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creature's labour is an injustice for which he must account. I have therefore always esteemed it as a part of my duty, and it has always been my practice to be merciful to my beasts; and upon the same account I have declined any cruelty to any of God's creatures, and as much as I could prevented it in others as a tyranny. I have abhorred those sports that consist in torturing them; and if any noxious creature must be destroyed, or creatures for food must be taken, it has been my practice to do it in a manner that may be with the least torture or cruelty ; ever remembering, that though God has given us a dominion over his creatures, yet it is under a law of justice, pru. dence, and moderation, otherwise we should be. come tyrants and not lords over God's creatures; and therefore those things of this nature which others have practised as recreations, I have avoided as sins.”
Children should be early prohibited from tor. menting insects, lest it should degenerate into insensibility, and they become inattentive to every kind of suffering but their own. We find that the supreme court of judicature at Athens thought an instance of this sort not below its cognizance, and punished a boy for putting out the eyes of a poor bird that had unhappily fallen into his hands. And Mr. Locke informs us of a mother who permitted her children to have birds and insects, but rewarded or punished them as they treated them well or ill.
The following circumstance, it is said, occur. red at Abo in Finland. A dog, who had been run over by a carriage, crawled to the door of a tan.. ner in that town: the man's son, a boy of fifteen
years of age, first stoned, and then poured a ves. sel of boiling water upon the miserable animal. This act of diabolical cruelty was witnessed by one of the magistrates, who thought such barba-. rity deserved to be publicly noticed. He therefore informed the other magistrates, who unanimously agreed in condemning the boy to this punishment. He was imprisoned till the following market day ; then, in the presence of all the people, he was conducted to the place of execution by an officer of justice, who read to him his sentence—“ Inhuman young man, because you did not assist an animal who implored your assis. tance by its cries, and who derives being from the same God who gave you life; because you added to the torture of the agonizing beast, and murdered it, the council of this city have sentenced you to wear on your breast the name you deserve, and to receive fifty stripes.” He then hung a black board round his neck, with this inscription, “A savage and inhuman young man;" and, after inflicting upon him twenty-five stripes, he proceed. ed " Inhuman young man, you have now felt a very small degree of the pain with which yoll torture a helpless animal in its hour of death. As you wish for mercy from that God who created all that live, learn humanity for the future." He then executed the remainder of the sentence.
to rece; on your breasts city have s
There is no doubt but cruelties often exercised may become so customary, as to render the heart insensible. I was once (says a writer) passing through Moorfields with a young lady aged about nine or ten years, born and educated in Portugal, but in the Protestant faith; and, observing a large
concourse of people assembled around a pile of faggots on fire, I expressed a curiosity to know the cause. She very composedly answered, “ I suppose that it is nothing more than that they are going to burn a Jew.” Fortunately it was no other than roasting an ox upon some joyful occasion. What rendered this singularity the more striking, were the natural mildness and compassion of the young person's disposition.
THE CURATE RELIEVED. A VIOLENT Welsh squire having taken of fence at a poor curate, who employed his leisure hours in mending clocks and watches, applied to the bishop of St. Asaph, with a formal complaint against him for impiously carrying on a trade, contrary to the statute. His lordship having heard the complaint, told the squire he might depend upon it that the strictest justice should be done in the case ; accordingly the mechanic divine was sent for a few days after, when the bishop asked him “How he dared to disgrace his diocese by becoming a mender of clocks and watches?” The other, with all humility answered, “ To satisfy the wants of a wife and ten children.” “ That won't do with me," rejoined the prelate. “ I'll inflict such a punishment upon you as shall make you leave off your pitiful trade, I promise you ;” and immediately, calling in his secretary, ordered him to make out a presentation for the astonished cu. rate to a living of at least one hundred and fifty pounds per annum.
CUSTOM, HABIT, &c. WHATEVER be the cause, says Lord Kames, it is an established fact that we are much influenced by custom ; it hath an effect upon our pleasures, upon our actions, and even upon our thoughts and sentiments. Habit makes no figure during the vivacity of youth; in middle age it gains ground; and in old age governs without controul. In that period of life, generally speaking, we eat at a certain hour, take exercise at a certain hour, go to rest at a certain hour, all by the direction of habit; nay, a particular seat, table, bed, comes to the essential; and a habit in any of these cannot be contradicted without uneasiness.
“ The mind,” says Mr. Cogan, “ frequently acquires a strong and invincible attachment to whatever has been familiar to it for any length of time. Habit, primarily introduced by accident or neces. sity, will inspire an affection for peculiarities which have the reverse of intrinsic merit to recommend them.”
“I once attended,” says the last-mentioned author, "a prisoner of some distinction in one of the prisons of the metropolis, ill of a typhus fever, whose apartments were gloomy in the extreme, and surrounded with horrors; yet this prisoner assured me afterwards, that, upon his release, he quitted them with a degree of reluctance: custom had reconciled him to the twilight admitted through the thick barred gate, to the filthy spots anj patches of his plastered walls, to the hardness of his bed, and even to confinement. He had his books, was visited by his friends, and was great.
ly amused and interested in the anecdotes of the place.
• An officer of the municipality at Leyden also informed the author of an instance, which marks yet more strongly the force of habit. A poor woman, who had for some misdemeanor been sentenced to confinement for a certain number of years, upon the expiration of the term, immedi. ately applied to him for re-admission. She urged that all her worldly comforts were fled, and her only wish was to be indulged in those imparted by habit. She moreover threatened, that, if this. could not be granted as a favour, she would com. mit some offence that should give her a title to be reinstated in the accustomed lodgings." Thus, we see that custom is a catholicon for pain and: distress.
The influence of custom is surprising also as to natural objects. What different ideas are formed, in different nations, concerning the beauty of the human shape and countenance ! A fair complex-. ion is a shocking deformity upon the coast of Gui. nea. Thick lips and flat nose are a beauty. In: some nations, long ears that hång down upon the shoulders are the objects of universal admiration.. In China, if a lady's foot is so large as to be fit to: walk upon, she is regarded as a monster of ugli. ness. Some of the savage nations in North Ame. rica tie four boards round the heads of their children, and thus squeeze them, while the bones are tender and gristly, into a form that is almost square. Europeans are astonished at the absurd barbarity of this practice; but when they condemn those savages, they do not reflect that the ladies in Eu-, rope had, till within a few years, been endeayour