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son to be afraid of many who are in this assembly, but that your Majesty has taken me under your protection, and will provide that I am conducted safe home. The dog spoke with so much goodness and honesty, that I think I can trust myself in his company." The Lion then spoke for himself:
BEASTS OF EVERY KIND, “I commend the loyalty and respect which my subjects have shown to the proclamation I issued for their benefit and my own satisfaction. What has passed upon this occasion may be of use to us all in the recollection; and I think it highly proper that the memory of it should be preserved in some public record.”
“ An't please your Majesty,” said the Monkey, who had never been called upon to speak, “ I will write a review; in which the company shall have an exact account of the whole ; for which purpose I have been taking notes all the while: it is a great charge I take upon me, and in these days I have many competitors who are catching at the favour of the public; but I shall not be behind the best of them all. The task I know cannot be executed without the greatest candour and liberality, that the public may be acquainted with the real worth of every production; that modest merit may be encouraged and brought forward; falsehood and ignorance exposed ; and learning and science fixed upon their true basis; which will be such an advantage to the beasts of this age, as they never enjoyed before.
“ I begin with the question, whether your Majesty had power to issue the proclamation, in virtue of which we have all attended this day? and I think it should be put to the vote whether the jackall, who
acted under you, ought not to be called to an account for it.
“Of the tyger I say, We are happy to introduce an author so respectable for his rank and abilities to the notice of the public, and hope one day or other to meet him again, and be better acquainted with him. His sentiments are fine, and distinguish the superiority of his taste and understanding. The rights of nature are not to be controverted; and he has asserted what we think extremely probable, that the state of nature is a state of war; that power is to be used by those that have it; and that every beast may have it, if he can get it. The equality of all creatures is a valuable doctrine. That the ass should be equal to the lion! wonderful! (I'll let my cubs know this as soon as I get home.)
“ As to the wolf; wolves we know are under a bad name, and there are such things as wolves in sheep's clothing; but the wolf of this assembly speaks out very fairly and plainly, and we cannot but in justice commend the goodness of his intention. To be sure it was rather bold to say the night is better than the day; but some indulgence is always due to the prejudices of education. That his appetite should be the measure of his conduct; there we cannot quite agree with him, because it may so happen that his appetite may hunger after a monkey; and yet if there is a tree at hand, we have little to be afraid of.
“ The fox has fully satisfied us in the opinion we had formed of his great understanding ; his method of making a lion out of the limbs and faculties of inferior creatures is extremely ingenious, though it is not quite new ; we have met with it before from an old monkey, whose father had been a tame monkey to an English traveller, but escaped to the woods in the
night. That such a sentiment should be hazarded in the presence of the lion is a little extraordinary, but it is a happy proof that the age is an age of liberty; and he hoped never to see the day when foxes and monkeys should be afraid to speak their minds. From the utmost liberties of this kind, the lion had nothing to fear in respect of his government. It had indeed been reported, that the wolves were about to assemble in a body, and join with the tygers in an attempt to take his crown from him ; but the alarm was found to be totally without foundation, all raised by the jackall to increase the power of his Majesty's ministers. It would give us pleasure to see the subject of the slave-trade handled by this ingenious author, whose liberal way of thinking, and acute manner of reasoning could not fail to set that matter in a proper light. His wishing to see all geese loose upon a common, is a demonstration of the goodness of his heart.
“ In the jackall, the courtliness of his humour, and the wickedness of his designs, constitute him a true pattern of all ministers; and his character is so well known that nothing farther need be said of him, but that he is a scoundrel of a bone-picker, a fit instrument of tyranny and taxation.
“ From the ox what can we expect but heaviness and dulness? We are extremely sorry to see such principles as his in this age of illumination; mere old-fashioned stuff, fit only for the days of ghostly ignorance: we rather take him to be a methodist with horns on. What an abject beast, to desire no liberty! Poor creature, he has been brought up in obscurity, and has heard nothing of the late improvements. We would advise him to consider in time that nature never designed him for an author, and that he is quite out of his element ;-optat ephippia
bos—we never wish to meet this gentleman any more in public.
“ To the hog we are disposed to do as much justice as possible, but really his principles are too bad to be openly avowed, and it might have been better if he had kept them to himself. The true critic should preserve an inviolable neutrality, and therefore we do not pronounce that his principles are absolutely wrong in themselves, but we cannot proceed so far as to answer his wishes in recommending them to the world.
“ The dog does not want sense, and is to be admired for some of his qualities, particularly that of playing abont like a monkey when he is a puppy; but we are afraid his notions have a little tincture of
passive obedience, which ought not to be encouraged. The language he uses towards the fox is such as no gentleman should use towards another, and we rather suspect that he is the dog of some tory master. If the story he tells of men biting the heels of government be really true (but we are inclined to think it a ministerial fabrication), it was improper to tell it; as it may tend, in the eyes of bigotted ignorant people, to lessen freedom of speech in some great assemblies; and a few more such stories might expose mankind to the contempt of the brute creation.
“ The sheep is, as we should expect, a poor silly animal, who knows little of the world, and is below the spirit of true enquiry. What an argument! that because it may be good for sheep to be under a shepherd, it is therefore good for all creatures to be under authority. Are monkeys, the free inhabitants of the woods, to be owned like a flock of sheep? A fine sight indeed! to see them driven bare ad into a fold, to lay their tails upon a turnip-ground. But the sheep did not see far enough to be aware of this ab
surdity; and we suppose she would have wolves under a shepherd too. We must be so candid indeed as to allow, that she does not positively affirm this ; but we shrewdly suspect it was intended : and then the wolves must first apply to a felt-monger to provide themselves with sheep skins : thus we should reform backwards with a witness. But enough of this uninteresting and unentertaining performance.
“ I have now surveyed the whole, and expect your Majesty's approbation. If your highness should be pleased to convene, or the friends of liberty should convene for themselves, in virtue of a prior right, an assembly of this kind once a month, I shall then be ready to write a Monthly Review.”