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in her frenzied fear, gets upon the sofa also, and making an adroit use of her nether-garments, smothers up Tom under a shield more manifold than that of Ajax, deliriously shouting and crying at the same time to you to take away that frightful monster. You instantly seize Roger, and, taking him down stairs-poor fellow, he goes as meekly as a lamb -you put him gently out at the door, and return by yourself to apologise for the disturbance. Mrs Dorling, a really kind and friendly woman, receives your apologies with a rueful suavity, which marks only too truly how much she has been discomposed, and for some minutes Tom gets much more of her conversation than you. At length, all irritation is smoothed away, and the conversation begins to get into a pleasant strain, when you begin, through the subsiding storm, to hear an impetuous scratching at the outer door, accompanied by a short impatient yelp and whine, such being the mode which worthy Roger has adopted of making the inmates aware that he regrets being separated from his master. Mrs Dorling evidently has heard it too, and a shade of anxiety passes over her face, which you have no difficulty in tracing to a freshly-laid coat of mahogany colour, which you remember observing on the door between the ringing of the bell and the coming of the servant, and which you thought remarkably well executed. You instantly, of course, descend again, and getting Roger confined in an outhouse or cellar, think you have at length secured peace. But scarcely has the conversation been well resumed, when you hear such a burst of yelping and howling as might awake the dead; this being the remonstrance which the affectionate creature thinks proper to make against your cruelty in locking him up. You now see the day is against you. Off you must go, to relieve Roger from his confinement, and Mrs Dorling from an annoyance such as even her good-nature can scarcely speak of in civil terms.
Dogs are but dogs, and it is canine as well as human to err.
Roger was originally a good moral dog, or at the utmost never was known in his early days to steal more than a bone. But keeping bad company is ruinous to both quadrupeds and bipeds. He has the misfortune to become acquainted with a dog of rather wild character in the neighbouring street, and begins to be a good deal out at night. You are at first in no fear for his youthful innocence, but by and by you apprehend that all is not right. You observe that, in the mornings, after any of his nocturnal rambles, he has a remarkably worn-out debauched look, and is not so ready for his walk on those forenoons as usual. You fear he is a misled dog, but you cannot imagine in what way
he has been misled. At length, some fine morning, the awful fact comes out. . Roger is discovered to have acquired from his wicked companion an unhappy tendency to chase and worry the sheep in a neighbouring park. He and his companion were this morning detected at their unhallowed sport, with eight dead sheep strewed around them, and other two just expiring in their hands. Being marked and recognised as your dog, and traced home to his quarters, there can be no doubt of his guilt. You are of course expected to pay for the ten sheep worried this morning, as well as for all those which have been worried during the past two months; and you are further called upon to surrender him as a malefactor, that the laws of his country may be executed upon him. , It is vain to remonstrate. It is clear he is guilty. Affection has many struggles, and you attribute the whole mischief to his wicked friend. But there is no remedy, no alternative. The most you can do for the unfortunate victim of bad company is to pay a policeman half-a-guinea that he may not be hanged ignominiously or cruelly, but put out of existence in a scientific way, by means of prussic-acid.
And so ends the story of your dearly beloved Roger, leaving you full of Byronic reflections on the wringing of tender affections, and deeply impressed with the maxim of the noble poet, that love and woe are one thing.
A number of minor evils beset the gentle heart that indulges in an attachment to a dog. For example, no whitened floor can long be kept clean where he is. He walks unthinkingly across large washings, and lies down with wet and dirty sides upon the lambs-wool mat at the parlour door. Newly-raked garden-ground assumes under his feet an appearance which a geologist might prize, if the soil were a clay of the secondary formation, and he an undescribed genus of the Chelonia, but which ----the circumstances being as they are—the gardener is apt to take very testily. On one account and another, he is scolded, complained of, and absolutely ill used every hour of the day; which you naturally feel to be just the same thing as if you were scolded, complained of, and absolutely ill used yourself. The sufferings which a man thus endures out of affection for a poor dumb animal, that only can wag its tail in his face and lick his hands occasionally, are altogether quite remarkable. It presents both the affections and the patience of our nature in a striking point of view. Upon a review of the whole case, I feel inclined to say that, if men manifested the same resignation under unavoidable calamities and annoyances
which they exhibit under the self-imposed torture of keeping a dog, they would be more angels than men.
Who was ever happier than Rolf, when abroad in his skiff, on one of the most glorious days of the year? He found his angling tolerably successful near home; but the further he went the more herrings abounded, and he therefore dropped down the fiord with the tide, fishing as he receded, till all home-objects had disappeared. First, the farmhouse, with its surrounding buildings, its green paddock, and shining white beach, was hidden behind the projecting rocks. Then Thor Islet appeared to join with the nearest shore, from which its bushes of stunted birch seemed to spring. Then, as the skiff dropped lower and lower down, the interior mountains appeared to rise above the rocks which closed in the head of the fiord; and the snowy peak of Sulitelma stood up clear amidst the pale blue sky, the glaciers on its sides catching the sunlight on different points, and glittering so that the eye could scarcely endure to rest upon the mountain. When he came to the narrow part of the fiord, near the creek which had been the scene of Erica's exploit, Rolf laid aside his rod, with the bright hook that herrings so much admire, to guide his canoe through the currents caused by the approach of the rocks and contraction of the passage ; and he then wished he had brought Erica with him, so lovely was the scene. Every crevice of the rocks, even where there seemed to be no soil, was tufted with bushes, every twig of which was bursting into the greenest leaf, while here and there a clump of dark pines overhung some busy cataract, which, itself overshadowed, sent forth its little clouds of spray, dancing and glittering in the sunlight. A pair of fishing eagles were perched on a high ledge of roek, wreaming to the echoes, so that the dash of the currents was lost in the din. Rolf did wish that Erica was here, when he thought how the colour would have mounted into her cheek, and how her eye would have sparkled at such a scene.
Lower down, it was scarcely less beautiful. The waters spread out again to a double width. The rocks were, or appeared to be, lower; and now and then, in some space between rock and rock, a strip of brilliant green meadow lay open to the sunshine ; and there were large flocks of fieldfares, flying round and round, to exercise the newly-fledged young. There were a few habitations scattered along the margin of the fiord, and two or three boats might be seen far off, with diminutive figures of men drawing their nets.
'I am glad I brought my net too,' thought Rolf. * My rod has done good duty ; but if I am coming upon a shoal, I will cast my net, and be home laden with fish before they think of looking for me.' Happy would it have been if Rolf had cast his net where others were content to fish, and had given up all idea of going further than was necessary; but his boat was still dropping down towards the islet which he had fixed in his own mind as the limit of his trip; and the long solitary reach of the fiord, which now lay between him and it, was tempting both to the eye and the mind. It is difficult to turn back from the first summer-day trip, in countries where summer is less beautiful than in