THE knowledge of the Egyptians was concealed in hieroglyphics and other mysterious characters; that of the Grecians in symbols and emblematical allusions; but Æsop, having penetrated through the veil they had thrown over her, brought all their mysteries to light, and wrapped them up in fables. His life, as recorded by Planudes and other writers of antiquity, is here faithfully presented to the public.
He was born at Ammonius, in Phrygia the Greater; a town in itself obscure, though, from its being the birthplace of Æsop, might successfully have entered into competition as a rival with those cities that with a noble emulation contended for the birth of Homer.
All agree that his person was uncommonly deformed, insomuch that the Thersites of Homer seems to be but an imperfect transcript of him. His head was long, nose flat, lips thick and pendent, a hump back, and complexion dark, from which he contracted his name ( Æsopus being the same with Æthiops), large belly, and bow legs; but his greatest infirmity was, that his speech was slow, inarticulate, and very obscure. Such was the person of Æsop. But, as Nature often sets the most refulgent gems where they would be least expected, so she endowed this extraordinary man with an accomplished