The construction of a fable involves a minute attention to (1) the narration itself; (2) the deduction of the moral; and (3) a careful maintenance of the individual characteristics of the fictitious personages introduced into it.
Mountain delivered of a Mouse", produces the moral of his fable in ridicule of pompous pretenders; and his Crow, when she drops her cheese, lets fall, as it were by accident, the strongest admonition against the power of flattery.
Thus, the fable of the "Hawk and the Nightingale" is related by Hesiod; 4 the "Eagle wounded by an Arrow, winged with its own Feathers," by Aeschylus; 5 the "Fox avenging his wrongs on the Eagle," by Archilochus.
This discovery attracted very general attention, not only as confirming, in a singular manner, the conjectures so boldly made by a long chain of critics, but as bringing to light valuable literary treasures tending to establish the reputation, and to confirm the antiquity and authenticity of the great mass of Aesopian Fable.
At one time he is found in Corinth, and at another in Athens, endeavouring, by the narration of some of his wise fables, to reconcile the inhabitants of those cities to the administration of their respective rulers Periander and Pisistratus.
His life was prefixed to all the early editions of these fables, and was republished as late as 1727 by Archdeacon Croxall as the introduction to his edition of Aesop.
The fables were in the first instance only narrated by Aesop, and for a long time were handed down by the uncertain channel of oral tradition.
Seven centuries elapsed before the next notice is found of the Fables of Aesop.
He is charged on the one hand with having had before him a copy of Babrias (to whom we shall have occasion to refer at greater length in the end of this Preface), and to have had the bad taste "to transpose," or to turn his poetical version into prose: and he is asserted, on the other hand, never to have seen the Fables of Aesop at all, but to have himself invented and made the fables which he palmed off under the name of the famous Greek fabulist.
I don't know what you are," replied the Writer of Fables, deeply disturbed.
All right," said the Writer of Fables, in a whisper; "but for goodness' sake speak lower.
So as not to wake me," replied the Writer of Fables, a holy calm brooding upon his beautiful face.