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THE GENTLE GIANTESS.
The widow Blacket, of Oxford, is rate with her person. No one dethe largest female I ever had the plea- lighteth more than herself in counsure of beholding. There may be her try exercises and pastimes. I have parallel upon the earth, but surely I passed many an agreeable holiday never sawit. I take her to be lineally de- with her in her favourite park at scended from the maid's aunt of Brain- Woodstock. She performs her part ford, who caused Master Ford such un- in these delightful ambulatory excureasiness. She hath Atlantean shoul- sions by the aid of a portable garden ders; and, as she stoopeth in her gait chair. She setteth out with you at -with as few offences to answer for in a fair foot gallop, which she keepeth her own particular as any of Eve's up till you are both well breathed, daughters her back seems broad and then she reposeth for a few sea enough to bear the blame of all the conds. Then she is up again, for a peccadillos that have been committed hundred paces or so, and again rest since Adam. She girdeth her waist- eth—her movement, on these sprightor what she is pleased to esteem as ly occasions, being something besuch-nearly up her shoulders, tween walking and flying. Her great from beneath which, that huge dor- weight seemeth to propel her forsal expanse, in mountainous declivi- ward, ostrich-fashion. In this kind ty, emergeth. Respect for her alone of relieved marching I have traversed preventeth the idle boys, who follow with her many scores of acres on her about in shoals, whenever she those well-wooded and well-watered cometh abroad, from getting up and domains. Her delight at Oxford is riding.-But her presence infallibly in the public walks and gardens, commands a reverence. She is indeed, where, when the weather is not too as the Americans would express it, oppressive, she passeth much of her something awful. Her person is a valuable time. There is a bench at burthen to herself, no less than to Maudlin, or rather, situated between the ground which bears her. To her the frontiers of that and ******'s mighty bone, she hath a pinguitude college—some litigation latterly, withal, which makes the depth of about repairs, has vested the prowinter to her the most desirable sea- perty of it finally in ******'s—where son. Her distress in the warmer sol- at the hour of noon she is ordinarily stice is pitiable. During the months to be found sitting—so she calls it by of July and August, she usually rent- courtesy-but in fact, pressing and eth a cool cellar, where ices are kept, breaking of it down with her enorwhereinto she descendeth when Sie mous settlement; both those rius rageth. She dates from a hot Foundations, who, however, are Thursday-some twenty-five years good-natured enough to wink at it, ago. Her apartment in summer is have found, I believe, to their cost. pervious to the four winds. Two Here she taketh the fresh air, prindoors, in north and south direction, cipally at vacation times, when the and two windows, fronting the rising walks are freest from interruption of and the setting sun, never closed, the younger fry of students. Here from every cardinal point, catch the she passeth her idle hours, not idly, contributory breezes. She loves to but generally accompanied with a enjoy what she calls a quadruple book blest if she can but intercept draught. That must be a shrewd some resident Fellow (as usually zephyr, that can escape her. I owe there are some of that brood left be. a painful face-ach, which oppresses hind at these periods); or stray Masme at this moment, to a cold caught, ter of Arts (to most of whom she is sitting by her, one day in last July, better known than their dinner bell); at this receipt of coolness. Her fan with whom she may confer upon any in ordinary resembleth a banner curious topic of literature. "I have spread, which she keepeth continue seen these shy gownsmen, who truly ally on the alert to detect the least set but a very slight value upon febreeze. She possesseth an active and male conversation, cast a hawk's eye gadding mind, totally incommensu- upon her from the length of Maud
lin grove, and warily glide off into withal a trembling sensibility, a another walk-true monks as they yielding infirmity of purpose, a quick are, and ungently neglecting the de- susceptibility to reproach, and all licacies of her polished converse, for the train of diffident and blushing their own perverse and uncommuni- virtues, which for their habitation cating solitariness! Within doors usually seek out a feeble frame, an her principal diversion is music, vo- attenuated and meagre constitution. cal and instrumental, in both which With more than man's bulk, her hushe is no mean professor. Her voice mours and occupations are eminently is wonderfully fine; but till I got feminine. She sighs being six foot used to it, I confess it staggered me. high. She languisheth-being two It is for all the world like that of a feet wide. She worketh slender sprigs piping bulfinch, while from her size upon the delicate muslin-her fingers and stature you would expect notes being capable of moulding a Colosto drown the deep organ. The shake, sus. She sippeth her wine out of which most fine singers reserve for her glass daintily-her capacity bethe close or cadence, by some un- ing that of a tun of Heidelburg. accountable flexibility, or tremu- She goeth mincingly with those feet Jousness of pipe, she carrieth quite of hers-whose solidity need not fear through the composition; so that the black ox's pressure.
Softest, her time, to a common air or ballad, and largest of thy sex, adieu ! by keeps double motion, like the earth what parting attribute may I salute -running the primary circuit of the thee-last and best of the Titanesses tune, and still revolving upon its -Ogress, fed with 'milk instead of own axis. The effect, as I said be- blood-not least, or least handsome, fore, when you are used to it, is as among Oxford's stately structures-agreeable as it is altogether new and Oxford, who, in its deadest time of surprising. The spacious apartment vacation, can never properly be said of her outward frame lodgeth a soul to be empty, having thee to fill
it. in all respects disproportionate. Of
ELIA. . more than mortal make, she evinceth
OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS, AND “ MR. MARTIN'S ACT.” THERE can scarcely be two opini- custom, and a sort of convenience, ons about the feeling with which have determined, that the former cruelty of every description should should be the rider: but, notwithbe regarded. It may be difficult standing this enormous distinction, to bring people to one judgment as there are still such affinities between to what constitutes cruelty: some the two, as should relieve him who will stop at blood, while others will is undermost from the positive congo as far as bones; but there is a tempt of his superior, or at least degree of the crime which all will protect him from all superfluous tyagree to look upon with unqualified ranny and torture. In few words, abhorrence ; conceding to it no pal- because a forked creature, in a coat liation on any account-none results and hat, conceives himself made on ing from the power and dignity of purpose to sit astride an animal the brute that inflicts it; and none, with four legs and a tail, it does not undoubtedly, from the meanness or therefore follow that he has a clear helplessness of the object on whom right to maltreat it, in wantonness it is exercised. Our poor fellow- either of sport or rage. There seems creatures on all fours, if they had no to be no very decisive objection, on claims to our active care and kind- the part of the horse, to the man's ness from their manifold services in first fancy: he may ride and, for our behalf, have, from their mere aught I know, be innocent: but the community with us in the great in- testimony of his own flesh will asheritance of flesh and blood and sure him, that to lash a horse to the sense of pain, an undeniable title to bare bones is an act of inhuman iniour mercy and forbearance. In the quity. relation between man and horse, Nothing then but praise is due to
the motives, at least, of the indivi- dog--a kind of living chattels, which dual, to whose exertions we owe the universal custom recognises to be as late Act for the prevention or punish- much his pure, passive property, as ment of cruelty. He has employed his tables and chairs? I can at once no common pains in the business ; understand the fitness of making an not resting content with the, bare individual accountable to public justriumph of his Act, but taking upon tice for ill-using his neighbour's himself the quite extra-senatorial task horse, or beast of any kind; but to of seeing it enforced-of hunting up seize upon him as a criminal, and regame, as it were, in the high-ways, duce him to beggary, or throw him on which to try the effect of his new into a prison, for any severities that he machinery. Offices so very practical pleases to inflict upon a beast of his are rather a novelty in parliamentary own, appears to me to be an act of life, if I am not a careless observer. arbitrary oppression, entirely at vaAny man might have borne the toil riance with all the analogies of of talking the new Act through the English law. Moral justice cannot House of Commons : but Mr. Martin, always be made a ground for legisla, when he had done this, had not done tive enactments. We check the free.. half his work. With him, the noise agency of pick-pockets and houseof St. Stephen's is but as a proem to breakers, with the consent of all the the noise of Smithfield: he escapes world: but crimes of a far deeper from the confusion of the benches, dye, in a moral point of view, must only to launch into the uproar of the be permitted to go unpunished, at pens. “ The honourable gentleman least in a legal sense, if they do not opposite," and “the worthy member come within a certain line, which on the left,” are but a joke at the the usage of ages has assigned as top of their voices: the music of the limit of legal authority. All the market-day in Smithfield is a far finer parts of morality are not withmore serious matter. To appear in in the jurisdiction of the courts. that brute-Babel, and no more, is Many a gentleman must be allowed heroism, in a familiar way :-what to go at large, for whom the stocks then shall we say of a Member of would be a very inadequate reward. Parliament, who ventures there for One may indulge in a pious wish the express purpose of catching a concerning such a person—but no drover
To be quite serious, such a way of If a man, by an act of unmeagoing to work shows hearty inten- sured severity to a horse, were not tions, to say the least of it. The wis- less an offender against the general dom of such measures, and their ef- feeling and practice of the world ficacy, in reference to either offending than against abstract justice, I should man or suffering brute, are, I think, still not think that there was a case exceedingly questionable.
With a made out for the interference of the thorough detestation of cruelty, I legislature. But in truth he is no cannot regard it, in this case, as a transgressor against the public in fit subject for legislation. There can any sense. He acts in no worse be no pity for the cowardly ruffian spirit than others do towards animals who considers the helpless depend- in their power: he is encouraged in ence of animals as a motive only for his ferocity by general example; he abusing them; yet I cannot see how, sees all men combining to make their on this account, he can be fairly horses as useful as possible -- all, made amenable to penal law. high and low, agreeing in a callous would cheerfully see him punished; assumption of their extreme services, though certainly not by means of with just so much respect, in return, any special provision, offensive to for their comforts and enjoyments, the general principles of liberty.-- as is consistent with the selfish inEvery man has a right, in popular terest which they have in their prephrase, to do what he pleases with servation. This is a harsh descriphis own property; and such a right tion of a civilized people-yet, is it being admitted, with what consist- not a true one? If there is a hearty ency can we subject him to penalties, wish abroad to abolish cruelty, let for beating his horse, his ox, or his us have no cant; let us not set to
work with any suspicious timidity, justice. I would have no legislation but probe the question to the very at all in any such matters, and cerbottom.
tainly not such legislation as this. Do I mean then to say, that no We see its penalties visited only upon man would hesitate to beat his horse those who have rags and dirt against without mercy ?-No-certainly not. them, with want of education, and I do say, however, that thousands, other circumstances of their condiwho might shrink from an act of im- tion, which should plead in their mediate violence-who might scruple favour; while it spares others, who to tear flesh or draw blood-do, ne- have no better claim to exemption, vertheless, adopt, encourage, or con- than what they derive from better nive at, a treatment of horses, com- dress, together with more knowledge, pared with which, as a cause of and more refinement, which should deep and lasting suffering to those be regarded only as an aggravation animals, the utmost powers of the of their wrong-doing. It is really lash are but as a fly-bite. Here and quite absurd to see a man hunting there a fellow may be found brutal out for cruel people who abuse enough to lash a horse till the blooil horses, yet fixing his sole attention flows; and by such acts, one horse, upon Smithfield drovers and hackneyprobably, in one hundred, is subject, coachmen; as if there were no carfrom time to time, to a momentary riages likely to present game of this pain: while all men remorselessly sort, except those with numbers upon avail themselves of the convenience them. Make drovers and hackneyof post-chaises and stage-coaches, the coachmen as tender-hearted as you conduct of which sends ninety horses please; but the object desired is reout of a hundred, through a lingering lief for horses-the race-and such course of torturing disease, to a pre- a plan as this, in relation to such an mature death. Is cruelty, as far as object, is as a drop to the ocean. it is a matter interesting to horses, The cruelty, I contend, is general. chargeable only to the first-menti- Whatever might be the docility of oned description of offenders ? A the horse, under a system of gentle carman, in a ragged coat and dirty instruction, custom has decided, that shirt, strikes his fore-horse on the he shall be controled by means of nose with the butt-end of his whip, violence and coercion ; and I have and the animal feels the smart for a no doubt, that a majority of the sefull hour and a half; while a sporting nators, who, in their wisdom and gentleman, of the first fashion from tenderness, passed the late act against top to toe, mounts his “ favourite cruelty, deliberated with whips in mare," and goads it on to the per- their hands and spurs at their heels. formance of some desperate match That such instruments, in the power against time-its agonizing exertions of passionate or thoughtless men, of either killing it on the spot, or in- all ranks, will often be employed for flicting upon it some dire disease objects very remote from the simple in the lungs, or heart, or limbs, to management of a horse, there can last as long as its life. If either of be no doubt. And where is the rethese two delinquents is a fit mark medy? The exercise of these weafor punishment, which should have pons is indulged in universally with the preference?-Speak out-don't such indefinite freedom, that if law be thinking about the coats of the would oppose it with effect, or on parties--the carman strikes in mere any principle of equal dealing, it passion; the gentleman has five must be by one sweeping blow, lehundred pounds depending on his velled at all who ride or drive. The match. If cruelty can admit of an attempt to assign punishment to excuse, who, if he has any warmer certain degrees or certain persons, feeling about him than a Jew-pedlar, in a species of offence so indetermiwill deny, that the carman has the nate and widely spread, must insalbest to propose ?
libly be attended with endless perIt is this view of the case that plexity, and intolerable partiality. gives me a peculiar distaste for the . All outrageous violence towards spirit of Mr. Martin's Act. It dis- animals, not countenanced by compenses punishment with no equal mon custom, must be delivered over for punishment, it appears to me, to ing is a most agreeable and enlivennothing but the scorn arising from ing exercise! I know it, but we are public feeling and opinion. Such a talking about cruelty to animals, and check may be feeble and rarely in- the propriety of legislating on such a terposed, and it is very disgraceful subject. Bull-baiting is illegal, I that it should be so; but being so, believe, or subject, in some way, to it is perfectly futile to think of aid- mayors or constables; but who can ing and quickening it by Acts of be blind to the striking difference, in Parliament. Law follows, not leads, point of cruelty, between baiting a the course of public opinion. I have bull and baiting a hare? Besides, no notion of indicting a whole king- consider the sort of company that dom into gentleness, or of softening usually attend the sport of bull-baits the national mind by the rough ing. agency of the police. We must Is mere wantonness of cruelty to wait for the developement of other be the ground of punishment? Why and surer sources of improvement. then leave untaxed the barbarous We may wait long, but we must and senseless practice of cutting off wait patiently. Cruelty is not quite the tails of horses-in losing which discarded, if all be true that we they are exposed to more pain than hear of, between man and man; how they would derive from whips, if every long it may be, before there shall be body used them like those who use nothing but kindness between man them most? They are in the way-and horse-Heaven knows
I have heard people say; in their If it be thought, that such a con- way, they mean, I suppose, if they summation can be advanced by the have a meaning. Why do we perdirect violence of law, in the name mit a man to go at large who cuts of sincerity and fair play, let it be off his terrier's ears, when he shall dealt impartially, and in earnest. not propose any better excuse for Decree at once, that fine and impri- such an aggression than, that “somesonment shall be the reward of every how or other, he never thinks a terman, without distinction, who gives rier looks like a terrier with long unnecessary pain to any thing that ears ?” How comes it that the lives. If the carman's whip is to be alderman is not called upon to atone actionable, why spare the spurs of for ages of crimped cod ? " the nobility, gentry, and others," - this particular may escape, probapieces of studied and prepense cruel- bly, under the head of a necessary ty, on the very face of them? We cruelties.” If a man is to be brought shall hear, perhaps, of “necessary to account for injuring a horse, cruelty,"—or some such sophistica- why allow him to torture a mouse tion, in defence of abuses sanctified or maltreat a fly with impunity? by general use, or high authority. These animals are so insignificant, As if cruelty were only culpable, it may be said, mere vermin; and when prompted by thoughtless rage what if they are so ? the question is
were justified, when applied not of dignity or usefulness, but of deliberately, in the holy pursuit of cruelty-and“ the poor beetle that profit and amusement. To lash a we tread upon-in corporal sufferhorse in a coal-cart is a crime; to ance-" lash him on a race-ground is only I have been led to say rather more
the way to make him win. on this part of my subject than I What right have we, I should wish had intended. I find myself defendto know, to punish hackney-coach- ing the cause of man, when I had men for “ cruelty to animals," while simply proposed to myself to become we pass by certain gentlemen in red the advocate of brutes. My chief coats, who, on any given morning, objection, after all, to Mr. Martin's will mount their horses, and ride them, Act is, not that it is unjust and unit may be, till they drop from exhaus- equal in its dispensation of punishtion, that they may keep close to a ment (a blot, however, that I by pack of ravenous dogs, set on by them, no means make light of), but that it first, to terrify, through an hour or does not afford a shadow of relief to two of agony, and then to destroy, a the poor animals which it professes poor defenceless hare. Nay-hunt- to befriend. . Among all their suffer