The Setting-dog and the Partridge

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Fable XXX

The ranging dog the stubble tries,
And searches every breeze that flies;
The scent grows warm; with cautious fear
He creeps, and points the covey near;
The men, in silence, far behind,
Conscious of game, the net unbind.
   A partridge, with experience wise,
The fraudful preparation spies:
She mocks their toils, alarms her brood;
The covey springs, and seeks the wood;

But ere her certain wing she tries,
Thus to the creeping spaniel cries:
   'Thou fawning slave to man's deceit,
Thou pimp of luxury, sneaking cheat,
Of thy whole species thou disgrace,
Dogs shall disown thee of their race!
For if I judge their native parts,
They're born with open, honest hearts;
And, ere they serve man's wicked ends,
Were generous foes, or real friends.'

   When thus the dog, with scornful smile:
'Secure of wing, thou dar'st revile.
Clowns are to polished manners blind,
How ignorant is the rustic mind!
My worth, sagacious courtiers see,
And to preferment rise, like me.
The thriving pimp, who beauty sets,
Hath oft enhanced a nation's debts:
Friend sets his friend, without regard;
And ministers his skill reward:

Thus trained by man, I learnt his ways,
And growing favour feasts my days.'
  'I might have guessed,' the partridge said,
'The place where you were trained and fed;
Servants are apt, and in a trice
Ape to a hair their master's vice.
You came from court, you say. Adieu,'
She said, and to the covey flew.



The Fables, Volume 1 (1727)
Introduction The Shepard and the Philosopher
Fable I The Lion, the Tiger, and the Traveller
Fable II The Spaniel and the Cameleon
Fable III The Mother, the Nurse, and the Fairy
Fable IV The Eagle, and the Assembly of Animals
Fable V The wild Boar and the Ram
Fable VI The Miser and Plutus
Fable VII The Lion, the Fox, and the Geese
Fable VIII The Lady and the Wasp
Fable IX The Bull and the Mastiff
Fable X The Elephant and the Bookseller
Fable XI The Peacock, the Turkey, and the Goose
Fable XII Cupid, Hymen, and Plutus
Fable XIII The Tame Stag
Fable XIV The Monkey who had seen the World
Fable XV The Philosopher and the Pheasants
Fable XVI The Pin and the Needle
Fable XVII The Shepherd's Dog and the Wolf
Fable XVIII The Painter who pleased Nobody and Everybody
Fable XIX The Lion and the Cub
Fable XX The Old Hen and the Cock
Fable XXI The Rat-catcher and Cats
Fable XXII The Goat without a Beard
Fable XXIII The Old Woman and her Cats
Fable XXIV The Butterfly and the Snail
Fable XXV The Scold and the Parrot
Fable XXVI The Cur and the Mastiff
Fable XXVII The Sick Man and the Angel
Fable XXVIII The Persian, the Sun, and the Cloud
Fable XXIX The Fox at the point of Death
Fable XXX The Setting-dog and the Partridge
Fable XXXI The Universal Apparition
Fable XXXII The Two Owls and the Sparrow
Fable XXXIII The Courtier and Proteus
Fable XXXIV The Mastiffs
Fable XXXV The Barley-mow and the Dunghill
Fable XXXVI Pythagoras and the Countryman
Fable XXXVII The Farmer's Wife and the Raven
Fable XXXVIII The Turkey and the Ant
Fable XXXIX The Father and Jupiter
Fable XL The Two Monkeys
Fable XLI The Owl and the Farmer
Fable XLII The Jugglers
Fable XLIII The Council of Horses
Fable XLIV The Hound and the Huntsman
Fable XLV The Poet and the Rose
Fable XLVI The Cur, the Horse, and the Shepherd's Dog
Fable XLVII The Court of Death
Fable XLVIII The Gardener and the Hog
Fable XLIX The Man and the Flea
Fable L The Hare and many Friends
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