« FöregåendeFortsätt »
abuseës, he says, we are guilty of, in opposition to “ the ancient church all the world over,' and the plain testimonys of the scriptures.* Let the consistent Christian defend himself against this chargé as he can.
* Preface to Essay on the doctrine of the apostles, p. 11.
As the use of animal food makes man cruel and barbarous, and to take delight in pain and torture, whence the fondness of the Romans for the shews of nighting gladiators, and wild-beasts, the Spaniards and Portuguese, for their bulfeasts, their inquisition, and auto da fè, the Nea. politan for his fiesta di cocagna, and the Engleilhman for his bul- and bear-baitings, his cockfights, his boxing-matches, his pleasures of the chace, & c. so the abstinence from that habit has an immediate tendency to soften the manners, and dispose the mind to receive uncommon satisfaction from the exercise of gentleness and humanity toward the minuteëst objects of creation. It is not to be expected that a cannibal should pity the tortures of a subject of the holy inquisition ; and as little emotion, perhap, wil the eater of beef and mutton experience from the beautyful and affecting pictures represented in the following anecdotes :
The philosopher Xenocrates, a severe and rigid moralist, gave numerous proofs of the be
nevolence and humanity of his nature toward all creatures. One instance is particularly worthy of notice. A sparrow, pursue'd by a hawk, flew to him for refuge : he shelter'd it in his bosom, and release'd it as soon as the danger was over. * It is allmost imposible that he could have devour'd animal-food. No one, at the same time, seems to have carry'd his affection to animals so far as St. Francis of Assise, who was wont to address hares, lambs, swallows, and grasshopers by the endearing appellations of brothers and fisters. His charity extended itsself even toward lice and worms, which he would not suffer to be kil'd, inasmuch as the psalmist hath say'd, “I am a worm."
Is not, asks Plutarch, the accustomeing of onesself to mildness and a humane temper of mind an admirable thing? For who could wrong or injure a man that is so sweetly and humanely dispose’d with respect to the ils of frangers that are not of his kind? I remember that three days ago, as I was discourseing, i made mention of a faying of Xenocrates, and how the Athenians gave judgement upon a certain person who had flay'd a liveing ram. For my part i cannot think him a worse criminál that torments a poor creature while liveing, than a man that shal take away
* Aelian, B. 13, C. 31.
irs life and murder it. Though the Mahometans, generally speaking, be a cruel sect, this proceeds chiefly, if not wholely, from their religious tenets, and is principally shewn in their facrificees, and toward those of a different persuasion. So far as religion is out of the question, the Turks, in particular, have the character of a humane disposition; and individuals may be found among all nations which profess the mussulman faith, who have giveën the strongest proofs of a tender and feeling heart. Such a one was Moulana Nasereddin Amer, one of the most venerable doctors of the court of Timour (improperly callid Tamerlane), who could never consent so much as to kil a single sheep.* Doctor Smith found the Turks excess sively pityful and good nature'd toward dumba creatures, foon puting them out of their pain, if they were necessitateëd to kil them. Some, he says, buy birds on purpose to let them fly away, and return to the liberty of the woods and open air.t
The Gentoos are fociable, humane, and hospi. table, and dureing my residence in their country, says M. de Pagés, i never had occasion to observe a single instance of violence or dispute. They rear numerous herds of cattle ; but such is their veneration for these animals, on account of their useful and patient serviceës to man, that to kil or even maim one of them is deem'd a capital offence.
* History of Timur-Bec, II, 54. + Remarks upon the Turks, p. 103.
Nausary, a small town, as we are told by the saine traveler, has a fort, which belongs to the Marattas, and is surrounded with pagodas, gardens, and beautyful flower-plots. The unusual familiarity, common in this country, among all the different tribes of animals, which sport before us with the most careless indifference, is not a little surpriseing to a stranger. The birds of the air, undismay'd by our approach, perch upon the trees, and swarm among the branches, as if they conceive'd man to be of a nature equally quiet and inoffensive with themselves; while the monkey and squirrel climb the wali, gambol on the house-top, and leap with confidence and alacrity from one bough to another over our heads. Even the most formidable quadrupeds seem to have lost their natural ferocity in the fame harmless dispositions; and hence the ap
# Travels tbro' the world, II, 27.