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It may be well to state that all the incidents told in this little story of the life of Neptune are strictly true.
was lying down very cosily in front of the drawing-room fire, my nose upon my paws, in thorough enjoy
ment of a state of half-dreamy consciousness, when I was suddenly roused
from my reverie by hearing my mistress exclaim—
Biographies and Autobiographies! I am sick of them all. It is the vice of the day that everybody rushes into print, and so all the absurdities that Mr. Smith has committed, and all the twaddling nonsense that Mrs. Brown has talked, is given to the world as if it was matter of the deepest interest. Now, if Neptune could
write his life, it would be a very different matter. He really would have something to tell worth listening to.'
At this I pricked up my ears; no wonder. My mistress continued
Only look at that dog ; I am quite sure he understands every word that I say.' Of course I did.
Yes, Nep,'she repeated, • I say it advisedly : if you could write your life, you dear, good, old doggie, it would be a charming book-a book worth reading.'
A charming book! A book worth reading !' Dear me, these were very pleasant-sounding words. I could not get them out of my head. . I tried to compose myself again upon my paws, but it was no good : sleep had gone from me. Visions of my past life floated slowly before my eyes: pleasures long since forgotten, sorrows passed away ; faults for which I have suffered, virtues for which I have been praised.
Back with the vividness of yesterday came the events of years gone by, and with them came the thought
What if my mistress should be right? What if I could honestly retrace the story of the past; who knows but that in following out the events of my life, unmarked though they have been by
any hairbreadth escapes or sensational adventures, yet still some might be interested in the still life-pictures of the quiet tale,-some even be the better for my story?
Should I try? Why not?
Reader, this is how the book came to be written. It rests with you to judge its merits.
n my father's side I come of an old
and noble family, his ancestors having been considered for many hun
dred years past as being amongst the best bred dogs in Newfoundland.
He was himself born in that country, but came to England when he was quite a puppy
Possibly this may account for his having lost something of that exclusiveness for which our family have always been remarkable, and which has led them to imitate the example of certain royal families, and refuse to marry except with their own near kith and kin. Be that as it may, my father allowed his affections to get the better of his pride, and formed a matrimonial connexion with my beloved mother, a dog who was far more remarkable for her beauty and intelligence than for her relationship to aristocratic families, and