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The Vain Setter
 OURS is one of the most ancient and noble families in the land, and I contend that family pride is an sentiment. I still hold to this belief, in spite of all the sufferings that it has brought upon me. My father, whose ancestor came over with the , has taken prizes at many a county show; and my mother, the handsomest of her sex, took one prize, and would have taken more, but for the unfortunate accident of having her tail cut off in a door.
I early to be of my high breeding and undoubted descent. A setter should have long, silky ears. I made my brother pull mine gently for an hour at a time. In order to them, I combed their fringes with my paws.
My father's brow is lofty and narrow. The unfortunate accident which removed my mother from public life, suggested to me a way of cultivating our most famous family characteristic. I used to place my head between the doorpost and the door, while my brother leaned gently against the latter, so as to press my to the shape. My legs, I knew, ought to be straight. I never indulged in any of those field-sports, to which my brother early turned a light-hearted attention; for I knew that exercise tends to curve the legs.
My tail was my special care. Regardless of comfort, I twisted myself into the shape of a capital O, and, holding the end of my tail gently, but firmly, in my teeth, I stretched myself and it.
So much pains to such a noble object could not be thrown away. I became the handsomest setter in the three counties.
My brother, in the meantime, grew expert in the coarse sporting exercises to which he devoted his energies. He had no pride. He tramped the mud of the fields; he tore his ears in bramble bushes; and I have seen him so far lose all sense of our family's dignity as to at the feet of his master, and raise one of his paws, to indicate that birds were near—common birds; I believe they are called partridges.
"You might as well," I said to him bitterly—"you might as well have been born a pointer."
"Why not?" he said. "I know a pointer," he went on, laughing in his merry, careless way—"I know a pointer who lives at the Pines Farm. A capital fellow he is."
"My dear boy," I said, "just come and squeeze my head in the door a little, will you? and let me tell you that for one of our family to associate with a pointer is social ruin—common, coarse, smooth-coated persons, related, I should suppose, to the vulgar plum-pudding dog."
My brother only laughed; but he was a good-natured fellow, and pinched my head in the door until my forehead could stand the strain no longer.
I was sent to the Crystal Palace Dog Show; and, as I looked round on the hundreds of dogs of all f............
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