Just then the man at the toll-gate on the other side ran out of the house, tossing a torch about like one mad.
"Hoy, hoy, hoy! halloo! stop!" he cried.
"What's the matter?" shouted my master.
"The bridge is broken in the middle, and part of it is carried away; if you come on you'll be into the river."
"Thank God!" said my master. "You Beauty!" said John, and took the bridle and gently turned me round to the right-hand road by the river side.
The sun had set some time; the wind seemed to have lulled off after that furious blast which tore up the tree. It grew darker and darker,
stiller and stiller. I trotted quietly along, the wheels hardly making a sound on the soft road.
For a good while neither master nor John spoke, and then master began in a serious voice. I could not understand much of what they said, but I found they thought, if I had gone on as the master wanted me, most likely the bridge would have given way under us, and horse, chaise, master, and man would have fallen into the river; and as the current was flowing very strongly, and there was no light and no help at hand, it was more than likely we should all have been drowned.
Master said, God had given men reason, by which they could find out things for themselves; but he had given animals knowledge which did not
depend on reason, and which was much more prompt and perfect in its way, and by which they had often saved the lives of men.
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