Page:The fables of Aesop, as first printed by William Caxton in 1484, with those of Avian, Alfonso and Poggio. Vol 1.djvu/20

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PREFACE.

c. 9). At that moment Caxton was justifying the exceptional favour by producing the book which was to form his most popular production^ and indeed one of the most popular books that have issued from the English press.

The interest of this reprint is literary rather than typographical: we are concerned here with Caxton as an author, to whom scant justice has been done, rather than with Caxton as a printer, whose name can never be uttered without the Oriental wish, 'God cool his resting-place.' To illustrate the history of printing nothing other than a facsimile reprint would suffice the student, and facsimile reprints of Caxton's heavy and rude Gothic type are unreadable. We have, however, reproduced his text with such fidelity as we could command, even to the extent of retaining his misprints. If we have occasionally added some of our own, we shall be forgiven by those who know the exhausting work of collating Gothic and ordinary type;