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domestic animals do not differ from those of England, except in being much tamer. I have repeatedly gone up and patted the head of a watch-dog, kept chained to protect a farm-yard. The cats frequently make up to you, though a perfect stranger; and I have seen repeated instances of their following you in the fields, like a dog.”
It is certain the accidents and inconvenience, caused by the indocility of our domestic animals, might be diminished, if a more gentle mode of treating them were universal. It is well known, that horses neither thrive nor work well, when harshly treated. They are peculiarly sensible of the kindness of men. We are aware, that they are so tamed and taught by the Arabs, as to sleep in a crowded tent, without injuring an infant family: and the feats of an Arab, chiefly in consequence of the docility of his horse, are alway a source of wonder to Europeans. Sir J. Sinclair is of opinion, that gentleness is of the highest importance to the well-being of this noble animal. He also says, in his work on the husbandry of Scotland :-“The horses will do their work more easily, and their lives will be considerably prolonged, by keeping the same persons long about them, so as to become acquainted with their tempers, instead of changing every half year.”
Perhaps we have digressed a little too much in this chapter. Be it so. We shall be forgiven by those, who have feelings of gratitude or compassion for the horse ; and perhaps no one was. ever thoroughly grateful, who did not experience something like that sentiment for all beings, whether endowed with reason or not, who have contributed to his ease and pleasure.
When a young woman, apparently mild and compassionate, sees her own coachman and another exercise their whips with savage ferocity, forcing their horses to a desperate struggle, at the risk of dashing through their sides the poles of each carriage, merely to arrive soonest, by one moment, at the door of an assembly, we are surprised she can endure a sight so cruel and offensive. But when she proves herself the instigator, by telling us, with an animated smile, that she has ordered her coachman “never to give way,” can we avoid turning from her with distaste ?-inferior, however, to what we feel for
those who blame the practice, but declare they cannot restrain their servants from it; thus trying to unite, by a flimsy falsehood, the honours of humanity with the indulgence of a silly and pettish spirit of competition.
The nightly scenes of riot, at the doors of our great houses, are disgraceful. How often, beneath the calm splendour of a summer moon, “shining on, shining on,” as with a disdainful smile, the air resounds with oaths, execrations, and those strokes of the whip, that prove degraded man is exercising his ungrateful cruelty on that noble animal, one is, at such a moment, tempted to think his superior ! Not only a summer's moon, but the mild radiance of a summer's dawn is thus greeted; the quiet pursuits of early labour thus impeded. I have seen the slow-moving pile of fruits and flowers, gemmed
with morning-dew, as it entered from the country, . overturned, trampled on, and destroyed, in these
fierce and foolish contests; and have endeavoured to conceive, what can be thought of the pleasures of the rich, by those peasants, who, rising at the break of day to their humble and useful pursuits, find themselves entangled in the turmoil so inseparably connected with most of our splendid ecening-amusements :-80 we continue to call them, although they seldom begin till near twelve, and sometimes, as has been whimsically expressed, commence on the following day. Even the despotic oligarchy, the committee of Almack's, in its desire to patronize early hours, has found the greatest difficulty in the enforcement of that decree, which insists on attendance before midnight.
It is probable that all cowardice is acquired, and that man is naturally a courageous animal : it is, however, a vice, or to speak more mildly, a quality, easily implanted in the human mind, though seldom indigenous. It is often produced by a desire to preserve children from accident, rather by their fears than our cares. To avoid a little present trouble, we give them exaggerated ideas of danger, and enlist Imagination on the side of Cowardice.
“ Take care,” should be sparingly used in our dialogues with a child. Those who have received most cautions, and heard most lectures on their personal safety, are not always the most secure. Some are incited to temerity by weariness of reiterated advice, or contempt of injudicious prohibition; and others, when they find themselves in a situation really perilous, have