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These bright qualities are corrupted to their opposites, and the primitive order confounded: but from amid this wreck and this confusion, let me point to you—as one across whose soul of light no cloud has passed; where purity, simplicity, truth, and faithfulness
are planted in such perfection, that the fruits which kindness bore with our first parents may be seen again displayed; a power of calling forth the attachment of the inferior world, which resembles the illusions of enchantment, placing before the scarce believing eyes the pure communion of primeval innocence; a sympathy indeed so wonderful in kindling all their brightest and their loveliest qualities, that in every sense it
be uttered with the poet
To you, then, of right, these pages must be inscribed, the fountain of their best thoughts, not as mere praise, but for the instruction of others, to
record the charm of perfect companionship, proved by your example; the instinctive homage even of brutes before the magic of an amiable and generous heart, without a selfish trace. Accept the gift: a drop from the golden stream your soul delights in, weigh not its value but its source ; let the rich sunshine of your favour tinge it with a borrowed worth, though no equivalent, the effort is your due, who lead these creatures with a surpassing influence imagination had not dared to conceive--not the too frequent tie of fear, but the compulsion of the strong bond of love, honourable, cheerful, and delighting to all who feel or who behold its power.
Were all hearts tuned like yours, an appeal to human justice would not be needed:—Then to your name a fitter title might be inscribed—the Wrongs of Animals ceased for ever, the dubious vestiges of Eden might become the certain foot-prints of our daily practice; and cruelty and suffering be known no more.
To place before the public an Essay stamped with a certain mark of inferiority by the tribunal of a public competition, demands, in the plainest manner, an apology. Upon all the usual subjects of discussion which have been examined, and are known so well, that the conscious heart ever accuses the deficient practice, an adequate excuse with difficulty might be found. But on the duties the following pages are intended to enforce, much less has been written than they deserve, and the just line of conduct but partially discriminated. Faults are committed with an unconsciousness of error, sometimes even with a belief of innocence and propriety.
The creatures we are called on to defend, are the Pariahs of another caste, and suffer from prejudice. Children of bondage: once dwellers with us in the paternal home of paradise; like the offspring of Hagar they have been banished to the wilderness, and scattered like arrows to the four winds of heaven. Their hand is against every man, and every man's hand is against them. The firstborn of the earth : figuratively, the hairy children of creation, they have been disinherited by the smooth Jacob; and driven from our society, like other slaves; while with one of slavery's accursed features, we hate the servile fear we have ourselves engendered. The voices only of a few have ever been raised in their defence, and in the host of human literature their interests form comparatively an uncultivated field. It might be urged that inferiority is not worthlessness, nor all exertions useless which do not reach the goal. But this is not the ground of our excuse. On the reverse, had it been ascertained this treatise were the meanest and the poorest effort in the animal behalf; it would best perform the end of inviting others to communicate what they have written ; who with greater modesty though superior merit, may not have dared to plunge into the uncertain stream, and risk the imputation of assuming rashness; and set an example which might open to the public eye all that has been composed, where many flowers must be scattered, though all the necessary conditions which