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Anecdotes concerning Sheep.
375 commit any error, or act improperly, let your conduct be ever so blameable, be sure that you never attempt to hide your offence by a falsehood, for that will always be an addition to your crime. Idleness and falsehood are roots from which spring every vice; and, as you wish to be happy, you must constantly avoid both.
"The best means of shewing your gratitude for the protection and support you have enjoyed, will be by always attending to the instructions you have received in the School, by being thankful to Almighty God for enabling the Promoters of this Institution to have afforded to you the benefits you have enjoyed while under their care, and by praying that their benevolent intentions and exertions may be continued to others in the same situation you were in when first taken into the School.
“Be constant in your prayers, and in going to Church : attend to what you there hear, and at all times avoid gaming, swearing, lying, evil conversation, and above all, bad company—then the blessing of God will attend your honest endeavours, and you will gain the love of all good people.
"If you attentively pursue the instructions which have hitherto been, and are now given to you, you may be sure that they will be for your good; but, by a contrary behaviour, you will inevitably bring upon yourself shame, want, reproach, and misery, both in this world and in the next."
ANECDOTES CONCERNING SHEEP.
BY THE ETTRICK SHEPHERD.
The Sheep has scarcely any marked character, save that of natural affection, of which it possesses a very great. share. It is otherwise a stupid indifferent animal, having few wants and fewer expedients. The old black-faced, or forest breed, have far more powerful capabilities than any of the finer breeds introduced into Scotland, and therefore the few anecdotes I have to relate shall be confined to them. The most singular one that I know of, to be quite well authenticated, is that of a black ewe, that returned with her lamb from a farm in the head of Glen Lyon to the farm of Harehope in Tweeddale, and accomplished the journey in nine days. She was soon missed by her owner, and a shepherd followed her to Criff and then gave her up. He got intelligence of her all the way: she persisted in travelling on, regarding neither sheep nor shepherd: her lamb was often far behind, she urging it on by impatient bleatings. She unluckily came to Stirling on the morning of a great füir, and judging it imprudent to venture through the crowd, she halted a whole day, and was seen by many lying close by the road-side. But next morning at break of day, when all was quiet, she was observed stealing quietly through the town, in apparent terror of the dogs who were prowling about the streets. The man at the toll bar at St. Ninian's, thinking she was a strayed animal, stopped her till some one should claim her. She tried several times to break through when he opened the gate, but he always prevented her. She, however, found some means of eluding him, for home she came. The farmer of Harehope paid the Highland farmer the price of her, and she lived on her native farm till she was seventeen years old, and then died of old age.
I have heard of sheep returning from Yorkshire to the Highlands. When once a few sheep get separated from the rest, they will return home with eagerness and perseverance. This strong attachment to the place of their nativity is to be seen more predominant in our own original Scottish breed than in any other kinds with which I am acquainted.
Anecdotes concerning Sheep. 377 But with regard to natural affection the instances are numberless.
When one loses its sight in a flock of sheep, it is rarely abandoned to itself in that hapless and help. less state : some one always attaches itself to it, and by bleating calls it back from precipices and all other dangers.
There is a disease among sheep, a sort of deadly dysentery, which is as infectious as fire in a flock. Whenever a sheep is seized with this, it instantly absents itself from all the rest, shunning their society; it even hides itself, and is often very hard to be found.
There is another circumstance which shews the goodness of Providence with regard to these animals, which is, that the more inhospitable the land is on which they feed, the greater their kindness and attention to their young. I once herded on a wild and bare farm on the borders of Mid Lothian, I was often deeply affected with scenes I witnessed there. We had a very hard winter, so that our sheep grew lean in spring, and the thwarter-ill, a sort of paralytic affection, came among them and carricd off numbers. Often have I seen these poor victims, when fallen down to rise no more, even when unable to lift their heads from the ground, holding up the leg to invite the starving lamb to the miserable pittance that the udder would still supply.
When sheep lose their lambs, they are often obliged to be driven by dogs to a house, so that another lamb may be put to them, for they will only take it in a dark confined place. But, at this farm, I never used force to drive them home, or any other way than the following :-I found every ewe, of course, standing hanging her head over her dead
I tied a piece of twine to the neck or foot of the lamb, and trailing it along; the ewe followed me
into any house or fold where I chose to lead her. She would have followed in that way for miles, with her nose close to the dead lamb, which she never quitted except to chace the dog which she would not suffer to come near; and the more danger she fancied there was, the closer she clung to her dead offspring, and thought of nothing but protecting it.
A severe snow storm destroyed many lambs—the best ewes were selected, and lambs put to them. One ewe standing over a dead lamb I was ordered by my master to leave, as a twin might be forthcoming. I did so; and truly she did stand to the charge; so truly that I think the like never was equalled by any of the woolly race. I visited her every morning and evening, and never found her above two or three yards from the lamb. She always eyed me as I went my rounds, and kept trainping with her foot and whistling through her nose to fright away the dog : he got a regular chace twice a day. But, however excited and fierce a ewe may be, she never offers any resistance to mankind, being always perfectly and meekly passive to them. The weather grew fine and warm, and the dead lamb soon decayed; but still this affectionate and desolate creature kept hanging over the poor remains with an affection that seemed to be nourished by hopelessness. It often drew tears from my eyes to see her hanging with such fondness over a few bones, mixed with a small portion of wool. For a fortnight she never quitted the spot, and for another week visited it morning and evening, uttering a few kindly and heart-piercing bleats every time; till at length every remnant of her offspring vanished, mixing with the soil.
Dialogue from Joyce's Catechism of Nature. 379
ADVICE TO A GOD-SON.
BY T. BOWDLER, ESQ., CHRISTIANITY requires nothing which reason and good sense do not also require. These, if you consult them, will tell you, that drinking, gaming, loose company, and all the vices to which young men are too often given, can only end in the ruin of your health, your fortune, and your fame. Many would avoid these, were it not for that false modesty which makes young men ashamed not to do as others do. Let me beg of you to avoid this ; you are already more manly than most of your years; be more so still; resolve to think and judge for yourself, and to do nothing which your reason and conscience do not approve. As to the foolish and the dissolute, shun their company, and despise their counsel. Reason, I say, and good sense teach us this. So does the Christian religion.
DIALOGUES TAKEN FROM JOYCE'S
CATECHISM OF NATURE.
Tutor.—The first grand object of your enquiry, my dear Pupil, is God your Creator.
Pupil.—How may I acquire a knowledge of the Creator?
Tutor.-From his works and from his words.
Pupil.-Has not God revealed himself to us in the Bible ?
Tutor.--Without doubt. But when you can see, as it were, with your own eyes, his adorable perfections, it is certainly your duty to view his works, as well as to read his word.