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Making black white, and white of sable ;
As did judge Reynard in the fable....
I give the tale from Æsop's reading, .
My own the precepts and the pleading. .
Reader, be kind, and give me quarter,
To Æsop's wine tho' I put water.

A plague once fill'd the beasts with dread,
Death on them fix'd and hourly fed ;
With carcases the fields were strew'd,
The moor, the mountain, and the wood;
The lordly Lion, e'en appallid,. .
A council of his subjects calựd.

*My friends,' the humbl’d king begins, • Heaven, to repay our crying sins, . . "This dreadful plague no doubt decreed : * Then to confession let's proceed : * And, when each has his crimes confess'd, • Let him who deepest has transgress'd, ' * Be sacrificed for all the rest. • Heaven may the sacrifice receive, • Our crimes remit, and. we may live.'

Wisdom ne'er fail'd a royal tongue; The forest with rude plaudits rung. The Fox, for wily wit far fam'd, As judge,was una voce nam’d, And now, each, blushing for transgression, In turn made humbly his confession: Closing his pious penitential With plea less pointed than essential.

The Lion first—Ah, woe is me! Where can a greater sinner be? • What herds have I by force o'erpower'd! • What numbers in my rage devour'd! : • To me what injury had they done? • Alas! enormous sinner! none ! • Nay, once;' tis true, with shame. I speak,

See tears of anguish scald my cheek'(And something like a tear-drop-rollid His majesty had, 'chance, caught cold) • An herd I saw, a bullock slew, • Tho' glorious beef, that would not dom • Ah! wretch! I ate the herdsman too.'- ) His penitence here prov'd perfection, He lick’d his chops from recollection! His eyes too sparkled ; that might be The sparkling of grief's tear; then he ? No palliation can I find

For crimes so dread; content, resign'd, • I bow me to the stroke of death, !,!, ! • If justice asks my parting breath;

. * But, first, let all confession make;

Due cognizance then justice take, it is • And, if with theirs my sins compar'

d e • Weigh down the scale, be pity spar'd,132 • Be fealty forfeited, and I, « The worst of sinners ! justly die.' Hi s

Humbly he spoke, but look'd so fiercerita His flashing eyes judge Reynard pierce, totis

Who trembling sat, but wisely knewymi.
From Leo's contrite looks his cue.

The Beasts again applauding roar: ..
Judge Fox with gravity conn'd o'er
The royal sins, and thus exclaim'd

Such acts would be as murder nam'd • If by your subjects done; but in

You, Sire, high sanction bars the sin. • You deign'd upon the herd to feed,

But they the act had guaranteed; * For where's the subject, day by day,

And hour by hour, who fails to say O Sire, accept our homage duė,

Our lives devoted all to you? . Thus equity the act shall save, "You only took what they first gave. • Besides the rule has flourish'd long

That Royalty can do no wrong. You ate the herdsman-here's a case • Which wears at sight a graver face; . But, when by justice made apparent,

You'll find no onus lies, I warrant. • Tho'o'er each beast high sway you bear, • Mankind superior nature wear; Man, the great monarch of the earth,

So call’d, affects sublimer birth; . And claims all rule; suppose this reason, • The deed was positive high treason : • But man's our foe, and we disclaim • His right and rule ; this bars the blame;


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. Denied his claim to sov'reignty,
• The deed from censure must be free;
If Coke on Littleton starts grudge,
• Consult the statutes, Fox on Fudge. .
• You ate the herdsman too; what then?
• Necessity impell’d; and men
* Themselves allow, in ancient Saw,
* That paramount to ev'ry law;
• Hence, Sire, your pious fears may.cease;
• Go rest in innocence and peace !"

Then down he sat, ʼmid brute applause,
And look'd the importance of the laws;
Like some who judge 'mong human kind,
Who prove Dame Justice only blind
To crime in power, but powerless sinks
Beneath her piercing eye of Lynx.

And down he sat-the Lion cast
A glance which approbation pass'd;
And look'd I'll eat that fellow last.?

The Tiger next By hunger press’d,
I've slain my share must be confess'd.'

• Enough,' the Judge,--'No fault there falls, • Hunger, we know, eats thro' stone walls; • And, if by instinct we're directed, • Are we not by its laws protected ?'

The Leopard, 'Blood against me rises, Goats, sheep and lambs, have been my prizes ;

I see the crime, but knew not then • Its baseness; were 't to do again

• I'd ne'er offend.'—The Fox.replied,

*As ignorance was then your guide, * And as intention forms the guilt, “No law condemns the blood you spilt.'

The Bear succeeded — In my time I've slain enough, and own the crime; • The hapless victims cross'd my way. • When hunger rag'd, and fell my prey.'

The judge— If in your way they came, You stand acquitted ; their's the blame; . • Against stone walls who run, insane, * Shall they of broken heads complain ?'

The gaunt Wolf growl'd— My very name •Has grown a sound of guilt and shame. • With lawless range. I prowl by night; • The shepherd tracks at morning light . My ruffian course, by blood-marks common; • And once I supp'd on an old woman.'

ReynardAllow'd you've kill'd your share, But did the shepherd take due care * To fold his flock; could you destroy?.

His carelessness is your decoy; • Then let him bear the burthen, pray • Who threw temptations in your way. Your last crime must have been a dream;. • Eat an old woman? this måy seem • Contempt of court ; proof all can bring • Mankind declare there's no such thing. * Non est inventus is your plea; • The bill's thrown out, and you are free.

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