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a puny foeman. To a common whip or switch his hide presents an absolute insensibility. You might as well pretend to scourge a schoolboy with a tough pair of leather breeches on. His jerkin is well fortified; and therefore the costermongers, “between the years 1790 and 1800," did more politicly than piously in lifting up a part of his upper garment.' I well remember that beastly and bloody custom. I have often longed to see one of those refiners in discipline himself at the cart's tail, with just such a convenient spot laid bare to the tender mercies of the whipster. But, since Nature has resumed her rights, it is to be hoped that this patient creature does not suffer to extremities; and that, to the savages who still belabour his poor carcase with their blows (considering the sort of anvil they are laid upon), he might in some sort, if he could speak, exclaim with the philosopher, “ Lay on: you beat but upon the case of Anaxarchus."

Contemplating this natural safeguard, this fortified exterior, it is with pain I view the sleek, foppish, combed, and curried person of this animal as he is disnaturalized at watering-places, &c., where they affect to make a palfry of him. Fie on all such sophistications! It will never do, master groom. Something of his honest, shaggy exterior will still peep up in spite of you,-his good, rough, native, pine-apple coating. You cannot “refine a scorpion into a fish, though you rinse it and scour it with ever so cleanly cookery.”

The modern poet quoted by A. B. proceeds to celebrate a virtue for which no one to this day had been aware that the ass was remarkable :

"Milton, from memory,

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R. COLLIER, in his “Poetical DeA cameron” (Third Conversation), notices W a tract printed in 1595, with the author's

initials only, A. B., entitled “The Noblenesse of the Asse; a work rare, learned, and excellent.” He has selected the following pretty passage from it: “He (the ass) refuseth no burden : he goes whither he is sent, without any contradiction. He lifts not his foote against any one ; he bytes not; he is no fugitive, nor malicious affected. He doth all things in good sort, and to his liking that hath cause to employ him. If strokes be given him, he cares not for them; and, as our modern poet singeth,

Thou wouldst (perhaps) he should become thy foe,
And to that end dost beat him many times:
He cares not for himselfe, much less thy blow.

Certainly Nature, foreseeing the cruel usage which this useful servant to man should receive at man's hand, did prudently in furnishing him with a tegument impervious to ordinary stripes. The malice of a child or a weak hand can make feeble impressions on him. His back offers no mark to

a puny foeman. To a common whip or switch his hide presents an absolute insensibility. You might as well pretend to scourge a schoolboy with a tough pair of leather breeches on. His jerkin is well fortified; and therefore the costermongers, “between the years 1790 and 1800," did more politicly than piously in lifting up a part of his upper garment. I well remember that beastly and bloody custom. I have often longed to see one of those refiners in discipline himself at the cart's tail, with just such a convenient spot laid bare to the tender mercies of the whipster. But, since Nature has resumed her rights, it is to be hoped that this patient creature does not suffer to extremities; and that, to the savages who still belabour his poor carcase with their blows (considering the sort of anvil they are laid upon), he might in some sort, if he could speak, exclaim with the philosopher, “Lay on: you beat but upon the case of Anaxarchus."

Contemplating this natural safeguard, this fortified exterior, it is with pain I view the sleek, foppish, combed, and curried person of this animal as he is disnaturalized at watering-places, &c., where they affect to make a palfry of him. Fie on all such sophistications! It will never do, master groom. . Something of his honest, shaggy exterior will still peep up in spite of you,-his good, rough, native, pine-apple coating. You cannot “refine a scorpion into a fish, though you rinse it and scour it with ever so cleanly cookery.".

The modern poet quoted by A. B. proceeds to celebrate a virtue for which no one to this day had been aware that the ass was remarkable :

· Milton, from memory,

One other gift this beast hath as his owne,
Wherewith the rest could not be furnished:
On man himself the same was not bestowne !
To wit, on him is ne'er engendered
The hateful vermine that doth teare the skin,
And to the bode [body] doth make his passage in.

And truly, when one thinks on the suit of impenetrable armour with which Nature (like Vulcan to another Achilles) has provided him, these subtile enemies to our repose would have shown some dexterity in getting into his quarters. As the bogs of Ireland by tradition expel toads and reptiles, he may well defy these small deer in his fastnesses. It seems the latter had not arrived at the exquisite policy adopted by the human vermin “between 1790 and 180o.”

But the most singular and delightful gift of the ass, according to the writer of this pamphlet, is his voice, the “ goodly, sweet, and continual brayings” of which, " whereof they forme a melodious and proportionable kinde of musicke,” seem to have affected him with no ordinary pleasure. “Nor thinke I,” he adds, “that any of our immoderate musitians can deny but that their song is full of exceeding pleasure to be heard ; because therein is to be discerned both concord, discord, singing in the meane, the beginning to sing in large compasse, then following into rise and fall, the halfenote, whole note, musicke of five voices, firme singing by four voices, three together, or one voice and a halfe. Then their variable contrarieties amongst them, when one delivers forth a long tenor or a short, the pausing for time, breathing in measure, breaking the minim or very least moment of time. Last of all, to heare the musicke of five or six voices chaunged to so many of asses is

amongst them to heare a song of world without

end."°

There is no accounting for ears, or for that laudable enthusiasm with which an author is tempted to invest a favourite subject with the most incompatible perfections : I should otherwise, for my own taste, have been inclined rather to have given a place to these extraordinary musicians at that banquet of nothing-less-than-sweetsounds, imagined by old Jeremy Collier (Essays, 1698, part ii. on Music), where, after describing the inspiriting effects of martial music in a battle, he hazards an ingenious conjecture, whether a sort of anti-music might not be invented, which should have quite the contrary effect of “sinking the spirits, shaking the nerves, curdling the blood, and inspiring despair and cowardice and consternation. 'Tis probable,” he says, “the roaring of lions, the warbling of cats and screech-owls, together with a mixture of the howling of dogs, judiciously imitated and compounded, might go a great way in this invention.” The dose, we confess, is pretty potent, and skilfully enough prepared. But what shall we say to the Ass of Silenus, who, if we may trust to classic lore, by his own proper sounds, without thanks to cat or screech-owl, dismayed and put to rout a whole army of giants ? Here was anti-music with a vengeance; a whole Pan-Dis-Harmonicon in a single lungs of leather !

But I keep you trilling too long on this asinine subject. I have already passed the Pons Asinorum, and will desist, remembering the old pedantic pun of Jem Boyer, my schoolmaster,

“ Ass in presenti seldom makes a WISE MAN in futuro.

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