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and striding gallantly through the per- days, as though clerks, cashiers, public secuting gauntlet.
This conduct was so extraordinary that, to test him, the meeting was chang ed, for a single day, to another house. Was our hero to be disconcerted? no means. In some way, known only to canine intelligence, he discovered the ruse, and, the next Sunday, betook himself to the new rendezvous. Not long after his ungodly master was drowned, when he came no more to meeting. This gave one devout brother the key to his whole strange conduct. No doubt he had come hoping to attract his wicked master to attend the means of grace, but this purpose having been providentially frustrated, his attendance could be of no further use.
The attachment of this animal to his master has passed into a proverb, and is attested by thousands of pathetic and tear-compelling anecdotes. That master may be a poor forsaken outcast, without a single hold on human sympathy; he may have but a scanty crust to divide; but when was his faithful follower known to desert him for happier fortunes? Though he meet the sleek, pampered pets of more prosperous homes every day on the street, when was gaunt, famished Fido ever seen forsaking old Robin the Penniless?
Bacon says, "man is the God of the dog." His master is the Grand Lama of his reverence-sovereign and patron saint in one. In him he lives and moves and has his being. His smile is his heaven, his frown abases him to the lowest depths. Unlike all other animals, the displeasure alone of his liege, without fear of punishment, will cause him to slink to his kennel with abject head, eyes askance, and tail dropped; while a caress, an appreciative word, will instantly bring him to his feet with radiant face, pennon at full mast, and his whole body wriggling in a convulsive tremor of joy. His master is his conscience, and standard of right; every thing belonging to him is sacred, and to be watched over as the Roman guarded his eagles.
This fidelity to a trust is so characteristic a trait that it would seem, in these
and private servants had made the virtue over to their canine friends, to Have and to Hold forever.
We lately heard a fresh anecdote on this point, not in the books. A pioneer settler in Western New York went into the woods to cut timber. Needing another axe, he told his dog to go back to the house, some two or three miles distant, and bring one. The little fellow started with alacrity, but returned, after a long absence, quite dejected, and without the axe. The master upbraided him sternly, and bade him go again. After another still longer absence he returned, this time joyfully, and bringing the axe-helve in his mouth. He had found it so firmly bedded in a stump, as afterwards appeared, that he could not wrench it out, and so gnawed off the handle. With such affecting instances of a dumb striving after duty, often misunderstood, often sharply blamed, one cannot help misapplying Cowper's words,
"Oh, that those lips had language!"
A neighbor of ours, who has an enormous watch-dog, relates that whenever the master of the house is absent over night, the faithful fellow is accustomed to quit his usual sleeping-place, and stretch himself across the threshold of his mistress' chamber, as if he would say, "Who enters here must pass over my dead body."
Another magnificent dog, whom we personally knew, we have long wanted to chronicle, for he was one of the magnates of our childhood. Napoleon Bonaparte was his imperial name, and he deserved it well. Leave him in charge of a gate, and neither man, beast, nor goblin could pass through. Send him to fetch the cows, and he went about it much as a Camanche starts on the warpath. Never did slow-stepping beast stop to crop the last mouthful of juicy timothy or nectarous clover, when Bony's imperative summons was heard. Finally, so great a fear of him fell on all the herd, that it was only necessary to stand at the pasture-bars and call
"Bony," to bring the whole lumbering train, pell-mell, to the milking-sheds. Now we do not say such Spartan discipline was salutary, or calculated to promote a tranquil flow of milk; but we do say that dog had a sovereign conception of the authority of law.
Every inch of his master's domain Bony took under his high protectorate. It was sacred soil which no alien hoof might invade. His only fault was, that he could never be made to see that the public had any rights in the highway which a valorous dog was bound to respect. He was bent on adding that vi et armis to the family estate, or for resuming any rash grants which ancestral masters might have made. Just as a Baron of the Rhine kept ward over his river-front, so did Bony prowl about that strip of debatable territory; and if any bewildered pig found himself on the wrong side of it, he would rush squealing past, hugging the farthest fence, even when the béte noir of his fancy happened to be quite out of sight.
And yet, the noble, gigantic fellow was docile as a child, gentle as a woman to his friends, never showing a hostile eye unless his notions of trust were concerned. If the Hindu doctrine of transmigration were true, we should say that no less than a Regulus or a Ximenes had taken up his abode in the imperial form of Bony.
How far one of these dumb favorites will fill the gap to a solitary person, the great emptiness that follows lost human ties! Have you ever read the pathetic history of Eliza Ryves, poet, dramatist, and woman of genius, who died many years since in a dreary London garret? In poverty and neglect, under hope deferred, and utter forlornness, how pitiful it is to hear her say, "Now that I live entirely alone, I show Juno more attention than I had used to do formerly. The heart wants something to be kind to; and it consoles us for the loss of society, to see even an animal derive happiness from the endearments we bestow upon it."
You will find the dog a delightful, unhindering companion for the study,
taking off the edge of loneliness, without making importunate demands on your attention. A child is apt to be exigent and pertinacious in its solicitations-a dog, never. Have you not seen him crouched with head between his paws, gazing full-eyed at his master, who is reading or writing, and lost in thought? Don't you see he is ready to spring for a frolic if a gesture invite it, but, till then, silent as ghosts by daylight? How he puzzles his simple brain as his eye follows those mysterious hieroglyphics you are tracing, and how often you are reminded of little Dora holding the pens for her David Copperfield!
Have you a neighbor troubled with such a horrible flux de bouche as makes you bless the memory of those old anchorets who never once for years broke the leaden silence of their tongues? How good it is to turn the key on him and his magpie chatterings! How it increases your respect for your dumb companion, who, with the keenest relish for a bit of fun, yet, with a true knightly courtesy, subdues his desires to your mood, and awaits your invitation.
We are happy to be supported here by Sir Walter Scott. The companionship of his dogs in his study he felt to be grateful society, and helpful to his work. We would give more for a faithful drawing of that Edinburgh "den" where the Great Wizard conjured his most potent spells, than any painting of "Scott and his Friends," illustrious and elegant though the company may be. There, in the foreground, sits the master at his plain desk, thoughtfully bending over his papers, while the immense form of Maida, his shaggy favorite, is stretched at length before the fire. Yonder, perched on the highest round of the book-ladder, quite out of harm's way, crouches Hense, the beautiful cat, waiting to take her place by the footstool, whenever it shall please her rival to saunter forth for a walk. To one or other of these pets Scott is every now and then tossing a friendly or comic ejaculation, by way of recess to himself, and keeping up their spirits till he can
take time for a frolic. He believed they understood every word he said, and there did seem to be a sort of clairvoyance between them. Who can tell how much his elastic freshness, power of work, and sweetness of nature, were kept in tone by his unbending himself and "leaning from his human" toward these dumb favorites?
Walter Savage Landor, whose temper was as uncertain as an Icelandic geyser, foaming up without apparent cause, and scalding whatever came in its way, who in his atrabilarious moods lashed father, mother, wife, and friend alike,--the savage Landor lived in a state of beautiful and tranquil friendship with his dog. Let us for this repeat a requiescat over the grave of the gifted, choleric poet.
Next to a merry child, we do not know so good and healthful a companion for a melancholic man as a dog. He does not call over the roll of your ails, with dolorous intonation, nursing and petting them by recital, nor does he anger you by combating your splenetic fancies. He just ignores them so innocently that you ignore them too. If, after a convivial evening, you awake with a pound of lead in the epigastric regions, spiders in your eyes, and mephitic vapors coiling through your brain; if the day looks cold, and dark, and dreary, and you feel half inclined to try the "bare bodkin" remedy, rather than grunt and sweat under a weary life, just draw on your clothes, and open the door to your dog. See what a delirious good-morning he has ready for you. How he leaps upon you, and sprinkles you all over with cool, fragrant dew, which he has brushed from lilacs and violet-borders! How his eyes flash, and his tail wags like an excited pendulum, as he winds up his welcome with a series of acrobatic somersaults!
Now if such a greeting as that will not flash a vivid beam among the noir vapeurs of your brain, and make you feel that life is dear, and a pleasant thing it is to see the sun, you may as well make your will, and pull your hypochondriac nightcap over your eyes for all time.
When you remember that the good fellow will have just such a welcome ready for all the household, as they successively appear, does he not amply pay his board-bill by getting the day underway so heartily and hilariously, and by oiling the family machinery, which is so apt to creak in the shivery morning hours?
Now we know young dogs do not enjoy an enviable reputation among housekeepers. They are the embodiment of Young America, and insist on having a paw in every thing. Does the maid attempt to sweep? ers it a challenge to a sword-exercise, and begins to fence at the broom in the most valiant manner. Is the mistress concocting an omelette? He selects the supreme moment of tossing, to execute a gallopade between her feet. He looks with great favor on a lady's trained skirts as a divan for his after-dinner naps, also a marsupial arrangement, or parlor coupé for his easy conveyance from room to room. He eschews wellswept floors and freshly-painted corridors, delighting to bedraggle all such fleshly vanities under his feet. If, by way of armistice, he be shut out of the house, he first whines mildly to draw your attention, then vociferously to demand admittance, and, if still repulsed, scratches and striates your door most alarmingly, till, finally losing all patience, he comes down with his great catapult of a tail, to let you know he will "make antechamber" no longer.
The puppy is of an analytical turn of mind. He seizes cords, tassels, rubbers, slippers, gloves, combs, any thing within reach as the basis of his investigations, and then grinds, macerates and triturates his specimen with patient assiduity, till it is reduced to a very elemental condition—(there is our little Don yonder, just finishing the last tooth of a fine rubber comb! May it prick his digestion!) A clothes-line, with its billowy, fluttering linen spread full to the wind, offers a temptation which no gallant puppy was ever known to resist. He evidently scents the ghost of some beast of prey in ruffled pillow-case and gossamer
handkerchief, which must be shaken and exorcised at all hazards.
The little fellow has also a way of answering the door-bell before the maid, and pressing his hospitable attentions on ladies in full regalia (who have not sent in their cards to him), in a manner more cordial than pleasant. Can any one tell us why he has such a passion for bringing old bones into the parlor to gnaw before your company, on the best heartbrug? Is he cleaning specimens for some medical clique, and so pressed that he must work and visit together, or does he take your guests for a deputation of the Humane Society, with whom he hopes to make interest by displaying a Squeers-like diet?
You cannot please our little philosopher better than by taking him into the garden. To be sure, he will unearth every thing to bring it to the sun, dig up sprouting bulbs, escarp your mounds, and mine your terraces. He will inspect every spadeful of earth you turn over, sniffing it like an analytical chemist, and wagging approval of your work, as if he would say, "how now, comrade, are we not getting on famously?" You will probably find small tumuli on your lawn, which being opened reveal mysterious deposits of organic remains, worthy the learned researches of the Pickwick Club. Altogether, the young dog belongs to the category in which Beecher places boys-creatures that you can neither live with nor without; but he goes about each separate piece of mischief with such honest audacity, such certainty of its being the fit thing for a dog to do, that you have not the heart to chastise him. Had he the least spice of craft or sneaking, you could apply the whip with a will.
Prof. Hedge says the dog is the most moral of brutes. He reminds us of what De Quincey calls "the awful innocence of childhood." If you are going to do a mean or a base thing, you will not take him with you; you will shut him up in his kennel and slink off by yourself; for how can you ever do it with those great, honorable, inquiring eyes fastened upon you?
Napoleon patted his grim cannon at Waterloo, and called them pretty girls; but what cared he for the delicia of household life? What pause did he make amid the roar of his great ambitions, to listen to the murmur of low, home harmonies, or to understand their humor and pathos? All pets, especially pet dogs, it was well known he detested. Let us place it to his credit, then, that when poor, unheroic, homesick Maria Louisa came to the Tuileries, as she would have gone to Spandau, weeping abundantly for the lost home, he took her by the hand and led her into a sweetly familiar room, where she found again the dear tapestries wrought by her sisters, the furniture of her own boudoir, her birds and keepsakes, and, more than all, where the little white dog she had hugged at parting with a bursting heart, leaped up in her arms and gave her welcome!
That strange Jewish prejudice against the whole canine race, that crops out so often in the Bible-record, still lingers in the Orient. Driven inhospitably from human doors, starved, outlawed, and treated with the greatest opprobrium, he still retains some marks of the native gentleman. It is remarked that in Constantinople, where the canine population is immense, the dogs have formed a complete municipal code, dividing themselves into wards whose bounds are very rigidly defined, and any trespass, or any violation of canine ordinance, is most trenchantly punished. An American resident gives this curious account of what happened when a donkey died before his door.
"It was, of course, Thanksgiving-day among the dogs in that district. The entire dog-population dined on donkeysuch a feast as they had not had for many a day. When they had finished, the dogs of an adjoining, district came, as if invited, the largest dog of the district-probably the alderman-at their head, and, following him, Tray, Blanche, Sweetheart, the little dogs and all.' No objection, not even a growl from any surly cur was heard in protest from those to whom the donkey legiti
No poet has written of our favorite more lovingly than Mrs. Browning. Fortunate was Flush, the pretty companion of her darkened sick-room, to earn such mention as this:
"Roses gathered for a vase,
Knowing that when light is gone,
Love remains for shining."
How finely she depicts the tender pain which must often come to us, living in household intimacy with creatures allied to us by some of our noblest sentiments, yet separated by the impassable limitations of an inferior nature.
"Mock I thee in wishing weal?
Thou art made so straightly,
"Yet be blessed to the height
Loving fellow-creature! "
We have not inquired what theologians think becomes of the souls of brutes (or their simulacra), when they die. Tupper has lately made a pronouncement, and we wait for light. We will only say that, had we written Gates Ajar, we could not have refrained from sketching the household dog among the joyful recognitions of the glorified hereafter. Let us say it reverently, there are many whom we hope to meet in the beatified state, whose greeting would not give us half the pure delight we should feel to welcome the dear Fidus Achates who loved us so well, and wagged us so many hearty God-bless-you's on these earthly shores.
We have read quite an argument somewhere to prove that, though brutes
seem to possess many qualities of our intellectual, emotional, and even of our moral nature, they are not accountable agents.
Well, who wants to thrust any thing so fearful as moral responsibility upon these creatures, made for our pastime and our use? Nobody can deny that dogs are "honest up to their light," and do their duty, so far as they know it, in a cordial, hearty fashion, which often puts to the blush the grudging service of the superior race.
the future life but the giving account of Are there, then, no employments in stewardships, and the laying down of trusts? Is it certain that, of all the living tribes who have groaned and travailed under the tyranny of force and the bondage of want since the world began, man alone is to start out on the new existence? Will he who is made sovereign and lord paramount of this lower world-set to rule as well as to serve-find himself then in the lowest, abjectest grade of being? Will all the soft, restful gradations of the earthly state have ceased, and all need of brute ministries?
Or, may it be possible that, among the boundless beautiful varieties of the future state, life may radiate infinitely beneath as well as above us, the bounds of the household be enlarged rather than diminished, and the lower orders, for whom, we are told, “God careth," may find enlargement from the woes and burdens of their present condition?
Since the Bible, intelligently rendered, is silent as to the future of the brute creation, we do decline to accept the eminently Jewish conclusion which Solomon reaches in his splenetic soliloquy-"the spirit of the beast goeth downward to the earth." Where nature and revelation are dumb, let us wait humbly for the hour when all hidden things and dark problems shall be vealed.