The Original Fables of La Fontaine - Jean de La Fontaine

The Original Fables of La Fontaine

By Jean de La Fontaine

  • Release Date: 1695-04-13
  • Genre: Contes de fées, mythes et fables


If deep wisdom, gentle satire, polite cynicism, and, above all, irresistible humour are qualities which make a book attractive then La Fontaine's Fables should be in the hands of all. Their charm is two-fold; for whilst they induce pleasurable reflection in the reader they delight him by the gaiety of their subject matter. Verse has little attraction for children unless it jingles merrily, and that is a thing as impossible as it is undesirable where the claims of a philosophic original make restrictions. Since the spirit is more likely to survive if the letter is not exacting, it is difficult to see why custom looks askance upon prose versions of poetry. But this little book may escape such censure on the ground of its being but a selection from the complete Fables of La Fontaine. It presents only those of which the great fabulist was himself the originator. A selection of some sort being imperative there seemed to be a simple and easy choice in the condition of absolute originality; particularly as the older fables are given in another volume of this series.