Tuesday, November 23, 2010

L'Estrange: A Dog and his Master.

There was an Excellent House-Dog, that spent his whole Night still in Bawling and Snarling at all People Indifferently that pass'd within Hearing of him. His Master took him to Task once for Barking and yelling so at every Body that came near him, without Distinction. Why what have you a Nose for, says he, but to smell out a Thief from an Honest Man? I will not have ye so much as Open your Mouth, I tell ye, at a Venture thus. Sir, says the Mastiff, 'tis out of the Zeal I have for your Service; and yet, when all is done too, I would I had no more to Answer for, then giving False Alarums, and Barking out of Season. You may fancy perhaps, that there are No other Thieves than those that the Law Exposes to the Pillory, or a Whipping Post; or to a Turn perchance at Tyburn the next Sessions. You'll find your self Mistaken Sir, if you'll take upon ye to Judge of these Blades by their Garbs, Looks, and outward Appearance: But if I get them in the Wind once, I'll tell ye which is which, to the very Hearts and Souls of 'em, without the Ceremony of either Bench, Witnesses or Jury. Nay, says the Master, if you should happen to Spy a Knight of the Post, a Catch-pole, a Jayler, a Pawn-Broker, a High-way-man, a Crop-Ear'd Scrivner, a Griping Usurer, a Corrupt Judge, or any of these Vermin, pray'e Cry out Thief, and spare not: And I beseech ye Sir, says the Dog, what if it should be a Pettifogging Splitter of Causes, a Turncoat, Ecclesiastical, Military or Civil; a Trading Justice a mortal Enemy under the Mask of a Friend: A Glozing Hypocrite: Or in One word, let it be in any other Case or Encounter whatsoever; You will find it Twenty Thousand to One upon the whole Matter, that I Bark Right.

The History of Cheats and Sharpers truly Written, would be no other then the History of Human Nature.

Source: L'Estrange 484.
(not in Mille) (not in Perry)

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