RICHARD AND ROVER.
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY;
8OLD AT TIE DEPOSITORY, 56, PATEROSTER-ROW
AND 65, ST. PAUL'S CIIUlCIYARDD
RICHARD AND ROVER.
" WHAT a noisy, savage dog!"
said Richard; he wants a good
beating to quiet him; do you not
think so, sir ? "
Richard was walking with a
gentleman who had asked him to
spend the day at his house. They
4 RICHARD AND ROVER.
were now at the gate of a farm-
yard, and there was a fine hand-
some dog, chained to a kennel,
barking and trying to get loose.
Mr. Wilkins answered Rich-
ard's question, saying, Why,
no, my boy; I do not think that
a beating is what he wants."
Will anything else quiet him,
sir, and teach him better tem-
pered ways ?"
You see," said Mr. Wilkins,
" there are some rude boys just
opposite him, taking up stones,
and making believe to throw them
at him; they are clapping their
hands, crying, Hist! and doing
all they can to provoke the
dog. If they were sent away, I
believe he would not bark any
longer. Then as to his temper,
if it is so bad as you think, I
should not expect to mend it by
beating him. A. little freedom
RICHARD AND ROVER. 5
and play would do more a great
deal than ill usage."
I should not like to be near
if he were free," said Richard.
"I am sorry for that, because
I am going to beg to have him
"01h, sir, pray, sir, do not!"
cried Richard, in a great fright.
Why, you may have my stick
to beat him with, if he attacks
you," said Mr. Wilkins.
Oh, I dare not beat him if
he were unchained."
Mr. Wilkins smiled, but said
nothing. Presently the farmer
came up, and the old gentleman
asked him to drive off the boys
who were teasing Rover, and to
let him loose, that he might walk
with him in the fields. The far-
mer soon sent the boys off, by
telling them he was going to un-
chain the dog; and when they
6 RICHARD AND ROVER.
were at a safe distance-and I
promise you they ran fast enough
to get out of the way, though
there were four of them-he went
and took off Rover's collar.
But you should have seen
Richard then. He shook all over;
and when the dog came running
and bounding right up to where
they stood, he got behind Mr.
Wilkins, and kept fast hold of
his coat, and looked as if he ex-
pected to be eaten up in a minute.
All the while Rover was jumping
and fawning upon the good old
man, licking his hands, and bark-
ing very merrily. He took no
notice of Richard, who at last
peeped out; and when he saw the
dog's long tail wagging, and his
bright eyes so full of joy and
love, he took courage to stand
out again by his friend's side.
Mr. Wilkins patted Rover, and
RICHARD AND ROVER. 7
said, Poor fellow a holiday is
a great treat to him, and he loves
me dearly because I often call
here to give him a run. Now,
Richard, do you want my stick ?"
"No, sir," said Richard, stout-
ly; I am not at all afraid."
"Well, then, here, Rover, catch
it, sir," and he threw his stick to
a good distance. Away bounded
the dog after it, and brought it
back in his mouth, playing all the
way in the greatest delight.
"Oh, how good-tempered he
is !" said Richard. May I throw
it, sir ?"
Yes; bid him give it to you;"
and Rover did as he was told;
and you would have laughed if
you had seen what a game of play
there was between the two. Mr.
Wilkins was quite happy to walk
on alone, and watch them sport-
ing about, all round his path
8 RICHARD AND ROVER.
over the green grass, and jump.
ing from bank to bank.
All on a sudden he was sur-
prised to hear a very angry growl,
and hastening on to where Rover
stood, with his hair bristling, and
his eyes fiery red, what should he
see but the four boys who had
been teasing him at home They
were much frightened, and crowd-
ed together against the bank, for
they were in a hollow, and could
not get away; and the dog really
seemed ready to spring on them.
Mr. Wilkins called Rover off.
"Come, sir, come away! Rover,
I say, leave off, and come here!"
and the dog, after giving another
very sharp growl at his enemies,
obeyed him. But Richard felt a
little. shy, and kept close to his
friend, as if afraid that Rover
knew of his old plan of a beating
RICHARD AND ROVER. 9
"Now, my fine fellow, hie,
fetch it!" said Mr. Wilkins,
throwing his stick again; and
Rover was all joy and frolic as
before; and Richard forgot his
fears, and had another game with
him. Next, they came to a river,
and when the stick was thrown
into the water, Rover dived, and
swam, and brought it out, to
Richard's great delight.
"I dare say," said he, "if I
fell into the river he would bring
me out, too."
"No doubt hewould. Godhas
given him both the power and the
will to do so. Many a life has
been saved by such means."
So they went on talking, and
at last came back to the farm-
yard,when Rover's master thanked
Mr. Wilkins, and tied up his dog.
Poor fellow he looked very sor-
rowful while the collar was locked;
10 RICHARD AND ROVER.
but he licked his master's hand;
and when he got a pat on the
head from him, and a kind word,
he seemed quite happy again.
Richard stroked him many times,
and was not willing to leave him;
but it was getting late, and they
must go home to dinner.
As they went through a field,
they saw a pretty sight-a fine,
well-grown lamb, with a broad
RICHARD AND ROVER. 11
tape tied round its neck, gallop-
ing along so fast that the little
girl who held the string was forced
to run, to keep pace with him.
Another little girl was trying to
stop him, stretching out her hands,
and calling him Little Beauty.
Richard wished to play with him,
too ; and when they had passed,
he said, How different the little
lamb looks to what Rover did
when I first saw him! yet both
are as merry and good-tempered
as can be."
There is some difference,"
said Mr. Wilkins; nothing
would make the lamb look so
fierce, or be so dangerous, as
Rover when he met the four boys
just now. A dog is strong, and
bold, and brave, able and willing
to fight his own battles; a sheep
is very weak and fearful. It
always runs away from danger,
12 RICHARD AND ROVER.
and never thinks of revenging
itself, but looks for protection to
others. In this the sheep is like
a true child of God, who never
thinks that he can stand alone
against any danger or evil, but
always looks to a stronger power
to guide and guard him. You
know the dog is often named in
Scripture as being most unlike
what God's people ought to be;
and this, I think, is the reason."
"God made all the animals,"
said Richard; "and he said that
all that he had made was good."
All, all is good, my dear boy,
as it comes from the great Crea-
tor's hand. Man, alas! is no
longer good, because he is not
now as God made him, but he is
like sinful Adam after he dis-
obeyed and fell. The same sin
brought a great deal of mischief
and misery among the other crea-
RICHARD AND ROVER. 13
tures, as we see every day; but
man has still the power to soften
much of what is savage among
them, and to make their little
lives much happier than they
usually are. See the difference
between the boys who were teas-
ing and provoking a poor dog
because he was chained up, and
those girls who are taking such
care not to hurt or to frighten
the lamb. Do you not think if the
little girls had a dog to bring up it
would lead a happy life,.and be a
good-tempered, gentle creature ?"
"Yes, sir. Rover was like a
lamb to you."
But if I had gone and beaten
him for barking at the rude boys,
what would have happened ? "
"I suppose, sir, Rover would
have sneaked into his kennel, and
always have hated the sight of
you and your stick."
14 RICHARD AND ROVER.
Just so; instead of which,
my stick is his favourite play-
thing. Yet you saw how well he
obeyed me, and gave up revenging
himself on the boys when they
were really in his power, because
I ordered him to do so."
"Did you ever beat him, sir?"
Then it must have been be-
cause he loves you so much."
"Yes, and fears me too; for
there is no fear like that which
comes from love. Suppose there
was a person whom you knew to
be very severe and harsh; and
you wanted to do a thing that he
would punish you"for, you would
say to yourself, If I do it, he
will beat me.' But suppose your
dear papa and mamma, whom I
know you love very tenderly,
wished you to do that very thing,
and you said to yourself, 'If I do
RICHARD AND ROVER. 15
not do it, papa and mamma will
be grieved ; and if I do it, it will
make them happy;' what do you
think you would choose ?"
I would do it directly, sir. I
would rather have ten beatings
than grieve my dear parents."
"That shows howmuch stronger
love is than fear; it shows that
the fear of hurting those whom
you love is much stronger than
the fear of being punished.
Now, I want you to understand
by this what the apostle Paul
means when he says, Love is
the fulfilling of the law.' I want
you to feel, my dear boy, that
the way to fear God, and to obey
him, is to think very much of
his great and wonderful love to
you. He has not dealt with you
after your sins, by casting you
into the pit of fire; but he has
given a great price for your soul,
16 RICHARD AND ROVER.
even the precious blood of his
Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who
died on the cross that we might
live for ever, and rose again from
the dead, to prove that the great
price was paid, and that God's
justice was satisfied. Instead of
severely ruling you, the good
God offers to give you the Holy
Spirit, to teach you all truth, and
to lead you in the right way.
Besides this, he gives you health,
and friends, and all the blessings
of life. Oh, let this great love
be ever present to your thoughts,
and it will make you so love HIM,
that you will think nothing so
grievous as the sin of disobeying
him who has so loved you, and
every day gives you fresh proofs
that his mercy endureth for
RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCTETI : INSTITUTED 1799.