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On a Classical Education,
THE fairest diamonds are rough till they are polith
ed, and the purest gold must be run and washed, and fifted in the ore. We are untaught by nature ; and the finest qualities will grow wild and degenerate, if the mind is not formed by discipline, and cultivated with an early care. In some persons, who have run up to men without a liberal education, we may observe many great qualities darkened and eclipsed; their minds are crusted over like diamonds in the rock, they flash out fometimes into an irregular greatness of thought, in their actions an unguided force, and unmanaged virtue ; something very great and very noble may be discerned, but it looks cumbersome and aukward, and is alone of all things the worse for being natural. Nature is undoubtedly the best mistress, and aptest scholar; but Nature herself must be civilized, or she will look savage, as she appears in the Indian princes, who are vested with a native majesty, a surprising greatness and generosity of soul, and discover what we always regret, fine parts and excellent natural endowments without improvement. In those countries which we call barbarous, where art and politeness are not understood, nature hath the greater advantage in this, that fimplicity of manners often secures the innocence of the mind; and as virtue is not, fo neither is vice, civilized and refined : But in these poliţer parts of the world, where virtue excels by rules and discipline, vice also is more instructed, and with us good qualities will not spring up alone : Many hurtful weeds will rise with them, and choak them in their growth, unless removed by some skilful hand; nor will the mind be brought to a just perfection, without cherishing every hopeful feed, and repressing every superfluous humour: The mind is like the body in this regard, which cannot fall into a decent and easy carriage, unless it be fashioned in
time: An untaught behaviour is like the people that use it, truly rustic, forced, and uncouth, and art mult be applied to make it natural.
Knowledge will not be won without pains and application : Some parts of it are easier, some more difficult of access: We must proceed at once by sap and battery; and when the breach is practicable, you have nothing to do, but to press boldly on, and enter : It is troublefome and deep digging for pure waters, but when once you come to the spring, they rise and meet you: The entrance into knowledge is oftentimes very narrow, dark, and tiresome, but the rooms are spacious, and gloriously furnished : The country is admirable, and every prospect entertaining.
On Cruelty to inferior Animals.
Mancebyhathich spiritual and corporeal beings are
united: As in the numbers and variety of the latter his inferiors are almost infinite, fo probably are those of the former his superiors; and as we see that the lives and happiness of those below us are dependent on our wills, we may reasonably conclude, that our lives and happiness are equally dependent on the wills of those above us; accountable, like ourselves, for the use of this power, to the Supreme Creator and Governor of all things. Should this analogy be well founded, how criminal will our account appear, when laid before that just and impartial Judge! How will man, that sanguinary tyrant, be able to excuse himself from the charge of those innumerable cruelties inflicted on the unoffending subjects committed to his care, formed for his benefit, and placed under his authority by their common Father, whose mercy is over all his works, and who expects that his authority should be exercised, not only with tenderness and mercy, but in conformity to the laws of justice and gratitude !
But to what horrid deviations from these benevolent intentions are we daily witnesses ! No small part of mankind derive their chief amusements from the deaths and sufferings of inferior animals ; a much greater consider them only as engines of wood or iron, useful in their several occupations. The carman drives his horse, and the carpenter his nail, by repeated blows; and so long as these produce the delired effect, and they both go, they neither reflect nor care whether either of them have any sense of feeling. The butcher knocks down the stately ox with no more compassion than the blacksmith hammers a horse-shoe; and plunges his knife into the throat of the innocent lamb with as little reluctance as the taylor sticks his peedle into the collar of a coat.
If there are some few, who, formed in a fofter mould, view with pity the sufferings of these defenceless creatures, there is scarce one who entertains the least idea, that justice or gratitude can be due to their merits or their services. The social and friendly dog is hanged without remorse, if, by barking in defence of his master's person and property, he happens unknowingly to disturb his rest: The generous horse, who has carried his ungrateful master for many years with ease and safety, worn out with age and infirmities contracted in his service, is by him condemned to end his miserable days in a duft-cart, where the more he exerts his little remains of spirit, the more he is whipped, to save his stupid driver the trouble of whipping fome other less obedient to the lash. Sometimes, having been taught the practice of many unnatural and useless feats in a riding house, he is at last turned out, and configned to the dominion of a hackney-coachman, by whom he is every day corrected for performing those tricks, which he had learned under so long and severe a discipline. The sluggish bear, in contradiction to his nature, is taught to dance, for the diversion of a malignant mob, by placing red-hot irons under his feet: And the majestic bull is tortured by every mode which malice can invent, for no offence, but that he is gentle, and unwilling to affail his diabolical tormentors. These, with innumerable other acts of cruelty, injustice, and ingratitude, are every day committed, not only with impunity, but without censure, and even without observation ; but we may be assured that they cannot finally pass away unnoticed and unretaliated.
The laws of felf-defence undoubtedly justify us in destroying those animals which would destroy us, who injure our properties, or'annoy our persons; but not even these, whenever their fituation incapacitates them from hurting us. I know of no right which we have to shoot at a bear on an inacceffible island of ice, or an eagle on the mountain's top; whose lives cannot injure us, nor deaths procure us any benefit. We are unable
to give life, and therefore ought not wantonly to take it away from the meanest insect, without fufficient reason; they all receive it from the fame benevolent hand as ourselves, and have therefore an equal right to enjoy it.
God has been pleased to create numberless animals. intended for our sustenance, and that they are so intended, the agreeable flavour of their flesh to our palates, and the wholesome nutriment which it administers to our bodies, are fufficient proofs : These, as they are formed for our use, propagated by our culture, and fed by our care, we have certainly a right to deprive of life, because it is given and preserved to them on that condition; but this should always be performed with all the tenderness and compassion which so disagreeable an office will permit; and no circumstances ought to be omitted, which can render their executions as quick and easy as possible. For this. Providence has wisely and benevolently provided, by forming them in such a manner, that their flesh becomes rancid and unpalatable by a painful and lingering death ; and has thus compelled us to be merciful without compaffion, and cautious of their suffering, for the sake of ourselves: But, if there be any whose tastes are so vitiated, and whose hearts are so hardened, as to delight in fuch inhuman facrifices, and to partake of them without remorse, they fhould be looked upon as dæmons in human shape, and expect a retaliation of those tortures which they have inflicted on the innocent, for the gratification of their own depraved and unnatural appetites.
So violent are the passions of anger and revenge in the human breast, that it is not wonderful that men fhould persecute their real or imaginary enemies with cruelty and malevolence; but that there should exist in nature a being who can receive pleasure from giving pain, would be totally incredible, if we were not convinced, by melancholy experience, that there are not only many, but that this unaccountable disposition is in some manner inherent in the nature of man; for, as he cannot be taught by example, nor led to it by temp