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people to feed on their children, friends, fathers, and wives, as if they were dead; or Pythagoras and Empedocles, that accustom men to be just toward even the other members of the creation. You laugh at a man that wil not eat a Theep; but we (they'l say again), when we see you cuting off the parts of your dead father, or mother, and sending them to your absent friends, and calling upon and inviteing your present friends to eat the rest freely and heartyly, fhal we not smile?... Who then were the first authors of this opinion, that we owe no justice to dumb animals ?
Wbo firft beat out accurfeëd steel,
In the very fame manner oppressors and tyrants began first to shed blood. For example, the first man that the Athenians put to death was one Epitedius, the baseëst of all knaves ; after him they put to death a second and a third ; after this, being now accustom’d to blood, they patiently saw Niceratus the son of Nicias, and their own general Theramenes, and Polemarchus the philosopher, suffer death. Even so in the begining some wild and mischievous beast was kil'd and eaten, and then some little bird or fish was entrap'd : and conquest being first experimented and exercise'd in these, at last pass'd
even to the labouring ox, and the sheep that clothes us, and to the poor cock that keeps the house : until, by little and little, unsatiableness being strengthen’d by use, men came to the ffaughter of men, to blood-fhed and wars.
The following excellent observations are an extract from The Guardian, No. 61 :
“ I cannot think it extravagant to imagine, that mankind are no less, in proportion, accountable for the il use of their dominion over creatures of the lower rank of beings, than for the exercise of tyranny over their own species... "Tis observeable of those noxious animals, which have qualitys most powerful to injure us, that they naturally avoid mankind, and never hurt us, unless provoke’d, or necessitateëd by hunger. Man, on the other hand, seeks out and pursues even the most inoffensive animals on purpose to persecute and destroy them. Montaigne thinks it some reflection upon human nature itsself, that few people take delight in seeing beasts caress or play together, but allmost every one is please’d to see them lacerate and worry one another. I am sorry this temper is become allmost a distinguishing character of our own nation, from the observation which is made by foreigners of our
* Of eating of fief, tract 2.
belove'd pastimes, bear-baiting, cock-fighting, and the like. We should find it hard to vindicate the destroying of any thing that has life, merely out of wantonness; yet, in this principle, our children are bred up, and one of the first pleasures we allow them, is the licence of inflicting pain upon poor animals : allmost as soon as we are sensible what life is ourfelves, we make it our sport to take it from other creatures. I cannot but believe a very good use might be made of the fancy which children have for birds and insects. Mister Locke takes notice of a mother who permited them to her children, but rewarded or punish'd them as they treated them wel or il. This was no other than entring them betimes into a dayly exercise of humanity, and improveing their very diversion to a virtue. *
When we grow up to men, we have another succession of fanguinary sports ; in particular bunting. I dare not attack a diversion which has such authority and custom to support it, but must have leave to be of opinion, that the agitation of that exercise, with the example and
* There can be no doubt that children would be not less apt to learn humanity than cruelty; but the mischief is that, the parents themselves haveing little sense of the former, they are only instructed or indulge'd in the latter,
number of the chaseërs, not a little contributes to resist those checks, which compassion would naturally suggest in behalf of the animal pursue’d. Nor shal i say, with monsieur Fleury, that this sport is a remain of the Gothick barbarity ; but i must animadvert upon a certain custom yet in use with us, and barbarous enough to be derive'd from the Goths, or even the Scythians; I mean that savage compliment our huntsmen pass upon ladys of quality, who are present at the death of a stag, when they put the knife in their hands to cut the throat of a helpless, trembleing and weeping creature.*
But if our Sports are destructive, our gluttony is more fo, and in a more inhuman manner. Lobsters roasted alive, pigs whip'd to death, fowls Sew'd up, are testimonys of our outrageous luxury. Those who (as Seneca expresses it) divide their lives betwixt an anxious conscience and a nauseateëd stomach, have a juft reward of their gluttony in the diseaseës it brings with it: for human savageës, like other wild beasts, find
* The tender feelings of these elegant fair ones never induce them, it seems, to reject this delicate and humane office!
- They contemplate, with equal satisfaction, the poor heron with its wings and legs brokeën, and its bil stuck in the ground, a liveing prey to the savage hawk! " Ladies of quality," quotha ? Gorgons and Furies !
fnares and poyfon in the provisions of life, and are allure'd by their appetite to their destruction, I know nothing more shocking or horrid, than the prospect of one of their kitchens cover'd with blood, and fild with the crys of creatures expireing in tortures. It gives one an image of a giants den in à romance, bestrow'd with the fcata ter'd heads and mangle'd limbs of those who were dain by his cruelty.
“ History tels us of a wife and polite nation that rejected a person of the first quality, who stood for a judiciary office, onely because he had been observe'd, iri his youth, to take pleasure in tearing and murdering of birds : * and of another that expel'd a man out of the fenate, for dashing a bird against the ground which had takeën fhelter in his bofom.... Perhap that voice or cry so nearly resembleing the human, with which Providence has endue'd fo different animals, might purposely be giveën them to move our pity, and prevent those crueltys we are too apt to inflict on our fellowcreatures.
* The emperour Domitian began his favourite pursuit with the murder of flys, and ended it with that of men : a progresfion perfectly natural.
+ It may be fo; but it is evident that Providence has not,