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gratification of their own depraved and unnatural appetites.
So violent are the passions of anger and revenge in the human breast, that it is not wonderful that men should prosecute their real or imaginary enemies with cruelty and malevolence; but that there should exist in nature being, who can receive pleasure from giving pain, would be totally incredible, if we were not convinced by melancholy experience, that there are not only many, but that this unaccountable disposition is in some measure inherent in the nature of man; for, as he cannot be taught by example, nor led to it by temptation, or promoted to it by interest, it must be derived from his native constitution; and is a remarkable confirmation of what revelation so frequently inculcates that he brings into the world with him an original depravity, the effects of a fallen and degenerate state; in proof of which we need only observe, that the nearer he approaches to a state of nature, the more predominant the disposition appears, and the more violently it operates. We see children laughing at the miseries which they inflict on every unfortunate animal which comes within their power; all savages are ingenious in contriving, and happy in executing, the most exquisite tortures; and the common people of all countries are delighted with nothing so much as bull-baitings, prize-fightings, executions, and all spectacles of cruelty and horrour. Though civilization may in some degree abate this native ferocity, it can never quite extirpate it; the most polished are not ashamed to be pleased with scenes of little less barbarity, and, to the disgrace of hu
man nature, to dignify them with the name of sports. They arm cocks with artificial weapons, which nature had kindly denied to their malevolence, and, with shouts of applause and triumph, see them plunge them into each other's hearts: they view with delight the trembling deer and defenceless hare, flying for hours in the utmost agonies of terrour and despair, and at last, sinking under fatigue, devoured by their merciless pursuers; they see with joy the beautiful pheasant and harmless partridge drop from their flight, weltering in their blood, or perhaps perishing with wounds and hunger, under the cover of some friendly thicket to which they have in vain retreated for safety; they triumph over the unsuspecting fish whom they have decoyed by an insidious pretence of feeding, and drag him from his native element by a hook fixed to and tearing out his entrails: and, to add to all this, they sparé neither labour nor expense to preserve and propagate these innocent animals, for no other end but to multiply the objects of their persecu- . tion.
What name would we bestow on a superior being, whose whole endeavours were employed, and whose whole pleasure consisted, in terrifying, ensnaring, tormenting, and destroying mankind? whose superior faculties were exerted in fomenting animosities amongst them, in contriving engines of destruction, and inciting them to use them in maiming and murdering each other? whose power over them was employed in assisting the rapacious, deceiving the simple, and oppressing the innocent? who, without provocation or
advantage, should continue from day to day, void · of all pity and remorse, thus to torment mankind for diversion, and at the same time endeavour with his utmost care to preserve their lives, and to propagate their species, in order to increase the number of victims devoted to his malevolence, and be delighted in proportion to the miseries he occasioned? I say, what name detestable enough could we find for such a being? yet, if we impartially consider the case, and our intermediate situation, we must acknowledge that, with regard to inferior animals, just such a being is a sportsJenyns.
INSTRUCTIVE LESSON ON THE SAME SUBJECT.
My uncle Toby was a man patient of injuries ;— not from want of courage,-where just occasions presented, or called it forth-I know no man ullder whose arm I should sooner have taken shelter;-nor did this arise from any insensibility or obtuseness in his intellectual parts:—he was of a peaceful, placid nature,—no jarring element in it, all was mixed up so kindly within him: my uncle Toby had scarce a heart to retaliate upon a fly: Go,'-says he, one day at dinner, to an overgrown one who had buzzed about his nose, and tormented him cruelly all dinner time,--and which, after infinite attempts, he had caught at last, as it flew by him:- I'll not hurt thee,' says my uncle Toby, rising from his chair, and going across the room, with the fly in his hand :-' I'll not hurt a hair of thy head :-Go,' says he, lifting up the sash, and opening his hand as he spoke, to
let it escape;
go, poor devil,-get thee gone, why should I hurt thee?-This world, surely, is wide enough to hold both thee and me.'
This is to serve for parents and governors instead of a whole volume upon the subject.
VIRTUE MAN'S TRUE INTEREST.
I FIND myself existing upon a little spot, surrounded every way by an immense unknown expansion. Where am I? What sort of place do I inhabit? Is it exactly accommodated in every instance, to my convenience? Is there no excess of cold, none of heat, to offend me? Am I never annoyed by animals either of my own or of a different kind? Is every thing subservient to me, as though I had ordered all myself?-No-nothing like it-the furthest from it possible.-The world appears not, then, originally made for the private convenience of me alone.
But is it not possible, so to accommodate it by my own particular industry? If to accommodate man and beast, heaven and earth, be beyond me, it is not possible-What consequence then follows? or can there be any other than this: if I seek an interest of my own, detached from that of others, I seek an interest which is chimerical, and can never have existed?
How then must I determine? Have I no interest at all?-If I have not, I am a fool for staying here. It is a smoky house; and the sooner I am out of it the better.-But why no interest?Can I be contented with none, but one separate
and detached?-Is a social interest, joined with others, such an absurdity as not to be admitted?
-The bee, the beaver, and the tribes of herding animals, are enow to convince me, that the thing is somewhere at least possible. How, then, am I assured that it is not equally true of man?-Admit it; and what follows? If so, then honour and justice are my interest: then the whole train of moral virtues are my interest; without some portion of which not even thieves can maintain society.
But, further still-I stop not here-I pursue this social interest as far as I can trace my several relations. I pass from my own stock, my own neighbourhood, my own nation, to the whole race of mankind, as dispersed throughout the earth.— Am I not related to them all by the mutual aids of commerce, by the general intercourse of arts and letters, by that common nature of which we all participate?
Again-I must have food and clothing-Without a proper genial warmth, I instantly perishAm I not related, in this view, to the very earth itself? to the distant Sun, from whose beams I de-. rive vigour? to that stupendous course and order of that infinite host of heaven, by which the times and seasons ever uniformly pass on? Were this order once confounded, I could not probably survive a moment; so absolutely do I depend on this common general welfare.-What, then, have I to do, but to enlarge virtue into piety? Not only honour, and justice, and what I owe to man, are my interest; but gratitude also, acquiescence, resignation, adoration, and all I owe to this great polity, and its greater governor, our common parent. Harris.