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

I shall conclude this paper, as I did my last on the same subject, with a general remark. As they who pofless less than they expected cannot be happy, to expatiate in chimerical prospects of felicity is to insure the anguish of disappointment, and to loose 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 constant reciprocation of delight, over which externals will have little influence, and which time will rather change than destroy. There is no perpetual source of delight but Hope : fo imperfect is the utmost temporal happipess, that to possess it all, is to lose it. We enjoy that which is before us; but when nothing more is possible, 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,


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Calumniari si quis autem voluerit,
Quod arbores loquantur, non tantum ferae;
Fictis jocari nos meminerit fabulis.


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

Though it be generally allowed, that to communicate happiness is the characteristic of virtue, yet this happiness is seldom confidered as extending beyond our own species; and no man is thought to become vicious, by facrificing the life of an animal to the pleafure 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 supposition, which perhaps cannot easily be supported. Reason, from which alone man derives his superiority, should, in the present question. be considered 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 Thort time ceases for ever. But it may be justly afferted that the same degree of pain in both subjects, is in the same degree an evil; and that it cannot be wantonly inflicted, without equal violation of right. Neither does it follow from the contrary positions, that man should abitain from animal food; for by him that kills merely to eat, life is sacrificed only to life; and if man had lived upon fruits and herbs, the greater part of those animals which die to furnish his table, would never have lived ; instead of increafing the breed as a pledge of plenty, he would have been compelled to destroy them to prevent a famine.

There is great difference between killing for food, and for sport. 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 sympathizing fenfibility of a tender mind, must render human nature proportionably less fit for society. In my pursuit of this train of thought, I considered the inequality with which happiness appears to be distributed 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 poflible that they might participate in a future retribution ; especially as mere matter and motion approach no nearer to sensibility, than to thought: and he, who will not venture to deny that brutes have sensibility, should not hastily pronounce, that they have only a material existence. While my mind was thus bufied, the evening ftole imperceptibly away; and at length morning succeeded




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 still busy : 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 elysium of birds and beasts. Here I beheld a great variety of animals, whom I perceived to be endowed with reason and speech : this prodigy, however, did not raise aftonishment, but curiosity. I was impatient to learn what were the topics of difcourse in such an assembly; and hoped to gain a valuable edition to my remarks upon human life. - For this purpose I approached a horse and an ass, who seemed to 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 rise at the fight of a tyrant who is divested of his power. My caution was, however, unnecessary, for they seemed wholly to disregard me, and by degrees I came near enough to overhear them,

“ If I had perished,” said the ass, “ when I was dif6 missed from the earth, I think I should have been a "* lofer by my existencer for during my whole life, " there was scarce an interval of an hour, in which 'I " did not suffer the accumulated misery of blows, hun

ger, and fatigue. When I was a colt, I was stolen

by a gypsy, 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

ness and dexterity. By hard fare and ill treatnient, "J-quickly became blind ; and when the family, to

6, which

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no more.

“ which I belonged, went into their winter-quarters “ in Norwood, I was staked as a bet against a couple of geese, 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 half

penny was thrown up; and to the inexpressible in“ crease of my calamity, the dealer in fand was the 66 winner.

" When I came to town, I was harnessed with my

two wretched associates to a cart, in which my new “ master had piled up his commodity till it would hold

The load was so disproportionate to our strength, that it was with the utmost difficulty and “ labour dragged very slowly over the rugged pave

ment of the streets, in which every stone was an al“ most insuperable obstacle to our progress. One “ morning very early, as we were toiling up Snow- . “ Hill with repeated efforts of strength, that was fti“ mulated even to agony, by the inceffant strokes 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 pressing hard upon me, I fell * down. Our driver regarded my misfortune, not us with pity but rage : and the moment he turned “ about he threw a stick with such violence at my 6 head, that it forced out my eye, and passing through “ the focket into the brain, I was instantly dismiffed “ from that misery,the comparison of which with my “ present state constitutes great part of its felicity. « But you, surely, if I may judge by your statute, and “ the elegance of your make, was among the fae vourites of mankind; you was placed in a higher k and a happier station ; you was not the slave of in

“ digence,

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