« AnteriorContinuar »
complete, thought proper to press it out, from time to time, with his hands. But we spare the sensibility of our readers, which must be already hurt by this brief relation of these immoral experiments, for surely there are moral relations subsisting between man and his fellow-creatures of the brute creation ; and tho’ by drovers and draymen neither attended to nor respected, it becomes not philosophers, much less physicians, thus flagrantly to violate them." Mon. Rev. Sep. 1770. p. 213.
The experiments of Spallanzani are multifarious, indeed, and perhaps valuable, but many of them were attended with circumstances of disgusting and unpardonable cruelty.
When one anatomist, affects to speak in a light and pleasant manner of the patience displayed by a hedge-hog while dissected alive, relating that it suf. fered it's feet to be nailed down to the table, and it's entrails to be cut in pieces, without a single groan, bearing every stroke of the operator's knife with a more than Spartan fortitude; [See Pennant's British Zoology, Art. Hedge-Hog.] and when another professes to have been amused with the noise of a grasshopper, excited by tortures; [See Phil. Trans. for 1793. part 1, art 4.] when, I say, such expres. sions meet the eye, a disposition to cruelty, and not the good of mankind, is evidently the predominant spring of action.
Were an ancient physician to rise from his grave, and take a step into an anatomical theatre, the implements of the art, and the dexterity with which they are managed, might confound him : but when the learned professor throws his scalpel aside and bursts forth in all the elevation and splendor of physiological oratory, the venerable ancient would turn with
disgust from the flimsy and consequential harangue.
DESTROYING BEES. The commonwealth of the bee is admirably governed. Regularity, skill and common toil support it. Every appetite is checked and every private interest suppressed for the public good; and, in the winter months, they exhibit a pata tern of frugality and temperance. Mankind, in general, make a bee-hive an object of attention and care; admiring the persevering industry of this insect, and yet he will deliberately suffocate twelve thousand beings (the number of which a hive usually consists) for the sake of seizing a store, the produce of many an anxious toilsome summer's day.
Ah see! where robb’d, and murder'd in that pit lies the still heaving hive ! at evening snatch'd beneath the cloud of guilt-concealing night, and fix'd o'er sulphur; while, not dreaming ill, the happy people in their waxen cells, sat tending public cares, and planning schemes of temperance; for winter-poor, rejoic'd to mark, full-flowing round, their copious stores. Sudden, the dark oppressive steam ascends, and, us'd to milder scents, the tender race, by thousands, tumble from their honeyed domes, convolv'd, and agonizing in the dust. And was it then for this you roam'd the Spring, intent, from flower to flower? for this you toild, ceaseless, the burning Summer-heats away? for this in Autumn search'd the blooming waste, nor lost one sunny gleam? for this sad fate? O Man! tyrannic lord! how long, how long shall prostrate Nature groan beneath your rage, awaiting renovation ? When oblig'd, must you destroy ? Of their ambrosial food can you not borrow, and, in just returv,
afford them shelter from the wintry winds ? or, as the sharp year pinches, with their own again regale them on some smiling day? See! where the stopy bottom of their town looks desolate and wild, with here and there a helpless number, who the ruined state survive, lamenting, weak, cast out to death. Thus a proud city, populous and rich, full of the works of peace, and high in joy, at theatre or feast, or sunk in sleep, (as late, Palermo! was thy fate) is seiz'd by some dread earthquake, and convulsive hurl'd sheer from the black foundation, stench involv'd, into a gulph of blue sulphureous flame.
Thomson's Autumn. This business of murder and robbery united, is unpardonable, because nearly the same quantity of honey can be procured without the crime of such outrages. See Huish's Treatise on Bees, 8vo ; Isaac's General A piarian ; Willich's Domestic Encyclopædia, article Bee; Encyclopædia Britannica; and other Encyclo. pædias. A sympathizing person, will disdain to para take of a sweet, purchased by the combined crimes of murder and robbery. To retain a conscience free from the imputation of being an encourager of crime, is to him of infinitely greater importance than the temporary gratification of sense.
THE BUSINESS OF BUTCHERY. Among butchers, and those who qualify the different parts of an ani. mal into food, it would be easy to select persons much further removed from those virtues which should re. sult from reason, consciousness, sympathy, and ani. mal sensations, than any savages upon the face of the earth. In order to avoid all the generous and spon. taneous sympathies of compassion, the office of shed. ding blood is committed into the hands of men who have been educated in inhumanity, and whose sensi. bility has been blunted and destroyed by early hab. its of barbarity. Thus men increase misery in order to avoid the sight of it; and because they cannot en. dure being obviously cruel themselves, or commit ac. tions which strike painfully on their senses, they commission those to commit them who are formed to de. light in cruelty, and to whom misery, torture, and shedding of blood is an amusement. They appear not once to reflect, that WHATEVER WE DO BY AN. OTHER WE DO OURSELVES. shattered is too painful to dwell on. Lord Somerville, took a person with him to Lisbon, to be instructed in the Portuguese method of slaying oxen, or, as it is there termed, " of laying down cattle." It is done by passing a knife through the vertebræ of the neck into the spine, which causes instant death. His lordship has proposed to have our slaughterers instructed in the practice, but with all the stupidity and prejudice which belongs to them, they have re. fused. The customs of the Jews, and from them the Mahometans, in respect to killing those animals which their laws allow them to eat, merits applause, when compared with the cruelty of Christians. The person appointed for this purpose is obliged to prepare a knife of a considerable length, which is made as sharp as the keenest razor, the utmost care being taken, that the least notch or inequality may not remain upon the edge; with this he is obliged to cut the throat and blood vessels at one stroke, whereby the painful method of knocking them down, which often requires several barbarous blows, and stabbing them in the neck with a blunt knife, is avoided. Every beast mangled in killing, is accounted unclean.
When a large and gentle bullock, after having resisted a ten times greater force of blows than would have killed his murderer, falls stunned, at last, and his armed head is fastened to the ground with cords ; as soon as the wide wound is made, and the jugulars are cut asunder, what mortal can, without compassion, hear the painful bellowings intercepted by his blood, the bitter sighs, which speak the sharpness of his anguish, and the deep sounding groans, with loud anxiety, fetched from the bottom of his strong and pal. pitating heart. Look on the trembling and violent convulsions of his limbs ; see while his reeking gore streams from him, his eyes become dim and languid, and behold his strugglings, gasps, and last efforts for life. When a creature has given such convincing and undeniable proofs of terror, and of pain and agony, is there a disciple of Descartes so inured to blood, as not to refute, by his commisseration, the philosophy of that vain reasoner?
The manner of slaughtering oxen in this country is barbarous. The writer of this passage has seen an ox receive five different blows, and break from it's murderers each time. The description of a head so
There is not one man in a hundred, if not brought up in a slaughter-house, but who will own, that of all trades he could not be a butcher; and I question whether ever any person so much as killed a chicken, without reluctancy, the first time. Some people are not to be persuaded to taste of any creatures they have daily seen and been acquainted with, while they were alive; others extend their scruples no farther than to their own poultry, and refuse to eat what they fed and took care of themselves. Yet all of them will feed heartily, and without remorse, on beef, mutton, and fowls, when they are bought in the market.