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81 whose Character it is written: I remember I carefled him with much Fondness; and once, I believe, hinted I would do him Justice in Print. Others more credulous may think fomething miraculous in it: I can only say, the little dumb imal fee to me to shew more Ingenuity than many two-legged Puppies of my Acquaintance, that pretended to Rationality.
HISTORY of the MOST AMAZING and
SAGACIOUS ENGLISH DOG.
Written by HIMSELF.
Were I to reveal the Secret how I have been able to write at all, it would too much stagger human Belief: let it fuffice that I have really done it; and from the incredible Feats People daily see me perform, a conjectural Argument may be fairly deduced, that it was possible for me to have written this.
The Learned very well know the Tenets of Pythagoras: He maintained the Principles of Transmigration: that the Bodies of Men were animated by Souls paffing from Brutes, and of Brutes by Souls paffing from Men. This Doctrine has been long exploded; but may ít not be true? The Earth was once thought to be immoveable ; and it was pronounced an Herefy, doomed to the Faggot, to affirm the contrary. Des Cartes's System of Philosophy had once as many Supporters as Sir Isaac's has at present: Many Opinions have been resumed, that before had been discarded :--Multa renascentur, qua jam cecidere. And why not this of Transmigration? < Vol. III.
I myo I myself, I folemnly declare, was an Intimate and Fellow-Soldier with Euphorbus, who was afterwards Pythagoras himself: and who knows but those bluff English Mastiffs, who now amicably serve together at the fame Shambles, may inherit, not the Names only, but the very Souls of those rival Heroes, Pompey and Cæfar,
But it were presumptuous in a simple Dog, as I am, a mere Brute endued, as 'tis said, only with Instinct, to enter into physical Disquisitions : Yet, I assure you, I have a Memory, not only of what has happened to me in my present Shape, but through all my Transactions. A few Incidents I shall select of my canine State of Life, to which, by a fad Fatality, I have been chiefly confined.
First then, it is necessary to inform you, that I was once the glorious Dog-Star, elevated to the blissful Regions of the Skies. I there enjoyed a tranquil Felicity, till, by my Barking, I imprudently disturbed the Sovereign Jupiter in an Amour with a certain Goddess. For this Offence I was banished the Heavens; and, as I could not be wholly divested of Immortality, condemned to inhabit material Beings here on Earth, and do a shameful Penance in gross Flesh and Blood,
'Tis not worth while to mention how long I have thus suffered, or in what different Forms: I was one of those Dogs that encompassed Scylla, so renowned in poetical Story : I was one of those Dogs that helped to devour their Master Asteon; whose Soul Diana commanded instantly to enter the dead Body of a Stag newly killed, that he might not be able to blab of her Nakedness. --(Ovid tells the Story otherwise, but this is the Fact.) -I was Ulysses's faithful Argos, who discovered my Master after Twenty Years Absence, when his Wife, his Son, and all his Family, could not know him.
Among the human Mortals, whom I lived in, the chief was that snarling Philosopher Diogenes, the farft Founder of Tub-Preachers. He was properly stiled the Cynic, on Account of his dogged Nature ; of which I was truly the constituent Cause. From him I transmigrated into many other Bodies, which, at present, I have no Inclination to enumerate.
I shall hasten to the Period at which I assumed the Form I am now in: I had the Honour to be transmitted into the Carcase of a Puppy sprung from a polite Lady's favourite Lap-Dog: My Education was the tenderest imaginable : The Lady's Son and Heir was not brought up with more Delicacy, Care, and Affection. Unluckily for me, my Parent had not been quite so curious in her Choice of an Helpmate: I soon discovered Marks of a Mongrel Breed, and Thewed evident Promises of an unfashionable Size and Shape. In fine, I was expelled the soft Velvet Cushion of the Drawing Room, and fent down to che hard Mattrass of the Servants Hall.
Before I had passed the Non-age of Puppy-hood, I found myself transported to an Alehouse Kitchen, for the Servants were worn out with my continual Yelping at my indelicate Situation : the Lady ceased to enquire after me; and they were glad to get rid of me at any Rate. My new Master of the Taphouse clapped me up into a wooden Whirligig, and set me to work at what is called Spinning of RoastMeat. My Limbs, alas ! never inured to Service, and before always indulged in the Luxury of Indolence, could not submit to such toilsome Employment. Blows only disheartened me; and I learnt the mean Practice of those daftard Curs, that skulk away in Corners, when they are wanted to
After I had increased considerably in Bulk, almost too big for the Service I was destined to, a Coach
man, who used to drink at our House, was charmed with my Spots : He begged me, easily obtained me, and I was carried to the Stable, where my Spirit was fo broken, that I with Pleasure suffered the dirty Hands of Grooms to clap me on the Back, and finking Postillions to spit in my Mouth. But my Pride made me more than Amends; for wherever the Coach went, I was always carried in the Boot, and stuck myself up erect upon the Foot-board : I then thought the Horses, and all, were at my Command; and, like the Fly upon the Wheel, I attributed to myself the mighty Duft that was raised about me.
I was a very docile Creature, and at Times had been taught to fetch and carry, to stand upon my hind Legs, to yawn at Command, and to play a thousand Tricks that servile Dogs are obliged to submit to. This procured me the Good-will of the grinning Vulgar, and gained me many a cast Bone as a Re. ward for my Ingenuity.
At length the famous Bampfylde More Carew, (well known in the Country by the Name of DogItealer) came to the Town where we were: He scraped Acquaintance with me among others of ray Species; and enticed us along with him by a Charm no less powerful than the Cake which quieted the Triple-headed Cerberus. For myself, not having been initiated in any of the rustic Sports, he sold me to a Mountebank at the next Village for Sixpence dry, and a Pot of Flip. With this my new Mafter and his Merry-Andrew, I travelled over several Parts of England, and contributed my Share to their Im.. pofitions on poor, ignorant, gaping Clowns.
He taught me, upon taking some innocent Composition, immediately to counterfeit myself dead : I would throw myself into the moft convulsive Agonies, 'till, upon applying a trifling Liquor to my Nostrils, I could spring up briskly upon my Legs, fhake myself, wag my Tail, skip about, and show all the evident Tokens of my speedy Recovery.
Poverty, and the Apprehensions of a Gaol, drove my Master at last to seek Refuge in France. Here it was that I first had an Interview, which tvon ripened into Intimacy, with the famous Chien Savant, who was then learning those Exercises, which he has since exhibited with so much Applause in England. I was truck with his Ingenuity : I studied his Practices; and in copying after this great Original, I found myself able to make many Improvements on them. However, I chose to conceal my Talents, till I should get a favourable Occasion to exert them.
After Monsieur Le Chien had been some Time settled in England, the ingenious Artist, under whose Tuition I now am, came to Boulogne on the same Errand with my Master. He had seen the fagacious Performances of Le Chien: And when he saw a Specimen of mine, he was in Raptures to meet a Dog of his own Country, that might, at the fame Time I brought Profit to himself, do Honour to the Nation. In a Word, he foon ftruck up a Bargain with my
Owner, who having no farther Use for me in his medical Capacity, parted with me without Reluctance; and I revisited once more my dear native Land, England.
I have ever since been preparing for Exhibition : My Instructor, resolving I should exceed the Foreigner's Sagacity, has taught me to distinguish the Greek Alphabet, of which I am now perfect Master from Alpha to Omega. _I can even found some of the Letters almost to a Degree of Speaking; as the Xi &c. but particularly the q; which I can growl out (especially when 'aflerting my Poffeffion to a Bone) with such a guttural Emphatis, as Mr. Mollop, whom I've leard my Owner talk of, cannot equal.