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F. Yes, there is one thing in which the lowest blade of grass, is like the greatest man. C. Because God made them.
F. Yes; and how do you call every thing that is made?
C. A created being.
F. A horse then is a creature, but a living creature, that is to say, an animal.
C. And a cabbage is a dead creature. F. Not so, neither; nothing is dead which has not been alive.
C. What must I call it, if it is neither dead nor alive?
F. An inanimate thing.
All things which God has made are called the creation. The creation is divided into animate things, and inanimate things. Trees and stones are inanimate. Men and horses are animate.
C. A horse is an animal, then.
F. Yes; but a fish is an animal, and swims in the water; a pigeon is an animal, and flies in the air. How do you distinguish a horse from these?
C. A fish has no legs; a pigeon has two legs. F. How many legs has a horse?
F. And a cow?
F. And a dog?
C. Four also.
F. Do you know any animals that live upon the earth, which have not four legs?
C. Men, birds, worms, and insects, have not four legs.
F. What is an animal called, which has four feet?
C. A quadruped.
F. In this he differs from men, birds, insects, and fishes. How does a man differ from a bird? C. A man is not at all like a bird.
F. Why not? an ancient philosopher, called man, a two-legged animal without feathers.
C. The philosopher was very silly. They are not alike, though they have both two legs.
F. Another ancient philosopher, called Diogenes, was of your opinion. Diogenes stripped a bird of its feathers, and turned him into the school where Plato, (that was the name of the other philosopher,) was teaching, and said, "here is Plato's man for you."
C. I wish I had been there; I should have laughed very much.
F. Before we laugh at others, however, let us see what we can do ourselves. You have not told me how a horse differs from other quadrupeds; from an elephant or a rat.
C. An elephant is very large, and a rat is very small.
F. What is that on your coat?
C. It is a butterfly. What a large one!
F. Is it larger than a rat, think you?
C. No, that it is not.
F. But you call the butterfly large, and the rat small.
C. It is very large for a butterfly.
F. Large and small are relative terms.
C Relative terms-I do not understand that phrase.
F. Terms are words Some words mean
something when used by themselves. The word dog, means something; but the words small or great, only mean something when joined to other words. A small dog, or a great dog, means a dog smaller or greater than dogs commonly are. Small and great are relative terms. This butterfly is large, compared with other butterflies. You cannot distinguish one animal from another species by calling it large or small. You cannot distinguish a horse by its color. There are white, black, and red horses. Look at the feet of quadrupeds; are they alike? C. No; some have claws, others have thick horny feet.
F. Such feet are hoofs. The feet which are parted, somewhat like fingers, are digitated. The cat and dog have digitated feet. Quadrupeds are divided into hoofed and digitated. To which division does the horse belong?
C. He is hoofed.
F. There are many kinds of horses; some not much bigger than a large dog; did you ever see a horse that was not hoofed?
F. Should a stranger tell you, Sir, horses are hoofed in this country; but in mine, where they are differently fed and treated, they have claws.
-Should you believe him?
C. No; because, in that case, the animal described by the stranger would not be a horse.
F. An ox is hoofed, and so is a hog. What sort of hoof has the horse?
C. It is round, and all in one piece.
F. Is that of a hog so ?
C. No; it is divided.
F. A horse then is not only hoofed, but whole hoofed. How many quadrupeds do you think there are in the world that are whole hoofed ? C. I do not know.
F. There are only three, that we are acquainted with. The horse, the ass, and the zebra. C. How do you distinguish the horse from the ass?
F. By the ears, mane, and tail. The ass has long clumsy ears; the horse has small, upright ears; the ass has hardly any mane; the horse's mane is full and flowing; the ass has a few hairs upon his tail; the horse has a long bushy tail.Tell me, what is a horse?
C. A horse is an animal of the quadruped kind, whole hoofed, with short erect ears, a flowing mane, and a tail covered with long hairs. F. No other animal resembles him in these particulars. You have given a definition of a
C. What is a definition?
F. A definition relates what belongs to one thing, and not to any other thing.
When you tell all that belongs to a thing, you may tell something in which it is like other things. To tell all that can be told of the properties of a thing is to give a description of it. Give me a description of a horse.
F. A horse is a fine large prancing creature, with slender legs, an arched neck, a sleek smooth skin, and a tail that sweeps the ground; he snorts, and neighs very loud, and runs swift as the wind.
EVENINGS AT HOME.
a long time ago.
Century-a hundred years.
FATHER AND CHARLES.
F. What is a brute, Charles ?
C. We call an animal without reason a brute. F. Do any brute animals resemble man? C. Monkeys look like men. How does a man differ from a monkey?
F. He possesses reason, which the monkey does not. You know the difference between the mind and the body?
C. Yes; the mind thinks. Have not brutes mind?
F. What think you?
C. The dog knows his master, and when he loses him, he remembers him, and looks for him. He has a mind.
F. Every creature that lives has some portion of mind; intelligence, as it is sometimes called. The intelligence of brutes is called sagacity. Which possesses the greater portion of sagacity, the oyster which lies still in his shell, or the affectionate dog?
C. The dog, surely. I have heard that man is a rational being.