Turkish Literature Comprising Fables, Belles-Lettres, and Sacred Traditions

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Wilson, Epiphanius
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Fables comprise 3-24 in this collection. They are translated by Wilson himself. Many of the forty-six fables are straight Aesopic, like The Fly (4). One of these has a nice twist: in The Two Young Men and the Cook (5), the thief himself puts what he stole into his friend's pocket, and the latter when questioned says I have not seen it. One Aesopic fable has degenerated, I believe. In The Tortoise and the King of Animals (8), King Lion is angry because the tortoise has come late to his entertainment. In a rage the lion cries At some future time you will have a house of stone which you can never leave. There is no indication that the lion can make this prophecy come true. The fable has lost by substituting the lion for Jupiter as the giver of the feast, and it needs in any case to make clear that the turtle's shell is just the punishment predicted here. I enjoy this edition's presentation of a fable whose variations I have often tried to trace. In The Converted Cat (20-21), the cat first becomes a monk and announces that she will never again shed blood. She then covers herself with a dust rag and smears herself with flour. Then she plays dead, and the mice say that they would not believe that she has changed even if a purse were made of her. I have seen and enjoyed before the story of the ass painted green. The ass is talked about at first but then taken for granted (The Widow and Her Friend, 4). That is what the widow can expect if she marries again. I especially like The Bear and His Mate (9). The former, in a fight with his mate, tore her eyes out with a swipe of his paw. In sorrow, he bit off his claws and announced that fact to her. Her answer was What good is that to me, now that I am blind, and derpived by you of my precious eyes? The point is that Repentance cannot repair an injury once inflicted. Also good is the story of the candle that wanted to become as hard as a brick and jumped into the fire to make it happen (12). There is a T of C at the front.
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