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but the whole of animal creation would feel her endearments in a larger degree were men less lordly and independent. I know very well that with those who do not feel any thing, all that I can say will amount to nothing; with those who can feel the situations of their fellow creatures my arguments may have some weight. I am of opinion, that in the great scale of the universe, where not a sparrow falls to the ground without divine notice, the brute creation holds a much higher rank than is generally imagined, and that each individual of its myriads has its individual rights and privileges. I have frequently occasion to contemplate, with wonder, how it is that charity and mercy have found the footing they have done in the world, against the selfishness, the meanness, and the worldly interests of man. 'Now and then, among us, charity appears like the star of Bethlehem, as if to show where the mild virtues of the Mediator may yet be found.
“ It must be understood when I speak of charity, I do not altogether mean that species of it which prompts us to assist with our money the poor, or involved. To spare from severe crimination, from harsh rebuke, from ridicule, from disgrace, are charities of the first order. It is much the same whether we see a fellow creature in sorrow from the distresses of
poverty, or from the cruelty of crimination, rebuke, ridicule, or disgrace, and it is a noble charity to snatch the object from the persecutor. Such are the things which, I believe, will reconcile us to the Deity for the crimes we commit hourly against him through our own
frailties and infirmities; and if that charity extends to the wretched animal, the poor domestic cat, who has, perhaps, enjoyed the indulgences of its master by a comfortable fire side, but who is now hunted by a set of mischievous boys, it is delightful to succour and relieve it. I have frequently noticed my old friend, Jack Glow-worm, pursuing the little offenders without his hat, until he has taken one of them into custody; and then the same mercy which operated to save the cat, began to work to spare the boy, who only received from him a lecture on humanity; which, perhaps, made him, when he grew up, a much better man than all he had ever learnt at school. But what is the next object? a noble horse suffering under the blows of a senseless carman, inflicted with the but end of his whip on the poor honest face of the animal. Jack Glow-worm where are you? Methinks I see your powerful muscular arm raised up to prevent the blows, or in this case employed to fell the lusty tyrant to the ground. Well done, honest Jack! I like these interferences, they delight me; and let the day be fair or foul, or its occurrences lucky or cross, it is the same thing; I dance home as pleased as Punch,
“ It is curious and worthy of observation that, according to scriptural authority, the blessings of the relieved, and the curses of the oppressed and injured, are supposed to have had their weight with the Almighty; and is it not unreasonable to believe that the “ God bless you,” uttered from the mouth of the fellow creature you have delivered, will have its full portion 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
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