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“ For all of ancient that you had before,
“ (I mean what is not borrowed from our store,)
“ Was error fulminated o'er and o'er ;
“ Old heresies condemned in ages past,
“ By care and time recovered from the blast.
"''Tis said with ease, but never can be proved,
“ The Church her old foundations has removed,
“ And built new doctrines on unstable sands :
“ Judge that, ye winds and rains ! you proved her, yet she stands.*
" Those ancient doctrines charged on her for new, 591
“ Show when, and how, and from what hands they grew.
“ We claim no power, when heresies grow bold,
“ To coin new faith, but still declare the old.
“ How else could that obscene disease be purged,
“ When controverted texts are yainly urged ?
" To prove tradition new, there's somewhat more
“ Required, than saying, 'Twas not used before.
“ Those monumental arms are never stirred,
“ Till schism or heresy call down Goliah's sword.
“ Thus what you call corruptions are in truth
“ The first plantations of the gospel's youth,
“ Old standard faith ; but cast your eyes again,
" And view those errors which new sects maintain,
“ Or which of old disturbed the Church's peaceful reign ;605
“ And we can point each period of the time,
“ When they began, and who begot the crime ;
“ Can calculate how long the eclipse endured,
“ Who interposed, what digits were obscured :
" Of all which are already passed away,
“ We know the rise, the progress, and decay.
“Despair at our foundations then to strike,
“ Till you can prove your faith Apostolic,
“ A limpid stream drawn from the native source,
“ Succession lawful in a lineal course.
“ Prove any Church, opposed to this our head,
"So one, so pure, so unconfinedly spread
“ Under one chief of the spiritual state,
“ The members all combined, and all subordinate
“ Show such a seamless coat, from schism so free 620
“ In no communion joined with heresy.
“ If such a one you find, let truth prevail ;
“ Till when, your weights will in the balance fail ;
“A Church unprincipled kicks up the scale.
“ But if you cannot think (nor sure you can
“ Suppose in God what were unjust in man)
“ That He, the fountain of eternal grace,
“ Should suffer falsehood, for so long a space,
“ To banish truth and to usurp her place;
“That sevent successive ages should be lost,
“And preach damnation at their proper cost;
* St. Matthew vii. 24-7.
+ Nine was the word in the first edition, replaced by seven in the second,
“ That all your erring ancestors should die
“ Drowned in the abyss of deep idolatry;
“ If piety forbid such thoughts to rise,
“ Awake, and open your unwilling eyes :
“God hath left nothing for each age undone,
“ From this to that wherein he sent his Son ;
“ Then think but well of Him, and half your work is done.
“See how his Church, adorned with every grace,
“ With open arms, a kind forgiving face,
“ Stands ready to prevent* her long-lost son's embrace !
“ Not more did Joseph o'er his brethren weep,
“ Nor less himself could from discovery keep,
" When in the crowd of suppliants they were seen,
“ And in their crew his best-beloved Benjamin. The renun- " That pious Joseph in the Church behold, Benedictines
" To feed your famine and refuse your gold;
to the Abbey “ The Joseph you exiled, the Joseph whom you sold.”+
Thus, while with heavenly charity she spoke,
A streaming blaze the silent shadows broke;
Shot from the skies a cheerful azure light;
The birds obscene to forests winged their flight,
And gaping graves received the wandering guilty sprite.
Such were the pleasing triumphs of the sky
For James his late nocturnal victory;
The pledge of his Almighty Patron's love,
The fireworks which his angels made above.
Poeta I saw myself the lambent easy light
loquitur. Gild the brown horror and dispel the night : 1
The messenger with speed the tidings bore,
News, which three labouring nations did restore ;
But Heaven's own Nuncius was arrived before.
By this the Hind had reached her lonely cell,
And vapours rose, and dews unwholesome fell,
When she, by frequent observation wise,
As one who long on heaven had fixed her eyes,
Discerned a change of weather in the skies.
The western borders were with crimson spread,
The moon descending looked all flaming red;
* Prevent, anticipate, the common sense of the word in Dryden. Among other instances, see “Stanzas on Cromwell," 4:“ Absalom and Achitophel," 344.
Dryden's marginal note explains this passage as referring to a formal renunciation recently made by the English Benedictine monks of the abbey-lands which had belonged to their order before the Reformation. This was in order to quiet the fears of proprietors and aid in restoring the Roman Catholic religion in England.
From Dryden's marginal note, “ Pocta loquitur," it is to be understood that he here describes a natural phenomenon witnessed by himself. Jan es's “late nocturnal victory" must be the battle of Sedgmoor, which began on the afternoon of July 6, 1685, and was not finished till the break of day, July 7. Dryden appears to refer to an Aurora Borealis or a remarkable phenomenon of shooting stars seen by himself on that night, but there is no other known mention of this circumstance. Dryden's witty parodists twitted him with this “Poeta loquitur.” “But when I get any noble thought which I envy a mouse should say, I clap it down in my own person with a Poeta loquitur; which, take notice, is a surer sign of a fine thing in my writings than a hand in the margent anywhere else." The Hind and the Panther Transversed to the Story of the Country Mouse and the City Mouse.)
She thought good manners bound her to invite
The stranger dame to be her guest that night.
'Tis true, coarse diet and a short repast,
She said, were weak inducements to the taste
Of one so nicely bred and so unused to fast;
But what plain fare her cottage could afford,
A hearty welcome at a homely board
Was freely hers; and to supply the rest,
An honest meaning and an open breast.
Last, with content of mind, ihe poor man's wealth,
A grace-cup to their common patron's health.
This she desired her to accept, and stay,
For fear she might be wildered in her way,
Because she wanted an unerring guide ;
And then the dew-drops on her silken hide
Her tender constitution did declare
Too lady-like a long fatigue to bear,
And rough inclemencies of raw nocturnal air.
But most she feared that, travelling so late,
Some evil-minded beasts might lie in wait,
And without witness wreak their hidden hate.
The Panther, though she lent a listening ear,
Had more of Lion in her than to sear;
Yet wisely weighing, since she had to deal
With many foes, their numbers might prevail,
Returned her all the thanks she could afford,
And took her friendly hostess at her word ;
Who, entering first her lowly roof, a shed
With hoary moss and winding ivy spread,
Honest enough to hide an humble hermit's head,
Thus graciously bespoke her welcome guest :
“ So might these walls, with your fair presence blest,
“ Become your dwelling-place of everlasting rest,
“ Not for a night, or quick revolving year,
“ Welcome an owner, not a sojourner.
“ This peaceful seat my poverty secures ;
“ War seldom enters but where wealth allures :
“ Nor yet despise it, for this poor abode
“ Has oft received and yet receives a God;
“ A God, victorious of the Stygian race,
“ Here laid his sacred limbs, and sanctified the place. 710
“ This mean retreat did mighty Pan contain ; *
“ Be emulous of him, and pomp disdain,
“ And dare not to debase your soul to gain.”
The silent stranger stood amazed to see
Contempt of wealth and wilful poverty :
And, though ill habits are not soon controlled,
A while suspended her desire of gold; In Part 1, line 284, Dryden has spoken of Christ as "the blessed Pan." Here not only is Christ called "mighty Pan," but his victory over death is described as victory over the Stygian race. The mixture of religion and classical mythology in this passage is sufficiently incongruous, and has been justly criticized by Dr. Johnson.
But civilly drew in her sharpened paws,
Not violating hospitable laws,
And pacified her tail and licked her frothy jaws.
The Hind did first her country cates provide ;*
Then couched her self securely by her side.
THE HIND AND THE PANTHER.
Much malice mingled with a little wit
Perhaps may censure this mysterious writ,
Because the Muse has peopled Caledon
With Panthers, Bears, and Wolves, and beasts unknown,
As if we were not stocked with monsters of our own.
Let Æsop answer, who has set to view
Such kinds as Greece and Phrygia never knew ;
And Mother Hubbard in her homely dress
Has sharply blamed a British Lioness,
That Queen, whose feast the factious rabble keep,
Exposed obscenely naked and asleep. t.
Led by those great examples, may not I
The wanted organs of their words supply?
If men transact like brutes, 'tis equal then
For brutes to claim the privilege of men.
Others our Hind of folly will indite
To entertain a dangerous guest by night.
Let those remember, that she cannot die
Till rolling time is lost in round eternity;
* Cates, provisions, contracted from an old word achates or acates, the French achats.
"The kitchen clerk, that hight Digestion,
Did order all th' achates in seemly wise."
SPENSER, Fairy Queen, ii. 9, 31.
“A sordid rascal, one that never made
Good meal in his sleep, but sells the acates are sent him."
Ben Jonson, Staple of News, act 2, sc. 1. | Dryden vindicates his fable by the example of Spenser in his “Mother Hubbard's Tale," an allegory in which Queen Elizabeth was represented as a Lion asleep, while the Ape and the Fox, ministers, usurped her functions and made misgovernment.
“ The Lion, sleeping, lay in secret shade,
His crown and sceptre lying him beside,
And having dost for heat his dreadful hide." This is how she was "exposed obscenely naked and asleep." The pope-burnings of Queen Elizabeth's night, which had occurred every year since the excitement of the Popish Plot, are referred to in the words “whose feast the factious rabble keep."
1 " Round eternity." See notes on circular, "Stanzas on Cromwell," s, and circle, " Absalom and Achitophel," 839. Cleaveland has “Eternity's round womb" (Poems, 1659, p. 58) “As round and full as the great circle of eternity.”
Sprat's Pindarić Ode on Cowley.
Nor need she fear the Panther, though untamed,
Because the Lion's peace was now proclaimed :*
The wary savage would not give offence,
To forfeit the protection of her Prince,
But watched the time her vengeance to complete,
When all her furry sons in frequent senate met ; +
Meanwhile she quenched her lury at the flood
And with a lenten salad cooled her blood.
Their commons, though but coarse, were nothing scant,
Nor did their minds an equal banquet want.
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;
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 : * James II.'s Declaration of Indulgence.
+ * Frequent senate" means here numerous, well-attended, a Latin use of the word frequens. “ Fregens senatus" in this sense occurs in Cicero Epist. Fam. X. 12).
"The great seraphic lords and cherubim
In close recess and secret conclave sat,
A thousand demi-gods on golden seats,
Frequent and full,"
MILTON, Paradise Lost, i. 794. 1 The firm adherence of the Church of England to James, when, being Duke of York, he was in exile at Brussels, and the Exclusion Bill was being promoted against him.