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´╗┐Title: Charles Duran - Or, The Career of a Bad Boy - By the author of "The Waldos"
Author: The Author of The Waldos, - To be updated
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Charles Duran - Or, The Career of a Bad Boy - By the author of "The Waldos"" ***

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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1850, by
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern
District of New-York.




The house--Court-yards--Garden--The well--"Oaken bucket"--The



Effects on the parents--The Joneses--Parental expectations--An instance
of disappointment--Ann's prophecy



Opinions--The Durans indulgent--The sulks--They produce blindness--"I
will"--"I won't"--Faults of parents



Good children at home are good in school--Conduct--Inattention to
studies--Unkind to his school-mates--Samuel Howard--Helen Fay--John and
Louisa--Severe whipping--Mr. Spicer--Charles expelled from school



Good habits--Proverbs of the Rabbins--Charles not
improved--Idleness--Fishing and hunting--No idle boy can be
good--Shooting--Roughness of manners--One vice is followed by
another--Lying--Sabbath-breaking--Intemperance--A standard of wickedness



Village balls--Description--Culpability of parents--Demand for
money--Fit--House stoned--Windows broken in--Mr. Duran with the
bag--Charles's wrath appeased--The ball--Charles intoxicated--Falls to
the floor--Brought home speechless--Laid upon his death-bed



Sufferings from the debauch--Crisis--Favorable change--Hopes of recovery
cut off--Consumption--Contrivance to change his position--State of
mind--The minister visits him--No evidence of penitence--The dying scene



The way of transgressors hard--Disobedience to parents a fearful
sin--Parental restraint--Pleasures of parental approbation--Disobedience
in scholars--Reflections--Sporting habits in children not to be
encouraged--Importance of early religious training--History of young
Duran a warning to Sabbath-breakers, &c.--Beware of the first sin--The




Before giving the history of Charles Duran's birth, life, and early
death, I will partially describe his father's residence. It was situated
in the town of ----, in the State of Connecticut, and about six miles
from the west bank of the beautiful Connecticut river. The house stood
on a level road, running north and south, and was about one mile from
the centre of the town.

Mr. Duran's house was large and commodious. It was built of wood, two
stories high, and painted a deep yellow. In the front was a fine
court-yard. In this yard were lilacs of a large growth, roses of various
kinds, and flowering almonds. These shrubs blossomed early in the
spring, and sent forth their fragrance to perfume the air.

On the south was a rich and well-cultivated garden, producing an
abundance of vegetables, gooseberries, currants, and raspberries. The
borders of the main alley were decked with pionies, pinks, and

Between the garden and the house was the well. A long sweep, resting on
the top of a high post, with a pole fastened to the upper end, was the
rude contrivance for drawing water. To the lower end of the pole was
attached a bucket. How many of New-England's sons remember with delight
the "old oaken bucket that hung in the well!"

On the north side of the house was a small orchard. In the rear were the
barn, sheds, crib, and other out-buildings.

The grounds in the immediate neighborhood were level or slightly
undulated. On the north and east were beautiful meadows. On the south
and west were excellent tillage and pasture lands. The season that I
spent there was one of nature's bountifulness. The tall herd's-grass,
the rustling corn, and the whitened grain waved in the summer's breeze,
and bespoke the plenty that followed the toil and industry of the
husbandman. The herds were feeding in the fields. The innocent lambs,
free from care, were leaping and frisking about--some in the sun and
some in the shade--while their more sober dames were either grazing, or
quietly masticating the food they had previously collected.

Half encircling these premises was a fine stream of water, varying from
three to seven yards in width. It was supplied with dace, trout, roach,
and perch. Its plaintive, monotonous murmur sometimes impressed the mind
with sadness. This was soon dispelled, however, by the twittering, the
glee, and the sweet notes of the birds, that hopped from spray to spray,
or quietly perched themselves on the overhanging branches.

Some little distance to the northwest of Mr. Duran's house was a forest
of thrifty growth, covered with a varied and beautiful foliage. Its
shady bowers and pleasant walks made it a delightful place of
resort,--especially toward the time of sunsetting. Nature seemed to lend
to it then peculiar charms.

In the centre of the town stood the old church, antiquated in its
appearance, but venerable and holy in its associations. In that
old-fashioned church have been settled three successive ministers of the
gospel. In those high-backed, square pews were other generations wont to
sit. Those pastors and their flocks now sleep in the grave. Their sons
occupy their places in the sanctuary, and another herald of the cross
proclaims to them the word of life. It was in this pleasant place, which
I have briefly described, that Charles Duran was born.



The birth of Charles was an occasion of great joy in Mr. Duran's family.
Blessings long withheld are frequently more highly prized when at length
received. Mr. Duran had no children, and was now past the meridian of
life. To him this child seemed like one born out of due time.

It was amusing to see the effect produced on the parents by this, till
recently, unexpected event. "Well, Molly," said Mr. Jones,--a neighbor
of Mr. Duran, whose wife had just been to see the strange visitant, and
who had reared a large family of children,--"how do Mr. and Mrs. Duran
act with the boy?" "Act? why just like two grown-up children. And they
think it is the most wonderful child that ever was born. But they don't
know what it may live to be!"

These last words were spoken in a tone of voice which told of hidden
springs of sorrow. One of Mrs. Jones' own dear children, a promising,
lovely boy, had early become intemperate, and was now sleeping in a
drunkard's grave!

Having passed through the ordinary nursery incidents of the first months
of infancy, Charley--for so he was familiarly called--became a fine fat
child. "Sweet boy," said his mother, as she rather clumsily patted his
cheeks, and felt of his tender limbs, "you will be a comfort to your
parents in their old age."

"I was just thinking of that," added the father. "What a blessing he
will be to us! He will manage the farm--administer to our comfort, and
inherit our estate."

Many a bright sunny morning has been followed by a dark cloudy evening.
Our supposed blessings often prove to us a source of disappointment and
sorrow. I have seen the mother clasp her lovely infant to her breast,
and fondly and dotingly caress it, and press its little hands and feet,
soft as velvet, with her lips. And I have seen that child, the rainbow
of promise, and the cause of so much joy, bring down that mother's head,
ere it was gray, with sorrow to the grave.

Thoughts like these, however, never crossed the minds of Mr. and Mrs.
Duran. They dreamed not that sickness and death might blast their
hopes, and leave them more lonely than they were before. So staid and
uniform had been their own life, that they never once supposed that
Charles, if he should grow up, could pursue any other course.

Every day little Charles became more and more the object of cherished
hopes and affections. The hearts of the parents were bound up in him. He
became their idol. His wants, real and imaginary, were all met. His
danger was of being spoiled by too much indulgence.

"I believe they will kill him with kindness," was the remark of Ann, a
colored woman, who had long lived in the family. "It is just the way Mr.
Parsons used to do with his Jim, who never amounted to anything."



"Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will
not depart from it." Prov. xxii, 6. The proper training of children is
of the utmost importance. Upon it to a great extent depend their
usefulness and happiness in the world. And as the happiness of parents
is so intimately connected with the course of conduct pursued by their
children, it should be with them a constant study how they may promote
the well-being of their offspring.

On this subject much has been said and written. Some recommend
indulgence as the surest way to give a child a good disposition, and to
lead to the formation of correct habits. Others urge the necessity of
restraint and uncompromising obedience, on the part of children, to the
commands of their parents. There may be extremes in both. Children
should be taught to fear and love their parents, and to respect their
wishes. The government of children should be strictly parental. The
parent's will should be the law of the child. Proper indulgence should
be allowed; entire obedience enforced. Parents and children should both
remember the words of the apostle: "Children, obey your parents in all
things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not
your children to anger, lest they be discouraged." Col. iii, 20, 21.

Mr. and Mrs. Duran were very indulgent to their only child. His wants
were met with a liberal hand, and his wishes, as far as possible,
gratified. If his desires were not immediately granted, he soon learned
that a little crying would accomplish his object.

Improper indulgence begets unlawful desires. Unlawful desires can never
be fully satisfied. So it was with Charles Duran: everything he saw, he
wanted. When he was not indulged, as he could not be always, he soon
showed his bad spirit. Sometimes he pouted out his lips, and had a long
fit of the sulks.

Perhaps my readers never saw a child affected with the sulks. I will
briefly describe them. First, the eyes begin to roll rapidly in their
sockets, and the sight turns upward. The chin falls down a little, and
the corners of the mouth are slightly drawn back. The lower lip then
rolls down nearly to the chin. Soon a whining commences, which grows
louder and louder, and becomes disagreeable to every person present. At
the same time the eyes turn red, the face gets out of shape, and the
child becomes _blind!_ I saw a little boy once have the sulks so badly
that when his mother sent him into his room to get his apron, before
sitting down to dinner, he could not find it, though it was in plain
sight! Before he was two years old, Charles showed a very bad
disposition. This, instead of being corrected, was fostered by the
training which he received. To the domestics in the family he was
insolent and unkind; and even to his parents, _"I will"_ and _"I won't"_
were said with fearful frequency. Still the doting parents would merely
say to him, "You should not do so, Charles! You should say, 'I don't
want to,' or, 'I do want to,'" as the case might be. Thus they
indirectly taught him disobedience, which he was learning fast enough
without such assistance. In this way did these parents, with cruel
kindness, help on the ruin of their child!

Charles Duran, with all his faults, was a bright, active boy. What he
needed was training,--_parental training_. His parents committed two
very common errors: they promised him correction for his disobedience,
without inflicting the punishment; and they often repeated his sayings,
and spoke of his doings, to others, in his presence. Parents should
always keep good faith with their children; and, while they encourage
them, when they are alone, by suitable and well-timed praise, they
should rarely repeat what they have said, or speak of what they have
done, to others, in their presence. This is injurious to the child,
betrays vanity in the parents, and is not very edifying to others. The
singing of a young raven may be music to its parents, but to us it is
like the cawing of a crow.



Charles was now old enough to go to school. He was accordingly sent to
the district school, not far from his father's house. Teachers say that
they can tell whether children are good and obedient at home by their
conduct in school. Those children who mind their parents will generally
obey their teachers; and those scholars that are obedient generally
learn well.

How was it with Charles Duran at school? Did he obey his teacher? At
first, as all things in the school were new and strange to him, he was
somewhat restrained. He soon, however, became acquainted with his
teacher and the scholars, and as soon learned to break the rules of the
school. He became disrespectful to his teacher, and caused him much

Charles was also very inattentive to his books. The teacher did the best
he could to make him learn; but his lessons were never more than half
learned, and the greater part of the time they were not studied at all:
and, though naturally he was a bright, smart boy, he seemed determined
to grow up a blockhead.

The next thing I notice in the school history of this boy is the
unkindness which he showed his school-fellows. If he played with them,
he was quite sure to get offended before the play was through. He was
surly, self-willed, and disposed always to have his own way in

One day Samuel Howard, a boy smaller than himself, was flying his kite.
There was a fine breeze, and the kite floated beautifully in the air.
Charles seized the twine, and began to pull in the kite. Samuel
remonstrated with him; but the more he remonstrated the more ugly was
Charles. He pulled in the kite, tore it all to pieces, and broke and
snarled the twine. Samuel cried at the loss of his pretty kite, and
Charles Duran was mean enough to mimic the boy whom he had thus injured.

At another time, a little girl, whose name was Helen Fay, was returning
from school: Charles threw a stone, and hit her on the cheek-bone. It
cut a great gash in her face, and made the blood run freely. Had the
stone struck a little higher, it would probably have put out her eye; as
it was, her face was badly scarred.

A poor widow lady lived some distance beyond Mr. Duran's house. She had
two dear little children, John and Louisa, whom she sent to school. This
poor mother was industrious and very neat, and her children were always
dressed in neat, clean clothes. Charles Duran, who was out of his
element when he was not in mischief, seemed to take delight in
tormenting these little children. On their way from school one day, when
they had on their nice clothes, he covered them from head to foot with
dirt and mud. In that sad plight John and Louisa went home crying. Their
mother felt as badly as they did, when she saw the ugliness of her
neighbor's spoiled child.

So constantly was Charles injuring the smaller boys and girls in the
school that none of them loved him. If he got hurt, none of them pitied
him. The whole school seemed glad, one day, when he had shoved a little
girl into a mud-puddle, and upset an inkstand on a boy's writing-book,
and spoiled it, to see the master give him a severe whipping,--such as
he deserved.

It is not agreeable to dwell longer upon the conduct of this boy in
school. He became so quarrelsome and disagreeable that no one was
willing to sit next to him. He was always spoken of as the worst boy in

Mr. Spicer was now his teacher, and he had borne with him till he could
bear with him no longer. He had pretty much made up his mind that he
would turn him out of his school. Before doing that, however, he was
desirous of knowing the minds of his scholars. He called the school to
order, and then told Charles what he had thought of doing; reminded him
of his disobedience, of his unkindness to his school-mates, and of his
general neglect of his studies. He told him if he did not do differently
he would grow up without friends, and, in all probability, in
consequence of his sins, come down to an early grave.

Mr. Spicer then addressed the scholars, and said, "All of you who think
Charles Duran ought to be expelled from the school for continued bad
conduct, raise your right hands." In a moment every right hand was
raised up!

Then Mr. Spicer said, in a solemn and affecting manner, _"Charles Duran,
with the voice of all your school-mates, you are expelled from this
school, for bad conduct."_



Good habits are of the greatest importance. If they are cultivated by
the young, they become fixed and permanent. Evil habits, unless they are
corrected, will increase in number and strength. The young should beware
of the first evil habit. A boy does not become a bad boy all at once: he
gives way to one bad habit, and then to another. One small sin prepares
the way for another and a greater one. Dr. Clarke says, "Sin is a small
matter in its commencement; but by indulgence it grows great, and
multiplies itself beyond all calculation." The old rabbins used to say
it was like a spider's web at first, and that it increased till it was
like a cart-rope. This is seen in the case of Charles Duran. His
expulsion from school did not improve him: he grew up in the indulgence
of his bad temper, and, instead of being a lovely, industrious boy, fond
of his studies, and attentive to his various duties, he was idle, lazy,
and vicious. When he ought to have been in school, he was fishing, and
idling away his time along the margins of the brooks and rivers. He soon
learned to use a gun, and much of his time was spent in the woods,
hunting birds, squirrels, and rabbits. Idle habits are very dangerous. A
boy or man that is habitually idle cannot be good,--mark that. The devil
will always find mischief for such persons, and he will be very sure
to get them into it.

[Illustration: CHARLES HUNTING.]

Charles had, what many boys desire, a gun, and was very fond of
shooting. Besides shooting squirrels and birds, he would shoot at marks
on his father's out-buildings and fences. There was not a door, not a
board, not a post, and scarcely a rail, in all the out-buildings and
fences, that was not full of shot-holes. This kind of shooting was a
dangerous practice. I wondered, when I examined the premises, that the
barn and sheds had not taken fire from the burning wads. It was
dangerous also to the poultry and cattle. But he thought nothing of
these things; from day to day it was shoot! shoot! shoot!

Pursuing this course, it is not strange that Charles should grow up
rough in his manners, and coarse in his language. Gentleness is lovely
always, wherever found; but it appears most lovely in children and
youth. It indicates a good heart, and good training. It helps young
persons into the best society, and secures them warm and valuable
friends. Roughness of manner drives our friends from us, and prevents
many from becoming friends. This fact is illustrated in the history of
this spoiled boy. He might have had a large circle of friends, but now
few, very few indeed, loved or esteemed him.

One vice does not long remain alone. Idleness begets vice. Viciousness
shows itself in various forms: in lying, Sabbath-breaking, theft,
swearing, and intemperance. Charles grew worse and worse,--adding sin
to sin. He became greatly addicted to swearing. He frequently spent the
Sabbath in wandering about the fields, instead of attending church. He
found, as the depraved always do, kindred spirits, with whom he
associated. With these he learned to drink to excess, and was not
unfrequently under the influence of strong drink.

There is a standard in vice as well as in virtue. While some are held up
as models of virtue, others may be regarded as the very personification
of evil. We should learn to profit by both,--be encouraged by one, and
warned by the other.

The unfortunate boy whose history I am detailing finally became a
proverb in his native town. Good mothers often exhorted their children
not to be like Charles Duran! Who of my little readers would like such a
distinction as this? Try to live so that parents may point you out as
good examples for their children to follow.



In country villages, as well as in larger cities, parties often meet for
dancing; and balls are frequently held, especially in the winter season.
Many young people, whose thoughts and time are not better occupied, seem
to derive a great deal of pleasure from such amusements.

These gatherings frequently embrace a large number of the young of both
sexes, from the towns in which they are held, and often many from
neighboring towns. They are usually held at some tavern where rum is
sold. The parties arrive in the forepart of the evening, and the dance
commences at eight, or from eight to nine o'clock, according to
arrangement. Wine, cordials, and other stimulating drinks, are freely
furnished, and freely used. Toward midnight, when chaste young ladies
and sober young men should be at home, the ball-supper is served up.
Rich viands and sparkling drinks are on the table. One becomes drunken,
and another surfeited. The sound of the viol is again heard, and the
merry dance is kept up till near morning light. The parties then
gradually retire. Some of the young ladies, from over excitement in the
ball-chamber, and subsequent exposure to the night air, take severe
colds, become speedily consumptive, and from the place of rioting and
mirth are carried to the grave! In this country, where consumption is
so prevalent, and accomplishes its work so rapidly, the distance from
the midnight ball-room to the grave is very short.

Most young men who attend balls go home inflamed with wine. I say _most_
of them. It is not unfrequently the case, however, that some of them
cannot get home. They have to stay behind until they have, in a measure,
slept off the fumes of strong drink: and then, with bloodshot eyes,
fetid breath, and staggering gait, they reach their homes. Such young
men have received a new impetus in the way that leads to destruction,
and such are the common fruits of a village ball.

Why do fathers and mothers,--and some of them professedly Christian
parents, too,--allow their daughters to mingle in these scenes, and
expose themselves to the contaminating influence of such associations?
How any well-disposed _mother_ can do this I am at a loss to determine.

Such a ball as I have described was to be held in the town of ----.
Young men and young ladies impatiently waited for the time appointed to
arrive. Among those who designed to attend this ball was Charles Duran,
then in his eighteenth year. Notwithstanding his habits and character,
the position and respectability of his parents prevented him from being
entirely excluded from society. He was still further aided in gaining
admission to such parties by always having money. While some despised
him in their heart, they were quite willing, for the sake of his purse,
to have him in their company.

The anxiously looked for day arrived. The preparations were made. At
night the ball was to come off. After dinner, Charles asked his father
for money to bear the expenses of the evening. Mr. Duran gave him what
he thought would be sufficient for the occasion. The amount did not
satisfy him: more was asked. It was refused; and Charles, not having
forgotten his early habits, immediately went into a fit of rage. More
money he wanted, and more he would have. He went out, and arming himself
with stones and blocks, soon commenced a regular assault upon the house.
The weather-boards were battered, one window was smashed in, panes in
the others were broken, and the fragments rattled on the floor and on
the ground. The aged parents trembled for their safety; while the son,
raving as a madman, seemed bent on their destruction. Stooping somewhat
with age, and in great fear, Mr. Duran went to the door, with a bag in
his hand, containing a quantity of specie:--

"Here, Charles," said the feeble old man, "come and get what money you
want, and don't stone the house any more."

Thus appeased, the demon became quiet. Charles helped himself to as much
money as he wanted, and was ready for the ball in the evening. Alas,
what degradation for a parent! and what persevering depravity in a son!


The evening came. Parties began to assemble. Arrangements had been
made for a great ball. The saloon was tastefully decorated. The kitchen
gave evidence that a sumptuous repast was in preparation. The bar was
fully supplied with all kinds of sparkling liquors. As the new-comers
arrived, they met a smiling host, an attentive and ready bar-tender, and
obsequious waiters and servants.

Fancy the scene. Groups of persons, gayly dressed, are in conversation
in different parts of the ball-chamber. More are constantly coming in.
The musicians, who for some time have been tuning their instruments,
enter, and take their place. Partners are selected, the circle is
formed, and the dancing begins. A scene of hilarity ensues. During the
intervals, the merry laugh is heard, wine is drunk, and the glee becomes
general. Sparkling eyes are made more sparkling by strong drink; and,
under the influence of multiplied potations, the coarse jest is now and
then uttered. In this scene of gayety and mirth Charles Duran
mingled,--a prominent actor. A young and inexperienced girl had
accompanied him to the place. Round and round went the dance, and round
and round went Charles's head. He was flush with money, and many a
friend did he treat at the bar. Long ere the festivities closed he was
unable to walk steadily. Still, stimulated by the excitement of the
occasion, and urged on by unprincipled comrades, he poured down the
deadly poison. His brain reeled under its influence. He alternately
roared and laughed as a maniac. "Another drink! another drink!" he said.
His youthful system could endure it no longer: he uttered a moaning,
sepulchral groan, and sunk to the floor!

The ball was over, and the night was nearly gone. A friend took charge
of the thoughtless young girl that had accompanied Charles to the dance.
Two young men, his companions in riot, undertook to convey him to his
father's house. The stars were just beginning to fade away as they
reached the threshold. Speechless, and almost lifeless, they laid him
upon his bed. _It proved his death-bed!_



The debauch of the previous night laid the foundation of disease, from
which Charles never recovered. On the following day he seemed at times
wild, and partially deranged. A violent fever set in, and for many days
he was confined to his bed. His sufferings were extreme; so high did his
fever rise that it seemed as though the fire within would consume him.
His physician watched the progress of his disease, and did all in his
power to restore his health. The fever ran its course, and the crisis
came. There was a change for the better. It was thought that he would
get up. The hopes of his parents were revived; and many were the wishes
that, with restored health, there might be a reformation of manners. Of
this, however, there was little prospect.

These hopes of a recovery were soon cut off. Charles's disease assumed a
new form. He was taken with a cough, and night-sweats followed. His eyes
were a little sunken, but full of expression. His countenance was pale,
and, slightly tinged with blue, gave evidence that consumption had
marked him for its victim, and that the grave must soon swallow him up:
he was rapidly sinking into the arms of death.

Toward the latter part of his sickness, a rude contrivance was adopted
to change his position in bed. Two hooks were driven into the ceiling,
over the foot of the bedstead. To these pulleys were attached. These
pulleys were rigged with cords, one end of which was made fast to the
upper part of the bed. By hoisting on these cords he could be raised to
any desired angle; and, instead of being bolstered up, he hung as if in
a hammock. [See Frontispiece.]

During his illness Charles gave little evidence of any change in his
feelings. No sorrow was expressed for anything in his past conduct. He
was still fretful, still obstinate. He appeared like one early sold to

The minister of the parish came in to pray with him. He found him
ignorant of spiritual things. He talked to him on the subject of
religion,--urged him to prepare to meet God. He offered prayer by his
bed-side. He left him, however, showing very little evidence of
penitence, and entertaining for him very little hope.

Charles lingered along till early in March. The day of his departure
came. The father and mother bent over his bed: they saw that the hopes
which they entertained at his birth were now to perish. Instead of his
closing their eyes in death, they were now to perform that office for
him. He spoke not. Oppressive stillness reigned in the room. Not a sound
was heard, save the rattling in the throat of the dying youth. The last
breath was drawn; life, for a moment, quivered upon his lip. The spirit
took its flight; and the poor mother, in anguish of soul, exclaimed,
_"He is dead!"_



The way of transgressors is hard. Early did Charles Duran indulge in
habits of disobedience,--early was he forgetful of God,--early did he
run into the paths of vice and intemperance, and early did he go down to
his grave.

Disobedience to parents is a fearful sin! Children think they know what
is best for themselves. Parental restraint sometimes seems irksome to
them; but God has wisely ordained that in our youth we should be under
the instruction and control of our parents. Children, instead of feeling
that parental control is oppressive to them, should learn to be
thankful for it. It is enough for well-instructed and well-disposed
children, generally, to know what the wishes of their parents are. Much
of their happiness is derived from compliance with those wishes. The
approbation of their parents will afford such children far more pleasure
than all their forbidden indulgences.

The school history of Charles Duran will not fail, I trust, to make a
suitable impression upon the minds of my youthful readers. Scholars
sometimes think that it is not a great offense for them to violate the
rules of their school, neglect their books, or be unkind even to some of
their school-associates. So this boy thought. The result of his course
is before us. All such children should know that by such a course of
conduct they are laying the foundation for a bad character. They may,
for awhile, escape punishment; they may not be expelled from school;
they may possibly retain their places in their class; but they are
acquiring those habits which, if not corrected, will bring ruin upon
them by and by.

This boy's sporting habits ought not to be lightly passed over. He was
exceedingly fond of a gun. The indulgence of this passion led him into
habits of idleness and cruelty. Boys should rarely, if ever, be allowed
the use of fire-arms: they are always dangerous. The habits and
associations to which their use leads are generally objectionable. Boys
that are constantly around the brooks after little fishes, and in the
woods in pursuit of little birds, had better be at their books. We
always fear that idle boys will make idle men.

We see from the history of Charles Duran the importance of early
religious training. Had his parents pursued a different course with him,
he might have grown up to be a blessing to them, and a useful member of
society: "Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old
he will not depart from it." Prov. xxii, 6.

When, O when will parents lay this to heart! How many fathers and
mothers have been brought down to the grave with sorrow, by neglecting
this important duty!

The history of Charles Duran is a warning to all boys who are inclined
to indulge in Sabbath-breaking; to form bad associations; to tipple; or
to visit places of improper amusement. See his dreadful end! Mark that
fatal night! Remember that he had been preparing for that season of riot
and debauch by previous indulgence. He came not to his wretched
condition all at once. He was preparing for it in his early
disobedience,--in his neglect of instruction,--in his unkindness to his
school-mates,--in delighting to injure those who were smaller and weaker
than himself,--in his idle sporting habits,--in the indulgence of his
bad temper,--in ministering to his perverse will,--in his Sunday
rambling,--in associating with the vile,--in his tippling habits,--and,
finally, in throwing off all parental regard and restraint. He had now
come to the verge of the whirlpool of destruction, and, in a frenzied
moment, he threw himself into the awful vortex! _Beware of the first
sin!_ "Enter not into the paths of the wicked, and go not in the way of
evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away." Prov.
iv, 14, 15.



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