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apart. The vanity of trusting to the many infallible cures for this malady. The dismal effects of the biting of a mad dog, upon man, described. Description of the otter hunting. The conclusion.
WHATE'ER of earth is form'd, to earth returns
Dissolv'd: the various objects we behold,
Plants, animals, this whole material mass,
Are ever changing, ever new. The soul
Of man alone, that particle divine,
Escapes the wreck of worlds, when all things fail.
Hence great the distance 'twixt the beasts that perish,
And God's bright image, man's immortal race.
The brute creation are his property,
Subservient to his will, and for him mude.
As hurtful these he kills, as useful those
Preserves ; their sole and arbitrary king.
Should he not kill, as erst the Samian sage
Taught unadvis’d, and Indian brachmans now
As vainly preach; the teeming ravenous brutes
Might fill the scanty space of this terrene,
Encumbering all the globe : should not his care
Improve his growing stock, their kinds might fail, - Man might once more on roots and acorns feed,
And through the deserts range, shivering, forlorn,
Quite destitute of every solace dear,
And every smiling gaiety of life.
The prudent huntsman therefore will supply
With annual large recruits his broken pack,
And propagate their kind: as from the root
Fresh scions still spring forth and daily yield
New blooming honours to the parent-tree.
Far shall his pack be fam’d, far sought his breed, And princes at their tables feast those hounds His hand presents, an acceptable boon.
Ere yet the Sun through the bright Ram has urg'd
His steepy course, or mother Earth unbound
Her frozen bosom to the Western gale;
When feather’d troops, their social leagues dissolv'd,
Select their mates, and on the leafless elm
The noisy rook builds high her wicker nest,
Mark well the wanton females of thy pack,
That curl their taper tails, and frisking court
Their pyebald mates enamour'd; their red eyes
Flash fires impure; nor rest, nor food they take,
Goaded by furious love. In separate cells
Confine them now, lest bloody civil wars
Annoy thy peaceful state. If left at large,
The growling rivals in dread battle join,
And rude encounter; on Scamander's streams
Heroes of old with far less fury fought
For the bright Spartan dame, their valour's prize.
Mangled and torn thy favourite hounds shall lie,
Stretch'd on the ground; thy kennel shall appear
A field of blood : like some unhappy town
In civil broils confus'd, while Discord shakes
Her bloody scourge aloft, fierce parties rage,
Staining their impious hands in mutual death.
And still the best beloved, and bravest fall :
Such are the dire effects of lawless love.
Huntsman ! these ills by timely prudent care
Prevent: for every longing dame select
Some happy paramour; to him alone
In leagues connubial join. Consider well
His lineage ; what his fathers did of old,
Chiefs of the pack, and first to climb the rock,
Or plunge into the deep, or tread the brake
With thorn sharp-pointed, plash'd, and briers in-
Observe with care his shape, sort, colour, sice.
Nor will sagacious huntsmen less regard
His inward habits : the vain babbler shun,
Ever loquacious, ever in the wrong.
His foolish offspring shall offend thy 'ears
With false alarms, and loud impertinence.
Nor less the shifting cur avoid, that breaks
Illusive from the pack; to the next hedge
Devious he strays, there every muse he tries;
If haply then he cross the steaming scent,
Away he flies vain-glorious; and exults
As of the pack supreme, and in his speed
And strength unrivall’d. Lo! cast far behind
His vex'd associates pant, and labouring strain
To climb the steep ascent. Soon as they reach
Th' insulting boaster, his false courage fails,
Behind he lags, doom'd to the fatal noose,
His master's hate, and scorn of all the field.
What can from such be hop'd, but a base brood
Of coward curs, a frantic, vagrant race ?
When now the third revolving Moon appears,
With sharpen'd horns, above th' horizon's brink,
Without Lucina's aid, expect thy hopes
Are amply crown'd; short pangs produce to light
The smoking litter; crawling helpless, blind,
Nature their guide, they seek the pouting teat
That plenteous streams. Soon as the tender dam
Has form’d them with her tongue, with pleasure
The marks of their renown'd progenitors, Sure pledge of triumphs yet to come. All these Select with joy; but to the merciless flood Expose the dwindling refuse, nor o'erload Th' indulgent mother. If thy heart relent, Unwilling to destroy, a nurse provide, And to the foster-parent give the care Of thy superfluous brood; she'll cherish kind The alien offspring ; pleas'd thou shalt behold Her tenderness, and hospitable love.
If frolic now and playful they desert Their gloomy cell, and on the verdant turf, With nerves improv'd, pursue the mimic chase, Coursing around ; unto the choicest friends Commit thy valued prize : the rustic dames Shall at thy kennel wait, and in their laps Receive thy growing hopes, with many a kiss Caress, and dignify their little charge With some great title, and resounding name Of high import. But cautious here observe To check their youthful ardour, nor permit The unexperienc'd younker, immature, Alone to range the woods, or haunt the brakes Where dodging conies sport; his nerves unstrung, And strength unequal; the laborious chase Shall stint his growth, and his rash forward youth Contract such vicious habits, as thy care And late correction never shall reclaim.
When to full strength arriv’d, mature and bold, Conduct them to the field ; not all at once,
But as thy cooler prudence shall direct,
Select a few, and form them by degrees
To stricter discipline. With these consort
The stanch and steady sages of thy pack,
By long experience vers’d in all the wiles,
And subtle doublings of the various Chase.
Easy the lesson of the youthful train
When instinct prompts, and when example guides.
If the too forward younker at the head
Press boldly on in wanton sportive mood,
Correct his haste, and let him feel abash'd
The ruling whip. But if he stoop behind
In wary modest guise, to his own nose
Confiding sure; give him full scope to work
His winding way, and with thy voice applaud
His patience, and his care : soon shalt thou view
The hopeful pupil leader of his tribe,
And all the listening pack attend his call.
Oft lead them forth where wanton lambkins play,
And bleating dams with jealous eyes observe
Their tender care. If at the crowding flock
He bay presumptuous, or with eager haste
Pursue them scatter'd o'er the verdant plain
In the foul fact attach'd, to the strong ram
Tie fast the rash offender. See! at first
His horn'd companion, fearful and amaz'd,
Shall drag him trembling o'er the rugged ground;
Then, with his load fatigu'd, shall turn a-head,
And with his curl'd hard front incessant peal
The panting wretch; till, breathless and astunn'd,
Stretch'd on the turf he lie. Then spare not thou
The twining whip, but ply his bleeding sides