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The Committee of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals having announced an offer of One Hundred Pounds for the best Essay on the obligations of humanity as due to the brute creation, the Author embraced the opportunity of stating and enforcing his views upon a subject which, for many years, he had regarded with deep and painful interest. As on several occasions he had opened his mouth for the dumb, he was happy to employ his pen in their service. The result was, tha
was, that of thirty-four essays presented, his was deemed entitled to the prize. The Adjudicators were the Right Honourable the Earl of CARNARVON, the Honourable and Reverend B. W. NOEL, and Mr. Sergeant TalFOURD, M.P.
Under the sanction of such names the Author submits his work to the candour of the public, earnestly hoping that, with other efforts, it may excite more general attention to the inferior creatures, and procure for their rights and sufferings that humane and practical consideration which they so justly demand, and which has been so long' withheld from them.
He is happy to add, that the Society, who retain the entire copyright of the work, have already derived from it considerable pecuniary advantage : this, he doubts not, will both aid and encourage them in their noble exertions to prevent cruelty and to arrest it in its
It is also with sincere gratification that the Author of this Essay has learnt that several others
on the same subject have recently appeared. Two of them he has read; those of Dr. Drummond and Mr. Youatt: both of them have enabled him to enrich his pages with important facts, and he gratefully acknowledges his obligations to the writers.
To another subject it becomes him to advert with feelings of peculiar deference and gratitude ; and that is, the most gracious condescension of her Majesty the Queen, who, when solicited to allow this work to be inscribed to her Majesty, was pleased to reply through her librarian, who informed the secretary of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, that “the Queen, fully appreciating the benevolent efforts of the Society, has been graciously pleased to acquiesce in its wish, by permitting the forthcoming Prize Essay to be dedicated to her Majesty; and I have to request, that, in making this communication to the committee, you will state the entire satisfaction her Majesty feels in giving permission for a
work of this nature to make its appearance under the sanction of her name."
This is the homage of a Royal heart to the sacred claims of humanity, which identifies power with benevolence, and which seeks its gratification in promoting universal happiness. May that heart never feel the pang of sorrow; may its only sighs be those of sympathy, and its only regrets that, in its efforts to realize its beneficent aspirations, it is alone bounded by that law of necessity which Infinite Goodness has imposed upon the most exalted as well as the humblest of its ministers.
March 21, 1839.