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Title: Great Testimony against scientific cruelty

Author: Stephen Coleridge

Release date: July 16, 2008 [eBook #26074]

Language: English

Credits: Transcribed from the 1918 John Lane edition by David Price


Transcribed from the 1918 John Lane edition by David Price, email

Presentation slip from the edition transcribed



Thomas Carlyle.  From a drawing by Samuel Laurence in the collection of John Lane

p. ivprinted by william brendon and son, ltd., plymouth, england


If the support of great and good men, famous throughout Christendom, will avail to justify a cause, then indeed we who would utterly abolish the torture of animals by vivisection can never be put out of countenance.

Difficult would it be indeed to bring together the authority of so many resounding reputations against any other act of man, since slavery was abolished.

The poets, philosophers, saints and seers of England have united to anathematise it as an abomination, and as a deed only possible to a craven.

It seems strange that in the face of such authentic condemnation the horrid practice has not disappeared off the face of the civilised earth, until it is observed that it has received the shameless support of science, which for two generations has usurped p. vian authority over conduct for which it possesses no credentials.  The modern prostration of mankind before science is a vile idolatry.  In the realm of ethics science is not constructive but destructive.  It exalts the Tree of Knowledge and depresses the Tree of Life.

How is the character of man elevated or purified by all the maddening inventions of science?  How indeed!  Are we made better men by being whirled about the globe by machinery, by the increased opportunities for limitless volubility, or by the ingenious devices for mutual destruction?  And how are we morally advantaged by the knowledge of the infinite depths of space, the composition of the stars and the motions of the planets?

The old Persian, when his far-travelled offspring returned with these wonders to tell, replied: “My son, thou sayest that one star spinneth about another star; let it spin!”

And Ruskin once remarked: “Newton explained why an apple fell, but he never p. viithought of explaining the exactly correlative, but infinitely more difficult question, how the apple got up there.”

The dead and dreary law of gravitation made it fall, but the glorious law of life, known only to God, drew it up out of the earth and hung it in all its inexplicable wonder high in the air.

And I think herein is a very good parable applicable to ourselves and our age.

Science has found out that everything in the Universe is falling towards everything else, or trying to do so, and we are so absorbed in this deciduous discovery that we have forgotten to look up and observe the lovely things about us that by God’s mercy have still escaped the withering touch of scientific knowledge.

But Science has now moved beyond the comparatively innocuous accumulation of mechanical discoveries, and advancing into the domain of morals, has emerged in the sinister aspect of the defender of cruelty.

This may yet prove an usurpation that will lead to its ultimate deposition and p. viiiignominy.  A time is coming when mankind will have no ear for the advocates of what all the great and good and wise have denounced as wicked.

If Science comes before the world declaring that cruelty is necessary for its advance, the world will one day tell Science that it can stop where it is.

In the meanwhile that there can be no doubt in the mind of any man as to how the greatest leaders of thought and loftiest teachers of conduct have united in their condemnation of vivisection, I have thought it timely to bring them together, a noble array, in this book.


The seventh Earl of Shaftesbury, K.G.  From an engraving by W. J. Edwards after Frederick Sandys

The seventh Earl of Shaftesbury consecrated a long life, and dedicated a great position to the service of the poor, the weak and the lost.  His life and work were one of the chief glories of the nineteenth century.  From early youth to venerable age his hand was outstretched to assuage the miseries of the helpless and to deal a blow at cruelty and selfishness wherever he discerned it.

By his efforts women were brought up out of coal mines where they dragged trucks on all fours like brute beasts, by his protests p. 2little boys were saved from being forced to climb up inside chimneys risking their young lives and limbs that others might profit thereby.

He placed himself at the head of the fight against all cruelty to children and became the first President of the Society to put it down, which has now become great and powerful with officers in every town to guard child life and protect the helpless little things from all manner of nameless sufferings.

He championed the animal world and raised his voice against the unspeakable doings of the vivisectors, and the whole anti-vivisection movement was started and built up under his wise and benign guidance, as first President of the Anti-Vivisection Society.

He belonged to the period when those who worked in the field of philanthropy were almost exclusively concerned in curing, if they could, the evils they perceived around them; but he himself was a pioneer of the later school who aim also at preventing p. 3those evils.  Those who went before him sought to assist the poor and helpless, but while he endeavoured to do this with all his heart, he also strove to destroy the causes of pauperism.  He perceived that physical squalor inevitably produces spiritual squalor, and that if we are to make men think and live cleanly we must enable them to possess decent and clean homes.

Others of his family in the past had served the State with credit in the great public offices that satisfy men’s reputable pride and honourable ambition, but none before him had served his fellow creatures during a long life with no other motive than to bind up their wounds and aggravate the mercies of God.

His appearance when I had the happiness to know him intimately was noble and memorable, and he won his way less by commanding abilities than by weight of character.  His large benignity repressed the expression of any small or mean thought in his presence; and his arrival was sufficient without his saying a word to elevate p. 4the tone and manner of any discussion in which he was expected to participate.  He was incapable of asperity.

In the House of Lords there was conceded to him by universal courtesy a special seat which he occupied independently of the change of parties, a tribute of respect to his unique and distinguished position which as far as I am aware has at any rate in recent years been paid to no one else.

He was a survival of the times when rank more recognised its duties and received more homage than in the present day; for when I was young it was still possible for the public to believe that peerages were only conferred on men for serious and meritorious services to the country, and that those who succeeded to them by inheritance were trained to recognise the large obligations of their station.

He lived in a great house on the west side of Grosvenor Square, tempering his august surroundings with a personal austerity.  There he was easily accessible to anyone who came to him for good p. 5counsel and not to waste his own or his host’s time.

Every cabman and costermonger in London knew him by sight and would take off his cap to him if he saw him in the streets, and the poor in the East End knew his tall figure and distinguished countenance better than did the men in the club windows in the West.

The beautiful monument to his memory in Regent Circus records that he was “an example to his order,” and yet better than this stately panegyric is the happy accident, if it be one, that the poor flower girls of London have pitched their camp upon the steps, and have successfully defied all the efforts of Mr. Bumble to remove them.


Miss Frances Power Cobbe was the original organiser and founder in December, 1875, of the National Anti-Vivisection Society which until 1898 bore the Title of the Victoria Street Society for the protection of animals from vivisection.

Many years before, in 1863, there lived at Florence a man who trafficked in torture named Schiff; “among the inferior professors of medical knowledge,” says Dr. Johnson, “is a race of wretches, whose lives are only varied by varieties of cruelty,” and such an one was this miscreant.

Miss Cobbe was then resident at Florence and was the correspondent of the Daily News, and in that paper she denounced the tortures inflicted on animals by this dreadful man, which so affected her generous p. 7heart that for the rest of her life her chief preoccupation became the desire to put an end to such abominations.

In 1874 Miss Cobbe drew up a memorial to the Council of the Royal Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals urging upon them “the immediate adoption of such measures as may approve themselves to their judgment as most suitable to promote the end in view, namely, the restriction of vivisection.”  And with indefatigable zeal she collected the signatures to it of a very large number of the most distinguished men in England; among them were such names as those of Thomas Carlyle, Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, John Morley, John Bright, Leslie Stephen, W. Lecky, B. Jowett, John Ruskin, Dean Stanley, and Canon Liddon.

In view of the fierce advocacy of vivisection to which the present Lord Knutsford has committed himself it is interesting to record that his father Sir Henry Holland’s name appears among the signatories of this memorial.

p. 8The Council of the R.S.P.C.A. in 1875 displayed all the familiar characteristics of the Council of to-day.  On receiving this notable memorial they adopted the device of promising to appoint a sub-committee to consider the whole question of vivisection.  Unlike the sub-committee appointed in 1907 “to consider the whole question of sport” which never sat, it seems that this sub-committee on vivisection really did sit once, after which no more was heard of it.

Mr. Colam the Secretary was sent to call on the leading vivisectors to ask them about their own proceedings; and the Council appear to have imagined that, having asked the persons whose conduct was impugned what they thought about that conduct, their function as representing the Society entrusted with the protection of animals from cruelty was fulfilled.

Miss Cobbe, like many of us to-day, really wanted cruelty to animals stopped, and she was not likely to be satisfied with such a farcical evasion, so she set to work and p. 9started the Victoria Street Society, and to her above all others therefore belongs the undying fame and glory of first raising aloft the standard of the imperishable cause for which that Society exists and strives.

In that memorable year of 1875 the great Society in Jermyn Street, misrepresented by a collection of somnolent inefficients, turned their backs on tortured animals and stopped their ears to their cries of agony; and all the subsequent years are strewn with opportunities abandoned and duties neglected which one by one have been undertaken by fresh Societies of earnest souls who would wait no more while the Council in Jermyn Street slept; and that the record should be maintained intact we have seen in the last three years the generous public subscribe an enormous sum of money for the care and cure of our horses at the war, only to discover that the Society is ready to acquiesce when those horses, that are worn out in our service, are sold abroad to the highest bidders!

Miss Cobbe during her long combat p. 10against vivisection passed through different phases of opinion as to the wisest parliamentary policy to pursue.  At one time she advocated restriction, at another total abolition, and I will not here revive the domestic discussions and differences that were the consequence of the diverse views entertained by equally reputable and earnest workers in the cause.  It is enough to recognise and acclaim the fine courage and ability that Miss Cobbe brought to the service of suffering animals, and the splendid edifice of the National Anti-Vivisection Society that was built up from the ground by her capable hands.

She suffered one cruel betrayal when she entrusted to another too ardent controversialist the translation of some German account of a severe vivisection, and discovered, after the publication of the description in English, that her friend had suppressed in the translation the statement in the original that anæsthetics had been employed.

The ferocious attacks made upon her on p. 11that occasion she bore with what philosophy so exasperating a situation permitted.

Miss Cobbe was a remarkable person both in character and appearance, her habiliments were quaint and practical, cut altogether shapelessly with immense buttons symbolising the entire simplicity of her life and habits, her hair was cut off short, and her whole aspect suggested cheerfulness, robustness, and magnanimity.  She was masterful in temperament, not always ready to listen with urbanity to opinions she did not share, or to admit that her conclusions could even conceivably have their foundations in doubtful premises.  But these very human characteristics in no way diminished the personal affection she inspired in those among whom she moved.  She lived a fine courageous life, and when she died, by an appropriate and beautiful coincidence, a dog was the only witness of her last breath.


Cardinal Manning was among the early supporters of the Anti-Vivisection movement, and was a Vice-President of the National Anti-Vivisection Society till his death.

He occasionally attended meetings of the committee at my request to assist the deliberations with his good counsel, and I remember one occasion when Lord Shaftesbury came and took the chair, and both the Cardinal and my father and the Bishop of Oxford were present to assist in an important decision.

I frequently went to the Archbishop’s house at Westminster to consult him; the sumptuous cathedral and palace had not p. 13then been built, and the house at the bottom of Carlisle Place had an air of cold austerity; there were no carpets on the stone staircase, and the large room in which the Cardinal received his visitors had nothing in it but a bare table and a few cushionless chairs.  He accepted invitations to dinner from my father, but although he was gracious and courtly, he ate nothing, and it was understood that no attention was to be drawn to this abstinence.  He cannot have eaten much anywhere, for he was extremely emaciated.

He did a great service both to the cause of anti-vivisection and to his Church in 1882.  It had been spread abroad, by whom, and on what authority, I know not, that the Church of Rome had declined to support those who desired to put down cruel experiments upon animals, and had declared that animals might lawfully be treated like stocks and stones; to this shocking suggestion the Cardinal gave a decisive and authoritative denial at a meeting at Lord Shaftesbury’s House on the 21st of June.

p. 14His words were as follows:—

I know that an impression has been made that those whom I represent look, if not with approbation, at least with great indulgence, on the practice of vivisection.  I grieve to say that abroad there are a great many (whom I beg leave to say I do not represent) who do favour the practice; but this I do protest, that there is not a religious instinct in nature, nor a religion of nature, nor is there a word in revelation, either in the Old Testament or the New Testament, nor is there to be found in the great theology which I do represent, no, nor in any Act of the Church of which I am a member; no, nor in the lives and utterances of any one of those great servants of that Church who stand as examples, nor is there an authoritative utterance anywhere to be found in favour of vivisection.

And later in the same speech he said:—

I do not believe this to be the way that the All-wise and All-good Maker of us all has ordained for the discovery of the Healing Art which is one of His greatest gifts to man.

Two years later at a Meeting at Prince’s Hall on the 26th of June, 1884, with Lord Shaftesbury in the Chair, the Cardinal in a single pregnant sentence dissipated the vivisectors’ p. 15constant careless confusion of the totally different moral acts of killing animals and torturing them.

“It is clear,” he said, “that the words ‘kill and eat,’ and the dominion which the beneficent Maker of all things has given to man over the lower creatures, does not justify the infliction of exquisite torment in the name of Science.”

At that time Lord Shaftesbury was the greatest representative of the Church of England and the Cardinal the acknowledged head of the Church of Rome in this country and as they earnestly agreed in condemning the practice of vivisection as wicked and abominable, it becomes impossible for those who support it to bring to its defence any authorities on conduct at all comparable with that of these two great and good men.

The Cardinal gave the impression of a consciously eminent ecclesiastic, who was determined to lift his Church into greatness in England by all lawful means in his power; his appearance was ascetic, distinguished, and memorable; he was manifestly a man of direct nobility of life, and p. 16most lofty purpose—a great statesman for his Church, leading an austere and detached life as an example in every detail for the faithful in his community—a prince of the Roman Church fulfilling his august function conspicuously and faultlessly in full view of a critical public. [16]

His care for the poor and the noble simplicity of his life found its most eloquent evidence at his death in the discovery that his entire worldly possessions amounted to sixty-eight pounds.

He had laid up his treasure where no rust and moth doth corrupt.

died the 12th of december, 1889

Robert Browning.  From a painting by Samuel Laurence in the collection of John Lane

Towards the end of 1874, as I have already remarked, Miss Cobbe prepared a petition to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of which the chief paragraph ran as follows:—

It is earnestly urged by your memorialists that the great and influential Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals may see fit to undertake the task (which appears strictly to fall within its province) of placing suitable restrictions on this rapidly increasing evil.  The vast benefit to the cause of humanity which the Society has in the past half century effected, would, in our humble estimation, remain altogether one-sided and incomplete, if, while brutal carters and ignorant costermongers are brought to punishment for maltreating the animals under their charge, learned p. 18and refined gentlemen should be left unquestioned to inflict far more exquisite pain upon still more sensitive creatures; as if the mere allegation of a scientific purpose removed them above all legal or moral responsibility.

Miss Cobbe, confident of what Browning’s reply would be, sent him this petition and asked him to return it with his signature if he approved of it.

His reply, which I believe has never as yet been published, redounds to his immortal fame as a man of fortitude and humaneness.

This is what he wrote:

19, Warwick Crescent, W.
December 28th, ’74.

Dear Miss Cobbe,

I return the petition, unsigned for the one good reason—that I have just signed its fellow forwarded to me by Mr. Leslie Stephen.

You have heard “I take an equal interest with yourself in the effort to suppress vivisection”; I dare not so honour my mere wishes and prayers as to put them for a moment beside your noble acts; but, this I know, I would rather submit to the worst of the deaths, so far as pain goes, than have a single dog or cat tortured on the pretence p. 19of sparing me a twinge or two.  I return the paper, because I shall be probably shut up here for the next week or more, and prevented from seeing my friends: whoever would refuse to sign would certainly not be of the number.

Ever truly—and gratefully yours,
Robert Browning.

Five years later in the volume of Dramatic Idyls issued in 1879, Browning published his poem entitled “Tray” which extols the noble heroism of the dog and leaves nothing to be desired in its biting scorn of the vivisectors:

“‘Up he comes with the child, see tight
In mouth, alive too, clutched from quite
A depth of ten feet—twelve I bet!
Good dog!  What off again?  There’s yet
Another child to save?  All right!

“‘How strange we saw no other fall!
It’s instinct in the animal.
Good dog!  But he’s a long while under:
If he got drowned I should not wonder—
Strong current, that against the wall!

“‘Here he comes, holds in mouth this time
—What may the thing be?  Well, that’s prime!
Now did you ever?  Reason reigns
In man alone, since all Tray’s pains
Have fished—the child’s doll from the slime!’

p. 20“And so, amid the laughter gay,
Trotted my hero off,—old Tray,—
Till somebody, prerogatived
With reason, reasoned:—‘Why he dived
His brain would show us, I should say.

“‘John go and catch—or, if needs be
Purchase—that animal for me!
By vivisection, at expense
Of half an hour and eighteen pence
How brain secretes dog’s soul, we’ll see!’”

Here then is enough to show with what earnest conviction this poet of powerful mind and pure life condemned the practice of vivisection.  He was a man who breasted the world with a cheerful philosophy which permitted few external matters to disturb his habitual serenity.  But vivisection was one of them, and I have often heard him speak with fierce detestation of what he called “the coward Science.”

I do not think he ever addressed a public, or even private, meeting in his life, and that may have left the unlettered world unaware of his deep loathing of the cruelties of the laboratories; but he was one of the earliest Englishmen of unquestioned distinction to join the anti-vivisection movement and to p. 21accept the office of Vice-President of our Society.

I venture to think that in aftertimes his sanguine advocacy in this great cause will not be the least of his claims to the gratitude of his fellow men.

chief justice of england
vice-president of the national
anti-vivisection society

Lord Coleridge, Chief Justice of England

I hope that my inclusion of my father in these articles on the first supporters of the anti-vivisection movement will not be thought unbecoming.  I see no reason why I should not testify in these pages to the unswerving adhesion he brought to the cause of humaneness both towards men and women as well as towards animals, and the wise counsel he afforded to the pioneers of the fight against vivisection.

It is perhaps now long forgotten that he initiated, drafted and carried through the House of Commons when he sat in that assembly as member for Exeter a Bill emancipating married women from the cruel p. 23conditions of servitude whereby their own earnings could legally be taken from them by their husbands.

This was the first of a series of wide-minded Acts of Parliament which established the position of women as no longer the mere chattels of their male relatives.

Cruelty to animals of any kind roused in him a deep and abiding anger: he never allowed a bearing rein to be inflicted upon his horses either in London or the country, nor was there ever a tied-up dog in his stables.

Lord Coleridge assisted in the efforts to get the Anti-Vivisection Bill of 1876 passed without the wrecking amendments that were at the last minute added to it; after the Bill was passed in its mutilated state Miss Cobbe with a not unnatural impatience wrote to him and others saying that “the supporters of vivisection having refused to accept a reasonable compromise or to permit any line to be drawn between morally justifiable painless experiments and those which are heinously cruel and p. 24involve the torture of the most sensitive animals” she intended to endeavour to induce the Society “to condemn the practice altogether as inseparably bound up with criminal abuses”; and henceforth to adopt “the principle of uncompromising hostility to vivisection,” and she asked him to let her know whether he would give his support to her proposals.  His reply was what might have been expected from one who could not permit his irritation at the fate of the Bill to influence his parliamentary attitude.

I am afraid [he wrote] my answer must be in a sense which you will think unfavourable.  I could not commit myself out of Parliament to any view which I am not prepared to defend in it.  And the unreasonableness and what I think wrongdoing of the Medical Men would not justify me as a legislator in voting for what I think wrong merely in opposition to them or because I could not bring them to terms which I think just and right.

I do not say that this is at all necessarily the rule for a person out of Parliament, because so long as you do not agitate for what you think p. 25wrong it is perfectly fair to agitate for more than you expect to get as a means of getting something of what you think right.  So that I find no fault whatever with any one who takes the view you take; but my position is somewhat a peculiar one and I must be cautious to an extent that some people may think coldness and weakness.  I am not afraid of your judgment however.

Six years later, in 1882, he wrote an article in the Fortnightly Review in which he definitely though reluctantly gave his adhesion to total abolition as the goal to be aimed at, but of course he never at any time associated himself with the condemnation of all other measures for the mitigation of the cruelties of the laboratory or of the world at large that has since been pronounced by the more extreme protagonists on the anti-vivisection side of the controversy.

This article dealt in a pungent severity with attacks made upon him in the Nineteenth Century by Sir James Paget, Professor Owen and Dr. Wilks.  As far as I know none of them rejoined.  They had had enough!

p. 26But the last passage of the article is of a quality that I think my readers will regard as fully justifying my reproducing it here,—I hope it will receive their endorsement—the hand that wrote it has long been still, but thirty-four years have not made one word of it less true or less beautiful.

There is one authority, conclusive, no doubt, only to those who admit it, conclusive only to those who believe that they can read it, to which in conclusion I dare appeal.  When a bishop in the Southern States had been defending slavery, he was asked what he thought our Lord would have said, what looks He who turned and looked upon St. Peter would have cast upon a slave-mart in New Orleans, where husband was torn from wife, child from parent, and beautiful girls, with scarce a tinge of colour in them, were sold into prostitution.  The answer of the bishop is not known, but I will venture on a kindred question.  What would our Lord have said, what looks would He have bent, upon a chamber filled with “the unoffending creatures which He loves,” dying under torture deliberately and intentionally inflicted? or kept alive to endure further torment, in pursuit of knowledge?  Men must answer this question according to their consciences; and for any man p. 27to make himself in such a matter a rule for any other would be, I know, unspeakable presumption.  But to anyone who recognises the authority of our Lord, and who persuades himself that he sees which way that authority inclines, the mind of Christ must be the guide of life.  “Shouldest thou not have had compassion upon these, even as I had pity on thee?”  So He seems to me to say, and I shall act accordingly.


No one who has ever read a line of Ruskin could doubt on which side his mind and heart would be ranged in the controversy over vivisection.

Here was a lord of language who was also one of the great moral teachers of the world.  To him the torture of a helpless animal for a scientific purpose was a defiance of religion and an insult to God.  Such pursuits he declared “were all carried on in defiance of what had hitherto been held to be compassion and pity, and of the great link which bound together the whole of creation from its Maker to the lowest creature.”

John Ruskin.  From a drawing by Samuel Laurence in the collection of John Lane

He occupied the illustrious post of Slade Professor of art at Oxford when convocation voted to endow vivisection in the University and install Dr. Burdon Sanderson, the p. 29smotherer of dogs, in a laboratory set up for him.

In vain did Ruskin protest against this horrible educational cancer being grafted on to the happiness, peace, and light of gracious Oxford.  Convocation preferred the blight of the coward Science to the cultivation of all that was beautiful, distinguished, humane, and brave; and they reaped as they had sown, they kept the dog smotherer and lost the radiant spirit and uplifting eloquence of the inspired seer.  Ruskin resigned and Oxford heard that voice of supreme nobility no more.

The Vice-Chancellor for very shame could not bring himself to read Ruskin’s letter of resignation to convocation.  The editor of the University Gazette also had the effrontery to leave a letter from Ruskin, giving the reasons for his resignation, unpublished; and the Pall Mall Gazette crowned the edifice of poltroonery by announcing that he had resigned owing to his “advancing years.”

p. 30Evil communications corrupt good manners, and association with vivisection led these dignitaries and editors to flout and insult a man whose shoe strings they were not worthy to tie.  Time is merciful and their very names are forgotten.

Ruskin had, a little time before these events, asked the University for a grant to build a well-lighted room for the undergraduates apart from the obscure and inconvenient Ruskin school; his request was instantly refused on the plea that the University was in debt, yet in the very next year this debt encumbered seat of learning and courtesy voted £10,000 for the erection of a laboratory for the vivisector and £2,000 more towards fitting it up and maintaining it,—for troughs and gags and cages and the rest of the horrible paraphernalia.

This must I should imagine be the most squalid page in the history of modern Oxford.

More than thirty years have passed since that University thus publicly preferred a p. 31dog smootherer to one of the noblest of teachers and saintliest of men.

Both are now long departed.  The one can no more block up the wind-pipes of living dogs and watch their dying convulsions, and the other can no longer lead the minds of youths and maidens to seek and find beauty in the visible world about them and recognise in it the hand of God—but the world has known which of these men led the youth of Oxford to look up and which to look down, and to-day a merciful oblivion covers the names and doings of this triumphant vivisector and his valiant supporters, while to the farthest inch of the English-speaking realms the writings of Ruskin are treasured in a million homes and his name acclaimed with grateful reverence.

NOTE.—This chapter on Ruskin having appeared as an article in The Animals’ Defender and Zoophilist in March, 1917, and a copy of it having been sent to the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, the following correspondence ensued:—

p. 32Christ Church, Oxford,
March 3rd, 1917.

Dear Sir,—I thank you for sending me the copy of The Zoophilist.  May I point out that it is not customary for the Vice-Chancellor to read to Convocation the letters of Professors who resign, or to print the letters in the Gazette?

Yours very truly,
T. B. Strong.

Hon. Stephen Coleridge.

South Wales Circuit,
Assize Court, Cardiff,
March 6th, 1917.

Dear Sir,—I have received your letter of the 3rd of March informing me that it is not customary for the Vice-Chancellor to read to Convocation the letters of professors who resign or to print such letters in the University Gazette, but I do not understand from you that the Vice-Chancellor is precluded by any rule of Convocation from reading such a letter, or that the editor if there be one of the University Gazette is unable by any rule of his office to admit such a letter to his columns—and I therefore feel that I was quite entitled to make the comments I did in The Animals’ Defender and Zoophilist.  When such a man as Ruskin desired the reasons for his resignation to be made p. 33clear, I take leave to think that the breach of a custom that enabled the University to conceal those reasons and even permit misapprehensions of those reasons to be given a wide publicity, would have been better than its observance.  And a University Gazette that refuses to publish the letter of a world-famous professor of that University, must arrogate to itself a title to which it can justly make no claim.

Very truly yours,
Stephen Coleridge.

The Very Rev. the Dean of Christ Church, Vice-Chancellor, Oxford.

At this distance of time it is probable that the present Dean of Christ Church may not fully realise the sort of person Professor Sanderson, whom the University preferred to Ruskin, was: I therefore think he may like to see a letter I wrote at the time to the papers which has fortunately been preserved:

Sir,—I hope you will find room for an answer to the remarkable letter of Professor Acland in your issue of the 9th, and to “F.R.S.’s” attack on Miss Cobbe in that of the 10th of March.

p. 34Professor Acland says:—

“I have to say to English parents that everyone at home and abroad, who knows anything of biological science in England, will think them fortunate if their children being students of medicine, fall under the elevating influence of Professor Sanderson’s scientific and personal character.”

And “F.R.S.” says:—

“I was a very constant attendant at Dr. Sanderson’s private laboratory during the last ten years of his professorship at University College, and during the whole of that time I never witnessed a single operation involving pain.”

Now, are we not justified in estimating Professor Sanderson’s nobility of disposition by his books?

He was joint author and editor of the “Handbook for the Physiological Laboratory,” the publication in which of the tortures of animals roused a feeling in the country that led to the appointment of the Royal Commission to inquire into these practices.  And is he not now one of the editors of the Journal of Physiology, which continually details to the world experiments involving terrible torments?

p. 35In his “Handbook of Physiology” we find such descriptions as the following:—

Page 319.  “(109).—Asphyxia by complete Occlusion of the Trachea.—For this purpose a cannula must be fixed air-tight in the trachea, the mouth of which is of such form that it can be plugged with a cork. . . . The phenomena as they present themselves in the dog. . . .  First minute.  Excessive respiratory movements in which at first the expansive efforts of the thoracic muscles, afterwards the expulsive efforts of the abdominal wall, are most violent.  Towards the close of the first minute the animal becomes convulsed.  Second minute.  Early in the second minute the convulsions cease, often suddenly; simultaneously with the cessation the expiratory efforts become indistinguishable.  The iris is now dilated to a rim; the eye does not close when the cornea is touched, nor does the pupil react to light; all reflex reaction to stimuli has ceased.  All the muscles except those of inspiration are flaccid, and the animal lies in a state of tranquility which contrasts in the most striking way with the storm which preceded it . . . Third and fourth minute.  As death approaches the thoracic and abdominal movements which are entirely respiratory become slow and slower as well as shallower. . . . In the spasms which accompany the final gasps of an asphyxiated p. 36animal the head is thrown back, the trunk straightening or arched backwards, and the limbs are extended while the mouth gapes and the nostrils dilate.  They are called by physiologists stretching convulsions.”

Page 320.  “(110).—Asphyxia by Slow Suffocation.—When an animal is allowed to breathe the same quantity of air repeatedly and continuously out of a bag, the process being of much longer duration, the phenomena can be studied with greater facility.”

After this, is it “ill-natured or ill-mannered” to think that parents will not be fortunate if “their children fall under the elevating influence of Dr. Sanderson’s scientific and personal character”?

We want to know how medicine is advanced by the agonies of these suffocated animals?

It may be true that Professor Sanderson at present holds no certificate, nor does Dr. Michael Foster, who occupies a similar position at Cambridge, but Dr. Michael Foster has “assistants” who hold from time to time certificates, and quite lately, “under his guidance,” a lady, Miss Emily Nunn, has been poisoning frogs till their skin comes off.  There is nothing to prevent Professor Sanderson from employing assistants.  The mind may be the mind of Professor Sanderson, but the p. 37knife may be the knife of such a man as Dr. Klein, who was his former assistant at the Brown Institution, and who has publicly declared that “he has no regard at all for the sufferings of the animals.”

Your obedient servant,
Stephen Coleridge.

12 Ovington Gardens, London,
      March 13th, 1885.

On the publication of this letter the Dean of Christ Church of that day, Dean Liddell, wrote to me a long rambling letter which I could not then, and cannot now, publish because it concludes with these words:—

I have written this not for publication.  I will not engage in newspaper controversy.  I write to you, out of respect for the name you bear,—not in anger but in sorrow.

To this I replied:

To my letter in the Press you have no word to offer.  In it I quote verbatim Professor Sanderson’s own description of one of the many wanton torments that he has inflicted upon the good creatures of God.  I ask how medicine is advanced by p. 38the agonies of the dogs he has slowly suffocated, and I get no answer (though I have sent the letter to him and some twenty other vivisectors) but this expression from you of sorrow that the name I bear should be ranged on the side of this man’s opponents.

Sir, I am a young man, unskilled in polemics and unpractised in the art of advocacy, no match for one of mature age, ripe experience, and stored learning; but if an enthusiasm for mercy, a belief that human life itself is not fitly bought by the torturing of the helpless, an amazement that any Christian, nay that any man should call one of these tormentors “friend,” be sentiments the holding of which by one of my name fills you with sorrow if not with anger, it without doubt is plain that our name is but a name to you, and that your respect for it should have been withdrawn when it first came into prominence.

I do not believe you know what things these men have done; it is a terrible task for any man to read their literature; if you had done so I do indeed believe that not your sorrow only but your anger would be deeply roused, but—not against me.

I remain, Sir,
Faithfully and Respectfully yours,
Stephen Coleridge.

p. 39It gives me peculiar pleasure to bring up this letter from the now distant past; thirty-two years have not made me wish to withdraw or change a word of it.


Of all the Masters of letters that have adorned and elevated the speech of our race Dr. Johnson is in many ways the most lovable.  The son of a poor bookseller in Lichfield [40] with an uncouth figure and an undistinguished countenance, he rose by the massive force of his character and the tireless persistence of his industry to an unchallenged supremacy in the literary world of his age, displaying in his whole life the truth of his own dictum that “few things are impossible to diligence and skill.”  Disdaining the common habit of the times he would owe nothing to the patronage of the great.  “Is not a patron,” he wrote to Lord Chesterfield, “one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached ground encumbers him with help?”

Dr. Johnson.  From a contemporary etching published February 10th, 1780

p. 41He was not very patient with the stupid, or merciful to the absurd, and vanity never came into his presence without receiving swift and mortal blows; but the chastisement of his caustic tongue never fell upon modest worth, and there never lived a man who was a more faithful and affectionate friend.

The style of his writing is always balanced and sonorous, and everywhere and always is he “the friend of the wise and teacher of the good.”

No man was more ready to give forcible expression to his amusing prejudices, as when he exclaimed that “the noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees is the high road that leads him to England,” but to be able to assert of any act of man that Dr. Johnson in solemn seriousness condemned it, is for ever to arraign that act in the court of human morals; and so the judicious must concede that when his authority can be cited in fierce and glowing denunciation of vivisectors they are left in a demersed condition.

p. 42I took occasion when giving evidence before the last Royal Commission on Vivisection to rehearse Dr. Johnson’s philippic which I now reproduce below, and the dejected and deflated aspect of the vivisectors on the commission when I had finished it caused that moment to be one of those I shall always recall with exhilaration!  Not a word had one of them to say while I waited for any comment they might adventure, and after a diverting and eloquent silence Lord Selby from the chair remarked, “That leaves no doubt about Dr. Johnson’s view in his day.”  It most certainly does not!

The Idlers that sport only with inanimate nature may claim some indulgence; if they are useless, they are still innocent; but there are others, whom I know not how to mention without more emotion than my love of quiet willingly admits.  Among the inferior professors of medical knowledge is a race of wretches whose lives are only varied by varieties of cruelty; whose favourite amusement is to nail dogs to tables and open them alive; to try how long life may be continued in various degrees of mutilation, or with the excision or laceration of the vital parts; to examine p. 43whether burning irons are felt more acutely by the bone or tendon; and whether the more lasting agonies are produced by poison forced into the mouth, or injected into the veins, it is not without reluctance that I offend the sensibility of the tender mind with images like these.  If such cruelties were not practised it were to be desired that they should not be conceived; but, since they are published every day with ostentation, let me be allowed once to mention them, since I mention them with abhorrence.  Mead has invidiously remarked of Woodward that he gathered shells and stones, and would pass for a philosopher.  With pretentions much less reasonable the anatomical novice tears out the living bowels of an animal and styles himself physician, prepares himself by familiar cruelty for that profession which he is to exercise upon the tender and the helpless, upon feeble bodies and broken minds, and by which he has opportunities to extend his arts and torture, and continue those experiments upon infancy and age, which he has hitherto tried upon cats and dogs.  What is alleged in defence of these hateful practices everyone knows, but the truth is that by knives, fire, and poisons, knowledge is not always sought, and is very seldom attained.  I know not that by living dissections any discovery has been made by which a single malady is more easily cured.  And if the knowledge of physiology has p. 44been somewhat increased, he surely buys knowledge dear who learns the use of the lacteals at the expense of his own humanity.  It is time that a universal resentment should arise against those horrid operations, which tend to harden the heart and make the physician more dreadful than the gout or the stone.


The world of letters and of ethics has hardly yet settled whether much of the teaching of the Sage of Chelsea should be the subject of praise or blame.

In the advocacy of fine principles of conduct set forth for us in language of surpassing eloquence and earnest conviction in many a page of “Sartor Resartus,” and scattered through innumerable pamphlets, Carlyle commands the fervent adhesion of the honest, the brave, and the good; while in other parts of his writings his infatuated admiration of force, however clothed with brutality, and of strength, however marred with mendacity, are calculated p. 46as deeply to alienate the urbane man of the world as the austere Christian.

And this confusion in the estimate of Carlyle and of his teaching suffers an aggravation from the manifest malice of the biography of him perpetrated by his friend James Anthony Froude.  A man who is entrusted with the task of writing the life of a great man who was also his friend need not adopt the language of continuous panegyric, but to throw a brilliant illumination upon the man’s smaller domestic rugosities which even the weakest charity would conceal and the feeblest generosity would forget is a singularly spiteful betrayal.

When something was said to Carlyle about the likelihood of the Dean of Westminster recognising his fame as justifying his interment in the Abbey, the rugged old man exclaimed, “Deliver me from that body-snatcher.”  It would have been more to the purpose if he had been delivered from his intimate friend as his biographer!

That Carlyle detested vivisection, however, p. 47must ever remain a great tribute both to him and to our cause.  Many circumstances of the man and his teaching might have led the world to anticipate that he would very likely be found indifferent on the subject.  His earnest adhesion to our principles leaves those who politely call us old women of both sexes in a foolish case, for nothing could be more divertingly absurd than so to classify Carlyle.

I think Froude forgot to mention Carlyle’s stern condemnation of vivisection in his biography, which is more remarkable inasmuch as Froude himself was a firm and outspoken supporter of our cause.

Whether we can faithfully take to heart and follow all the teaching of this “old Man eloquent” will long remain a subject of debate, but no one can rise from his works without recognising a moral grandeur in him that far out-tops the very human flaws that may even serve to make him more penetrative to our own imperfect hearts.

There seems to be a law that compels all p. 48the truly great men of letters, from Shakespeare and Johnson down to our own day, to abhor the torture of animals for our supposed benefit, and to that law Thomas Carlyle starkly adhered.


Tennyson.  From an unpublished photograph in the possession of Charles Bruce Locker Tennyson, C. M. G.

Tennyson, as was inevitable with a man of such nobility of mind and life, regarded the torture of animals for the sake of knowledge with “the hate of hate, the scorn of scorn.”

If authority be cited in great moral questions here is one that must compel reverence from all but the poor trifler with his “hollow smile and frozen sneer.”

He looked modern Science in the eye, perceived whither its aggrandisement of knowledge to a place supreme in human estimate, above conduct, must inevitably lead mankind, and proclaimed, in accents which can never die, that it is impossible for man to acquiesce in a godless world.

He taught us that men’s hearts can never p. 50be satisfied with a world explained and comprised by the cold “changeless law” of foreordained evolution and inevitable destiny.  “Knowledge comes,” said he, “but wisdom lingers.”

From the first, then, Tennyson lent the weight of his splendid name to the cause of mercy, and I find his signature to the original great petition for the restriction of vivisection between those of Leslie Stephen and Robert Browning on the same sheet of paper—a sheet of paper now one of the treasured possessions of the National Anti-Vivisection Society.

All the world knows the allusions in his works to those who “carve the living hound,” and to curare, which he called “the hellish oorali.”  And thus this greatest poet of the Victorian age gave the weight of his commanding authority for all time to a fierce condemnation of vivisection as the most awful and monstrous of the offsprings of modern Science.

Tennyson was religious in the widest and most inspiring sense.

p. 51“Almost the finest summing up of religion,” he wrote, “is ‘to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.’”

“To love mercy!”  That is the true sign of magnanimity in man.  All holy men, all brave men, all great and knightly men have loved mercy.  “It is an attribute to God Himself.”

Time passes, and succeeding races of mankind, like the leaves of autumn, are blown away and perish, but countless men of heroic mould, reaching back into the dim mists of legend and down through innumerable years while the great world spins “for ever down the ringing grooves of change,” have one and all been gloriously crowned with the same shining diadem of mercy.


Cardinal Newman.  From the portrait by Jane Fortescue, Lady Coleridge

It is difficult perhaps for students of the younger generation to realise the immense influence exercised among his contemporaries by Cardinal Newman, nor will a study of his writings adequately explain it to them.

He has hardly survived as a standard author, though he wrote a pure and lucid prose.  Those who leave the bulk of their literary work behind them in the form of sermons are inviting the world to neglect it.

Moreover, though he was a past master of controversy, the arena in which he fought with such doughty prowess amid the excited plaudits and dehortations of vast assemblies is now left solitary in echoing emptiness, and the crowds of to-day have passed away to abet the combatants, on one p. 53side or the other, in very different fields of tourney.

Here and there his writing ascends to a fine note of eloquence, as in his great exclamatory passage on music that begins thus:—

There are seven notes in the scale; make them fourteen: yet what a slender outfit for so vast an enterprise!  What science brings so much out of so little?  Out of what poor elements does some great master in it create his new world!

But all his writings, religious and controversial, will not explain the immense and dominating effect Newman produced upon his contemporaries.  That effect was due to the irresistible magic of his personality.  He was manifestly one of the Saints of God, and his presence brought with it into any company a sense of mighty power gloved in stainless humility.  Though habitually bearing an aspect of wistful gentleness, his entry into a room crowded with distinguished people made them all seem to be something less than they were before his arrival.

p. 54A man of such a character commands by his visible presence, and those who have not felt the spell of it do not comprehend the cause of his authoritative influence among those who have.

The teaching of Newman on the great question of man’s relation to the sentient creatures placed in his power in the world, must come to us with all the weight that is implicit in the utterance of one of such unquestioned sanctity.

It would be difficult in all his voluminous works to discover anything more touching and moving than his reference to the sufferings of animals, who as he says “have done no harm,” which is embedded in the seventh volume of his Parochial and Plain Sermons:—

First, as to these sufferings, you will observe that our Lord is called a Lamb in the text; that is, He was as defenceless and as innocent as a lamb is.  Since then Scripture compares Him to this inoffensive and unprotected animal, we may, without presumption or irreverence, take the image as a means of conveying to our minds those feelings which our Lord’s sufferings should excite in p. 55us.  I mean, consider how very horrible it is to read the accounts which sometimes meet us of cruelties exercised on brute animals.  Does it not sometimes make us shudder to hear tell of them, or to read them in some chance publication which we take up?  At one time it is the wanton deed of barbarous and angry owners who ill-treat their cattle, or beasts of burden; and at another it is the cold-blooded and calculating act of men of science, who make experiments on brute animals, perhaps merely from a sort of curiosity.

I do not like to go into particulars, for many reasons, but one of those instances which we read of as happening in this day, and which seems more shocking than the rest, is when the poor dumb victim is fastened against a wall, pierced, gashed, and so left to linger out its life.  Now, do you not see that I have a reason for saying this, and am not using these distressing words for nothing?  For what was this but the very cruelty inflicted upon our Lord?  He was gashed with the scourge, pierced through hands and feet, and so fastened to the Cross, and there left, and that as a spectacle.  Now, what is it moves our very hearts and sickens us so much as cruelty shown to poor brutes?  I suppose this first, that they have done no harm; next, that they have no power whatever of resistance; it is the cowardice and tyranny of which they are the victims which make p. 56their sufferings so especially touching.  For instance, if they were dangerous animals, take the case of wild beasts at large, able not only to defend themselves, but even to attack us; much as we might dislike to hear of their wounds and agony, yet our feelings would be of a very different kind, but there is something so very dreadful, so satanic in tormenting those who never have harmed us, and who cannot defend themselves, who are utterly in our power, who have weapons neither of offence nor defence, that none but very hardened persons can endure the thought of it.

Let us listen with all our hearts to this beautiful appeal.  Let us reverence the saintly man who made it, and who still speaks to us out of the past.  Let us remember that Knowledge and the search for it may often be cruel, but that Wisdom and those who follow it are always merciful.


I have already recorded in these pages the strenuous opposition to vivisection displayed by the two greatest representatives of the Church of Rome that arose in England in the last century; and to all who adhere to that Church the authority of the two illustrious Cardinals Newman and Manning must be decisive.

The most famous dignitaries of the English Church in the great Victorian age were also as firm in their condemnation of vivisection as were the great Cardinals.

When I was a young man Dean Stanley was the Dean of Westminster, Dean Vaughan was the Master of the Temple, and Liddon Canon of St. Paul’s.  These were all men of world-wide distinction.  They were men who adorned and made splendid the offices and dignities they p. 58occupied, their names were familiar in every corner of the land, they lent a lustre to the Church of England, and each of them utterly condemned vivisection.

In these present times only a few people in the metropolis, and hardly anybody out of it, can tell without consulting some book of reference who may be the estimable persons who to-day fill the Deanery of Westminster and the Mastership of the Temple, nor has Canon Liddon any successor that the world acclaims, and I can vouch for it that none of them has ever extended to us a helping hand or publicly condemned the torture of animals for scientific purposes.

It is always the loftiest names in literature and the most illustrious authorities on ethics that are found ranged against the infliction of suffering upon helpless animals for the enlargement of human knowledge.

Those who support such inflictions are never in the first rank of literature, art, or moral teaching.  Dean Stanley left behind him a reputation incomparably greater than any occupier of his Deanery that has succeeded p. 59him.  The same must be conceded to Dean Vaughan at the Temple; and the eloquence of Canon Liddon compelled the absorbed attention of such congregations as are not now collected by the Canons that have followed him.  As far as I am aware, none of the successors of these great men have ever helped our cause at all.

No doubt whenever there shall arise in the ministry of the Church of England men of the commanding power, distinguished character, and potent speech that these great men of the last generation displayed we shall find them also espousing the cause of the helpless vivisected animals; in the meanwhile the occupiers of the most dignified positions in the Established Church seem to have drifted into the somewhat ignoble attitude of avoiding the disagreeable subject of vivisection altogether.  When we invite them to help us we receive either no reply at all, or a reply that is carefully evasive, or we are damned with faint praise while assured that the writer is too busy to give the subject the attention it needs before p. 60any public utterance is possible upon it.  All of which methods of dealing with the matter display much wisdom of the world and a very human desire to avoid controversy and other uncomfortable mental and epistolary disturbance, but none of the spirit that led Archbishop Temple when he was Bishop of Exeter to stand unflinching on a temperance platform while the publicans pelted him with flour.


Queen Victoria has given her name to a period which has no parallel in magnificence since the days of the great Elizabeth.

The galaxy of great poets, teachers, and philosophers that flourished in the Victorian age cannot be matched in any similar series of years in all the history of the modern world.

With her departure exhaustion seems to have come upon the world of letters for a time, and to the classic glories of the nineteenth century there has succeeded an usurpation of journalists without the splendour of genius or even the distinction of scholarship.

And although we may perhaps recognise in Lord Beaconsfield’s inclusive use of the p. 62phrase to her of “we authors, Madam” something of the flattery of the courtier, yet assuredly in all her public addresses to her people there is displayed a fine and biblical simplicity, and a directness of appeal indicative of a noble mind and a great heart.

The most penetrating criticism will fail to discover a fault either of taste or diction or intent in any of these utterances.  They combine the dignity appropriate to the words of the greatest Sovereign of the World, with the intimate friendliness that proceeds from the wellsprings of a sweet woman’s heart.

Worthily then did she reign over the most splendid times of our history.

That she should from the day she ascended the throne to the day of her death forward and abet all the enlargements of the spirit of mercy and pity towards the suffering, whether among man or animals, was inevitable in a nature so benevolent.  And it may very well be that in far distant times the rise of humaneness to man and beast p. 63will be regarded as one of the noblest characteristics of her reign.

Her position above controversies precluded her from participating in them, and made it difficult if not impossible for her publicly to espouse the cause of the miserable creatures subjected to nameless sufferings in the laboratories of the scientific.  But her sympathy with those who strove and still strive to end those sufferings could not always be concealed, and on a memorable occasion she expressed her concurrence in the efforts of those who desired to see the laws sanctioning such suffering totally abolished and repealed.

Very fitting therefore it is that among those who earnestly condemned vivisection we should include the august name and fame of Queen Victoria.


Among the eminent men and women of England whose names are not to be regarded as world famous in the sense that applies to those dealt with in the foregoing chapters, but who nevertheless in their place and time were recognised by their contemporaries and are still recognised by those now living as persons of authority and ability, there can be cited a distinguished array who consistently condemned vivisection as permitted and as practised in this country as immoral.  Among religious leaders may be enumerated the following:—

Archbishop McEvilly, of Tuam; Archbishop Crozier, Primate of Ireland; Archbishop Bagshawe; Bishop Westcott, of Durham; Bishop Moule, of Durham; p. 65Bishop Harold Browne, of Winchester; Bishop Lord Arthur Hervey, of Bath and Wells; Bishop Ryle, of Liverpool; Bishop Walsham How, of Wakefield; Bishop Ridding, of Southwell; Bishop Moorhouse, of Manchester; Bishop Mackarness, of Oxford; Bishop Chinnery-Haldane, of Argyll and the Isles; Bishop Barry, Primate of Australia; Dean Kichten.  Archdeacon Wilberforce; Father Ignatius; General Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army; Spurgeon; Hugh Price Hughes; Newman Hall; James Martineau; Stopford Brooke.

Among prominent teachers and scholars and philosophers and writers and artists and lawyers I find the following:—

Alfred Russel Wallace, Freeman, Froude, Leslie Stephen, Richard Holt Hutton, Sir Henry Taylor, Sir Lewis Morris, George Macdonald, Blackmore, Wilkie Collins, “Lewis Carroll,” Robert Buchanan, Justin McCarthy, Sir Arthur Arnold, Mrs. Somerville, Julia Wedgwood, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Walter Crane, Sir Henry Irving, p. 66Lord Brampton (Mr. Justice Hawkins), and Lord Chief Baron Kelly.

I have made no research for great names in foreign countries, but some of the most illustrious stand prominently before the world representing the three greatest continental races:

Victor Hugo, Wagner, Tolstoy, Voltaire, Schopenhauer, Rousseau.

Here then I have brought together a very glorious company justifying the title I have affixed to this book.

p. 67NOTE

From this great cloud of witnesses I have omitted all those leaders of thought and morals, “friends of the wise and teachers of the good” supporters of this great cause who are living.  I followed a like reserve in my “Memories,” making in them none but passing allusions to famous persons still alive.  I do not share the modern journalistic habit of uninvited public intrusion upon living people who may very well be unwilling at the moment to be dragged into controversy or exposed to insult; and every one knows that the vivisectors and their friends have no manners, and flout all the Hague conventions of debate.

p. 68Books by the Hon. Stephen Coleridge


Crown 8vo, 5s. net.


Times.—“Mr. Coleridge is a leading champion of the anti-vivisection cause, and he here presents a reasoned indictment of the practice.  He is a very able advocate, who generally gets the better of his opponent in a dialectical bout, and this book is written with great skill and force.”

Western Mail.—“One cannot fail to be interested and impressed by the forensic power and ability in this book and by the humane spirit which has led to its compilation.  Mr. Coleridge brings all his power of wit, irony, and sarcasm to the aid of his scientific knowledge.”

Harrogate Times.—“The book is an epitome of reasons why ‘all humane and thoughtful people’ should disapprove of vivisection, and the sinister effects of the existence of this practice in our midst.  The statements are cogent, and will find a response in the heart of a wide constituency.”



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Glasgow Herald.—“The Hon. Stephen Coleridge has already established his position among the more tuneful writers of true lyric verse, and into all that he writes the poet puts delicacy and true emotion, the former never becomes mere phrase, the latter never degenerates into wordy passion.”

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Mr. James Douglas in the Star.—“The best book of reminiscences I have read for a long time.  It teems with good stories about famous and familiar names.”

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Daily Mail.—“Mr. Coleridge has written a very pleasant and readable ramble among the poets.  It is an anthology with a skilled writer leading one on from gem to gem with delightful comment.”



[16]  My “Memories,” p. 63

[40]  The book had “Leicester” but this was crossed out and “Lichfield” hand-printed in the margin.—DP.