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I would not promise. I said he might kill
me first."

"Oh, my good Heavens, this is

"I should not have escaped so easily
and perhaps I might have given way, for
he hurt me, and I dread pain, I never could
bear painandand I am afraid of him.
  Oh, you don't know what deadly fear I am
in sometimes! But a servant came into
the room by chance, and I ran away and
locked myself up."

"Butbut he was sorryhe asked your
pardonwhat a damned cowardly brute
the fellow must be!"  cried Mr. Plew,
suddenly breaking down in his efforts to
preach patience to Veronica.

"When I showed him the marks next
day, he said I had provoked him by my
obstinacy, and that if I had had an English
husband he would have beaten me within
an inch of my life for my disobedience."

Mr. Plew got up and walked about the
room, wiping his hot forehead with his

Presently he came back to the sofa. His
eyes were full of tears. He took her hand
in one of his, and placed his other hand on
her head*

"Poor child!" he said.  " Poor, unhappy
child!  Veronica, I would lay down my
life to bring you comfort."

As he so stood looking at her with a
tender compassion that was almost sublime
in its purity from any alloy of self, the
door was opened quickly and quietly, and
Cesare de' Barletti stood in the room.


MAN in the pride of his reason, which is
by no means unerring, has long been
accustomed to deny the possession of the
same faculty to all inferior animals.  He
has, however, been graciously pleased to
allow that these animals possess something
else, which he calls instinct.  This answers
almost as well as reason for guiding them
to the happiness and maintenance of their
lives and the propagation of their species.
Whatever be the exact difference between
reason and instinct (which has been rather
a puzzling matter for philosophers in all
ages), and however much or however little
of either faculty may be possessed by men
and animals, be the latter large as elephants,
eagles, and whales, or small as mice, butterflies,
or animalculae, man clearly admits
that these creatures have a certain degree
of intelligence which is useful to them.
He will not, however, admit this to be
true in the case of plants and vegetables,
whether as regards reason, instinct, or any
minor degree of intelligence. The great
naturalist, Linnaeus, although he was the
first to declare that plants and flowers,
as well as animals, are male and female
a discovery which one would suppose
might have led him to acknowledge sensation,
if not intelligence, in these living
beingssays, in defining the differences
between the mineral, vegetable, and animal
kingdoms: " Minerals grow; vegetables
grow and live; animals live, grow, and feel.
"In other words, he asserts that the members
of the vegetable world do not " feel."
Another and more recent definition sets forth
that " a plant is an organised being, unconscious
of its own existence, fed by inorganic
substances which it extracts from air or
water, according to laws independent of the
formulae of organic chemistry, by the help
of a faculty dependent on vital force."
Are these ideas just, and these definitions
correct? I think not, and have been led
by observation to believe that plants are
conscious of their own existence; and that
they are endowed, not only with feeling or
sensation, but with intelligence in such
degree as is sufficient to make life pleasant
to them, and enable them to take proper
measures for its preservation.

If the oyster fastened on the rock can
feel, why not the rose or the convolvulus,
or the great oak tree that is fast rooted in
the ground? Of the glow of the sunshine,
or the freshness of the rain and the air,
are they not pleased recipients?  Who
can tell?  Or who shall deny, and give
good reason for his incredulity? Who,
however learned he may be, can decide
where animal life ends, and where vegetable
life begins? What, for instance, is a sponge?
  And if, as Linnaeus says, plants have no
feeling, what makes the mimosa, or sensitive
plant, shrink so timidly from the slightest
touch, and apparently with such pain or
terror from a ruder blow? Whether I am
scientifically and philosophically right or
wrong, I take a pleasure in believing that

                To everything that lives,
                The kind Creator gives
                Share of enjoyment:

and that the possession of life, in however
infinitesimal a degree, presupposes in its
possessor, whether animal or vegetable, a
faculty of sensation that administers to its
happiness, and that may consequently
administer to its suffering.  For, pleasure and