E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Monkey politicians. Gay has a fable called The Quidnunkis, to show that the death not even of the duke regent will cause any real gap in nature. A monkey who had ventured higher than his neighbours fell from his estate into the river below. For a few seconds the whole tribe stood panicstruck, but as soon as the stream carried off Master Pug, the monkeys went on with their gambols as if nothing had occurred.