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The poor beetle that we tread upon
In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
As when a giant dies."-SHAKESPEARE,

HE sufferings of the lower
animals may, when out of
sight, be out of mind. But,
more than this, these suffer-
ings may be in sight and yet
out of mind. This is strik-
ingly exemplified in the sports
of the field, in the midst of
whose varied and animating
bustle that cruelty which all
along is present to the senses
may not for one moment have

been present to the thoughts.

There sits a somewhat ancestral dignity and glory on this favorite pastime of joyous old England, when the gallant knighthood, and the hearty yeomen, and the amateurs or virtuosos of the chase, and the full-assembled jockeyship of half a province, muster together in all the pride and pageantry of their great emprise, and the panorama of some noble landscape, lighted up with autumnal clear ness from an unclouded heaven, pours fresh exhilaration into every blithe and choice blithe and choice spirit of the scene, and every adventurous heart is braced and impatient for the hazards of the coming enterprise, and even the highbreathed coursers catch the general sympathy and seem to fret in all the restiveness of their yet checked and irritated fire till the echoing horn shall set them at liberty—even that horn which is the knell of death to some trembling victim now brought forth out of its

lurking-place to the delighted gaze and borne down upon with the full and open cry of its ruthless pursuers.

Be assured that amid the whole glee and fervency of this tumultuous enjoyment there might not, in one single bosom, be aught so fiendish as a principle of naked and abstract cruelty. The fear which gives its lightningspeed to the unhappy animal; the thickening horrors which in the progress of exhaustion must gather upon its flight; its gradually sinking energies, and at length the terrible certainty of that destruction which is awaiting it; that piteous cry which the ear can sometimes distinguish amid the deafening clamor of the bloodhounds as they spring exultingly upon their prey; the dread massacre and dying agonies of a creature so miserably torn, all this weight of suffering, we admit, is not once sympathized with, but it is just because the suffering itself is not once thought of. It touches not the sensibilities of the heart, but just because it is never present to the notice of the mind.

We allow that the hardy followers in the wild romance of this occupation-we allow them to be reckless of pain. But this is not rejoicing in pain. Theirs is not the delight of the savage, but the apathy of unreflecting creatures. They are wholly occupied with the chase itself and its spirit-stirring accompaniments, nor bestow one moment's thought on the dread violence of that infliction upon

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sentient nature which marks its termination. | sweetest sunshine, and where animals disIt is the spirit of the competition, and it port themselves in all the exuberance of alone, which goads onward this hurrying gayety, this surely were a more befitting career; and even he who, in at the death, scene for the rule of clemency than for the is foremost in the triumph, although to him iron rod of a murderous and remorseless the death itself is in sight, the agony of its tyrant. .wretched sufferer is wholly out of mind.

Man is the direct agent of a wide and continual distress to the lower animals, and the question is, Can any method be devised for its alleviation? On this subject that scriptural image is strikingly realized, "The whole inferior creation groaning and travailing together in pain" because of him. It signifies not to the substantive amount of the suffering whether this be prompted by the hardness of his heart or only permitted through the heedlessness of his mind. In either way it holds true not only that the arch-devourer man stands pre-eminent over the fiercest children of the wilderness as an animal of an animal of prey, but that for his lordly and luxurious appetite, as well as for his service or merest curiosity and amusement, Nature must be ransacked throughout all her elements. Rather than forego the veriest gratifications of vanity, he will wring them from the anguish of wretched and ill-fated creatures, and whether for the indulgence of his barbaric sensuality or barbaric splendor can stalk paramount over the sufferings of that prostrate creation which has been placed beneath his feet. That beauteous domain whereof he has been constituted the terrestrial sovereign gives out so many blissful and benignant aspects; and whether we look to its peaceful lakes, or to its flowery landscapes, or its evening skies, or to all that soft attire which overspreads the hills and the valleys lighted up by smiles of

But the present is a mysterious world wherein we dwell. It still bears much upon its materialism of the impress of Paradise. But a breath from the air of Pandemonium has gone over its living generations, and so "the fear of man and the dread of man is now upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, and upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea into man's hands are they delivered: every moving thing that liveth is meat for him; yea, even as the green herbs, there have been given to him all things." Such is the extent of his extent of his jurisdiction, and with most full and wanton license has he revelled among its privileges. The whole earth labors and is in violence because of his cruelties, and from the amphitheatre of sentient nature there sounds in fancy's ear the bleat of one wide and universal suffering a dreadful homage to the power of Nature's constituted lord.


These sufferings are really felt. The beasts of the field are not so many automata without sensation and just so constructed as to give forth all the natural signs and expressions of it. Nature hath not practised this universal deception upon our species. These poor animals just look and tremble and give forth the very indications of suffering that we do. Theirs is the distinct cry of pain; theirs is the unequivocal physiognomy of pain. They put on the same aspect of terror

on the demonstrations of a menaced blow; they exhibit the same distortions of agony after the infliction of it. The bruise, or the burn, or the fracture, or the deep incision, or the fierce encounter with one of equal or superior strength, just affects them similarly to ourselves. Their blood circulates as ours; they have pulsations in various parts of the body like ours; they sicken and they grow feeble with age, and finally they die, just as we do. They possess the same feelings, and, what exposes them to like suffering from another quarter, they possess the same instincts, with our own species.

The lioness robbed of her whelps causes the wilderness to ring aloud with the proclamation of her wrongs, or the bird whose little household has been stolen fills and saddens all the grove with melodies of deepest pathos. All this is palpable even to the general and unlearned eye; and when the physiologist lays open the recesses of their system by means of that scalpel under whose operation they just shrink and are convulsed as any living subject of our own species, there stands forth to view the same sentient apparatus, and furnished with the same conductors for the transmission of feeling to every minutest pore upon the surface.

Theirs is an unmixed and unmitigated pain-the agonies of martyrdom without the alleviation of the hopes and the sentiments whereof they are incapable. When they lay them down to die, their only fellowship is with suffering; for in the prison-house of their beset and bounded faculties there can no relief be afforded by communion with other interests or other things. The attention does not lighten their distress, as it does that of man by carrying off his spirit from that

existing pungency and pressure which might else be overwhelming. There is but room in their mysterious economy for one inmate, and that is the absorbing sense of their own single and concentrated anguish. And so in that bed of torment whereon the wounded animal lingers and expires there is an unexplored depth and intensity of suffering which the poor dumb animal itself cannot tell, and against which it can offer no remonstrance— an untold and unknown amount of wretchedness of which no articulate voice gives utterance. But there is an eloquence in its silence, and the very shroud which disguises it only serves to aggravate its horrors.

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