IT is become fashionable to consider the body politic under the emblem of a sow; the lucrative offices of state, as teats; and place-men, who hold those offices, to be pigs. Pigs will squeal and nuzzle until the milk comes; but the freer the milk flows, the more easy and silent the pigs are; but, when the sow has exhausted her treasury, and drives them off, they squeal and bite like furies. If there are more pigs than teats, it is attended, at least, with noisy consequences, for no pig will willingly give up the teat, which he is in possession of, to another. The truth is, pig. had rather live on the milk of the sow, than root the clods for a living.
Some time past, the writer sold a barrel of cider to a couple of laborers; after they had finished their labor, they were invited into the cellar to choose their barrel: they concluded the best way was to take a quill, and choose by taste. But the musical part of the whole, was the impatience of each when the other had the tasting quill. “You’ve had it long enough – do let me taste,” reverberated the subterraneous cavern, as much as the like sound does a republic by office wish-fors.
To see young men wishing to rise and shine, is natural; but what shall we think of old men, who employ all their friends to solicit for them, and after they gain the appointment, will declare that the office was unasked for, and undesired? Does not this look as if old pigs wanted teats? And does it not look as if old men would say that which is not true, to cover their ambitious and avaricious views? It is a matter of notoriety, that many old men behave as if they believed that a possession of an office for some time, gave them a life lease of it; why else should they be so chagrined when they are dismissed?
From these observations, it is not to be concluded that all men, either old or young, are hungry pigs. No; there are many men, who are so rich and happy in the furniture of their own minds – who so far prefer retirement to the noisy stage of office, that they make a great sacrifice of inclination whenever they accept of any appointment; nothing but imperious duty will move them to do it.
Miscellaneous Essays, In Prose and Verse.
Elder John Leland
Published sometime since 1810 (precise year unknown)
The Writings Of The Late Elder John Leland
Pages 425 – 426