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More liberty begets desire of more;
520 The hunger still increases with the store: Wiihout respect they brush'd along the wood, Each in his clan, and fill'd with loathsome food, Ask'd no permission to the neighb'ring flood. The Panther, full of inward discontent,' Since they would go, before them wisely went; Supplying want of pow'r by drinking first, As if she gave 'em leave to quench their thirst. Among the rest, the Hind, with fearful face, Beheld from far the common wat’ring place,
530 Nor durst approach, 'till with an awful roar, The sov’reign Lion bade her fear no more. Encourag'd thus she brought her younglings nigh, Watching the motion of her patron's eye, And drank a sober draught; the rest amaz'd, Siood mutely still, and on ihe stranger gaz'd. Survey'd her part by part, and sought to find The ien-horn'd mousler in the harmless Hind, Such as the Wolf and Panther had design'd. They thought at first they dream'd; for 'twas offence With them to question certitude of sense, 541 Their guide in faith; but nearer when they drew, And had the faultless object full in view, Lord, how they all admir'd her heav'nly hue ! Some, who before her fellowship disdain'd, Scaree, and but scarce, from in-buro rage restrain'd, Now frisk'd about her, and old kindred feign'd.
Whether for love or int'rest, every sect
Of all the savage nation shew'd respect.
The viceroy Panther could not awe the herd; 550
The more the company, the less they fear'd.
The surly Wolf with secret envy burst,
Yet could not howl; the Hind had seen him first;
But what he durst not speak, the Panther durst.
For when the herd, suffic'd, did late repair
To ferny heaths, and to their forest lare,
She made a mannerly excuse to stay,
Proff'ring the Hind to wait her half the way;
That, since the sky was clear, an hour of talk
Might help her to beguile the tedious walk.
• Mith much good-will the motion was embrac'd,
To chat awhile on their adventures pass'd:
Nor had the grateful Hind so soon forgot
Her friend and fellow-suff'rer in the plot,
Yet wond'ring how of late she grew estrang'd,
Her forehead cloudy, and her count'nance chang'd,
She thought this hour th’occasion would present,
To learn her secret cause of discontent,
Which well she hop'd might be with ease redress'd,
Considering her a well-bred civil beast, 570
And more a gentlewoman than the rest.
After some common talk what rumours ran,
The lady of the Spotted Muff began.
DAME, said the Panther, times are mended well,
Since late among the Philistines you fell.
The toils were pitch'd, a spacious track of ground,
With expert huntsmen was encompass'd round;
Th' inclosure narrow'd, the sagacious pow'r
Of hounds and death drew nearer ev'ry hour :
'Tis true the younger Lion scap'd the share,
But all your priestly calves lay struggling there,
As sacrifices on their altars laid,
While you their careful mother wisely filed,
Not trusting Destiny to save your head :
For whate'er promises you have apply'd
To your unfailing, church, the surer side
Is four fair legs, in danger to provide :
And whate'er tales of Peter's chair you tell,
Yet, saving rev'rence of ihe miracle,
The better luck was your's to 'scape so well.
AsI remember, said the sober Hind,
Those.toils were for your own dear self design'd,
As well as me; and with the self-same throw,
To catch the quarry and the vermin too,
Forgive the sland'rous tongue that call'd you so.
Howe'er you take it now, the conmon cry
Then ran you down für your rank loyalty.
Besides, in Popery they thought you nurst,
As evil tongues will ever speak the worst,
Because some forms, and ceremonies some,
You kept, and stood in the main question dumb.
Dumb you were born indeed; but thinking long,
The Test, it seems, at last, has loos’d your tongue. 30
And to explain what your forefathers meant,
By real presence in the sacrament,
After long fencing push'd against a wall,
Your salvo comes, that he's not there at all:
There chang'd your faith, and what may change
Who can believe what varies every day,
Norever was, nor will be at a stay?
Tortures may force the tongue untruths to tell,
And I ne'er own'd myself infallible,
Reply'd the Panther; grant such presence were,
Yet in your sense I never own'd it there.
A real virtue we by faith receive,
And that we in the sacrament believe.
Then said the Hind, as you the matter state,
Not only Jesuits can equivocate:
For real, as you now the word expound,
From solid substance dwindles to a sound.
Methinks an Æsop's fable you repeat :
You know who took the shadow for the meat;
Your church's substance thus you change at will,
And yet retain your former figure still.
I freely grant you spoke to save your life,
For then you lay beneath the butcher's knife.
Long time you fought, redoubl'd batt'ry bore,
But, after all, against yourself you swore;
Your former self; for every hour your form
Is chop'd and chang'd, like winds before a storm.
Thus fear and int'rest will prevail with some,
For all have not the gift of martyrdom.
The Panther grinn'd at this, and thus reply'd :
That men may err was never yet deny’d:
But, if that common principle be true,
The canon, Dame, is levell’d full at you.
But shunning long disputes, I fain would see
That wondrous wight Infallibility:
Is he from heav'n, this mighty champion, come,
Or lodg'd below in subterranean Rome?
First seat him somewhere and derive his race,
Or else conclude that nothing has no place.
Suppose, though I disown it, said the Hind,
The certain mansion were not yet assign’d,
The doubtful residence no proof can bring
Against the plain existence of the thing.
Because philosophers may disagree,
If sight b'emission or reception be,
Shall it be thence inferr'd I do not see?
But you require an answer positive,
Which yet, when I demand, you dare not give,
For fallacies in universalş live,