this book. There are only a three-page T of C, the Phaedrian texts, and the index. Was this little book, which gives only the texts from Burmann's monumental commentaries, meant to be a textbook for students? It is 3¼" x 5¼" in size. This is a reprint of #190 in Carnes' Phaedrus bibliography. It was originally edited by Johann Gesner and published by Schultz in Berlin in 1739, Carnes notes that this is an edition of the third Pieter Burman (1668-1741) recension of the fables by Johann Mathias Gesner (1691-1761). "Text and notes only" (Carnes) can be misleading, because the only notes are those contained in the index at the end.

1765/1981 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine: Nouvelle Edition Gravée en taille-douce, Vol. I. Les Figures par le Sr. Fessard; Le Texte par le Sr. Montulay. Limited facsimile edition of 800, Nr. 102?. Hardbound. Paris: Valmer-Bibliophilie. €7.50 from Librairie de l'Avenue, St.-Ouen, Paris, June, '09.

This is a curious set of six volumes, beautifully bound, replicating the Fessard edition of 1765-75, as the colophon near the end of the book points out. I can find no other number than the "102" that seems part of the printed colophon material, and so I am not sure that this is in fact #102 of 800. The good news is that there is now some represention of Fessard's work in the collection. Metzner writes in Bodemann that this is the first fully engraved LaFontaine edition. Montulay was apparently the engraver for the texts. The engraved illustrations are presented in frames similar to those one would find around Oudry's work. The reproductions are, I would say, no better than adequate. Almost every fable receives three illustrations: a full-page engraving, a headpiece, and a tailpiece. Metzner gives a good sense of the artistic sources for each volume, but I am surprised not to find Oudry mentioned. Perhaps these engravings remind me of his work because they reflect the same culture and artistic tendencies. One fable provides several of my favorite illustrations in this volume: "L'Enfant et le Maître d'École" facing 43 and on 43 and 44. Lovely leather bindings, marbled endpapers, a page-marking ribbon, and gilded page-edges all the way around. There are of course a life of Aesop and a life of La Fontaine at the beginning of this volume.

1766 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine: Nouvelle Edition Gravée en taille-douce, Vol. II. Le Texte par le Sr. Montulay. Les Figures par le Sr. (Etienne) Fessard. Hardbound. Paris: Chez des Lauriers, Md. De Papiers. Gift of the Right Reverend Frank Griswold, Philadelphia, April, '10.

Here is the second volume of the set of six volumes, published between 1765 and 1775. See my comments on the first volume in 1765. This volume contains only a brief preface and a T of C before it begins with MSA, the 43rd fable in this work and the continuation of the fables of La Fontaine's Book III. Again, when the fables begin, pagination moves from Roman to Arabic numerals. The pagination skips the full engraved plates, which are not printed on the verso. These full-page illustrations are again presented in frames similar to those one would find around Oudry's work. Almost every fable receives three illustrations: a full-page engraving, a headpiece, and a tailpiece. Memorable illustrations include: "The Members and the Stomach" (6); "The Lion Become Old" (34); the tailpiece for "The Lion in Love" (48); and FM (71). FG (28) offers an excellent example of the different conceptions Fessard used for the full-page illustrations -- formal classical tableaux -- by contrast with the more supple and realistic smaller illustrations before and after the fables. The tailpiece for BF (68) pictures the copycat plagiarizing rather than a scene among the birds. Half-calf over five raised bands on the spine, marbled endpapers, and a page-marking ribbon.

1766/1981 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine: Nouvelle Edition Gravée en taille-douce, Vol. II. Les Figures par le Sr. Fessard; Le Texte par le Sr. Montulay. Limited facsimile edition of 800, Nr. 102?. Hardbound. Paris: Valmer-Bibliophilie. €7.50 from Librairie de l'Avenue, St.-Ouen, Paris, June, '09.

This is a curious set of six volumes, beautifully bound, replicating the Fessard edition of 1765-75, as the colophon near the end of the book points out. This second volume (Books 3 and 4) was published in 1766. I can find no other number than the "102" that seems part of the printed colophon material, and so I am not sure that this is in fact #102 of 800. The good news is that there is now some represention of Fessard's work in the collection. Metzner writes in Bodemann that this is the first fully engraved LaFontaine edition. Montulay was apparently the engraver for the texts. The engraved illustrations are presented in frames similar to those one would find around Oudry's work. The reproductions are, I would say, no better than adequate. Almost every fable receives three illustrations: a full-page engraving, a headpiece, and a tailpiece. Metzner gives a good sense of the artistic sources for each volume, but I am surprised not to find Oudry mentioned. Perhaps these engravings remind me of his work because they reflect the same culture and artistic tendencies. Notice how nicely the first two illustrations for "Le Loup Devenu Berger" echo each other facing and on 9. The illustrations for FK facing 11 and on 11 and 13 are wonderfully harsh. Similarly harsh is the last illustration for "The Lion in Love" (48). I find the full-page engraving of FM also particularly well done (facing 71). Lovely leather bindings, marbled endpapers, a page-marking ribbon, and gilded page-edges all the way around.

1767 A Little Pretty Pocket-Book. John Newbury. Facsimile with introductory essay and bibliography by M.F. Thwaite. NY: Harcourt, Brace & World. See 1744/67/1966/67.

1767 Select Fables of Esop and Other Fabulists.  In Three Books.  R. Dodsley.  Hardbound.  Pall Mall, London: J. Dodsley.  £25 from Bazasbooks, Edinburgh, June, '13.  

I feel as though I have been through this history before but have forgotten too much of it!  Here is a 1767 Dodsley in good condition except for its separated front cover.  It was published by J. Dodsley in Pall-mall in London in 1767.  I seem to find indications of a first such Pall-mall edition in 1765.  The first edition overall, I believe, was in Birmingham in 1761.  This edition is, as far as I can tell, exactly like that Birmingham edition, of which I have a copy.  Frontispiece and medallions are present and intact.  I notice that this edition lists only "R. Dodsley" as editor and "J. Dodsley" as publisher.  The covers have been crudely taped.  The illustrations are presented as a set of from four to (more usually) twelve medallion-like circles on one page.  They are simple and straightforward.  In the size in which they are presented, there is not much room for detail or nuance.  They show up much better on Hobbs' end-papers, since they are so much larger.  There is an introductory illustration and a closing vignette for each book.  After all three books, there is a comprehensive listing of morals, deliberately kept separate from the stories themselves.  Since there is neither a T of C nor an AI, this index also serves as the best way of finding a fable's place within the collection.

1768 Aesop at Court, or the Labyrinthe of Versailles, Delineated in French and English. By Mr. Bellamy, Revised by His Son D. Bellamy. The plates engraved by G. Bickham from the Paris Edition. Hardbound. London: W. Faden. GBP 237.50 from Rhona Workman, Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK, through eBay, July, '10.

Here is a most unusual book. The Labyrinthe of Versailles is printed as pages 209-51 of a book that puts together two works. The first work is Ethic Amusements by Bellamy. Bickham apparently engraved the pictures after LeClerc's engravings in the 1677 and 1679 Labyrinthe de Versailles editions by Sebastian Mabre-Cramoisy. I do not have either of those editions, but I do have the Augsburg edition by Kraus of about 1700, and it is clear that the engravings are not identical with that edition's engravings. Page x is curious: "Directions for placing the Cuts." Only two of these belong to Ethic Amusements. The next forty-seven belong to Labyrinthe. The first portion of the book includes "The Comforts of Philosophy" by Boethius, "Marriage," a theatrical dialogue; fables apparently after de la Motte; and various other poems. 209 presents a title-page for Aesop at Court or The Labyrinth of Versailles. The following map is reversed from the one in my Kraus edition. After a page of verse for Aesop and one for Cupid we find "The Owl and the Day-Birds" in four lines each of French and English verse. There is also a prose paragraph describing the fountain. The French quatrain is evidently that of Benserade. The English quatrain does not seem to follow the French very closely at all. Pictures and text are on facing pages, but pages printed with pictures are blank on their verso. The rhythm is thus text - picture - blank - blank - picture - text. Often the English verse extends beyond the four lines of the French. After the fables finish on 251, there is a wide variety of works, mostly illustrated. Pagination starts over, after various lists of subscribers and odes to high-standing persons, with Fenelon's fables and various other tales and amusements for some eighty-six new pages. The front cover is lacking; the back cover is separated; and the book is falling apart, but what a treasure it is!

1768 Fables. By William Wilkie. Samuel Wale, artist, and T. Simpson, engraver. Hardbound. London/Edinburgh: Edward and Charles Dilly, A. Kincaid and J. Bell. $49 from Knightsbridge Books, through eBay, July, '10.

This is a book of 123 pages featuring sixteen fables, all new creations. Bodemann claims that it also has a dialogue, but I cannot find it. The first fable is true enough: our advice, however well intentioned, fails. So it happened with a willful young woman. Once her mother caused her to see her behavior in a mirror, she got an idea of how she was coming across. Fables hold up to us that mirror, and we can see ourselves as we would not see ourselves in the advice of friends and acquaintances. The fables here generally begin with a short sermon, which is followed by an obvious tale. The poet's project is stated near the bottom of 7: "hinting to the human-kind,/what few deny but fewer mind.." The manner seems to me roughly that of Gay: ideas and advice swirl about, and the stories used as fables seem obvious and thus even labored. There is one strong full-page illustration for each fable. Notice the archaic writing form of "s" within a word. The covers of the book have separated.  Bodemann #153.1.

1768 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine: Nouvelle Edition Gravée en taille-douce, Vol. III. Le Texte par le Sr. Droüet. Les Figures par le Sr. (Etienne) Fessard. Hardbound. Paris: Chez des Lauriers, Md. De Papiers. Gift of the Right Reverend Frank Griswold, Philadelphia, April, '10.

Here is the third volume of the set of six volumes, published between 1765 and 1775. See my comments on the first volumes in 1765 and 1766. This volume contains only a T of C before it begins with "The Woodcutter and Mercury," the 83rd fable in this work and the first in La Fontaine's Book V. Again, when the fables begin, pagination moves from Roman to Arabic numerals. The pagination skips the full engraved plates, which are not printed on the verso. These full-page illustrations are again presented in frames similar to those one would find around Oudry's work. Almost every fable receives three illustrations: a full-page engraving, a headpiece, and a tailpiece. Memorable illustrations include: "The Horse and the Wolf" (17); the tailpiece for "The Doctors" (26); the headpiece for "The Eagle and the Owl" (37); TB (42); "The Stag Seeing Himself in the Water" (66); and all three illustrations for "Horse and Ass" (80). The full illustration for 2P (5) shows Fessard's inclination to create a huge backdrop, even for a small scene. I enjoy the contrast between light with luxuriousness and dark with demand in "The Old Woman and the Two Servant Girls" (13). The two images of lions for "The Lion Going to War" (40) are particularly poorly rendered. Half-calf over five raised bands on the spine, marbled endpapers, and a page-marking ribbon.

1768 Franc. Josephi Desbillons Soc. Jesu Fabulae Aesopiae, curis posterioribus, omnes fere, emendatae: accesserunt plus quam CLXX Novae, Vol. I. Engravings by Egid Verhelst. Hardbound. Mannheim: Mannhemii Typis Academicis. $37.50 from Bryn Mawr's Lantern Bookshop, Georgetown, June, '98.

Bodemann #152.1. Here is a terrific find! I had known and found copies of Desbillons' work, but here is a major two-volume edition, and it was sitting for $75 at Bryn Mawr's "Lantern" bookshop in Georgetown. Bodemann says that this is the first full edition; Books 1-10 had already appeared in 1754 and 1759. The first volume here contains the first nine books (of fifteen). Desbillons makes clear that, where there is no attribution in his first note on the fable, he believes that he has invented the fable; he admits that he may have forgotten his source for fables that turn out to be built from something he has read. Desbillons offers other notes, too, under the text. They include comments on vocabulary, animal life, and especially literary parallels. Verhelst has one full-page engraving per book. "The Temple of Apollo" precedes Book One; thereafter each engraving presents a particular fable within the book and is found with that fable. As Bodemann points out, there are copious decorations, initials, and vignettes, some with animal motifs. People are right: Desbillons' Phaedrus-like fables are remarkable for their clarity. Seldom have I encountered Latin so intelligible on the first reading. Try II 15 (misprinted as "II 5") as an example. It does GGE well in five lines. My impression of Desbillons' own contributions, like I 7, "Pueruli Fratres," is that they are good but not overpowering. This fable has a boy weeping over his sick brother one day but refusing him a share of his cookies the next day. Upbraided, he answers that nature gives tears, not cookies. Several of them seem to have a sad tone. Thus II 29 has a sick man's wife call on death, seeming to offer herself as his victim if necessary. When death appears, she gives up her husband immediately. This fable is well illustrated (53). VI 6 (162) gives another good example of a Desbillons fable and a good Verhelst engraving. The engravings seem to be of Desbillons' originals rather than of the derived fables. Collection X, #F-0088 I-II, which comments that this edition is particularly sought after because of Verhelst's fine engravings. The spine is deteriorating. For me, this is certainly one of the treasures of this collection!

1768 Franc. Josephi Desbillons Soc. Jesu Fabulae Aesopiae, curis posterioribus, omnes fere, emendatae: accesserunt plus quam CLXX Novae, Vol. II. Engravings by Edig Verhelst. Hardbound. Mannheim: Mannhemii Typis Academicis. $37.50 from Bryn Mawr's Lantern Bookshop, Georgetown, June, '98.

See my comments on Volume I. This volume contains Books X-XV. The illustration to X 27 is out of place at 328; it is a good illustration of the "The Boy and the Nuts in a Jar." XI 16 (347) has fun. The servant who has become rich enough to be a master forgets himself and gets up on the servants' bench instead of into the coach! There is another good illustration for this fable. On 529-48 we find an alphabetical listing of Sententiae from the fables, with references to the appropriate pages. On 549-95 there is an alphabetical "Index Rerum," which includes more than fable titles. Enjoy the erratum on 592: "Idnex" for "Index." 596-612 offers a "Nominum Quorundam Explicatio." There is finally a list of errata--which misses the erratum on 592. I think I can see the hand of a kindred-spirit teacher in this carefully prepared book! Collection X, #F-0088 I-II, which comments that this edition is particularly sought after because of Verhelst's fine engravings. The spine is deteriorating. For me, this is certainly one of the treasures of this collection!

1768/1981 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine: Nouvelle Edition Gravée en taille-douce, Vol. III. Les Figures par le Sr. Fessard; Le Texte par le Sr. Montulay. Limited facsimile edition of 800, Nr. 102?. Hardbound. Paris: Valmer-Bibliophilie. €7.50 from Librairie de l'Avenue, St.-Ouen, Paris, June, '09.

This is a curious set of six volumes, beautifully bound, replicating the Fessard edition of 1765-75, as the colophon near the end of the book points out. This third volume (Books 5 and 6) was published in 1768. I can find no other number than the "102" that seems part of the printed colophon material, and so I am not sure that this is in fact #102 of 800. The good news is that there is now some represention of Fessard's work in the collection. Metzner writes in Bodemann that this is the first fully engraved LaFontaine edition. Montulay was apparently the engraver for the texts. The engraved illustrations are presented in frames similar to those one would find around Oudry's work. The reproductions are, I would say, no better than adequate. Almost every fable receives three illustrations: a full-page engraving, a headpiece, and a tailpiece. Metzner gives a good sense of the artistic sources for each volume, but I am surprised not to find Oudry mentioned. Perhaps these engravings remind me of his work because they reflect the same culture and artistic tendencies. The horse kicking the wolf (facing 17) is particularly well done. The headpiece and tailpiece for "Eagle and Owl" are strong (37 and 39). Lovely leather bindings, marbled endpapers, a page-marking ribbon, and gilded page-edges all the way around.

1769 Ezopische Fabelen van Fedrus, gevryden Slaef des Keizers Augustus. In Nederduitsch Dicht vertaelt en met Aenmerkingen verrykt door D. van Hoogstraten. Met nieuwe Konst-Platen. Amsterdam: Steven van Esveldt. 50 Guilders at Straat, Dec., '88.

A wonderful book, in good shape for being 220 years old! Third edition of 1704 original, with new plates replacing those of van Vianen. Dedicated to the Princess of Nassau. 81-97 (with one picture-plate), 175-6, and 199-202 are missing. Many introductory pages, with a T of C. Two alphabetical registers at the end. The comments are longer than the fables. Excellent small illustrations, six to a plate. Best illustrations: "The Fox and the Mask" (16), FS (50), TW (66), "The Fox and the Goat" (175), "The Hares and the Frogs" (245).

1769 Francisci-Josephi Desbillons Fabulae Aesopiae, Curis Posterioribus Omnes Fere Emendatae: Quibus Accesserunt Plus Quam CLXX Novae. Franciscus-Josephus Desbillons. Editio quinta. Hardbound. Paris: J. Barbou. $85 from Julian's Books, NY, August, '10.

Here is a fifth edition of Desbillons' Aesopic fables, now comprising fifteen books in one volume. The publisher remains Barbou, as it was for the third edition of 1759. The title of that edition was Francisci-Josephi Desbillons e Societate Jesu Fabularum Aesopiarum Libri Quinque Priores Diligenter Emendati, really the title of the first of two parts; the second part included five additional books. Now the title is Francisci-Josephi Desbillons Fabulae Aesopiae, Curis Posterioribus Omnes Fere Emendatae: Quibus Accesserunt Plus Quam CLXX Novae. The mention of the 170 new fables makes the title up to that point identical with the title of the Mannheim 1768 edition, except of course that the Mannheim 1768 edition still identifies him as a member of the Society of Jesus. The frontispiece involving Phaedrus, the Muse, and Genius is the same as in the Barbou edition of 1759, as are the dimensions of the pages. This edition is not mentioned in Bodemann. After the fifteen books of fables follow four sections: "Sententiae," "Notationum Libellus," "Index Fabularum," and "Nominum Quorundam Explicatio." The notes Desbillons had offered under the fable texts thus now appear at the book's end. The addition to the title in the third edition is gone: "quam solam auctor agnoscit," the only edition that the writer acknowledges. Barbou has moved and no longer puts mention of royal approval and privilege on the title-page. The introduction covering more than twenty fabulists who lie behind Desbillons' work now includes an appendicula with mention of several more. The spine of the book is disintegrating. I will shortly add the sixth edition to this catalogue and a reprint of the sixth edition. I am delighted to find members of the Desbillons family!

1771 Fables de Phedre Affranchi d'Auguste, en Latin et en François avec des Notes historiques & critiques. Hardbound. Basel: Chez Jean Schweighauser. $44 from Robert Downie Fine Books, Shrops, UK, Dec., '98.

This small 4" x 6½" book offers a facing prose translation for Phaedrus' fables, with frequently extensive notes at the bottom of the page. There is a two-page "Avertissement" at the book's beginning, and a T of C in Latin at the end. An inscription dated 1795 awards the book as a prize, but the name of the recipient has been pasted over, apparently with a new name! Carnes #256 notes that this book is a reprint of L’Abbé Lallemant de Maupas' edition of 1757 in Rouen. This edition itself is #283 in Carnes. The French translation is, to use his full name, by Richard Xavier Felix L’Abbé Lallement de Maupas.

1771 Fables for the Female Sex. Edward Moore. F. Hayman. Fourth edition. Hardbound. London: T. Davies and J. Dodsley. $21.50 from Isold It, St. Joseph, MI, through eBay, Nov., '05. 

Bodemann lists this edition as the immediate successor (#122.2) of the first edition published by Francklin in 1744. This book, which I have listed under 1744, is Bodemann's #122.1. See my comments there and under the 1744/83? reprinting. Here the illustrations are still signed by Hayman. All sixteen full-page illustrations are here. Perhaps "The Female Seducers" is the strongest of the illustrations (XV, 115). Other strong images are "The Farmer, the Spaniel, and the Cat" (IX, 55) and "The Sparrow, and the Dove" (XIV, 89), Let me quote what I wrote for the 1783 reprinting: The"fable" itself really becomes a derivative illustration of what is basically either sermon or satire. The "woman's world" that emerges here is frightening to imagine today. Frail fair thing, if she loses her honor once, a woman is doomed forever ("The Female Seducers"). Parents giving her to a man whom she has not chosen are the mother sheep giving her lamb to the wolf! Vanity claims in the last fable to rule the whole female race: "Trust me, from titled dames to spinners,/'Tis I make saints, whoe'er makes sinners." The manifold advice may not be easy to put together: character will keep a man much more than looks; clothing should make a man imagine--not see--the best;"striving nature to conceal/you only her defects reveal." A woman has fleeting beauty and gives it to a man for protection; he is grateful for the gift remembered and continues to protect her out of gratitude for what once was. Do not tease the man to whom you have said yes. Leather binding. Very good condition.

1772 C.F. Gellert's Fabelen en Vertelsels, in Nederduitsche Vaerzen Gevolgd. Eerste Deel. B. de Bosch, J. Lutkeman, P. Meijer, J.P. Broeckhoff, H.J. Roullaud, J. Lublink de jonge. Hardbound. Amsterdam: Pieter Meijer.  €13.33 from Antiquariaat Brinkman, Amsterdam, June, '07.

Gellert published his German fables in 1746 and 1748. Here we have a lovely edition in Dutch within a generation of that date. This volume contains fifty-four fables, the exact number in Gellert's first volume, published in 1746. Each translation is signed by its author. There is a T of C at the end. The only illustration in the book is on the title-page: cherubs play around the tombstone of Gellert. I had two days in Amsterdam on my way to Germany. In the rain, I found this bookstore in the neighborhood of the community and got lucky. There are two other volumes in the set. This is of course not the first time that I have bought a book originally owned by a Jesuit institution, in this case St. Aloysius College in 's-Gravenhage. There is also a marking from "Bibl.-Gymn. CATV."

1772 Fables by the Late Mr Gay In One Volume Complete. By the Late Mr. Gay. Hardbound. London: W. Strahan, J. and F. Rivington, J. Buckland, L. Hawes, et al. $100 from Tomasz Wysocki, Annandale, VA, Sept., '00.

Bodemann #110.8. Bodemann identifies the new engraver as James Taylor. These seem to be imitations of earlier themes established for Gay's fables in the early editions, especially by Wootton and Kent. See my editions of 1727, 1733, 1742, 1753, 1757, and 1783. The latter seems to copy this edition, using the same approach of two illustrations per page and the same motifs established here. I think the frontispiece (grave monument of Gay?) is lacking here. Bodemann comments cryptically that this approach of two illustrations per page holds except for one exception. The exception is for Fable 50 facing 134. The illustration for the first fable had been paired with an illustration for the introduction, and thus the numbering was keyed from there on out to odd numbers rather than evens, and there was one number left for the fiftieth fable. Unfortunately the covers of this little book are separating.

1772 Fables Choisies Mis en Vers par Monsieur de La Fontaine.  Avec un Nouveau Commentaire par M. Coste.  Ornée de Figures en Taille-Douce.  Hardbound.  Geneva: J. Samuel Cailler.  €160 from Librairie d'Argences, August, '14.  

I consider this one of the best finds of an unusually successful trip to Europe.  I had finished at Picard and stopped next door at a shop supposedly dealing rather in technical books.  The shopkeeper found this one book containing two volumes.  They are in the family of Bodemann #124.  This edition has a different frontispiece from that of Bodemann #124.1, published by Prault père in 1746.  Here, by contrast with that frontispiece's placement of La Fontaine among animals, we have a cameo bust of La Fontaine by Heubach and Chovin.  This Volume II has a good frontispiece of Aesop among the animals; it looks, by the way, like the perfect complement to the frontispiece of Bodemann #124.1.  This edition has an illustration for each fable.  Among the best of Volume I are "Man and His Image" (23); FS (38); "The Crow and the Eagle" (81); CW (85); MSA (93); "The Fox and the Goat" (103); "The Cat and the Old Rat" (126); BF (149); "The Serpent and the File" (206); SW (220); "The Stag at the Pool" (230); and DS (245).  I believe that Chauveau's illustration is one source for GA here (3).  I recognize the portrayal here of BC (52).  The image for "The Lion and the Mosquito" (66) has been pasted into the book.  On 70, do we have the wrong image repeated from the following fable (72)?  Or is this double fable imaged twice, with LM in the background and AD in the front of both images?  Text and picture overlap in this printing method on 113.  At 161, one illustration serves two fables.  At 219, "The Lion and the Hunter" seems not to be illustrated.  There are several styles of illustration in these two volumes, and they are of varying quality.  In Volume II, bound here together with Volume I, VII 5 lacks an illustration (12).  Page 77's header is "Livre Septième" in the midst of the eighth book.  Among the better illustrations are "The Rat and the Elephant" (79); "The Husband, the Wife, and the Thief" (147); "The Partridge and the Roosters" (182); "The Dream of an Inhabitant of Mogul" (216); "Two Goats" (250); "The Fox, the Flies, and the Porcupine" (274); "The Fox, the Wolf, and the Horse" (286); and "The Matron of Ephesus" (337).  The illustrations of the second volume are perhaps not as consistently strong as those of the first volume.  There is a T of C at the end of Volume II for Books 7-12, even though the second volume contains Books 8-12.  The T of C for Books 1-6 is at the beginning of Volume I.  The last page has a nihil obstat.

1773 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine: Nouvelle Edition Gravée en taille-douce, Vol. IV. Le Texte par le Sr. Droüet. Les Figures par le Sr. (Etienne) Fessard. Hardbound. Paris: Chez des Lauriers, Md. De Papiers. Gift of the Right Reverend Frank Griswold, Philadelphia, April, '10.

Here is the fourth volume of the set of six volumes, published between 1765 and 1775. See my comments on the previous volumes in 1765, 1766, and 1768. This volume contains only a T of C and the dedication to Madame de Montespan before it begins with "The Animals Sick of the Plague," the 125th fable in this work and the first in La Fontaine's Book VII. Again, when the fables begin, pagination moves from Roman to Arabic numerals. The pagination skips the full engraved plates, which are not printed on the verso. These full-page illustrations are again presented in frames similar to those one would find around Oudry's work. Almost every fable receives three illustrations: a full-page engraving, a headpiece, and a tailpiece. Memorable illustrations include: "The Coach and the Fly" (25); "The Curé and the Dead Man" (30); the tailpiece of "The Head and Tail of the Serpent" which shows the blind leading the blind (51); "The Cobbler and the Banker" (61); and "The Two Friends" (86). Half-calf over five raised bands on the spine, marbled endpapers, and a page-marking ribbon.

1773 Fables Nouvelles, Vol. II, Binder 1. Claude Joseph Dorat? Illustrated by Clement-Pierre Marillier. A la Haye & Paris: (Nicolas-Augustin) Delalain. $33.33 from Bruce Delorme, Conesus, NY, through eBay, Nov., '11.

This set of three items may be a first in this collection. It is not a book but a set of three binders containing together ninety-six cards measuring 6¾" x 4¼" with approximately 190 signed prints, almost all two prints to a card. The eBay seller writes that the three binders/volumes are from a museum de-acquisition from the early 1800's. The set came from an 87 year-old collector. The museum professionally mounted all the illustrated pages onto conservator board. More exactly, what is mounted on the conservator boards is not the pages but the excerpted illustrations, about ninety-five illustrations and about 95 endpieces. The book from which these excerpted illustrations come is apparently the second volume to Claude Joseph Dorat's "Fables ou Allégories Philosophiques" of 1772. The first card is its title-page, expressing "Fables Nouvelles," the publisher, the places, and the date. According to Bodemann, a number of engravers are involved. The artist himself is still Clement-Pierre Marillier. Both artist and engraver typically sign each illustration here of either sort. I am betting that some of the racier illustrations belong to La Fontaine's Contes. Bodemann correctly notes that the book is back-dated, since some illustrations are dated 1774 and 1775, while the book is dated 1773. Many of the subjects in this first binder could easily be fable subjects; I am surprised that not more of them are standard groupings of characters that would give away a La Fontaine fable. I think I perceive an ostrich who cannot fly like the birds winging their way above him. I am quite sure I see an oak and a reed. Is there an endpiece that presents the weasel and the bat? And do I see La Fontaine's two doves, one returning to the other? Two images on one page bring together the lion, the cock, and the ass. The most dramatic illustration occurs near the end: two human figures reach towards two birds, whose beaks touch in midair. Working with these materials presents a challenge: without the book, one can know neither to what work any particular picture belongs nor what order the original materials followed. Each binder could contain material that belongs in a different binder and in a different order.

1773 Fables Nouvelles, Vol. II, Binder 2. Claude Joseph Dorat? Illustrated by Clement-Pierre Marillier. Hardbound. A la Haye & Paris: (Nicolas-Augustin) Delalain. $33.33 from Bruce Delorme, Conesus, NY, through eBay, Nov., '11.

Here is the second of three binders containing together ninety-six cards measuring 6¾" x 4¼" with approximately 190 signed prints, almost all two prints to a card. The eBay seller writes that the three binders/volumes are from a museum de-acquisition from the early 1800's. The set came from an 87 year-old collector. The museum professionally mounted all the illustrated pages onto conservator board. More exactly, what is mounted on the conservator boards is not the pages but the excerpted illustrations, about ninety-five illustrations and about 95 endpieces. The book from which these excerpted illustrations come is apparently the second volume to Claude Joseph Dorat's "Fables ou Allégories Philosophiques" of 1772. Many of the subjects in this second binder could easily be fable subjects; I am surprised that not more of them are standard groupings of characters that would give away a La Fontaine fable. An early card showing peacocks in both pictures could be illustrating BF. The next card has to be "The Bear and the Bees." Among the endpieces, one of the most dramatic here is approximately the seventh card: a prisoner runs away with his burst chains still on his limbs. Another illustration a few cards later uses a dog and a great deal of dead poultry to illustrate "Abstinet esuriens" as a motto. Early on is another illustration that could be picturing "Two Doves." Might that barnyard scene be CJ? The second-to-last card dramatizes "Ant and Dove."

1773 Fables Nouvelles, Vol. II, Binder 3. Claude Joseph Dorat? Illustrated by Clement-Pierre Marillier. Hardbound. A la Haye & Paris: (Nicolas-Augustin) Delalain. $33.33 from Bruce Delorme, Conesus, NY, through eBay, Nov., '11.

Here is the third of three binders containing together ninety-six cards measuring 6¾" x 4¼" with approximately 190 signed prints, almost all two prints to a card. The eBay seller writes that the three binders/volumes are from a museum de-acquisition from the early 1800's. The set came from an 87 year-old collector. The museum professionally mounted all the illustrated pages onto conservator board. More exactly, what is mounted on the conservator boards is not the pages but the excerpted illustrations, about ninety-five illustrations and about 95 endpieces. The book from which these excerpted illustrations come is apparently the second volume to Claude Joseph Dorat's "Fables ou Allégories Philosophiques" of 1772. Almost none of these illustrations show a one-to-one correspondence with fables I know from La Fontaine or Aesop. The seventh card shows a strong scene of King Lion's court. A few cards later horse and ass confront each other in a stable. The sixteenth shows a snail and cicada talking with each other at the base of a tree. A few cards later, a shepherd talks with a wolf in the presence of his dog. A few cards after that we see the popular scene of a man chopping a snake into parts, but here it is outdoors before a huge building with high columns; usually this is the formerly frozen snake that is terrorizing a family inside the house. The fourth-to-last card has one of the best engraved scenes: camel, ox, and rhinoceros (?) listen to donkey. The second-to-last card seems to contrast the earth-bound peacock with the flying birds above her. A number of the endpieces, here usually mounted above the fable illustrations, exhibit the word "Fable," presumably as the first word on the following page. As I mention a propos of Binder 1, working with these materials presents a challenge: without the book, one can know neither to what work any particular picture belongs nor what order the original materials followed. Each binder could contain material that belongs in a different binder and in a different order.

1773 Select Fables of Esop and Other Fabulists. In Three Books. A New Edition. By R. Dodsley. Including "The Life of Esop, Collected from Ancient Writers" by Mons. de Meziriac and an Essay on Fable by Robert Dodsley. Hardbound. London: J. Dodsley. $50 from Edward Pollack, Boston, Sept., '97.

Compare this book with my 1761 first edition, done by Stockdale in Birmingham. See my comments there. This copy lacks the frontispiece and has experienced some repairs. It is rebound in vellum covered boards, slightly bowed, with labels attached, including a brown illustration of FG on the cover. There is some cartooning, e.g., on the title-page of the "Ancient Fables" section. 131-34 are missing. The illustrations, which have often seen extensive wear, seem to imitate those of the first edition--rather than to be later impressions of them. Compare the illustrations for BF (Ancient Fables 8), for example. The illustrations meant to face "Page 198" occur rather in the middle of the index. A young hand painted with blue all the illustrations facing 108. This little book breathes a sense of history.

1773 Sixty Amusing and Instructive Fables in French and English. Fifth edition, carefully corrected and improved. Paperbound. London: E. Johnson. $75 from Wessel and Lieberman, Seattle, May, '08.

The title-page continues: "Divided into Sections, and the Two Languages answering almost verbatim for the Greater Conveniency of Learners. The Whole adorned with Cuts. Designed principally for Schools." This is a lovely find! The title-page has suffered but the text remains intact. There are several pages added before it for its protection. The covers themselves are paper. There is a T of C at the bottom of the introduction, just before the first fable. Each fable is in two columns for the two languages. Above these two columns is a lively woodcut. Many of the animal faces are rendered as almost human. The fables seem to be standard Aesop, complete with morals in both languages. The work stops abruptly in the middle of the last fable on 138. It is not clear how much may have been lost. The early "s" is evident in this book. The change would come in the next generation.

1773/1981 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine: Nouvelle Edition Gravée en taille-douce, Vol. IV. Les Figures par le Sr. Fessard; Le Texte par le Sr. Montulay. Limited facsimile edition of 800, Nr. 102?. Hardbound. Paris: Valmer-Bibliophilie. €7.50 from Librairie de l'Avenue, St.-Ouen, Paris, June, '09.

This is a curious set of six volumes, beautifully bound, replicating the Fessard edition of 1765-75, as the colophon near the end of the book points out. This fourth volume (Books 7 and 8) was published in 1773. (Bodemann inadvertently skips this volume when she records publishing dates). I can find no other number than the "102" that seems part of the printed colophon material, and so I am not sure that this is in fact #102 of 800. The good news is that there is now some represention of Fessard's work in the collection. Metzner writes in Bodemann that this is the first fully engraved LaFontaine edition. Montulay was apparently the engraver for the texts. The engraved illustrations are presented in frames similar to those one would find around Oudry's work. The reproductions are, I would say, no better than adequate. Almost every fable receives three illustrations: a full-page engraving, a headpiece, and a tailpiece. Metzner gives a good sense of the artistic sources for each volume, but I am surprised not to find Oudry mentioned. Perhaps these engravings remind me of his work because they reflect the same culture and artistic tendencies. A favorite of mine in this section of La Fontaine is well rendered in all three illustrations here: "Le Curé et le Mort" (30, facing 30, and 32). Another favorite does as well in Book 8: "Le Rat et l'Huître" (80, facing 80, and 82). Lovely leather bindings, marbled endpapers, a page-marking ribbon, and gilded page-edges all the way around.

1773/2012 Fables from the German of Mr Lessing. J. Richardson. Hardbound. York: C. Etherington/Eighteenth Century Collections Online Print Editions. $20.76 from Grand Eagle Retail on eBay, Oct., '12.

This print-on-demand book is the happy exception to my general loathing for such books. In this case it confirms all the information I earlier guessed about a copy of the original 1773 book that I have. While this book is 7½" by 9¾", that book is about 4" x 6¼". This book confirms that that book is indeed the book published in 1773 by C. Etherington in York, and was translated by J. Richardson. That book is missing the thirteen pre-pages, including the title-page; pages 3-6; and the final pages, namely 161-8. The present book confirms all those guesses and completes the third book of thirty fables each. I read earlier the third through the seventh fables in the first book and found them faithful translations of Lessing. Thus this book helps establish that I found a great and valuable little treasure. Richardson's introduction is fascinating. Lessing for him gets us back to unadorned Aesop. Aesop's great original stories had suffered at the hands of Phaedrus and poets like La Fontaine. For Richardson, one reading La Fontaine does not know if he is reading a fable or a poem. Richardson drops Lessing's dissertation; he commetns that few would agree with it. He praises a recent English fabulist who outdoes La Fontaine. Might that be John Gay?

1773? Fables from the German of Mr Lessing. J. Richardson? Hardbound. York?: C. Etherington? £9.27 from Laura and Dean Conway, Boothby, Graffoe, UK, through eBay, August, '05. 

Here is an old book about 4" x 6¼". Luckily, the first page of text presents the book's title, since, as we will see shortly, the book lacks its first thirteen pages. The book seems to be inscribed on the inside of the front cover in Chesterfield in 1759 (or 1789?). The best record I can find for a book like this is at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. According to them, the book was published in 1773 by C. Etherington in York, and was translated by J. Richardson. This book, if it is indeed a copy of that book, is missing the thirteen pre-pages, including the title-page; pages 3-6; and the final pages, namely 161-8. This book breaks off after 160, in the midst of Fable #25 of Book III. ABE lists a volume of the same title and year, but includes a second publisher and place: John Bell and London. There are no illustrations. There are here three books of thirty, thirty, and (truncated) less than twenty-five fables, respectively. If it is of any help in dating it, this book uses the old form of the letter "s," which died out about 1800. I have read the third through the seventh fables in the first book and found them faithful translations of Lessing. Unless there were subsequent editions of which I have not yet heard, this may be a great and valuable little treasure.

1774 C.F. Gellert's Fabelen en Vertelsels, in Nederduitsche Vaerzen Gevolgd. Tweede Deel. B. de Bosch, J. Lutkeman, P. Meijer, J.P. Broeckhoff, H.J. Roullaud, J. Lublink de jonge. Hardbound. Amsterdam: Pieter Meijer. €13.33 from Antiquariaat Brinkman, Amsterdam, June, '07.

Here, two years after the first volume, is the second volume of Dutch translations of Gellert's poems, which had come out a generation earlier in German. This volume contains sixty-two texts. Each translation is signed by its author; curiously, by contrast with the first volume, there seems no listing of the authors here. There are only the initials after each fable, as in the first volume. There is a T of C at the end. The only illustration in the book is on the title-page, and it is the same illustration that was on the title-page of the first volume: cherubs play around the tombstone of Gellert. I had two days in Amsterdam on my way to Germany. In the rain, I found this bookstore in the neighborhood of the community and got lucky. There are two other volumes in the set. This is of course not the first time that I have bought a book originally owned by a Jesuit institution, in this case St. Aloysius College in 's-Gravenhage. There is also a marking from "Bibl.-Gymn. CATV." The last page advertises that there are a few copies left of the first volume. And the third volume will be coming out very soon!

1774 C.F. Gellert's Fabelen en Vertelsels, in Nederduitsche Vaerzen Gevolgd. Deerde Deel. B. de Bosch, J. Lutkeman, P. Meijer, J.P. Broeckhoff, H.J. Roullaud, J. Lublink de jonge. Hardbound. Amsterdam: Pieter Meijer. €13.33 from Antiquariaat Brinkman, Amsterdam, June, '07.

Here, two years after the first volume and the same year as the second volume, is the third volume of Dutch translations of Gellert's fables, which had come out a generation earlier in German. This volume contains twenty-seven fables and six didactic poems. Each translation is signed by its author; again, by contrast with the first volume, there seems no listing of the authors here. There are only the initials after each fable, as in the first two volumes. There is a T of C at the end and a list of printing errors in all three books. The only illustration in the book is on the title-page, and it is the same illustration that was on the title-page of the first volume: cherubs play around the tombstone of Gellert. I had two days in Amsterdam on my way to Germany. In the rain, I found this bookstore in the neighborhood of the community and got lucky. This is of course not the first time that I have bought a book originally owned by a Jesuit institution, in this case St. Aloysius College in 's-Gravenhage. There is also a marking from "Bibl.-Gymn. CATV." The last page advertises that there are a few copies left of the first two volumes. This volume fulfills the claim in the second volume that the third volume would be coming out very soon.

1774 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine: Nouvelle Edition Gravée en taille-douce, Vol. V. Les Figures par le Sr. (Etienne) Fessard. Hardbound. Paris: Chez des Lauriers, Md. De Papiers. Gift of the Right Reverend Frank Griswold, Philadelphia, April, '10.

Here is the fifth volume of the set of six volumes, published between 1765 and 1775. See my comments on the previous volumes in 1765, 1766, 1768, and 1773. This and the sixth volume no longer mention an editor on the title-page. This volume contains only a T of C before it begins with "The Untrustworthy Depositor," the 170th fable in this work and first in La Fontaine's Book IX. Again, when the fables begin, pagination moves from Roman to Arabic numerals. The pagination skips the full engraved plates, which are not printed on the verso. These full-page illustrations are again presented in frames similar to those one would find around Oudry's work. Almost every fable receives three illustrations: a full-page engraving, a headpiece, and a tailpiece. Memorable illustrations include: "The Cat and the Fox" (36); all three illustrations for "The Treasure and the Two Men" (41); TT (66); and "The Rabbits" (97). Half-calf over five raised bands on the spine, marbled endpapers, and a page-marking ribbon.

1774 Fables Translated from Aesop and Other Authors. To which are subjoined a Moral in Verse and an Application in Prose Adapted to each Fable. By Charles Draper. Illustrated with Cuts from the best Designs (by Elisha Kirkall). First edition? Hardbound. London: Printed for S. Crowder. $102.50 from Parrott Books, Faringdon, Oxon, UK, through Ebay, Jan., '02.

After searching in Bodemann and in my favor private collector, I finally found Draper in Hobbs. This book is clearly fashioned along the lines of Croxall's, but Draper takes clear exception to Croxall's work. I may be able to give the best sense of this book by concentrating on Draper's stance in his preface, where he describes Croxall as being as partisan on the one side as Croxall had found l'Estrange on the other. He further finds Croxall not communicating effectively with the young audience he had said that he had in mind. While it is "too trifling and puerile for the study of men," Croxall's work is too raised in style (though it sometimes falls into poor familiarities), "too full of reflections on particular persons; too frequently illustrated with characters in the manner of our modern essaists, though not so well drawn; too much crouded with allusions to antient history; and too ostentatiously pieced with Latin quotations, for the perusal of children." Take that, Samuel Croxall! In his dedication to the five-year-old son of the Earl of Halifax, Draper finds Croxall guilty of gross impropriety and ridiculous affectation. He further is "generally prolix in his manner, and bloated in his stile." Croxall is even indecent in his narration of "The Boar and the Ass." Finally, his applications "often deviate from the plain sense and meaning of the fable." Amen! Hobbs comments laconically (85): "Charles Draper's rather more lively prose (published 1774 with Kirkall's cuts) here replaces the loquacious Croxall…." 202 fables (Croxall had had 196) finish on 328, to be followed (329-40) by an index of virtues and qualities. There is an AI at the beginning. This copy of the book is in fair condition at best. But what a treasure to have found on Ebay! Kirkall's illustrations are as always lovely, if somewhat worn here. It would make a fascinating project to compare this book and its fables in detail with Croxall's.

1774/1981 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine: Nouvelle Edition Gravée en taille-douce, Vol. V. Les Figures par le Sr. Fessard; Le Texte par le Sr. Montulay. Limited facsimile edition of 800, Nr. 102?. Hardbound. Paris: Valmer-Bibliophilie. €7.50 from Librairie de l'Avenue, St.-Ouen, Paris, June, '09.

This is a curious set of six volumes, beautifully bound, replicating the Fessard edition of 1765-75, as the colophon near the end of the book points out. This fifth volume (Books 9 and 10) was published in 1774. I can find no other number than the "102" that seems part of the printed colophon material, and so I am not sure that this is in fact #102 of 800. The good news is that there is now some represention of Fessard's work in the collection. Metzner writes in Bodemann that this is the first fully engraved LaFontaine edition. Montulay was apparently the engraver for the texts. The engraved illustrations are presented in frames similar to those one would find around Oudry's work. The reproductions are, I would say, no better than adequate. Almost every fable receives three illustrations: a full-page engraving, a headpiece, and a tailpiece. Metzner gives a good sense of the artistic sources for each volume, but I am surprised not to find Oudry mentioned. Perhaps these engravings remind me of his work because they reflect the same culture and artistic tendencies. The tailpiece on 27 does a great job of showing the results of the "case" in "L'Huître et les Plaideurs": we see two empty halves of an oyster shell! The engravings facing 41 and on 41 contrast beautifully the two men's different fates today in dealing with treasure. Lovely leather bindings, marbled endpapers, a page-marking ribbon, and gilded page-edges all the way around.

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1775 - 1799

1775 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine: Nouvelle Edition Gravée en taille-douce, Vol. VI. Les Figures par le Sr. (Etienne) Fessard. Hardbound. Paris: Chez des Lauriers, Md. De Papiers. Gift of the Right Reverend Frank Griswold, Philadelphia, April, '10.

Here is the last volume of the set of six volumes, published between 1765 and 1775. See my comments on the previous volumes in 1765, 1766, 1768, 1773, and 1774. Like the fifth volume, this sixth volume no longer mentions an editor on the title-page. This volume contains only a T of C before it begins with "The Lion," the 205th fable in this work and first in La Fontaine's Book XI. This volume finishes with the 238th fable. Again, when the fables begin, pagination moves from Roman to Arabic numerals. The pagination skips the full engraved plates, which are not printed on the verso. These full-page illustrations are again presented in frames similar to those one would find around Oudry's work. Almost every fable receives three illustrations: a full-page engraving, a headpiece, and a tailpiece. Memorable illustrations include: "The Wolf and the Fox" (18); "The Cat and the Two Mice" (43); all three illustrations for "The Crow, the Gazelle, the Turtle, and the Rat" (81); "The Fox, the Wolf, and the Horse" (90); "The Fox and the Indian Turkeys" (92); and all three illustrations for "The Monkey" (94). Half-calf over five raised bands on the spine, marbled endpapers, and a page-marking ribbon.

1775  Fabulae Selectae Fontanii e Gallico in Latinum Sermonem Conversae. In usum studiosae juventutis. Tomus Primus. Authore J.B. Giraud. Rothomagi (Rouen): Apud Lud. le Boucher et Laurent. Duesnil. $100 by mail from Turtle Island, March, '97.

What a kick! This book contains virtually all of La Fontaine's fables done into Latin for schoolboys by a priest of the Oratory. I have tried a few of the fables, and the Latin is good! Since the text is bilingual, one can check along easily, word for word. It takes a few more words per fable to translate La Fontaine's concise French, but Fr. Giraud does a good job at this daunting task. I have especially enjoyed tracking what is behind the "Selectae" of the title. Which fables, in other words, did he leave out? In this first volume, only two are missing: II 18 on the cat transformed into a woman and IV 1 on the lion in love. Does one start to notice a pattern? I was then surprised to see that VI 21 on the young widow was not skipped! This first volume contains La Fontaine's Books I-VI. It has errata on 449 and a bilingual T of C on 450-61. Full leather. Octavo. Small designs at the beginning of books and the end of fables.

1775  Fabulae Selectae Fontanii e Gallico in Latinum Sermonem Conversae. In usum studiosae juventutis. Tomus Secundus. Authore J.B. Giraud. Rothomagi (Rouen): Apud Lud. le Boucher et Laurent. Duesnil. $100 by mail from Turtle Island, March, '97.

See my overall comments on the first volume. From the last six books of La Fontaine, these fables are left out: the daughter who rejects suitors and finally desperately accepts a lout (VII 5); Thyrsis who tries to profess his love for Amaranth, only to have her identify her feelings for Clidament with his feelings for her (VIII 13); the mouse metamorphosed into a girl and seeking a worthy spouse (IX 7); the wife who at last jumps into her husband's arms only because of a thief (IX 15); the new son of Jupiter, in whom love transforms all other gifts (XI 2); the wife-beating monkey (XII 19); and Alcimadura paying love's revenge for having been hard on Daphnis (XII 24). You can be sure that the "Matron of Ephesus" is not included here! This volume puts two levels of errata on 576-7 after a bilingual T of C on 565-75. Full leather. Octavo. Small designs at the beginning of books and the end of fables.

1775 Phaedri Fabulae, or Phaedrus's Fables, with the following improvements in a method intirely new. John Stirling. Printed for John Rivington; Clarke and Collins; S. Crowder; B. Law; G. Robinson; and R. Baldwin. Tenth edition. Hardbound. $50 from John Bowie, Klamath Falls, OR, Sept., '99.

Carnes 226. "The fables of Phaedrus are first printed as in the received text and are then paraphrased into prose, using English syntax as the norm, with the original vocabulary as far as possible. Rhetorical devices within the fables are marked. A special section lists the 'proverbs' found in Phaedrus, with English translation, as well as a collection of idioms and other phrases, and ends with a complete Latin-English glossary and a 'themata verborum,' in which each verb appearing in Phaedrus' text is parsed and explained." See my later edition from 1800. AI at the beginning. The title probably describes the book's method better than I can. "The Words of the Author are placed according to their Grammatical Construction beneath every Fable: the Rhetorical Figures also as they occur: And to make the Pronunciation easy, all Words of above two Syllables are marked with proper Accents. A Collection also of Idioms and Phrases in Phaedrus, and all the Proverbial Mottos to the Fables, with the English Phrases and Proverbs answerable, are set over against them. And lastly, an Alphabetical Vocabulary of all the Words in the Author, shewing their Parts of Speech and Signification; to which are added, the Themes of the Verbs, with their Government."

1775 The Instructive and Entertaining Fables of Pilpay. Fifth edition. Hardbound. London: Printed for J. and F. Rivington, W. Strahan, et al. $125 from J.D. Holmes, Edmonds, WA, April, '02.

Bodemann #126.3. This book may set the record for the longest subtitle: "An Ancient Indian Philosopher. Containing a Number of Excellent Rules for the Conduct of Persons of all Ages, and in all Stations: Under several Heads. Fifth Edition. Corrected, Improved, and Enlarged; and Adorned with near Seventy Cuts neatly Engraved." I had studied this book in the facsimile done by Darf publishers in 1987. As there, "General Heads" are listed first (here on x), while a full listing of fables begins on the following page. This "Bidpai" follows the five-chapter tradition. There are many fables here that I would not have expected to see, including "The Gardener and the Bear" (114). Many fables are new to me, like "The King and His Mistress" (193). As I mention there, the book represents a compromise between the integrated narrative typical of Bidpai and the "each fable deserves a new page" Western approach. The woodcuts in the facsimile are apportioned out to their individual fables, and they are not well reproduced. Though they are not great art, they are lively and engaging in their original form here. The printer sometimes has trouble aligning them to retain a margin above and below their groupings of three on a single page. I am puzzled by the fox climbing up the tree in the image on 51 and in the text on 59. Can foxes do that? Among the best images are those of the serpent and raven (72), the lion and the well (78), the camel betrayed (95), and the gardener and bear (112). "Quaint" might be the best word for the rendition of the difficult scenes in which a lying man is smoked out of a tree (104) or elephants trample rabbits (198). This book is in good condition, especially for having lived over 225 years!

1775/1981 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine: Nouvelle Edition Gravée en taille-douce, Vol. VI. Les Figures par le Sr. Fessard; Le Texte par le Sr. Montulay. Limited facsimile edition of 800, Nr. 102?. Hardbound. Paris: Valmer-Bibliophilie. €7.50 from Librairie de l'Avenue, St.-Ouen, Paris, June, '09.

This is a curious set of six volumes, beautifully bound, replicating the Fessard edition of 1765-75, as the colophon near the end of the book points out. This sixth volume (Books 11 and 12) was published in 1775. I can find no other number than the "102" that seems part of the printed colophon material, and so I am not sure that this is in fact #102 of 800. The good news is that there is now some represention of Fessard's work in the collection. Metzner writes in Bodemann that this is the first fully engraved LaFontaine edition. Montulay was apparently the engraver for the texts. The engraved illustrations are presented in frames similar to those one would find around Oudry's work. The reproductions are, I would say, no better than adequate. Almost every fable receives three illustrations: a full-page engraving, a headpiece, and a tailpiece. Metzner gives a good sense of the artistic sources for each volume, but I am surprised not to find Oudry mentioned. Perhaps these engravings remind me of his work because they reflect the same culture and artistic tendencies. Both engravings are expressive for "Le Vieillard et les Trois Jeunes Hommes" (on and facing 26). The engraving facing 90 shows the horse delivering a square blow to the jaw of the wolf, as the fox looks on. Fessard et all do a good job on "Un Fou et un Sage" on 101, facing 101, and 102. Lovely leather bindings, marbled endpapers, a page-marking ribbon, and gilded page-edges all the way around.

1775/1987 The Instructive and Entertaining Fables of Pilpay. An Ancient Indian Philosopher. Containing a Number of Excellent Rules for the Conduct of Persons of all Ages, and in all Stations: Under several Heads. Paperbound. Fifth Edition. Corrected, Improved, and Enlarged; and Adorned with near Seventy Cuts neatly Engraved. London: Darf Publishers. $19.80 at Probsthain, London, July, '92.

Nice paperback facsimile. My favorite private collector has the sixth edition, of 1789, which he identifies as published by J.F. and C. Rivington in London. "General Heads" are listed on ix, while a full listing of fables begins on x. This "Bidpai" follows the five-chapter tradition. There are many fables here that I would not have expected to see, including "The Gardener and the Bear" (101). Many fables are new to me, like "The King and His Mistress" (172). The method of rendering the woodcuts here may fail to do them justice. The book represents a compromise between the integrated narrative typical of Bidpai and the "each fable deserves a new page" Western approach. A lucky find near the British Museum.

1775? (Select Fables of Esop and Other Fabulists. In Three Books. A New Edition). (By R. Dodsley). Hardbound. Published by J. Dodsley? $50 Canadian from MacLeod's Books, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, June, '03.

This damaged book is very close to one I have listed with under 1773, with J. Dodsley as the publisher. That date is given on the title page there. The plates are similar but never exactly the same. In the "Life of Aesop," for example, the position of the "warning word" for the coming page (e.g., "From" on xiii) is above the footnotes here but below them there. The illustrations seem the same on a sample page like that facing 94, but spaces filled in there with hatch-marks are empty here. The problem with this much-worn little volume is that all pages are lacking up to the first page of the preface. In the 1773 version, there was only one page before the preface, but it was the title-page! At least one of the pages containing twelve small medallion illustrations is missing, namely the one facing the first fable on 3. There is a good deal of writing on both endpapers, and the spine is disintegrating. The leather on these covers has lasted a while! This was a very lucky find during just a few hours in Vancouver.

1776 Aisopou Mythoi/Fabulae Aesopicae Graecae Quae Maximo Planudi Tribuuntur.  Joannis Hudsonis, Io. Michael Heusinger, Christ. Adolph. Klotzius.  Hardbound.  Isenach and Leipzig: Apud Io. Georg. Ernst. Wittekindt.  $99.75 from Geoffrey Robson through eBay, June, '14.  

The full title reads this way: "Aisopou mythoi Fabulae Aesopicae Graecae quae Maximo Planudi tribuuntur ad veterum librorum fidem emendatas Ioannis Hudsonis suisque adnotationibus illustratas atque indice verborum locupletissimo instructas edidit Io. Michael Heusinger curavit et praefatus est Christ. Adolph. Klotzius."  The book is easy to find online; it seems to be the only book that comes up if one Googles Wittekindt, although this edition may be a reprint of a 1770 edition also done by Wittekindt.  The book has three parts: a lengthy unpaginated introduction; 120 pages of some 149 fables and their variants; and a Greek/Latin dictionary of all the vocables that occur in Aesop's fables.  This third section has a two-page addition cataloguing items explained in the notes.  The whole comes, online sources say, to 288 pages.  The introductory section includes a preface by Klotz; a catalogue of manuscripts by Heusinger, a preface to the reader by Hudson; and sixty-eight ancient testimonies to Aesop and the fables.  For those confused by the shortened and Latinized names on the title-page, here are more complete and modern names: Christian Adolph Klotz edited this book, following on the work of editor and commentator John Hudson with Johann Michael Heusinger's index verborum.  The publisher is Johann Georg Ernst Wittekindt.

1776 Francisci-Josephi Desbillons e Societate Jesu Fabularum Aesopiarum Libri Decem Diligenter Emendati post Editionem Tertiam Parisinam Quam Solam Auctor Agnoscit. Franciscus-Josephus Desbillons. Tertia in Germania. Hardbound. Freiburg: Augustae Vind. et Friburgi Brisg. Sumptibus Fratrum Ign. Et Ant. Wagner. $60 from an unknown source, July, '08.

Here is a fascinating edition. It reproduces the third edition from Paris, which I have under "1759." It has thus ten books of fables. There are several surprises here. First, the Society had already been suppressed several years earlier, but here in 1776 he is still proclaiming himself a Jesuit. Secondly, he had already published a fifteen-book edition in Mannheim in 1768. What is happening with a ten-book edition in 1776? Thirdly, what is that "Fratrum Ign." on the title-page. Is there still a Jesuit remnant, like the "Gentlemen of Maryland" in the USA? Fourthly, this is the third edition published in Germany. What were the first two? There are here no illustrations. I am delighted to have this mysterious book in the collection! I would like to talk with Francois-Joseph about his fable editions.. An index on the last page apparently lists the twenty-two "joci" and five "narrationculae. The "selecta philosophorum veterum placita" is a single text on 217-224. There is an AI on 225-231.

1776/84/1871 Bewick's Select Fables of Aesop and Others. In Three Parts: Fables Extracted from Dodsley, Fables with Reflections in Prose and Verse, Fables in Verse. Writer not acknowledged, perhaps Goldsmith. Faithfully reprinted from the Rare Newcastle Edition published by T. Saint in 1784. Wood Engravings by Thomas Bewick. London: Bickers and Son. $10 at Goodspeed, Jan., '89.

Lovely, if sometimes simple, wood engravings. The best may be TT and DS. This is apparently an early work of Bewick's, not to be confused with the classic 1818 edition. Tripartite AI at the back. This copy is superior to the 1878 reprint.

1776/84/1878 Bewick's Select Fables of Aesop and Others. In Three Parts: Fables Extracted from Dodsley, Fables with Reflections in Prose and Verse, Fables in Verse. Writer not acknowledged, perhaps Goldsmith. Faithfully reprinted from the Rare Newcastle Edition published by T. Saint in 1784. Wood Engravings by Thomas Bewick. London: Longmans, Green. $5 at Goodspeed, Jan., '89.

Lovely, if sometimes simple, wood engravings. The best may be TT and DS. This is apparently an early work of Bewick's, not to be confused with the classic 1818 edition. Tripartite AI at the back.

1777 Aesopi Phrygis et Aliorum Fabulae. Hardbound. Venice: Typis Bartholommei Occhi. $200 from Bob Petrilla at R & A Petrilla Antiquarian Books, Roosevelt NJ, through Interloc, June, '98. 

I was surprised upon examination of this book to find that it reproduced the Remondini of 1757 that I had found nine months earlier in Turin. Both the title-page wording and the T of C wording are exactly the same, though in neither case are the plates the same. The life of Aesop that started on 5 there starts on 7 here, but, with more text compacted on the page, finishes by 47. The same elements follow here as there, and the fables start on 54. As in that book, there are 76 illustrations. These seem to be done after and according to those there; that is, they are redrawn copies. See my comments there. The woodcuts are less attractive, lighter, and less well defined here. Let me list the same items I chose there with their new page numbers: "Ass and Horse" (67), "The Man Who Found an Axe on the Road" (91), "The Shepherd Up a Tree Whose Cloak Is Eaten Beneath Him" (111), WC (119), and "The Fox and the Hunters" (196). The lion on 160 is even more outrageously non-leonine than he was in the earlier edition! I have the same problem here as there, that I cannot discover the last two sets of items referred to in the T of C. This book finishes its texts on 254, where that one finished on 279. Old vellum. Pastedown endsheets wormed. AI at the end. Bodemann does not seem to list Occhi.

1777 Favole Esopiane. con un Discorso del Conte Abate Giambatista Roberti. Terza Edizione. Naples: Giacinto de Bonis. Gift of Dave Daly. Used bookstore in Naples, Fall, '87.

What a treasure! Nicely worm-eaten! Index on 154-6 of the 70-80 fables, many of which seem to be post-Aesopic. Nice short-lined Italian verse. I will have to see a professional book restorer about this little gem. The decorations on the title page and 25 do not seem specifically Aesopic.

1778 Fables Choisies Mise en Vers par Monsieur La Fontaine.  Hardbound.  Paris: Les Libraires Associées.  $29.52 from Denis Marchal, Malzéville, France, through eBay, April, '18. 

Here is a charming 18th century La Fontaine with designs at the beginning of each of the twelve books and a lovely frontispiece of Aesop, La Fontaine, Fable, and Truth.  In fact, I find the model for this frontispiece in the 1740 Triller, Neue Aesopische Fabeln.  As far as I can ascertain, this particular edition is not in Bodemann.  The illustrations at the beginning of each book, after Book I, seem not to have a connection with the first poem of their book, or in fact with any particular fable.  They seem to be more printer's designs, sometimes repeated, as at the beginning of Books II and VIII.  I have removed some of the many place-marks inserted into this copy by an eager earlier reader.

1778 Fables of Aesop and Others. Translated into English. With Instructive Applications and a Print before each Fable. By Samuel Croxall. Elisha Kirkall (NA). 11th edition, carefully revised and improved. Hardbound. London: W. Strahan et al. $75 from Donella MacKenzie, Ross-Shire, Scotland, through Ebay, Sept., '99.

Bodemann #107.2 calls this edition a "Leicht veraenderter Nachdruck" of the 1722 first edition. She refers to the illustrations as "Nachschnitte"--is that certain? If so, the imitation is very precise. Close inspection may reveal some differences from the original illustrations. Thus DW (XIX) on 35 seems to show differences in the "fill lines" near the bottom center of the oval. Certainly many of the illustrations are darker and more distinct here than they were in the third edition. The fables now get 329 pages, followed by the same "Index" that we saw in the 3rd edition. The editor no longer uses "apostophre-plus-d" for the past tense but replaces the apostrophe with the letter "e." Thus we have underneath the DW illustration not "A lean, hungry, half-starv'd Wolf, happen'd…." but rather "A lean, hungry, half-starved Wolf, happened…." Croxall has now made it onto the title-page, which is changed in other revealing ways. The binding across the spine is damaged and loose. A former owner or bookseller whose knowledge of Roman numerals was rusty dated this book on the title-page to 1728.

1778 Francisci-Josephi Desbillons Fabulae Aesopiae, Curis Posterioribus Omnes Fere Emendatae: Quibus Accesserunt Plus Quam CLXX Novae. Franciscus-Josephus Desbillons. Editio sexta. Hardbound. Paris: J. Barbou. $90 from Libros Argentinos para todo el Mundo, Buenos Aires, Sept., '10.

Here is a well-preserved book announcing itself as the sixth edition of Desbillons' Aesopic fables. I find it very hard to distinguish from the fifth edition of 1769. A random check finds no differences. See my comments there. I also have a recently photoprinted paperbound copy of this edition.

1778/2010 Francisci-Josephi Desbillons Fabulae Aesopiae, Curis Posterioribus Omnes Fere Emendatae: Quibus Accesserunt Plus Quam CLXX Novae. Franciscus-Josephus Desbillons. Editio sexta. Paperbound. Paris/La Vergne, TN: J. Barbou/Nabu Reprints. $29.05 from SuperBookDeals.com, June, '10.

Here is a printed-on-demand copy of a book I happened to acquire at the same time in an original version. Welcome to the new world of publishing! This is a large-format paperback version of the sixth edition of Desbillons' Aesopic fables. As I wrote of my original sixth edition, I find it very hard to distinguish from the fifth edition of 1769. This particular paperback copy presents problems. The copy is missing xxxvi-xxxvii. 402-13 are repeated immediately; that is actually a good thing because 406 the first time is almost illegible. I notice that the "Approbatio" for this book is dated 1768, as is the approbatio in my copy of the original sixth edition. That is, the publisher did not seek a new approbatio for his "new" edition in 1778. That it is a "new" edition at all is questionable.

1779 Fables du Pere Desbillons, Traduites in François par le Même, avec le Latin à coté, corrigé de nouveau, Vol. I-II. (François-Joseph) Desbillons. Paperbound. Strasbourg/Paris: Chez Gay/Chez Durand. €180 from Versandantiquariat Kamas, Düsseldorf, May, '12.

Two volumes in one. I am delighted to get this book by my Jesuit model of so long ago. This book is a translation of his own work in 1779. I wonder in what spirit he wrote this book. It is, for the first nine books of fables that he composed, a French translation, presumably to help French (and other?) schoolchildren who were studying his Latin fables. By this time he was "Pere Desbillons," not "Pere Desbillons e Societate Jesu." What would it be like to translate one's own fables? The Society of Jesus had been suppressed in 1773, but he remains Pere Desbillons. There are two comprehensive tables of contents for the combined two volumes, the first of Latin titles and the second of French titles. This copy is in excellent condition! There are 277 pages in the first volume (Books I-V) and then 247 pages in the second (Books VI-IX). Pere Desbillons went on to compose another six books of fables. Did he ever translate those? Just to be clear: this work is a translation of his Aesopic fables, not a translation of one of his editions on Phaedrus' fables. By my count I now have fourteen different volumes of Desbillons' fables -- and his earliest one ordered. I will pick it up in a month in Paris. 

1779 Sämtliche Schriften des Herrn J.W. Gleims: Erster/Zweyter/Dritter Theil. Hardbound. Reuttlingen: Bey Johann Georg Fleischhauer. DM 48 from Antiquariat Rolf und Monika Ihring, Berlin, July, '96.

"Mit Röm. Kaiserl. Allergnädigsten Privilegio." Here are three separately paginated "parts" of a six-part work bound together. The date of publication of the version of the first part here is 1793. Both the second and third parts were published in 1779. The first part contains Lieder. The second part has two books of fables and three romances. The third part has a play, "The Death of Adam." There is a T of C for the second part on 108-110 of that part. As it shows, there are twenty-five fables in each of the two books of fables, and they are found on 7-78 there. I read the first ten fables of Book 1. They are short, comprehensible, pointed, and sometimes sentimental. Quotations are printed in larger, bold typeface. In I 4 the fox describes to the lion how the ass is badmouthing him in various ways. The lion answers "Let him say what he wants. I do not pay attention to what an ass says." I 9 is an example of a sentimental fable. A poor man cuts a piece from his last loaf of bread and gives it to his son with tears in his eyes. The son gives it back and tells him not to cry. He then cuts a second piece and finds money pouring out of the loaf. He calls on the baker to return his money to him. The baker explains that a benefactor left that loaf for some poor family. The fable ends with the son telling the father not to cry. I 12 has a good story of a bunny seeing a stag and proclaiming that, with his long ears like the stag's horns, they are alike. An ass hears him and says "Yes, we are all three alike." The stag just goes back into the woods. In II 9, a stag admires his horns and despises his legs, according to the traditional fable. However, in this version he gets away from the obstructing branches in the woods and learns to value the useful above the beautiful. According to Karl Wolfgang Becker, Johann Wilhelm Gleim lived 1719-1803. His first book of fables was published in 1755. He published several books of fables, the last sixteen fables in 1795. Becker uses as his source a 1786 "Original-Ausgabe" by Friedrich Maurer in Berlin. Apparently that work, as opposed to this one, restricted itself to fables, specifically the fables which Gleim had published up to that date. Here in 1779 we have two books of fables as part of a larger set of works.

1779/2010 Fables du Pere Desbillons, Traduites in François par le Même, avec le Latin à coté, corrigé de nouveau, Vol. I. (François-Joseph) Desbillons. Paperbound. Strasbourg/Liege/La Vergne, TN: Chez Anne-Catherine Bassompierre/ Kessinger Publishing. $17.19 from Buy.com through eBay, Dec., '10.

Here is another in the chain of fable books authored by Fr. Desbillons. This recent paperback reproduction takes up the first volume of his set of bilingual translations of his own work. My suspicion is that it was a three-volume set, since his fables eventually included fifteen books. Here we have Books I-V with the Latin verse on the left and French prose on the right. There are no illustrations and a few printer's designs after fables. Five books of fables had appeared in 1754. The key editions of fifteen books of Desbillons' own fables seem to have been in 1768 and 1789, the year of his death. Here is a translation of his own work in 1779. The Society of Jesus had been suppressed in 1773, but he remains Pere Desbillons. Was this book meant largely as a translation help for French-speaking students trying to make their way through his Latin fables?

1780? Aesopi Phrygis et Aliorum Fabulae. Hardbound. Venice: Dominici Louisae. $75 from Julia Dean, Littlehampton, West Sussex, UK, April, '08.

This little book belongs with three others in the collection, all with the same title and all by different publishers. They are listed under "1757?" and 1777 and 1781. The publishers are Johannis Antonii Remondini in Venice/Bassano, Bartholommei Occhi in Venice, and Vincentius Laurentii in Venice, respectively. (Sorry, I am using some nominatives and some genitives in an attempt to be true to the title-pages.) The title-page's information on the publisher here is "Sumptibus Dominici Louisae," and no date of publication is listed. These all fit in the family of the "Aesopus Dorpii," first done in Italy by Remondini in Venice around 1550. Sixteenth-century versions in this tradition appear in Bodemann #31 and perhaps #29, Seventeenth-century members of this family appear in Bodemann #64. By comparison with the first two of these, the first few illustrations here seem clear mirror-reverse copies done by a new hand. They have thus the same left-to-right polarity as those in the Laurentii edition. They seem to me to be better rendered here than the illustrations in the Laurentii edition. The title-page text and the following list of authors is exactly as in the Remondini and Occhi editions. The page count comes out exactly the same as the former, and I had to search the last few pages hard before I found a clue that the plates for these pages were in fact not the same. My clue was "super" at the bottom of 278, found there at the end of the second-last line and here broken in two between the second-last and last lines. The imprint of the illustrations is strong. Some pages have suffered harm, even within the image like page 67 and 92. The most surprising thing about this little volume is the repetition of images, often without much meaning. The first image, "De vulpe et capro" (57), is repeated by mistake with a fable about frogs on 80! Both scenes occur at wells, and the printer may have been fooled once he located the well. That mistake had not occurred in any of the other three editions. The same image is apparently purposely used on 61 and 95, the former to illustrate the two boys thieving from a butcher and the latter to illustrate two men going out together, one of whom will find an axe. I find no sense when the same image appears again on 223 for "De Sene Mortem Vocante." The illustration occurs on 228 for a fourth time with a repeat of the "Thieving Boys" fable from 61. Again the same image is used on 64 and 111, once for "Ass and Wolf" and once for "Ass and Fox." Then it is very poorly placed on 194 for "De Tauris et Leone." The same image occurs on 60 for "Femina et Gallina" and 115 for "Columba." There is a bad tear in the early portion of the fables of "Gulielmus Canonicus" Gudanus (121-34). A nice DLS illustration shows up on 88, perhaps after the unrelated fable "Asinus et Leo" but then again utterly without meaning on 198 with "De Leone et Venatore." As in other editions, the opening list of fable writers is followed by Planudes' life of Aesop in Latin, which finishes on 50. There follow testimonies from Aphthonius, Hermogenes, and Laurentio Valla, the last still dated to 1438 in Caieta. The fables start then on 57. After the 279 pages of fables, there are nine pages of an AI. As in the other editions, I cannot find the extra two extra sets of fables promised on the verso of the title-page. I have misplaced my purchase information on this book except the source. I have thus guessed at its cost and date of purchase. I hope to find that information before too long!

1780? (Aesop's Fables) (spine: Dodsley Aesop). (Robert Dodsley). Illustrations by J. Gilbert. Hardbound. London?: Unknown publisher. £ 40 from G.A. Michael Sims, A Book for All Reasons, Suffolk, GB, through abe, Oct., '02. 

Unfortunately this book is missing, as the seller writes, "all prior to a5 prelims," including the title-page. It is clearly an edition of Dodsley. The fable text portions seem to be identical with Dodsley's 1761 first edition. Is the "Life of Aesop" somehow different from the version there? There is Dodsley's usual "Essay on Fable" and then the three books of fables, "Ancient," "Modern," and "Newly Invented." There are one hundred-fifty-nine woodcuts. The first of them is signed "J. Gilbert del. et sculp: 1777." Bodemann notes this signature in #190.3, dated to 1805 and published in London by G. & J. Robinson. That seems to be her only mention of J. Gilbert. One may be able to recognize these illustrations by the decorations around the upper half of the rectangular images, which measure just less than 2" x 2½". The spine features "Dodsley" and "Aesop"; the cover is old calf rubbed.

1781 Aesopi Phrygis et Aliorum Fabulae. Naples: Vincentius Laurentii. $88 from D.D. Carnicelli, New Rochelle, NY, Nov., '99.

This tight little book is squarely in the tradition of the other books of the same title that I have listed under "1767?" and "1777." This volume is missing 99-118. By comparison with the latter, the title-page here has exactly the same words with the exception of "Editio novissima caeteris auctior & emendatior" for "pluribusque auctior & diligentius quam antehac emendatae." It offers the same list of authors contained in the volume. As there, we next have Planudes' life of Aesop in Latin, which finishes on 65. The fables start on 74. The illustrations seem to me to range in quality, sometimes cruder and sometimes more refined; they are mirror opposites. Both sets are numbered consecutively after the title, but this number applies only within the particular section of fables (e.g., fables from Laurenzio Valla). Not all of the fables illustrated there (e.g., "De Carbonario & Fullone, 17," are illustrated here. Let me list the same items whose illustrations I chose there with their new page numbers: "Ass and Horse" (87), "The Shepherd Up a Tree Whose Cloak Is Eaten Beneath Him" (134), WC (not illustrated here), and "The Fox and the Hunters" (225). "De Leone et Rana" is on 186. Remicius' section here, including one hundred fables, runs from 216 through 279. There it was 188 through 242. The next element in each is "Apologi ex Chiliadibus" (243-249 there, 280-87 here) with unnumbered fables. Here, as there, the last elements are one or two fables each from Peter Crinitus, Joannes Antonius Campanus, Pliny, and Gellius. After the 294 pages of fables, there are six pages of an AI. This book is heavily stained. I regret the loss of that one signature, but it is still a little treasure!

1783 Fables by the Late Mr. Gay. In One Volume Complete. Second volume of a two-volume set in original 18th century bindings (first volume is present and contains Gay's plays). Illustrator not acknowledged. London: J. Buckland, W. Strahan, et al. $37.50 from Kelmscott Bookshop, July, '92.

A beautiful little book. I am delighted at last to have a good edition of Gay's fables. T of C to both parts of fables is at the beginning of Volume II. The 66 excellent copper engravings come two-to-a-page facing the beginning of the first fable of the two. There is something tapestry-like about them. They are clearly in the tradition of Gravelot (and Kent and Wooton?) from 1727/38; see my 1967 William Andrews Clark reprint. But they do not include Blake's 12 engravings, which date from 1793. Compare the engravings here with the two in Hobbs' Fables (71, 81). Do not miss the dramatic mask frontispiece. I am fortunate to have found this book.

1783 Phaedri Augusti Liberti Fabularum Libri V, Accesserunt Parallelae Joannis de la Fontaine Fabulae. Cum Notis et Supplementis Gabrielis Brotier. Hardbound.  Paris: Joseph Barbou.  €105 from Éditions Picard, May, '03.  Extra copies for €121 from Éditions Picard, August, '02, and for $99 from Sandra Antunes, Cascais, Portugal, through eBay, March, '04.

Bodemann #127.3. The note there shows that this is a reprinting of a work first done by Barbou in 1754, but that the works of La Fontaine and the work of Brotier have been added. This is a small book, about 3½" x 6¼". There is a frontispiece (Aesop and Mercury) and a small illustration at the beginning of each of Phaedrus' books. The exception occurs at the beginning of Book V, where we find a small design with three dancing angels. Bodemann sums up the edition well: "Die Phaedrus-Fabeln mit Anmerkungen und Textparallelen La Fontaines." The notes referred to are in a separate section (97-172) after Phaedrus' texts. Then come parallel texts from La Fontaine. The organization here can be slightly confusing. La Fontaine texts parallel to Phaedrus' first book are gathered in a first book but numbered then consecutively, according to the order but not the number in Phaedrus. There is in each case a reference to the number in Phaedrus. Here there is a printer's design at the start of each of the five books of parallels. At the back one finds a T of C for the two major text sections, an index rerum et verborum, a list of editions of Phaedrus, an advertisement for other Latin editions, and finally an official "Imprimi Potest" from the Royal Academy. I write again in this entry several days after finishing it, to add that I have finally sorted the books I have collected for the last two years. The surprising result of this work is that I discover I have three identical copies of the book. I kept having the feeling that I had heard of the names before, but I could not find the book in the database. I was looking in the wrong place. Alas, I even bought it twice from the same source. The Antunes copy may be the first book I have bought from Portugal!

1783/1970 Fables in Monosyllables. By Mrs. Teachwell, a Pseudonym for Lady Ellenor Fenn. Printed with Morals to a Set of Fables. Yorkshire: S.R. Publishers, Ltd./NY: Johnson Reprint Corporation. $15 from Dundee Book, May, '91.

A fascinating little find. The second book reviews the first book's fables (there are seventeen), with a mother moralizing first with William on ten of them and then with George on eight of them. Though the first book avoids explicit morals, the fables are overwhelmingly directed to blind obedience. In a way reminiscent of Anno's Aesop, obedience tales are created that fit traditional fable pictures and titles. The best examples of this transformation are "The Fawn and the Vine," "The Two Cocks," and "The Larks." FG has to do with fox missing all his usual prey while he looks at the grapes. The dog stole the meat. The ape wants to use the cat as tongs to get the nuts! A treasure for cultural criticism.

1783? Fables for the Female Sex. Edward Moore. Publisher unknown (title page missing). See 1744/83?.

1784 Aesopi Phrygis Fabulae. Hardbound. London: H.S. Woodfall Impensis Societatis Stationariorum. £21 from Alton House Antiques, through eBay, Sept., '03. 

This book has one of those long titles. It goes on "Nunc demum ex Collatione Optimorum Exemplarium ab infinitis pene Mendis repurgatae, una cum nonnullis Variorum Auctorum Fabulis adjectis. Et Indice Correctiori praefixo." My! The book is announced to be practically error-free, with some bonus fables from other authors, and a more exact index. The elements on the 192 pages of this smallish book (4" x 6½") include Planudes' Vita, an AI, and eighteen pages of Aesopic fables, perhaps three to a page. We find then offerings of fourteen "interpreters" of Aesop, listed but apparently not followed in this order: Adrianus Barlandus, Angelus Politianus, Anianus, Aulus Gellius, Erasmus Roterodamus, Gulielmus Gaudanus, Gulielmus Harmanus, Joannes Antonius Capanus, Laurentius Abstemius, Laurentius Valla, Nicolaus Gerbelius Phorcensis, Petrus Crinitus, Plinius Secundus Novocomensis, and Rimicius. I wish I had Pack Carnes here to track the offerings of each of these! The last eleven pages add fables from Poggio. Otherwise the most prominent of the "interpreters" seem to be Laurentius Abstemius and Rimicius. The spine of this much-used book with its small print is deteriorating.

1784 Bewick's Select Fables of Aesop and Others. In Three Parts: Fables Extracted from Dodsley, Fables with Reflections in Prose and Verse, Fables in Verse. Writer not acknowledged, perhaps Goldsmith. Faithfully reprinted from the Rare Newcastle Edition published by T. Saint in 1784. Wood Engravings by Thomas Bewick. London: Bickers & Son. See 1776/84/1871.

1784 Bewick's Select Fables of Aesop and Others. In Three Parts: Fables Extracted from Dodsley, Fables with Reflections in Prose and Verse, Fables in Verse. Writer not acknowledged, perhaps Goldsmith. Faithfully reprinted from the Rare Newcastle Edition published by T. Saint in 1784. Wood Engravings by Thomas Bewick. London: Longmans, Green. See 1776/84/1878.

1784 Fables Choisies de John Gay. Mise en vers Français par M.D.M., Officier d'infanterie. Philadelphie (et se trouve à Paris): Chez Prault. $35 at Just Books, June, '93.

What a great curiosity! 27 of Gay's fables put into French in a beautiful book with leather covers, marbled endpapers, a bookmark, and a nice errata sheet after the T of C at the end. Ed Just has tried to explain to me the strange doings behind the place name. I think books actually printed in Philadelphia were being passed off as though they had been published in Paris. As of this entry, I have 19 books printed in the eighteenth century; four of them were printed in 1784!

1784 Fabulae Aesopi Selectae, or Select Fables of Aesop. With an English Translation, more Literal than any yet extant, Designed for the Readier Instruction of Beginners in the Latin Tongue. By H. Clarke. 9th Edition, corrected and amended. Inscribed "Cyrus King 1788." London: Printed for W. Strahan et al. $15 at Goodspeed's, March, '89.

A wonderful little book in two columns, with alternating words in Roman and italic print. I had seen some edition of this book for $125 or so earlier this spring. 202 fables. No illustrations or index.

1784 Le Favole di Fedro. Liberto d' Augusto, tradotte in versi volgari. D. Gio: Grisostomo Trombelli. Edizione sesta. Naples: Cristofaro Migliaccio. $10 at O'Gara and Wilson in Hyde Park, April, '88.

A real find! Liberal notes and Italian translations for the whole 5 books. This book is in reasonable shape. Its back is breaking.

1784 Phaedri Augusti Liberti Fabulae Aesopiae. Novissime recognitae et emendatae. Accedunt Publii Syri sententiae Aviani et anonymi veteris fabulae denuo castigatae. Biponti: Ex typographia Societatis. Gift of Fran and Boleslav Povsic, Spring, '87.

This beautiful Latin edition of Phaedrus is Carnes 339. Here is Carnes' helpful description: "This is the celebrated ‘Biponti’ society edition of Phaedrus, based upon the edition of Johann Albert Fabricius (1621-1736) as edited by Johann August Ernesti (1707-1781), ultimately based upon the Pieter Burman (1668-1741) recension, with notes by Gude and with fables added from the Romulus, the Niccolò Perotti (1430-1480) appendix and others, as well as the Avianus and ‘Anonymous’ (i.e., ‘Anonymous Neveleti’) fables mentioned. Also contains the ‘Vita Phaedri a Jo. Scheffero composita’ (pp. iii-xii), by Johannes Scheffer (1621-1679), and the ‘Notitia literaria de Phaedro ex Jo. Alb. Fabricii Bibliotheca Latina’ by the editor Ernesti (pp. xiii-lii), and De Anonymus vetere fabularum auctore..., latin. ed Ernesti’ also by the editor. Biponti (Zweibrücken) is a town near Sarbrücken." There is one strange illustration, a frontispiece combining several animals and a human face.

1784 Phaedri Augusti Liberti Fabulae Aesopiae. Novissime recognitae et emendatae. Accedunt Publii Syri sententiae Aviani et anonymi veteris fabulae denuo castigatae. Hardbound. Printed in Biponti (Zweibrücken): Ex typographia Societatis. DEM 120 from Antiquariat Hatry, Heidelberg, July, '01.

This item replicates another item already in the collection, but I include it separately because of the different presentation. The cover is of course different, but so is the page size. Apparently the bookbinder here cut the generous margins from the pages he received. As with the first copy, I will quote the helpful description Pack Carnes gives of this, item 339 in his Phaedrus bibliography. "This is the celebrated ‘Biponti’ society edition of Phaedrus, based upon the edition of Johann Albert Fabricius (1621-1736) as edited by Johann August Ernesti (1707-1781), ultimately based upon the Pieter Burman (1668-1741) recension, with notes by Gude and with fables added from the Romulus, the Niccolò Perotti (1430-1480) appendix and others, as well as the Avianus and ‘Anonymous’ (i.e., ‘Anonymous Neveleti’) fables mentioned. Also contains the ‘Vita Phaedri a Jo. Scheffero composita’ (pp. iii-xii), by Johannes Scheffer (1621-1679), and the ‘Notitia literaria de Phaedro ex Jo. Alb. Fabricii Bibliotheca Latina’ by the editor Ernesti (pp. xiii-lii), and De Anonymus vetere fabularum auctore.., latin. ed Ernesti’ also by the editor. Biponti (Zweibrücken) is a town near Sarbrücken." There is one strange illustration, a frontispiece combining several animals and a human face.

1784 Select Fables of Aesop and Others. (Bewick) In Three Parts: Part I: Fables Extracted from Dodsley's; Part II: Fables with Reflections in Prose and Verse; Part III: Fables in Verse. To which are prefixed the Life of Aesop and an Essay upon Fable. A New Edition, improved. Newcastle: T. Saint. $130 from Bargain Bookstore, San Diego, Aug., '93.

If this is what I hope it is, what a find! Only two things made me hesitate earlier to acknowledge this book as an original 1784 Bewick. First, Thomas (and John) Bewick are nowhere named. Second, I have a note from somewhere that the three parts should contain 48, 48, and 26 fables respectively, whereas this edition has 48, 67, and 26. What a beautiful little masterpiece. Earlier inscriptions indicate that it is a Bewick first edition. Repaired hinges. See 1776, 1818, and 1820 for further Bewick material. Now I am just home in May, '97 from looking at the Victoria and Albert copy of the 1784 edition, and theirs does not mention Bewick and has 48 + 67 + 26 fables. Yippee! It also has "A New Edition, improved" on the title page.

1785 Fables by the Late Mr Gay. Hardbound. London: J. Buckland, W. Strahan, et al. $31 from Kevin Tupitza, Coatesville, PA, through eBay, Nov., '10.

Here is an apparent later printing of the Buckland, Strahan, et al edition of 1783. It uses, I believe, the same plates used there; they are different from -- and apparently copied from -- the plates used in the edition I have from Strahan, Rivington, Buckland et al of 1772 (Bodemann #110.8). Bodemann does not have separate listings for either the 1783 or this 1785 edition. Again I have found a lovely early edition of Gay for a very good price! That 1783 edition was the second volume of a two-volume set, the first volume being Gay's plays. Here there is no such indication. As there, so here the T of C to both parts of fables is at the beginning of the volume. The 66 excellent copper engravings -- generally lighter impressions here? -- come two-to-a-page facing the beginning of the first fable of the two. There is something tapestry-like about them. They are clearly in the tradition of Gravelot (and Kent and Wooton?) from 172July, '38; see my 1967 William Andrews Clark reprint. But they do not include Blake's 12 engravings, which date from 1793. Compare the engravings here with the two in Hobbs' Fables (71, 81). Do not miss the dramatic mask frontispiece. I am fortunate to have found this book. Inscribed in 1791. The covers are beginning to separate from the spine.

1785 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par Monsieur De La Fontaine, Premiere et Seconde Partie. Avec un Nouveau Commentaire par M. Coste. Hardbound. Amsterdam: Chez Zacharie Chastelain. $50 from N. Tur, NY, through eBay, Sept., '12.

This book, two volumes in one, represents a curious crossroads in the history of the printing of La Fontaine's fables. Chastelain (or Chatelaine) had produced a La Fontaine edition in 1727-28 (Bodemann 77.11) which had the original frontispiece of which this book's frontispiece seems a copy of less quality. Pierre Coste, born in 1668, was already editing editions by that time, but seems not to have been involved in that edition. The date of his first edition of La Fontaine is given as 1730 by Wikipedia. The first record I can find of a Coste edition is 1743 (Bodemann 121.1), apparently as part of an eight-volume edition of La Fontaine's work. That edition included Coste's own fable at the end: "La cigale trouvée parmi une foule de sauterelles," also found here on 374-5. That edition also seems to have had a number of small headpieces at the start of books and other elements. This edition has a curious combination at those places of printer's designs (I, V, VII, X), sometimes repeated (II=III) and headpieces, also sometimes repeated (xviii=147; 178=275). 

1786 Fables of Aesop and Others. Translated into English. With Instructive Applications and a Print before each Fable. By Samuel Croxall. Elisha Kirkall (NA). 13th edition, carefully revised and improved. London: J.F. and C. Rivington, T. Longman, B. Law, et al. $50 from Poor Boys Antiques, Clarendon, TX, June, '98.

Except that it is in poor condition internally, it is hard to see differences between this and my eleventh edition of 1778. As there, we find here 329 pages and an index. The covers here are separating from the book. The publisher has changed slightly since the eleventh edition. Strahan has moved out of the picture, and others have moved in. The impressions of the engravings seem fainter throughout. See my comments there. This edition is not listed separately in Bodemann. Inscribed in 1789.

1786 Phaedri Augusti Liberti Fabularum Aesop. Libri Quinque. Cum notis et emendation. Franc. Iosephi Desbillons ex ejus commentario pleniore desumptis. Hardbound. Mannheim: In Bibliopolo novo aul. et acad., nunc apud Tobiam Loeffler. 220 Swiss Francs from Altstadt Antiquariat, Fribourg, Switzerland, April, '00.

This little book (7" x 4.5") of lxxii + 120 pages plus a four-page T of C at the back is called here a shortened version of a larger work by Desbillons. Presumably, notes and commentary here have been reduced. Of course, I have long felt a particular tie to Desbillons and his work, since he was a Jesuit working on fables. For me the most touching two parts of this book are therefore the opening "Praefatio," in which he speaks of having received permission in 1760 to publish his work on Phaedrus from the erudite men of the Society of Jesus. Parisian printers had then undertaken to publish the book when, Desbillons writes, an unawaited calamity took him from his studies and forced him to seek lodging "among people outside." He is speaking of course of the suppression of the Society of Jesus. For that reason, the very last page of the book is fascinating. It is the 1760 permission from the provincial superior of the French Jesuits for this book to be published. The book was published in 1786, after the Jesuits had been suppressed. The "S.J." thus does not appear here after Desbillons' name. In a footnote to the section of the preface to which I have referred he says that he has taken care to have this 1760 permission included in the book "as a certain memorial to my one-time condition," namely his condition as a Jesuit. There are no illustrations beyond the medallion on the title-page. The book begins with three disputations on the life of Phaedrus, his fables, and their editions. There are then addenda to the notes, just before the fables begin on 1. Some fable texts have been annotated by a diligent writer, but I do not find these symbols intrusive. There has also been a cartoonist at work on the endpapers. The book has spent time as the property of the Bibliothek Rappenau. Considerable foxing and some water-staining.

1786? Fables of Aesop and Others. Translated into English. With Instructive Applications and a Print before each Fable. By Samuel Croxall. Elisha Kirkall (NA)? Hardbound. $9.99 from Richard Erdmann, Dover, NH, through eBay, Sept., '11.

Here is a book in poor condition. It lacks covers, title-page, and all pages before 3 and after 314. What remains is in poor condition. It seems in all respects identical to two editions: the first -- a stated 13th edition -- was printed in 1786 for J.F. and C. Rivington, T. Longman, B. Law, et al, and for the second -- a stated 15th edition, carefully revised and improved -- I have guessed a date of 1795. It was printed for T. Longman, B.Law and Son, C. Dilly, J Johnson, et al. Notice the continuity in some of the sponsoring parties, specifically Longman and Law. I am amassing quite a collection of Croxall editions, a good testimony to how popular and enduring this relatively inexpensive illustrated edition was. My untrained eye seems to see the same plates being used for all these printings. There is heavy foxing here and there are a number of torn pages. But I am so happy to preserve a book like this! Will someone after me be able to fix its date and edition? 

1787  Eclecta Puerilia: Sententiae, Colloquia, Fabulae, et Poemata in usum Scholarum collecta. Operâ Matthaei Raine. Editio altera aucta et emendata. Novi Castelli (Newcastle): London. Excudebat T. Saint apud T. & G. Wilkie, G. Charnley, R. Spence, J. Todd, T. Wilson, and W. Tesseyman. $13.50 at The Book Cellar, Bethesda, Jan., '96.

A very enjoyable little book, with a somewhat damaged spine after over two hundred years! The opening aphorisms should not be overlooked. They come in alphabetical sets by number of words, first the two-word aphorisms (1-7), then the three-word (7-14), the four-word (15-17), and the longer-than-four-word (17-21). The eighty-one fables are on 46-95. I find them well done. Several elements are different: the dog in DS is swimming through the water (47); after the lion devours the ass, the fox makes just one pile of booty (52-3); the fox tells the crow that he is whiter than snow (64); the fox and the goat go into the well together (68). New to me is "The Dog and the Lion" (94-5), a story very similar to DW (here 92-3). Some morals are just too simple, like "Obediant parentibus filii" (52). Many morals fit their fables in questionable fashion: "De Asino et Sene" (64-5), "De Leone senio confecto" (65), "De Vulpe et Aquila" (67), "De Hoedo et Lupo" (72), "De Fure et Cane" (75-6), and "De Tauro et Capro" (80). I enjoyed reading this book, on the Metro and at my desk!

1787 Fables Choisies mises en Vers par M. de La Fontaine.  Avec un Nouveau Commentaire par M. Coste.  Nouvelle Édition.  Hardbound.  Paris: Fr. Amb. Didot l'Ainé.  $399 from Scott Schilb, Schilb Antiquarian Books, Columbia, MO, Jan., '14.

I am having difficulty locating this lovely book in Bodemann.  The two parts are bound together here, and pagination starts over for the second part.  Each fable has a fine small engraving about 2½" x 2".  I consider this book one of the treasures in the collection for two reasons.  First, each of the fables is illustrated.  Secondly, the book is in good condition.  A sign of this edition is that the "FABLE PREMIERE" before the first fable is broken into an upper and lower part.  A particular feature of this copy is that there is a tear involving neither text nor picture on 27 of the first part.  I can find no T of C but there is an AI at the end of the second part.  A lively little (4"x6½") treasure!

1787 Fables Choisies mises en Vers par M. de La Fontaine: Seconde Partie.  Avec un Nouveau Commentaire par M. Coste.  Nouvelle Édition.  Hardbound.  Paris: Fr. Amb. Didot l'Ainé.  $20.50 from Lemongrass 22 through eBay, Dec., '15.

This book is the second half of a book catalogued earlier.  This volume, like the "Seconde Partie" of that single volume, includes Books VII through XII of La Fontaine's fables, each fable with a strong illustration.  Pagination starts afresh there as here.  The "Second Partie" title-page is the same.  This copy differs in including a frontispiece not found there: La Fontaine in the midst of animals.  The other illustrations are all here, some of the earliest -- including the frontispiece -- hand colored.  I looked again and find this book and that fuller copy somehow in the family of Bodemann #174.  The publisher, editor, and date of publication all square.  Even the size of the illustrations is the same: 5 cm x 7 cm.  The problem is that #174 seems to have been a five-volume work.  This book is fragile.  I would describe its condition as fair.  As in the larger volume, there is an AI at the end.

1787 Fables de La Fontaine, Tome Premier.  Hardbound.  Paris: Collection des Auteurs Classiques François et Latins:  L'Imprimerie de Didot l'Aȋné.  $12.50 from Allen Schneider, Saint Louis, MO, through eBay, Oct., '14. 

Bodemann seems to say that Didot did a major four-volume illustrated edition of this very size (about 3" x 5") in 1787.  This present two-volume set may be the texts of that edition arranged now as part of a series: "Collection des Auteurs Classiques François et Latins."  The title-page also adds "Imprimé par Ordre du Roi pour l'Éducation de Monseigneur le Dauphin."  This first volume contains Books I through VI,   Preliminary material runs through some 115 pages with Roman numerals.  Calf binding and gilt page edges.  A lovely little set of volumes, up to the high standards which the commissioning letter by Amelot in the first pages sets.

1787 Fables de La Fontaine, Tome Second.  Hardbound.  Paris: Collection des Auteurs Classiques François et Latins:  L'Imprimerie de Didot l'Aȋné.  $12.50 from Allen Schneider, Saint Louis, MO, through eBay, Oct., '14.  

Bodemann seems to say that Didot did a major four-volume illustrated edition of this very size (about 3" x 5") in 1787.  This present two-volume set may be the texts of that edition arranged now as part of a series: "Collection des Auteurs Classiques François et Latins."  The title-page also adds "Imprimé par Ordre du Roi pour l'Éducation de Monseigneur le Dauphin."  This second volume contains Books VII through XII, with an AI at the book's end.  Calf binding and gilt page edges.  A lovely little set of volumes, up to the high standards which the commissioning letter by Amelot in the first pages sets.

1787 Fabulae Aesopi Selectae, or Select Fables of Aesop. With an English Translation, more Literal than any yet extant, Designed for the Readier Instruction of Beginners in the Latin Tongue. By H. Clarke, Teacher of the Latin Language. First Boston Edition, from a Copy of the latest Edition printed in London. Hardbound. Boston: Samuel Hall. $200 from William F. Hale Books, Georgetown, June, '98. Extra copy for $40 from Clare Leeper, July, '96.

These books reproduce in a new typesetting my 1784 copy from Strahan in London. They follow the same pagination down to the last page, where they squeeze the last few lines onto 154 and so are one page shorter than the London copy. Like the London edition, this edition alternates words in Roman and italic print and presents each fable in two columns. I am delighted to have the first Boston edition and to have two copies of it. See also my Philadelphia editions in 1802 and in 1810. I will keep both copies in the collection. The Hale copy is in a contemporary American leather binding. There are a couple of marginal tears, and there is damage to the gutter margins in the early leaves. The Leeper copy is in a coarse cloth binding. It lacks the four-page preface between the title-page and the first fable. It is generally in far better condition than the Hale copy. It is inscribed "Muenscher" on the title-page and the page facing. These books have seen some years!

1787/1944  A Little Pretty Pocket-Book. Isaiah Thomas. Facsimile of the 1787 original. NY: F.G. Melcher. $7 from Omni Books of Dubuque at Stillwater, Oct., '95.

Formerly in the Lenox Library, NY. See my comments on the source from which Thomas took his inspiration, Newbury's edition of 1744/67/1966/67. This book is clearly modeled on--but not a facsimile of--Newbury's work, as the frontispiece already demonstrates. Again, there are simple woodcuts throughout; the introduction points out that Bewick will soon revolutionize book illustration. The pages move through "Great A" to "Little a" and so on. At "Great X" (66) we get four fables: "The Wolf and the Kid," "The Husbandman and the Stork," BW, and "Mercury and the Woodman" (with only 2 hatchets involved). After each there is a nice little letter of application from Jack the Giant Killer. Good proverbs on 90-93.

1787/2012 Fables Ancient and Modern: After the Manner of La Fontaine. William Wallbeck. Paperbound. London/Miami: R. Faulder; J. Stockdale; J, Debrett; J. Edwards: J. Walter; and E. Newberry/Hardpress Publishing. $21.55 from Premier Books, Roseburg, OR, through eBay, Dec., '12.

Wallbeck starts with 34 pages of introduction replete with remarks about reviewers, the dedicatee, and La Fontaine. He declares a policy of setting old and new out together: let the reader decide which he likes; he illustrates this policy with an engaging anecdote of a host who put out a great wine and an ordinary one but marked them only "1" and "2"; he would then let his guest decide which he liked. Wallbeck presents sixty fables. His first fable is, I am delighted to notice, "Aesop at Play." I think it makes a fine introduction to a book of fables. Fable III expands La Fontaine's GA; I do not find that it gains by the expansion. It rather misses La Fontaine's turn of sympathy in the fable. I quit after VII, "The Two Cats and the Monkey," which takes a good simple fable and makes it eleven pages long! I am surprised I had not heard of this book before. It seems to antedate by nineteen years Thompson's complete La Fontaine, presumably the first complete translation in English. 

1788 Fables by the Late Mr Gay. Illustrations by Thomas Bewick (NA). Hardbound. London: J. Buckland, J.F. and C. Rivington, et al. £ 65 from Graham Carlisle, UK, through eBay, May, '04. 

Graham has no hesitation in claiming that this is a first edition of Bewick's fables for Gay. Bodemann #166.1 points out that these very publishers did produce the first edition of Thomas Bewick's illustrations for Gay's fables, but it occurred in 1779. Bodemann's earliest copy is in 1792, so this edition is earlier than her earliest. The cameo illustrations are strong and clear and, for the most part, true to nature. Among the most successful, I would include "The Philosopher and the Pheasants" (41); "The Goat Without a Beard" (58); "The Court of Death" (118); "The Hare and Many Friends" (126); and "The Jackall, Leopard, and other Beasts" (183). Do not be fooled by the frontispiece mask: it appears in the 1727 (original) and 1783 editions as well.

1788 Fables Choisies mises en Vers.  M. de la Fontaine.  Hardbound.  London.  $28 from DD, Boynton Beach, FL, through eBay, March, '18.

Here is a small (about 3" x 5") book containing, in two volumes printed together, all twelve books of La Fontaine's fables without illustration.  It is, of course, a curious thing to find a book in French published in "Londres."  1788 is also a curious time in the history of France.  The spine is only partial and is breaking down.  It is a pleasure to include an old and simple book like this in the collection. 

1788 Favole Di Giovanni Gherardo De Rossi. In original wrappers. Uncut. Roma: Nella Stamperia Pagliarini. $40 from Margolis and Moss, Santa Fe, May, '93.

Beautiful engraving in the middle of the title-page leads into this collection of 70 Italian fables delivered on the occasion of a wedding. T of C at the rear. I can find no mention of De Rossi in McKendry, Hobbs, or Quinnam. There is a great introductory epigram from Martial saying something like: "Big talk for big folks. It is enough for me who have said little things to return often into your hands." I have not yet made my way through the fables themselves.

1789 Francisci Josephi Desbillons Fabularum Aesopiarum Libri XV: Desbillons fünfzehn Bücher Aesopischer Fabeln. Vol. I. Mit einem index Latinitatis und der Lebensgeschichte des Verfassers. Herausgegeben von Bonaventura Andres. Wirzburg: Riennerischen Buchhandlung. Anonymous gift, Jan., '92.

What a treasure! Desbillons was a Jesuit who experienced the suppression of the Society in France in 1762 and then later in Mannheim, where he died the year this book was published. Apparently he first brought out his 15 books of iambic Latin fables in 1768: My favorite private collector has an illustrated Mannheim edition from that year. An informative introduction claims that it is better to teach Latin at the beginning with texts created by men who knew the ancients than to read the difficult ancient texts themselves. Andres mentions the loud complaints over the downfall of Latin these days! After a life of Desbillons (he left behind to the Lazarists a library of 13,500 volumes!), the introduction covers some 25 fabulists who lie behind Desbillons' work. Inscribed in 1790, this book was once in the library of Canisius College in Buffalo.

1789 Francisci Josephi Desbillons Fabularum Aesopiarum Libri XV: Desbillons fünfzehn Bücher Aesopischer Fabeln. Vol. II. Mit einem index Latinitatis und der Lebensgeschichte des Verfassers. Herausgegeben von Bonaventura Andres. Wirzburg: Riennerischen Buchhandlung. Anonymous gift, Jan., '92.

This second volume includes Books XI-XV and three indices: of the fables' titles, of their morals, and of German translations of Latin vocabulary. Inscribed in 1790, this book was once in the library of Canisius College in Buffalo.

1790 Fables Choisies, mises en vers par M de la Fontaine. Avec un nouveau commentaire par M. Coste. Paperbound. Paris: Aux dépens des Libraires associés. Gift of Ray and Pat Hanson, Sept., '01.

This long-lived little volume comes as a gift from old collector friends. It includes the first seven books of La Fontaine's fables in addition to the usual introductory material. It is very close, for these seven books, to a Coste edition I have published by the Widow Douladoure in Toulouse in 1793. Presumably, this book was the basis for that book. The plates are not the same, but the texts printed with them are. Where this book finishes Book VII on 184, that edition finishes it on 175. This book has a simple printer's design where that one presented a small rural scene on 1. It has the same notes at the bottom of almost every page. Paris in 1790 would have been a very interesting place….

1790 Fables de Phedre Avec la construction du Texte et la Version interlinéaire.  M. l'Abbé Prodon.  Paperbound.  Lyon: Chez les Freres Perisse.  €45 from Picard, August, '14.  

The title continues: "auxquelles on a joint les Fables que La Fontaine a imitées de cet Auteur."  The same title page also adds "a l'usage des Eleves de la Pension établie a Lyon, par. l'Abbé Prodon."  Two doves grace the title-page.  The book is otherwise not illustrated.  The interlinear translations of Phaedrus into French carry the book to 122.  The next sixty pages are presentations of the French fables for which La Fontaine drew upon Phaedrus.  That is quite a portion!  This paperback book has lasted marvelously over 224 years!  The interlinear approach confirms the need students had for help in understanding their Phaedrus.  I cannot see that date without wondering what was going on outside the classroom of M. l'Abbé Prodon in 1790!  Xii+4+182 pp.

1790? Select Fables of Esop and Other Fabulists. In Three Books. A New Edition. By R. Dodsley. Including "The Life of Esop" and an Essay on Fable. Hardbound. London: William Osborne & John Mozely. £15 from Brimstones, East Sussex, U.K., June, '00.

This book first departs from the tradition of Dodsley printings (see my notes on, e.g., the first edition of 1761) with its frontispiece, which is a copy of the frontispiece in many Croxall editions: a writer surrounded by animals looks back over his shoulder toward a smaller figure further in the background. The Life of Aesop included here is not labeled as by de Meziriac, nor is it the same biography that appears in standard Dodsley editions. The essay on fable that follows appears to be Dodsley's but lacks his introductory portion and his name. The next major change comes with the first fable. We no longer have a set of medallions gathered on one page before the fables which they illustrate. We have instead an individual illustration for each fable, taking perhaps one-third of a page. These are rectangular, with varying ornamentation over the top and upper sides of each. The illustrations are simple in nature and even crude in their working, though their size gives them a chance to present more than can be presented in the tiny medallions of the early Dodsley editions. The book is in fair condition, with the cover separating from the front of the book and its spine. For my comments on the text of Dodsley, see Crukshank's edition of 1798.

1791/1813 Collectanea Graeca Minora. Ad Usum Tironum. Accomodata cum notis philologicis. Accedunt parvum lexicon et index rerum. Andrew Dalzel. Editio tertia Americana. Cambridge, New England: E typis Universitatis. $20 at Logic and Literature, Aug., '91. And the Editio quarta (1819) for $12.50 from Bookhouse, Arlington, Oct., '91.

The book begins with 31 fables on 3-14, complete with extensive Latin notes and vocabulary. T of C at the beginning, and an index rerum at the end. The fourth edition has a fold-out frontispiece and new Greek typeface. The covers are loose.

1792 Fables by the Late Mr. Gay in One Volume Complete.  Illustrations after Thomas Bewick (NA).  Hardbound.  London:  J.F. & C. Rivington, B. & B. White et al.  $39.95 from Ohio Book Consortium through eBay, May, '16.

I have been surprised as I research this book to find out that it is Bodemann's earliest copy of Thomas Bewick's work on Gay's fables, originally published in 1779.  There is no doubt in my mind that this book is a representative of Bodemann #166.1.  The impressions of the illustrations here are quite faint, and there is always the question of what work done "after" that of another artist means.  The frontispiece is the standard Gay death mask.  A good illustration to check is "The Hare and Many Friends" (126), both to see the breadth of vision of the artist and to note the poor impression typical of the art in this book.  I am delighted to have wandered into an important early Gay in the tradition of Bewick.

1792 Fables Choisies, Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine. Tome Premier. Jean de la Fontaine. Ornée de Figures en Taille-douce.. Nouvelle edition.. Hardbound. Lausanne: François Lacombe, Henri Vincent. $70.91 from Biblion Antiquariat, Zurich, through abe, Feb., '06.

Bodemann #135.10. She calls it a changed reproduction of an edition going back to 1759 in Paris. See my comments on the second, third, and fourth volumes. This acquisition marks the completion of the set. I had started by finding the second and fourth volumes in 2000. When I found the third volume in February of this year, I went out and searched for a copy of the first volume. Here it is! Perhaps three-quarters of the fables have an interpaginated full-page illustration. There are fifty-eight such illustrations in all. The designs of the illustrations are clearly influenced by Oudry. In them classical columns, statuary, and clouds seem ubiquitous. The illustrations are titled and numbered consecutively (rather than by book and fable). Among my favorites are "La Lice et sa Compagne" (51) and MSA (79). Pages 3 and 4 have been repaired; the missing corner does affects text but not an illustration. There is a T of C for the three books in this volume at its end. This book is a fine little treasure.

1792 Fables Choisies, Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine. Tome Second. Ornée de Figures en Taille-douce. Nouvelle edition. Hardbound. Lausanne: François Lacombe and Henri Vincent. $37.50 from Bernard Rogers, Dunwoody, GA, through Ebay, April, '00.

Bodemann #135.10. She calls it a changed reproduction of an edition going back to 1759 in Paris. See my comments also on the fourth volume. Of course it is a shame to have only two books out of the set of four. This volume covers Books IV through VI, as the closing T of C points out. For every fable, there is an interpaginated full-page illustration. The designs of these are clearly influenced by Oudry. In them classical columns, statuary, and clouds seem ubiquitous. They are titled and numbered consecutively (rather than by book and fable). The illustrations are remarkably well preserved. Among my favorites are these: "La Grenouille et le Rat" (23), "La Vieille et les deux Servantes" (57), "Le Cheval et le Loup" (61), "L'Aigle et le Hibou" (74), "Le Villageois et le Serpent" (101), and "La jeune Veuve" (114). "Le Cerf se voyant dans l'Eau" (94) is beautifully colored. For some bad animal faces, see "Le Lion s'en allant en Guerre" (76). This book is a fine little treasure.

1792 Fables Choisies, Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine. Tome Troisieme. Jean de la Fontaine. Ornée de Figures en Taille-douce. Nouvelle edition. Hardbound. Lausanne: François Lacombe, Henri Vincent. £40 from Cornell Books, Ltd, Tewkesbury, England, Feb., '06. 

It pays to keep trying. I have had Volumes II and IV of this edition. Now I have filled in one of the missing two with this third volume. Bodemann #135.10. She calls it a changed reproduction of an edition going back to 1759 in Paris. See my comments also on the fourth volume. This volume covers Books VII through IX, as the closing T of C points out. For every fable, there is an interpaginated full-page illustration. The designs of these are clearly influenced by Oudry. In them classical columns, statuary, and clouds seem ubiquitous. They are titled and numbered consecutively (rather than by book and fable). The illustrations are remarkably well preserved. Among my favorites are these: "Le Rat qui s'est retiré du Monde" (14), "La Mort et le Mourant" (51); "Le Rieur et les Poissons" (67); "Le Rat et l'Huitre" (69); "Les deux Chiens et l'Ane mort" (109); and "La Souris metamorphosée en Fille" (132). The artist does a particularly fanciful rendition of lions here. This book is a fine little treasure.

1792 Fables Choisies, Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine. Tome Quatrieme. Ornée de Figures en Taille-douce. Nouvelle edition. Hardbound. Printed in Lausanne: François Lacombe and Henri Vincent. $37.50 from Bernard Rogers, Dunwoody, GA, through Ebay, April, '00.

Bodemann #135.10. She calls it a changed reproduction of an edition going back to 1759 in Paris. See my comments also on the second volume. Of course it is a shame to have only two books out of the set of four. This volume covers Books X through XII, as the closing T of C points out. For every fable, there is an interpaginated full-page illustration. The designs of these are clearly influenced by Oudry. In them classical columns, statuary, and clouds seem ubiquitous. They are titled and numbered consecutively up to CCXLVI (rather than by book and fable). The illustrations are remarkably well preserved. Among my favorites are these: "Le Loup et le Renard" (66), "Le Vieillard et les trois jeunes Hommes" (73), "Le Chat et les deux Moineaux" (86), "Les deux Chevres" (90), "Le Renard et les Poulets d'Inde" (126), and "Le Singe" (128). This book is a fine little treasure.

1792 Fables de M. De Florian.  First edition.  Hardbound.  Paris: L'Imprimerie de P. Didot l'Ainé.  $125 from Kevin Tupitza, West Chester, PA, through eBay, June, '14.  

How about that?!  I am holding in my hand a first edition of Florian's fables.  Before looking into this little (3½" x 5¼") volume, I learned from French Wikipedia that Florian published 112 fables while still alive, but that twelve were published posthumously.  I thought that there might have been a number of editions of fables in his lifetime, but there was just one, in 1792, two years before he died.  And that first edition is this very one that I am holding!  Here are Florian's five books of fables, with 21, 19, 20, 20, and 20 fables in them, respectively.  There are five illustrations after a frontispiece portrait of Florian.  In an illustration under this oval portrait, is that a swan pulling a hare over the surface of water?  The first fable of each book is illustrated here: "La Fable et la Vérité"; "La Mere, l'Enfant et les Sarigues"; "Les Singes et le Léopard"; "Le Savant et le Fermier"; and "Le Berger et le Rossignol."  The joy of finding this book has led me to dig deeper into these fables.  In I 1, Truth emerges from a well as an old hag, naked, and people flee from her.  Fable gives Truth her cloak and recommends that they travel together: the wise will accept truth for her sake, and fools will accept truth because of the attractive cloak.  In III 1, monkeys are playing a game like "Blind Man's Buff," only what is hit here is an extended arm.  Leopard comes by.  The lower class monkeys are impressed that the noble leopard would want to play with them.  One swipe from the leopard and the blindfolded person, who knows well who hit him, leaves silently.  One by one, all the others leave too.  It is better not to have the noble play with the commoners, since hid beneath their softest paws are very sharp claws.  In V 1, the shepherd enjoys the nightingale's song and asks her to sing again.  She says that she is giving it all up, because the frogs are drowning out her song.  "No," answers the shepherd.  "When I listen to you, I'm not even conscious of them."  IV 1 has this lovely saying under its illustration: "je fais souvent du bien pour avoir du plaisir."  The farmer has been answering the question where he got his wisdom.  He got it from observing nature and taking his part in it.  I bet one can hear a bit of Kant's "Ode to Duty" in this farmer's Enlightenment answer.

1792 Fables de M. De Florian.  Illustrations by Villers, Flouest, Delignon, Gaucher, Longueil, Racine.  First edition.  Hardbound.  Paris: L'Imprimerie de P. Didot l'Ainé.  $39 from Anthony Christian, Auburn, NY, through eBay, July, '16.

Here is a wonderfully surprising find.  Two years earlier I exulted over finding a first edition Florian for $125.  Here is a larger version of the same edition for $39!  It has the same date, title, and publisher but is larger both in format and length: 5" x 7 ¾" and 358 pages.  It includes, besides the fables, various verse works, including stories and romances.  It also has a different frontispiece: animals around a fountain under a bust (of Florian?  of Aesop?).  I do not find this edition mentioned in Bodemann, whose #179 covers this family of Florian editions.  I will include comments from the edition found earlier.  I thought that there might have been a number of editions of fables in his lifetime, but there was just one, in 1792, two years before he died.  Here are Florian's five books of fables, with 21, 19, 20, 20, and 20 fables in them, respectively.  The first fable of each book is illustrated here: "La Fable et la Vérité"; "La Mere, l'Enfant et les Sarigues"; "Les Singes et le Léopard"; "Le Savant et le Fermier"; and "Le Berger et le Rossignol."  The joy of finding this book has led me to dig deeper into these fables.  In I 1, Truth emerges from a well as an old hag, naked, and people flee from her.  Fable gives Truth her cloak and recommends that they travel together: the wise will accept truth for her sake, and fools will accept truth because of the attractive cloak.  In III 1, monkeys are playing a game like "Blind Man's Buff," only what is hit here is an extended arm.  Leopard comes by.  The lower class monkeys are impressed that the noble leopard would want to play with them.  One swipe from the leopard and the blindfolded person, who knows well who hit him, leaves silently.  One by one, all the others leave too.  It is better not to have the noble play with the commoners, since hid beneath their softest paws are very sharp claws.  In V 1, the shepherd enjoys the nightingale's song and asks her to sing again.  She says that she is giving it all up, because the frogs are drowning out her song.  "No," answers the shepherd.  "When I listen to you, I'm not even conscious of them."  IV 1 has this lovely saying under its illustration: "je fais souvent du bien pour avoir du plaisir."  The farmer has been answering the question where he got his wisdom.  He got it from observing nature and taking his part in it.  I bet one can hear a bit of Kant's "Ode to Duty" in this farmer's Enlightenment answer.

1792 Phaedri Augusti Liberti et Fl. Aviani Fabulae. Cum adnotationibus Davidis Hoogstratani. Hardbound. Naples: Ex Typographia Pauli Severini. $26 from Silver Wolf Books, Albuquerque, NM, through eBay, June, '12.

The title goes on "Accedunt Fabulae Graecae Latinis respondentes et Homeri Batrachomyomachia cum Latina Versione Recens Addita. In usum Scholarum Seminarii Patavini." Busy title-page! Hoogstraten did his edition, beautifully illustrated by Van Vianen, in 1701. The comments here remain extensive. This is a great exemplar of an "old book." It contains lots of material for the help of students in Padua's seminary -- or perhaps high school? First come the five books of Phaedrus with five appended from Gudius. These are heavily annotated by Hoogstraten. There is an AI for all of Phaedrus' fables on 189-90. Then follow forty-two fables of Avianus, with fewer and briefer comments, mostly apparently explaining unusual vocabulary. There is an AI for Avianus' fables on 230. Then follow some sixteen pages of Greek fables that parallel Latin fables earlier in the book; there is an AI of those on 247. The last two sections are "Homer's [sic] Batrachomyomachia" without notes and a small-print Latin translation of it with some notes, again dealing with difficult vocabulary or phrasing. It all finishes on 274. The cropping of the margins is often severe. The binding is giving way. There are plenty of wormholes. Is that a contemporary calf binding? It is as worn as the rest of the book! John B. Perry once owned this book. I would love to know how many people touched this book in the last 220 years! What a lucky find on eBay! Pack Carnes gives the exact title and publisher and comments that "the Padua editions of the school text have a continuous history of revised editions and reprints from 1721 to 1779." Here is an even later one he could add to his list!

1793 Fables by John Gay with a Life of the Author, and embellished with Seventy Plates, Vol. I. Engravings by William Blake et al. Hardbound. London: John Stockdale. $350 from McLean Arts & Books, McLean, VA, Dec., '99.

I have made my way back to a Stockdale 1793 edition of Gay's fables! Bodemann 110.10, Fabula Docet #99. I had worked earlier with the Rivington imitation of 1793 (Hobbs #24), and it is a pleasure now to see the original. The combination of good paper and excellent printing gives these engravings a three-dimensional quality, experienced especially when they are viewed through a magnifying glass. Enjoy, e.g., the dimensionality of Skelton's work in "The Spaniel and the Cameleon" (II) and "The Shepherd's Dog and the Wolf" (XVII). Critics agree that Blake is the most adventuresome in distancing his work from that of Gay's earliest illustrators Kent, Wootton, and Gravelot. For example, his engraving for "The Tame Stag" (XIII) is active and catches the attack as it is going on. "The Miser and Plutus" (VI, engraved by Blake) is exceptional. "The Elephant and the Book-Seller" (X) by Wilson is visually funny immediately. "The Goat Without a Beard" (XXII) by Blake is delightful. There is a tear in the middle of the illustration for "The Old Woman and Her Cats" (XXIII). Another strong Blake effort is "The Setting Dog and the Partridge" (XXX). Each of the engravings is signed by one of the nine engravers listed by Bodemann.

1793 Fables by John Gay with a Life of the Author, and embellished with Seventy Plates, Vol. II. John Gay. William Blake et al. Hardbound. London: John Stockdale. $200 from McLean Arts & Books, McLean, VA, Dec., '99.

See my notes on Volume I. The patterns of the first volume hold true here. That is, I find Blake's engravings the most involving, e.g., "The Dog and the Fox" (I), "Pan and Fortune" (XII), and "The Ravens, the Sexton, and the Earth-Worm" (XVI). Further, I find Skelton's those with the strongest sense of depth, e.g., "The Vulture, the Sparrow, and Other Birds" (II) and "The Owl, the Swan, the Cock, the Spider, the Ass, and the Farmer" (XIV). Again, each of the engravings is signed by one of the nine engravers listed by Bodemann. There is no engraving for "Aye and No" (XVII); I presume Bodemann's description refers to this fact when it assigns sixteen engravings to the second volume. However, while I do find the title-page vignette that she mentions, I do not find the vignette featuring busts of Gay that she seems to assign to his life. The fables are followed by a life of Gay and a list of subscribers. On the very last page there is an advertisement for Stockdale's two-volume Aesop, with an appeal for subscribers. It is dated February 2, 1793.

1793  Fables by John Gay. With a Life of the Author, and embellished with a Plate to each Fable. Twelve plates by William Blake. London: Printed by Darton & Harvey for F. & C. Rivington et al. $160 from R. Dunaway, St. Louis, March, '95.

I have hoped for this book since I saw it described in Hobbs. Actually this edition (the one described in Hobbs on 80-81) seems to be derivative from an edition done for Stockdale in the same year. Perhaps the page numbers I find on 117 in Bentley and Nurmi's A Blake Bibliography (1964) correspond to the Stockdale edition rather than to this one. The comment there also says that Blake signed each of his engravings, and I can find no signatures here. I have just checked Blake's work with the illustrations found in my editions of 1727/38, 1757, 1783, and 1801. Blake certainly was in the tradition, as Hobbs says! He is closest to the 1783 edition. I think Blake's best works here are I 1 "The Shepherd and the Philosopher," I 22 "The Goat Without a Beard," and II 16 "The Ravens, the Sexton, and the Earth-Worm." The illustrations here are landscape ovals two to a page before a pair of fables. Sometimes he reminds me of Gorey. This is a treasure of a book, well bound and well preserved!

1793  Fables Choisies, mises en vers par M. de la Fontaine. Avec un nouveau commentaire par M. Coste. Toulouse: Chez Veuve Douladoure. $20 in the rare book room at Strand, April, '97.

A lovely old book, rebound, with one small rural scene on 1 and notes at the bottom of almost every page. The pages are rough at their edges and non-uniform in size. I think the salesperson was just telling me that they seldom get in old editions of La Fontaine. The header on 194 has been corrected. AI of fables on 378-84. This book may be in the running for the "smallest print size in the collection" award. The "choisies" of the title seems to indicate La Fontaine's choice. At least in the first eight books, all the fables seem to be there.

1793 The Fables of Aesop With a Life of the Author and Embellished with one Hundred Twelve Plates, Vol. I. (Text by Samuel Croxall, not acknowledged). Hardbound. First edition. London: John Stockdale. $140 from Robert Downie, Whitchurch, Shropshire, Oct., '98.

This is one of the most impressive treasures I have found. Unless I am deceived, it is at last a true first edition Stockdale. See "1793/1810?" for two pairs of volumes found earlier that keep the 1793 title-page but were in fact printed later, as the paper's watermark confirms. Signs of this particular edition by contrast include the elongated "s" like an "f" without the crossbar, the misprint of the page number for the last page of this volume (891 for 198), and the advertisement for Gay's fables after the last page of the second volume. The cover of this copy is detached and holding on literally by a string. However it has relatively little foxing and excellent impressions of the illustrations. I cannot find a watermark on this paper; I am eager to find someone who can tell me what that might mean! This volume contains the life of Aesop and forty-seven fables. The illustrations here remind one regularly of Gheeraerts and Hollar. Among the best are WL (facing 5), "The Ass Eating Thistles" (17), "The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" (43), "The Fox and the Tiger" (125), OR (133), "The Porcupine and the Snakes" (161), and "The Jackdaw and the Peacocks" (187). There is a curious and careful rendition of a beaver facing 79 well matched to Croxall's circumspect narrative. This beaver could be hissing at the approaching dogs, or he could be preparing to amputate the "certain part" of which Croxall speaks so delicately! Like many artists, those working here have trouble depicting a lion's face. I am grateful to the Adyes at Abbey Antiquarian Books for help in distinguishing out editions of this book that are not true firsts. They mention that the copperplates are by T. Stothard, Grainger &c. Am I ever happy to have this book!

1793 The Fables of Aesop With a Life of the Author and Embellished with one Hundred Twelve Plates, Vol. II. (Text by Samuel Croxall, not acknowledged). Hardbound. First edition. London: John Stockdale. $140 from Robert Downie, Whitchurch, Shropshire, Oct., '98.

This is one of the most impressive treasures I have found. Unless I am deceived, it is at last a true first edition Stockdale. See "1793/1810?" for two pairs of volumes found earlier that keep the 1793 title-page but were in fact printed later, as the paper's watermark confirms. Signs of this particular edition by contrast include the elongated "s" like an "f" without the crossbar, the misprint of the page number for the last page of the first volume (891 for 198), and the advertisement for Gay's fables after the last page of this second volume. The book has relatively little foxing and excellent impressions of the illustrations. I cannot find a watermark on this paper; I am eager to find someone who can tell me what that might mean! What I can find is "R G" facing 87 and 107 in this volume. Several of the illustrations in this volume are off center, e.g. DS (125). This volume contains the last sixty-three fables. See my comments on the first volume. Among the best illustrations here are "The Fox and the Goat" (49), "The Hawk and the Nightingale" (111), WC (133), TB (153), and particularly "The Lion, the Ass, and the Fox" (173). The artists here choose an unusual posture for the carter praying to Hercules (23): he lies down! The moment chosen for the illustration of DLS (95) comes when the headpiece has gone awry.

1793/1810? The Fables of Aesop With a Life of the Author and Embellished with one Hundred Twelve Plates, Vol. I. (Samuel Croxall, not acknowledged.) Hardbound. London: John Stockdale. $125 from David L. O'Neal, Boston, Nov., '97.

This is the best of three two-volume Stockdales and one of two of them acquired within a month of each other. All three pairs differ in several ways from what I believe to be a true first, listed under "1793." Though these editions kept the title page of the 1793 first printing (right down to the date of 4th June), the text was reset using the modern "s" rather than the elongated letter similar to our "f" but without the crossbar. All three copies misprint page 237 in Volume II as 273. I investigated the watermarking of the paper of the first two pairs. Their paper is clearly watermarked, including the paper used for text, which is marked with something like "J Wheatman 1809." Some text pages show half of "WB" over "1809" (e.g. lv in O'Neal and 35 in the First Folio copy). All three acknowledge T. Bensley as printer on 189 of Volume I and 248 of Volume II; my 1793 printing had not done that. None of these has an advertisement for Gay after the last page of Volume II, as my 1793 had. All three copies show a fair amount of foxing. Of the three, the First Folio copy is particularly beautifully bound. By contrast with this O'Neal pair, the First Folio and Hoffman copies are cropped so closely that "The" disappears from the top of the title, and much of the date disappears at the bottom. See the 1793 printing for comments on the illustrations. See the illustration facing 75 in this O'Neal copy for a clear 1810 watermark with something like "II Smit." Because all three copies are precious, I am including all three in the collection and giving them independent ID numbers.

1793/1810? The Fables of Aesop With a Life of the Author and Embellished with one Hundred Twelve Plates, Vol. I. Samuel Croxall, not acknowledged. Various. Hardbound. London: John Stockdale. $250 from First Folio, Paris, TN, Oct., '97.

This is the one of three two-volume Stockdales and one of two of them acquired within a month of each other. All three pairs differ in several ways from what I believe to be a true first, listed under "1793." Though these editions kept the title page of the 1793 first printing (right down to the date of 4th June), the text was reset using the modern "s" rather than the elongated letter similar to our "f" but without the crossbar. All three copies misprint page 237 in Volume II as 273. I investigated the watermarking of the paper of the first two pairs, including this First Folio pair. Their paper is clearly watermarked, including the paper used for text, which is marked with something like "J Wheatman 1809." Some text pages show half of "WB" over "1809" (e.g. lv in O'Neal and 35 in the First Folio copy). All three acknowledge T. Bensley as printer on 189 of Volume I and 248 of Volume II; my 1793 printing had not done that. None of these has an advertisement for Gay after the last page of Volume II, as my 1793 had. All three copies show a fair amount of foxing. Of the three, this First Folio copy is particularly beautifully bound. The First Folio and Hoffman copies are cropped so closely that "The" disappears from the top of the title, and much of the date disappears at the bottom. See the 1793 printing for comments on the illustrations. See the illustration facing 67 in this First Folio copy for a clear watermark of 1809. Because all three copies are precious, I am including all three in the collection and giving them independent ID numbers.

1793/1810? The Fables of Aesop With a Life of the Author and Embellished with one Hundred Twelve Plates, Vol. I. Samuel Croxall, not acknowledged. Hardbound. London: John Stockdale. $46.25 from Hoffman Books, Columbus, Ohio, through eBay, August, '10.

This is the one of three two-volume Stockdales. All three pairs differ in several ways from what I believe to be a true first, listed under "1793." Though these editions kept the title page of the 1793 first printing (right down to the date of 4th June), the text was reset using the modern "s" rather than the elongated letter similar to our "f" but without the crossbar. All three copies misprint page 237 in Volume II as 273. All three acknowledge T. Bensley as printer on 189 of Volume I and 248 of Volume II; my 1793 printing had not done that. None of these has an advertisement for Gay after the last page of Volume II, as my 1793 had. All three copies show a fair amount of foxing. The First Folio copy and this Hoffman copy are cropped so closely that "The" disappears from the top of the title, and much of the date disappears at the bottom. See the 1793 printing for comments on the illustrations. Because all three copies are precious, I am including all three in the collection and giving them independent ID numbers. This copy has had a colorful history: it spent time in the Library of the Polytechnic Society of Kentucky and then in the Louisville Free Public Library Reference Collection.

1793/1810? The Fables of Aesop With a Life of the Author and Embellished with one Hundred Twelve Plates, Vol. II. (Text by Samuel Croxall, not acknowledged.) Hardbound. London: John Stockdale. $125 from David L. O'Neal, Boston, Nov., '97.

This is the best of three two-volume Stockdales and one of two of them acquired within a month of each other.  All three pairs differ in several ways from what I believe to be a true first, listed under "1793."  Though these editions kept the title page of the 1793 first printing (right down to the date of 4th June), the text was reset using the modern "s" rather than the elongated letter similar to our "f" but without the crossbar.  All three copies misprint page 237 in this Volume II as 273.  I investigated the watermarking of the paper of the pairs from O'Neal and First Folio.  Their paper is clearly watermarked, including the paper used for text, which is marked with something like "J Wheatman 1809."  Some text pages show half of "WB" over "1809" (e.g. lv in O'Neal and 35 in the First Folio copy).  All three acknowledge T. Bensley as printer on 189 of Volume I and 248 of Volume II; my 1793 printing had not done that.  None of these has an advertisement for Gay after the last page of Volume II, as my 1793 had.  All three copies show a fair amount of foxing.  Of the three, the First Folio copy is particularly beautifully bound.  By contrast with this O'Neal pair, the First Folio and Hoffman copies are cropped so closely that "The" disappears from the top of the title, and much of the date disappears at the bottom.  See the 1793 printing for comments on the illustrations.  Because all three copies are precious, I am including all three in the collection and giving them independent ID numbers.

1793/1810? The Fables of Aesop With a Life of the Author and Embellished with one Hundred Twelve Plates, Vol. II. Samuel Croxall, not acknowledged. Hardbound. London: John Stockdale. $250 from First Folio, Paris, TN, Oct., '97.

This is the one of three two-volume Stockdales and one of two of them acquired within a month of each other. All three pairs differ in several ways from what I believe to be a true first, listed under "1793." Though these editions kept the title page of the 1793 first printing (right down to the date of 4th June), the text was reset using the modern "s" rather than the elongated letter similar to our "f" but without the crossbar. All three copies misprint page 237 in this Volume II as 273. I investigated the watermarking of the paper of the pairs from O'Neal and First Folio. Their paper is clearly watermarked, including the paper used for text, which is marked with something like "J Wheatman 1809." Some text pages show half of "WB" over "1809" (e.g. lv in O'Neal and 35 in the First Folio copy). All three acknowledge T. Bensley as printer on 189 of Volume I and 248 of Volume II; my 1793 printing had not done that. None of these has an advertisement for Gay after the last page of Volume II, as my 1793 had. All three copies show a fair amount of foxing. Of the three, this First Folio copy is particularly beautifully bound. By contrast with the O'Neal pair, this First Folio copy and the Hoffman copy are cropped so closely that "The" disappears from the top of the title, and much of the date disappears at the bottom. See the 1793 printing for comments on the illustrations. Because all three copies are precious, I am including all three in the collection and giving them independent ID numbers.It appears to me that while both have 1809 watermarks for their text paper, O'Neal has 1810 watermarks on the paper used for illustrations (e.g., facing 11, 23, and 71), while First Folio again has 1809 on that paper. Notice the clear "1809" facing First Folio 217.

1793/1810? The Fables of Aesop With a Life of the Author and Embellished with one Hundred Twelve Plates, Vol. II. Samuel Croxall, not acknowledged. Hardbound. London: John Stockdale. $46.25 from Hoffman Books, Columbus, Ohio, through eBay, August, '10.

This is the one of three two-volume Stockdales. All three pairs differ in several ways from what I believe to be a true first, listed under "1793." Though these editions kept the title page of the 1793 first printing (right down to the date of 4th June), the text was reset using the modern "s" rather than the elongated letter similar to our "f" but without the crossbar. All three copies misprint page 237 in this Volume II as 273. All three acknowledge T. Bensley as printer on 189 of Volume I and 248 of Volume II; my 1793 printing had not done that. None of these has an advertisement for Gay after the last page of Volume II, as my 1793 had. All three copies show a fair amount of foxing. Of the three, the First Folio copy is particularly beautifully bound. By contrast with the O'Neal pair, the First Folio copy and this Hoffman copy are cropped so closely that "The" disappears from the top of the title, and much of the date disappears at the bottom. See the 1793 printing for comments on the illustrations. Because all three copies are precious, I am including all three in the collection and giving them independent ID numbers. This copy has had a colorful history: it spent time in the Library of the Polytechnic Society of Kentucky and then in the Louisville Free Public Library Reference Collection.

1795? Fables of Aesop and Others. Translated into English. With Instructive Applications and a Print before each Fable. By Samuel Croxall. Illustrations by Elisha Kirkall (NA). Hardbound. Fifteenth edition.  London: Printed for T. Longman, B.Law and Son, C. Dilly, J Johnson, et al. $15.25 from Revaluation Books, UK, through Ebay, Dec., '03.

This is another vintage Croxall edition from about the middle of the long period during which this edition dominated the fable market. Alas, it has lost its covers and spine. I cannot find an engraver's name on the frontispiece, which features a foreground writer and a background teaching figure, both surrounded by animals. This book belongs between my eleventh edition of 1778 and my seventeenth edition of 1805. The fables consume 329 pages, as they did in the eleventh edition and will again in the seventeenth. Some of the illustrations have become quite faint, apparently because the plates have been used for so many editions. How nice to acquire a classic edition like this so economically!

1796  Ésope, Grec et Latin, traduit en Français. Par J.-B. Gail. Les Trois Fabulistes, Ésope, Phèdre et La Fontaine, par Chamfort et Gail, Tome I. Paris: Delance. $25 from Anthony Garnett, St. Louis, June, '95.

First volume of a four-volume set. Contemporary calf, somewhat rubbed. Marbled endpapers. Almost nothing of the spine decoration or title is left on this volume. Here are 149 trilingual fables, with an appendix of 28 in Greek and French, "Extraites d'un Manuscrit de la Bibliothèque nationale par Rochefort." There is an eight-page T of C, including number, title, and page, beginning on 364. Note the crazy pagination of what should be 370-371. There is a last page of additions and corrections. What a lovely old set!

1796  Phèdre, traduit en Français. Par J.-B. Gail. Les Trois Fabulistes, Ésope, Phèdre et La Fontaine, par Chamfort et Gail, Tome II. Paris: Delance. $25 from Anthony Garnett, St. Louis, June, '95.

Second volume of a four-volume set. Contemporary calf, somewhat rubbed. Marbled endpapers. Standard fables of Phaedrus in Latin and French, with the five-fable appendix of Marquardus Gudius. Two sets of notes, 166-94 and 195-259. Then an index rerum et verborum, an index of editions of Phaedrus, and a T of C. Three offensive fables from Book IV (14-16) were dropped there and the succeeding fables in Book IV moved up in number. These three are presented--only in Latin, of course!--after 280. This edition is not listed in Pack Carnes' bibliography of Phaedrus. A lovely old set!

1796  Fables de la Fontaine. Avec les Notes de Chamfort. Les Trois Fabulistes, Ésope, Phèdre et La Fontaine, par Chamfort et Gail, Tome III. Paris: Delance. $25 from Anthony Garnett, St. Louis, June, '95.

Third volume of a four-volume set. Contemporary calf, somewhat rubbed. Marbled endpapers. Significant spine and front cover wear. A rather standard presentation of the first six books of La Fontaine's fables. Then a long "Éloge a La Fontaine" (171-218), followed by notes on the fables (220-53). A lovely old set!

1796  Fables de la Fontaine. Avec les Notes de Chamfort. Les Trois Fabulistes, Ésope, Phèdre et La Fontaine, par Chamfort et Gail, Tome IV. Paris: Delance. $25 from Anthony Garnett, St. Louis, June, '95.

Fourth volume of a four-volume set. Contemporary calf, somewhat rubbed. Marbled endpapers. A rather standard presentation of the last six books of La Fontaine's fables, followed by notes on the fables (295-358). Not the misprint of the page number on 294. T of C on 359-64. The usually appended works seem all to be here. Some small worm holes. A lovely old set!

1796 Fables de La Fontaine, Tome Cinquieme. Avec Figures Gravées par MM. (Jean Pierre) Simon et (Jacques-Joseph) Coiny. Hardbound. Paris: Chez Bossange, Masson et Besson. £36 from Carol Schibler, Dorset, UK, through eBay, Dec., '11.

This is Volume 5 of 6 volumes, comprising Books 9 through 11. Bodemann lists this edition as derivative from Vivier's limited edition of 1787 by Pierre Didot l'aîné. The eBay seller mentions that there are fifty illustrations here. I find them well done. I enjoy particularly the two illustrations for "The Husband, the Wife, and the Thief" (9.15) and "The Treasure and the Two Men" (9.16), numbered 202 through 204 between 34 and 37. Each illustration is added with a slipsheet and without printing on its obverse to the numbered pages. Another strong illustration is 11.8, "The Old Man and the Three Youths" (#234, facing 107). Most illustrators picture the young men with the man planting trees. Here the artist has the old man writing their marble memorial underneath the grown trees. 3¾" x 5¾". Separated front cover. Leather binding. Marbled endpieces. A lovely little volume. Now to find the other five!

1796 Les Fables de Phedre, Affranchi d'Auguste, Traduites en François. Nouvelle Édition. Hardbound. Paris: Chez les Freres Barbou. $28.48 from Gabriel Alagna, Barcelona, Spain, through eBay, Jan., '13.

"An V. de la République Françoise" is on the title-page, with "1796" in parentheses. The unusual feature of this book lies in the numbers written above each Latin word. They indicate the order of these words if one were to arrange them in a standard French sentence. Thus at the beginning of I 21 one reads "Quicumque amisit dignitatem pristinam,/ignavis etiam jocus est." and finds above the words the following numbers in order: 1 2 3 4 8 7 6 5. A student would transpose them to make this Latin sentence in French word order: "Quicumque amisit dignitatem pristinam est jocus etiam ignavis." I suppose this is a help to students. But might it also be just as much a hindrance? After five books of fables, there is an "Addition" of five fables from Gudius, but the heading on the top of those pages (361-372) continues to be for Book V. Also, the title had promised an extra eight fables, not five. The T of C at the book's beginning lists the five that actually occur and makes them the last five fables in Book V. The last of these fables it misnames "Le Lion et le Roi." It should be "Le Lion et le Rat." After the two texts throughout -- Latin on the left and French on the right hand page -- and beneath them are "Remarques" for each fable. 

1797 Aesop's Fables.  S. Croxall.  Embellished With One Hundred & Eleven Elegant Engravings.  Hardbound.  London: T. Heptinstall, Fleet Street.  $37.99 from Vendor City Flea Market Hillview, KY, June, '18. 

Just a month ago I found a copy of a Heptinstall edition and wondered if it was from 1797.  I referred to Bodemann #186.1, which describes an 1818 work based on an edition not included in her bibliography, a 1797 edition by T. Heptinstall.  Here was an edition by T. Heptinstall!  Could it be?  It is hard to say from the 1818 title-page, which is very similar to the title-page of that work I had found.  But I remark now that the title-page of our work had at its bottom "Published Jan. 14 by T. Heptinstall Fleet Street."  Now here is a volume in which the similarly placed line reads "Published Jan. 14, 1797 by T. Heptinstall Fleet Street."  Bingo!  Eureka!  Here is the 1797 edition, a treasure even though it lacks both covers.  As I wrote there, I believe that 110 fables and illustrations are a regular foreshortening of Croxall's long work of 196 fables.  A clue was that each fable had an "application," a favorite term of Croxall's.  I had no doubt that the book was a Croxall edition, even though he was not mentioned.  That edition seemed to include the whole Croxall application, rather than just the first paragraph, as some do.  It comes as no surprise then that this, I believe, original edition includes a "Preface by S. Croxall."  The illustrations here, as there, are wonderfully executed and wonderfully preserved.  For example, the second and third illustrations do just what we would want them to do: set up the situation of the wolf against the lamb and of the lion against the four bulls.  What a stroke of luck to have come across this little (3¾" x 6") book! 

1797 Fables. Hardbound. NY: Columbian Library: Containing a Classical Selection of British Literature: Vol. II: W. Milns. $49 99 from Maureen Spradlin, Sugar Grove, IL, through eBay, Nov., '09.

This is a curious compilation of fables. The T of C facing the title-page has as its first heading "Fables by Different Hands." These run for some 115 pages. They are a mix of prose and verse and of traditional fable stuff and -- often ingenious -- new creations. I am happy to recognize a number of reworkings of traditional fables, taken for example from La Fontaine. "Moore's Fables" begin on 116 and carry through the end of the first volume on 184. Without any break "Gay's Fables" begin on a new Page 1 and run through 131. The second part of Gay's fables begins on 73. The T of C represents Gay's fables only through 79; apparently a further T of C page is missing. The book has considerable foxing. Someone has done a fair amount of mathematics on the front endpapers. The book is inscribed at its front by P.G Benson of Aurora, IL. An image on the title-page shows Aesop shining a mirror's light on a seated woman. Animals surround Aesop. Leather binding. The front cover is splitting off from the spine. It is unusual that a genuinely old and rare book like this one shows up on eBay!

1797 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers.  Jean de La Fontaine.  (Auguste) Blanchard.  Hardbound.  Paris:  F. Dufart.  $36.49 from World of Books USA through eBay, March, '17.

I feel very lucky to have come across this pair of volumes and to have got them without a big contest on eBay.  The title-page includes, of course, "An 5e" besides "1797."  Blanchard signs each of the plates.  After the frontispiece portrait, there are eight pages of illustrations, two to a page.  They can be found facing 41, 51, 72, 99, 140, 153, 169, and 183.  Among the best are "The Lion Defeated by a Man" and FG (99); DLS and "The Lion and the Hunter" (153); "The Horse and the Ass" (169); and MM and "Two Cocks" (183).  Metzner describes, I believe, a later 1801 printing.  He rightly characterizes the illustrations as following Chauveau and Oudry.  Small work and frequently nice.  3½" x 5¼".

1797 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers, Tome Seconde.  Jean de La Fontaine.  (Auguste) Blanchard. Hardbound.  Paris:  F. Dufart.  $36.49 from World of Books USA through eBay, March, '17.

I feel very lucky to have come across this pair of volumes and to have got them without a big contest on eBay.  The title-page includes, of course, "An 5e" besides "1797."  Blanchard signs each of the plates.  There are nine pages of illustrations, two to a page.  They can be found facing 3, 64, 107, 109, 121, 129, 135, 144, and 155.  I thus seem to find two more pages of illustrations than Metzner did.  One page balances its two illustrations nicely (3).  Another gives two phases of "The Crow, Turtle, Rat, and Gazelle" (129).  Among the best illustrations are "The Cat and Two Birds" (107) and "Two Goats" (109).  Best of all may be "The Horse and the Wolf" (135).  Metzner rightly characterizes the illustrations as following Chauveau and Oudry.  Small work and frequently nice.  3½" x 5¼".

1797 The Fables of Mr. John Gay, Complete in Two Parts. With Cuts by T. Bewicke, of Newcastle. Hardbound. York: Wilson, Spence, and Mawman. £ 49 from Graham Carlisle, High Wycombe, UK through eBay, March, '04.

Here is a curious book. Bodemann lists a first Bewick illustration of Gay published by Rivington et al in London in 1779 and reproduced in 1792 (#166.1). The catalogue goes on to describe a second Bewick illustration of Gay, published by Wilson & Spence in 1806 (#166.2). That description matches this book, except that the page size there seems slightly larger than the page size here. Thus we may have here an earlier printing of the book that Bodemann's associates found in only a later printing. The catalogue description mentions specifically the movement here to make the portion outside Bewick's ovals into fine ornaments that make the ensemble into a rectangle. This method contrasts with the simple lined rectangle that Bewick seems to have used earlier. The best and most typical of the illustrations here might be "The Goat Without a Beard" (73); "The Man, the Cat, the Dog, and the Fly" (197); and "The Ravens, Sexton, and Earthworm" (246). What a nice little treasure, still in good condition!

1797? Aesop's Fables.  Embellished With One Hundred & Eleven Elegant Engravings.  Hardbound.  London: T. Heptinstall, Fleet Street.  $45 from Watermark West Rare Books, Wichita, KS, May, '18.

Bodemann #186.1 refers to an 1818 work based on an edition not included in her bibliography, a 1797 edition by T. Heptinstall.  Here is an edition by T. Heptinstall!  Could it be?  One would want to compare the title-page of that edition, represented in Bodemann.  I find it a clear reproduction of the title-page here.  I believe that 110 fables and illustrations are a regular foreshortening of Croxall's long work of 196 fables.  A clue is that each fable has an "application," a favorite term of Croxall's.  There is no doubt that this is a Croxall edition, even though he is not mentioned.  This edition seems to include the whole Croxall application, rather than just the first paragraph, as some did.  The illustrations here are wonderfully executed and wonderfully preserved.  For example, the second and third illustrations do just what we would want them to do: set up the situation of the wolf against the lamb and of the lion against the four bulls.  I feel very fortunate to have come across this little (3¾" x 6") book.

1798 Fables de la Fontaine, Tome Premier. Paperbound. Paris: P. Didot l'ainé. $12 from Genetparis, Paris, through eBay, April, '06. 

The first of two volumes; the second volume is missing. This is a small book (4" x 5¾") done in "An VII," i.e., the seventh year after the revolution. It contains the first six books of La Fontaine's fables on 136 pages. The upper part of the pages from lxiii-lxxxi got a good wash with coffee, tea, or something similar! The covers are heavy blue-green paper. This little book has lasted a while!

1798 Fabulae in Usum Scholarum. Selectae Opera et Studio Georgii Whitaker, A.M. Hardbound. Tertia editio. London: Impensis B. Law: Prostant Venales Apud C. Law. $49.99 from Renata Stetina, Eagle Lake, MN, through eBay, July, '05.

Here are one hundred and thirty-two prose fables in Latin. The book is meant as a device for teaching Latin. The author devotes a page to "Properties of the Parts of Speech" and another to "Rules for Construing"--both in English--before the fables commence. There are footnotes just below each fable text: rather than giving vocabulary equivalents, they seem to aim at coaching students on how to understand specific expressions. Some texts, like CXII and CXIII, are indented but do not seem to me to be in verse. It is rather that the printer, for some reason, did not work to fill the columns as usual. The selection of fables seems thoroughly traditional. The last page of fables and the first of the AI (105-6) is missing its upper outside corner, with some loss of text from MSA. After the AI comes a postscript that offers a "Construing and Parsing Index to some of the first Fables as an Exemplar" (117-38). It walks through the first thirteen fables word by word. The book is in good condition for over two hundred years of life. I was lucky to find it on eBay!

1798 Fabulae Selectae Auctore Joanne Gay Latine Redditae. Joanne Gay, Interprete Chr. Anstey. Paperbound. Printed in Bath. London: Cadell et Davis. £28 from Brian Annesley, Helensburgh, Scotland, through ABE, Dec., '99.

Here is a curiosity of the first order! This book presents and renders into Latin elegiac couplets seventeen of Gay's fables. I tried one, and found the Latin moving along splendidly. It is also quite faithful to the English. What I read is the last here: "The Hare and many Friends" or "Lepus et amicorum copia" (130/131). What a hoot! I was at first confused by the 1777 dedication by the "Intepres" (which must be "Chr. Ansley"), right beside the preface, signed "C.A." in "Bathoniae, 1798." From a cursory reading of the preface, I gather that he wrote these translations twenty years earlier and gave them over into the patronage of the Prince of Wales and published them, though with no name and plenty of errors. Now he has had time, before leaving life, to review his life's works, and he has published this translation as a source of useful fun to his descendants. He takes pride in having learned sixty years earlier at Eton the Latin that he uses here. Marbled paper wraps.

1798 Les Fables d'Ésope mises en Français, avec le sens moral en quatre vers, et des figures à chaque fable. Nouvelle édition, revue, corrigée et augmentée de la vie d'Ésope, avec figures, et les quatrains de Benserade, dédiée a la jeunesse. Benserade. Godard D'Alencon. Hardbound. Paris: Dugour. $300 from The Book Chest, NY, Jan., '02.

This is a lovely old edition. Among its quaint features is that it is dated "An VI" to reflect the French revolution. It includes a life of Aesop covering 103 pages in twenty-seven chapters, with a rectangular illustration for each. It goes on then to 225 fables, each with a rectangular illustration about 2" x 3" and with two rhyming quatrains surrounding a prose narration. Are both from Benserade? For all 225 fables? Many also have a small tailpiece design. The fables finish on 454 and are followed by a T of C. I cannot find this work in Bodemann. It seems to fit between 113.2 and 113.3, but neither of those works contains as many pages or fables as this volume. The book is in good condition. I do not find the illustrations particularly strong. I enjoy the literal detail in the laborer's action of tying a torch to the fox's tail on 374. Watch the two men in one of my favorite fables, which puts an avaricious and an envious man together in the temple (418).

1798 Select Fables of Esop and Other Fabulists. Robert Dodsley. A New Edition. No illustrations. Inscribed in 1883. Philadelphia: Joseph and James Crukshank. $30, Summer, '92.

Sold at Hamell's in Philadelphia. Three books: Ancient, Modern, and Original. As in my other editions of Dodsley, the "index" at the back is really a listing of morals; they sometimes repeat promythia or epimythia. "Preface," "Life," and "Essay" are at the front of the book. This copy is the victim of significant wear. Now in 1997, I have had opportunity to study Dodsley's texts. His fables are frequently well told. He rarely departs by much from traditional versions of the stories. He apologizes over changes he makes in traditional material, replacing the hedgehog with the swallow as a conversation-partner with the leech-infested fox (I 5) and replacing with fish the seeds the stork was eating when the farmer catches him (I 32). Like Croxall, Dodsley loves the phrase "could not forbear." "The Miser" (I 39) is one of his best stories. Some things that occur frequently in his collection include the use of the historical present, promythia, characters being convinced of something within the narrative, and gnomic endings in which a character articulates the lesson. It is surprising to us what goes into the second, "Modern," section of fables. Among other things, there are fables from La Fontaine, from Aesop, and from unknown sources. Dodsley's two biggest themes are that use confers value and that small minds cannot judge their greaters; they see them according to their own limitations. I enjoyed this collection far more than I thought I would.

1799 Fables de la Fontaine, Tome Second.  Paperbound.  Paris: P. Didot l'ainé et Firmin Didot.  $40 from Zsolt Nemeth, Cathedral City, CA, March, '15.  

This second of two volumes completes a set started nine years ago.  The match with the first volume is not exact, even apart from the fact that this book has lost its covers.  While much of the title-page is identical with the title-page of the first volume, there are some curious differences.  First, both list "AN VII" as the date of publication, but this volume adds "(1799)" in parentheses.  Why does it add the pre-revolutionary date?  And why did I record 1798 as the equivalent of "AN VII" for the first volume?  Secondly, that volume gave the publisher as ""L'Imprimerie de P. Didot l'Ainé."  This one has "L'Imprimerie et la Fonderie Stéréotypes de Pierre Didot l'Ainé et de Firmin Didot."  French Wikipedia seems to indicate that François Didot founded a dynasty of printers.  He died in 1757.  François-Ambroise Didot, "Didot l'ainé," lived from 1730 to 1804.  Firmin Didot, 1764-1836, is the best known member of the family.  He is celebrated with a statue in the façade of the Hotel de Ville.  It is still unclear to me when Firmin Didot moved into the family business and helped change its name.  This volume does add to "Édition Stéréeotype" the helpful ""D'après le précedé de Firmin Didot."  Might that reference confirm that this volume follows that other as two in a set?  The final curiosity is that the title-page here matches the title-page of the second half of an 1817 version presenting the whole twelve books of La Fontaine.  This volume I have just acquired and it happens to be sitting on my desk.  A future librarian will rejoice to sort it all out someday, I am sure!  As I wrote of the first volume, this is a small book (4" x 5 3/4").

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