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his various wiles and escapes; finally, his conquering his accuser in single combat. This ancient apologue was translated from the German by the venerable Caxton, and published the 6th day of June, 1481. It became very popular in England; and we derive from it all the names commonly applied to animals in fable, as Reynard the fox, Tybert the cat, Bruin the bear, Isgrim the wolf, &c. The original of this piece is still so highly esteemed in Germany, that it was lately modernized by Goethé, and is published among his "Neue Schriften." It is probable that this ancient satire might be the original of " Mother Hubbard's Tale," and that Dryden himself may have had something of its plan in his eye, when writing "The Hind and Panther." As it had become merely a popular story-book, some of his critics did not fail to make merry with his adopting any thing from such a source. "Smith. I have heard you quote Reynard the fox.-Bayes. Why, there's it now; take it from me, Mr Smith, there is as good morality, and as sound precepts, in The Delectable History of Reynard the Fox, as in any book I know, except Seneca. Pray, tell me, where, in any other author, could I have found so pretty a name for a wolf as Isgrim ?"
The wretched Panther cries aloud for aid
The author here prefers an argument much urged by the Catholic divines against those of the Church of England, and which he afterwards resumes in the Second Part. The English divines, say they, halt between two opinions; they will not allow the weight of tradition when they dispute with the Church of Rome, but refer to the Scripture, interpreted by each man's private opinion, as the sole rule of faith; while, on the other hand, they are obliged to have recourse to tradition in their disputes with the Presbyterians and dissenters, because, without its aid, they could not vindicate from Scripture alone their hierarchy and churchgovernment. To this it was answered, by the disputants on the Church of England's side, that they owned no such inconsistent opinion as was imputed to them; but that they acknowledged, for
*The Hind and the Panther Transversed, p. 14.
their rule of faith, the word of God in general; that by this they understood the written word, or Scripture, in contradistinction to the Roman rule of Scripture and traditions; and as distinguished, both from the Church of Rome, and from heretics and sectaries, they understood by it more particularly the written word or scripture, delivering a sense, owned and declared by the primitive church of Christ in the three creeds, four first general councils, and harmony of the fathers.
Dryden's argument, however, had been, by the Catholics, thought so sound, that it is much dwelt upon in a tract, called, "A Remonstrance, by way of Address to both Houses of Parliament, from the Church of England," the object of which is to recommend an union between the Churches of England and of Rome. The former is there represented as holding the following language:
"You cannot be ignorant, that ever since my separation from the Church of Rome, I have been attacked by all sorts of dissenters: So that my fate, in this encounter, may be compared to that of a city, besieged by different armies, who fight both against it and one another; where, if the garrison make a sally to damage one, another presently takes an advantage to make an attack. Thus, while I set myself vigorously to suppress the Papist, the Puritan seeks to undermine me; and, whilst I am busied to oppose the Puritan, the Papist gains ground upon me. If I tell the Church of Rome, I did not forsake her, but her errors, which I reformed; my rebellious subjects tell me the same, and that they must make a thorough reformation; and, let me bring what arguments I please to justify my dissent, they still produce the same against me. If, on the other hand, I plead against the Puritan dissenter, and show, that he ought to stand to churchauthority, where he is not infallibly certain it commands a sin; the Papist presently catches at it, and tells me, I destroy my own grounds of reformation, unless I will pretend to that infallibility which I condemn in them.
"Matters standing thus betwixt me and them, why would it not be a point of prudence in me, (as I doubt not but you would esteem it in a governor of that city I lately mentioned,) to make peace with one of my adversaries, to the end I may with more ease resist the onsets of the other?"