Mirror of Literature,  12 (1828), 413–15.




Extract, Essay

Publications extracted:

Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine


Cruelty, Animal Husbandry, Menageries, Government, Electricity, Population, Patronage, Invention, Machinery, Vaccination, Pharmaceuticals

People mentioned:

Richard Martin

Institutions mentioned:

Smithfield Market, Royal Humane Society

    The essay begins with commendatory comments on recent parliamentary action against cruelty to animals, before exploring the reasons why flies should be excluded from such humanitarian concerns. Describes the behaviour of a sleeping gentleman disturbed by flies: 'we remark with surprise sundry violent twitches and contortions of the limbs, as though the sleeper were under the operation of galvanism' (413). Observes of flies: 'Having little other occupation than that of propagating their species, the natural consequence, as we may learn from Mr. Malthus, is that their numbers increase in a frightfully progressive ratio from year to year' (414). Suggests: 'let the Society of Arts offer their next large gold medal to the person who shall invent the most ingenious and destructive fly-trap' (414–15). Proposes that a 'certain quantity of quassia might be distributed gratis at Apothecaries' Hall, as vaccinatory matter is at the Cow-pox Hospital, with very considerable effect' (415).

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