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N O T E S.
The HIND and the PANTHER,
First printed in 1687.
THIS piece is a defence of the Roman Catholic church, by way
of dialogue between a Hind, who represents the church of Rome, and a Panther, who sustains the character of the church of England. These two beasts very learnedly debate the principal points controverted between the two churches, as transubstantiation, infallibility, church-authority, &c. This poem was immediately attacked by the wits ; particularly by Montague, afterwards Earl of Halifax, and Prior, who joined in writing The Hind and Panther parodied in the Story of the Country Mouse and the City Mouse.
But notwithstanding the severity of these censures, and the juft exceptions which may be taken to the plan of this poem, it abounds with poetical beauties, and, in that respect, is not unworthy of Mr. Dryden.
Yet had the oft been chac'd, &c. Alluding to the disturbance given to Pepery by the reformation, and its sufferings in the time of Cromwell.
And doom'd to death, the fated not to die. To doom signifies to fentence, or condemn to any punishment; but it does not include a necessity of carrying that sentence into execution : whereas fate is unavoidable; so that these words are not synonimous, nor yet liable to that ridicule thrown upon them in the Hind and Panther transversed : wherein, Mr. Smith says, “ Faith, Mr. Bayes, if you were doom'd to be
“ hanged, whatever you were fated to, it would give you but « small comfort."
the Caledonian wood. The ravages and disorders committed by the Scotch covenanters gave occasion to these lines.
The bloody bear, an independant beast. The Independants were a feet of Protestants, who held, that 66 each church, within itself, had sufficient power to do every si thing relative to church-government.” 'They sprung up amidst the confusions of Charles the Ift's reign, about the year 1643. Walker calls them a composition of Jews, Christians, and Turks. See his Hift. of Independency, p. 1, 27; for which he was cominitted by Cromwell to the Tower. See Echard's Hift. of England, vol II. p. 435, for an account of their rise. Butler calls them, “ The maggots of corrupted texts.”
Hud. p. 3. v. 10. And our author in his Religio Laici, says,
“ The fly-blown text creates a crawling brood,
“ And turns to maggots, what was meant for food." Because that, in order to infuse into people a notion that they had a right to chuse their own pastors, they corrupted this text: Wherefore, brethren, look you out from among you, seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost, whom ye. (instead of we) may appoint over this business.
Aets ch. vi. v. 3. Field is said to have been the first printer of this forgery, and to have received for it 1500l. Be that as it may, it is certainly to be found in several of his editions of the Bible, particularly in his fine folio of 1659-60, and his octavo of 1661. We find them also thus described in Hudibras again, p. 3. canto II. v. 3.
“ The Independants, whose first station,
the quaking hare Profesi'd neutrality, but would not swear. The Quakers ; so called from certain tremblings and convul. sions, with which they appear to be seized at their 'religious meetings. They decline all military employments; reject the ufe of arms, which they call profane and carnal weapons; and refuse the oaths. Their affirmation is now admitted, by act of pärliament, in our justiciary-courts, as of equal force to an oath taken by a person of any other persuasion, upon the gospel.
Next her the buffoon-ape, No particular secl is meant by the buffoon-ape, but libertines and latitudinarians, persons ready to conform to any thing to ferre their turn.
The brifiled Baptift-boar, &c. The Anabaptists, who reject infant-baptism; and baptize only adults by immersion.
In German forests had his guilt betray'd. They succeeded to the rise of Lutheranism in Germany, about the year 1521, and committed innumerable acts of violence, particularly in Munster.
False Reynard fed on confecrated Spoil,
The graceless beaft, &c. This alludes to the persecution of the Arians, and the rise of the Socinians: for a better account of which, see our notes on the Religio Laici, vol. I. p. lxxvi.
how well doft thou provide,
“ Such an omniscient church we wish, &c.”
Can I my reason to my faith compel? Dryden here advances' the doctrine of transubstantiation, which he reconciles to the divine omnipotence, and entirely disclaims the use of reason in discussing it.
by what mysterious arts
Of bolts and bars, &c. The disciples being assembled together, and all the doors fut, fome days after the crucifixion, Christ appeared in the midst of them. Vide St. John, ch. xx.
- first apositate to divinity. Arius, the heretic.
the infatiate wolf, &c. Butler, in the first canto of Hudibras, fays, that the Presbyterians
-- prove their doctrine orthodox, “ By apoftolic blows and knocks." The general description given of them here is very severe : they hold the doctrine of predestination, or a decree of God from all eternity, to save a certain number of persons, from thence called the Elect. • A sect, (of whom Hudibras Says a little lower) whose chief
devotion lies “ In odd perverse antipathies." Such as reputing the eating of Christmas pies and plumb-porridge finful; nay, they prohibited all sorts of merriment at that holy festival, and not only abolished it by order of council, dated Dec. 22, 1657, but changed it into a faft. They wore, during the confusions about Oliver's time, black caps, that left their ears bare, their hair being cropped round quite close ; wherefore the wolf, the emblem of Presbytery, is here said to • Prick up his predestinating cars."
his hateful head had been For tribute paid, &c. Several parts of England and Wales were once fo over-run with wolves, that a reward was given for every head of them brought into the government, and thus the country was, in time, quite cleared of them.
The last of all the litter, &c. Calvin was made professor of divinity, at Geneva, in 1536 ; but being obliged to retire from thence, as he had been before from his native country, France, he took refuge in Strasburgh, where he set up a French church. Calvinism, or Presbyterianism, for they are much the fame, made its way from France and Swit. zerland into Germany, Poland, Holland, England, &c. and has occafioned many great disturbances in all these different places.
Because of Wicklif"'s brood, &c. Dr. John Wickliff, a man of sharp wit, great learning, and strong judgment, broached a new doctrine in the fourteenth cena tury, “ denying the pope's fupremacy, the infallibility of the church, transubstantiation, &c.” and publicly maintained his tenets in the university of Oxford.
That fiery Zuinglius, &c. Zuinglius was a Swiss divine of the fifteenth century, who also denied transubstantiation,
In Israel some believe him whelp'd long fince,
When the proud Sanhedrim opprefi'd the prince. “Some," says our author in these and the fifteen following lines, « suppose the first rise of Presbytery in this kingdom to have “ been when the parliament were at variance with the king ;' others (says the poet) carry it higher, even to the time of Corab; among the Jews who strove
From Mofes' hard the fou'reign Sway to wrest,
And Aaron of his ephod to diveft.
- your victorious colonies are sent, Where the north ocean, &c. The various fects of Presbyterianism found a kind, nurturing foil in Scotland, nor were they refused Thelter in Holland.
magic plants will but in Colchos thrive. This is a country of Asia, abounding with poisonous herbs, which gave occasion to the poetical fi&tion of the witchcraft of Medea, who is stiled Colchis. Vide Horat. Epod. xvi. 58.
From Celtic woods is chac'd the wolfish crew.
kind as kings upon their coronation-day.