A FONDLING Dog and a fondling Donkey: the old fable tells us how differently they fared.
And thus it ever has been, and thus presumably it ever will be; but is it thus right and reasonable?
In a measure it is, in a measure it is not.
If we examine ourselves on the "Dog and Donkey" question, I think many of us may find that not the deed, often not even the manner of doing, but continually the doer, makes all the difference to us. "Dogs" we pet, "Donkeys" we flout.
The Dog may lick us unrebuked: the Donkey must not so much as brush us with his nice hairy long ear.
Or granting that the Donkey is clumsy and coarse: can nothing be condoned to his obviously virtuous intention?
A number of good kind people correspond more or less with the demonstrative Donkey; but why? just because they desire to be agreeably sociable. However clumsy their attempts, nothing can disguise the fact that they mean well.
Perhaps, even, they are misled by the success of some general favorite, who says, proposes, does everything with all ingratiating tact.
Wherefore they also aim at repartee, and take to catching us up; at jocoseness, and jar our nerves. Our pet nerve they grate upon: a hint as broad as a scowl suffices not to suppress them.
Well, dense they may be, but they mean well by all men.
We are highly strung, sensitively refined, our tact amounts to intuition, not one weak point should we exhibit but for super-exquisite delicacy. Only do we, with equal consistency of honest purpose and endeavor, mean well by all men?