The Squire and his Cur

Moral: No Moral. Suggest us a moral of this fable in comment section.
Man, with integrity of heart,
Disdains to play a double part:
He bears a moral coat of mail,
When envy snarls and slanders rail.
From virtue’s shield the shafts resound,
And his light shines in freedom round.
If in his country’s cause he rise,
Unbribed, unawed, he will advise;
Will fear no ministerial frown,
Neither will clamour put him down.
But if you play the politician
With soul averse to the position,
Your lips and teeth must be controlled.
What minister his place could hold
Were falsehood banished from the court,
Or truth to princes gain resort?
The minister would lose his place,
If he could not his foes disgrace.
For none is born a politician
Who cannot lie by intuition:
By which the safety of the throne
Is kept—subservient to his own.
For monarchs must be kept deluded
By falsehood from the lips exuded,
And, ministerial schemes pursuing,
Care nothing for the public ruin.
Antiochus, lost in a chase,
Traversed the wood with mended pace,
And reached a cottage, sore distressed.
A Parthian fed the regal guest,
But knew not whom: the countryman,
Warmed by unwonted wine, began
To talk of courts and talk of kings:
“We country folk, we see such things.
They say the king is good and wise:
Ah! we could open both his eyes.
They say, God bless him! he means good.
Ah! we could open them—we could;—
And show him how his courtiers ride us:
They rob us, and they then deride us.
If King Antiochus could see,
Or if he knew as much as we,
How servants wound a master’s name,—
From kings to cobblers ’tis the same,—
If King Antiochus, I say,
Could see, he’d kick those scamps away.”
Both in good time their couches sought;
The peasant slept, the monarch thought.
At earliest dawn the courtiers found
And owned the king by trumpet sound.
Unto his rustic host the guest,
With due reward, his thanks expressed;
And turning to his courtier train:
“Since you are bent on private gain,
You may your private gain pursue;
Henceforth I will be quit of you.”
A country squire, by whim directed,
The nobler stocks canine neglected;
Nor hound nor pointer by him bred.
Yap was his cur, and Yap was fed;
And Yap brought all his blood relations
To fill the posts and eat the rations;
And to that end it came about
That all the others were turned out.
Now Yap, as curs are wont to do—
If great men’s curs—on tradesmen flew,
Unless they bribed him: with a bound
He worried all the tenants round.
For why? he lived in constant fear
Lest they, in hate, should interfere.
So Master Yap would snarl and bite,
Then clap his tail, and fly with fright;
As he, with bay and bristling hair,
Assailed each tradesman who came there.
He deemed, if truth should get admittance,
‘Twould followed be by his demittance.
It chanced that Yap, upon a day,
Was by a kins−cur lured to play;
And, as Miss Yaps there were, they thought
Unto Miss Yaps to pay their court,
And had a little hunting bouting,
Like Antony, who so went outing
With Cleopatra.—So pursuing,
Yap and Mark Antony found ruin.
A neighbour passing by, then ventured—
And, seeing the coast clear, he entered.
The squire enjoyed a quiet chat,
And said: “Now tell me, neighbour Mat,
Why do men shun my hall? Of late,
No neighbour enters in my gate;
I do not choose thence to infer——”
“Squire, ’tis nothing but the cur,”
Mat answered him; “with cursed spite,
The brute does nought but bark and bite.
There is some cause, we all agree:
He swears ’tis us—we say ’tis he.
Get rid of him, the snarling brute,
And these old halls shall not be mute;
There nothing is we more desire,
Than lose the cur and win the squire.”
The truth prevailed, and with disgrace
The cur was cudgelled out of place.

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