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Tiger, a huge tawny mastiff from Edinburgh, which I think must have been an uncle of Rab's; all the sheep dogs at Callands, — Spring, Mavis, Yarrow, Swallow, Cheviot, etc.; but it was not till I was at college, and my

brother at the High School, that we possessed a dog


Was the most utterly shabby, vulgar, mean-looking cur I ever beheld: in one word, a tyke. He had not one good feature except his teeth and eyes, and his bark, if that can be called a feature. He was not ugly enough to be interesting ; his color black and white, his shape leggy and clumsy; altogether what Sydney Smith would have called an extraordinarily ordinary dog'; and, as I have said, not even greatly ugly, or, as the Aberdonians have it, bonnie wiillfauredness. My brother William found him the centre of attraction to a multitude of small blackguards who were drowning him slowly in Lochend Loch, doing their best to lengthen out the process, and


greatest amount of fun with the nearest approach to death. Even then Toby showed his great intellect by pretending to be dead, and thus gaining time and an inspiration. William bought him for twopence, and, as he had it not, the boys accompanied him to Pilrig Street, when I happened to meet him, and giving the twopence to the biggest boy, had the satisfaction of seeing a general engagement of much severity, during which the twopence disappeared ; one penny going off with a very small and swift boy, and the other vanishing hopelessly into the grating of a drain.

Toby was for weeks in the house unbeknown to any


one but ourselves two and the cook, and from my grandmother's love of tidiness and hatred of dogs and of dirt, I believe she would have expelled “ him whom we saved from drowning,” had not he, in his straightforward way, walked into my father's bedroom one night when he was bathing his feet, and introduced himself with a wag of his tail, intimating a general willingness to be happy. My father laughed most heartily, and at last Toby, having got his way to his bare feet, and having begun to lick his soles and between his toes with his small, rough tongue, my father gave such an unwonted shout of laughter that we grandmother, sisters, and all of us — went in. Grandmother might argue with all her energy and skill, but as surely as the pressure of Tom Jones's infantile fist upon Mr. Allworthy's forefinger undid all the arguments of his sister, so did Toby's tongue and fun prove too many for grandmother's eloquence. I somehow think Toby must have been up to all this, for I think he had a peculiar love for my father ever after, and regarded grandmother from that hour with a careful and cool eye.

Toby, when full grown, was a strong, coarse dog; coarse in shape, in countenance, in hair, and in man

I used to think that, according to the Pythagorean doctrine, he must have been, or been going to be, a Gilmerton carter. He was of the bull terrier variety, coarsened through much mongrelism and a dubious and varied ancestry. His teeth were good, and he had a large skull, and a rich bark as of a dog three times his size, and a tail which I never saw equaled, indeed, it was a tail per se: it was of immense girth and not short, equal throughout like a policeman's baton ; the machinery for working it was of great power, and acted in a way, as far as I have been able to discover, quite original. We called it his ruler.


When he wished to get into the house, he first whined gently, then growled, then gave a sharp bark, and then came a resounding, mighty stroke which shook the house: this, after much study and watching, we found was done by his bringing the entire length of his solid tail flat upon the door with a sudden and vigorous stroke; it was quite a tour de force, or a coup de queue, and he was perfect in it at once, his first bang authoritative having been as masterly and telling as his last.

With all this inbred vulgar air, he was a dog of great moral excellence, - affectionate, faithful, honest up to his light, with an odd humor as peculiar and as strong as his tail. My father, in his reserved way, was very fond of him, and there must have been very funny scenes with them, for we heard bursts of laughter issuing from his study when they two were by themselves; there was something in him that took that grave, beautiful, melancholy face. One can fancy him in the midst of his books, and sacred work and thoughts, pausing and looking at the secular Toby, who was looking out for a smile to begin his rough fun, and about to end by coursing and gurrin' round the room, upsetting my father's books, laid out on the floor for consultation, and himself nearly at times, as he stood watching him, and off his guard and shaking with laughter. Toby had always a great desire to accompany my father up to town; this my father's good taste and sense of dignity, besides his fear of losing his friend (a vain fear!), forbade, and as the decision of character of each was great and nearly equal, it was often a drawn game. Toby ultimately, by making it his entire object, triumphed. He usually was nowhere to be seen on my father leaving; he, however, saw him, and lay in wait at the head of the street, and up Leith Walk he kept him in view from the opposite side like a detective, and then, when he knew it was hopeless to hound him home, he crossed unblushingly over, and joined company, excessively rejoiced of course.

1 A feat of strength. 2 A stroke of the tail.

One Sunday he had gone with him to church, and left him at the vestry door. The second psalm was given out, and my father was sitting back in the pulpit, when the door at its back, up which he came from the vestry, was seen to move and gently open, then, after a long pause, a black shining snout pushed its way steadily into the congregation, and was followed by Toby's entire body. He looked somewhat abashed, but snuffing his friend he advanced as if on thin ice, and, not seeing him, put his forelegs on the pulpit, and behold there he was, his own familiar chum. I watched all this, and anything more beautiful than his look of happiness, of comfort, of entire ease, when he beheld his friend,—the smoothing down of the anxious ears, the swing of gladness of that mighty tail, - I don't expect soon to see. My father quietly opened the door, and Toby was at his feet and invisible to all but himself; had he sent old George Peaston, the “minister's man,” to put him out, Toby would probably have shown his teeth, and astonished George. He slunk home as soon as he could, and never repeated that exploit.

I never saw in any other dog the sudden transition from discretion, not to say abject cowardice, to blazing and permanent valor. From his earliest years he showed a general meanness of blood, inherited from many generations of starved, bekicked, and downtrodden forefathers and mothers, resulting in a condition of intense abjectness in all matters of personal fear; anybody, even a beggar, by a gowl 1 and a threat of eye, could send him off howling by anticipation, with that mighty tail between his legs. But it was not always so to be, and I had the privilege of seeing courage, reasonable, absolute, and for life, spring up in Toby at once, as did Athené from the skull of Jove. It happened thus:

Toby was in the way of hiding his culinary bones in the small gardens before his own and the neighboring doors. Mr. Scrymgeour, two doors off, a bulky, choleric, red-haired, red-faced man, -torvo vultu, 2 was, by the law of contrast, a great cultivator of flowers, and he had often scowled Toby into all but non-existence by a stamp of his foot and a glare of his eye. One day, his gate being open, in walks Toby with a huge bone, and, making a hole where Scrymgeour had two minutes before been planting some precious slip, the name of which on paper and on a stick Toby made very light of, substituted his bone, and was engaged covering it, or thinking he was covering it up, with his shoveling nose (a very odd relic of paradise in the dog), when S. spied him through the inner glass door, and was out upon him like the Assyrian, with a terrible gowl. I watched them. Instantly Toby made straight at him with a roar, too, and an eye more torve than Scrymgeour's, who, retreating without reserve, fell prostrate, there is reason to believe, in his own lobby. Toby con

1 Scotch for howl. 2 Of savage countenance, a phrase from the Latin poet Horace.

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