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tional and irrational beings are introduced as acting or conversing together.” It is called mixed, because it combines both kinds, the reasonable fable, and the apologue.
2. An example of the mixed fable, is that of The Dog and Shepherd by Phædrus.
“A dog once asked a shepherd for a place in his cabin, where she might give birth to, and raise her little ones. This having obtained from the shepherd, in of time, with the assistance of her dogs, she claimed the ownership of the whole place. Thus, certain men that are tenants, often make themselves proprietors.”
OF THE QUALITIES AND STYLE OF FABLES.
1. Since fables have for their object a practical instruction, or an illustration of some truth; it follows, that they must be clear, comprehensive, well adapted to the object, short, pleasant, and free from vulgarity.
2. The style best suited to fables, is the simple, or familiar. However, as the object of the writer or speaker may be, not only to instruct,
(2.) Present an example of the mixed fable?
but, moreover, to please; so the style may be both simple and adorned.
FINAL REMARKS ON THE SUBJECT OF FABLES.
1. We have stated at the beginning of this Part that the object of fables, among the ancients, was either instruction, or the illustration of a truth. As instruction is often accompanied with reprimand or censure, so also fables were sometimes used for that object.
2. The foregoing are examples of fables, the purpose of which is to convey instruction..
3. Here we shall add two more examples : the first, of a fable for the illustration of a fact, and its results; the other, for censure or repri-. mand.
4. The Roman Plebeians having seceded from the Patricians, had-assembled together on Mount Aventinus. Neither the law, nor the authority of the magistrates, could effect a reconciliation.
(1). What is the object of fables ? (4.) Give an example of a fable for the illustration of the con
sequences of a fact, or measure.
Menenius Agrippa, a humble citizen, succeeded in re-uniting the two parties, by relating the following apologue, as reported by Livius (Book 2, Rom. Hist.)
A DISSENSION OF THE MEMBERS OF THE
HUMAN BODY WITH THE STOMACH.
“ At a certain epoch, when all the members of the human body, did not, as now, agree together for the same purpose, but each member had a judgment and speech of his own; the other members of the body being highly incensed against the stomach, that by their care, work, and service, he should be supplied with everything, and should remain quiet in the middle of the body, for no other purpose than of enjoying pleasure, formed a conspiracy ; that the hands should carry no more food to the mouth; that the mouth should not receive it, if given, and the teeth should not grind it. But while they designed, by this spite, to conquer the stomach by hunger, they soon brought themselves to the point of starvation ; so that it appeared then, that the service of the stomach was no less efficient, or necessary than theirs ; that it fed them, as it was fed by them, sending back to all parts and veins of the body, this blood, with which we live and are made strong
Showing, then, how similar the internal dissension of the members of the body was to the discord of the Plebeians with the Patricians; Agrippa succeeded in changing their minds, and effected a reconciliation."
5. Demosthenes, the great Grecian orator, although speaking, on very important subjects, was listened to with great inattention and weariness by the Athenians. Once, he made them suddenly very attentive, by the following fable,
THE SHADOW OF AN ASS.
“ A certain youth, on a summer day, being about to start from Athens for Megaras, hired an ass; being near mid-day, and the heat of the sun much stronger, he laid down himself under the shade of the animal. But Agaso, who had hired him the ass, began to importune him in earnest, affirming that he had hired him the ass only, and not the shadow of the ass. The youth, on the other hand, persisted in saying, that with the ass he had bired the shadow also.
At this point, when Demosthenes saw the judges convulsed with laughter, he made a semblance of leaving the audience abruptly. But the Athenians remonstrated, bidding him to finish the story ; upon which, Demosthenes, changing his voice to a severe tone, replied, “Of the shadow of the ass you wish to hear ; but of serious and grave matters you will not.' In this manner, did he rebuke them for their torpor, and inattention."
6. In modern times, neither fables, nor parables, are used for the purpose of illustration, in
(5.) Relate a fable used for censure or reprimand.
struction, or censure; but in their stead, romances, novels, short tales, and anecdotes, have been introduced; which, like poetical imaginations, are often partly fictitious, and partly true, yet always probable; and for this reason, they are classed among narrations, of which we shall treat in the following Part.
7. Before closing this subject, it is well to remark upon the delicate regard for the offender, and for the society in wbich he lived, shown by the ancient fable writers, in their censure and insinuation of personal faults. They did not expose them, especially if private, to the public gaze, in offensive colors. Their object was to make the offender alone aware of his failings, and gently to induce him to reform. Hence, they neither wounded his feelings too severely, nor brought him to disgrace before society. Æsopus and Phædrus, two most eminent ancient writers of fables, invariably observed this rule.
8. This custom has been departed from, by many modern writers of vulgar tales, and
(6.) What kinds of composition have in in modern times been
introduced, for the purpose of illustration, instruction,
and censure ? (7.) What do you remark in ancient fable-writers, respecting
the mode of censuring individual faults?