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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"that truly generous animal" - taylor on the dog

From Joseph Taylor's 1804 collection of dog anecdotes, which we've seen a time or two here.  This is the introduction to the book, a thoughtful and kind piece with the flavor of its time.  I've kept the original spelling and punctuation.
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I HAVE long been a painful observer of the great cruelties which the brute creation Frequently undergo, and particularly the Dog, who is the subject, of the present work: It is but too obvious that young people, repeatedly, from incaution and not knowing their generous nature, inflict severe punishment on these kind creatures, which Divine Providence has been pleased to make subservient to us, without once considering how necessary they are, as links of the grand chain of the universe, for our assistance, amusement, and very frequently our preservation. I have, therefore, as the friend of that truly generous animal, whose merits I am proud to rehearse, completed with great pains, and at some expence, a volume of Canine Anecdotes, in hopes that the various instances of sagacity and faithful attachment which I have introduced, will prevent, in some measure, the future ill-treatment of merit so transcendant. This idea, even in anticipation, affords me much pleasure; and if my humble efforts meet your approbation, I shall conceive it a favourable omen, and flatter myself that an undertaking, founded on the abhorrence of barbarity, may not be found altogether undeserving the notice of benevolent beings, who wish to exterminate cruelty from a Christian land.

I am, with respect,
Your very humble servant, JOSEPH TAYLOR

From Joseph Taylor, The general character of the dog: illustrated by a variety of original and interesting anecdotes (London: Darton and Harvey, 1804) pps. iii-iv

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