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tured I not, except the poor. Upon this my twofold profession, there passed among men a merry tale, delectable enough to be rehearsed: How that, being overtaken with liquor one Saturday evening, I shaved the Priest with Spanish blacking for shoes instead of a wash-ball, and with lamp-black powdered his perriwig. But these were sayings of men delighting in their own conceits more than in the truth: For it is well known, that great was my care and kill in these my crafts ; yea, I once had the honour of trimming Sir Thomas himself, without fetching blood. Furthermore, I was fought unto to geld the Lady Frances her spaniel, which was wont to go aitray: He was called Toby, that is to say, Tobias. And, thirdly, I was intrusted with a gorgeous pair of Moes of the faid Lady, to set an heel-piece thereon; and I received such praise therefore, that it was said all over the parish, I Thould be recommended unto the King to mend fhoes for his Majesty : whom God preserve ! Amen.
MEMOIRS OF AP. CLERK. V. 4. p. 213.
CRUELTY TO ANIMALS. MONTAIGNE thinks it some reflection upon human nature itself, that few people take delight in seeing beasts carefs or play together, but almost every one is pleased to see them lacerate and worry one another. I am sorry this temper is become almost a distinguishing character of our own nation, from the observation which is made by foreigners of
our beloved pastimes, Bear-baiting, Cock-fighting, and the like. We should find it hard to vindi. cate the destroying of any thing that has life, merely out of wantonness : yet in this principle our children are bred up; and one of the first pleasures we allow them, is the licence of inflicting pain upon poor animals: almost as soon as we are sensible what life is ourselves, we make it our sport to take it from other creatures. cannot but believe a very good use might be made of the fancy which children have for birds and insects. Mr. Locke takes notice of a mother who permitted them to her children, but rewarded or punished them as they treated them well or ill. This was no other than entering them betimes into a daily exercise of humanity, and improving their very diversion to a virtue.
I fancy, too, fome advantage might be taken of the common notion, that 'tis ominous or unlucky to destroy some forts of birds, as Swallows and Martins. This opinion might possibly arise from the confidence these birds seem to put in us by building under our roofs ; so that it is a kind of violation of the laws of hospitality to murder them. As for Robin-red-breasts in particular, it is not improbable they owe their security to the old ballad of The children in the wood. However it be, I don't know, I say, why this prejudice, well improved and carried as far as it would go, might not be made to conduce to the preservation of
many innocent creatures, which are now exposed to all the wantonness of an ignorant barbarity.
There are other animals that have the misfortune, for no manner of reason, to be treated as common enemies, wherever found. The conceit that a Cat has nine lives has cost at least nine lives in ten of the whole race of them : scarce a boy in the streets but has in this point outdone Hercules himself, who was famous for killing a monster that had but three lives. Whether the unaccountable animosity against this useful domestic may be any cause of the general persecution of Owls (who are a fort of feathered cats) or whether it be only an unreasonable pique the moderns have taken to a serious countenance, I shall not determine : though I am inclined to believe the former ; since I ob. ferve the fole reason alledged for the destruction of Frogs is because they are like Toads. Yet, amidf all the misfortunes of these unfriended creatures, 'tis fome happiness that we have not yet taken a fancy to eat them : for should our countrymen refine upon the French never so little, 'tis not to be conceived to what unheard of torments, owls, cats, and frogs, may be yet reserved.
When we grow up to men, we have another fucceffion of Sanguinary sports ; in particular, hunting. I dare not attack a diversion which has fuch authority and custom to support it; but muft thave leave to be of opinion, that the agitation of
that exercise, with the example and number of the chasers, not a little contributes to refift thofe checks, which compaffion would naturally fuggeft in behalf of the animal pursued. Nor shall I say, with Monsieur Fleury, that this sport is a remain of the Gothic barbarity'; but I must animadvert upon a certain custom yet in use with us, and arbarous enough to be derived from the Goths, or even the Scythians : I mean that savage compliment our huntsmen pass upon Ladies of quality, who are present at the death of a Stag, when they put the knife in their hands to cut the throat of a helpless, trembling, and weeping creature.
But if our sports are destructive, our gluttony is more so, and in a more inhuman manner. Lobsters roasted alive, Pigs whipped to death, Fowls fewed up, are testimonies of our outrageous luxury. Those who (as Seneca expresses it) divide their lives betwixt an anxious conscience, and a feated stomach, have a jaft reward of their gluttony in the diseases it brings with it: for human favages, like other wild beasts, find fnares and poison in the provisions of life,' and are allured by their appetite to their destruction. I know nothing more fhocking, or horrid, than the prospect of one of their kitchens covered with blood, and filled with she cries of the creatures èxpiring in tortures. It
gives one an image of a Giant's den, in a romance, bestrewed with the scattered heads and mangled limbs of those who were slain by his cruelty.
THE GUARDIAN, V. 4. p. 248.
PASTORAL COMEDY. I HAVE not attempted any thing of a Pastoral comedy, because, I think, the tafte of our age will not relish a poem of that fort. People seek for what they call wit, on all subjects, and in all places; not considering that nature loves truth so well, that it hardly ever admits of flourishing, Conceit is to nature what paint is to beauty; it is not only needless, but impairs what it would improve. There is a certain majefty in fimplicity, which is far above all the quaintness of wit: infomuch that the critics have excluded wit from the loftiest poetry, as well as the lowest, and fora' bid it to the Epic no less than the Pastoral. I' fhould certainly displease all those who are charmed with Guarini and Bonarelli; and imitate Taffo not only in the fimplicity of his Thoughts, but in that of the Fable too. If surprising discoveries fhould have place in the ftory of a Pastoral comedy, I believe it would be more agreeable to probability to make them the effects of chance than of design; intrigue not being very confiftent with that innocence, which ought to constitute a shepherd's character. There is nothing in all the Aminta (as I remember) but happens by mere accident; unless it be the meeting of Aminta with Sylvia at the