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a sort of feathered cats) or whether it be only an unreasonable pique the moderns have taken to a serious countenance, I shall not determine: though I am inclined to believe the former; since I observe the sole reason alledged for the destruction of frogs is because they are like toads. Yet, amidst all the misfortunes of these unfriended creatures, it is some happiness that we have not yet taken a fancy to eat them : for should our countrymen refine upon the French never so little, it is not to be conceived to what unheard of torments, owls, cats, and frogs, may be yet reserved.
When we grow up to men, we have another succession of sanguinary sports; in particular, hunting. I dare not attack a diversion which has such authority and custom to support it; but must have leave to be of opinion, that the agitation of that exercise, with the example and number of the chasers, not a little contributes to resist those checks, which compassion would naturally suggest in behalf of the animal pursued. Nor shall I say, with Monsieur Fleury, that this sport is a remain of the gothic barbarity; but I must animadvert upon a certain custom yet in use with us, and barbarous enough to be derived from the Goths, or even the Scythians ; I mean that savage compliment our huntsmen pass upon ladies of quality, who are present at the death of a stag, when they put the knife in their hands to cut the throat of a helpless, trembling, and weeping creature.
Que tnque cruentns,
Atque imploranti similis.-But if our sports are destructive, our gluttony is
more so, and in a more inhuman manner. Lobsters roasted alive, pigs whipped to death, fowls sewed up, are testimonies of our outrageous luxury. Those who (as Seneca expresses it) divide their lives betwixt an anxious conscience and a nauseated stomach, have a just reward of their gluttony in the diseases it brings with it: for human savages, like other wild beasts, find snares and poison in the provisions of life, and are allured by their appetite to their destruction. I know nothing more shocking, or horrid, than the prospect of one of their kitchens covered with blood, and filled with the cries of the creatures expiring in tortures. It gives one an image of a giant's den in a romance, bestrewed with the scattered heads and mangled limbs of those who were slain by his eruelty.
ON THE SAME SUBJECT.
Man is that link of the chain of universal ex. istence, by which spiritual and corporeal beings are united : as the numbers and variety of the latter, his inferiors, are almost infinite, so probably are those of the former, his superiors; and as we see that the lives and happiness of those below us are dependent on our wills, we may reasonably conclude, that our lives and happiness are equally dependent on the wills of those above us; account. able, like ourselves, for the use of this power, to the Supreme Creator and Governor of all things. Should this analogy be well founded, how criminal will our account appear when laid before that just and impartial judge! How will man, that sanguinary tyrant, be able to excuse himself from the charge of those innumerable cruelties inflicted on his unoffending subjects committed to his care, formed for his benefit, and placed under his authority by their common Father, whose mercy is over all his works, and who expects that his authority should be exercised not only with tenderness and mercy, but in conformity to the laws of justice and gratitude?
But to what horrid deviations from these benevolent intentions are we daily witnesses ! No small part of mankind derive their chief amusements from the death and sufferings of inferior animals; a much greater, consider them only as engines of wood, or iron, useful in their several occupations. The carman drives his horse, and the carpenter his nail, by repeated blows; and so long as these produce the desired effect, and they both go, they neither reflect or care whether either of them have any sense of feeling. The butcher knocks down the stately ox, with no more compassion than the blacksmith hammers a horse shoe; and plunges his knife into the throat of the innocent lamb, with as little reluctance as the taylor sticks his needle into the collar of a coat.
If there are some few, who, formed in a softer mould, view with pity the sufferings of these defenceless creatures, there is scarce one who entertains the least idea, that justice or gratitude can be due to their nerits or their services. The social and friendly dog is hanged without remorse, if, by barking in defence of his master's person and property, be happens unknowingly to
disturb his rest: the generous horse, who has carried his ungrateful master for many years with ease and safety, worn out with age and infirmities, contracted in his service, is by him condemned to end his miserable days in a dust-cart, where the more he exerts his little remains of spirit, the more he is whipped, to save the stupid driver the trouble of whipping some other less obedient to the lash. Sometimes, having been taught the practice of many unnatural and useless feats in a siding-house, he is at last turned out, and consigned to the dominion of a hackney-coachman, by whom he is every day corrected for performing those tricks which he has learned under so long and severe a discipline. The sluggish bear, in contradiction to his nature, is taught to dance, for the diversion of a malignant mob, by placing redhot irons under his feet; and the majestic bull is tortured by every mode which malice can invent, for no offence, but that he is gentle, and unwilling to assail his diabolical tormentors. These, with innumerable other acts of cruelty, injustice, and ingratitude, are every day committed, not only with impunity, but without censure, and even without observation; but we may be assured, that they cannot finally pass away unnoticed and unretaliated.
The laws of self defence undoubtedly justify us in destroying those animals who would destroy us, who injure our properties and annoy our persons, but not even these, whenever their situation incapacitates them from hurting us. I know of no right which we have to shoot a bear on an inaccessible island of ice, or an eagle on the mountain's top, whose lives cannot injure us, nor deaths procure us any benefit. We are unable to give life, and therefore ought not wantonly to take it away from the meanest insect, without sufficient reason; they all receive it from the same benevolent hand as ourselves, and have therefore an equal right to enjoy it.
God has been pleased to create numberless animals intended for our sustenance: and that they are so intended, the agreeable flavour of their flesh to our palates, and the wholesome nutriment which it administers to our stomachs, are sufficient proofs : these, as they are formed for our use, propagated by our culture, and fed by our care, we have certainly a right to deprive of life, because it is given and preserved to them on that condition; but this should always be per. formed with all the tenderness and compassion which so disagreeable an office will permit; and no circumstances ought to be omitted, which can render their executions as quick and easy as possible. For this, Providence has wisely and benevolently provided, by forming them in such a manner, that their flesh becomes rancid and unpalatable by painful and lingering death; and has thus compelled ụs to be merciful without compassion, and cautious of their suffering, for the sake of ourselves : but, if there are any whose tastes are so vitiated, and whose hearts are so hardened, as to delight in such inhuman sacrifices, and to partake of them without remorse, they should be looked upon as demons in human shapes, and expect a retaliation of those tortures which they have inflicted on the innocent, for the