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mere man, though the best of men, from whom the truth is often industriously hidden, and to whom falsehood is often presented in its place, by artful, interested, and malicious courtiers ?
And be cautious in trusting him even with limited powers, lest sooner or later he sap and destroy those limits, and render himself absolute.
For by the disposal of places, he attaches to himself all the placeholders, with their numerous connexions, and also all the expecters and hopers of places, which will form a strong party in promoting his views. By various political engagements for the interest of neighbouring states or princes, he procures their aid in establishing his own personal power. So that, through the hopes of emolument in one part of his subjects, and the fear of his resentment in the other, all opposition falls before him.
PROPOSED NEW VERSION OF THE BIBLE.
TO THE PRINTER OF * * *". SIR, It is now more than one hundred and seventy years since the translation of our common English Bible. The language in that time is much changed, and the style, being obsolete, and thence less agreeable, is perhaps one reason why the reading of that excellent book is of late so much neglected. I have therefore thought it would be well to procure a new version, in which, preserving the sense, the turn of phrase and manner of expression should be modern. I do not pretend to have the necessary abilities for such a work myself ; I throw out the hint for the consideration of the learned; and only venture to send you a few verses of the first chapter of Job, which may serve as a sample of the kind of version I would recommend.
Part of The First chapTER of JoB MODErnized.
Verse 6. Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also amongst them.
7. And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
8. And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
9. Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for naught?
10. Hast thou not made an hedge about his house, and about all that he hath on every side 7 Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
11. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
Verse 6. And it being levee day in heaven, all God's nobility came to court, to present themselves before him; and Satan also appeared in the circle, as one of the ministry. 7. And God said to Satan, You have been some time absent; where were you? And Satan answered, I have been at my country-seat, and in different places visiting my friends. 8. And God said, Well, what think you of Lord Job! You see he is my best friend, a perfectly honest man, full of respect for me, and avoiding every thing that might offend me. 9. And Satan answered, Does your Majesty imagine that his good conduct is the effect of mere personal attachment and affection? 10. Have you not protected him, and heaped your benefits upon him, till he is grown enormously rich 7
11. Try him;—only withdraw your favor, turn him out of his places, and withhold his pensions, and you will soon find him in the opposition.
Lion, king of a certain forest, had among his subjects a body of faithful dogs, in principle and affection strongly attached to his person and government, and through whose assistance he had extended his dominions, and had become the terror of his enemies.
Lion, however, influenced by evil counsellors, took an aversion to the dogs, condemned them unheard, and ordered his tigers, leopards, and panthers to attack and destroy them.
The dogs petitioned humbly, but their petitions were rejected haughtily; and they were forced to defend themselves, which they did with bravery.
A few among them, of a mongrel race, derived from a mixture with wolves and foxes, corrupted by royal promises of great rewards, deserted the honest dogs and joined their enemies. .
The dogs were finally victorious; a treaty of peace was made, in which Lion acknowledged them to be free, and disclaimed all future authority over them.
The mongrels, not being permitted to return among them, claimed of the royalists the reward that had been promised.
A council of the beasts was held to consider their demand.
The wolves and the foxes agreed unanimously that the demand was just, that royal promises ought to be kept, and that every loyal subject should contribute freely to enable his Majesty to fulfil them.
* Written at the period of, and in allusion to, the claims of the American Royalists on the British Government. — W. T. F.
The horse alone, with a boldness and freedom that became the nobleness of his nature, delivered a contrary opinion.
“The King,” said he, “has been misled, by bad ministers, to war unjustly upon his faithful subjects. Royal promises, when made to encourage us to act for the public good, should indeed be honorably acquitted; but if to encourage us to betray and destroy each other, they are wicked and void from the beginning. The advisers of such promises, and those who murdered in consequence of them, instead of being recompensed, should be severely punished. Consider how greatly our common strength is already diminished by our loss of the dogs. If you enable the King to reward those fratricides, you will establish a precedent that may justify a future tyrant in making like promises; and every example of such an unnatural brute rewarded will give them additional weight. Horses and bulls, as well as dogs, may thus be divided against their own kind, and civil wars produced at pleasure, till we are so weakened that neither liberty nor safety is any longer to be found in the forest, and nothing remains but abject submission to the will of a despot, who may devour us as he pleases."
The council had sense enough to resolve, — That the demand be rejected.
TO MISS GEORGIANA SHIPLEY,”
on THE Loss of HER AMERICAN squirrel, who, EscAPING FRom His CAGE, WAS KILLED BY A sHEPHERD's Dog.
London, 26 September, 1772, DEAR Miss,
I LAMENT with you most sincerely the unfortunate end of poor MUNgo. Few squirrels were better accomplished; for he had had a good education, had travelled far, and seen much of the world. As he had the honor of being, for his virtues, your favorite, he should not go, like common skuggs, without an elegy or an epitaph. Let us give him one in the monumental style and measure, which, being neither prose nor verse, is perhaps the properest for grief; since to use common language would look as if we were not affected, and to make rhymes would seem trifling in sorrow.
Alas! poor MUNgo! Happy wert thou, hadst thou known Thy own felicity. Remote from the fierce bald eagle, Tyrant of thy native woods, Thou hadst nought to fear from his piercing talons, Nor from the murdering gun Of the thoughtless sportsman. Safe in thy wired castle, GRIMALKIN never could annoy thee. Daily wert thou fed with the choicest viands, By the fair hand of an indulgent mistress; But, discontented, Thou wouldst have more freedom. Too soon, alas ! didst thou obtain it; And wandering, Thou art fallen by the fangs of wanton, cruel RANGER
* A daughter of the Bishop of St. Asaph.