I dare say you have heard of the Arabs—a wild people, the descendants of Ishmael, the son of Abraham, who possess a great deal of country in the east; and are powerful, and much feared, because nobody has been able to conquer them. Their greatest strength consists in having the boldest, fleetest, most docile horses in the whole world. Arabian horses may be known in a moment by their uncommon beauty, their delicate arched necks, waving manes, and long tails; but though a great price is given for them, and they are lodged, and fed, and tended with all the care possible, they cannot be so happy in a king’s palace, as in the tent or hut of their poor masters at home. The Arab treats his horse like a child; gives it to eat of his own victuals, to drink of his own bowl of milk, and lets it sleep in the midst of his family. Of course, the animal becomes so fond of him, that it serves him for love, carries him through all dangers, and has often been known to defend him with its life. We cannot bring up our horses in this way, nor treat them as the wild Arab does; but knowing what sense, and feeling, and gratitude, and love, this noble creature can and does show, we ought to be always watching to avoid giving it unnecessary pain, and to persuade others to be equally kind.
I cannot tell you how it used to grieve my dumb boy, Jack, when he saw a horse ill-used; or how very kind he was to one that he had the care of. He would sooner have wanted food and drink himself, than have allowed his master’s horse to feel hunger or thirst. He was very tender when rubbing it down, if there was any, sore place; and if the animal got cross or impatient, he would say to me in signs, “Poor horse not know: horse tired: soon go sleep, poor horse!” That was a very strong, spirited animal, and needed a steady hand to rein him in; but I often saw the dumb boy jump on his back, and with only the halter over his head, guide him where he