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Arthur Rackham 'The Hare and the Tortoise' 1912 Illustration line block printed from drawing, from 'Aesop's fables', translated by V.S. Vernon Jones Published by Ballantyne & Co., London National Art Library Pressmark: 60.BB.31

Arthur Rackham 'The Hare and the Tortoise' 1912 Illustration line block printed from drawing, from 'Aesop's fables', translated by V.S. Vernon Jones Published by Ballantyne & Co., London National Art Library Pressmark: 60.BB.31

 

The National Art Library has a large collection of illustrated Aesop's Fables dating from the 15th century to the present day. The following extract is taken from The Fables of Aesop by Joseph Jacobs (London: Macmillan & Co., 1894),  accompanied by a selection of images from the Library's collection.

'The Hare was once boasting of his speed before the other animals.
"I have never yet been beaten," said he, "when I put forth my full speed. I challenge any one here to race with me."
The Tortoise said quietly, "I accept your challenge."
"That is a good joke," said the Hare; "I could dance round you all the way."
"Keep your boasting till you've beaten," answered the Tortoise. "Shall we race?"

So a course was fixed and a start was made. The Hare darted almost out of sight at once, but soon stopped and, to show his contempt for the Tortoise, lay down to have a nap. The Tortoise plodded on and plodded on, and when the Hare awoke from his nap, he saw the Tortoise just near the winning-post and could not run up in time to save the race.
Then said the Tortoise: "Plodding wins the race."'

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