Friday, November 26, 2010

L'Estrange: A Council of Beasts.

The Beasts (a great while ago) were so harass'd out with Perpetual feuds and Factions, that they call'd a General Council, in the nature of a Committee of Grievances, to Advise upon some way for the Adjusting of Differences, in order to a Publick Peace. After a great many Notable Things said upon the Debate, Pro and Con, the Hares at last (according to the Printed Votes of those Days) deliver'd their Sense to this Effect: There can never be any Quiet in this World, so long as one Beast shall be Allow'd Nails, Teeth, or Horns, more then Another; but the Weaker will still be a Prey to the Stronger: Wherefore we humbly propose an Universal Parity, and that we may be all upon the same Level, both for Dignity and Power; for we may then, and not till then, promise our selves a Blessed State of Agreement, when no one Creature shall be able to Hurt another.

The Mobile are still for Levelling; that is to say, for Advancing themselves, For 'tis as Broad as'tis long, whether they Rise to others, or bring others down to them. Beside, that the Doctrine of Levelling strikes at the very Order of Providence.

Source: L'Estrange 399. Note that L'Estrange omits the lions and instead uses the sermone attached to the fable to denounce the hares in his own words!

M0166 Perry450

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