Thursday, November 18, 2010

L'Estrange: The Fox Condemn'd.

There was a Fox (as the Story has it) of a Lewd Life and Conversation, that happen'd at last to be Catch'd in his Roguery, and call'd to an Account for the Innocent Blood he had spilt of Lambs, Pullets and Geese without Number, and without any Sense either of Shame or of Conscience. While he was in the hands of Justice, and on his way to the Gibbet, a Freak took him in the Head to go off with a Conceit. You Gentlemen, the King's Officers, says he, I have no Mind in the World to go to the Gallows by the Common Road; but if you'll carry me through the Little Wood there on the Right Hand, I should take it very kindly. The People fancy'd a Trick, in't at First, and that there might be some Thought or a Rescue, or an Escape in the Case; till Reynard Assur'd them upon his Honour, that he had no such Design: Only he was a great Lover of Music, and he had rather have one Chirping Madrigal in the Woods, then Forty from Turks and Popes upon the Ladder.

Many People are Harden'd in an Habitual Defiance of Heaven and Hell, that they'll sport with them at the very Gallows; and value themselves upon Living and Dying all of a piece.

Source: L'Estrange 406.

Image Source: Tiles painted by Francis Hosker.
M0053 (not in Perry)

No comments:

Post a Comment