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For now the Hind, whose noble nature strove
To express her plain simplicity of love,
Did all the honours of her house so well,
No sharp debates disturbed the friendly meal.
She turned the talk, avoiding that extreme,
To common dangers past, a sadly pleasing theme; 35
Remembering every storm which tossed the State,
When both were objects of the public hate,
And dropped a tear betwixt for her own children's fate.
Nor failed she then a full review to make
Of what the Panther suffered for her sake :
Her lost esteem, her truth, her loyal care,
Her faith unshaken to an exiled heir,
Her strength to endure, her courage to defy,
Her choice of honourable infamy.
On these prolixly thankful she enlarged;
Then with acknowledgments her self she charged;
For friendship, of it self an holy tie,
Is made more sacred by adversity.
Now should they part, malicious tongues would say
They met like chance companions on the way,
Whom mutual fear of robbers had possessed;
While danger lasted, kindness was professed;
But that once o'er, the short-lived union ends,
The road divides, and there divide the friends.
The Panther nodded when her speech was done,
And thanked her coldly in a hollow tone:
But said, her gratitude had gone too far
For common offices of Christian care.
If to the lawful heir she had been true,
She paid but Cæsar what was Cæsar's due.
"I might,' she added, “with like praise describe
Your suffering sons, and so return your bribe :
But incense from my hands is poorly prized,
For gifts are scorned where givers are despised.
I served a turn, and then was cast away;
You, like the gaudy fly, your wings display,
And sip the sweets, and bask in your great Patron's day.'
This heard, the matron was not slow to find
What sort of malady had seized her mind :
Disdain, with gnawing envy, fell despite,
And cankered malice stood in open sight :
Ambition, interest, pride without control,
And jealousy, the jaundice of the soul;
Revenge, the bloody minister of ill,
With all the lean tormenters of the will.
'Twas easy now to guess from whence arose
Her new-made union with her ancient foes,
Her forced civilities, her faint embrace,
Affected kindness with an altered face :
Yet durst she not too deeply probe the wound,
As hoping still the nobler parts were sound;
But strove with anodynes to assuage the smart,
And mildly thus her medicine did impart:
Complaints of lovers help to ease their pain;
It shows à rest of kindness to complain,
A friendship loth to quit its former hold;
And conscious merit may be justly bold.
But much more just your jealousy would show,
If others' good were injury to you:
Witness, ye heavens, how I rejoice to see
Rewarded worth and rising loyalty!
Your warrior offspring that upheld the crown,
The scarlet honours of your peaceful gown,
Are the most pleasing objects I can find,
Charms to my sight and cordials to my mind.
When virtue spooms before a prosperous gale,
My heaving wishes help to fill the sail;
And if my prayers for all the brave were heard,
Cæsar should still have such, and such should still reward.
"The laboured earth your pains have sowed and tilled ; 'Tis just you reap the product of the field.
1ο1 Yours be the harvest, 'tis the beggar's gain To glean the fallings of the loaded wain. Such scattered ears as are not worth your care Your charity for alms may safely spare,
And alms are but the vehicles of prayer.
My daily bread is literally implored;
I have no barns nor granaries to hoard.
If Cæsar to his own his hand extends,
Say which of yours his charity offends;
You know, he largely gives to more than are his friends.
Are you defrauded, when he feeds the poor?
Our mite decreases nothing of your store.
I am but few, and by your fare you see
My crying sins are not of luxury.
Some juster motive sure your mind withdraws
And makes you break our friendship's holy laws,
* For barefaced envy is too base a cause.
'Show more occasion for your discontent;
Your love, the Wolf, would help you to invent.
Some German quarrel, or, as times go now,
Some French, where force is uppermost, will do.
When at the fountain's head, as merit Ought
To claim the place, you take a swilling draught,
How easy 'tis an envious eye to throw
And tax the sheep for troubling streams below;
Or call her, when no farther cause you find,
An enemy professed of all your kind !
But then, perhaps, the wicked world would think
The Wolf designed to eat as well as drink.'
130 This last allusion galled the Panther more, Because indeed it rubbed upon the sore; Yet seemed she not to wince, though shrewdly pained, But thus her passive character maintained : "I never grudged, whate'er my foes report,
135 Your flaunting fortune in the Lion's court. You have your day, or you are much belied, But I am always on the suffering side; You know my doctrine, and I need not say I will not, but I cannot disobey.
140 On this firm principle I ever stood: He of my sons who fails to make it good By one rebellious act renounces to my blood.'
Ah!' said the Hind, how many sons have you
Who call you mother whom you never knew!
But most of them who that relation plead
Are such ungracious youths as wish you dead.
They gape at rich revenues which you hold
And fain would nibble at your grandam gold;
Inquire into your years, and laugh to find
Your crazy temper shows you much declined.
Were you not dim and doted, you might see
A pack of cheats that claim a pedigree,
No more of kin to you than you to me.
Do you not know that for a little coin
Heralds can foist a name into the line?
They ask you blessing but for what you have;
But once possessed of what with care you save,
The wanton boys would piss upon your grave.
• Your sons of latitude that court your grace,
Though most resembling you in form and face,
Are far the worst of your pretended race;
And, but I blush your honesty to blot,
Pray God you prove them lawfully begot :
For in some Popish libels I have read
The Wolf has been too busy in your bed ;
At least their hinder parts, the belly-piece,
The paunch and all that Scorpio claims are his.
Their malice too a sore suspicion brings,
For though they dare not bark, they snarl at kings.
Nor blame them for intruding in your line;
Fat bishoprics are still of right divine.
"Think you your new French proselytes are come
To starve abroad, because they starved at home?
Your benefices twinkled from afar,
They found the new Messiah by the star.
Those Swisses fight on any side for pay,
And 'tis the living that conforms, not they.
Mark with what management their tribes divide,
Some stick to you, and some to t'other side,
That many churches may for many mouths provide.
More vacant pulpits would more converts make;
All would have latitude enough to take.
The rest unbeneficed your sects maintain,
For ordinations without cures are vain,
And chamber practice is a silent gain.
Your sons of breadth at home are much like these;
Their soft and yielding metals run with ease;
They melt, and take the figure of the mould,
But harden and preserve it best in gold.'
"Your Delphic sword,' the Panther then replied,
'Is double-edged and cuts on either side.
Some sons of mine, who bear upon their shield
Three steeples argent in a sable field,
Have sharply taxed your converts, who unfed
Have followed you for miracles of bread;
Such who themselves of no religion are,
Allured with gain, for any will declare.
Bare lies with bold assertions they can face,
But dint of argument is out of place;
The grim logician puts them in a fright,
'Tis easier far to flourish than to fight.
Thus, our eighth Henry's marriage they defame;
They say the schism of beds began the game,
Divorcing from the Church to wed the dame;
Though largely proved, and by himself professed,
That conscience, conscience would not let him rest,
I mean, not till possessed of her he loved,
And old, uncharming Catherine was removed,
For sundry years before did he complain,
And told his ghostly confessor his pain.
With the same impudence, without a ground
They say that, look the Reformation round,
No Treatise of Humility is found.
But if none were, the Gospel does not want,
Our Saviour preached it, and I hope you grant
The Sermon in the Mount was Protestant.'
No doubt,' replied the Hind, .as sure as all
The writings of Saint Peter and Saint Paul ;