Page:Black Beauty (1877).djvu/58

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CHAPTER XI.

Plain Speaking.

The longer I lived at Birtwick, the more proud and happy I felt at having such a place. Our master and mistress were respected and beloved by all who knew them; they were good and kind to everybody, and everything; not only men and women, but horses and donkeys, dogs and cats, cattle and birds; there was no oppressed or ill-used creature that had not a friend in them, and their servants took the same tone. If any of the village children were known to treat any creature cruelly, they soon heard about it from the Hall.

The Squire and farmer Grey had worked together as they said, for more than twenty years, to get bearing reins on the cart horses done away with, and in our parts you seldom saw them; but sometimes if mistress met a heavily-laden horse, with his head strained up, she would stop the carriage and get out, and reason with the driver in her sweet serious voice, and try to shew him how foolish and cruel it was.

I don't think any man could withstand our mistress. I wish all ladies were like her. Our master too, used to come down very heavy sometimes; I remember he was riding me towards home one