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interest he took in it. Mr. Mitchell, however,
having assured his Lordship that nothing
of the sort would occur again, the noble chairman
nodded his head in token of his consent to
remain in his place.

With a light, tripping, and inaudible step,
the Fox now came forward by a sidelong
movement. With a most diffident air, his
eyes turned meekly to the ground, he
addressed his Lordship in a smooth and
subdued voice.

Far was it from his intention, he said, an
obscure and humble individual like him, to
arrogate to himself the least right to complain
of any attention bestowed on any other
creature in the Gardens. Nothat was not
his character, any more than it would have
been his place. He knew himself better.
He did not venture to present himself on the
present occasion for himself, or indeed of his
own accord, so much as in courtesy to another
who, though not being exactly an invalid,
was still under circumstances of great
difficulty as to locomotion, and had therefore
besought him, with several gluey tears in his
eyes, to undertake this office. He appeared,
therefore, as the solicitor of the Great
Tortoise, who had fully instructed him as to the
line of argument he should pursue.

Lord Bumbleby (addressing Mr. Mitchell).
If the Tortoise is not incapacitated by illness
from appearing in court, his solicitor ought
still to have brought a certificate from his
medical attendant as to any other bodily
cause that prevented his walking here.

A strange Voice. Pfoo! pfoo!

Lord Bumbleby. Who dares to say pooh,
pooh!

It was discovered that the voice had
proceeded from the Seal, who had been brought
there reclining on a fishmonger's tray,
supported by two Monkeys, whose eyes were
seriously bent on the ground. They had
pinched the Seal.

Lord Bumbleby (to the Seal). You are in
liquor!

Mr. Mitchell explained that it was the
distance only that prevented the Tortoise
from appearing in person, because at his rate
of travelling it would occupy him at least
twenty-four hours to come from his enclosure
to the Elephant's court-yard where they now
were. His Lordship, considering this satisfactory,
nodded to the Fox to proceed.

The Fox, bowing his nose to the ground,
thanked his Lordship for his politeness. To
the question, then, of extraordinary favours
lavished upon the individual called the
Hippopotamus, he, the Fox, on the part of his
client the Tortoise, begged most respectfully
to say that the preference was as unjust as it
was notorious. Why was it unjust? Might
he be allowed to say that, in the first place, on
the grounds of that reverence due to age, his
client had far greater claims. The age of the
individual known as the Hippopotamus was
scarcely above one twelvemonth, while that
of his client amounted to no less than one
hundred and seventy-nine years. He was,
consequently, not only the Oldest Inhabitant of the
Gardens, but in all Englandprobably in all
Europe. The ages of both parties were authentically
known. His client came from Gallapagos,
on the west coast of South America,
close to the equator, bringing his documents
with him. He also lived at the Cape some
small matter of seventy or eighty years.
These things were all on record, attested by
respected authority, in fact, by the heads of
the different families with whom he boarded
in succession as the old ones died off. As for
the age of the person commonly called the
Hippopotamus, it was laughably easy to attest
that. He was a mere mushrooma brown
toadstool.

Lord Bumbleby. Why do you persist in
alluding to him as the individual "called"
the Hippopotamus? He is a Hippopotamus!
He is not a toadstool.

The Fox begged ten thousand pardons; he
had heard this point much contested in the
Gardens among his friends and companions,
who had arrived at the conclusion that the
beast known as the Hippopotamus, was, in
truth, a young Abyssinian pig, of the
amphibious variety; but if his learned Lordship,
whose universal mind might be designated
not only as amphibious, but as equally
mundane, aerial, and igneous, had settled the
question for ever, he, the Fox, an obscure and
humble solicitor, was sure he should not
exceed the limits of his instructions by saying,
on the part of his client, that he bowed to his
Lordship's decision, and admitted, before the
present imposing assembly, that the pig was
a horse. (Loud laughter.)

Lord Bumbleby. An Irish bull, you mean.
Don't be impertinent, Sir.

The Fox begged ten hundred thousand
pardons. There was, however, another question
on which he had a few words to offer.
A thing, whether alive or dead, was valued
in England, by no means so much for itself,
and its intrinsic merits (if any) as for its
scarcity, and the money it cost to obtain it.
Suppose nature had reversed the order of
things with himself and the Hippopotamus, so
that, while there were a countless number of
water-pigshe begged ten hundred thousand
million pardons! he meant Hippopotami
there should at the same time be only one
Fox in all England? What a Fox that would
be! His ears, how acute and pointed to a
hair! His nose, how fine and infallible!
His eyes, how bright with keen and secret
intelligence? His mouth, how formed for all
the loves and graces to hover round! His
physiognomy, how matchless in the sharpness
of its angle; with what a development of
cranium above! His brush, how flowing
and gracious! His step, how light and
elegant! His speed, how fleethis long-
winded endurance, how wonderful! His
courage, when surrounded, how astonishing!

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