Parker's Second Reader eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 111 pages of information about Parker's Second Reader.

13.  But, we are to observe, that our ideas of beauty and deformity, of which some arise from natural antipathies implanted in us for wise and good purposes, and others from custom and caprice, are of a relative nature, and peculiar to ourselves.

14.  None of these relative distinctions, of great and small, beautiful or ugly, exist in the all-comprising view of the Creator of the universe:  in his eyes, the toad is as pleasing an object as the canary-bird, or the bulfinch.

LESSON XXIII.

Maida, the Scotch Greyhound.—­Altered from BINGLEY.

[Illustration]

1.  A hound is a dog with long, smooth, hanging ears, and long limbs, that enable him to run very swiftly.  The greyhound is not so called on account of his color, but from a word which denotes his Grecian origin.

2.  The Scotch greyhound is a larger and more powerful animal than the common greyhound; and its hair, instead of being sleek and smooth, is long, stiff and bristly.  It can endure great fatigue.

3.  It was this dog that the Highland chieftains, in Scotland, used in former times, in their grand hunting-parties.

4.  Sir Walter Scott had a very fine dog of this kind, which was given to him by his friend Macdonnel of Glengarry, the chief of one of the Highland clans.  His name was Maida.

5.  He was one of the finest dogs of the kind ever seen in Scotland, not only on account of his beauty and dignified appearance, but also from his extraordinary size and strength.

6.  He was so remarkable in his appearance, that whenever his master brought him to the city of Edinburgh, great crowds of people collected together to see him.

7.  When Sir Walter happened to travel through a strange town, Maida was usually surrounded by crowds of people, whose curiosity he indulged with great patience, until it began to be troublesome, and then he gave a single short bark, as a signal that they must trouble him no more.

8.  Nothing could exceed the fidelity, obedience and attachment, of this dog to his master, whom he seldom quitted, and on whom he was a constant attendant, when traveling.

9.  Maida was a remarkably high-spirited and beautiful dog, with long black ears, cheeks, back, and sides.  The tip of his tail was white.  His muzzle, neck, throat, breast, belly and legs, were also white.

10.  The hair on his whole body and limbs was rough and shaggy, and particularly so on the neck, throat, and breast:  that on the ridge of the neck he used to raise, like a lion’s mane, when excited to anger.

11.  His disposition was gentle and peaceable, both to men and animals; but he showed marked symptoms of anger to ill-dressed or blackguard-looking people, whom he always regarded with a suspicious eye, and whose motions he watched with the most scrupulous jealousy.

12.  This fine dog probably brought on himself premature old age, by the excessive fatigue and exercise to which his natural ardor incited him; for he had the greatest pleasure in accompanying the common greyhounds; and although, from his great size and strength, he was not at all adapted for coursing, he not unfrequently turned and even ran down hares.

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