Anguish, by August Friedrich Albrecht Schenck, c. 1878. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.


Volume VI, Number 2 | spring 2013


Man and Beast

By Lewis H. Lapham

Michel de Montaigne once considered, “When I play with my cat, who knows if I am not a pastime for her more than she is to me?”



In the “Those That Will Work” section of Henry Mayhew’s London Labor and London Poor, published in 1861, there is a profile of Jack Black, whose self-appointed title was “Rat and Mole Destroyer to Her Majesty.” In addition to exterminating vermin royal and common, Black kept a collection of rats, which included a rare white one. Noting the white rat’s popularity with audiences, he bred it to sell the offspring; novelist Beatrix Potter is believed to have bought her albino rat Samuel Whiskers from the exterminator.

Cows are among the gentlest of breathing creatures; none show more passionate tenderness to their young when deprived of them—and, in short, I am not ashamed to profess a deep love for these quiet creatures.

—Thomas De Quincey, 1821


Man and Woman Being Chased by Bees (detail), by Honoré Daumier. The New York Public Library, Art and Picture Collection.


The Perfect Swarm


The NYPD beekeeper vacuums up a swarm of bees on a hot dog stand in Times Square.


Bees take over a Los Angeles street as spectators watch.


The World in Time

Jim Holt

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Jim Holt, author of When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought. More