Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/218

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custom. Being very fond of clogs, the Englishman resolved to purchase this clever little fellow, and bring him back to England with him. When, however, he went to the dog's master, that person at first denied any connection with him, and only admitted the ownership when he was perfectly satisfied that his interrogator had no connection with the police. For some time also he refused to part with the little poodle, saying that no money could pay him for the loss of his dog, who really made his living for him. Tempted, however, by a very high price, he at last consented to sell the dog; and the gentleman, a few days afterward, brought him over to England, traveling via Boulogne to Folkstone. His residence in England was some thirty or forty miles from Folkstone, and to this place he brought his little purchase. He had not been many days in his new home, however, when the little French poodle suddenly disappeared. Search was made for him everywhere, but to no effect. His new master offered a reward for him, but with the same result; and he had at last made up his mind that the little fellow had been either poisoned or stolen, when one morning, about six weeks after his mysterious disappearance, the gentleman received a letter from a friend in Paris telling him that his dog was back again there, and at his old trade of soiling boots in the interest of his former master. The little fellow, not liking the dullness of a country life, had resolved to return to his former home, and had made his way to Folkstone; there, as the gentleman afterward ascertained, he had got on board a steamer going to Boulogne, and from Boulogne had found his way back to Paris.

Of the foregoing three stories, the first two are probably even more remarkable than the last. The last (except as to the dog's finding its way back to Paris) illustrates only the possibility of developing in a dog, by the training of its natural intelligence, an almost human ingenuity. But it is by instilling into the dog the intelligence of a higher being that this skill is engendered. The spring of the intelligence is in the trainer, and it is to attain an object which the higher being, and not the lower, has in view. But in the first two cases the whole process is the dog's; the object to be secured, namely, revenge, is what the dog himself seeks, and the means by which that object is to be attained are devised and carried out by the instinct of the dog. That a dog should harbor revenge is, of course, not a very wonderful fact; but there is a calm reflection and a cool calculation displayed in the first two cases above given, which make them somewhat peculiar. If what we call instinct in these animals embraces powers so very like reason; if they are swayed by the same passions and affections which move us, and they are able to communicate to their fellows the feelings which stir them, and the external circumstances which bring those feelings into play, the border-line between man's mental territory and theirs becomes a little bit indefinite.—Chambers's Journal.