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Q. Why you said even now that they were chosen and sent by you.

A. They are chosen and not chosen.

Q. A paradox! Try to explain.

A. You know that the country is parcelled out into farms, some overstocked with hogs, and some almost empty. Some of these hogs have a bit of potato ground allowed them by their drivers, and others have none. Now only the potato'd hogs are allowed to nominate an agent for the meeting. A few of the farms send each one or two agents, and consequently all the agents may be sent by a very few hogs.

Q. When the herd is small, the driver will make himself agent by threatening to starve you, or will otherwise win you to his purpose; but how do they manage you when you are numerous?

A. They praise our beauty, good sense, good nature, gentleness, and great superiority to all other hogs; they kiss the old sows and the young pigs; they give us our belly-full of new beer, till we are as drunk as David's sow, and wallow in the mire. In this condition they make us choose them, while we really know nothing at all of the matter.

Q. Do they promise beforehand to take care of you?
A. Yes; and forget to perform it afterwards.

Q. But you choose another agent when one has betrayed you.

A. Very often we cannot. Nay, one of the drivers the other day told the hogs on his farm that he had bought them, and would sell them.

Q. What is the advantage of being an agent?

A. Some court the office merely for the honour, but all the knowing ones are hired by the governors to say none of them are hired, and that they are all chosen by the free sense of the swinish multitude.

Q. How many are hired?

A. A majority.

Q. How much is reckoned decent wages?

A. Nothing under the price of several hundred hogs.

Q. Do they ever graciously condescend to inform you of their resolutions?

A. They write copies of them and send them about.

Q. Gratis, of course?

A. No; but they will let us have a copy for a few dozens of potatoes.

Q. The resolutions, however, are easy to read?

A. Scarcely one of us in twenty can read at all, for we are told by our drivers that we ought to be ignorant.

Q. Are they sincere in this?

A. Very sincere; for they are constantly rewarded in proportion to their own ignorance. But, alas! if we could read, it would be nothing, for the resolutions are not written in English.

Q. No; they are written, I know, in Hog Latin, but that I took for granted you understand.

A. Shameful aspersion on the hogs! The most inarticulate grunting of our tribe is sense and harmony compared to such jargon.

Q. Do not your drivers, then, appoint interpreters for you?

A. Yes; that they would call in their own case buying a pig in a poke.

Q. What are the interpreters called?


Q. Why do you give the office to women?

A. Because they have a fluent tongue and a knack of scolding.

Q. How are they dressed?

A. In gowns and false hair.

Q. What are the principal orders?

A. Three: Writers, Talkers, and Hearers, which last are also called Deciders.

Q. What is their general business?

A. To discuss the mutual quarrels of the hogs, and to

punish their affronts to any or all of the drivers.

Q. How can one hog affront all the drivers?
A. By speaking the truth.

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Q. What is the truth?

A. What is that to you?

Q. If two hogs quarrel, how do they apply to the sisterhood?

A. Each hog goes separately to a Writer.

Q. What does the Writer?

A. She goes to a Talker.

Q. What does the Talker.


A. She goes to a Hearer or Decider.

Q. What does the Hearer decide?

A. What she pleases.

Q. If a hog is decided to be in the right, what is the consequence?

A. He is almost ruined.

Q. If in the wrong, what?

A. He is quite ruined.

Q. What is the true reason of this practice?

A. The ease and interest of the sisterhood. If it were otherwise, they would have more work and less wages.

Q. What is the pretended reason?

A. That they are afraid we should never have done quarrelling, if they could easily settle our disputes.

Q. That is, they pull out your tusks that you may not bite each other. Is not this reason mockery as well as oppression?

A. No; they tell us that what has been done ought to be done again.

Q. Do none of the drivers take compassion on you, when they see you thus grunt and sweat under a weary life?

A. Several agents in the sub-meeting have proposed schemes for our relief, but have always been overpowered by a great majority.

Q. Could that majority give any reasons for their behaviour?

A. Nine.

Q. Name the first.

A. They said, for their parts, they were very well contented as they were.

Q. The second?

A. They believed the present system of hog driving would last out their time.

Q. The third?

A. The Chief Hog Driver had published an advertisement against giving the hogs any relief.

Q. The fourth?

A. The hogs were very desirous to have some relief.
Q. The fifth?

A. The hogs were in perfect tranquillity at present.
Q. The sixth ?

A. The hogs were in a violent ferment at present.
Q. The seventh?

A. The hogs were too good to need relief.

Q. The eighth ?

A. The hogs were too bad to deserve relief.

Q. The ninth?

A. If they gave us what was right, they could not help giving us what was wrong.

Q. How do you look when you hear such a mass of lies and nonsense?

A. We stare like stuck pigs.

Q. But you are vastly superior in numbers and strength;

how are you kept quiet under such complicated injuries?

A. By force and by art.

Q. By what force?

A. By twenty thousand hogs in armour.

Q. By what art?

A. By sowing the seeds of discord among us.

Q. Whom do they employ to sow the seeds of discord?
A. The ministers of peace.

Q. How do these ministers execute their commission?

A. They tell the simpler hogs that their brethren mean to cut the throats of their drivers, and then to turn drivers themselves.

Q. How do these hogs treat the obnoxious swine?

A. They burn down their sties, and eat up their meal and potatoes.

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Q. Have the ministers of peace, as you call them, any other employment?


A. Yes; they tell us from time to time that unless we believe all that they say, and do all that our drivers bid us, we shall infallibly go to the devil.

Q. How are these peace-makers rewarded?

A. With our potatoes.

Q. What with all?

A. Ten per cent. only.

Q. Then you have still ninety left in the hundred ?

A. No; we have but forty left.

Q. What becomes of the odd fifty?

A. The drivers take them partly as a small recompence for their trouble in protecting us, and partly to make money of them, for the prosecution of lawsuits with the neighbouring farmers.

Q. Do they not reserve for their own use ten times as many as they want?

A. They eat till they are full, and pelt each other with the remainder.

Q. You talk very sensibly for a hog. Whence had you your information?

A. From a learned pig.

Q. Are there many learned pigs in the country?

A. Many, and the number daily increases.

Q. What say they of the treatment which you suffer?

A. That it is shameful and ought instantly to be redressed.

Q. What do the drivers say to these pigs?

A. That the devil is in them.

Q. It is a devil of their own conjuring: but what do the drivers do to these pigs?

A. They knock them down.

Q. Do all the learned pigs make the same complaint?

A. All; for the instant a pig defends the contrary opinion, he resumes his old form, and becomes a real master and tormentor-general of innocent animals.

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