As we came out at the wicket, we were conducted to the port by a detachment of certain highland griffins, scribere cum dashoes, who advised us before we came to our ships not to offer to leave the place until we had made the usual presents, first to the Lady Gripe-men-all, then to all the Furred Law-pusses; otherwise we must return to the place from whence we came. Well, well, said Friar John, we’ll fumble in our fobs, examine every one of us his concern, and e’en give the women their due; we’ll ne’er boggle or stick out on that account; as we tickled the men in the palm, we’ll tickle the women in the right place. Pray, gentlemen, added they, don’t forget to leave somewhat behind you for us poor devils to drink your healths. O lawd! never fear, answered Friar John, I don’t remember that I ever went anywhere yet where the poor devils are not remembered and encouraged.
How the Furred Law-cats live on corruption.
Friar John had hardly said those words ere he perceived seventy-eight galleys and frigates just arriving at the port. So he hied him thither to learn some news; and as he asked what goods they had o’ board, he soon found that their whole cargo was venison, hares, capons, turkeys, pigs, swine, bacon, kids, calves, hens, ducks, teals, geese, and other poultry and wildfowl.
He also spied among these some pieces of velvet, satin, and damask. This made him ask the new-comers whither and to whom they were going to carry those dainty goods. They answered that they were for Gripe-men-all and the Furred Law-cats.
Pray, asked he, what is the true name of all these things in your country language? Corruption, they replied. If they live on corruption, said the friar, they will perish with their generation. May the devil be damned, I have it now: their fathers devoured the good gentlemen who, according to their state of life, used to go much a-hunting and hawking, to be the better inured to toil in time of war; for hunting is an image of a martial life, and Xenophon was much in the right of it when he affirmed that hunting had yielded a great number of excellent warriors, as well as the Trojan horse. For my part, I am no scholar; I have it but by hearsay, yet I believe it. Now the souls of those brave fellows, according to Gripe-men-all’s riddle, after their decease enter into wild boars, stags, roebucks, herns, and such other creatures which they loved, and in quest of which they went while they were men; and these Furred Law-cats, having first destroyed and devoured their castles, lands, demesnes, possessions, rents, and revenues, are still seeking to have their blood and soul in another life. What an honest fellow was that same mumper who had forewarned us of all these things, and bid us take notice of the mangers above the racks!