« ZurückWeiter »
assign to them in the great and diversified sphere of life, sensation, and intelligence.
That brute animals possess reflection and sentiment, and are susceptible of the kindly as well as the irascible passion, independently of sexual attachment and natural affection, is evident from the numerous instances of affection and gratitude daily observable in different animals, particularly the dog. The few following are recorded by people of respectability; so that father Bougeant's character of the brutes is founded on the grossest folly, and altogether to be despised, for it can tend to nothing but encouraging the malicious pleasure of tormenting innocent and harmless animals, contrary to the dictates of scripture, humanity, and reason.
A few days before the fall of Robespierre, a revolutionary tribunal in one of the departments of the North of France, condemned to death M. des R—, an ancient magistrale, and a most estimable man, as guilty of a conspiracy. M. des R. had a water spaniel, ten or twelve years old,of the small breed, which had been brought up by him, and had never quitted him. Des R. saw his family dispersed by a system of terror: some bad taken flight; others were arrested and carried into distant goals; his domestics were dismissed; his biends had either abandoned him, or concealed themselves; he was himself in prison, and and every thing in the world was silent to him, except his dog. This faithful animal had been refused admittance into the prison. He had returned to his master's house, and found it shut; he took refuge with a neighbour, but this man received him with trembling, and in secret, dreading least his humanity for an animal should conduct him to the scaffold. Every day at the same hour the dog left the house, and went to the door of the prison. He was refused admittance, but he constantly passed an hour before it, and then returned. His fidelity at length won upon the porter, and he was one day allowed to enter. The dog saw his master, and clung to him.-. It was difficult to separate them, but the goaler forced him away, and the dog returned to his retreat. He came back the next morning, and every day; once each day he was admitted." He licked the hand of his friend, looked him in the face, again licked his hand, and went away of himself. 6. When the day of sentence arrived, notwithstanding the crowd, notwithstanding the guard, the dog penetrated into the hall, and
érouched himself between the legs of the unhappy man, whom he was about to lose for
The judges condemned him; he was reconducted to the prison, and the dog for tliat time did not quit the door. The fatal hour arrives; the prison opens; the unfortunate man passes ont; it is his dog that receives him at the threshold. He clings upon his hand, that hand which so soon must cease to pat his caressing head. He follows him; the axe falls; the master dies; but the tenderness of the dog cannot cease. The body is carried away; the dog walks at its side; the earth receives it; he lays himself upon
There he passed the first night, the next day, and the second night. The neighbour in the mean time unhappy at not seeing him, risks himself in searching for the dog; guesses, from the extent of his fidelity, the asylum he had chosen, finds him, caresses him, and makes him eat. An hour afterwards the dog escaped, and regained his favourite place. Three months passed away, each morning of which he came to seek his food, and then returned to the grave of his master; but each day he was more sad, more meagre, more languishing, and it was evident that he was gradually reaching his end. An endea
vöur was made, by chaining him up, to wean him, but nature will triumph. He broke his fetters; escaped; returned to the grave, and never quitted it more. It was in vain that they tried to bring him back. They carried him food, but he ate no longer. For fourand-twenty hours he was seen employing his weakened limbs in digging up the earth that $cparated him from the remains of the being he had so much loved. Passion gave him strength, and he gradually approached the body; his labours of affection vehemently increased; his efforts became convulsive; he shrieked in his struggles; his faithful heart gave way, and he breathed out his last
gasp, as if he knew that he had found his master.
A similar instance of affection in a Dog is recorded by Mr. Blaine, in his " Canine Pathology.
A poor tailor of this parish (St. Olave,) dying, left a small cur dog inconsolable for his loss. The little animal would not leave his dead master even for food; and whatever he eat, was obliged to be placed in the same room with the corps. When the body was removed for burial, this faithful attendant followed the coffin. After the funeral, he was hunted out of the church-yard by the
sexton. The next day he again found the animal, who had made his way by somé unaccountable means into the inclosure, and had dug himself a bed on the grave of lais
Once more he was hunted out, and again he was found in the same situation the following day. The minister of the parish hearing of the circumstance, had him caught, taken home and fed, and endeavoured by every means to win the animal's affections; but they were inseparably wedded to his late master, and he took the first opportunity of escape, and regain his lonely situation. With true benevolence, the worthy clergyman permitted him to follow the bent of his inclinations; but to soften the rigour of his fate, he built him a small kennel upon the grave, which was replenished once a day with food and water. Two years did this mirror of fidelity pass in this manner, till death put an end to his griefs.
The account we have of Sabinus and his dog, is another proof of canine attachment.
After the execution of Sabinus, the Roman general, who suffered death for his attachment to the family of Germanicus, his body was exposed to the public upon the precipiece of the Gemoniæ, as a warning to all