The Mastiff

T HE mastiff is a large, grave, sullen-looking dog, with a wide chest, noble head, long switch tail, bright eyes, and a loud, deep voice. Of all dogs this is the most vigilant watcher over the property of his master, and nothing can tempt him to betray the confidence reposed in him. Notwithstanding his commanding appearance, and the strictness with which he guards the property of his master, the mastiff is possessed of great mildness of character, and is very grateful for any favors bestowed upon him. I once went into the barn of a friend where there was a mastiff chained; I went up to the dog and patted him on the head, when out rushed the groom from the stable exclaiming, “Come away, sir! He's dangerous with strangers.” But I did not remove my hand nor show any fear. The consequence was, that the dog and I were the best of friends; but had I shown any fear, and hastily removed my hand, I might have fared rather badly, for this dog always couples fear with guilt.