Monday, November 29, 2010

L'Estrange: The Kingdom of Apes.

Two Men took a Voyage together into the Kingdom of Apes; the one a Trimmer, the other a Plain Dealer. They were taken into Custody, and carried to the Prince of the Country, as he sat in State, and a Mighty Court about him. Well, says the King to the Trimmer, Look me in the Face now, and say, what you do take me to be? A Great Emperor, Undoubtedly, says the Trimmer. Well, says his Majesty once again, and what d'ye take all these People about me for? Why Sir, says he, I take them for your Majesties Nobility and Great Officers. The Prince was wonderfully pleas'd with the Civility and Respect of the Man; and Order'd him a Bushel of Pippins, as a singular Mark of his Royal Favour. His Majesty after this, put the same Questions to the Plain Dealer, who fell to computing with Himself, that if his Companion had gotten a Reward for a Damn'd Lye, certainly he should have twice as much for a Plain Honest Truth; and so he told the King Bluntly, that he took him for a very Extraordinary Ape, and all those People about him for his Trusty and Well-beloved Counsellors and Cozens: But the Poor Man Paid dearly for his Simplicity; for upon a Signal from the Emperor, the whole Band of Apes fell Tooth and Nail upon him, and tore him one Limb from another.

Where the Rules and Measures of Policy are Perverted, there must needs Ensue a Failure of Justice, and a Corruption of Manners: And in a Kingdom of Apes, Buffoons may well put in for Commission-Officers.

Source: L'Estrange 413.
homo fallax et verax

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