Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

1

The magpies and jackdaws were thunder-struck, at the hear: ing of this unlooked for command, and most of them did sullenly refuse it; yet some of the magpies and the swallows, which nestled about the altars, thought fit to comply; but the metropolitan magpy, and six of the rest, did positively refuse to obey the eagle, who did thereupon commit them to his imperial prison. Then nothing was to be heard, but, alas poor mag, a cup of sack for mag;' and on the other hand, the cormorants and kites cried, a rope

for

mag, mag, mag, a halter for mag ;' and the black-birds and nightingales, though they were something concerned at the misfortune of the magpies, yet could not but say, that mag was served according to her deserts ; but the jackdaws and cuckows, with their allies, the rooks, did so much disturb the eagle's quiet, with their cawing and croaking, that he released the magpies, but pursued his design, of establishing a tyranny in the regions of the air; and, in order to accomplish his design, did enter into a confederacy with the vulture, resolved to disinherit the generous she eagle, of his own race, and to impose a counterfeit he eagle upon the nation of birds ; which did so much provoke the feathered commouwealth, that they agreed, with the assistance of a genuine eagle, of the true imperial nest, who had the generous she eagle, above mentioned, to his mate, to curb the tyrannical eagle, and prevent his imposing an ostrich instead of an eagle upon the winged empire. Many of the magpies and jackdaws, with all the black-birds and nightingales, joined in the invitation to the young eagle, who taking his flight from beyond sea, did happily alight, in the imperial grove; and being joined with a promiscuous flock of black-birds, jackdaws, nightingales, and some rooks, put the kites, cormorants, and old eagle to flight; who, after he had roosted awhile in his imperial nest, abandoned the same, and fled beyond sea, with the ostrich his mate, and the counterfeit eagle, her supposed son, to the vulture's grove.

The eagle having thus taken bis flight, the magpies began to relent, and to wish that things had not come to that extremity; for the jackdaws and they became now apprehensive, that they were in as much danger of losing their nests, by the black-birds and nightingales, as they had formerly been by the kites and cormorants, bea cause the young eagle, who came from beyond sea, was judged to have a mighty kindness for the black-birds and nightingales, and his mate, the generous she eagle, had no aversion to them; and thas it came to pass, that the metropolitical magpy, who had been the ringleader of those who opposed the old eagle, and invited the young one to his nest, began to grow sullen, and his example in feeting the rest of the mags, the faction was divided amongst themselves; so that some of the magpies and jackdaws, were for ac knowledging the young eagle as sovereign of the birds, and others, chattering still upon the abdicated theme of passive obedience, alledged that the old eagle had injury done him, and did all that they could to obstruct the progress of the young eagle's affairs; and, having, by the interest of the magpies, who owned his title, got an influence on his councils, they advised him to disband the black

birds and nightingales, who had flocked to him at his first coming over, and to govern his affairs, by the advice of the magpies and jackdaws; and, by this method, they got his court and his camp filled with rooks, who did still retain a very great kindness for the old eagle, and their ancient cronies, the cormorants and kites, and did them kindly offices, as opportunity offered.

In the mean time, the nigbtingales and black-birds of the eagle's ancient grove, had been so terribly infested by the magpies, jackdaws, and rooks, and so mischievously torn by the talons of the kites and cormoránts, their allies, that they looked upon the magpies as barpies; and, in a general dyet of the birds, held for that grove, voted, that the magpies, and their underlings, the jackdaws, were the great and insupportable grievance of the winged empire, and, with one consent, dislodged them of their nests; so that the mags and jacks hopped away, in great numbers, to the neighbouring grove, chattered nothing, but passive obedience, and non-resistance, and the injury done to the old eagle, which strengthened the faction of the southern magpies, and made the young eagle very uneasy in his nest; whence it came to pass, that the magpy faction procured a rebellion in the northern grove, under the conduct of a mischievous rook, wbo, being joined by a rabble of the jackdaws, kites, cormorants, and solan geese, gave the young eagle's followers, in that grove, a considerable check; but, the mischievous rook being pecked to death in the scuffle, the rebellion was appeased there; but the northern jackdaws and solan geese, with the abdicated harpies, filled the southern grove with their querulous notes, that nothing was to be heard, but, alas! poor mag, mag, mag, is put out of her nest in the north, and must expect the same treatment in the south, except the old eagle be recalled. Whereupon that tyrannous bird, conceiving good hopes of bis affairs, did, by the assistance of the rulture, who lent him some bands of storks, kites, and rooks, take bis flight to St. Patrick's grove, where, being joined by some cormorants, and the native woodcocks, he quickly overspread the whole grove, excepting some small part of it, where a colony of their northern birds bad fixed their nests, who made such a stout resistance against the tyrant eagle, and his birds of prey, that the fame thereof ecchoed through the regions of the air; but the southern magpies and jackdaws, being influenced by the northern-harpies, and solan geese, obstructed the relief of the black-birds of St. Patrick's grove so long, that they were well nigh undone, and the first relief they had sent them, being under the conduct of a villainous rook, he was little less noisome to the black-birds, than the kites and cormorants ; so that the young eagle was obliged to fly thither in person, and, not long after his arrival, he gave

the tyrant eagle, and his followers, such a terrible overthrow, by a purling brook, that the old one fled from St. Patrick's grove, and betook himself again to the vulture's quarters, whilst the colonies of the northern black-birds and nightingales did, with inimitable courage, subdue the woodcocks, and the young eagle's followers dislodged ibe vultures and cormorants from their nests, so that, in a little time, St. Patrick's grove was intirely recovered.

The vulture, by whose counsels the abdicated eagle had, all along; governed himself, perceiving that he was now quite driven from his nest, resolved to attack the Flemish coppice, which had formerly been the residence of the young eagle; which 'obliged the generous bird to repair beyond sea, for the defence of his ancient friends; but, though he acted wonders, yet his counsels were betrayed by the friends of the mags and the daws, and, his troops being chiefly commanded by rooks, the birds of his retinue met with several disasters, and, at the same time, the kites, and cormorants, and seditious mags, did all, that they could, to disturb the repose of the generous she eagle his mate, whom they would fain bave destroyed in his absence; but the faithful mag pies, and moderate jackdaws, with the black-birds and nightingales, did unite so cordially for her defence, that their designs were disappointed. I bus was the generous young eagle perplexed by vultures, storks, and cormorants abroad, and treacherous magpies, jackdaws, and rooks at home, and chiefly, because they were apprehensive of being outed by the black-birds ; who, whatever privileges they had acquired in the north, they said, they must content themselves to build nests, in the eves of houses, in the south, where the churches were the proper habitation of the magpies and jackdaws. Nor would they suffer the nightingales and the falcons, to have any command in the winged army, that being the property of the kite's and rooks, because they did annually swear allegiance to the magpies and jackdaws, at the altars, which the falcons and nightingales would never do.

In the mean time, the generous she eagle died, which did so much grieve her faithful mate, that the kingdom of birds had well nigh lost both their sovereigns at once. However, he generously plucked up his courage, and, considering that he was born for empire, did scorn to be conquered by passion : and, therefore, resolved, that as he had defeated the maws and the gulls, belonging to the rullure by sea, he would have a trial of valour with bim by land, notwithstanding his alliance with the overgrown raven of the east ; su that, taking another flight into the continent, he dislodged the vulture from one of his chief nests, who, thereupon, became so much afraid of the young eagle's talons, that he durst not adventure on a fair war with him any more, but resolved to suborn some night owls, buzzards, kites, cormorants, and cuckows, to assassinate the generous eagle in the dark; which he had attempted sereral times before, but laid the design so craftily now, that he was sure it could not miscarry. And, this taking effect, he designed to have destroyed the black-birds and nightingales, with the faithful magpies, and moderate jackdaws, and all the other loyal birds in St. George's, St. Andrew's, and St. Patrick's groves, and to have possessed them for ever, with vultures, kites, storks, wrens, rooks, cormorants, and magpies, and jackdaws of his own stamp. However, this conspiracy being happily discovered by

the parrots, many of the owls, buzzards, and cormorants, who were employed to assassinate the young eagle, were taken, and some of them suffered death, according to the laws of the feathered kingdom; three cormorants first, and, a little after, a cuckow, who being drawn in by the treacherous magpies and jackdaws, three of the latter attended them to the place of their exit; and, cawing to thein in the old note of passive obedience, deluded the poor cuckows, and telling them, that, by vertue of the authority which they had acquired, by a long possession of the steeples, where no black-bird had any right to come, they were constituted lawful priests of the winged empire, and, therefore, absolved them from the false imputation of guilt, for endeavouring to cut the young eagle's throat, for he was none of the birds of Jupiter's pest; and, though the beetle had unluckily broke all the old eagle's eggs, which were procreated betwixt him and the Italian ostrich, yet there was a time coming, when they would find a safe repository, if not iu Jove's, yet in St. Peter's lap, and oblige the pretended eagle, who was no other than a Geneva bird, hatched among the shells, which one of the Roman emperors gathered together, as a mark of triumph, on the Dutch coast, to retire to the banks of lake Leman; in the faith of which, the two silly cuckows did chearfully swallow their hempseed, and crying, Cuckow, Cuckow, the jackdaws answered, Caw, Caw, Caw, and then the cuckows were choaked; at which the loyal birds were so much incensed, that, they have shut up two of the jackdaws in a cage, and are hunting after the other, which is fled; so that, in a little time, we may hap to see these jackdaws follow the fate of the cuckows, while all the winged empire, from the imperial eagle to the wren, are associated to defend the generous young eagle, as a true bird of the imperial nest, against the vulture of the west, the overgrown raven of the east, the traiterous magpies, jackdaws, storks, kites, rooks, ravens, and cormorants, and the larks, nightingales, and black-birds, do daily, with their harmonious notes, celebrate Jupiter's praises, for preserving his beloved eagle.

1

ENGLAND'S CALAMITIES * DISCOVERED:

WITH THE PROPER REMEDY TO RESTORE HER ANCIENT GRANDEUR

AND POLICY.
Humbly presented by James Whiston.

What Captain and Mariners, when they find the Ship driven by a violent

Hurricanę amongst the Rocks, full of Leaks, and much disabled, will be so obstinately insensible of the Consequence of such fatal Circumstances, as not to use their own, and embrace the good Endeavours of others, for their Preservation. The only Means of Hope left, whereby themselves and Ship may at last be conducted into a safe Harbour. London, printed for the Author, and are to be sold by Joseph Fox in Westminster-Hall, R. Clavel at the Peacock in Fleet-Street, and T. Minton at the Anchor under the Royal. Exchange, 1696. Quarto, containing forty pages.

It is not unknown to the world, what a difficult task is here una phecy, foretel how many, and what sort of enemies, an honest man is to grapple with, in defence of this one useful and unquestioned principle, viz.

That every happy government must be supported by just means; and that state which has been so far mistaken in its politicks, as to practise a contrary method, has always drawn upon itself its own ruin and destruction.

And, upon this observation, it has been granted in all ages, that a throne, that would flourish, must be established in righteousness; but we never heard of any that has been long supported by inquity: for iniquity itself must be obliged to justice; or, at feast, to those that fill the seats of justice, for its support and mainte

And, where the execution of this fails, all combinations or societies of men, however formed, naturally fall into disorder and dissolution.

Now, since neither the apprehension of enemies, the power or malice of men, who have by any means wriggled themselves into the pretended service of the government, nor the difficulty of the undertaking, which is to beget in mankind a belief of such truths and qualities, as this corrupt age has hardly virtue enough to put in practice, ought to deter a true Englishman from laying open, as occasion serves, those mischiefs and miscarriages, which, if not timely prevented, will overwhelm us: I thought it an indispensable duty, to give these fresh testimonies of love to my country, and allegiance to king William, by rendering both inexcusable; when

nance.

* Vide the 361st article in the catalogue of pamphlets in the Harleian library.

« ForrigeFortsæt »