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says Lord Erskine, only extended to carrying on the fair work of horses, to the very latest period of labour, instead of destroying them, when old or disa. bled, I should approve instead of condemning it; but it is most notorious, that with the value of such an. imals, all care of them is generally at an end, and you see them (I speak literally, and of a systematic abuse) sinking and dying under loads, which no man living would have set the same horse to, when in the meridian of his strength and youth. This horrid a. buse, which appears at first view to be incapable of aggravation, is, nevertheless, most shockingly aggra. vated when the period arrives at which one would think cruelty must necessarily cease; when exhaust. ed Nature is ready to bestow the deliverance of death. But even then, a new and most atrocious system of torture commences, which has been proved to my satisfaction, and that of my friend Mr. Jekyll, on the information of a worthy magistrate, who cal. led our attention to the abuse. It is
The TRAFFIC OF THE NAGGERS, as it is called; a hideous practice which still exists. Among the immense number of letters which Lord Erskine received from persons of great respectability, in favour of the animal protection bill, his lordship referred to one where the particulars of this common but horrid practice were detailed. The traffic consists in buy. ing up old horses for dogs' meat. These horses are kept without food, until there be a demand for the commodity. This correspondent informed Lord Erskine, that he had frequently seen these wretched animals devouring the remains of their dead com. panions, and even eating their own dung, to allay the gnawing pains of hunger.
OF 1MPOUNDING ANIMALS. The diabolical infamy and stupidity of men who keep animals without adequate food to support their strength, or even their existence, has been feelingly adverted to by Lord Ers kipe:" I have bad complaints of this abuse from all parts of the country. The notice to the owner is seldom served, and thus the poor innocent animal is. left to starve in the pound. As far as an animal is considered merely as property, this may be all very well, and the owner must find him out at his peril, but when the animal is looked to, the impounder ought to feed him, and charge it to the owner, as part of the damages.”
“ Can no law,” says Miss Williams, succour that wretched horse, worn to the bone from famine and fatigue, lashed by his cruel tyrant into exertion beyond his strength, while he drags, in some vile vehicle, six persons, besides his merciless owner? For myself, I confess, that at the view of such spectacles, the charm of nature seems suddenly dissolved, to me the fields lose their verdure, and the woods their pleasantness; nor is my indignation confined to the unrelenting driver of these loaded machines ; I consider the passengers who taotly assent to the pain he inflicts, as more than his accomplices in barbari.
Bloomfield beautifully contrasts the case of Dobbin, the Farmer's Horse, with that of the Post Horse; in the following lines, from his " Farmer's Boy."
Short-sighted Dobbin! thou canst only see the trivial hardships that encompass thee: thy chains are freedom and thy toils repose. Could the poor Post-horse tell thee all his woes; shew thee his bleeding shoulders, and unfold the dreadful anguish he endures for gold :
hir'd at each call of business, lust, or rage, that prompts the traveller on from stage to stage. Still on his strength depends his boasted speed; for them his limbs grow weak, his bare ribs bleed; and tho’ he groaning, quickens at command, their extra shilling in the driver's hand becomes his bitter scourge; 'tis he must feel the double efforts of the lash and steel; 'til when, up hill, the destin'd inn he gains, and, trembling under complicated pains, prone from his nostrils, darting on the ground, his breath emitted floats in clouds around : drops chase each other down his chested sides, and spatter'd mud his pative colour hides ; through his swoln veips the boiling torrent flows, and every nerve a separate torture knows. His harness loos’d, he welcomes, eager-eyed, the pails full draught that quivers by his side, and joys to see the well-known stable door, as the start'd mariner the friendly shore. Ab! well it were, if here his sufferings ceas'd, and ample hours of rest his pains appeas'd; but rous'd again, and sternly bade to rise, and shake refreshing slumber from his eyes, ere his exhauted spirits can return, or through his frame reviving ardour burn, come forth he must, tho’limping, maim'd and sore, he hears the whip: the chaise is at the door; the collar lightens and again he feels his half-heal'd wounds inflam'd; again the wheels, with tiresome sameness, in his ears resound, o'er blinding dust, or miles of flinty ground. Thus nightly robbed, and injur'd day by day, his piece-meal murderers wear his life away. What sayest thou, Dobbin? what tho' bounds await
with open jaws the moment of thy fate, .
O barbarous men ! your cruel breasts aswage;
Gay's Trivia. The Asiatics, in general, but particularly the A. rabians, have been long renowned for their kind and merciful treatment of beasts, rarely or never correcting their horses, either with whip or spur; but treat them as animals which they perceive are endowed with a large portion of the reasoning faculty.
Some of the most beautiful passages, by ancient writers, are those in which the animal creation is mentioned. Few readers have escaped tears at the affectionate.address of Mezentius to his horse, 10Æn. 861, which is one of the most pathetic strokes in Virgil. No part of Homer is more remarkable than the art with which that great poet rivets attention in favour of the horse of Achilles, in opposition to poetical truth; yet such is the beauty of the passage that the frigid propriety of fact is lost in the magic of the poetry.,
In Jacob Guther de Jure Manium, published in 1671, there are some curious instances to be found of the fondness which the ancients had for their animals, and which they carried to a most ridiculous
excess.. i Alexander the great, had funeral rites performed
on the death of his horse Bucephalus. Pliny, lib. viii,
cap. 42. Augustus erected a tomb to the memory of a favourite horse. At Athens, those horses which had thrice conquered at the Olympic Games, were always buried with those who had fallen in battle. - Ælian, lib. xii. Lucius Verus erected a golden statue of a favourite speedy horse, during his life, and on his death made a tomb for him in the Vatican.Capitolin. in Vero. Adrian was so fond of horses and dogs, that he erected tombs for them.
ON THE TREATMENT OF THE Ass. Such is the depravity of the human race, that because this poor animal is meek and patient, beyond all comparison, it is subjected to excessive labour, the most barbarous treatment, and the coarsest food. It's humble appearance, size, and want of spirit, subjects it to be. come the property of the most abject and brutal of the human kind. The common lanes and high roads are it's nightly residence; where it becomes the sport of debased children, who have been early initiated in unfeelingness and the arts of wanton cruelty.
The ass has many and superior claims to protection and kind treatment. His countenance is mild and modest, expressing a languid patience; his de. portment simple and unaffected; and his pace, tho' not swift, is uniform and unabated. His service is indefatigable and unostentatious, and he is content with the most indifferent food. He is said to be immod. erately fond of plantane, and nice only in the choice of water, drinking that which is clear. The inimitable Sterne has endeavoured to render the ass res. pectable, and that this patient useful animal is not so in this country, is a proof of the wretchedly unfeeling and barbarous disposition of it's inhabitants.
STRIPPING OF GEESE, as practiced in the fens of Lincolnshire, reflects an o dium on the name of