Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

for wheaten-bread if. Her diet is haftey-pudding, milk, butter, and potatos.

The labouring classes of the people, he says, in many parts of the kingdom, live entirely on brown bread.t

Many poor people, particularly in Scotland, live, and that very comfortablely, for months together, upon oat-meal, and barley-meal, mix'd with onely water and salt, with no other variety than the different degrees of thickness and thinness of bread, pottage, flummery, and gruel. If they can afford, now and then, to convert a peck of malt into beer [ale), they think themselves most curiously provideëd. I

Beside the instanceës allready adduce'd to disprove the necessity of animal food, from the example of nations and numbers, may be aded some from that of individuals, lately or stil liyeing.

A writeër who appear'd in The gentlemans magazine, for August 1787, under the signature of Etonenfis, in giveing a description of Moffat, says that “the chalybeat spring, perhap the strongest in Britain, was discover'd about 40 years ago ;” to which he ads the following

note :

* Ibi, II, 75.

| Ibi, 78.

Ibi, I, 503•

“ This spring was found out in 1748, by one of the most original geniuses that ever existed, His name was John Williamson, alias Pythagoras, alias Bramin, alias Hole-John. This last nick-name proceeded, i believe, from a farm he rented : the two others from his singular notions. He was wel skild in natural philosophy, and might be say'd to have been a moral philosopher, not in theory onely, but in strict and uniform practice. He was remarkablely humane and charitable, and, though poor, was a bold and avow'd enemy to every species of oppression. ... Among others, the transmigration of fouls, or metempsychosis of Pythagoras, was say’d to have been one of his favourite dogmas. * Certain it is, that he accounted the murder (as he [justly] call’d it) of the meanest animal, except in self-defence, a very criminal breach of the law of

nature, insisting, that the creator of all things had constituteëd man, not the tyrant, but the law,

* It was probablely so say'd by ignorant people, who car: not distinguish justice or humanity from an absurd and impossible system. The compileër of the present book, like Py. thagoras and John Williamson, abstains from animal food; but he does not, nevertheless, believe in the metempsychofis, and much doubts whether it was the belief of either of thofa philosophers.

ful and limited fovereign, of the inferior animals, * which, he contended, answer'd the ends of their creation better than their little despotick lord.... He did not think it

-enough,
In this late age, advent'rous to have touch'd
Light on the precepts of the Samian fage ;

for he acted in rigid conformity to them. Dureing the last 40 or 50 years of his life he totally abstain'd from animal food, and was much of. fended when any was offer'd to him. He insisted that, at best, it serve'd but to cloud the un. derstanding, to blunt the feelings, and to inflame every bad passion; and that those nations who eat little or no flesh, as the poor among the Scotch and Irish, were not inferior in size, strength, or courage to other men. table and milk diet afforded him in particular very fufficient nourishment; for, when i last saw him, he was stil a tall, robust, and rather corpie lent inan, though upward of fourscore. Though he allow'd, and even revere'd, the general authority of the scriptures, yet he contended that the text had been vitiateöd in those passageës which

His vegem

He seems to have takeën this idea from Genesis I, 28.

were repugnant to his system;* and for this he blame'd the priests and priestcraft, the onely names he use’d for the clergy and their function. .... He lived a harmless, if not a useful life, and dye'd in 1768 or 1769, age'd upward of 90, perhap not sufficiently regreted, at the seat of a respectable gentleman, who admire'd our philosopher for his humanity, and his independent fpirit, though he laugh'd at his curious notions [which, one may venture to fuspect, he had nei. ther candour to examine, nor sense to comprehend). Agreeablely to his own desire, he was inter'd in Moffat church-yard, in a deep grave, at a distance from the other burying-placeës. His worthy patron erected a free-stone obelisk on the spot, with an epitaph descriptive of his vir. tues, and particularly of his protection of the animal creation.

Bene . . . placideque quiescas,

Terraque fecura fit fuper ossa levis." “ John Oswald was a native of Edinburgh. At an early age he clope’d from his parents, and

* This is not credible; the bible has evidently been writ. en by persons, whether priests or laricks, of a very different way of thinking from our respectable philofopher, who either could not, or durft not openly, in this instance, dispel the clouds of prejudice and bigotry with which his infant mind had been carefully envelope’d.

enlisted as a private foldier in the 36th regiment. As soon as it was discover'd by his relations, an ensigncy was purchase'd for him in the 42d regiment.

“ In that capacity he went to the East-Indies, dureing the war before last, and there distinguilh'd himself with great gallantry; but, oweing to a difference of opinion with general Macleod, then his commander in chief, he fold out, and, after a peregrination of about two years, among

the brachmans of India, the Persians, &c. he arrive'd in Engleland, so change’d by the manners and dress he assume'd, as to be unknown to his friends.

" He became a convert so much to the Hindoo faith, that the ferocity of the young foldier of fortune funk into the mild philofophick manners of the Hindoo brachman. Dureing his stay in Engleland he, uniformly, abstain'd from eating animal food : nay, so great was his ab. horrence of blood, that, rather than pass through a butchers market, he would go any distance about. He brought up his children in the fame way.

“In 1790, being a warm admireër of the French revolution, he went to Paris, and there associateëd with the leaders of the Jacobin club. He was, however, a long time there without

« FöregåendeFortsätt »