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But, secondly, they furnish poor nurses the means of subsistence. This may be news to some unsophisticated partizsns on the other side. But it is true. For some ladies cannot exert themselves enough to take care even of a lap-dog; and lest the “dear, sweet little fellow" should in any wise suffer, they will condescend to take some poor girl into their family as the lap-dog's nurse. And many poor children are glad for the situation, because when they have washed and combed and trimmed and fed the dog, they may eat of the dainties he has left, or at least be allowed to satisfy their own hunger with coarser fare. If the, lap-dog knows not the wants which his often abused nurse feels, it is certainly not his fault.
They are, in the third place, useful in cultivating the affections. The only affection some ladies can feel, apparently, is for those “dear, sweet little fellows." The heart, so long as it is a bona fide heart, must have some object upon which its affections may be centered. “The heart, like a tendril, accustomed to cling wherever it grows, cannot flourish alone.” If, then, there be persons who consider it degrading to exercise those affections upon legitimate and natural objects, it is well that they may go out towards nothing worse than a dear little pet. It still gives activity to one of nature's noblest gifts, notwithstanding it be misdirected.
The last way in which lap-dogs are useful that we cannot forbear mentioning, although we must omit many others which might be adduced, is, that they teach us useful lessons. We should not be too extremely particular as to who or what our teachers are. This kind of over-nice_taste has greatly retarded the spread of truth and knowledge. It keeps many persons forever in ignorance. All that should be required in any teacher, is fitness. If, then, a lapdog can give us a good lesson, let us take it. The idea may, indeed, be a little humiliating, but not in reality any more so than other relations to the dear little fellow.
In proof of the last proposition affirmed in regard to their usefulness, let me mention an incident which occurred, not a great while since, in a railroad car, from which we learned a lesson, and if any others can, they are at perfect liberty to do so. Whether the dog or the lady was the better teacher, is left for each one's fancy to decide.
Before me, on one seat, were four persons—father, mother and two children. It was not from choice but from necessity, for the train was crowded. But near them was a seat occupied by a welldressed lady, who seemed to have a charge in her arms upon
which she lavished no little care. Was it not a sick child ? or, at least, one so young that required much attention and delicate handling! While these thoughts were passing our stock of sympathy increased rapidly, and, under such circumstances, the single seat was willingly awarded to the lady and her nursling, even if a family of four had to occupy one, and others stand.
In a short time, however, some little stir having been made, out popped a nice little curly-headed, bright-eyed-lap-dog, just waked up from his drowsy nap. He was at once “the observed of all observers,” and afforded delight apparently to the two children above mentioned. The lady noticing this, and doubtless to gratify her pride by calling still more attention to her darling pet, said, as if to the children, “Isn't he the sweetest dear little fellow ever you did see?” The mother, a plain, modest-looking woman, undertook to reply for her children. “I think I have seen sweeter and dearer little fellows,” at the same time casting a fond look upon her little boy, whose eye, dancing with delight, looked brighter than the dog's. That look was observed and understood by the passengers.
“Oh, then, you don't like lap-dogs,” broke in the other, exulting in what she imagined would at once pass for evidence of her superior taste and refinement.
“In their proper place I like them well enough. All God's creatures command our admiration in their right relations, but out of these I confess my interest in them greatly diminishes."
Somewhat piqued at this, the lady tartly asked, “And what, pray, are the right relations of such dear little creatures as this?"
"To answer that in all respects,” replied the mother blandly, “would require more than the present place and circumstances allow. But I will tell you what I do not consider the right relations of lap-dogs. They are out of their place, as designed by nature, when they are in woman's arms and nestled on a woman's breast. God designed that to be the resting-place of nobler creatures;" and she involuntarily dropped her eye again upon her children.
“Yes, but suppose all have not these—what then ?" and the lady tenderly patted her dog.
“Then they may get them; for there are hundreds of neglected children all around those who keep lap-dogs; sometimes in their own families, and certainly it would be more to the credit of any woman's taste and feeling, if she have none herself, to adopt one of these than to waste her affections upon a soulless brute.'
“Candidly, I prefer a sweet little fellow like this to any dirty little brat that wallows in the filth of the streets,” indignantly spoke the lady.
“It must be allowed, though, that some dogs are quite as unsightly and filthy as the little unfortunate immortals for whom you seem to have so little sympathy. And it is but fair to infer that, were the same care of washing, combing and feeding bestowed on these that your lap-dog receives, they would present a much improved appearance. The children's food seems here, in violation of scripture, to be taken from them and thrown to the dogs.”
“Well, I did'nt intend you should moralize," said the lady, anxious to drop the matter.
“That is what we should all do," said an old gentleman, who had been listening attentively; "it is only because we do not moralize enough that dogs have become of more account than neglected children. So long as there are so many wretched human beings that need our sympathy, our affections should not be wasted on mere animals. When we hire nurses, too, it should be for children instead of irrational creatures."
By the time the cars 'stopped, the little dog had again nestled himself quietly in the arms of his mistress, unconscious of the talk he had occasioned and the thoughts he had awakened. We confess we like dogs, but it must hereafter be in their proper place. We like children, too; and thero seems to be no special occasion to cultivate lap-dogs while many children are unprovided for. If dogs may be made more beautiful by proper care, certainly poor ragged children may be made much prettier by the same attention. To afford employment to ladies and nurses, to exercise the affections upon and to train up to happiness, we recommend, instead of lap-dogs, a better substitute—the children of the poor.
THE HAPPY LAND.-A PROSE POEM. The rose is sweet, but it is surrounded with thorns; the lily of the valley is fragrant, but it springeth up among the brambles.
The spring is pleasant, but it is soon past: the summer is bright, but the winter destroyeth the beauty thereof.
The rainbow is very glorious, but it soon vanisheth away: life is good, but it is quickly swallowed up in death.
There is a land where the roses are without thorns, where the flowers are not mixed with brambles.
In that land there is eternal spring, and light without any cloud.
The tree of life groweth in the midst thereof; rivers of pleasure are there, and flowers that never fade.
Myriads of happy spirits are there, and surround the throne of God with a perpetual hymn.
The angels with their golden harps sing praises continually, and the cherubim fly on wings of fire.
This country is heaven; it is the country of those that are good; and nothing that is wicked must inhabit there.
The toad must not spit its venom amongst turtle doves: nor the poisonous henbane grow amongst sweet flowers.
This earth is pleasant; for it is God's earth, and it is filled with many delightful things.
But that country is far better: there we shall not grieve any more, nor be sick any more, nor do wrong any more; there the cold of winter shall not wither us, nor the heats of summer scorch us.
A WRECK WITHOUT A STORM.
BY THE EDITOR.
THOSE who live in a town too large to enable them to be acquainted with every person, have no doubt noticed what I am about to remark. It is this: They frequently meet persons on the street in whom they become interested—they meet them often, know that they are the same persons whone they have met before, and yet know not their name, their location, or their business.
A person of this kind I have been in the habit of meeting for the last two years. It is a man of a somewhat lonely and bashful appearance, perhaps about fifty years of age, rather indifferently dressed; but his raiment is always whole, and there is a certain kind of a cleanliness about him which indicates that someone takes better care of him than he does of himself. His walk is rather slow, somewhat awkward, and without any elasticity. But his face !—this is just such as awakens at once the deepest pity. The sides of his nose, the slopes of his cheeks, and the circle of his lips, are a mixture of red and deep blue; and his face has spots upon it on which the skin frequently changes, and there seems to be a constant flow of water from his eyes.
This man I often met. I never passed him without thinking of him, wondering who he was, what he was, and what might probably have been his history. A few evenings ago, as I was walking in a distant portion of the town, I saw him sit in front of a small house; and seeing an acquaintance of mine at his door on the opposite side of the street, I could not resist the temptation of stepping across to make some inquiries in order to satisfy my long curiosity.
- Teli me, friend, who is that neighbor of yours, now sitting before the door across the street? I have often met him, and often wondered who and what manner of man he is; and I have now crossed the street on purpose to learn from you whether my many surmises in regard to him are correct.
“Well,” said he, “I can give you his history in a few words. He is a poor creature! When he was a young man he was what is called a rowdy; he was always lazy, fond of being about the taverns; he never would work, but spent much of his time hunting and fishing."
“Does he drink?''
“Well, I thought so. His countenance doth witness against him.'
“Yes, he began to love liquor when he was yet young; he became fonder of it year after year, and now he drinks constantly, when he can get it.
"Then he has no funds himself?”
"None, except what he can slip out of the till of his daughter's shop; she keeps him; and he manages, sometimes, to slip a little out for liquor! He is a great charge to them.”
“Oh, what a ruin!” we exclaimed, and bid our friend good evening. Passing on we made many reflections, a few of which we will record.
1. Is not this case similar to thousands? Who has not a neighbor whose history could be told almost in the same words. Once a rosy boy—then a pleasure-loving youth—then a drinking manthen an aged wreck!
2. He began young. He did not expect nor intend to become a drunkard. His love of low company, at the taverns, cultivated his idleness, and this, in turn, cultivated his love of strong drink, and, between the two, there grew upon him a fearful ruin !
3. What a ruin is this! It is already a ruin; it is not merely to become one. He is gone beyond recovery. Even if his habit of drinking to excess could now be broken, his half-rotten body could never be renovated! His strength and his health are gone forever!
" Disease bas licked his blood, and drank
Consumption's worm gnaws greedily unseen !" He is gone-gone! The experiment of life has been made, and has proved a failure--an awful failure. Childhood and youth are gone-gone! Hope and happiness, gone--gone! The past irrevocable--the present full of misery-the future dark! An immortal spirit wrecked !
4. Why are we not more earnest in our efforts to rid our country from the cause of such wreck and ruin? Even now the young are gradually and insidiously snared into just such a course of life as this; for this man was once young; and we are looking silently on. Our friends, our neighbors, even our children, are snared, and some of us say-it must be so!
DEATH IN THE COUNTRY.
0, let me die in the country, where I shall not fall, like a leaf of the forest, unheeded; where those who loved me need not mask their heart to meet the careless multitude, and strive to forget me! Bury me in the country amid the prayers of the good and the tears of the loving; not in the dark, damp vault, away from the sweet-scented air, and the cheerful sunshine; but in the open fields among the flowers that I loved and cherished while living.--Fanny Forester.