Moral Fables and Parables

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Cobbin, Ingram
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This book seems to be an earlier and smaller version of a book by the same author and with the same title, published in London in 1863 by William Tegg. It is about 3½ x 5½ and contains thirty-eight fables, whose sub-titles indicate the vice or virtue dealt with. Cobbin's fables are apparently related or even identical to those of Peter Parley, full of explicit lessons about what little children should do. Many of the stories show animals learning too late what they should have done. The principal lesson is overwhelming: obey your parents! A typical fable is thus The Angry Monkey (59). Affronted by other monkeys, he climbs up into the rafters and begins throwing bricks and timbers at the other monkeys. He is admonished to be careful or he will bring the building down. He pays no heed. Soon the roof falls and the monkey's brains are dashed out. The fables here include The Fox and the Spaniel (32); The Child and the Rainbow (60); and The Young Wolf and the Lamb (67). I have read the first twenty. The Boy and the Loaded Ass (21) is the only one that surprises me as reader. In this story, both return from a difficult trip to find the master ordering the boy to take the ass on his back and carry him to the stable! To make the parallel even more vivid, the master flogs the boy to do what he cannot do, just as the boy had done to the ass. Now there is an object lesson! With this one exception, the stories and their lessons are so predictable! My heart goes out to the children who had to read these. Each fable has an illustration at the beginning; some also have tailpieces, generally unrelated to the story. There is a T of C at the beginning. Cobbin is not in Bodemann, Hobbs, Schiller, Snodgrass, Quinnam, or McKendry.
T. Mason and G. Lane for the Sunday School Union of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
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