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The Cat As A Tormentor

Shakespeare, in "Lucrece," says:

"Yet foul night-waking cat, he doth but dally,

While in his holdfast foot the weak mouse panteth."

In an essay on "The Art of Ingeniously Tormenting" (1753), the cat is

alluded to in the frontispiece--a cat at play with a mouse, below which

is the couplet:

The cat doth play,

And after slay.

Child's Guide.

Giovanni Batista Casti, in his book, "Tre Giuli" (1762), likens the cat

to one who lends money, and suddenly pounces on the debtor:

Thus sometimes with a mouse, ere nip,

The cat will on her hapless victim smile,

Until at length she gives the fatal grip.

Again, John Philips, in the latter part of the seventeenth century, in

his poem of "The Splendid Shilling," referring to debtors, writes:

Grimalkin to Domestick Vermin sworn

An everlasting Foe, with watchful Eye

Lies nightly brooding o'er a chinky Gap

Protending her fell Claws, to thoughtless Mice

Sure Ruin.