Obrazy na stronie


decorum and there is a delicacy in every mind, which is disgusted at the breach of it, though every mind is not fufficiently attentive to avoid giving an offence which it has often received.

I fhall conclude this paper, as I did my last on the fame fubject, with a general remark. As they who poffefs lefs than they expected cannot be happy, to expatiate in chimerical profpects of felicity is to infure the anguish of disappointment, and to loofe the power of enjoying whatever may be poffeffed. Let not youth, therefore, imagine, that with all the advantages of nature and education, marriage will be a conftant reciprocation of delight, over which externals will have little influence, and which time will rather change than deftroy. There is no perpetual fource of delight but Hope: fo imperfect is the utmost temporal happinefs, that to poffefs it all, is to lofe it. We enjoy that which is before us; but when nothing more is poffible, all that is attained is infipid. Such is the condition of this life but let us not, therefore, think it of no value; for to be placed in this life. is to be a candidate for a better.


No. XXXVII. Tuesday, March 13. 1753.

Calumniari fi quis autem voluerit,

Quod arbores loquantur, non tantum ferae;
Ficlis jocari nos meminerit fabulis.

Let those whom folly prompts to fneer,
Be told we sport with fable here;
Be told, that brutes can morals teach,
And trees like foundest cafuifts preach.


THOUGH it be generally allowed, that to communicate happiness is the characteristic of virtue, yet this happinefs is feldom confidered as extending beyond our own fpecies; and no man is thought to become vicious, by facrificing the life of an animal to the pleasure of hitting a mark. It is, however, certain, that by this act more happiness is destroyed than produced; except it be fuppofed, that happiness should be estimated, not in proportion to its degree only, but to the rank of the being by whom it is enjoyed: but this is a fuppofition, which perhaps cannot eafily be fupported. Reason, from which alone man derives his fuperiority, should, in the prefent question. be confidered only as fenfibility: a blow produces more pain to a man, than to a brute; because to a man it is aggravated by a sense of indignity, and is felt as often as it is remembered; in

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the brute it produces only corporal pain, which in a fhort time ceases for ever. But it may be justly afferted that the fame degree of pain in both fubjects, is in the fame degree an evil; and that it cannot be wantonly inflicted, without equal violation of right. Neither does it follow from the contrary pofitions, that man should abstain from animal food; for by him that kills merely to eat, life is facrificed only to life; and if man had lived upon fruits and herbs, the greater part of thofe animals which die to furnish his table, would never have lived; inftead of increafing the breed as a pledge of plenty, he would have been compelled to deftroy them to prevent a famine.

There is great difference between killing for food, and for fport. To take pleasure in that by which pain is inflicted, if it is not vicious, is dangerous; and every practice which, if not criminal in itself, yet wears out the fympathizing fenfibility of a tender mind, must render human nature proportionably lefs fit for fociety. In my pursuit of this train of thought, I confidered the inequality with which happinefs appears to be diftributed among the brute creation, as different animals are in a different degree expofed to the capricious cruelty of mankind; and in the fervor of my imagination, I began to think it poffible that they might participate in a future retribution; efpecially as mere matter and motion approach no nearer to fenfibility, than to thought: and he, who will not venture to deny that brutes have fenfibility, should not haftily pronounce, that they have only a material existence. While my mind was thus bufied, the evening ftole imperceptibly away; and at length morning fucceeded



to midnight my attention was remitted by degrees, and I fell asleep in my chair

Though the labours of memory and judgment were now at an end, yet fancy was ftill bufy: by this roving wanton I was conducted through a dark avenue, which, after many windings, terminated in a place which the told me was the elyfium of birds and beafts. Here I beheld a great variety of animals, whom I perceived to be endowed with reafon and speech: this prodigy, however, did not raise aftonishment, but curiofity. I was impatient to learn what were the topics of dif courfe in fuch an affembly; and hoped to gain a valuable edition to my remarks upon human life. For this purpose I approached a horfe and an afs, who feemed. tó be engaged in serious conversation ; but I approached with great caution and humility: for I now confidered them as in a state superior to mortality; and I feared to incur the contempt and indignation, which naturally rife at the fight of a tyrant who is divested of his power. My caution was, however, unneceffary, for they seemed wholly to difregard me, and by degrees I came near enough to overhear them.

"If I had perished,” said the ass," when I was dif "miffed from the earth, I think I fhould have been a lofer by my existence: for during my whole life, "there was scarce an interval of an hour, in which I "did not fuffer the accumulated mifery of blows, hun


ger, and fatigue. When I was a colt, I was ftolen by a gypfy, who placed two children upon my back " in a pair of panniers, before I had perfectly acquired "the habit of carrying my own weight with steadi"nefs and dexterity. By hard fare and ill treatment, "I-quickly became blind; and when the family, to which

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"which I belonged, went into their winter-quarters "in Norwood, I was ftaked as a bet against a couple "of geefe, which had been found by a fellow who


came by, driving before him two of my brethren, "whom he had overloaded with bags of fand: a half66 penny was thrown up; and to the inexpreffible in"crease of my calamity, the dealer in fand was the "winner.



"When I came to town, I was harneffed with my "two wretched affociates to a cart, in which my new "master had piled up his commodity till it would hold no more. The load was fo difproportionate to our ftrength, that it was with the utmoft difficulty and "labour dragged very flowly over the rugged pavement of the streets, in which every ftone was an al"moft infuperable obftacle to our progrefs. One "morning very early, as we were toiling up Snow"Hill with repeated efforts of ftrength, that was sti“mulated even to agony, by the inceffant ftrokes of a



whip, which had already laid our loins hare even to "the bone; it happened, that being placed in the "shafts, and the weight preffing hard upon me, I fell

down. Our driver regarded my misfortune, not

"with pity but rage: and the moment he turned "about he threw a ftick with fuch violence at my "head, that it forced out my eye, and paffing through "the focket into the brain, I was inftantly difmiffed "from that mifery,the comparison of which with my "prefent ftate conftitutes great part of its felicity. "But you, furely, if I may judge by your ftatute, and "the elegance of your make, was among the fa"vourites of mankind; you was placed in a higher

and a happier ftation; you was not the flave of in



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