A Mastiff and pups were barked at. Pup was enraged and asked why they were allowed to do that. Mastiff said without Curs there would be no Mastiff.
Without bad you cannot define good.
It happened one day, as a stout and honest Mastiff, that guarded the village where he lived against thieves and robbers, was very gravely walking with one of his puppies by his side; all the little dogs in the street gathered about him and barked at him. The puppy was so enraged at this affront done to his sire, that he asked him why he did not fall upon them and tear them to pieces. To which the sire answered, with great composure of mind, “If there were no Curs, I should be no Mastiff.”
[Note: The Northcote fable is the same fable as in the JBR Collection above. Only the illustrations and Application associated with the fable in the Northcote book are displayed here.]
We are frequently indulging our self-love, when we condemn the general depravity of mankind, without a thought of our own imperfections, or a recollection that all preeminence is but comparative; and that, were it not for the inferiority of others to ourselves, we should have but little reason to be proud of our own virtues. The glow-worm appears a shining light when contrasted with the darkness of night; but his splendour is totally annihilated when compared to the light of the sun. However, when censure is unjustly bestowed, we may rest consoled under tbe abuse we receive, as it more commonly proceeds from the envy of the base, than from the honest indignation of offended virtue.
There is a natural dignity in great minds, which makes them pass by, with a total disregard, the snarl of envy, or tbe clamours of malice. J. N.