Here is another curious anecdote from Mr. Davy's work. He says that the cook in the house of a friend of his, a lady on whose accuracy he could rely, and from whom he had the anecdote, missed a marrow-bone. Suspicion fell on a well-behaved dog—a great favorite, and up to the time distinguished for his honesty. He was charged with "the theft; he hung down his tail, and for a day or two was altered in his manner, having become shy, sullen, and sheepish, in this mood he continued, till, to the amusement of the cook, he brought back the bone and laid it at. her feet. Then, with the restoration of her property, he resumed his cheerful manner. How can we interpret this conduct of the dog better than by supposing that he was aware he had done amiss, and that the evil-doing preyed on him till he had made restitution? Was not this a kind of moral sense?
If a dog finds a bone while he is accompanying his master in a walk, he does not stay behind to gnaw it, but runs some distance in advance, attacks the bone, waits till his master comes up, and then proceeds forward again with it. By acting in this manner, he never loses sight of his master.
A dog has been known to convey food to another of his species who was tied up and pining for want of it. A dog has frequently been seen to plunge voluntarily into a rapid stream, to rescue another that was in danger of drowning, lie has defended helpless curs from the attacks of other dogs, and learns to apportion punishment according to the provocation received, frequently disdaining to exercise his power and strength on a weaker adversary. Repeated provocation will, however, excite revenge. For instance, a Newfoundland dog was quietly eating hi3 mess of broth and broken scraps. While so employed, a turkey endeavored to share the meal with him. The dog growled, and displayed his teeth. The intruder retired for a moment, but quickly returned to the charge, and was again "warned off,' with a like result. After three or four attempts of the same kind, the dog became provoked, gave a sudden ferocious growl, bit off the delinquent's head, and then quietly finished his meal, without bestowing anv further attention on his victim.
The celebrated Leibnitz related to the French Academy an account of a dog ho had seen which was taught to speak, and could call in an intelligible manner for tea, coffee, chocolate, etc.
The dog was of a middling size, and the property of a peasant in Saxony. A little boy, the peasant's son, imagined that he perceived in the dog's voice an indistinct resemblance to certain words, and was, therefore, determined to teach him to speak distinctly. For this purpose he spared neither time nor pains with his pupil, who was about three years old when his learned education commenced; and at length he made such progress in language, as to be able to articulate no less than thirty words. It appears, however, that he was somewhat of a truant, and not very willingly exerted his talents, being rather pressed into the service of literature, and it was necessary that the words should be first pronounced to him each time before he spoke. The French Academicians who mention this anecdote, add, that unless they had received the testimony of so great a man as Leibnitz, they should scarcely have dared to relate the circumstance.
'An invalid gentleman" says Mr. Jesse, "who resided for some years on Ham Common, in Surrey, had a dog which distinctly pronounced John, William, and two or three other words.
A medical friend of mine who attended this gentleman has frequently heard the animal utter these words ; and a female relative of his, who was often at a visit at his house, assures me of the fact. Indeed it need not be doubted."
A dog. belonging to the late Dr. Robert Hooper, had been in the constant habit of performing various little personal services for his master, such as fetching his slippers, etc. It happened one day that Dr. Hooper had been detained by his professional duties much beyond his usual dinner hour. The dog impatiently waited for his arrival, and he at last returned, weary and hungry. After showing his pleasure at the arrival of his master, greeting him with lib usual attention, the animal remained tolerably quiet until he conceived a reasonable time had elapsed for the preparation of the Doctor's dinner. As it did not, however, make its appearance, the dog went into the kitchen, seized with his mouth a half-broiled beef-steak, with which he hastened back to his master, placing it on the table-cloth before him.
The following anecdote shows extraordinary sense, if not reasoning faculty, in the dog:—
A lady of high rank has a sort of colley, or Scotch shepherd-dog. When he is ordered to ring the bell, he does so; but if he is told to ring the bell when the servant is in the room whose duty it is to attend, he refuses, and then the following occurrence takes place. His mistress says, " Ring the bell, dog." The dog looks at the servant, and then barks his bow wow, once or twice. The order is repeated two or three times. At last the dog lays hold of the servant's coat in a significant manner, just as if he had said to him—" Don't you hear that I am to ring the bell for you ?—come, my lady." His mistress always had her shoes warmed before she put them on, but one day during the hot weather her maid was putting them on without their having been previously placed before the fire. When the dog saw this he immediately interfered, expressing the greatest indignation at the maid's negligence. He took the shoes from her, carried them to the fire, and after they had been warmed as usual, he brought them back to his mistress with much apparent satisfaction, evidently intending to say, if he could, "It is all right now."
At Albany in Worcestershire, at the seat of Admiral Maling, a dog went every day to meet the mail, and brought the bag in his mouth to the house. The distance was about an eighth of a mile. The dog usually received a meal of meat as his reward. The servants having, on one day only, neglected to give him his accustomed meal, the dog on the arrival of the next mail buried the bag, nor was it found without considerable search.