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birds in a cage, which he offered for sale. After looking at them some time, and witnessing their eager desire to regain their liberty, he said to the boy, “How much do you ask for your birds ?"
“Sixpence apiece, sir," was the reply. “I don't ask how much apiece,” said the sailor, “how much for the lot? I want to buy all hands." After some calculation, the boy replied that they came to six shillings and sixpence. The sailor handed him the money, and then immediately opened the cage door, and let all the birds fly away. The boy was quite astonished, and asked why he did so. “I'll tell you why I did it,” said the sailor. "I was shut
three years in a French prison, as a prisoner of war, and I am resolved never to see any thing in prison that I can make free.'' The generous sailor knew how to sympathize with the little prisoners; and he did as he would have others do to him, were he in their place.
It was a remark of the “man of Uz,'' “Ask now the beasts of the field, and they shall teach thee." I shall profit by this suggestion, and would invite the reader's attention to the following anecdote, illustrating, not the sympathy of man in behalf of the brute, but the sympathy of the brute in behalf of man ! Let those who are accustomed to treat animals with cruelty, follow the noble example of this brute. A tame lion on board an English ship of war, had a keeper to whom he was much attached. One day the keeper got drunk, and, as the captain never forgave the crime, he was ordered to be flogged. When the keeper began to strip, the lion, whose name was Prince, rose gloomily from his repose, and approached as near to his friend as possible; and when the lash was inflicted, his eyes sparkled with fire, and his cage resounded with the strong and quick beatings of his tail. But when the blood began to flow from the unhappy man's back, his fury became tremendous. He roared with a voice of thunder, and shook the strong bars of his prison; and, finding his efforts to break loose unavailing, he rolled and shrieked in a most terrific manner. At length, the captain was obliged to liberate
the keeper, and let him go to his friend. It is impossible to describe the joy evinced by the lion, when this was done. He licked the bleeding back of his keeper, caressed him with his paws, and seemed to defy any one to repeat the cruel punishment. My young friends, what think you of the lion? Did he not evince more humanity than many human beings possess ?
There was another lion, who showed in a striking manner his sympathy for an animal,—his humanity. The keeper who exhibited him charged a sixpence to visit
One day a bad boy came to see the lion ;. but, instead of bringing the money, he brought a little dog, which he had stolen in the street, and gave him to the keeper, for the lion to eat. The man took the little dog, and cast him into the cage. As he fell into it, he threw himself flat on his back, and put up his little paws, as if imploring the lion to spare his life. The noble lion, as if to rebuke the cruelty of the boy and the keeper, carefully drew up the dog close to his breast, without injuring him in the least; and it was not long before they became so well acquainted, and loved each other so much, that they could not be easily separated.
This is exactly the spirit which it has been the object of this chapter to illustrate and enforce; and if the beasts of the field possess it, shall man be destitute of it? No, I trust not. Let us all remember, then, that it is our privilege to use the beast, and not to abuse him. Let us remember that he was made to be happy, as well as to serve man. Thus, my young friends, may each one of you become that righteous man, mentioned by Solomon, who “regardeth the life of his beast."
“My gracious God, I own thy right
To every service I can pay,
To hear thy dictates, and obey." The subjects which we have considered in the previous chapters, relate merely to our duty to ourselves and to the world around us. But this is not the end of our duties, though too many stop here. Every one who walks in the "pleasant way" acknowledges higher duties than these, duties which he owes to that Being who placed him here, and to whom he must one day render an account; and these are all included under the head of piety. I have placed this subject last, not because least important,-for it is more important than every thing else,—but because it is a sum