Cossing A Dog

In a humorous paper written in 1732, entitled, An Examination of

certain Abuses, Corruptions, and Enormities in the city of Dublin,

Swift mentions this diversion, which he ludicrously enough applies to

the violent persecutions of the political parties of the day. The

ceremony was this: A strange dog happens to pass through a flesh market;

whereupon an expert butcher immediately cries in a loud voice and proper

tone, coss, coss, several times. The same word is repeated by the

people. The dog, who perfectly understands the terms of art, and

consequently the danger he is in, immediately flies. The people, and

even his own brother animals, pursue: the pursuit and cry attend him

perhaps half a mile; he is well worried in his flight; and sometimes

hardly escapes. This, adds Swift, our ill-wishers of the Jacobite

kind are pleased to call a persecution; and affirm, that it always falls

upon dogs of the Tory principles.

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