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greater fatality than thirty years ago. In the
following table I have indicated the average
annual mortality, per million inhabitants, of
certain diseases, first, for the period of five
years from 1850 to 1854, and secondly, for the
period twenty-five years later, from 1875 to
1879. The authority is beyond question ;
the facts are collected from the report to
Parliament of the Registrar-general of Eng-
land :



Average Annual Rate of Mortality in England, from
Causes of Death, per One Million Inhabitants.




Five Years,

Five Years,



Gout. ....



Aneurism, .



Diabetes, .



Insanity, .



Syphilis, .



Epilepsy, .



Bright's disease,

3 2


Kidney disease,



Brain disease,



Liver disease,



Heart disease, .






Paralysis, .






Tubercular diseases and dis-

eases of the Respiratory Or-

gans, ....



Mortality from above


ises :



This is certainly a most startling exhibit,
when we remember that from only these few
causes about half of all the deaths in Eng-
land annually occur, and that from them re-
sult the deaths of two-thirds of the persons,
of both sexes, who reach the age of twenty
years.* What are the effects here discern-

* In 1879 the total mortality in England, above the age of


ible of Bernard's experiments upon diabetes ?
of Brown-Sequard's upon epilepsy and paraly-
sis ? of Flint's and Pavy's on diseases of the
liver ? of Ferrier's researches upon the func-
tions of the brain ? Let us appeal from the
heated enthusiasm of the experimenter to the
stern facts of the statistician. Why, so far
from having obtained the least mastery over
those malignant forces which seem forever to
elude and baffle our art, they are actually
gaining upon us ; every one of these forms of
disease is more fatal to-day in England than
thirty years ago; during 1879 over sixty
thousand more deaths resulted from these
maladies alone than would have occurred had
the rate of mortality from them been simply
that which prevailed during the benighted
period of 1850 to 1854 ! True, during later
years there has been a diminished mortality
in England, but it is from the lesser preval-
ence of zymotic diseases, which no one to-
day pretends to cure ; while the organic

twenty, from all causes whatsoever, was 287,093. Of these deaths,
the number occasioned by the sixteen causes above named, was
191,706, or almost exactly two-thirds.


diseases show a constant tendency to increase.
Part of this may be due to more accurate
diagnosis and clearer definition of mortality
causes : but this will not explain a phenome-
non which is too evident to be overlooked.

" It is a fact," says the Registrar-general, in
his report for 1879, " that while mortality in
early life has been very notably diminished,
tke mortality of persons in middle or advanced
life has bee7i steadily rising for a long period
of years"' It is probable that the same story
would be told by the records of France, Ger-
many, and other European countries ; it is
useless, of course, to refer to America, since
in regard to statistical information we still
lag behind every country which pretends to
be civilized. * Undoubtedly it would be a
false assumption which from these facts should
deduce retrogression in medical art or deny
advance and improvement ; but they cer-
tainly indicate that the boasted superiority of
modern medicine over the skill of our fathers,

* Even Japan, a country we are apt to consider as somewhat
benighted, has far better statistical information at hand than the
United States of America.


due to physiological researches, is not sus-
tained by the only impartial authority to
which science can appeal for evidence of


* # *

What then is the substance of the whole
matter ? It seems to me the following con-
clusions are justified by the facts presented.

I. All experiments upon living animals
may be divided into two general classes ; ist
those which produce pain, slight, brief, severe
or atrociously acute and prolonged; and 2nd,
those experiments which are performed under
complete anaesthesia from which either death
ensues during unconsciousness, or entire re-
covery may follow.

II. The majority of vivisections requisite
for purposes of teaching physiological facts
may be so carried on as to take life with less
pain or inconvenience to the animal than is ab-
solutely necessary in order to furnish meat for
our tables. Those who would make it a penal
offense to submit to a class of college students
the unconscious and painless demonstration


of functional activity of the heart, for example,
and yet demand for the gratification of appe-
tite the daily slaughter of oxen and sheep
without anaesthetics, and without any attempt
to minimize the agony of terror, fear and pain
may not be inconsistent. But it is a view
the writer cannot share.

III. Prohibition of all experiments may be
fairly demanded by those who believe that
the enthusiastic ardor of the scientific experi-
menter or lecturer, will outweigh all con-
siderations of good faith, provided success or
failure of his experiment depend on the con-
sciousness of pain. In other words, that the
experimenter himself, as a rule, cannot be
trusted to obey the law, should the law re-

This also is an extreme position.

IV. Absolute liberty in the matter of pain-
ful experiments has produced admitted abuses
by physiologists of Germany, France and
Italy. In America it has led to the repetition
before classes of students of Magendie's ex-
treme cruelties, demonstrations which have


been condemned by every leading English

V. In view of the dangerous impulses not
unfrequently awakened by the sight of pain
intentionally inflicted, experiments of this
kind should be by legal enactment absolutely
forbidden before classes of students, especially
in our Public Schools.

VI. It is not in accord with scientific ac-
curacy to contend for unlimited freedom of
painful experimentation, on the ground of its
vast utility to humanity in the discovery of
new methods for the cure of disease. On the
contrary, so far as can be discovered by a
careful study of English mortality statistics,
physiological experiments upon living ani-
mals for fifty years back have in no single
instance lessened the fatality of any disease
below its average of thirty-five years ago.

VII. Vivisection, involving the infliction
of pain is, even in its best possible aspect, a
necessary evil, and ought at once to be re-
stricted within the narrowest limits, and
placed under the supervision of the State.


For reasons sufficiently stated in the preceding
pages, the writer does not advocate the total abolition
of all experimentation. It is only fair to acknowl-
edge, however, that very strong and weighty argu-
ments in favor of legal repression have been advanced
both in this country and abroad, some of which are
herewith presented, as the other side of the question.

The cause of abolition has no more earnest and
eloquent advocate than Miss Frances Power Cobbe
of England. Through innumerable controversies
with scientific men in the public journals, magazines
and reviews, she has presented in awful array, the
abuses of unlimited and uncontrolled experimenta-
tion on the continent of Europe, and the arguments
in favor of total repression. The following letters,
extracts from her public correspondence, will indicate
her position.


(To the Editor of the ' ' Scotsman. ")

i, Victoria Street, London, S. W.,
January 10, 1881.
Sir. An Italian pamphlet, DelVAzione del Dolore
sulla Respirazione (The Action of Pain on Respiration),
has just reached my hands, and as it is, I think,
quite unknown in this country, I will beg you to
grant me space for a few extracts from its pages.
The pamphlet is by the eminent physiologist, Man-
tegazza, and was published by Chiusi, of Milan.
Having explained the object of his investigations
to be the effects of pain on the respiratory organs,
the Professor describes (p. 20) the methods he de-
vised for the production of such pain. He found the
best to consist in "planting nails, sharp and numer-
ous, through the feet of the animal in such a manner
as to render the creature almost motionless, because
in every movement it would have felt its torment
more acutely *' (piantando chiodi acuti e numerosi at-
traverso le piante dei piedi in modo da render e immo-
bile o quasi Fa?iimale, per che ad ogni movimento avrebbe
sentito molto piu acuto il suo tormento). Further on he
mentions that, to produce still more intense pain
{dolore in/enso) he was obliged to employ lesions,
followed by inflammation. An ingenious machine,
constructed by ' ' our " Tecnomasio, of Milan, en-
abled him likewise to grip any part of an animal with


pincers with iron teeth, and to crush, or tear, or lift
up the victim, "soas to produce pain in every pos-
sible way." A drawing of this instrument is ap-
pended. The first series of his experiments, Signor
Mantegazza informs us, were tried on twelve animals,
chiefly rabbits and guinea pigs, of which several
were pregnant. One poor little creature, ' ' far ad-
vanced in pregnancy," was made to endure dolori
atrocissimi, so that it was impossible to make any
observations in consequence of its convulsions.

In the second series of experiments twenty-eight
animals were sacrificed, some of them taken from
nursing their young, exposed to torture for an hour
or two, then allowed to rest an hour, and usually re-
placed in the machine to be crushed or torn by the
Professor for periods of from two to six hours more.
In the table wherein these experiments are summed
up, the terms motto do/ore and crudeli dolori are deli-
cately distinguished, the latter being apparently re-
served for the cases when the victims were, as the
Professor expresses it, lardellati di Modi ("larded
with nails ").

In conclusion, the author informs us (p. 25) that
these experiments were all conducted "con motto amor e
e pazienzaf" with much zeal and patience.
I am, etc.,

Frances Power Cobbe.


In a controversy with Dr. Pye-Smith, who had
read a paper before the British Association, Miss
Cobbe writes as follows to one of the public journals :

"Dr. Pye-Smith is reported to have said : 'Hap-
pily, the neccessary experiments were comparatively
few.' Few! What are a "few" experiments?
Professor Schiff in ten years experimented on 14,000
dogs, given over to him by the Municipality of
Florence, and returned their carcases so mangled
that the man who had contracted for their skins
found them useless. He also experimented on
pigeons, cats, and rabbits to the number, it is calcu-
lated, of 70,000 creatures ; and he now asks for ten
dogs a week in Geneva. All over Germany and
France there are laboratories ' ' using " (as the horri-
ble phrase is) numberless animals, inasmuch as I
have just received a letter stating that dogs are
actually becoming scarce in Lyons, and it is pro-
posed to breed them for the purpose of Vivisection.
Be this true or not, I invite any of your readers to visit
the office of the Victoria Street Society, and examine
the volumes of splendid plates of vivisecting instru-
ments, which will there be shown them, and then judge
for themselves whether it be for a few experiments that
those elaborate and costly inventions have become a
regular branch of manufacture. Let them examine
the volume of the English handbook of the physiol-
ogical laboratory, the volume of Cyon's magnificent


atlas, with its 54 plates, the Archives de Physiologie,
with its 191 plates, the Physiologische Methodik, or
Claude Bernard's Lecons sur la Chaleur Animate, with
its pictures of the stoves wherein he baked dogs and
rabbits alive ; and after these sights of disgust and
horror they will know how to understand the word
"few "in the vocabulary of a physiologist. I am
glad to hear that a German opponent of Vivisection
recently entering a shop devoted to the sale of these
tools of torture, was greeted by the proprietor with a
volley of abuse: 'It is you and your friends,' he
said, ' who are destroying my trade. I used to sell
a hundred of Czermak's tables and other instruments
for one I sell now.

"Dr. Pye-Smith said : 'Many of the experiments
inflicted no pain or injury whatever^and the great ma-
jority of the rest were rendered painless by the use of
those beneficial agents which abolished pain and had
themselves been discovered by experiments upon
living animals.' As to the use of anaesthetics in
annulling the agonies of mutilated animals, the
audience ought to have asked Dr. Pye-Smith to
explain whether he intended to refer to chloroform, or
the narcotic morphia, or, lastly, to the drug curare.
If he referred to chloroform, Dr. Hoggan tells from
his own experience (Anceslhetics, p. 1), that 'nothing
can be more uncertain than its influence on the
lower animals ; many of them die before they become


insensible. Complete and conscientious anaesthesia
is seldom even attempted, the animal getting at most
a slight whiff of chloroform by way of satisfying the
conscience of the operator, or enabling him to make
statements of a humane character.' Even if it were
conscientiously administered at the beginning of an
experiment, how little would chloroform diminish
the misery of Rutherford's dogs or Brunton's ninety
cats, whose long-drawn agonies extended over many
days? How little could it affect in any way the
cases of starving, poisoning, baking, stewing to
death, or burning, like the twenty-five dogs over
which Professor Wertheim poured turpentine and
then set them on fire, leaving them afterwards slowly
to perish? If Dr. Pye-Smith was thinking of
morphia, the reader may refer to Claude Bernard's
Lemons de Physiologie Operatoire, where he will find
that great physiologists recommends its use ; but at
the same time mentions (as of no particular conse-
quence) that the animal subjected to its influence
still 'suffers pain.' I can hardly suppose, lastly, that
Dr. Pye-Smith was secretly thinking of curare, and
that he is one of those whom Tennyson says would

' ' Mangle the living dog which loved him and fawned at his knee,
Drenched with the hellish oorali."

It is bad enough to "mangle" a loving and intelli-
gent creature without adding to its agonies the
paralysis of the powers of motion, and the increased


sensibility to pain occasioned by this horrible drug,
which nevertheless Bernard, in the work above
quoted, says is in such common use among physiol-
ogists, that when an experiment is not otherwise
described, it may always be "taken for granted it has
been performed on a curarized dog."

Finally, Dr. Pye-Smith says, "It was remarkable
that the small residue of experiments in which some
amount of pain was necessary were chiefly those in
which the direct and immediate benefit to mankind
was more obvious. He referred to the trying of
drugs on animals, to discovering antidotes to poisons, "
etc, The bribe here offered to human selfishness
is an ingenious one. " Let us," the physiologists
say, "retain the right to put animals to torture, for
it is very ' remarkable ' that when we do so it is
always in your interest ! " Unluckily for this appeal
to the meaner feelings of human nature, which
these modern instructors of our young men are
not ashamed to put forward, it is difficult for them
to hit on any one instance wherein out of their " few "
(million) experiments any good to mankind has been,
even apparently, achieved. As Claude Bernard hon-
estly said, at least as regards any benefit for suffering
humanity, " Nbs mains sont vides." As to the trying
of drugs on animals, Dr. Pritchard, who is, I believe,
the best living authority on the subject, told the
Royal Commission (Minutes, 908), "I do not think


that the use of drugs on animals can be taken as a
guide to the doses or to the action of the same drugs
on the human subjects." As to the discovery of an-
tidotes to poison, the only man who seems on the
verge of any success is the brave and noble fellow
who has been trying such experiments not on
animals but on himself.

In conclusion, I must add one word on Dr. Pye-
Smith's last sentence, namely, "that legislation
against vivisection is injurious to the best interests
of the community. " Sir, I know not what vivisectors
deem to be the best interests of the community. For
my part I do not reckon them to be the influence of
drugs, nor yet susceptible of being carved out with
surgical instruments. I do not think that they con-
sist in escape from physical pain, nor even in the
prolongation for a few years of our little earthly life.
I hold that the best interests of the community are
the moral and immortal interests of every soul in such
community, namely, the conquest of selfishness,
cowardice, and cruelty, and the development of the
god-like sense of justice and love the growth of the
divinest thing in human nature, the faculty of sym-
pathizing with the joys and sorrows of all God's
creatures. Believing these to be "the best interests
of the community, " I ask, without hesitation, for the
suppression of this abominable trade, which can best
be described as " Pitilessness practised as a profes-


sion." If vivisection be indeed the true method of
studying physiology, if physiology cannot be ad-
vanced except by vivisection, if chemical observation
and microscopic research be useless for the purpose,
and nothing but the torture of animals and the de-
moralization of men will suffice for its progress then,
in God's name, I say, let physiology stop at the
point it has reached, even till the day of doom.^-I
am, Sir, with apologies for the length of this letter,

yours, etc.

Frances Power Cobbe

Certainly, as regards the ethics of vivisection,
nothing more eloquent has ever been written than
this closing paragraph.

In a letter to the London Times in December, 1884,
Miss Cobbe writes as follows :


Sir, In your article on this subject on Saturday
last you called upon the opponents of vivisection to
answer certain questions. As I have been intrusted
for many years with the hon. secretaryship of the
leading anti-vivisectionist society, I beg to offer you
the following replies to those questions :

You ask first, Do we "deny 'that vivisection is
capable of yielding knowledge of service to man ? "
We are not so rash as to deny that any practice, even
the most immoral conceivable, might possibly yield


knowledge of service to man ; and, in particular, we
do not deny that the vivisection of human beings by
the surgeons of classic times, and again by the great
anatomists of Italy in the 15th century, may very
possibly have yielded knowledge to man, and be
capable, if revived, of yielding still more. We have,
however, for a long time back called on the advo-
cates of the vivisection of dogs, monkeys, &c. , to
furnish evidence of the beneficial results of their work,
not as setting at rest the question of its morality, but
as an indispensable preliminary to justify them in
coming into the court of public opinion as defendants
of a practice obviously (as the Royal Commissioners
reported) "liable from its very nature to great abuse. "

We must be excused if we now hold it to be de-
monstrated that, whether vivisection be or be not
"capable of yielding useful knowledge," it certainly
yields only a scanty crop of it. Were there any-
thing like an abundant harvest, such a sample as this
would not have been produced with so much pomp
for public scrutiny. In short, we think with Dr.
Leffingwell that, "if pain could be measured by
money, there is no mining company in the world
which would sanction prospecting in such barren
regions. "

You ask us, Sir, secondly, "Do we affirm that the
benefit of mankind is not an adequate or sufficient
justification for the infliction of pain on animals?"
We have two answers to this question.


Assuming that by vivisection benefits might be
obtained for human bodies, we hold that the evil
results of the practice on human minds would more
than counterbalance any such benefits. The cow-
ardice and pitilessness involved in tying down a dog
on a table and slowly mangling its brain, its eyes,
its entrails; the sin committed against love and
fidelity themselves when a creature capable of dying
of grief on his master's grave is dealt with as a mere
parcel of material tissues, "valuable for purposes of
research " these are basenesses for which no physi-
cal advantages would compensate, and the prevalence
of such a heart-hardening process among our young
men would, we are convinced, detract more from the
moral interests of our nation than a thousand cases
of recovery from disease would serve those of a
lower kind. Even life itself ought not to be saved by
such methods, any more than by the cannibalism of
the men of the "Mignonette."

Our second answer is yet more brief. We do not
" deny that the benefit of man is a sufficient justifica-
tion for inflicting pain upon animals," provided that
pain is kept within moderate bounds, nor yet to tak-
ing life from them in a quick and careful manner. But
we do deny the right of man to inflict torture upon
brutes, and thus convert their lives from a blessing
into a curse. Such torture has been inflicted upon
tens of thousands of animals by vivisection ; and no


legislation that ingenuity can devise will, we believe,
suffice to guard against the repetition of it so long as
it is sanctioned in any way as a method of research.
The use of vivisection if it have any use is practi-
cally inseparable from abuse. We therefore call
upon our countrymen to forego the poor bribes of
possible use which are offered to them, and of which
we have now seen a "unique and impressive " ex-
ample, and generously and manfully to say of vivi-
section as they once said of slavery "We will have

none of it"

I am, Sir, yours, etc.,

Frances Power Cobbe.

Hengwrt, Dolgelly, Dec. 28, 1884.



[Report of American Anti vivisection Society, Jan. iSSS.]
There remain two grounds to adopt : one the total
abolition of all experiments ; the other the total aboli-
tion of all painful experiments. This latter position,
which is the one that Dr. Bigelow of Boston and Dr.
Leffingwell have assumed, has engaged our attention
for a long time ; but, after bestowing upon it careful
consideration, we feel that we must give it up as im-
practicable. To secure immunity from pain there
must be absolutely perfect anaesthesia. This can be
only obtained in two ways : one is by trusting to the
experimenter himself to give sufficient of the anaes-
thetic ; the other to insist that an assistant shall be
present for the express purpose of keeping the animal
under perfect anaesthesia. Now is it anyway likely
that either of these conditions would be observed ? "


[From the ''Therapeutic Gazette," Detroit, Aug., 1SS0.]
'* Vivisection is grossly abused in the United States.
* * We would add our condemnation of the
ruthless barbarity which is every winter perpetrated


in the Medical Schools of this country. History
records some frightful atrocities perpetrated in the
name of Religion ; but it has remained for the
enlightenment and humaneness of this century to
stultify themselves by tolerating the abuses of the
average physiological laboratory all conducted in
the name of Science. There is only one way to pro-
gress in Therapeutics ; and that is by clinical obser-
vation ; the noting of the action of individual drugs
under particular diseased conditions. He who has
the largest practice and is the keenest observer, and
the most systematic recorder of v/hat he sees, does
the most to advance Medicine."


[From editorial in "The Spectator^ London, July if, iggo.]

1 ' A memorial for the absolute abolition of vivisec-
tion has been presented to Mr. Gladstone with a great
many most influential signatures attached. For our

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