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Full text of "Shelley's vegetarianism"

Axon, William Esvard Armytage 
Shelley's vegetarianism 








She 3. (L Saul Collection 
of 

Nineteenth Century 
English Xiterature 



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department of Englisb in 

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Shelleys 
Vegetarianism. 



BY 



WILLIAM E. A\ AXON, F.R.S.L., 

Vice-President and Hon. Sec. of The Vegetarian Society. 



Bead at a Meeting of the Shelky Society, University College, Gouer Street, 

London, November 12th, 1891. 





VE&ETARIANISM 

(V.E.M.), 

That is, the practice of living on the products of th a 
Vegetable kingdom, with or without the addition of 
Eggs and Milk and its products (butter and cheese), 
to the exclusion of Fish, Flesh, and Fowl. » 



SHELLEY'S VEGETARIANISM. 

By William E. A. Axon, F.R.S.L., 
Vice-President and Hon. Secretary of the Vegetarian Society. 

[Read at a meeting of the Shelley Society, University College, Gower 
Street. London, November 12th, 1890.] 



Let us first see what are the facts as to Shelley's Vegetarianism. The 
practice is as old as Paradise, but the word was not invented until 1847, 
and in all the earlier literature of the subject we read of " natural diet," 
"vegetable regimen," "Pythagorean system," and other phrases, but 
never of " Vegetarianism." The question has already been discussed in 
Howard William's "Ethics of Diet," 1883; in the introduction to the 
reprint of the "Vindication of Natural Diet," 1887 ; by Mr. EL S. Salt, 
in "Almonds and Raisins," 1887 ; and in "Book Lore," Vol. iii., p. 121. 
Shelley's taste in food always appears to have been that of a healthy 
child, having no liking for flesh foods, but enjoying bread and fruit and 
sweets of all kinds. Prof. Dowden says that at Oxford, where there wae 
a certain anticipation of a vegetable diet, " his fare, though temperate, 
was not meagre ; he was, as Trelawney knew him in Italy, ' like a 
healthy, well-conditioned boy.' We find him vigorous, capable of 
enduring fatigue, and in the main happy; not troubled by nervous excite- 
ment or thick-coming fancies." — (Dowden's "Life," Vol. i., p. 87.) Shelley, 
however, did not formally adopt Vegetarianism until the spring of 1812. 
Harriet Westbrook wrote from Dublin to Miss Hitchiner, on March 14th, 
1812, "You do not know that we have forsworn meat and adopted the 



Pythagorean system. About a fortnight has elapsed since the chauge, 
and we do not find ourselves any the worse for it. . . . We are 
delighted with it, and think it the best thing in the world." But they 
did not hesitate to provide a "murdered fowl," which has become 
historic, for Miss Catharine Nugent, the kindly, keen-witted, and patriotic 
Irishwoman, who earned her living as a furrier's assistant, and charmed 
the visitors by her pleasant conversation and generous heart. And there 
was need of both hope and courage, for " I had no conception," says 
Shelley, "of the depths of human misery until now. The poor of Dublin 
are assuredly the meanest and the most miserable of all." 

Mr. Cordy Jeaffreson thinks that Shelley took up Vegetarianism in 
imitation of Byron's dietetic habits. The influence of the Vegetarians, 
" with whom he lived intimately at London and Bracknell," cannot, in 
Mr. Jeaffreson's opinion, " be held accountable for his first trial of a diet 
which he adopted in Dublin before making their acquaintance. Perhaps 
he adopted the Byronic diet just as he adopted the Byronic shirt collar. 
in imitation of the poet whom he admired so greatly." — (" Real Shelley," 
Vol. ii., p. 143.) But what evidence is there that Shelley knew of Byron's 
spasmodic displays of Vegetarianism 1 Shelley's first essay was but of 
short duration, for the poet with his wife and sister-in-law left Dublin 
for Holyhead " at two o'clock in the afternoon of Saturday, April 4. 
They tacked against a baffling wind to get clear of land ; the whole of 
Sunday they struggled against the breeze; and at length, two hours past 
midnight, reached Holyhead in a drenching mist. Lighted by the 
sailors' lanterns, they scrambled for a mile over the rough way, and 
having tasted no food since leaving Dublin, and being much exhausted 
by the voyage, they forgot that they were Pythagoreans, and fell to with 
exceeding good will upon a supper of meat — the abhorred thing !" — 
(Dowden's " Life," Vol. i., p. 267.) 

After their return to London they resumed their " bloodless ban- 
quets," but Hogg, who was allowed to have whatever he pleased 
on his visits, was not well pleased by the flesh-pots set before him 
when he visited the young Vegetarians — although the word had not then 
been invented. Shelley appears to havi been completely indifferent 
to regular ni3als, ate only when he wis hungry, and if he could 



obtain a loaf of bread and some common raisins had a meal of luxury- 
ready compounded. Harriet would send him out for penny buns, and 
with these and a liberal supply of tea they were happy. This was the 
poet's favourite beverage throughout life. 

The liquor doctors rail at, and which I 
Will quaff in spite of them ; and when we die 
We'll toss up who died first of drinking tea, 
And cry out, " Heads or tails ?" where'er we 1S6. 

He was in 1813 on intimate terms with the Newtons, " at whose delight- 
ful vegetable dinners even water, if presented, must first have been 
freed by distillation from its taint of lead ; the innocent dainties were 
such as might have gratified our Mother Eve's angelic guest — all 
autumn piled upon the table, with dulcet creams and nectarous 
draughts, 

And lucent syrups, tinct with cinnamon, 

Manna and dates in argosy transferred 

From Fez. . . . 

" We luxuriated, ran riot," says Hogg, " in tea and coffee, and sought 
variety occasionally in cocoa and chocolate. Bread and butter and buttered 
toast were eschewed ; but bread and cakes — plain seed cakes — were 
liberally divided amongst the faithful." Honey, and especially honey- 
comb, were dear to the poet's lips ; he did not think scorn of radishes ; 
and one addition to the vegetable dietary seems to have been all his 
own — in country rambles he would pick the gummy drops from fir-tree- 
trunks and eat them with a relish. — (Dowden's "Life," Vol. ii., p. 369.) 
The story told by Hogg of a meal made by Shelley at an inn on Hounslow 
Heath when he devoured with gusto successive portions of eggs and baeon 
shows, if it be accurate, that his abstinence from flesh meat was not 
without some breaks. The anecdote has a certain parallel in the state- 
ment of Shelley's enthusiastic appreciation of Mrs. Southey's teacakes, 
and is cited by Mr. Cordy Jeaffreson " as an example of Shelley's alternate 
abstemiousness and self-indulgence in food. Eesembling Byron," he 
continues, " in habitual abstinence and indifference to the quality of the 
fare that sustained him, Shelley also resembled Byron in occasional acts 
of feasting that might almost be called excesses of greediness." — (" Ileal 



A 



Shelley", Vol. i.,p. 387.) Peacock had the ordinary Philistine dislike of Vege- 
tarianism, and records that Shelley " had certainly one week of thorough 
enjoyment of life," when on the excursion from Old Windsor to Lech- 
lade he adopted, for the time, the ordinary method of diet, which found 
favour with the author of ** Nightmare Abbey." Mr. Jeaffreson, who is, 
if possible, more prejudiced on the subject than Peacock, and who writes 
with the easy assurance of what is apparently an absolute ignorance of 
both the theory and practice of Vegetarianism, describes it as a 
" regimen of starvation," which obliged both Byron and Shelley to have 
recourse to laudanum ! "In drinking laudanum to deaden the pangs of 
spasmodic dyspepsia, consequent on long persistence in a lowering and 
otherwise hurtful diet, Shelley, be it observed, took opium when he had 
been slowly reduced to a condition that rendered the drug more powerful 
to derange his nerves for several days, than it would have been had he 
been previously sustained by sufficient food." — ("Real Shelley," Vol. i., 
p. 145.) This is pure assumption, for which there is neither historical nor 
physiological evidence. To describe the diet of Wesley and Howard, of 
Plutarch and Porphyry, the diet of great workers and great thinkers in 
all ages as starvation leading to opium is to show a curious want of 
acquaintance with the real truth of the matter. 

Shelley's Vegetarianism is seen in its pleasantest and most picturesque 
aspect at Marlow. The " Quarterly Review " declared that Shelley was 
" shamefully dissolute " in his conduct. On this Leigh Hunt wrote : 
" We heard of similar assertions when we resided in the same house 
with Mr. Shelley for nearly three months ; and how was he living all 
that time 1 As much like Plato himself as all his theories resemble 
Plato — or rather still more like a Pythagorean. This was the round of 
his daily life. He was up early, breakfasted sparingly, wrote this 
1 Revolt of Islam ' all the morning ; went out in his boat, or in the 
woods, with some Greek author or the Bible in his hands ; came home 
. to a dinner of vegetables (for he took neither meat nor wine) ; visited, if 
necessary, the sick and fatherless, whom others gave Bibles to and no 
help ; wrote or studied again, or read to his wife and friends 
the whole evening ; [took a crust of bread or a glass of whey 
for his supper, and went early to bed." Mr. Jeaffreson very 



candidly allows to Hunt "that the truthfulness of his viewy 

account of Shelley's manner of liviug at Marlow is placed beyond 

question by the evidence of contemporary letters and the more precise 

statements of witnesses in no degree open to suspicion. Without 

adhering rigidly to the diet, which writers imperfectly acquainted with 

the philosopher's doctrine and discipline are wont to style 

Pythagorean, Shelley refrained from meat and wine during the 

greater part of his Marlow time. Once and again he lapsed 

suddenly or by degrees from the rules of the Vegetarians, but 

only to return to them with a stronger opinion that his health required 

him to abstain from flesh and fermented drinks. It was not possible 

for a man so sympathetic and observant of human life about him to live 

anywhere without compassionating the unfortunate of his own species ; 

and there is a superabundance of evidence that, living at Marlow during 

a season of insufficient employment and keen distress for struggling 

people, he did all, and mor^ than all, he could afford for the relief of the 

poor of his immediate neighbourhood." — (" Real Shelley," Vol. ii., 

pp. 357-358.) 

Of this period Prof. Dowden has given a very charming picture : 

" The scale of beneficence which began with the philosopher Godwin 

descended to the humblest cottager in Marlow ; but it went far lower. 

If any priest or Levite desire to expatiate on the folly of the Samaritan 

who showed mercy on his neighbour that lay stripped and half dead, he 

may know for his behoof that Shelley cherished as his kindred even the 

humblest living creatures, injuring 

No bright bird, insect, or gentle beast. 

In divine folly, like that of St. Francis, he claimed a brotherhood with 

all beings that could thrill with pain or joy. It was his own Lady of the 

Sensitive Plant who cared tenderly for insects, whose intent, ' although 

they did ill, was innocent.' 

And all killing insects and gnawing worms, 
And things of obscene and unlovely forms, 
She bore in a basket of Indian woof 
Into the rough woods far aloof. 

At Marlow the manservant, Harry, played the part of the Lady of the 

Garden, when his Vegetarian master would purchase crayfish of the men 



who brought them through the streets, and would order his servant to 
bear them back to their lurkiug places in the Thames. Miss Rose, who 
tells this singular illustration of Shelley's faith that love should be the 
law of life, was, as a child, for some time an inmate of Shelley's home 
at Marlow. One day in early summer the strange gentleman, bare" 
headed, with eyes like a deer's, and with the pale green leaves of 
wild clematis wound about him, had glanced at her as he came out 
of the wood ; by and by he returned with a lady, fair and very 
young, who asked her name, and begged to know if they might see 
her mother. They had taken a fancy to little brown-eyed Polly, and 
if her mother could spare her, and had no objection, they would like 
to educate her. Next morning Polly went to their house, where she 
spent part of almost every day until they left Marlow. Shelley's 
manner, she says, to all about him was playful and affectionate. At 
five they dined, Shelley's dinner consisting often of bread and raisins, 
always eaten off one particular plate. After dinner he would read or 
write until ten o'clock, at which hour Polly, if sleeping at the house, 
retired to bed. Before she slept Mrs. Shelley would see her, and talk to 
her of what she and her husband had been reading or discussing, always 
winding up with 'And now, Polly, what do you think of this V On 
Christmas eve Shelley related the ghostly tale of Burger's Ballad of 
Leonore, a copy of which, in Spenser's translation, with Lady Diana 
Beauclerc's designs, he possessed, working up the horror to such a height 
of fearful interest that Polly ' quite expected to see Wilhelm walk into 
the drawing-room.' A favourite game with Shelley was to put Polly on 
a table, and tilt it up, letting the little girl slide its full length ; or she 
and Miss Clairmont would sit together on the table, while Shelley ran it 
from one end of the room to the other. On the day on which he left 
Marlow for ever, Shelley filled his favourite plate with raisins and 
almonds, and gave it to Polly — a relic which she treasured for almost 
half a century, when, by her desire, it was placed among the objects 
belonging to his father, which remain the possession of Shelley's son." — 
(Dowden's "Life," Vol. ii., p. 123.) 

It cannot be said that the poet's life was really hygienic. " A 
Vegetarian diet," observes Prof. Dowden, "and abundance of cold water, 



were less likely to affect Shelley's health injuriously, than was the 
intellectual excitement which set in with him at hours when other 
mortals are struck and strewn by the leaden mace of slumber. Shelley's 
drowsy fit came on early, and when it had passed, he was as a skylark 
saluting the new day, but at midnight." — (Dowden's " Life," Vol. i., p. 337.) 

Shelley was not averse to physical exercise or even strenuous exertion. 
" It was, indeed, a point of honour with Shelley," says Prof. Dowden, 
"to prove that some grit lay under his outward appearance of weakness 
and excitable nerves ; for he was an apostle of the Vegetarian faith, and 
a water drinker, and must not discredit the doctrine which he preached 
and practised." — (Dowden's "Life," Vol. ii., p. 119.) Writing to Leigh 
Hunt, 29th June, 1817, the poet says, " Do not mention that I am unwell 
to your nephew, for the advocate of a new system of diet is held bound to 
be invulnerable by disease, in the same manner as the sectaries of a new 
system of religion are held to be more moral than other people, or a 
reformed Parliament must at least be assumed as the remedy of all 
political evils. No one will change the diet, adopt the religion, or reform 
the Parliament else."— (Dowden's "Life," Vol. ii., pp. 119-120.) 

Shelley left England for ever in 1818, and there is little precise 
information as to his dietetic habits in the last four years of his life. At 
times he was not a strict Vegetarian, for in 1820, writing to Maria 
Gisborne, he says of his household, " We eat little flesh and drink no 
wine." Yet to the end he was practically a Vegetarian placing upon 
Bread — " the staff of life " — his chief reliance. 

Shelley's Vegetarianism was satirised in a curious squib published 
after his death in the Medical Adviser of Dec. 6, 1823, which was edited 
by Alexander Burnett, M.D. This is reprinted in "Book Lore," III., 
121. The following letter from the late Sir Percy Shelley may be cited : — 

Boscombe Manor, 

Bournemouth, Hants, 
Dear Mr. Kegan Paul, Nov. 14, 1883. 

My wife tells me that she forgot, when she wrote to you yesterday, 
to answer your inquiries as to my father's practice of Vegetarianism. 

I think I remember my mother telling me that he gave it up to a 
great extent in his later years — not from want of faith, but from the 
inconvenience. 



I made two attempts when I was young myself — each time I was a 
strict Vegetarian for three months — but it made me very fat and I gave 
it up. That was my only reason, and it took me several days to over- 
come my disgust for animal food when I returned to it. — Yours, very 
sincerely, Percy F. Shelley. 

IT. 

For Shelley to held a doctrine was to desire its active diffusion and 
general acceptance. It may be well here to give specific references 
to passages in which Shelley speaks of Vegetarianism. There is the 
passage in "Queen Mab," 1813 (viii., 211); the "Vindication of 
Natural Diet," 1813 ; "Laon and Cythna," 1818 (canto v., stanza li.) ; 
the opening lines of " Alastor," 1816 ; and a passage in the " Refutation 
of Deism," 1814, which includes a quotation from Plutarch. Shelley 
writes from Edinburgh to Hogg, on Nov. 26th, 1813 : "I have trans- 
lated the two essays of Plutarch, Trepr sap/<o<£ayias, which we read 
together. They are very excellent. I intend to comment ubon them 
and to reason in my preface concerning the Orphic and Pythagoric system 
of diet." — (Dowden's "Life," I., p. 396.) This translation does not appear 
to have been printed. When "Queen Mab" was in the printer's hands he 
added to it a note which was also published in pamphlet form, as " A 
Vindication of Natural Diet." (London, 1813.) This was written under 
the influence of John Frederick Newton, the author of the " Return to 
Nature." " It is," observes Shelley, " from that book, and from the con- 
versation of its excellent and enlightened author, that I have derived 
the materials which I here present to the public." He adopts Newton's 
explanation of the myth of Prometheus that it had reference to the first 
uss of animal food, and of fire by which to render it more digestible and 
pleasing to the taste. In the same way he explains the consequences of 
eating of the tree of evil by Adam and Eve as an allegory that disease 
and crime have flowed from unnatural diet. Shelley points out that man 
resembles no carnivorous animal ; that physiology indicates him to be a 
vegetable feeder ; and that his loss of instinct in the matter of food can 
be paralleled by instances of other animals trained to reject their natural 
aliment. Man's adoption of a wrong diet brings him a diseased system. 
11 Crime is madness : madness is disease." By a return to a natural 



9 

method of life man will regain health, and with it, as a natural con- 
sequence, sanity and virtue. Let man renounce fermented beverages, 
and the grain wasted on intoxicating liquor would be available for food. 
The matter devoted to the fattening of an ox would afford ten times 
the sustenance if taken direct from the land. Shelley thought that 
commerce generated vice, selfishness, and corruption, making the distance 
even greater between the richest and the poorest, and begetting a luxury 
that would be "the forerunner of a barbarism scarce capable of cure." 
The influence of hereditary disease would gradually be weakened by a 
return to nature. He ends by advice to those who may choose to try 
the system, and by personal testimony as to its advantages. 

Such is a meagre outline of this remarkable essay, of which a cheap 
reprint, edited by Mr. H. S. Salt and myself, has been issued. This has 
also been included in the publications of the Shelley Society. There is 
nothing fresh in the scientific averments or mythological speculations of 
the essay which are avowedly accepted on the authority of Newton's 
book. The interest resides in Shelley's way of looking at the food 
problem of the nation and the race. He goes to the root of the question 
when he says: "The whole of human science is comprised in one 
question — How can the advantages of intellect and civilisation be 
'•econciled with the liberty and pure pleasures of natural life 1 How can 
we take the benefits and reject the evils of the system which is now 
interwoven with all the fibres of our being 1 " This thought is constantly 
recurring — how shall the greatest happiness of all be secured 1 Thus 
he says : "Whenever the cause of disease shall be discovered, the root, 
from which all vice and misery have so long overshadowed the globe, 
will lie bare to the axe. All the exertions of man, from that moment, 
may be considered as tending to the clear profit of his species. No 
sane mind in a sane body resolves upon a real crime. It is a man of 
violent passions, blood-shot eyes, and swollen veins, that alone can grasp 
the knife of murder." 

Then there are considerations of the national aspects of the question. 
" The change," says Shelley, " which would be produced by simpler 
habits on political economy is sufficiently remarkable. The monopolising 
eater of animal flesh would no longer destroy his constitution by devour 



10 

iug an acre at a meal, and many loaves of bread would cease to con- 
tribute to gout, madness, and apoplexy, in the shape of a pint of porter 
or a dram of gin, when appeasing the long-protracted famine of the 
bard-working peasants' hungry babes. The quantity of nutritious vege- 
table matter consumed in fattening the carcase of an ox would afford 
ten times the sustenance, undepraving indeed, and incapable of generat- 
ing disease, if gathered immediately from the bosom of the earth. The 
most fertile districts of the habitable globe are now actually cultivated 
by men for animals, at a delay and waste of aliment absolutely incapable 
of calculation. It is only the wealthy that can, to any great degree, even 
now, indulge the unnatural craving for dead flesb, and they pay for the 
greater licence of the privilege, by subjection to supernumery diseases. 
Again, the spirit of the nation that should take the lead in this great 
reform would insensibly become agricultural ; commerce, with all its vice, 
selfishness, and corruption, would gradually decline ; more natural habits 
would produce gentler 7nanners, and the excessive complication of 
political relations would be so far simplified that every individual might 
feel and understand why he loved his country, and took a personal 
interest in its welfare. How would England, for example, depend on the 
caprices of foreign rulers, if she contained within herself all the neces- 
saries, and despised whatever they possessed of the luxuries of life 1 
How could they starve her into compliance with their views 1 Of what 
consequence would it be that they refused to take her woollen manu- 
factures, when large and fertile tracts of the island ceased to be allotted 
to the waste of pasturage 1 On a natural system of diet, we should 
require no spices from India ; no w r ines from Portugal, Spain, France, or 
Madeira ; none of those multitudinous articles of luxury, for which every 
corner of the globe is rifled, and which are the cause of so much 
individual rival ship, such calamitous and sanguinary national disputes." 
Shelley's Vegetarianism was that of the idealist and the world-builder ; 
of the prophets and the sons of the prophets, who amidst the darkness 
of the night see afar the heralding gleams of the coming dawn. A 
world without poverty, without war, without disease ; no longer the 
abode of cruelty and oppression, but of confidence and peace : this was 
what he saw in his vision. A land redeemed from its curses ; where 



11 

industry would ensure plenty, and where the forces of the world would 
be working for the solid happiness of the race. Shelley was not the 
first, nor, let us hope, the last, to see this beatific vision. When 
Isaiah called upon the people of Israel to obey the everlastingly divine 
rules, he painted in glowing colours the beauty of the City of the Just, 
where men should live out their days in peace and righteousness. The 
Hebrew prophet and the English poet both declare that in the Holy 
Mountain of the Lord "they shall not hurt nor destroy." That which 
they both foresaw was the Reign of Brotherhood. The Festival of the 
Nations, described in " Laon and Cythna," is a bloodless banquet, such 
as could not be provided by man, who 

Slays the lamb that looks him in the face. 

This is the vision of the glorified earth as seen by the poet prophet : — 

My brethren, we are free ! The fruits are glowing 
Beneath the stars, and the night-winds are flowing 
O'er the ripe corn. The birds and beasts are dreaming. 

Never again may blood of bird or beast 

Stain with its venomous stream a human feast. 

To the pure skies in accusation steaming ; 
Avenging poisons shall have ceased 
To feed disease and fear and madness ; 

The dwellers of the earth and air 
Shall throng around our steps in gladness, 
Seeking their food or refuge there. 
Our toil from thought all glorious forms shall cull, 
To make this earth, our home, more beautiful ; 
And Science, and her sister Poesy, 
Shall clothe in light the fields and cities of the free 



Over the plain the throngs were scattered then 
In groups around the fires, which from the sea 

Even to the gorge of the first mountain-glen 
Blazed wide and far. The banquet of the free 
Was spread beneath many a dark cypress-tree ; 

Beneath whose spires which swayed in the red flame 
Reclining as they ate, of liberty, 

And hope, and justice, and Laone's name, 

Earth's children did a woof of happy converse frame. 



12 

Their feast was such as Earth, the general mother, 

Pours from her fairest hosom, when she smiles 
In the embrace of Autumn. To each other 

As when some parent fondly reconciles 

Her warring children, she their wrath beguiles 
With her own sustenance ; they relenting weep : — 

Such was this festival, which, from their isles 
And continents and winds and oceans deep, 
All shapes might throug to share that fly or walk or creep. 

The poet's wide-reaching sympathy touches all sentient beings ; in 
the same spirit of the Higher Pantheism that breathes in the Song of 
the Sun of St. Francis of Assissi, he beholds in all the manifestations of 
the Divine. 

It is easy for the careless, and the indifferent, no less than the sensual 
or the vicious, to deride such an ideal. Tt is possible even for those who 
would desire it to be true to be convinced of the impossibility of its 
realisation. There are men and women who acknowledge with pain 
Nature " red in tooth and claw " ; there are poets who tell us — shall we 
say with exultation 1 — that " Carnage is Heaven's own daughter." Still 
the generous mind refuses to be contented with a future for humanity that 
leaves the poor in their wretchedness ; that makes one man die of 
sensual surfeit whilst another perishes of starvation ; that dooms men 
to war upon their brother men until the judgment day; a future in 
which cruelty, lust, oppression, and wrongdoing are to be permanent 
elements. Man is surely worthy of a better fate than to be the tyrant 
of a world filled with the victims of his unbridled appetites and 
remorseless power. Man is the butcher of creation. Those who 
are not satisfied that man, who ought to be only a little 
lower than the angels, should for ever live by the torture and 
misery of his fellow-creatures must devise some way for his 
escape from the thraldom of evil. If any better expedient than 
that suggested by Shelley can be found by all means let it be pro- 
pounded. At present we see that the poverty and misery of the poor, 
the luxury and sensuality of the rich, whilst equally hurtful, are largely 
preventible. It is certain that man can live without the use of intoxi- 
cants, and without the use of animal flesh. Why, then, should man turn 



13 

into liquid poison the golden grain intended for his food 1 Why should 
there continue to rise from the earth a chorus of pain, the cries 
of the creatures who are tortured and slain, to gratify his needless 
desires? When man puts to himself with seriousness and respon- 
sibility Shelley's question, " How can the advantages of intellect 
and civilisation be reconciled with the liberty and pure pleasures of 
natural life 1" — it is difficult to see how it is to be answered, except with 
the response that Shelley gave, and by striving for the simplification of 
life, the avoidance of cruelty and slaughter, the arrangement of the 
community for the common good, the realisation of "a state of society 
where all the energies of man shall be directed to the production of his 
solid happiness." Such was Shelley's Vegetarianism, not a mere dietetic 
whim, but an endeavour after a higher and better life for mankind, an 
attempt to realise the " City of God," a city of justice, pity, and mercy ; 
an endeavour to bring the universe into sympathetic harmony, and to 
provide a bounteous feast from which none should be excluded or turned 
away. Shelley's work in this direction will not be lost. 

It will last, — and shine transfigured 

In the final reign of Right ; 
It will pass into the splendours 

Of the City of the Light. 



LIST OF PUBLICATIONS 

AND BOOKS SOLD BY THE VEGE TARIAN SOCIETY. 

Orders to The Vegetarian Society, 75, Princess Street, Manchester. 



Series A.(Tracts) — Jd. each : one doz for 3d. 
Postage, 3d. per 100, 

24 Reasons for a Vegetarian Diet. 

How to Besrlu. 

Two Dietetic Exportencai 

Medical and SclentUlc Testimony 

Communicabiltty to Man of Diseases 

from Animals used as Food. 
Personal Testimonies. 
Historical Testimony to Vegetarianism. 
Address on Cnrlatwu Missions. 



post free ; Is. per 100, or 7s. 6d. per 1,000. 
Is. 3d. per 1,000. 

Our Alms. By Professor F. W. Newm^t 

Corn or Cattle- By w. b. a. Axc*. 

Hints to the Bountiful. 

The Drink-Crave— How to Cure. 

Temperance tor Body and Mind. 

Keclpe3 1 20) used at Cambridge Banquet 

Saline Starvation. 

Plutarch on Flesh-eating. 



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The Chemistry of Food By A. W. Duncan. 
Physiology of Vegetarianism, By Mrs 

Anna Kinqsford, M.D. 
Food Thrift. By B. W. Richardson, F.R.S 
Vegetarianism, (Two Letters to the Times.) 

Vegetarianism and Manual Labour. By 

Thomas Mansell. 



Vegetarianism and the Higher Life. By 

Miss B. Lindsay. 

The National Food Supply. P. Foxcroft. 

Fruit the Proper Food of Man. Tinted 
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Vegetarianism and Temperance. By 

Rev. J as. Clark. 

Vegetarianism as a Phase of Humani- 
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Vegetarianism and the Bihle. By Rev. 
Jas. Clark. 

Vegetarianism and National Economy. 

By W. E. Axon, F.R.S. L., <&c. 

Vegetarianism and the Intellectual Life. 

By W. E. Axon, F.R.S.L., <fec. 
The Church and the Life of the Poor. By 

Rev. Prof. J. E. B. Mayor, M.A. 

Foods and their Comparative Values. By 

A. W. Duncan, F.C.S. 
Man not Carnivorous. By Miss B. Lindsay. 
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F.L.S. 

Vegetarianism in Practice. By J. Knight. 
Vegetarianism in Relation to Health. By 

Joseph Knight. 
Answers to Some Objections against 

Vegetarianism. By Rev. Jas. Clark. 
Lecture on Vegetarianism ; or, the V.E.M. 
Diet. By Prof. F. W. Newman. 10th thousand 
Christian Liberty in Meats and Drinks. 
By Prof. John E. B. Mayor. 



What is Vegetarianism ? By Prof. Mayor. 
Plain Living and High Thinking. By 

Rev Professor J. E. B. Mayor, M.A. 
Simplicity of Tastes. By the late Rev. O. H. 

COLLYNS, M.A. 

Thoughts and Facts on Human Die- 
tetics. By T. H. Barker. 

Drinking and its Prevention*. Drunk- 
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Mission and Claims of Vegetarianism. 

Wheatmeal Bread. By M. Yates. 

Advantages of Wheat and Wholemeal 
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Vegetarian Life in Germany. By a Lady. 

The Food Reform Cookery Book. 104 
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How to Spend Sixpence, with 72 recipes. 

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* Apple Tree Annual for 1891. 
Food for the Million. 4th Edition. 
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a Day- By Wm. Couchman. 10th edition. 
Pork, and Its Perils. 4th Edition. 
Plus de Viande. Par Philippe Daryx 



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Foods for Man: A Comparison. By Dr. B. W. Richardson, F.R.S., &c, with Portrait of the 
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Why am I a Vegetarian ? By Prof. John E. B. Mayor. 
opposite pages. Price 2d. ; by post, 2£d. 



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An Argument on behalf of the Primitive Diet of Man. By Dr. F. R. Lees, 2d 



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Manchester Vegetarian Lectures.— Vol. l, paper, is.; cloth, is. 6d. 
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The Choice of Food. 

Hindoo Teaching in Relation to Flesh-eating. 



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Summary of the Vegetarian System. I Relative Value, &c, of Food (diagram). 

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Gem Pans, for Unleavened Bread, No. 1, Is. (Is. 0d.); No. 2, Is. 3d. (Is. 10d.); No. 3, Is. 6d. 

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A Selection Of Tracts from Series A and Handbills will be sent post free to anyone who will 

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Office and Depot : 75, Princess Street, Manchester. 



THE 



VEGETARIAN SOCIETY, 

75, PRINCESS STREET, MANCHESTER. 



ESTABLISHED A.D. 1847. 



President— The Rev. Professor John E. B. Mayor, M.A., Senior Fellow of St. John's Cambridge. 

Treasurer — Edwin Collier, Esq., Manchester. 

Vice-Presidents : — 



W. E. A. Axon, Esq., F.R.S.L., Manchester. 
Edmund J. Baillie, Esq., P.L.S., Chester. 
Miss Brotherton, Seedley, Manchester. 
The Hon. F. J. Bruce, Arbroath, N.B. 
The Rev. James Clark, Salford. 
The Rev. H. S. Clubb, Philadelphia. 
EdwiD Collier, Esq., Manchester. 
General J. M. Jfiarle, London. 
Peter Fox croft, Esq., Glazebrook 
J. W. Goddard, Esq., Leicester. 
D. Gostling, Esq., Bombay. 
T. Anderson Hanson, Esq., London. 
Edward Hare, Esq., C.S.I., Bath, 
William Harrison, Esq., Manchester. 



Rev. John Higgins, Melbourne 

A. F. Hills, Esq., London. 

A. O. Hume, Esq., C.B., Simla. 

T. C. Lowe, Esq., B.A., Hamstead Hill School, 

Birmingham. 
Edward Maitland, Esq., B.A., London. 
John Malcolm, Esq., F.R.C.S. Eng. 
The Rev. W. J. Monk. M.A., Dodington Vicarage, 
James Parrott, Esq., Salford. 
Isaac Pitman, Esq., Bath. 
H. Rickards, Esq., Douglas, Isle-of-Man. 
H. S. Salt, Esq., London. 
Mrs. John Smith, Glasgow. 
J. J. Willis, Esq., Austwick. 



Foreign and Colonial Representatives. 
America : Rev. W. P. Alcott, Boxford, Mass., U.S.A. Elder F. W. Evans, Shaker Settlement,. 

Mount Lebanon, New York, U.S.A. 



Executive Committee: — 



Mr. Ernest Axon. 
Mr. James Booth. 
Mr. A. W. Duncan, F.C.S. 



Mr. Robert Gibbon. 
Mr. J. J. Greenhalgh. 
Mrs. W. Harrison. 



Mr. W. Huntington. 
Mrs. Joseph Knight. 
Mr. Joseph Roberts. 



Mr. A. C. Warren 
Mr T. J. Wood. 



Honorary Auditor— Mr. Alfred Tongue, F.C.A. Seedley, Manchester. 

Honorary Librarian — Mr. Ernest Axon. | Honorary Secretary— 'Mr. William E. A. Axon, 

Secretary — Mr. Joseph Knight. 

NOTE. — All Communications to be directed, not to individuals, tout to 
THE VEGETARIAN SOCIETY. 75, PRINCESS STREET, MANCHESTER. 



Aims.— To induce habits of abstinence from the Flesh of Animals (Fish, Flesh, Fowl) as Food, 
and to promote the use of fruits, pulse, cereals, and other products of the Vegetable Kingdom. 

Subscriptions.— The Society is supported by (a) Members, (b) Associates, and (c Subscribers, 
to each of whom the Society's Magazine (The Vegetarian Messenger) is posted monthly. Supporters 
of each class contribute a minimum subscription of half-a-crown a year. Minimum subscription 
for West Indies, etc., 3s.; India, China, etc., 3s. 6d.; Australasia, South Africa, etc., 4s. Remit- 
tances are requested in Cheques (payable to Edwin Collier), or Postal Orders. If stamps are sent, 
halfpenny postages are preferred. 

Constitution. —The Society is constituted of a President, Vice-Presidents, Treasurer, an 
Executive Committee, a Secretary, and an unlimited number of Members and Associates, who 
tiave subscribed to the Declaration of the Society. The Forms of Declaration may be obtained 
on application 

Definitions. — (a) A "Member" agrees to adopt the Vegetarian system of Diet (i.e., 
abstinence from Fish, Flesh, and Fowl as Food), may vote at the Society's meetings, and is 
eligible for election to any office of the Society, (b) An "Associate" agrees to promote the 
Vegetarian system, and may attend the Society's meetings, (c) A "Subscriber" may atttnd 
the Society's meetings. 



THE 



Vegetarian Messenger, 

The Official Organ of The Vegetarian Society. 



TWOPENCE MONTHLY. THE OLDEST FOOD JOURNAL. 



It is the recognised Organ of the Vegetarian Movement, and records 

its work all over the world. 

It contains articles on Vegetarianism in General ; Poetry ; Biographical Sketches ; 
Portraits ; Chit-Chat for the Ladies ; Recipes ; News of Progress at Home and 
Abroad ; Lists of Vegetarian Dining Rooms, Vegetarian Homes, and Vegetarian 
Publications, &c. 

SUBSCRIPTION: HALF-A-CROWN A YEAR. 

Specimen copy of current number, post-free, for Twopence-Halfpenny. 

THE VEGETARIAN SOCIETY, 75 > p M K iKS EET ' 



Full list of publications, explanatory pamphlet, forms of declaration, and other information 
supplied on application. Write for list of cookery books. Correspondence invited. 

JOSEPH KNIGHT, Secretary. 







PR 

5431 

A88 



Axon, William Edward Armytage 
Shelley's vegetarianism 



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