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No help from fathers or tradition's train:
Those ancient guides she taught us to disdain,
And by that scripture, which she once abused
To reformation, stands herself accused. *
What bills for breach of laws can she prefer,
Expounding which she owns herself may err?
And, after all her winding ways are tried,
If doubts arise, she slips herself aside,
And leaves the private conscience for the guide.
If, then, that conscience set the offender free,
It bars her claim to church authority.
How can she censure, or what crime pretend,
But scripture may be construed to defend ?
Even those, whom for rebellion she transmits
To civil power, her doctrine first acquits;
Because no disobedience can ensue,
Where no submission to a judge is due;
Each judging for himself by her consent,
Whom, thus absolved, she sends to punishment.
Suppose the magistrate revenge her cause,
'Tis only for transgressing human laws.
How answering to its end a church is made,
Whose power is but to counsel and persuade?
O solid rock, on which secure she stands !
Eternal house, not built with mortal hands!
O sure defence against the infernal gate,
A patent during pleasure of the state !
Thus is the Panther neither loved nor feared,
A mere mock queen of a divided herd;
Whom soon by lawful power she might controul,
Herself a part submitted to the whole.
Then, as the moon who first receives the light
By which she makes our nether regions bright,
So might she shine, reflecting from afar
The rays she borrowed from a better star;
Big with the beams which from her mother flow,
And reigning o'er the rising tides below : *
Now, mixing with a savage crowd, she goes,
And meanly flatters her inveterate foes;
Ruled while she rules, and losing every hour
Her wretched remnants of precarious power.
One evening, while the cooler shade she sought,
Revolving many a melancholy thought,
Alone she walked, and looked around in vain,
With rueful visage, for her vanished train :
None of her sylvan subjects made their court;
Levées and couchées passed without resort.
So hardly can usurpers manage well
Those, whom they first instructed to rebel :
More liberty begets desire of more;
The hunger still increases with the store.
Without respect, they brushed along the wood,
Each in his clan, and, filled with loathsome food,
Asked no permission to the neighbouring flood. ' S
The Panther, full of inward discontent,
Since they would
before them wisely went; Supplying want of power by drinking first, As if she gave them leave to quench their thirst. Among the rest, the Hind, with fearful face, Beheld from far the common watering place, Nor durst approach; till with an awful roar The sovereign Lion bade her fear no more. t Encouraged thus, she brought her younglings nigh, Watching the motions of her patron's eye,
* That is, if the church of England would be reconciled to Rome, she should be gratified with a delegated portion of innate authority over the rival sectaries ; instead of being obliged to depend upon the civil power for protection.
+ Alluding to the exercise of the dispensing power, and the Declaration of Indulgence.
And drank a sober draught; the rest, amazed,
Stood mutely still, and on the stranger gazed;
Surveyed her part by part, and sought to find
The ten-horned monster in the harmless Hind,
Such as the Wolf and Panther had designed. +
They thought at first they dreamed; for twas offence
With them, to question certitude of sense,
Their guide in faith : but nearer when they drew,
And had the faultless object full in view,
Lord, how they all admired her heavenly hue!
Some, who, before, her fellowship disdained,
Scarce, and but scarce, from in-born rage restrained,
Now frisked about her, and old kindred feigned.
Whether for love or interest, every sect
Of all the savage nation shewed respect.
The viceroy Panther could not awe the herd;
The more the company, the less they feared.
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, sufficed, did late repair
To ferny heaths, and to their forest lair,
She made a mannerly excuse to stay,
Proffering the Hind to wait her half the way;
+ The ten-horned monster, in the Revelations, was usually explained by the reformers as typical of the church of Rome.
There was a classical superstition, that, if a wolf saw a man before he saw the wolf, the person lost his voice :
-vorque Mærin Jam fugit ipsi: lupi Marin videre priores. Dryden has adopted, in the text, the converse of this superstitious belief,
That, since the sky was clear, an hour of talk
Might help her to beguile the tedious walk.
With much good-will the motion was embraced,
To chat a while on their adventures passed ;
Nor had the grateful Hind so soon forgot
Her friend and fellow-sufferer in the plot. †
Yet wondering how of late she grew estranged,
Her forehead cloudy, and her countenance changed,
She thought this hour the occasion would present,
To learn her secret cause of discontent;
Which well she hoped, might be with ease re-
Considering her a well-bred civil beast,
And more a gentlewoman than the rest.
After some common talk what rumours ran,
The lady of the spotted muff' began.
+ Although the Roman Catholic plot was made the pretence of persecuting the Papists in the first instance, yet the high-flying party of the Church of England were also levelled at, and accused of being Tantivies, Papists in masquerade, &c. &c.
THE HIND AND THE PANTHER,
Note I. And doomed to death, though fated not to die.---P. 119. The critics fastened on this line with great exultation, concluding, that doomed and fated mean precisely the same thing. “ Faith, Mr Bayes,” says one of these gentlemen, “if you were doomed to be hanged, whatever you were fated to 'twould give you but small comfort.” * This criticism is quite erroneous ; doom, in its general acceptation, meaning merely a sentence of any kind, the pronouncing which by no means necessarily implies its execution. In the criminal courts of Scotland, the sentence is always concluded with this formula," and this I pronounce for doom.” Till of late years, a special officer recited the sentence after the judge, and was thence called the doomster, t an office now performed by the clerk of court. The criticism is founded on the word doom having been often, and even generally, used as synonimous to the sentence of heaven, and therefore inevitable. But in the text, it
* Hind and Panther Transversed.
+ This office was usually held by the executioner, who, to this extent, was a pluralist; and the change was chiefly made, to prevent the necessity of producing that person in court, to the aggravation of the criminal's terrors.