[Three Hundred Animals Contents]
IS a kind of beetle, well known in this and other countries. It flies at dusk, with a rash and noisome impulse; lives upon the first budding leaves of the elm tree, and when caught, is often tormented by children, who, placing a paper fixed with a pin at one of their legs, enjoy the cruel pleasure to see them turn around a small piece of wood! it is a great pity, that in our earliest days we are not properly taught, that pleasure to one of the creation should never be sought out of the pain felt by another. There is a sort of barbarity in tormenting animals, which is too often indulged in infants, and is generally the sad prognostic of a tyrannical disposition, which grows and increases by degrees. – Who ever thought that the boy, who, in the palace of the Cæsars, amused himself with the innocent pastime of torturing common flies with a pin, would, when a man, order his mother to death, and set fire to the imperial town of Rome? In these puerile trifles were concealed the dreadful stamina of the most execrable and most wanton cruelty.