Page:Carroll - Notes by an Oxford Chiel.djvu/64

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'Concilium Hebdomadale' must,
Consumed and conquered, be consigned to dust[1]!
And here I must relate a little fable
I heard last Saturday at our high table:—
The cats, it seems, were masters of the house,
And held their own against the rat and mouse:
Of course the others couldn't stand it long,
So held a caucus, (not, in their case, wrong:)
And, when they were assembled to a man,
Uprose an aged rat, and thus began:—
'Brothers in bondage! Shall we bear to be
For ever left in a minority?
With what "fell unity of purpose" cats
Oppress the trusting innocence of rats!
So unsuspicious are we of disguise,
Their machinations take us by surprise[2]
Insulting and tyrannical absurdities[3]!
It is too bad by half—upon my word it is!

  1. 'This conviction, that while we have Elections to Council we shall not entirely get rid of party organization and its evils, leads me to venture a step further, and to raise the question whether it is really necessary that we should have an Elective Council for legislative purposes at all.'
  2. Sometimes, indeed, not being informed that the wires are at work, we are completely taken by surprise.'
  3. 'We are without protection against this most insulting and tyrannical absurdity.'