AESOP'S FABLES - online children's book

300 favourite fables with illustrations by Arthur Rackham

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is always double of two. The fox in a fable must move crooked, as the knight in chess must move crooked. The sheep in a fable must march on, as the pawn in chess must march on. The fable must not allow for the crooked cap­tures of the pawn ; it must not allow for what Balzac called 1 the revolt of a sheep." The fairy tale, on the other handy absolutely revolves on the pivot of human personality. If no hero were there to fight the dragons, we should not even know that they were dragons. If no adventurer were cast on the undiscovered islandit would remain undiscovered. If the miller s third son does not find the enchanted garden where the seven princesses stand white and frozenwhy, then, they will remain white and frozen and enchanted. If there is no personal prince to find the Sleeping Beauty she will simply sleep. Fables repose upon quite the opposite idea ; that everything is itself, and will in any case speak for itself. The wolf will be always wolfish ; the fox will be always foxy. Something of the same sort may have been meant by the animal worship, in which Egyptian and Indian and many other great peoples have combined. Men do not, I think, love beetles or cats or crocodiles with a wholly personal love ; they salute them as expressions of that abstract and anonymous energy in nature which to any one is awful, and to an atheist must be frightful. So in all the
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