« FöregåendeFortsätt »
fested with lions, tigers, panthers, ounceës, leopards, jaguards, couguars, lynxes, wild cats, chacalls, wolves, hyaenas, foxes, polecats, martins, ferrets, ermines, gluttons, bats, &c. Though all these, and many other tribes of quadrupeds, live solely upon blood and carnage, yet some of them, as the tiger, the wolf, the hyaena, and many other inferior species are much more ra. pacious and destructive. The lion, though surrounded with prey, kils no more than he is able to consume : but the tiger is grossly ferocious, and cruel without necessity. Though fatiateëd with carnage, he perpetually thirsts for blood. He facrificeës whole flocks of domestick animals, and all the wild beasts which come within the reach of his terrible claws. His predominant instinct is a perpetual rage, a blind and undistinguishing ferocity, which often impel him to devour his own young, and to tear their mother in pieceës, when she attempts to defend them. He tears the body for no other purpose than to plunge his head into it, and to drink large draughts of blood.”
* Smellies Pbilosopby of natural bistory, i, 375, &c. Though this fanguinary and ferocious monster must be admited within the pale of nature, is it possible to conceive the necessity of its cxistence ?
All these carnivorous and rapacious monsters are apt and eager to devour a inan whenever he comes within the reach.
« The wolf, whose usual and natural food is every liveing creature, when his hunger is extreme, lofeës all idea of fear, attacks women and children, and sometimes men. Wolves are even fond of human flesh. They have been known to follow armys, to come in troops to the field of battle, where bodys are carelessly inter’d, to tear them up, and devour them with an insatiable avidity; and, when once accustom'd to human flesh, they ever after attack men, prefer the shepherd to the flock, devour women and carry off children."*
“ All birds of prey exhibit an obduracy and a ferociousness of disposition, while the other kinds [upon which they prey] are mild, cheerful, and gentle, in their aspect and manners.”+
Every inhabitant of the waters depends for its existence upon rapine and destruction. The life of every fish, from the smallest to the greatest, is one continue'd scene of hostility, violence and
Ibi. i. 380. + The flying fish which is provideëd with wings, to enable it to evade its marine persecutors, the shark and albicore, upon its takeing to flight, is immediately assail'd and devour'd by its aërial enemys, the pelican and albatross.
evasion. ... Even the oyster, the scallop, and the muscle, lye in ambush, with their shels open, and, when a small fish comes in contact with them, instantly close their shels upon it, and devour at leisure their imprison'd prey....Shoals of one species of fish follow, with unweary'd ardour, those of another, through vast tracts of the ocean. The cod pursues the whiteing from the banks of Newfoundland to the southern coasts of Spain.* Man is not the onely animal that makes war with his own species. Quadrupeds, birds, fishes, insects, independently of their appetite for food, occasionally fight and kil each other.”+
“ The noxious multiplication of shel-fishes, which are extremely prolifick, is check'd by numberless enemys. The animals callid trochi fix themselves upon an oyster or a muscle, bore through the shel with their trunk, and devour their prey at leisure. In this cruel occupation the trochus often continues for days, and even weeks, before the life of the animal attack'd is fully extinguish’d.”I A sufficient proof there is neither benevolence nor intention in nature.
Every animal, man, beast, fish, fowl, appears to be infested by one or more species of lice : not
less than three being natural and peculiar to man. He is indeed, occasionally, subject to a disease call'd the morbus pediculofus, in which he is devour'd by lice: of which there have been many instanceës.-In most if not all hot countrys, man is perpetually tormented by and the prey of divers infects, which render his existence miserable and precarious; the mosquitos, for instance, gnats, chigers, ants, and numberless others, equally fanguinary, poisonous, and malignant; without their helpless prey being able to protect himself either by night or day, bed or board : their stings and bites, in numerous caseës, being deadly, excruciateing and incurable; and defign’d, by nature, for the perpetual plague, torment, misery and destruction of the image of god. From worms, likewise, no human being is, probablely, exempt, either alive or dead; which infest and prove fatal to half the children born, sweeping them off the stage of life at an early and immature period, in a proportion beyond that of any other species. The dog is the natural enemy to the cat, the cat to the rat and mouse, the hound to the hare, the pointer to the partridge, the fox to the goofe, the ferret to the rabbit, the spider to the fly: the whole animal crcation being a system for the express purpose of preying upon each other, and for their mutual misery and destruction.
The number of animals, createëd, originateëd, and intended, for the sole proper use and benefit of man, as he foolishly conceives, consists, in all probability, from the largeëst to the least, from the huge elephant to the minuteëst object of a microscope, of many millions, billions, trillions, of which, peradventure, not one single thousand becomes the prey
many more exercise, by nature, upon this favour'd being, the lord of the creation, that right which he boasts to have received froin his god, and torment and devour him, without ceremony.
For man to have a just and perspicuous idea of the bountys of nature, he should visit hospitals, and not churches. Of these bountys we are supply'd by the divine Milton with an ample and shocking catalogue, as exhibited to Adam by the favourite archangel of the allmighty power, soon after the creation; to convince him of the hapyness provideëd for himself and his posterity, which was to replenish the world.
« Immediately a place