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human, with which Providence has endued so many different animals, might purposely be given them to move our pity, and prevent those cruelties we are too apt to inflict on our fellow-creatures.
There is a passage in the book of Jonas, when God declares his unwillingness to destroy Nineveh, where, methinks, that compassion of the Creator, which extends to the meanest rank of his creatures, is expressed with wonderful tenderness: "Should I not spare Nineveh the great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons -and also much cattle ?"-And we have in Deuteronomy a precept of great good nature of this sort, with a blessing in form annexed to it in those words: "If thou shalt find a bird's nest in the way, thou shalt not take the dam with the young: but thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest` prolong thy days."
To conclude, there is certainly a degree of gra
To merit death? You who have given us milk
I wonder the tender Thomson omitted,
Immotas mugitibus aures: and
Vagitus similis puerilibus hædum-Edentem :
which Dryden charmingly translates :
And imitates in vain thy children's cries.
titude owing to those animals that serve us; as for such as are mortal or noxious, we have a right to destroy them; and for those that are neither of advantage nor prejudice to us, the common enjoyment of life is what I cannot think we ought to deprive them of.*
This whole matter with regard to each of these considerations, is set in a very agreeable light in one of the Persian fables of Pilpay, with which I shall end this paper.
A traveller passing through a thicket, and seeing a few sparks of a fire, which some passengers had kindled as they went that way before, made up to it. On a sudden the sparks caught hold of a bush, in the midst of which lay an adder, and set it in flames. The adder entreated the traveller's assistance, who tying a bag to the end of his staff, reached it, and drew him out: he then bid him go where he pleased, but never more be hurtful to men, since he owed his life to a man's compassion. The adder, however, prepared to sting him, and when he expostulated how unjust it was to retaliate good with evil: "I shall do no more (said the adder) than what you men practise every day, whose custom it is to requite benefits with ingratitude. If you can deny this truth, let us refer it to the first we meet." The man consented, and seeing a tree, put the question to it, in what manner
* And the poor beetle that thou tread'st upon,
a good turn was to be recompensed? mean according to the usage of men, (replied the tree,) by its contrary, I have been standing here these hundred years to protect them from the scorching sun, and in requital, they have cut down my branches, and are going to saw my body into planks." Upon this the adder insulting the man, he appealed to a second evidence, which was granted, and immediately they met a cow. The same demand was made, and much the same answer given, that among men it was certainly so. "I know it," said the cow, " by woeful experience; for I have served a man this long time with milk, butter, and cheese, and brought him besides a calf every year but now I am old, he turns me into this pasture, with design to sell me to a butcher, who will shortly make an end of me." The traveller upon this stood confounded, but desired of courtesy one trial more, to be finally judged by the next beast they should meet. This happened to be the fox, who, upon hearing the story in all its circumstances, could not be persuaded it was possible for the adder to get into so narrow a bag. The adder, to convince him, went in again; the fox told the man he had now his enemy in his power, and with that he fastened the bag, and crushed him to pieces.
No. 78. JUNE 10, 1713.*
Unde parentur opes; quid alat, formetque poetam.
I will teach to write,
Tell what the duty of a poet is,
HOR. Ars Poet. v. 306.
Wherein his wealth and ornament consist,
And how he may be form'd, and how improv'd.
It is no small pleasure to me, who am zealous in the interests of learning, to think I may have the honour of leading the town into a very new and uncommon road of criticism. As that kind of literature is at present carried on, it consists only in a knowledge of mechanic rules, which contri.
* It is remarkable, that Dr. Warton introduces these GUARDIANS with a Note, in which he speaks of their amounting to eight. He must have seen his error, had he taken the trouble to count them; but it is probable, that when he wrote that note, he had some recollection that there ought to be eight, and perhaps intended to account for the deficiency. The paper now reprinted has always been ascribed to Pope; and the probable reason of its not having been printed in this volume of his works, in any former edition, is, that the principal part of it was afterwards incorporated with "The Art of Sinking in Poetry," of which it forms chap. xv. (See vol. vii. p. 177.) As the " Art of Sinking" was not published until 1727, the reader may form his conjectures on the time of its having been originally sketched, and perhaps completed at irregular periods. (See BRITISH ESSAYISTS, Pref. to the Guardian, vol. xvi. p. 25.) The omissions and alterations, when it became a part of the "Art of Sinking," are deserving of attention. C.
bute to the structure of different sorts of poetry; as the receipts of good housewives do to the making puddings of flour, oranges, plums, or any other ingredients. It would, methinks, make these my instructions more easily intelligible to ordinary readers, if I discoursed of these matters in the style in which ladies learned in œconomics dictate to their pupils for the improvement of the kitchen and larder.
I shall begin with epic poetry, because the critics agree it is the greatest work human nature is capable of. I know the French have already laid down many mechanical rules for compositions of this sort; but at the same time they cut off almost all undertakers from the possibility of ever performing them: for the first qualification they unanimously require in a poet, is a genius. I shall here endeavour (for the benefit of my countrymen) to make it manifest, that epic poems may be made without a genius,' nay, without learning or much reading. This must necessarily be of great use to all those poets who confess they never read, and of whom the world is convinced they never learn. What Moliere observes of making a dinner, that any man can do it with money, and if a professed cook cannot without, he has his art for nothing, the same may be said of making a poem ; it is easily brought about by him that has a genius, but the skill lies in doing it without one. In pursuance of this end I shall present the reader with a plain and certain recipe, by which even son