[Page 70][Page 72]
FABLE  XXI.
The Rat-catcher and Cats.
1 The rats by night such mischief did,
2 Betty was ev'ry morning chid:
3 They undermin'd whole sides of bacon,
4 Her cheese was sapp'd, her tarts were taken,
5 Her pastys, fenc'd with thickest paste,
6 Were all demolish'd and laid waste.[Page 71]
7 She curst the cat for want of duty,
8 Who left her foes a constant booty.
9 An Engineer, of noted skill,
10 Engag'd to stop the growing ill.
11 From room to room he now surveys
12 Their haunts, their works, their secret ways,
13 Finds where they 'scape an ambuscade,
14 And whence the nightly sally's made.
15 An envious Cat, from place to place,
16 Unseen, attends his silent pace,
17 She saw that, if his trade went on,
18 The purring race must be undone,
19 So, secretly removes his baits,
20 And ev'ry stratagem defeats.
21 Again he sets the poyson'd toils,
22 And puss again the labour foils.
23 What foe (to frustrate my designs)
24 My schemes thus nightly countermines?
25 Incens'd, he crys: this very hour
26 The wretch shall bleed beneath my power.
27 So said. A pond'rous trap he brought,
28 And in the fact poor puss was caught.
29 Smuggler, says he, thou shalt be made
30 A victim to our loss of trade.
31 The captive Cat with piteous mews
32 For pardon, life and freedom sues.
33 A sister of the science spare,
34 One int'rest is our common care.
35 What insolence! the man reply'd,
36 Shall cats with us the game divide?
37 Were all your interloping band
38 Extinguish'd, or expell'd the land,
39 We rat-catchers might raise our fees,
40 Sole guardians of a nation's cheese!
41 A Cat, who saw the lifted knife,
42 Thus spoke, and sav'd her sister's life.
43 In ev'ry age and clime we see,
44 Two of a trade can ne'er agree,
45 Each hates his neighbour for encroaching;
46 Squire stigmatizes squire for poaching;[Page 73]
47 Beautys with beautys are in arms,
48 And scandal pelts each other's charms;
49 Kings too their neighbour kings dethrone,
50 In hope to make the world their own.
51 But let us limit our desires,
52 Not war like beautys, kings and squires,
53 For though we both one prey pursue,
54 There's game enough for us and you.
About this text
Author: John Gay
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Gay, John, 1685-1732. FABLES. By Mr. GAY. London: Printed for J. Tonson and J. Watts, MDCCXXVII., 1727, pp. 70-73. ,173,p.: ill.; 4°. (ESTC T13818)
Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.
Other works by John Gay
- [FABLE ] INTRODUCTION TO THE FABLES. The Shepherd and the Philosopher. ()
- FABLE  I. The Lyon, the Tyger, 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 Lyon, 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 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 No body and Every body. ()
- FABLE  XIX. The Lyon and the Cub. ()
- FABLE  XX. The Old Hen and the Cock. ()
- 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 Dung-hill. ()
- 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. ()