There is a great deal of sorrow in the world: perhaps, through the goodness of God, you have been kept from suffering much yourselves, but you must have seen trouble among your friends and neighbours; sickness and death, perhaps. And it often happens that great distress comes on people, so as to keep them hungry and cold, for want of what would buy enough food and fuel. Besides this, how often the bad conduct of one in a family will make the rest unhappy! A single drunkard, or thief, or violent person, will bring shame and misery on all the rest. The world is full of troubles; but I do not think that we often find, even among those of our own nature, men, women, boys, and girls, not related to us, a person with so little selfishness as to be always sorry and sad when we are so, and because we are so. When we meet with any one so kind-hearted, we love that person, and would do a great deal to serve or oblige such a feeling friend.
Now, I always observed that a dog, when kindly treated and taken care of, will show his concern for the troubles of his master or mistress, in a wonderful way. Indeed, I never, in my life, had a dog that would not do so; and seeing this has convinced me that it is worse than cruel to treat a dog ill—it is most ungrateful. It does sometimes happen that a dog has a bad and violent temper, even from a puppy; and if very careful treatment does not soon cure this, I should say that such a dog ought to be destroyed, by a quick and easy death; not making the poor brute suffer for what it cannot help. But in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, a dog’s savageness is the fault of those who have brought him up: and few things are more wicked than to teach or encourage a dog to fight his own race, or to bark and fly at human beings. When the world was as God made it, there was no hatred in it, no quarrelling, no wish in any living creature to frighten or hurt any other