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THE DOG AND HIS RELATIONS.
KEEPER was a farmer's mastiff, honest, brave, and vigilant. One day as he was ranging at some distance from home he espied a Wolf and a Fox sitting together at the corner of a wood. Keeper, not much liking their looks, though by no means fearing them, was turning another way, when they called after him, and civilly desired him to stay. · Surely, Sir, (says Reynard), you won't disown your relations. My cousin Gaunt and I were just talking over family matters, and we both agreed that we had the honour of reckoning you among our kin. You must know that, according to the best accounts, the wolves and dogs were originally one race in the forests of Armenia ; but the dogs, taking to living with man, have since become inhabitants of towns and THE DOG AND ITS RELATIONS. 51 villages, while the wolves have retained their ancient mode of life. As to my ancestors, the foxes, they were a branch of the same family, who settled farther northwards, where they became stinted in their growth, and adopted the custom of living in holes under ground. The cold has sharpened our noses, and given us a thicker fur and bushy tails to keep us warm. But we have all a family likeness which it is impossible to mistake; and I am sure it is our interest to be good friends with each other."
The wolf was of the same opinion ; and Keeper looking narrowly at them, could not help acknowledging their relationship. As he had a generous heart, he readily entered into friendship with them. They took a ramble together; but Keeper was rather surprised at observing the suspicious shyness with which some of the weaker sort of animals surveyed them, and wondered at the hasty flight of a flock of sheep as soon as they came within view. However he gave his cousins a cordial invitation to come and see him at his yard, and then took his leave.
They did not fail to come the next day about dusk. Keeper received them kindly, and treated them with part of his own supper. They staid with him till after dark, and then marched off with many compliments. The next morning word was brought to the farm that a goose and three goslings were missing, and that a couple of lambs were found almost devoured in the home field. Keeper was too honest himself readily to suspect others, so he never thought of his kinsmen on the occasion. Soon after, they paid him a second evening visit ; and next day another loss appeared, of a hen and her chickens, and a fat sheep. Now Keeper could not help mistrusting a little, and
THE DOG AND HIS RELATIONS. 53 blamed himself for admitting strangers, without his master's knowledge. However, he still did not love to think ill of his own relations.
They came a third time. Keeper received them rather coldly; and hinted that he should like better to see them in the day-time; but they excused themselves for want of leisure. When they took their leave, he resolved to follow atsome distance and watchtheir motions. A litter of young pigs happened to be lying undera haystack without the yard. The wolf seized one by the back, and ran off with him. The pig set up a most dismal squeal ; and Keeper, running up at the noise, caught his dear cousin in the fact. He flew at him and made him relinquish his prey, though not without much snarling and growling. The fox, who had been prowling about the hen-roost, now came up, and began to make protestations of his own
innocence, with heavy reproaches against the wolf for thus disgracing the family. “Begone,scoundrels both!(cried Keeper) I know you now too well. You may be of my blood, but I am sure you are not of my spirit. Keeper holds no kindred with villains.” So saying, he drove them from the premises.
THE COST OF A WAR.
You may remember, Oswald, (said Mr. B. to his son) that I gave you some time ago a notion of the price of a victory to the poor souls engaged in it.
I shall not soon forget it, I assure you, Sir, (replied Oswald.)
Father. Very well; I mean now to give you some idea of the cost of a war to the people among whom it is carried on. This may serve to abate something of the admiration with which his