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tion of efficacy; but mercy is not common among men. Man has made laws subservient to the purposes of trade and convenience, which every day involve his fellow creatures in ruin and death. I doubt, nay, I do not doubt, for I maintain that no set of men have a right to take away the life of a brother man for any thing less than murder; or crimes against nature. It is not enough to say that the offender knew the law, the punishment is beyond the crime; the law for which has for its principle the petty pecuniary interests of man, let the culprit be made to restore the loss he has occasioned to the party, or the public, and by labour or imprisonment work out his offence. The principle would then be just, and the image of the Creator be spared. These are the public charities which are wanted to ornament society.
MR. MAN IN THE MOON, “ As I know that you have a regard for the animal creation, I venture to offer this my humble appeal to your humanity. You must first be informed, that I am one of those wretched creatures denominated a post horse; my sufferings have frequently occasioned me to reflect seriously in the stable on the relative conditions of man and beast, but a circumstance which happened lately determined me to present my complaint to you. I think that it was sometime in February last, upon a cold wet winter's day, that I was
ordered out of my stable and put into a stage, which I understood was to take a gentleman to dinner, at his villa about nine miles from town. The day had advanced, and I heard with sorrow the passenger,
who was a tall gentleman in black, with hard inflexible features, order the boy to drive as fast as possible. My usual philosophy did not, however, forsake me, I knew that it must be so, and galloped as well as my legs (one of which was a little lame) would let me; every now and then my strenuous endeavours were, however, forced beyond their powers by the cruel exercise of the whip and spur, applied by my driver in conformity with the injunctions of his employer, who fee'd him to make all the haste he could. At last, thank God, we arrived at the elegant mansion belonging to the passenger, when I observed him alight with a pamphlet in his hand, which he had been reading, entitled, the
Without deigning to cast one look at me he ascended the stone steps of his villa, and I was driven to the next inn, where I was put into a stable to wait a return job. Here I vented my tears, and cursed the cruelty of man, when I was interrupted by a stranger; who, I found, had come into the stable to see his own horse fed, he was a man of about forty years of age, with a mild cheerful countenance: I observed, that every now and then he took particular notice of me, and of my condition; upon this encouragement“I endeavoured to make myself understood as well as I could, and with this attempt the tears run plentifully down my cheeks; but I was astonished to find that I actually spoke, and in a language which the
RIGHTS OF MAN.
stranger understood, for he patted me very kindly on the head, then down the face, and ordered me some more corn. I told him my sufferings as well as I could, and I heard him call the boy, and bid a price for me; the bargain was soon struck, and the gentleman's servant took me home, where I lay on a good bed and slept soundly. The next morning I was turned out into a field of clover, where I had not been long before my new master came to look at me; he had a book in his hand, and sat himself down on a bank near me, when, as I chewed the herbage, I heard him speak as follows:- Poor creature! thy ribs appear through thy mangled flesh; thou art, indeed, in a woeful condition; and who has had the right to misuse thee thus? Man, proud, imperious, unjust man; who makes so much ado about his own rights, and can thus cruelly play the despot over the rest of creation. These impious uncharitable pages (cried he, looking at the book he held in his hand) shall no longer call upon me to reflect upon their absurd philosophy
“ Man has no claim to boundless liberty,
Yes, there is a necessity for strong laws to bind thy perverse and adverse will. The common coarse, and vulgar mind of man needs the restraints of wholesome and just authorities. The age of reason! what time of his life is it that a man arrives to reason? Is it when he considers himself restrained by the lessons of morality, religion, and nature? is it when humanity pre
scribes laws to his will and humour? or is it when he is at once set free from religion, and all the authorities of collected reason but his own? If the last must be the state of sense in the country that I live in, let me be a fool; an ignorant, happy fool, enjoying the sentiments of my own heart, unmolested by doubt and mystery, rather than give way to the false fashion of philosophy, which adds nothing to our happiness and subtracts so much. Yes, proud relentless Man, brutes have their rights; the horse has his, and beyond reasonable service thou hast no right to use him. Thou wishest to see no tyrant but thyself; but thy proud arrogant heart would swell over every other creature. Thou puttest a bridle upon the horse; but it is thyself who needs the bit, the reins, and the martingale; thou tossest thy head too high; thou runnest away, at times, fired with passion, and frequently thy mulishness of mind needs the whip and spur to keep thee in the right road. Thou hast not been, perhaps, so well broke in by education as the horse; thou wouldst wish to throw every restraint from off thee, and to gallop through the world free and independent. And yet thou art but a poor creature after all! and of the horse and his rider, I believe the horse is generally the most consistent being of the two.'—Such were the reflections of my benefactor, who uttered them with so much application to myself, that I felt more regard for my master, man, than I had ever done before. Alas! my happiness in this state of tranquillity lasted but for a short time; my benefactor died in a few months, and the heir, who, I afterwards heard, at the.
instance of my kind master, had promised to take care of me through the remainder of his life, and to permit me to graze in his meadows, forgot the promise, and sold me to a man who replaced me in my former condition of life, and I became once more a post-horse. I had the good fortune, however, to-day to interest the feelings of a man who, I understand is an artist, and a writer of essays, and who came into the stable to draw my figure: he promised very
kindly to publish my complaint to the world in your paper of the Man in the Moon. I embraced the opportunity and have ventured to trouble you with the remonstrance of an unhappy
The Man in the Moon presents his Compliments to Miss Fanny Flutter, and
will notice her Letter in his next Paper.