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Title: Anecdotes for Boys
Author: Newcomb, Harvey, 1803-1863
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.

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by The University of Florida, The Internet
Archive/Children's Library)



ANECDOTES FOR BOYS.


[Illustration: MRS. S. C. HALL'S RESIDENCE BROMPTON.--_See page 118._]


    ANECDOTES
    FOR
    BOYS.

    ENTERTAINING NARRATIVES AND ANECDOTES,
    ILLUSTRATIVE OF PRINCIPLES AND CHARACTER.

    BY

    HARVEY NEWCOMB,
    AUTHOR OF "HOW TO BE A LADY," "HOW TO BE A MAN," ETC.


    SIXTH THOUSAND.


    BOSTON:
    GOULD AND LINCOLN,
    59 WASHINGTON STREET.
    1851.


    Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1847,

    BY GOULD, KENDALL AND LINCOLN,

    In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District
    of Massachusetts.


    STEREOTYPED BY S. N. DICKINSON, BOSTON.



PREFACE.


I have noticed that young people are fond of reading anecdotes,
narratives, parables, &c. This taste of theirs sometimes leads them to
devour all the trash that comes in their way, with no other object than
mere amusement. But, if properly guarded, it may be the means of
conveying truth to their minds in a form not only more attractive, but
more readily understood. The design of this book is, to supply reading
of this kind, which shall be not only _entertaining_ but _instructive_.
I never write for the amusement of the reader merely. But I am glad if
he is entertained at the same time that he is instructed.

This book is not a mere compilation of stories. Its main object is to
illustrate truth and character. No anecdote has been admitted but such
as could be turned to this account; and if suited to this purpose, the
question has not been asked whether it was new or old. But nearly every
one has been entirely rewritten, presented in a new dress, and made to
bear on the object in view. The work was suggested, while writing my
last two publications, "How to be a Man," and "How to be a Lady." I had
designed to illustrate the topics there treated of, in this manner, but
could not find space. The favor with which these works have been
received, has encouraged me to undertake something of the kind
separately. I have prepared two volumes, one for boys and one for girls,
but the matter in each is entirely distinct. The same anecdote is in no
instance introduced into both books; though in some cases the topics are
similar. They form _a pair_, for the rising youth of both sexes; and if
they shall contribute in any degree towards forming their characters,
after the true model, my object will be attained.

_Grantville, Mass., Sept. 1847._



CONTENTS.


    CHAPTER I.

    THE BOY MAKES THE MAN.--Benedict Arnold--George Washington--Gov.
    Ritner--Roger Sherman.                                         9

    CHAPTER II.

    FILIAL PIETY.--George Washington--obey God rather than man--a
    son's love--filial piety rewarded--filial tenderness--filial
    impiety punished--think how you will feel when your parents are
    gone--benefit of obedience--reward of
    disobedience--conscientious obedience--cheerful obedience,
    sullen obedience, and disobedience.                           16

    CHAPTER III.

    SOCIAL VIRTUES AND VICES.--Brotherly affection--the golden
    rule--gratitude and benevolence--manners--overcome evil with
    good--use of the tongue--contention--punctuality.             31

    CHAPTER IV.

    BAD COMPANY AND BAD HABITS.--Green, the reformed
    gambler--profaneness--playing truant--ruin of a deacon's
    son--bad books--intemperance--going to the theatre--gaming    70

    CHAPTER V.

    INDUSTRY--LABOR, &c.--An Indian story--business first and then
    pleasure--industry.                                           90

    CHAPTER VI.

    TRUE GREATNESS.--Anecdotes of President Jefferson, Chief Justice
    Marshall, Chancellor Kent, and Dr. Franklin.                  97

    CHAPTER VII.

    ADVANTAGES OF HONESTY.--Colbert--two opposite examples--fruits
    of dishonesty.                                               101

    CHAPTER VIII.

    PURSUIT OF KNOWLEDGE.--Reading--love of learning--dislike of
    study.                                                       109

    CHAPTER IX.

    MISCELLANEOUS SUBJECTS.--Fickleness--independence of
    character--contentment--the old black sheep.                 115

    CHAPTER X.

    RELIGION.--Religious knowledge--the Sabbath--early piety
    recommended--uncertainty of life.                            124



ANECDOTES FOR BOYS.

CHAPTER I.

THE BOY MAKES THE MAN.


A man's character is formed early in life. There may be some exceptions.
In some instances, very great changes take place after a person has
grown to manhood. But, even in such cases, many of the early habits of
thought, feeling, and action still remain. And sometimes, we are
disappointed in the favorable appearances of early life. Not
unfrequently the promising boy, in youth or early manhood, runs a rapid
race downward in the road to ruin. All the promising appearances failed,
because they were not formed upon religious principle and a change of
heart. But, as a general rule, show me the _boy_, and I will show you
the _man_. The following cases afford illustrations of this principle.

_Benedict Arnold._

I suppose all my readers have heard of Benedict Arnold, the traitor; and
of his attempt to betray his country into the hands of the British,
during the Revolutionary War. His name is a by-word in the mouth of
every lover of liberty in the land. But there are few that know how he
came to be such a character. When we come to learn his early history we
feel no more surprise. His father was an intemperate man; and at an
early age, Benedict was placed with an apothecary, in Norwich,
Connecticut, his native town. His master soon discovered in him the most
offensive traits of character. He seemed to be entirely destitute of
moral principle, and even of conscience. He added to a passionate love
of mischief a cruel disposition and a violent, ungovernable temper. He
had no sympathy with any thing that was good. His boyish pleasures were
of the criminal and unfeeling cast. He would rob the nests of birds, and
mangle and maim the young ones, that he might be diverted by their
mother's cries. He would throw broken pieces of glass into the street,
where the children passed barefooted, that they might hurt their feet.
He would persuade the little boys to come round the door of his shop,
and then beat them with a horse-whip. All this showed a malicious
disposition, and great hardness of heart. He hated instruction and
despised reproof; and his master could not instil into his mind any
religious or moral principles, nor make any good impression upon his
heart.

Before Benedict had reached his sixteenth year, he twice enlisted as a
soldier and was brought back by his friends. He repaid his mother's
kindness with baseness and ingratitude; so that, between the
intemperance and wretchedness of the father, and the cruelty and
depravity of the son, she died of a broken heart. When he grew up, the
same character followed him. We need not be surprised, then, that, in
the most critical period of his country's history, he betrayed his
trust. He was a General in the American Army, in the Revolutionary War;
and by his extravagance, and his overbearing behavior, he brought upon
himself a reprimand from the American Congress. His temper, naturally
impetuous, had never been controlled, and he could not bear reproof. He
was bent on revenge; and to accomplish it, he entered into a
negotiation, through Major André, to deliver up West Point, of which he
had the command, to the enemy. If the plot had not been discovered and
prevented it would have been a very great calamity to our country. It
might have turned the scale against us. I have some personal reason to
feel indignant at the traitor, besides what arises from the love of
country; for my father was on picket guard at West Point, the night in
which it was to have been delivered up, and would have been the first
man killed. If Arnold had been caught, he would have closed his career
on the gallows; but, as it was, he escaped, and a more worthy man
suffered. He received, as the reward of his treachery, the appointment
of Brigadier General in the British Army, and ten thousand pounds
sterling. But his name will go down with the history of his country, to
the latest generation, black with infamy. He was a bad boy, and he made
a bad man. And, as Solomon has said, "The name of the wicked shall rot."


GEORGE WASHINGTON.

A single incident, in the history of _George Washington as a boy_,
furnishes a clew to the character of _George Washington as a man_. I
refer to the well known story of the new hatchet and the cherry-tree,
with his refusing to tell a lie; which I need not repeat, because it is
preserved in the books that are read in our common schools, and embalmed
in the memory of the rising generation. This incident shows that he had
already in his bosom a deep-seated principle of stern integrity, which
no temptation could shake. This was the leading feature in his character
when he became a man. We have evidence, also, from other incidents which
have been related of his early life, that strong, deep-seated, filial
piety, was one of the prominent elements of his youthful character. He
had learned, in early life, to honor and obey his parents; and this
taught him to love and reverence his country, instead of making himself
a despot, as most successful generals do. But, at the bottom of all, was
the religious element. Religious principle controlled his conduct both
in private and public life.


GOVERNOR RITNER.

_Joseph Ritner_, who was for some time a member of the legislature of
Pennsylvania, and afterwards Governor of that state, was once a bound
boy to Jacob Myers, an independent farmer, who brought him up. While he
was governor, there was a celebration of the fourth of July, at which
Mr. Myers gave the following toast:--"JOSEPH RITNER--he was always a
_good boy_, and has still grown better; every thing he did, he always
did _well_; he made a good _farmer_, and a good legislator; and he makes
a _very good governor_." All this man's greatness was the result of his
being a _good boy_.


ROGER SHERMAN.

_Roger Sherman_, in his public life, always acted so strictly from his
own convictions of what was right, that Fisher Ames used to say, if he
happened to be out of his seat in Congress when a subject was discussed,
and came in when the question was about to be taken, he always felt safe
in voting as Mr. Sherman did, "_for he always voted right_." This was
Mr. Sherman's character everywhere. But, if we inquire how it came to be
such we must go back to his early life.

Mr. Sherman's character was formed upon the principles of the Bible.
And, when he was an apprentice, instead of joining in the rude and
vulgar conversation, so common among the class to which he then
belonged, he would sit at his work with a book before him, devoting
every moment to study, that his eyes could be spared from the
occupation in which he was engaged. When he was twenty-one years of age
he made a profession of religion. He was as familiar with theology as he
was with politics and law. He read the Bible more than any other book.
Always, when he went to Congress, he would purchase a copy of the Bible,
at the commencement of the session, to read every day; and when he went
home, he would present it to one of his children. Mr. Macon, of Georgia,
said of him, that he had more common sense than any man he ever knew.
Mr. Jefferson, one day, as he was pointing out to a friend the
distinguished men in Congress, said of him, "That is Mr. Sherman, a man
who _never said a foolish thing in his life_." Mr. Sherman was a
self-educated man, a shoemaker, _and a Christian_. He was brought up,
after the old New-England fashion, in a pious Connecticut family. _And,
as was the boy, so was the man._ If you would be a good man, you must be
a good boy. If you would be a wise man you must be a studious boy. If
you would have an excellent character, it must be formed after the model
delineated in the Holy Bible. The basis must be a change of heart. The
superstructure must be laid up on the principles of God's word.



CHAPTER II.

FILIAL PIETY.


By _Filial Piety_, I mean the exercise of those feelings of reverence,
submission, and love; and the faithful and conscientious discharge of
those duties, which children owe their parents.

The first duty which man owes, is to _God_; the second, to his
_Parents_. They are his appointed guardians, in the season of
helplessness and inexperience. God has entrusted him to their care; and
in return for that care, he requires _honor and obedience_. A child
cannot be pious toward God without being pious toward his parents. The
_corner stone_ of a good character must be laid in piety towards God;
the rest of the foundation, in piety towards Parents. Show me the boy
that honors his parents, and I will show you the man that will obey the
laws of his country, and make a good citizen. Show me the boy that is
disobedient to his parents, and turbulent and ungovernable at home, and
I will show you the man that will set at naught the laws of his country,
and be ready to every evil work. When a boy ceases to respect his father
or to love his mother, and becomes tired of home and its sacred
endearments, there is very little hope of him.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

When George Washington was about fourteen years of age, he wanted to
join the Navy. Accordingly, all the arrangements were made for him, in
company with several of his young companions, to go on board a man of
war. When the time arrived, he went into the sitting-room, to take leave
of his mother. He found her in tears. He threw his arms about her neck
and kissed her, and was about bidding her "farewell;" but seeing her so
much afflicted, he suddenly relinquished his purpose. The boat which was
taking officers, men, and baggage, from the shore to the ship, went back
and forth, in his sight. At length it came ashore for the last time. A
signal flag was raised to show that all was ready. George was standing,
viewing all these movements. Several of his companions now entered the
boat, and as they approached the ship, signal guns were fired; and soon
after, the sails rose majestically, one after another. George could no
longer bear the sight, but entered the room where his mother sat.
Observing that his countenance bore a strong expression of grief, she
said, "I fear, my son, that you have repented your determination to stay
at home and make me happy." "My dear mother," he replied, placing his
arms round her neck, and giving vent to his feelings in a gush of tears,
"I did strongly wish to go; but I could not endure being on board the
ship, and know that you were unhappy." He was young, ardent, and
ambitious, and had doubtless anticipated, with great delight, the
pleasure he should have, in sailing to different places, on board a man
of war; and, although the expectation of pleasure which boys sometimes
indulge, in the prospect of a sea-faring life are delusive; yet, it was
a noble generosity to sacrifice all the high hopes he had cherished, to
the feelings of his mother.

_Obey God rather than man._

As a general thing, it is the duty of children to obey their parents;
but, when a parent commands what is wrong, the child should not obey. A
poor woman told her son to cut down a large pear tree, which stood in
the garden of the cottage where they lived, for firewood, as they were
suffering from cold. The boy made no answer. His mother repeated her
command; but he still hesitated, and said, "Mother, I ought to obey you,
but I must first obey God. The tree is not ours. It belongs to our
landlord; and you know that God says, 'Thou shalt not steal.' I hope you
will not make me cut it down." She yielded, for the time; but after
suffering from cold a day or two longer, she told him he must cut down
the tree. He then said to her, "Mother; God has often helped us, and
supplied our wants when we have been in trouble. Let us wait till this
time to-morrow. Then, if we do not find some relief, though I am sure it
will be wrong, yet if you make me do it, I will cut the tree in
obedience to your command." To this she agreed. The boy retired to his
closet, and prayed earnestly that God would help them, and save him from
being compelled to break his law. The next morning, he went out and
found a man whose wagon had broken down under a heavy load of coal. He
told the man his case, who agreed to let him carry away the coal, and
they might pay for it, if they were able, when he called for it. But he
never called. It is _always safe to do right_.

_A son's love._

A man in Sweden was condemned to suffer death for some offences
committed while he held a public office. He had a son, about eighteen
years of age; who, as soon as he heard of it, hastened to the judge and
begged that he might be allowed to suffer instead of his father. The
judge wrote to the king about it; who was so affected by it that he sent
orders to grant the father a free pardon, and confer upon the son a
title of honor. This, however, the son refused to receive. "Of what
avail," said he, "could the most exalted title be to me, humbled as my
family already is in the dust?" The king wept, when he heard of it, and
sent for the young man to his court.

_Filial piety rewarded._

Frederick, king of Prussia, one day rung his bell, and nobody answering,
opened the door and found his page fast asleep. Seeing a letter in his
pocket, he took it out and read it, and found it was a letter from his
mother, thanking him for having sent a part of his wages to relieve her
wants. The king was so much pleased that he slipped a bag full of
ducats into the young man's pocket, along with the letter.

_Filial Tenderness._

A young man, newly admitted to the military school in France, would eat
nothing but bread and soup, and drink nothing but water. He was reproved
for his singularity; but still he would not change. He was finally
threatened with being sent home, if he persisted. "You will not, I hope,
be displeased with me," said he to the Principal of the institution;
"but I could not bring myself to enjoy what I think a luxury, while I
reflect that my dear father and mother are in the utmost indigence. They
could afford themselves and me no better food than the coarsest of
bread, and of that but very little. Here I have excellent soup, and as
much fine wheat bread as I choose. I look upon this to be very good
living; and the recollection of the situation in which I left my
parents, would not permit me to indulge myself by eating any thing
else."

_Filial impiety punished._

God has promised long life and prosperity to the child that honors his
parents. Of course, this promise is not meant to be _absolute_; for
many die before they have an opportunity of obeying the command, and
others are taken away for wise reasons. But, as a general principle, the
promise is verified. On the contrary, the word of God declares, "The eye
that mocketh at his father, and scorneth to obey his mother, the ravens
of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it;"
meaning that God will visit with sore punishment those that despise and
ill-treat their parents. Boys, when they begin to approach manhood, are
very apt to think themselves wiser than their parents, and to be restive
and turbulent under restraint. Two young men in England, the sons of
pious and wealthy parents, wanted the family carriage to ride out and
seek their pleasure on the holy Sabbath. This being repeatedly refused,
they resolved to resent it; and accordingly went off with the
determination to go to sea. Their father sent word to Rev. Mr. Griffin,
of Portsea, requesting him to find them, and try to persuade them to
return. He did so; and among other things, urged the feelings of their
parents; who, after watching over them with so much care and tender
anxiety, must now see all their hopes blasted. This touched the heart of
the younger, and he consented to return; but the elder was obstinate.
The carriage, he said, had been refused, he had made up his mind to go
to sea, and to sea he would go. Mr. Griffin then requested the young man
to go with him to his house, and he would get him a ship that he might
go out as a man and a gentleman. This he declined, giving as a reason,
that it would make his parents _feel_ to have it said that their son
went out as a common sailor; as a common sailor, therefore, he would go.
"Is that your disposition?" said Mr. Griffin; "then, young man, go; and
while I say, God go with you, be sure your sin will find you out, and
for it God will bring you into judgment." The younger son was restored
to his parents, while all traces of the elder were lost, and he was
mourned for as for one dead.

After a considerable time, a sailor called on Mr. Griffin, and informed
him that there was a young man on board one of the ships in the harbor,
under sentence of death, who wanted to see him. What was his
astonishment, on finding the young man, who had gone to sea to be
revenged on his parents for refusing him a sinful indulgence, a
prisoner, manacled and guarded! "I have sent for you," said the young
man, "to take my last farewell of you in this world, and to bless you
for your efforts to restore me to a sense of my duty. Would to God that
I had taken your advice; but it is now to late. My sin _has_ found me
out, and for it God _has_ brought me into judgment." Mr. Griffin spent
some time with the young man in conversation and prayer; and then
hastened to London, to see if he could not get him pardoned. But, when
he arrived there, the warrant had already been sent for the young man's
execution. He returned home, and arrived on the morning that the young
man was to be executed. Within a few minutes after his arrival came a
pardon, with which he hastened to the ship, where he met the young man's
father, in the greatest agony, as he was returning from taking, as he
supposed, his last farewell of his son. Mr. Griffin entered the vessel
at the moment when the prisoner, pinioned for execution, was advancing
towards the fatal spot. In a few moments, he was restored to the
embrace, of his father. Thus he suffered shame and ignominy, and the
agonies of death, as a punishment for his disobedience to his parents;
though, in consequence of his penitence, his life was spared.

_Think how you will feel when your parents are gone._

A young man was lamenting the death of a most affectionate parent. His
companions, to console him, said that he had always behaved to the
deceased with tenderness, duty, and respect. "So I thought," he replied,
"while my parent was living; but now I recollect with pain and sorrow,
many instances of disobedience and neglect, for which, alas, it is too
late to make any atonement." If you would avoid this bitter reflection,
ask yourself, when disposed to do any thing that will grieve your
parents, "With what feelings shall I think of this, when they are dead
and gone?"

_Benefit of Obedience._

A boy wishing, one afternoon, to go with some other boys, on a sailing
excursion, asked permission of his mother, which was not granted. After
a severe struggle in his mind between inclination and duty, he gave up
his anticipated pleasure, and remained at home. The other boys went. A
sudden flaw of wind capsized their boat, and two of them were drowned.
The boy, when he heard of it, was much affected, and said to his mother,
"_After this I shall always do as you say._"

_Reward of Disobedience._

Another boy was charged by his father, as he was going away, to be gone
a few days, not to go on the pond. Saturday, being his holiday, he asked
permission of his mother to go a skating. She told him he might skate
about in the fields and by the sides of the road, on such patches of ice
as he could find; "but," said she, "be sure you do not go on the pond."
He went out; and contrary to the strict charges he had received from his
parents, he went on the pond. He thought there was no danger; for the
ice was a foot thick. But there was a place that had been cut open to
get ice, where he and his companions fell in, and he was drowned!

Some years ago, a boy in Woburn, named William Wheat, came to a terrible
end in consequence of disobedience to his parents. Three Sabbaths before
his death, he left the Sabbath School, and went to a public house--a
place where no boy should go, on any day, unless sent on business. The
next Sabbath, his teacher reproved him, and he was very angry, and
declared it was the last time he should ever enter the Sabbath School;
which proved true. The next Sabbath, he did not go; and the following
Wednesday, he got an old gun barrel, which his parents had repeatedly
forbidden him to meddle with, and charging it with powder, applied a
lucifer match, to "fire off his _cannon_," as he called it. The gun
burst and killed him instantly. Here was a boy of a turbulent
ungovernable disposition, despising the authority of his parents and the
law of God. He only came to the end to which the road, in which he
walked, naturally leads.

Boys should never attempt to set up their own judgment against that of
their parents. When a parent denies the requests of his children, he
does it, not to deprive them of pleasure, but because he sees a good
reason for it. If the child submits, he will one day see that his
parents had a good reason, although he could not then perceive it. Let
this reflection silence all murmuring: "_My father and mother know
better than I._" The truth of this is clearly proved in the foregoing
cases.

_Conscientious Obedience._

Some children obey their parents because it is right, and because they
love them. This is true, conscientious obedience--the obedience of the
heart. And those who render to their parents this kind of obedience,
will be just as careful to obey them, when out of their sight, as in
their presence; and they will be careful not to _evade_ their commands.
They only want to know the wishes of their parents, promptly to obey
them.

The shouts of half a dozen children were heard from the piazza of one of
the large boarding houses at Saratoga Springs--"O yes; that's capital!
so we will! Come on now! there's William Hale! Come on, William, we're
going to have a ride on the Circular Railway. Come with us?" "Yes, if my
mother is willing. I will run and ask her," replied William. "O, O! so
you must run and ask your _ma_. Great baby, run along to your ma! Ain't
you ashamed? I didn't ask my mother." "Nor I." "Nor I," added half a
dozen voices. "Be a man, William," cried the first voice,--"come along
with us, if you don't want to be called a coward as long as you live.
Don't you see we are all waiting?"

William was standing with one foot advanced, and his hand firmly
clenched, in the midst of the group, with flushed brow, flashing eye,
compressed lip, and changing cheek, all showing how the epithet _coward_
rankled in his breast. It was doubted, for a moment, whether he would
have the true bravery to be called a coward rather than do wrong. But,
with a voice trembling with emotion, he replied, "I _will not_ go
without I ask my mother; and I am no coward either. I promised her I
would not go from the house without permission, and I _should_ be a
base coward, if I were to tell her a wicked lie."

In the evening, William was walking in the parlor, among the crowd, with
his mother, a Southern lady, of gentle, polished manners, who looked
with pride on her graceful boy, whose fine face was fairly radiant with
animation and intelligence. Well might she be proud of such a son, who
could dare to do right, when all were tempting him to do wrong.

_Cheerful Obedience, Sullen Obedience, and Disobedience._

When children are away from home, they are bound to obey those to whose
care their parents have entrusted them. Three boys, Robert, George, and
Alfred, went to spend a week with a gentleman, who took them to be
agreeable, well-behaved boys. There was a great pond near his house,
with a flood-gate, where the water ran out. It was cold weather, and the
pond was frozen over; but the gentleman knew that the ice was very thin
near the flood-gate. The first morning after they came, he told them
they might go and slide on the pond, if they would not go near the
flood-gate. Soon after they were gone, he followed them to see that they
were safe. When he got there, he found Robert sliding in the very place
where he had told him not to go. This was disobedience outright. George
was walking sullenly by the side of the pond, not so much as sliding at
all, because he had been forbidden to venture on the dangerous part.
This was _sullen obedience_; which is, in reality, no obedience at all,
because it comes not from the heart. But Alfred was cheerfully enjoying
himself, in a capital long slide, upon a safe part of the pond. This was
true obedience. Suddenly, the ice broke where Robert was sliding, he
immediately went under water, and it was with difficulty that his life
was saved. The gentleman concluded that Alfred was a lad of integrity,
but that his two brothers were not to be trusted. Obedience secured him
happiness, and the confidence of the kind gentleman with whom he was
staying; while the others deprived themselves of enjoyment, lost the
gentleman's confidence, and one of them nearly lost his life; and yet,
to slide on the dangerous part of the pond would have added nothing to
their enjoyment. They desired it from mere wilfulness, _because it was
forbidden_. This disposition indulged, will always lead boys into
difficulty; and if they cherish it while boys, it will go with them
through life, and keep them always "_in hot water_."



CHAPTER III.

SOCIAL VIRTUES AND VICES.


SECTION I.--BROTHERLY AFFECTION.

_Sergeant Glanville._

Customs vary in different countries. In England, when a man dies without
making a will, his property goes to his eldest son. Mr. Glanville, who
lived in the days of Charles II., had an eldest son, who was incurably
vicious; and seeing no hope of reforming him, the father gave his
property to his second son. When Mr. Sergeant Glanville died, and his
eldest son learned what was done, he became greatly dejected, and in a
short time his character underwent an entire change. When his brother
perceived this, he invited him and a party of his friends to a feast.
After several dishes had been served, he ordered one, covered up, to be
set before his brother; which on being opened, was found to contain the
writings that conveyed to him the estate. This, he remarked was what he
was sure his father would have done, had he lived to witness the happy
change which they saw.

_Generosity of an elder brother._

Mr. H----, an ingenious artist, for want of employment, was reduced to
great distress, and applied to his elder brother, who was in good
circumstances, and begged some little hovel to live in, and some
provision for his support. His brother was melted to tears: "You, my
dear brother," said he, "you live in a hovel! You are a man; you are an
honor to the family. I am nothing. You shall take this house and estate,
and I will be your guest, if you please." The two brothers lived thus
affectionately together, as if it had been common property, till the
death of the elder put the artist in possession of the whole. How happy
every family of brothers would be, if they would thus share with each
other all they have! It would save all disputing about _mine_ and
_thine_. Every one would be equally pleased that his brother was
enjoying any thing, as if he had it himself.


SECTION II.--THE GOLDEN RULE.

GENEROUS BLACKSMITH.

Mr. Wilson, passing late one evening by a blacksmith's shop, and hearing
the sound of the hammer much later than usual, stepped in to inquire the
cause. The man told him that one of his neighbors had just been burned
out, and had lost every thing; and he had undertaken to work an hour
earlier in the morning and an hour later at night to help him.

"This is kind, in you," said Mr. Wilson; "for I suppose your neighbor
will never be able to pay you again."

"I do not expect it," replied the blacksmith; "but if I were in his
situation, and he in mine, I am sure he would do as much for me."

The next morning, Mr. Wilson called and offered to lend the blacksmith
fifty dollars without interest, so that he might be able to buy his
iron cheaper. But the man refused to take it, but told Mr. Wilson that,
if he would lend it to the man whose house was burned down, it would go
far towards helping him rebuild his cottage. To this, Mr. Wilson
consented, and had the pleasure of making two men happy.

_Michael Verin._

Michael Verin, a Florentine youth, was always foremost; and his
compositions being more correct than those of any other boy in school,
he always obtained the first prize. One of his school-fellows, named
Belvicino, studied hard night and day, but could never get the prize.
This grieved him so much that he pined away and grew sick. Verin was
strongly attached to Belvicino; and, discovering the cause of his
illness, he determined to remove it. The next composition day, he made
several faults in his Greek version. Belvicino's was judged the best,
and he took the prize. This so delighted him that he quickly recovered
his health and spirits. But he would never have known to whom he was
indebted for his success, had not the preceptor pressed Verin to tell
him why he had made such palpable faults in his composition.


SECTION III.--GRATITUDE AND BENEVOLENCE.

PLANTING TREES.

An old man was busily employed in planting and grafting an apple tree.
Some one passing by, rudely accosted him with the inquiry, "Why do _you_
plant trees, who cannot hope to eat the fruit of them?" The old man
raised himself up, and leaning on his spade, replied, "Some one planted
trees before I was born, and I have eaten the fruit; I now plant for
others, that the memorial of my gratitude may exist when I am dead and
gone." It is a very narrow, selfish feeling that confines our views
within the circle of our own private interests. If man had been made to
live for himself alone, we may justly conclude that every one would have
been made by himself, and his bounds marked out, so that he might live
alone. But since God has made us to live in society, he designs that we
should be helpful to each other. The truly ingenuous, benevolent mind,
takes more pleasure in an act which will confer blessings upon others,
than in one that terminates on himself. The selfish man wraps himself in
his cloak, and cares not for the sufferings of others, so that he keeps
warm himself. This old man, however, remembered how much he was indebted
to those who had lived before him, and resolved to pay his debts. If we
would look around us, we should find ourselves indebted to others, on
every side, for the comforts which we now enjoy--first to God, and under
him, to those whom he has employed as his agents to give them to us.
Ought we not, then, to strive in some measure to repay these
obligations, by doing something to promote the happiness and well-being
of others? Who gave us the Gospel? The missionaries, who preached the
gospel to our Saxon ancestors, and the Reformers, who opened the
treasures of God's word, when they were hid under the rubbish of Popish
superstition. Ought we not, then, in return for this, to send the
blessed gospel to those who are now destitute? Who gave us our civil and
religious liberties? Our fathers who braved the ocean and the wilderness
to establish it, and the sword of the mother country to maintain it.
Ought we not, then, to transmit this precious boon to our posterity? And
so in whatever direction we look, we shall find some blessing for which
we are indebted to the noble generosity, public spirit, or christian
benevolence of others. Let us return the blessing, with interest, into
the bosom of others. Dr. Franklin, having done a favor to some one, and
being pressed with thanks, requested the person whom he had obliged to
embrace the first opportunity of doing a kindness to some other person,
and request him to pass it round, as all mankind are friends and
brothers. A greater than he has said, "It is more blessed to give than
to receive."

_Thomas Cromwell._

Francis Frescobald, a rich Florentine merchant, had become noted for his
liberality to the needy and destitute. A young Englishman, named Thomas
Cromwell, the son of a poor man, had gone into Italy with the French
army, where he found himself in a destitute condition. Hearing of the
liberality of Frescobald, he applied to him for aid; who, having
inquired into his circumstances, took him to his house, clothed him
genteelly, and kept him till he had recovered his strength. He then gave
him a good horse, with sixteen ducats of gold in his pockets; with
which, after expressing his gratitude to his benefactor, he made his way
home. After his arrival in England, he was taken into the service of
Cardinal Wolsey, who was then the favorite of King Henry VIII., and his
Prime Minister. After the death of the Cardinal, Cromwell became the
King's favorite; who made him a baron, a viscount, Earl of Essex, and
finally, lord chancellor of England.

Frescobald the rich Florentine merchant, by repeated losses both at sea
and on the land, was now reduced to poverty. Some English merchants,
however, were owing him fifteen thousand ducats, and he came to England
to collect the money. The lord chancellor, as he was riding to court,
met him in the street, and immediately alighted and embraced him; and
without waiting for his old friend to recognize him, invited him to dine
with him. Frescobald, after recollecting himself, concluded it must be
the young Englishman whom he had assisted, and therefore complied with
the invitation. When the chancellor returned from court, with a number
of the nobility, he introduced them to the merchant, and related the
story of the assistance he had received from him in a time of need.
After the company were gone, Cromwell inquired of Frescobald what had
brought him to England, who related to him his misfortunes. "I am sorry
for them," said he; "and I will make them as easy to you as I can. But,
because men ought to be just before they are kind, it is fit I should
repay the debt I owe you." Then leading him to a closet, he took out
sixteen ducats and gave them to Frescobald, saying, "My friend, here is
the money you lent me at Florence, with ten pieces you laid out for my
apparel, and ten more you paid out for my horse; but, considering that
you are a merchant, and might have made some advantage by this money in
the way of trade, take these four bags, in every one of which are four
hundred ducats, and enjoy them as free gifts of your friend." These
Frescobald would have refused, but Cromwell forced them upon him. He
then took the names of his debtors and the sums they owed, and sent his
servant to demand their payment in fifteen days. In a short time, the
entire sum was paid. During this time Frescobald lodged at Cromwell's
house; and the latter would have persuaded him to remain in England; but
he chose to return to Florence. Here is a fine illustration of that
passage of Scripture, which says, "Cast thy bread upon the waters, for
thou shalt find it after many days."

_Lending to the Lord_.

Solomon says, "He that hath pity on the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and
that which he hath given will he pay him again." The following anecdote
affords a very striking illustration of the truth of this passage:

In the year 1797, as Mr. M.---- was travelling among the mountains in
Vermont he was overtaken by a thunder shower, and sought shelter in a
small house, on the borders of a great forest. On entering the house and
finding no one but a woman and her infant he apologized, and asked the
privilege of stopping till the shower was over. The woman said she was
glad to have him come in, for she was always terrified by thunder. The
gentleman told her she need not be terrified at thunder, if she only
trusted in God. After conversing with her some time on this subject, he
inquired whether she had any neighbors, who were religious. She told him
she had neighbors about two miles off, but whether they were religious
or not, she could not tell. She heard that they had preaching there once
a fortnight, but she never attended their meetings. She appeared to be
extremely ignorant on the subject of religion. The rain had now passed
over, and all nature smiled. The traveller, as he was about to leave,
thanked the woman for her kindness, and expressed to her his earnest
desire for the salvation of her soul, and besought her to read the Bible
daily, and give diligent heed to its instructions. But she, with tears
in her eyes, confessed that she had no Bible. They had never been able,
she said, to buy one. "Could you read one if you had it?" he inquired.
She said she could, and would be very glad of the privilege. "Poor
woman," said he, "I do heartily pity you: farewell."

As the traveller was preparing to go, he thought to himself, "This woman
is in very great want of a Bible. O that I had one to give her! But I
have not. As for money to buy one, I have none to spare. I have no more
than will be absolutely necessary for my expenses home. I must go: but
if I leave this woman without the means to procure the word of God, she
may perish for lack of knowledge. What shall I do?" These passages of
Scripture then came to his mind, "He that hath pity on the poor lendeth
to the Lord." "Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it
after many days." He said in his heart, "I will trust in the Lord." He
took a dollar from his purse, went back and gave it to the woman,
telling her to buy a Bible with it. She promised to do so, and said she
knew where one could be obtained.

The traveller set out, and when night came he took lodgings at a private
house. He had a little change left, but as he had two days more to
travel, he thought he would make his supper on a cold morsel, which he
had with him. But, when the family came to the table, he was urged to
take a seat with them, and invited to ask a blessing. He now began to
feel himself among friends, and at liberty to speak of divine things;
and the family seemed gratified in listening to his conversation. In the
morning, he offered to pay for his lodging, but the people would take
nothing. He travelled on, till late in the morning, when, finding no
hotel, he stopped at a private house for breakfast. While waiting, he
lost no time to recommend Christ to the family. When ready to depart,
the mistress of the house would take nothing for his breakfast, or the
oats, which his horse had eaten. And so he went on, asking for and
receiving refreshment when he wanted it, and offering to pay for it, as
any other traveller would do; but no one would take any thing, although
they did not know but he had plenty of money. "What does this mean?"
said he to himself. "I was never treated in this manner on a journey
before." He recollected the dollar he had given the poor woman, and the
passage of Scripture, which induced him to do it, and said, "I have been
well paid. It is indeed safe lending to the Lord." On the second day
after he left the cottage in the wilderness, he arrived safely at home,
having been at no expense on the way. The Lord has the control of all
events. The hearts of all men are in his hands. It was He who inclined
the hearts of the people to be kind and hospitable to his servant, and
to ask no pay for what they gave him.

About a year and a half after this, a stranger called at Mr. M.'s house,
and asked for some refreshment. In the course of their conversation, Mr.
M. asked the stranger whether the people in those parts where he lived
paid much attention to religion.

"Not much," he replied; "but in a town twenty or thirty miles distant,
there has been a powerful revival. The commencement of it was very
extraordinary. The first person that was awakened and brought to
repentance, was a poor woman, who lived in a very retired place. She
told her friends and neighbors that a stranger was driven into her house
by a thunder storm, and talked to her so seriously, that she began,
while listening to his discourse to feel concerned about her soul. The
gentleman was much affected, when he found she had no Bible; and after
he had left the house to go on his journey, returned again, and gave her
a dollar to buy one; and charged her to get it soon, and read it
diligently. She did so; and it had been the means, as she believed, of
her salvation. The neighbors wondered at this; and it was the means of
awakening them to a deep concern for the salvation of their souls. As
many as thirty or forty are rejoicing in God their Savior." Mr. M. who
had listened to this narrative, with his heart swelling more and more
with wonder, gratitude, and joy, could refrain no longer; but with hands
and eyes raised to heaven, exclaimed, "My God, thou hast paid me again!"

When we lend to the Lord, he always pays us with "good measure, pressed
down and running over."

_An Indian story_.

In the early settlement of this country a strange Indian arrived at an
inn in Litchfield, Connecticut, and asked for something to eat; at the
same time saying that, as he had been unsuccessful in hunting, he had
nothing to pay. The woman who kept the inn, not only refused his
reasonable request, but called him hard names. But a man who sat by,
seeing that the Indian was suffering for want of food, told her to give
him what he wanted at his expense. When the Indian had finished his
supper, he thanked the man, and assured him that he should be faithfully
recompensed, whenever it was in his power.

Some years after this, the man had occasion to go from Litchfield to
Albany, where he was taken prisoner by the Indians, and carried to
Canada. Some of them proposed that he should be put to death; but an old
woman demanded that he should be given to her, that she might adopt him
in place of a son, who had been killed in the war. This was done, and he
passed the winter in her family. The next summer, while he was at work
alone in the woods, a strange Indian came and asked him to go to a
certain place on a given day, which he agreed to do; though he had some
fears that mischief was intended. His fears increased, and his promise
was broken. But the Indian came again and renewed the request. The man
made another engagement, and kept his word. On reaching the spot, he
found the Indian provided with ammunition, two muskets, and two
knapsacks. He was ordered to take one of each; which he did, and
followed his conductor. In the day time, they shot the game that came
in their way, and at night, they kindled a fire and slept by it. But
the Indian observed a mysterious silence as to the object of their
expedition. After travelling in this manner many days, they came to the
top of a mountain, from which they saw a number of houses in the midst
of a cultivated country. The Indian asked him if he knew the ground, and
he eagerly answered, "_It is Litchfield?_" The Indian then recalled to
his mind the scene at the inn, and bidding him farewell, exclaimed, "_I
am that Indian!_ Now I pray you go home."

_Example of Disinterested Benevolence._

A traveller in Asia Minor, in a time of distressing drought, found a
vase of water under a little shed by the road-side, for the refreshment
of the weary traveller. A man in the neighborhood was in the habit of
bringing the water from a considerable distance, and filling the vase
every morning, and then going to his work. He could have had no motive
to do this, but a kind regard to the comfort of weary travellers, for he
was never there to receive their thanks, much less their money. This was
benevolence.


SECTION IV.--MANNERS.

POLITENESS.

Rev. Dr. Witherspoon, President of New-Jersey College, once gave out
_Politeness_, to a division of one of his classes, as a subject for
composition. The young gentlemen were delighted with it; and when the
time came for reading, some of them expatiated upon it largely,
learnedly, and politely. After they had all read, they waited for the
President to sum up their observations, and then state his own views.
But, he told them, he should only give them a short definition, which
they might always remember. "POLITENESS," said he, "IS REAL KINDNESS,
KINDLY EXPRESSED." This is the sum and substance of all true politeness;
and if my readers will put it in practice, they will be surprised to see
how every body will be charmed with their manners.

_Good Breeding_.

Gassendi was a youth of such extraordinary abilities and attainments as
to command universal admiration; but in his manners he was generally
silent, never ostentatiously obtruding upon others his own knowledge. He
was never in a hurry to give his opinion before he knew that of the
persons who were conversing with him. He was never fond of displaying
himself.

I knew a young man whose behavior was directly the opposite of
Gassendi's: a _compound of ignorance_, _self-conceit_, _and impudence_.
He was forward to talk in all companies. His opinion, on all subjects,
was _cheap_--a gift that went a-begging. He could tell the farmer how to
till the soil; the mechanic how to use his tools; the merchant, how to
make his gains; the doctor, how to cure his patient; the minister, how
to preach; and the cook, how to bake her bread. He wanted only a _pair
of long ears_ to complete his character.


SECTION V.--OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD.

A BLACK BOY

Some boys are mean enough to ridicule others for natural defects, for
which they are not to blame; and it is a very common thing to consider
the color of the skin as a mark of inferiority. But even if it were so,
it would be no ground of reproach, for it is the color which God gave.
Mr. Southey, the poet, relates that, when he was a small boy, there was
a black boy in the neighborhood, who was called _Jim Dick_. Southey and
a number of his play fellows, as they were collected together one
evening at their sports, began to torment the poor black boy, calling
him "_nigger_," "_blackamoor_," and other nicknames. The poor fellow was
very much grieved, and soon left them. Soon after, these boy's had an
appointment to go a skating, and on that day Southey broke his skates.
After all his rude treatment of poor Jim, he was mean enough to go and
ask him to lend his skates. "O yes, John," Jim replied, "you may have
them and welcome." When he went to return them, he found Jim sitting in
the kitchen reading his Bible. As Southey handed Dick his skates, the
latter looked at him with tears in his eyes, and said, "John, don't ever
call me blackamoor again," and immediately left the room. Southey burst
into tears, and from that time resolved never again to abuse a poor
black--a resolution which I hope every one of my readers will make and
never break. But, if you will follow the example of this poor colored
boy, and return good for evil, you will always find it the best
retaliation you can make for an injury.

_The converted soldier._

A soldier in the East Indies, a stout, lion-looking, lion-hearted man,
had been a noted prizefighter, and a terror to those who knew him. With
one blow he could level a strong man to the ground. That man sauntered
into the mission chapel, heard the gospel, and was alarmed. He returned
again and again, and at last, light broke in upon his mind, and he
became a new creature. The change in his character was marked and
decided. The lion was changed into a lamb. Two months afterwards, in the
mess-room, some of those who had been afraid of him before began to
ridicule him. One of them said, "I'll put it to the test whether he is a
Christian or not;" and taking a basin of hot soup, he threw it into his
bosom. The whole company gazed in breathless silence, expecting that the
lion would start up, and murder him on the spot. But after he had torn
open his waistcoat, and wiped his scalded breast, he calmly turned round
and said, "This is what I must expect: If I become a Christian, I must
suffer persecution." His comrades were filled with astonishment. This
was overcoming evil with good. If the reader will follow this man's
example, he will save himself a world of difficulty.

_The forgiving school boy._

In a school in Ireland, one boy struck another; and when he was about to
be punished, the injured boy earnestly begged for his pardon. The master
inquired why he wished to prevent so deserved a punishment; to which he
replied, that he had read in the New-Testament that Jesus Christ said we
should forgive our enemies; "and I forgive him, and beg he may not be
punished for my sake."


SECTION VI.--USE OF THE TONGUE.

ADVANTAGES OF SPEAKING THE TRUTH.

It is a great advantage to any one to have the confidence of others, so
far that his word will always be taken for the exact truth. This
confidence is to be acquired only by always speaking the truth; and
especially, by adhering so closely to the fact that people will not only
believe that we mean to speak the truth, but that they will feel
confident that we have neither mistaken the facts, nor added any
coloring, nor kept back any thing, to make it appear different from the
reality. The following story shows how great an advantage one may derive
from having this confidence in his strict veracity established:

_Petrarch_, the celebrated Italian poet, by his strict regard for truth,
secured the unbounded confidence of Cardinal Colonna, in whose family
he resided. A violent quarrel broke out among the Cardinal's numerous
family of servants, which ended in a fight. The Cardinal, in order to
investigate the affair, and punish the offenders, assembled all his
people and put them under oath to tell the whole truth. Everyone took
the oath, not excepting the bishop of Luna, the Cardinal's own brother.
Petrarch, in his turn, presented himself, but the Cardinal closed the
book, saying, "As to you, Petrarch, your word is sufficient." Our
readers will perceive how great an advantage it will be to them to have
always such a strict regard to the exact truth, that their word will be
considered as good as an oath.

_Remember the bright side._

When Peter the Great heard any one speaking ill of another, he would
inquire, "Is there not a _fair side_, also, to the character of the
person of whom you are speaking? Come, tell me what _good_ qualities you
have remarked about him." If, in speaking of others, we should look
always at the _fair side_, and see what good things we can say of them,
it would make us feel better towards them; it would be doing them a
service instead of an injury; it would tend to make _peace_, rather than
foment strife.


SECTION VII.--PUNCTUALITY.

EXAMPLE OF WASHINGTON.

When Washington appointed the hour of twelve to meet Congress, he never
failed to be passing the door of the hall while the clock was striking
twelve. His dinner hour was four o'clock. If his guests were not there
at the time, he never waited for them. New members of Congress, who were
invited to dine with him, would frequently come in when dinner was half
over; and he would say to them, "Gentlemen, we are punctual here. My
cook never asks whether the company has arrived, but whether the hour
has." In 1799, when on a visit to Boston, he appointed eight o'clock in
the morning as the hour when he would set out for Salem. While the Old
South clock was striking eight, he was mounting his horse. The company
of cavalry, who had volunteered to escort him, was parading in Tremont
street, and did not overtake him till he had reached Charles River
Bridge. On their arrival, the General said, "Major, I thought you had
been too long in my family not to know when it was eight o'clock."

_Samuel Wesley, Esq._

Samuel Wesley, Esq., was one of the greatest musicians of his age. His
musical powers were developed while he was a child, and excited the
greatest admiration. But he was as great a lover of regular habits as of
song. No company or persuasion could keep him up beyond his regular time
for going to bed. For this reason, he could seldom be persuaded to go to
a concert in the night. The moment the clock struck eight, away ran
Samuel, in the midst of his most favorite amusement. Once he rose up
from the first part of the _Messiah_, saying, "Come, mamma, let us go
home, or I shan't be in bed by eight." When some friends talked of
carrying him to the queen, and his father asked him if he was willing to
go, he replied, "Yes, with all my heart; but I won't stay beyond eight."
This was a wise resolution; for children are sadly injured, by being
kept up late at night.

_Five minutes too late._

The following amusing sketch, though perhaps fictitious, gives a pretty
faithful picture of many a man's life:

"When a child, I was scolded for being too late at school; when a boy, I
was cuffed and kicked for being too late at my work; and when a man, I
was turned away for being behind my time on a particular occasion when
my services were wanted.

"My uncle Jonathan was well to do in the world, and as his nephews were
his nearest relations, we had reason to expect that his property would
come among us. He had, however, one peculiarity, which effectually shut
his door against me. He never was five minutes too late in an
appointment in his life, and thought most contemptuously of those who
were. I really believe that I was a bit of a favorite with him until my
unfortunate failing justly offended him.

"He had occasion to go a journey, and I was directed to be with him at
seven in the morning, to carry his portmanteau to the coach. Alas! I was
"Five minutes too late," and he had left the house.

"Knowing his particularity, I hurried after him, and running till I
could scarcely stand, arrived at one end of the street just in time to
see the coach go off with my uncle at the other. Dearly did I pay for
being "Five minutes too late."

"My Uncle did not return for a month, and certainly showed more
forbearance toward me than he was ever known to do on a similar
occasion; for in a letter he stated, that if I could be punctual, he
should wish me to meet him on his return, to take charge of his
portmanteau, and thereby make some amends for my misconduct. Off I set,
but knowing that coaches frequently arrive a quarter of an hour after
their set time, I thought a minute or two could be of no consequence.
The coach unfortunately, was "horridly exact," and once more I was after
my time, just "Five minutes too late."

"My Uncle Jonathan never forgave me, fully believing that I had done it
on purpose to get rid of the trouble of carrying his portmanteau. Years
rolled away, and I was not so much as permitted to enter the door of my
Uncle Jonathan.

"Time, however, heals many a sore, and while it ruffles many a smooth
brow, smooths many a ruffled temper. My Uncle Jonathan so far relented,
that when about to make his will, he sent to me to call upon him
exactly at ten o'clock. Determined to be in time, I set off, allowing
myself some minutes to spare and pulling out my watch at the door, found
that for once in my life I had kept my appointment to the second. The
servant, to my surprise, told me, that my Uncle Jonathan had ordered the
door to be shut in my face for being behind my time. It was then I found
out my watch was too slow, and that I was exactly "Five minutes too
late."

"Had I been earlier on that occasion I might have been provided for, but
now I am a poor man, and a poor man I am likely to remain. However, good
may arise from my giving this short account of my foolish habit, as it
may possibly convince some of the value of punctuality, and dispose them
to avoid the manifold evils of being "Five minutes too late.""

Few young persons are sensible of the importance of punctuality, because
they are not aware of the value of time. But time is money; and to rob a
man of his time, by obliging him to wait beyond the appointed hour to
meet your engagement with him, is equivalent to robbing him of so much
money as he could have earned in the lost time. The _habit_ of
punctuality must be acquired early. Be punctual in the family and
school, and you will be a punctual man.


SECTION VIII.--CONTENTION.

DANGER OF CONTENTION.

Quarrelling generally arises from selfishness and anger. Selfishness is
grasping. It respects not the rights of others. It will yield none of
its own. The selfish person is therefore continually coming in conflict
with others; and, as impediments are thrown in the way of his
gratification, his passions are roused. Anger is a species of insanity.
When one yields to his passions, he loses self-control. He takes an
enemy into his bosom, and suffers himself to be nosed about by him at
will. No one can tell what dreadful thing he may do when once he gives a
loose rein to his passions.

"The beginning of strife is as the letting out of waters." When you open
a little drain to a pond of water, it runs slowly at first, in a very
small stream; but the body of water above rushes into the channel and
wears it deeper, and that increases the pressure and widens it still
more, till presently the whole body comes pouring forth in an
irresistible torrent. One dry season, in the summer, a man in Vermont,
who owned a mill, on a small stream near a large pond, found his water
failing, so that his mill was likely to stop. To prevent this, he
collected together a few of the neighbors, and dug a little trench from
the pond to the stream that carried his mill. At first it ran very
slowly and quietly along, till it began to wear away the channel, and to
turn the force of the body of water in the pond in that direction, when
it increased violently, tore away the banks, and poured the whole
contents of the pond into the little stream, carried off the mill, and
rushed on with impetuous fury through the valley, sweeping away fences,
bridges, barns, houses, and every thing that came in its way.

At a place called _Brag Corner_, in the State of Maine, a small stream
falls into the Sandy river, on which a superior grist-mill was erected a
few years since. The stream not affording water enough, a pond
containing fifty or one hundred acres, having no outlet, and lying two
hundred feet above the level where the mill stood, was connected with
the stream that carried the mill by an artificial canal. The water of
the pond began to gully away the gravel over which it was made to run,
and having formed a regular channel, defied all human control, and, in
the space of six hours, cut a ravine seventy feet deep, and let out the
whole pond, sweeping away the mill, foundation and all, and carrying
away a house and blacksmith's shop, which stood near, not giving the
owner time to save any thing of consequence from his house.

Such, Solomon says, is strife. When you begin to quarrel, you know not
where it will end. It not unfrequently terminates in the death of one of
the parties, as in the following case: A boy about eleven years of age,
son of Mr. Philip Petty, of Westport, R. I., took his father's gun, as
he said, to go a gunning. His elder brother attempted to take it from
him. A quarrel ensued, between the two brothers, and in the course of
the scuffle, the gun went off and lodged the contents in the younger
one's bowels. He lingered a few hours in great agony and died. How must
the other one feel, to think that the quarrel, which he began, led to
the death of his brother. How much safer to take Solomon's advice, and
"leave off contention before it be meddled with."

_Danger of Indulging anger._

Frederick Jones was the son of a rich manufacturer. His father being
engrossed in business, the children were left to the care of their
mother, who, being a weak woman, did not restrain them as she ought.
There were four, but three of them died; and Frederick being left the
only child, was indulged still more. At a very early age he showed his
angry temper; and he became such a little tyrant that the very dogs and
cats about the house were afraid of him. Once, when he was three years
old, he insisted that he would have the silver tea-urn, to drag about
the room by a string for his coach. And, because his mother refused to
let him do so, he seized her cap and tore it from her head.

When Frederick was ten years old, he went into the kitchen, where the
servants used to let him do as he pleased for fear of his dreadful
temper; for they called him "_Mamma's pet lion_." He had not been long
there before he upset the table, knocked down the shovel and tongs, and
broke several plates. Not satisfied with this, he collected all the tin
things in the middle of the floor, and began battering them with the
tongs. The cook, not being very well pleased with this destruction,
undertook to lead him out of the kitchen. But the little fury, by
shrieking and scratching, got free, and seizing a fork, he threw it at
the cook, which struck her in the eye and put it out. Thus, by the
foolish anger of this little boy, a poor woman lost the sight of her eye
entirely. This shows the danger of indulging angry passions; for no one
knows what a dreadful deed he may commit in a fit of anger. It shows
also the danger of throwing things at others. It is a very dangerous
practice, and sometimes leads to the loss of life.

A little while after this, Frederick was playing at the front door of
the house, when a boy passing on the other side of the street, called
out, "Hallo, Master Fred., have you put any more people's eyes out
lately?" This was enough to make him angry. He immediately picked up a
large stone, and chasing the boy some distance, threw it at him with all
his might. The boy was out of the way of the stone, but it struck a
large bull-dog, which, naturally enough, concluded that he was unjustly
attacked, and turning upon Frederick, gave him a severe bite in the leg,
and tossed him into the gutter. Frederick roared aloud with pain and
rage, and had to be carried home to his bed, where he lay for several
weeks. But nobody pitied him. The people who heard of it, knowing his
temper, thought the dog had done a praiseworthy act.

After this, Frederick's father sent him to a boarding school, about
twenty miles from home, to a very strict master. Here he was in
continual broils with his school-fellows. There was scarcely a boy in
the school with whom he did not have a fight. But generally he came off
with a bleeding nose or a black eye, because his passions took away his
strength, and the other boys were an overmatch for him. His schoolmates
generally did not like to fight; but this angry boy would fly at them
for the most trifling thing, and force them to defend themselves.

Frederick's father died before he was twenty years of age; and as he
loved amusement better than business, he sold the manufactory, and
travelled in Europe; where he was very dissipated, and fought two duels,
in both of which he was wounded. During his absence, his mother had
become a good woman; and on his return, he found her company
disagreeable. She entreated him to break off his evil courses. But this
only made him angry. To get rid of her reproofs, he left her and went to
one of the Western States. There, while he was engaged at a public
house, with some of his wicked companions, talking politics, one of
them called him a liar, and he drew out his dirk and stabbed him to the
heart. He ran away from the place, but the image of the murdered man
haunted him day and night, and made him wretched. He gave himself up to
intoxication, and at the age of twenty-three years, fell into a
drunkard's grave, some time after his mother had died of a broken heart
on his account. All this came upon Frederick, in consequence of not
restraining his passions while a boy. His violent, ungovernable temper
might have been subdued, when he was a child; but by indulgence it
increased in strength, till it became perfectly unmanageable.

_Be kind to your sister._

The following affecting story, which is given in the language of the
brother himself, will admonish every boy who reads it, to be kind to his
sisters, and especially to avoid blows on the head, as it is probable
the blow given this little girl by her brother was the cause of her
death. What a shame for a brother to strike his sister!

"One morning in my early life, I remember to have been playing with my
younger sister, not then three years old. It was one of those bright
mornings in spring, that bring joy and life to the heart, and diffuse
gladness and animation through all the tribes of living creatures. Our
feelings were in perfect harmony with the universal gladness of nature.
Even now I seem to hear the merry laugh of my little sister, as she
followed me through the winding alleys of the garden, her cheek suffused
with the glow of health and animation, and her waving hair floating in
the wind.

"She was an only sister, the sole companion of all my childish sports.
We were constantly together; and my young heart went out to hers, with
all the affection, all the fondness, of which childhood is capable.
Nothing afforded me enjoyment in which she did not participate; no
amusement was sought which we could not share together.

"That morning we had prolonged our play till near the hour of breakfast,
with undiminished ardor, when at some slight provocation, my impetuous
nature broke forth, and in my anger, I _struck_ my little sister a blow
with my hand. She turned to me with an appealing look, and the large
tears came into her eyes. Her heart was too full to allow her to speak,
and shame made me silent. At that moment the breakfast bell summoned us
away, and we returned to the house without exchanging a word. The
excitement of play was over, and as she sat beside my mother at
breakfast, I perceived by occasional stolen glances at her that she was
pale and sad. A tear seemed ready to start in her eye, which her little
self-possession could scarcely repress. It was only when my mother
inquired if she was ill, that she endeavored to eat. I was ashamed and
grieved, and inwardly resolved to embrace the first opportunity when we
were alone, to throw my arms round her neck and entreat her forgiveness.

"When breakfast was ended, my mother retired with her into her own room,
directing me in the meantime to sit down to my lesson. I seated myself
by the window, and ran over my lesson, but did not learn it. My thoughts
were perpetually recurring to the scene in the garden and at table. It
was long before my mother returned, and when she did, it was with an
agitated look, and hurried step, to tell me that my poor Ellen was very
ill. I asked eagerly if I might go to her, but was not permitted, lest I
should disturb her. A physician was called and every means used for her
recovery, but to no purpose. The disease, which was in her head,
constantly increased in violence, and she became delirious. It was not
until evening that I was permitted to see her. She was a little
recovered from the severity of her pain, and lay with her eyes closed,
and her little hand resting on the pillow beneath her head. How I longed
to tell her the sorrow I felt for my unkindness to her in the morning
and how much I had suffered for it during the day. But I was forbidden
to speak to her, and was soon taken out of the room. During that night
and the day following, she continued to grow worse. I saw her several
times, but she was always insensible of my presence. Once indeed, she
showed some signs of consciousness, and asked for me; but immediately
relapsed into her former state.

"On the morning of the third day, I rose at an early hour, and repaired
to the sick room. My mother was sitting by the bed. As I entered, she
drew me to her, and for some time was silent, while the tears flowed
fast down her face. I first learned that my sweet sister was dead, as my
mother drew aside the curtain that concealed her from me. I felt as
though my heart would break. The remembrance of her affection for me,
and my last unkind deed, revived in my mind; and burying my face in the
folds of the curtain, I wept long and bitterly.

"I saw her laid in the coffin, and lowered into the grave. I almost
wished to lie down there with her, if so I might see once more her smile
and hear my forgiveness in her sweet voice.

"Years have passed away and I am now a man--but never does the
recollection of this incident of my early life fail to awaken bitter
feelings of grief and remorse. And never do I see my young friends
exchanging looks or words of anger, without thinking of my last pastime
with my own loved Ellen."

_Teazing and being teazed._

Some children take great delight in teazing. The way to avoid such
annoyances is, to take no notice of them. Respect yourself too much to
be disturbed by those who disregard the common courtesies of life. If
they find they cannot teaze you, they will cease to make the attempt.
The late Dr. Bowditch (a man who attained to great eminence, as a man of
learning and science), was the son of a poor sailor. His parents were so
poor that he was obliged to wear his summer clothes to school, during
the whole winter. His schoolmates would sometimes laugh at him, because
he wore such thin clothes. But they could never make him angry, or
disturb his equanimity. All the notice he took of their jeers was, to
laugh at them for thinking that he was unable to bear the cold. If you
follow his example, you will never suffer much from being teazed.



CHAPTER IV.

BAD COMPANY AND BAD HABITS.


Do you remember what Solomon says about bad company? "Enter not into the
path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. For they sleep
not except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away,
unless they cause some to fall."

Mr. Green, the Reformed Gambler, relates that, at the age of sixteen, he
was laboring industriously, in the city of Cincinnati, and saving his
wages. But he became acquainted with a bad set of boys, who visited a
ten-pin alley. In his leisure hours, instead of spending his time in
reading and treasuring up useful knowledge, he would frequent this den
of iniquity; and Sabbath days, instead of going to meeting, he would go
with the same set of boys to a place of amusement and sin, a little way
out of the city. In a short time, this evil company had erased every
tender affection from his bosom. On one of these misspent Sabbaths, he
fell in with a rough set of lawless boys, and got into a fight with
them, and was seen thus engaged by the city marshal.

The next morning, a stranger, whom he met at his boarding house,
inquired of him respecting the different places of amusement in the
city, and he took him to the ten-pin alley, where he was in the habit of
going. While they were there, engaged in bowling, a man came staggering
in, to all appearance, half drunk. He pulled out three thimbles, and
tried to find some one to play with him for drink. This is a swindler's
game, through which he picks the pockets of fools, by persuading them to
bet that they can tell under which of three thimbles he places a ball.
It is all a cheat. The landlord played and won, and the man appeared
very angry; but this was only a bait, to blind the eyes of the young
men, and induce them to bet. They were caught; and they lost what money
they had, Mr. Green two dollars, and the stranger, twenty-five. They
tried in vain to get back their money. At length, the man who was with
Green went to the Mayor's office, and related the story; and the city
marshal, having seen Green the day before engaged in a fight, suspected
that he was leagued with the gamblers, and had him arrested; and though
no proof was brought against him, he was fined and sent to jail. There
he was kept for several months, in company with counterfeiters,
murderers, highwaymen, and gamblers, whose principal amusement was
card-playing; when he was discharged penniless, in rags, and with a bad
character. This was the commencement of his career of vice, his
reformation from which is the next thing to a miracle. All this came
upon him in consequence of keeping bad company. Learn from it to avoid
evil company and _betting_. The boy that suffers himself to _bet_ the
smallest amount, has already entered the downhill road of the gambler's
career. And there is no evil that can be named but he may be drawn into,
who begins to keep bad company. You might as well expect to go into
_lazarhouse_, without being infected, as to go into bad company, and not
fall into evil habits.

_Profaneness._

Perhaps there is no bad company to which boys are more exposed than the
_profane_; and none which is more corrupting. Young people insensibly
fall into the habits of those with whom they associate. If they hear
them interlard their conversation with by-words and oaths, they will be
strongly tempted to do the same. They will begin, perhaps, with by-words
and little oaths, which show a disposition to be profane, without
courage to carry it out. But they will not long stop here. They will
soon overcome the chidings of conscience, and then they can be as
foul-mouthed as any of their companions. This vice hardens the heart,
and prepares it for every other; for he who despises God will despise
man. He who takes the name of God in vain, will not hesitate to break
all his commandments. Profaneness is one of the meanest of all vices. It
involves every thing that is little and mean. It is treating with the
utmost indignity our Greatest Benefactor. It is a kind of gratuitous
wickedness; for there is no motive for it but a disposition to do evil.
The profane boy is a dangerous companion. He will lead you into you know
not what mischief and difficulty. The only way is to avoid him, as you
would a black snake, or a person that has the small pox. If you go with
him, he will, most likely, lead you to ruin.

_Washington's opinion of profaneness_.

No _gentleman_ will use profane language. It is an outrage upon good
manners. No one can be called a gentleman, who is guilty of it. It is a
vice that has always been held in detestation by the great and the good.
General Washington would never allow it in his army. In 1757, while a
colonel, at Fort Cumberland, when he was a young man, he issued an
order, expressing his "great displeasure," at the prevalence of profane
cursing and swearing, and threatening those who were guilty of it with
severe punishment. The day after he took the command of the
Revolutionary army he issued a similar order. In August, 1776, he issued
another order against this vice, in which he speaks of it as "a vice so
_mean and low_, without any temptation, that every man of sense and
character detests and despises it." He also strictly forbade gaming and
drunkenness.

_Howard's opinion of Swearers_.

Howard, the Philanthropist, standing in the street, heard some dreadful
oaths and curses from a public house opposite. Having occasion to go
across, he first buttoned up his pocket, saying to a by-stander, "I
always do this, when I hear men swear, as I think that any one who can
take God's name in vain, can also steal, or do any thing else that is
bad."

God has set a mark upon this vice. He not unfrequently punishes it, by
directly answering the prayer that is profanely uttered. J. H. was a
notorious swearer. He had a singular habit of calling on God to curse
his eyes. After some years, this awful imprecation was verified. He was
afflicted with a disease in his eyes, which terminated in total
blindness. This so affected his general system, that he gradually sunk
under it, and went to give up his account. A number of similar cases,
some of them still more awful, you will find in the tract entitled, "The
Swearer's Prayer."

_Playing Truant_.

Playing truant when sent to school, is almost always the means of
getting into bad company; and bad company leads to ruin. A boy thirteen
years old, was brought before the police court in Boston, charged with
stealing a gold pen from a lawyer's office. He had been in the habit of
coming into the offices, in the building, and selling apples. The
gentleman from whom he stole the pen had furnished him money to fill his
basket; and he returned his kindness by stealing his pen, which was
worth three dollars. His mother appeared before the court, and plead
earnestly for her boy, saving that he was a good boy to her, except
that he _played truant from school_. He then got into the company of a
gang of boys, who peddle apples,--a thievish set,--and of them he also
learned to steal. He was sent to the House of Reformation; which is a
prison for boys, where they are kept at work and study, but not allowed
their liberty.

_Ruin of a Deacon's son._

Several years ago, a young man about twenty years of age, filthy in his
appearance, and shabbily dressed, called at the house of a clergyman in
the city of New York. His countenance, though haggard, bore the marks of
intelligence. The young man said he had been at his church the previous
evening, and was desirous of having some conversation with the minister.
He was requested to open his mind freely. He said he was the son of a
deacon of a Congregational church in Connecticut. His father was a man
of property and influence, and he himself had always moved in the most
respectable society. He had come to New York in order to become
acquainted with business, and prepare himself for an active and useful
life. But he soon found himself surrounded with new temptations,
without the restraining influences of home and friends. He fell into
bad company. His vicious associates led him to the theatre, and when his
passions were excited by what he saw, and stimulated by intoxicating
liquors, he was persuaded to visit places of infamy and crime. These
indulgences called for more money than he could honestly obtain; but his
appetites, once excited, could not be easily restrained; and he had
recourse to his employer's money drawer to supply the deficiency. He
eased his conscience, in this act, and deceived himself, with the hope
of repaying it before he was detected. But in this he was mistaken. He
was detected, tried, found guilty, and sentenced to the penitentiary for
six months. He had now been out of prison a week, during which time he
had been wandering about the city, ashamed to be seen or known. He had
come to ask advice. The clergyman advised him by all means to go home to
his father; assuring him that it was his only hope, for if he remained
in the city, he would fall into the company of his old associates and be
ruined. With the deepest agony, he exclaimed, "How can I ever return to
my father's house? How can I ever meet him or the virtuous companions of
my youth? No! No! I am fallen--disgraced! I have been a felon, and in
prison! No, I would rather die a vagabond in the street, than to see
the face of my father, or the faces of the young people, who were my
associates in the days when I felt myself as good as they." He was yet
unhumbled. He was yet unwilling, like the prodigal, to return to his
father's house. However, after much persuasion, he promised that the
next morning he would set off for home. But he had not the moral courage
to fulfil his purpose. He was ashamed to arise and go to his father. He
continued to roam about the streets, and was again detected in stealing.

This anecdote shows not only the danger of bad company, but the peril of
young men who go from the country to the city to engage in business.
They had better remain at home, unless their principles are firmly
established upon the foundation of true religion. There is nothing to be
gained in the city that is worth the exposure of morals and character.

_Bad Books._

Books are company; and the company of bad books is as dangerous as the
company of bad boys or bad men. Goldsmith, who was a novel-writer of
some note, writing to his brother about the education of a nephew, says,
"_Above all things never let your nephew touch a novel or a romance_."
An opinion given in such a manner must have been an honest opinion. And,
as he knew the character of novels, and had no nice scruples on the
subject of religion, his opinion ought to have great weight.

_An Example for boys._

A boy in London, in destitute circumstances, was put out as an
apprentice to a mechanic. It is the business of the youngest apprentice
to do all the errands and drudgery of the establishment, and frequently
of his master's family also. He was often sent by the workmen and older
apprentices, to procure intoxicating liquors for them; of which all of
them partook, except himself, because, as they said, it did them good.
But because he refused to drink he was made an object of ridicule among
them. They said he had not sufficient _manhood_ to drink rum. But he had
sufficient manhood to _refuse to drink rum_; and it requires much more
to refuse than to drink.

Nothing can be more false than the idea that it is courageous and manly
to fall in with the habits and practices of those with whom we are
obliged to associate. It is a sign of _cowardice_ rather than of
_courage_. The _sheep_ is the most timid of animals. But if a man is
driving a flock of sheep, and one of them gets frightened and turns out
of the way, all the rest will follow, no matter if it is over the
railing of a bridge into a river. The boy that drinks or swears or plays
truant, or breaks the Sabbath, because his companions do, is as
courageous as--_a sheep!_

While the workmen and apprentices were revelling over their rum, and
insulting and misusing this boy, he often retired and vented his grief
in tears. But a few years changed the aspect of things. As they grew up,
and entered upon the world for themselves, all the older apprentices
fell into habits of dissipation, and finally sunk into the drunkard's
grave. But the little boy, at whose abstinence they used to scoff, grew
up a sober and respectable man, engaged in business for himself, and a
few years ago, was worth a hundred thousand dollars, and had in his
employ one hundred and ninety men, none of whom used ardent spirits. All
this came from his having courage to say NO, to those who held the
poisoned cup to his lips.

_Poison._

A little boy, four years old, wandered from his home, one day, in the
town of Turin, N. Y., to a field where some men were at work. There he
found a bottle of spirits, of which he drank freely. When found, he was
lying on the ground, unable to speak. He was carried home to his mother,
and the Doctor was sent for; but he could do nothing for the poor boy.
He remained stupid till evening, and then died. The rum had poisoned
him. Not a great while before this, his father was drowned in a fit of
intoxication. "Touch not, taste not, handle not."

_"Am I to blame, Mother?"_

A lad in Philadelphia, some years ago, joined the Temperance Society.
The father and mother, who were what are called _moderate_ drinkers,
were displeased with him. The boy said nothing for sometime, but bore
patiently the chidings of his mother. At length, he undertook to
vindicate his conduct: "Am I to blame, mother? Sister Mary has married a
drunken husband, who abuses her every day. Sister Susan's husband was
intemperate, and has gone off, and left her, and you are obliged to take
her home, and take care of her children. Brother James comes home drunk
almost every night. And because I have joined the cold water company,
and you are likely to have one sober person in the family, you are
scolding at me! Am I to blame?"

_How it happened._

There was a young man in college, one of the brightest, who was greatly
beloved for his personal attractions, frankness, good nature, and
generosity. But he was occasionally found flushed with wine, and then he
was turbulent and ungovernable. At length, in one of these fits of
excitement, he committed a misdemeanor for which he was expelled from
college. Soon after this, he became very dissipated, abandoned his
studies, and finally became a sot. People wondered how such a lovely
young man could fall into such ruinous courses. A young lady, conversing
about him, said she remembered that, when he was a little boy, just
beginning to study Latin, she saw his mother bring him a loaf of cake
and a glass of wine for a lunch. She then thought that perhaps he would
become a drunkard, and so it turned out. Beware of the first glass.


GOING TO THE THEATRE.

William R. was a young man of good habits--a lovely youth, "the only son
of his mother, and she was a widow." He was sent from the country, where
he had been brought up, to the city of New York, where he was employed
as a clerk. Hearing much of the _Theatre_, and seeing it puffed in the
newspapers, he thought he would _go once_, just out of curiosity, to see
what was done there. But, he was so fascinated with what he heard and
saw there, that he went again; just as some birds are so charmed with
the gaze of the serpent, as to run straight into his mouth! There
William fell into evil company, who enticed him away to the haunts of
infamy. Intoxicated with these things, he continued to frequent the
theatre until the expense was more than his earnings. He then began to
steal money from his employer. He was detected and fled. After some
time, his friends, hoping he had learned something from experience, sent
him to another city. For a time he seemed to be thoroughly reformed. But
evil habits once acquired are not easily overcome. He soon fell into the
same round of folly and sin, till he lost his character and his
employment, and in his despair, committed suicide!

Here, again, my readers will see that TOTAL ABSTINENCE is the only safe
rule. This boy's ruin was the consequence of going to the theatre _just
once_. If he had resisted an idle curiosity in the beginning, he would
have been saved. There are some things that we ought not to desire to
see. Among these, are the things that are done at theatres and other
places of amusement and pleasure, which abound in cities. It is
dangerous to look upon them. It is like looking down from a giddy height
upon a rapid current of water. It turns the head, the foothold is
endangered, and the life put in jeopardy.

_The Passion for Gaming._

The following anecdote shows the strength of this passion, when once it
has gained the ascendancy:

A colored man employed as a fireman on board a steamboat, between
Cincinnati and New Orleans, lost all his money, at play with his
companions. He then staked his clothing, which he also lost. Having
nothing more, he laid down his free papers and _staked himself_. Losing
this time, also, he was actually sold by the winner to a slave dealer.

What a power must this passion have over a man, when he will play at the
hazard of his own liberty, which most men esteem dearer than life! Young
man, if you once contract this habit, you will have no power to restrain
it. You will gratify the passion at the hazard of every thing. My mother
used to relate an anecdote of some young men, who retired to a garret to
play at cards, where they would not be seen. There was an open cask of
powder in the room, and they had stuck a lighted candle into the powder,
which served the purpose of a candlestick. The man at whose house they
were, coming to the loft for some purpose, observed them a few moments
before the candle had burned down to the powder, and creeping softly so
as not to alarm them, snatched away the candle. In a few moments more
they would have been blown to atoms.

The only security against gambling is similar to that against
intemperance: TOTAL ABSTINENCE FROM GAMES OF CHANCE. If you never learn
any play that can be used in gaming, you will be safe from the snare.
But with the knowledge of such games, you will scarcely escape its
seductions.

_Danger of Playing for amusement._

There was a family, consisting of the father and mother, two sons, and
one daughter, who lived in Tennessee. The father and mother used to play
cards with the children for amusement. The sons went to college, and the
father's business required him to be much of the time from home. On one
occasion, while the sons were at home, during vacation, the father wrote
a letter requesting the eldest son to bring him five thousand dollars.
The young man was accordingly despatched with the money. He went on
board a steamboat, where he met a company of gamblers, in the garb of
gentlemen, who professed to be only playing for amusement. To this he
had been accustomed, from his childhood, at his father's house, and
thought no harm of it. He was solicited to play, and consented. After
playing a few moments, they agreed to bet one dollar on the game. He
lost, and then doubled his bet, and went on so, till soon he had lost
what little money he had about him. He became much excited, went to his
state-room and drew out a large package of bills, and returned to the
table, where very soon he had lost twelve hundred dollars. He now came
to the place where he was to leave the steamboat and go to his father;
but he was so intoxicated with the excitement of the gaming table, that
he went on. He played on, and continued to lose. Several of the more
respectable passengers tried to get him away. But the passion for gaming
had taken such possession of his heart, that he was held to the spot,
till his package of five thousand dollars was all in the hands of three
hardened gamblers. Two of them afterwards won from him his watch and his
diamond breast pin, and left him without money enough to buy a meal of
victuals.

About ten days after he left, his mother received a letter from his
father, saying that he had heard nothing from him. She immediately took
her younger son and went in pursuit of him. But, the only intelligence
they could gain concerning him was, that he had been ruined by a company
of gamblers. The father immediately started for New-Orleans, in search
of his son, but hearing nothing from him, he, in despair, took to
drinking, and returned, after two years' absence,--"his frame worn--his
cheek pale--his eyes wild and fevered--his lips parched--his hopes
crushed--his very life only the motion of excitement and passion--his
very soul shattered--his property mortgaged." In a short time he went
again in pursuit of his son, but returned home, heart-broken, and died
of _delirium tremens_, the drunkard's disease. The daughter and the
other son, both became maniacs. Thus was a whole family ruined, in
consequence of the foolish habit of playing cards for amusement. If that
young man had never learned to play cards, he would, in all probability,
have gone on his way, and reached his father in safety, with the money.
And, if he had been firmly principled against playing, his answer, "I
_never play_," would have stopped all solicitation. I travelled on those
Western waters, when I was a young man, at a time when gambling was
carried on every hour of the day, and almost the live-long night; and
yet I was never solicited to play. And why not, as well as this young
man? Because, (1.) I did not know how to play; (2.) I felt a great
aversion to it, and did not hesitate to show it; and (3.) I made myself
known as a _religious man_. These three things will always be sufficient
to defend a young man against the most wily gamesters in the world.

The case I have related, is only one among hundreds that might be
stated, in which the ruin of many a promising young man has been
accomplished, by alluring him to play cards for amusement, and then
gradually leading him on to stake first small sums, which he is
permitted to win, and then he is persuaded to go on, till he has not a
farthing left. There is a set of men, in all parts of the country, who
make a business of gambling, and league together to draw in unwary youth
and strip them of all they possess, and of more, if they can lay their
hands upon money not their own.

Beware, then, how you excite a passion for gaming, by playing for
amusement. I am afraid of _all games_; but, especially, all games of
chance. I think there is a strong tendency in them all to excite a
passion for gaming, which will not be satisfied without something more
stimulating than mere amusement. If I see a boy rolling marbles, or a
young man shuffling cards, I think he is in the high road to ruin.
Marbles is a dirty play. It treads on the heels of low company and
gambling. We frequently hear boys crying out, with all the braggardism
of a practiced gambler, "_I'll bet_" so and so. But all betting is
gambling. "TOUCH NOT, TASTE NOT, HANDLE NOT."



CHAPTER V.

INDUSTRY, LABOR, &c.


Early discipline, in laborious and useful occupations, is indispensable
to the formation of a good character. If God had designed that we should
live at ease, without exertion, he would have furnished every thing to
our hand, without any effort of our own. In his holy word he has taught
us the necessity of helping ourselves, requiring us to labor six days
for one of rest, and ordaining that, "if any would not work, neither
should he eat." The same lesson he taught an untutored Indian, by the
voice of Nature.

_A lesson from the Birds and Fishes._

Rev. Mr. Heckewelder, a Moravian Missionary, remarked to an Indian, whom
he saw busily employed fencing his cornfield, that he must be very fond
of working, as he had never seen him idling away his time as was common
with the Indians. "My friend," replied the Indian "the fishes in the
water, and the birds in the air have taught me to work. When I was a
young man, I loitered about, doing nothing, just like the other Indians,
who say that working is only for whites and negroes, but that the
Indians were made to hunt the deer, and catch the beaver, otter, and
other animals. But one day while I was hunting, I came to the banks of
the Susquehannah, and sat down near the water's edge to rest awhile.
There I was forcibly struck at seeing with what industry the sun-fish
heaped small stones together to make secure places for their spawn; and
all this labor they did with their mouth and body, without hands.
Presently a little bird, not far from me, raised a song, and while I was
looking to see the little songster, its mate, with as much grass as it
could hold in its bill, passed close by me, and flew into the bush,
where I perceived them, both together, busily employed in building their
nest, and singing as their work went on. I entirely forgot my hunting,
to contemplate the objects that were before me. I saw the birds in the
air and the fishes in the water working diligently and cheerfully, and
all this without hands. I thought it was strange and I became lost in
wonder. I looked at myself, and saw two long arms, provided with hands
and fingers, and with joints that might be opened and shut at pleasure.
I could, when I pleased, take up any thing with these hands, hold it
fast, or let it loose, and carry it along with me. When I walked, I
observed that I had a strong body, capable of bearing fatigue, and
supported by two stout legs, with which I could climb to the top of the
highest mountains, and descend at pleasure into the valleys."

"And is it possible," said I, "that a being so wonderfully formed as I
am, was created to live in idleness; while the birds, which have no
hands, and nothing but their little bills to help them, work with
cheerfulness, and without being told to do so? Has then the great
Creator given me all these limbs for no purpose? It cannot be: I will
try to go to work. I did so, and went away from the village to a spot of
good land, where I built a cabin, enclosed ground, sowed corn, and
raised cattle. Ever since that time, I have enjoyed a good appetite and
sound sleep. While others spend their nights in dancing, and are
suffering with hunger, I live in plenty. I keep horses, cows, hogs, and
fowls. I am happy. See, my friend, the birds and fishes have brought me
to reflection, and taught me to work!"

If any of my young friends, who read this book, think it a hardship to
work, I hope they will go into the fields, and like this untutored
Indian, learn lessons from the creatures whom God has made. There they
will find the little ants busy in rearing their habitation; the mole in
raising his hill; the birds in building their nests; and the little busy
bee, in sucking honey from every flower. Yet all these little creatures
appear happy and contented with their lot. If God made them to be happy,
as we suppose he did, why did he not make them to live an idle, inactive
life? Evidently because activity is necessary to enjoyment. If you would
be happy, then, you must be active. Laziness, or idleness, will
certainly make you discontented, wretched, and miserable.

As I was one day walking in one of those beautiful avenues that lead out
of the village of Saratoga Springs, my attention was arrested by two of
those insects, which children call by the homely name of
"_grand-father-long-legs_." They were laboriously occupied in rolling a
round ball, of the size of a walnut, covered with a glutinous substance,
dried hard in the sun. I could not be so cruel as to break it in pieces,
to gratify my curiosity; but I suppose it must have contained some
treasure that was dear to them--probably their eggs. They would labor
and tug, with their long arms, to roll it up an ascent; and if it rolled
back again, they would patiently return, and roll it up, showing an
example of perseverance well worthy of imitation.

Thus God has made all things to be active. All nature, animate and
inanimate, calls man to labor. If old ocean did not ebb and flow, and
roll its waves, it would stagnate, and become so noxious that no animal
could live on the face of the earth. If the earth did not pursue its
laborious course around its axis, one half of its inhabitants would be
shrouded in perpetual night, while the other half would be scorched to
death with the ever-accumulating intensity of the sun's rays. Can you
find any thing, in all the vast creation of God, that is idle? The
sluggard, of all God's works, stands alone--_idle_! He resembles the
stagnant pool, whose impure waters, filled with the loathsome creatures,
and all manner of filth, saturate the atmosphere with pestilential
vapors, and spread around it disease and death. But, the active,
industrious man, resembles the running brook, whose waters are kept
limpid and clear by their unceasing flow.

"_Business first, and then Pleasure_."

A man who is very rich now, was very poor when he was a boy. When asked
how he got his riches, he replied, "My father taught me never to play
till all my work for the day was finished, and never to spend money till
I had earned it. If I had but half an hour's work to do in a day, I must
do that the first thing, _and in half an hour_. After this was done, I
was allowed to play; and I could then play with much more pleasure than
if I had the thought of an unfinished task before my mind. I early
formed the habit of doing every thing in its time, and it soon became
perfectly easy to do so. It is to this habit that I now owe my
prosperity." Let every boy who reads this, go and do likewise, and he
will meet a similar reward.

_Industry_.

A gentleman in England had an estate which was worth about a thousand
dollars a year. For a while, he kept his farm in his own hands; but at
length, he found himself so much in debt that he was obliged to sell one
half of his place, to pay up. The rest, he let to a farmer for
twenty-one years. Towards the end of that time, the farmer on coming to
pay his rent, asked him whether he would sell his farm. The gentleman
was surprised that the farmer should be able to make him an offer for
his place. "Pray tell me," said he, "how it happens, that, while I could
not live upon twice as much land, for which I paid no rent, you are
regularly paying me five hundred dollars a year for your farm, and able
in a few years to purchase it?" "The reason is plain," answered the
farmer: "You sat still, and said '_Go_.' I got up and said, '_Come_.'
You lay in bed, and enjoyed your ease. I rose in the morning, and minded
my business."

This anecdote shows the folly of those young men, who set up for
gentlemen, and despise labor and useful employment. Though they may
begin with a good capital, they will soon run down, if they depend upon
others to do their business. If they have nothing, they will certainly
gain nothing. Laziness, poverty, and rags, will go together.



CHAPTER VI.

TRUE GREATNESS.


_True Greatness does not consist in feeling above others_.

Fools think themselves _great_, in proportion to the show they can make;
but it would take a great heap of copper coins to make as much value as
a very little piece of gold; and an empty tin kettle will make more
sound than a golden vessel filled with the choicest delicacies.

When Mr. Jefferson was President of the United States, he was passing a
stream on horseback, in Virginia. A beggar approaching it at the same
time, asked him to help him over. The President let him get behind him
on the horse and ride over. When they had got over, the beggar
discovered that he had left his bundle; and Mr. Jefferson went back
again and brought it over. This was true greatness. A man can never be
too great to do a kindness to the humblest individual in the world.

_True Greatness lies not in being too proud to wait on one's self._

Chief Justice Marshall was in the habit of going to market himself, and
carrying home his purchases. Frequently he would be seen returning at
sunrise, with poultry in one hand and vegetables in the other. On one of
these occasions, a fashionable young man from the North, who had removed
to Richmond, was swearing violently because he could find no one to
carry home his turkey. Marshall stepped up, and asking him where he
lived, said "That is my way, and I will take it for you." When they came
to his house, the young man inquired, "What shall I pay you?" "O,
nothing," said the Chief Justice, "you are welcome, it was on my way,
and no trouble." "Who is that polite old gentleman, who brought home my
turkey for me?" inquired the young man of a by-stander. "That," replied
he, "is John Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States." "Why did he
bring home my turkey?" "To give you a severe reprimand, and teach you to
attend to your own business," was the reply. True greatness never feels
above doing any thing that is useful; but especially, the truly great
man will never feel above helping himself. His own independence of
character depends on his being able to help himself. Dr. Franklin, when
he first established himself in business, in Philadelphia, wheeled home
the paper which he purchased for his printing office, upon a
wheel-barrow, with his own hands.

_True Greatness does not make a man difficult about his own
accommodations._

At a time when the court was sitting in Buffalo, N. Y., and all the
public houses were full, there came to the principal hotel a starched up
little Frenchman, and called for lodgings. He was shown into a small,
but well-furnished room, which was the only one in the house that was
vacant. He thought himself insulted; and with much warmth said, "Me
gem'man--me no sleep here!" A little while afterwards Chancellor Kent,
the highest judicial officer in the state, called for lodgings. The
landlord told him he was full, excepting one little room, which he did
not like to offer to such a man as he. But the Chancellor wished to see
it; and on being shown into it, said, "O, this will do very well--it is
a fine room." Which do you think was the greater of these two men? A
small mind makes much ado about little things.

_True Greatness does not consist in being in the fashion._

When Dr. Franklin was received at the French Court as American Minister,
he felt some scruples of conscience about complying with their fashions
of dress. "He hoped," he said to the Minister, "that as he was a very
plain man, and represented a plain republican people, the king would
indulge his desire to appear in the court in his usual dress.
Independent of this, the season of the year," said he, "renders the
change from yarn stockings to fine silk somewhat dangerous." The French
Minister made him a bow, but said that fashion was too sacred a thing
for him to meddle with, but he would do him the honor to mention it to
his majesty. The king smiled and returned word that Dr. Franklin was at
liberty to appear at court in any dress that he pleased. In spite of
that delicate respect for foreigners for which the French are so
remarkable, the courtiers could not help staring at first at Dr.
Franklin's Quaker dress. But it soon appeared as though he had been
introduced upon this splendid theatre only to demonstrate that great
genius, like beauty, "needs not the aid of ornament."



CHAPTER VII.

ADVANTAGES OF HONESTY.


_Colbert._

Go the world over, and you will find that "honesty is the best policy."
Jean Baptiste Colbert was born at Rheims, in France, in the year 1617,
of poor parents. When a boy, he was apprenticed to M. Certain, a woollen
draper. Young Colbert was very fond of books, and spent his leisure in
reading. He had indeed a taste above his station. But his mind was so
much on what he read, that he was sometimes absent-minded and
forgetful. M. Certain, who thought of nothing but of selling cloth,
would ridicule him, and tell him he would never make any thing. One day
he sent him and the porter with four rolls of cloth, to the hotel of M.
Cenani, a French banker, who wished to buy hangings for a country house
which he had purchased. The pieces were marked 1, 2, 3, and 4; and as
Colbert left the house, M. Certain told him that No. 1 was marked three
crowns a yard; No. 2, six crowns; No. 3, eight crowns; and No. 4,
fifteen crowns. The banker selected No. 3, and asked the young man how
much it was a yard. Colbert replied, "fifteen crowns." The porter
grinned, but seeing the mistake was on the side of his master he said
nothing. There were thirty yards in the piece, and the money was counted
out, four hundred and fifty crowns.

When Colbert returned, M. Certain said, "you have made no mistake, I
hope." "I don't think I have," replied Colbert. "But I think you have,"
said the porter. "Do you think so, Moline? Do you think so?" cried the
old man, throwing down the cloth and examining the tickets. "But,
indeed, I might have expected this; the little rascal could not do
otherwise. But I warn you, if you have made a mistake, you shall go to
M. Cenani to ask of him the surplus money; and if he refuses to give it,
you shall pay it out of your wages. No. 3 is wanting. No. 3 was
worth--it was worth six crowns; no, eight crowns. I am quite puzzled."
"Eight crowns! Eight crowns! are you sure of that?" cried Colbert.
"Perhaps you would like to make out that it was I who made the mistake.
I tell you No. 3, was worth eight crowns. I am half dead with fear. I
will lay a wager that he sold it for six." "On the contrary," replied
Colbert, "stupid creature that I am, I sold it for fifteen." "Fifteen!
Fifteen!" cried M. Certain. "You are a fine boy, a good boy, Baptiste.
You will one day be an honor to all your family. Fifteen!--I could cry
with joy! Fifteen crowns for a piece of cloth not worth six! Two hundred
and ten crowns profit! O happy day!" "How," said Colbert, "would you
take advantage?" "O, perhaps you want to go shares. Certainly I agree to
let you have something."

"I cannot agree to any such thing," said Colbert. "I will go to the
gentleman I have treated so badly, and beg of him to excuse me, and
return him the money he overpaid me." So saying, he bounded out of the
door, leaving his master in a rage of disappointment. In a few moments,
he was at the hotel of M. Cenani. It was with great difficulty that he
was admitted to his presence, and then he was ordered away. But he
persisted in speaking; and after apologizing for his mistake, he
returned the money. The banker asked him if he knew that he was no judge
of cloth. Colbert assured him that it was not worth more than eight
crowns. "And you might easily have kept this money for yourself." "I
never thought of that, sir," replied the young man. "But, if you had
thought of it?" inquired the banker. "It was quite impossible, sir, that
such an idea could come into my head. I should as soon have thought of
carrying off all that you have here." "Suppose I should make you a
present of this money that you have returned to me with such admirable
integrity?" "What right have I to it? And why should you give it to me?
I would not take it, sir." "You are a fine fellow and an honest fellow,"
said the banker, and inquired his name. The conversation was suddenly
broke off by the arrival of the banker's carriage. As young Colbert went
out, he was seized by the collar, by his enraged master, who abused him
in the most frantic manner, and dismissed him from his service.

The young man went home; but his parents were affrighted to see him at
that time, fearing some disaster had happened to him. After hearing his
story, however, they heartily approved his conduct, and rejoiced that
they had such a son.

It was but a little while, however, before M. Cenani arrived, and,
praising the nobleness and integrity of the boy, proposed to his parents
to take him to Paris and put him in his banking house, where he might
make a fortune; which was readily agreed to. Young Colbert soon found
himself in a new world. But, denying himself the brilliant attractions
with which the city abounded, he gave himself diligently to his
business, as clerk in the banking house. His diligence and faithfulness
gained for him the esteem of his employers. He soon mastered the
business. No accounts baffled him. And, on arriving at manhood, he
became a thorough financier. The most important duties were now
entrusted to him; and he soon became the travelling agent of the bank;
which enabled him also to gratify his taste for the arts and sciences.
He made the tour of the French provinces, making commerce his study, and
devising means to render it flourishing. In 1648, he was introduced at
Court, where his rare merit and conscientiousness in all affairs gained
him great esteem. He was created Marquis of Croissy, and afterwards
became Prime Minister. In this capacity, he was eminently useful to
France. He improved the roads; encouraged trade; founded a chamber of
commerce; colonized India and Canada; established naval schools; built
ships; introduced manufactures; encouraged the fine arts. One cannot go
even a small distance in Paris, even at this day, without finding a
trace of the great Colbert. The Observatory, the beautiful gardens of
the Tuilleries and Rue St. Dennis, the Hotel of Invalids, and many other
things of like nature which adorn and do honor to the city, owe their
existence to him. He also raised up his father's family from great
poverty to wealth and honor.

Colbert's first step to distinction was an act of honor and honesty
which deprived him of the means of earning his daily bread. If there was
ever a case, which, to human appearance, would seem to contradict the
old proverb, and show that honesty was not the best policy, one would
think his was such a case. But the event proved its truth. And to this
single trait in his character may be traced all his greatness. His
honesty and integrity made him faithful to his employers. This raised
him in their esteem, and contributed to strengthen and confirm this
trait of character. This he carried into public life; and his honesty
there led him to regard the public benefit as paramount to private
interest. The whole of this story may be found in Chambers' Miscellany,
published by Gould, Kendall and Lincoln.

Would you be _great_? Honesty and integrity of character lie at the
foundation of all true greatness. You must cultivate sincerity, honesty,
and fair dealing in early youth, if you would lay the foundation of
future greatness.

_Two opposite examples_.

Two boys were passing an orchard on their way from school, in which
there were some plum trees, full of nice fruit. "Come, Thomas," said
Henry, "let us jump over and get some plums. Nobody will see us. We can
scud along through the tall corn, and come out on the other side."
Thomas replied, "It is wrong. I don't like to try it. I would rather not
have the plums than steal them, and I will run along home." "You are a
coward," said Henry. "I always knew you was a coward; and if you don't
want any plums, you may go without them. But I shall have some very
quick." Just as Henry was climbing the wall, the owner of the field rose
up from the other side. Henry jumped back and ran off as fast as his
legs could carry him. Thomas had no reason to be afraid, and he walked
along as if nothing had happened. The owner, who had heard the
conversation between the two boys, then asked Thomas to step over and
help himself to as many plums as he wanted.

This story teaches two lessons: (1.) It shows the advantages of
_honesty_. An honest person is not afraid to look others in the face;
and honesty, in the end, always turns out more to one's advantage than
dishonesty. (2.) It teaches wherein true courage consists: It is, in
being _afraid to do wrong_. Henry called Thomas a coward, because he was
afraid to do wrong; but he himself sneaked away like a whipped spaniel,
the moment he saw any danger. Henry was the coward. He had neither the
courage to resist temptation nor to face danger.

_Fruits of dishonesty_.

A young man from the State of Maine, of good abilities, went to
Washington city, where he was admitted as a member of the bar, to
practice law, with fine prospects. He was respected in society, and was
a leader in the choir, in one of the churches in the city. But, in an
evil hour, he discovered that there was a considerable amount of money
in the Treasury, which had been allowed to claimants, but which had
never been called for, and was not likely to be. The young man, thinking
he should not be likely to be detected, forged drafts, and obtained
money to the amount of several thousand dollars. But, it was not long
before his sin found him out. He was detected, found guilty, and sent to
the state's prison.



CHAPTER VIII.

PURSUIT OF KNOWLEDGE.


SECTION I.--READING.

He that reads to be amused, will be like him that eats to gratify his
appetite--an _epicure_. But he who reads to obtain useful information,
and to improve his mind, will be like him who eats to sustain
nature--_strong and healthy_. The former will be satisfied with nothing
but dainties--the latter will prefer plain strong food.

Sir William Jones rose to great eminence. When he was a mere child, he
was very inquisitive. His mother was a superior woman of great
intelligence, and he would apply to her for the information which he
desired; but her constant reply was, "READ AND YOU WILL KNOW." This gave
him a passion for books, which was one of the principal means of making
him what he was. But, it is not every one who _reads_ that will become
wise.

_Robert Hall_.

This great man, when he was a boy about six years of age, was sent to a
boarding school, where he spent the week, coming home Saturday and
returning Monday. When he went away on Monday morning, he would take
with him two or three books from his father's library to read at the
intervals between the school hours. The books he selected, were not
those of mere amusement, but such as required deep and serious thought.
Before he was nine years old, he had read over and over again, with the
deepest interest, _Edwards on the Affections_, _Edwards on the Will_,
_and Butler's Analogy_.

[Illustration]


SECTION II.--LOVE OF LEARNING ENCOURAGED.

There are many young persons, who have an ardent thirst for knowledge,
and a strong desire to obtain an education; but their circumstances in
life seem to forbid the attempt. There are many examples, which afford
them encouragement to make the attempt. A large proportion of the men
who have risen to the highest distinction, have struggled against the
same difficulties which they have to encounter; and, when they see what
has been done by others, they will perceive that it can be done by
themselves.

_Sir Isaac Newton_.

When Sir Isaac Newton was a boy he was employed in servile labor.
Sometimes he was sent to open the gates for the men that were driving
the cattle to market. At other times, he carried corn to market, or
attended the sheep. One day his uncle found him in a hay-loft, working
out a mathematical problem, and he was sent to school. There he
discovered his great and various talents. At the age of eighteen he was
sent to the University at Cambridge, England, where he soon
distinguished himself.

_Benjamin West_.

West, the celebrated painter, early manifested a genius for this art.
His first attempt was made with pens, and red and black ink, upon a
portrait of his sister's child, lying in the cradle. For a long time he
had no pencil. Having been told that they were made of camel's hair, he
pulled hairs out of the tail of a cat, of which he made his first brush.

_Other eminent Persons_.

Dr. Franklin was the son of a tallow-chandler, and served an
apprenticeship to a printer; Rev. Dr. Scott, author of the Commentary,
was employed in the most laborious work on a farm; William Gifford, one
of the most celebrated literary men of his age, was an apprentice to a
shoemaker, and wrought out his problems in algebra on a piece of
sole-leather, with the point of an awl.


SECTION III.--DISLIKE OF STUDY.

LATIN AND LABOR.

John Adams, the second President of the United States, used to relate
the following anecdote:

"When I was a boy, I had to study the Latin grammar; but it was dull,
and I hated it. My father was anxious to send me to college, and
therefore I studied the grammar, till I could bear it no longer; and
going to my father, I told him I did not like study, and asked for some
other employment. It was opposing his wishes, and he was quick in his
answer. 'Well, John, if Latin grammar does not suit you, you may try
ditching; perhaps that will; my meadow yonder needs a ditch, and you may
put by Latin and try that.'

"This seemed a delightful change, and to the meadow I went. But I soon
found ditching harder than Latin, and the first forenoon was the longest
I ever experienced. That day I ate the bread of Labor, and glad was I
when night came on. That night I made some comparison between Latin
grammar and ditching, but said not a word about it. I dug next forenoon,
and wanted to return to Latin at dinner; but it was humiliating, and I
could not do it. At night, toil conquered pride; and though it was one
of the severest trials I ever had in my life, I told my father that, if
he chose, I would go back to Latin grammar. He was glad of it; and if I
have since gained any distinction it has been owing to the two days
labor in that abominable ditch."

Boys may learn several important lessons from this story. It shows how
little they oftentimes appreciate their privileges. Those who are kept
at study frequently think it a hardship needlessly imposed on them. But
they must do something; and if set to ditching, would they like that any
better? The opportunity of pursuing a liberal course of study is what
few enjoy; and they are ungrateful who drag themselves to it as to an
intolerable task. You may also learn from this anecdote, how much better
your parents are qualified to judge of these things than yourselves. If
John Adams had continued his ditching instead of his Latin, his name
would not probably have been known to us. But, in following the path
marked out by his judicious parent, he rose to the highest honors which
the country affords.



CHAPTER IX.

MISCELLANEOUS SUBJECTS.


SECTION I.--FICKLENESS.

_Hunting Squirrels_.

John Alsop was about fifteen years old, when his father, who had just
moved into a new settlement, was clearing land. One day the father and a
neighbor were engaged in building a _log fence_; which was made of the
trunks of the trees that were cleared off the lands. First, they laid
the fence one log high, with the ends of each length passing a little
way by each other. Notches were cut in the ends, and a block was laid
crosswise, where the ends lapped, and then another tier was laid on the
cross pieces, till the fence was high enough. To roll up the top logs,
they would lay long poles, called _skids_, one end on the top of the
logs, and the other on the ground, and roll up the logs on these. But,
as the logs were very heavy, they were obliged to stop several times to
rest, or to get a new hold; and it was John's business, when they
stopped, to put a block the under side of the log, above the skids, to
keep it from rolling back. Having given a hard lift, and tugging with
all his might, the father called out, "There, Johnny, put under your
block quick." John started nimbly, and snatched up his block, when
suddenly the loud chirp of a squirrel struck his ear. Instantly, down
went his block, and away he ran after the squirrel, leaving his father
and the other man to hold the log till he came back.

This anecdote gives you John's character. He was too fickle to follow
any one object or pursuit long enough to accomplish any thing. Thirty
years after this, a gentleman who had known him in his youthful days,
inquired about him of one of his neighbors, who related this anecdote,
and added, "_he has been running after squirrels ever since_." He never
was steady and persevering in pursuit of any thing. When he was a young
man, he could never make up his mind decidedly what employment to
follow. He would try one, and get tired of it, and take another; but
followed no business long enough to get well acquainted with it. When he
had a family, and found it necessary to make exertion, he was busy
early and late, but to little purpose. He moved from one place to
another; and "a rolling stone gathers no moss." He very often changed
his employment, and by that means lost all the advantage of past
experience. Now, he was a farmer, then a trader, then a post-rider, then
a deputy sheriff, then a mechanic, without having learned his trade. By
the time he had got fairly started in a new business, he would hear or
think of something else, and before any body thought of it, he would
change his business. In this way he wasted his money, and kept his
family poor, and neglected his children's education. He was always
_hunting the squirrel_.

Now, boys, don't hunt the squirrel. Whatever you begin, stick to it till
it is finished--done, and well done. If you always follow this rule
faithfully, you cannot fail of being somebody and doing something. But,
if you go through life hunting the squirrel, when you die, nobody can
tell what you have done, and the world will be neither wiser nor better
for your having lived in it.


SECTION II.--INDEPENDENCE OF CHARACTER.

There is a certain kind of Independence of Character, which is
indispensable to success in any undertaking. I do not mean a proud,
self-confident spirit, which despises advice, and makes one self-willed
and headstrong. This is _obstinacy_. But true independence is that sort
of self-confidence and resolution which leads one to go forward in what
he has to do, with decision and energy, without leaning upon others.
Without this, a man will gain to himself that unenviable distinction
described by the homely but expressive term _shiftless_. The following
description, from Mrs. S. C. Hall's "_Sketches of Irish Character_,"*
furnishes an admirable illustration of the results of a want of
independence of character:--

* See Frontispiece.

"Shane Thurlough, 'as dacent a boy,' and Shane's wife, as 'clane-skinned
a girl,' as any in the world. There is Shane, an active, handsome
looking fellow, leaning over the half-door of his cottage, kicking a
hole in the wall with his brogue, and picking up all the large gravel
within his reach, to pelt the ducks with. Let us speak to him. 'Good
morning Shane.' 'Och! the bright bames of heaven on ye every day! and
kindly welcome, my lady; and won't ye step in and rest--its powerful
hot, and a beautiful summer, sure,--the Lord be praised!' 'Thank you,
Shane. I thought you were going to cut the hay-field to-day; if a heavy
shower comes, it will be spoiled; it has been fit for the scythe these
two days.' 'Sure, it's all owing to that thief o' the world, Tom Parrel,
my lady. Didn't he promise me the loan of his scythe; and by the same
token I was to pay him for it; and _depinding_ on that, I didn't buy
one, which I have been threatening to do for the last two years.' 'But
why don't you go to Carrick and purchase one?' 'To Carrick. Och, 'tis a
good step to Carrick, and my toes are on the ground, (saving your
presence,) for I _depinded_ on Tim Jarvis to tell Andy Cappler, the
brogue-maker, to do my shoes; and, bad luck to him, the spalpeen, he
forgot it.' 'Where's your pretty wife, Shane?' 'She's in all the wo o'
the world, ma'am, dear. And she puts the blame of it on me, though I'm
not in the fault this time, any how. The child's taken the small pox,
and she _depinded_ on me to tell the doctor to cut it for the cow-pox,
and I _depinded_ on Kitty Cackle, the limmer, to tell the doctor's own
man, and thought she would not forget it, becase the boy's her bachelor;
but out o' sight out o' mind--the never a word she tould him about it,
and the babby's got it nataral, and the woman's in heart trouble, (to
say nothing o' myself;) and its the first and all.'

"'I am very sorry, indeed, for you have got a much better wife than most
men!' 'That's a true word, my lady, only she's fidgety-like sometimes,
and says I don't hit the nail on the head quick enough; and she takes a
dale more trouble than she need about mony a thing.'

"'I do not think I ever saw Ellen's wheel without flax before, Shane?'
'Bad 'cess to the wheel!--I got it this morning about that too. I
_depinded_ on John Williams to bring the flax from O'Flaharty's this day
week, and he forgot it; and she says I ought to have brought it myself,
and I close to the spot. But where's the good? says I; sure, he'll bring
it next time.'

"'I suppose, Shane, you will soon move into the new cottage at Churn
Hill? I passed it to-day, and it looked so cheerful; and when you get
there, you must take Ellen's advice, and _depind_ solely on yourself.'
'Och! ma'am dear, don't mention it; sure it's that makes me so down in
the mouth this very minit. Sure I saw that born blackguard, Jack Waddy,
and he comes in here, quite innocent-like--'Shane, you've an eye to
squire's new lodge,' says he. 'Maybe I have,' says I. 'I'm yer man,'
says he. 'How so,' says I. 'Sure I'm as good as married to my lady's
maid,' said he; 'and I'll spake to the squire for you my own self.' 'The
blessing be about you,' says I, quite grateful--and we took a strong cup
on the strength of it--and _depinding_ on him, I thought all safe; and
what d'ye think, my lady? Why, himself stalks into the place--talked the
squire over, to be sure--and without so much as "by your lave," sates
himself and his new wife on the lase in the house; and I may go
whistle.' 'It was a great pity, Shane, that you did not go yourself to
Mr. Churn.' 'That's a true word for you, ma'am dear; but it's hard if a
poor man can't have a frind to _depind_ on.'"

If you want any thing well done, you must see to it yourself. If you
want it half done, leave it to servants. If you want it neglected,
impose it upon your friend, to save yourself the trouble.


SECTION III.--CONTENTMENT.

The true secret of happiness lies in a _contented mind_. If we would be
happy, we must be satisfied with our lot as it is. There is no condition
in which there is not something unpleasant. If we seek for perfection,
we may roam the wide world over, and never find it; but, if we learn to
bear patiently what we cannot help, almost any situation in life will be
tolerable. Every one, however, is disposed to think his troubles the
worst of all. The following story shows that no situation is exempt from
trouble.

_The old black sheep_.

A gentleman in England was passing by where a large flock of sheep were
feeding; and seeing the shepherd sitting by the road-side, preparing to
eat his dinner, he stopped his horse, and began to converse with him.
"Well, shepherd," he said, "you look cheerful and contented, and I dare
say, have very few cares to vex you. I, who am a man of large property,
cannot but look at such men as you with a kind of envy." "Why, sir,"
replied the shepherd, "'tis true, I have not trouble like yours; and I
could do well enough, was it not for that _black_ ewe that you see
yonder among my flock. I have often begged my master to kill or sell
her; but he won't, though she is the plague of my life; for no sooner do
I sit down at my book or take up my wallet to get my dinner, but away
she sets off over the down, and the rest follow her; so that I have many
a weary step after them. There! you see she's off, and they are all
after her!" "Ah, my friend," said the gentleman, "I see every man has a
black ewe in his flock, to plague him, as well as I."

_Hunting after contentment_.

A man had a number of houses, and would move from one to another,
because he could be contented but a little while in a place. A person
asked him why he moved so often, and he said he was _hunting after
contentment_. But _content_ is never found by _seeking_.



CHAPTER X.

RELIGION.


SECTION I.--RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE.

THE WILL.

Knowledge is acquired not only by _reading_, but by _thinking_ of what
we read.

A minister in Ireland met a boy going to school, and asked him what book
it was which he had under his arm. "It is a _will_, sir," said the boy.
"What will?" inquired the minister. "The last will and testament that
Jesus Christ left to me, and to all who desire to obtain a title in the
property therein bequeathed." "What did Christ leave you in that will?"
"A kingdom, sir." "Where does that kingdom lie?" "It is the kingdom of
heaven, sir." "And do you expect to reign as a king there?" "Yes, sir;
as joint-heir with Christ." "And will not every person get there as
well as you?" "No, sir; none can get there but those who found their
title to that kingdom upon the ground of the will." This boy was not
only a _reader_ but a _thinker_. The minister told him to take care of a
book of such value, and to mind the provisions of the will.

_A Little Reasoner_.

A little boy asked his mother how many gods there were. A younger
brother answered, "Why, one to be sure." "But how do you know that?"
inquired the other. "Because," answered the younger, "God fills every
place so that there is no room for any other."

_A Wise Answer_.

A boy six years old was offered an orange, if he would tell where God
was. "Tell me," said the boy, "where he _is not_, and I will give you
two."

_A Bad Bargain_.

A Sabbath School teacher was talking to his class about that passage in
Proverbs, which says, "Buy the truth and sell it not." "He who buys the
truth," said he, "makes a good bargain. Can any of you recollect any
instance of a _bad bargain_, mentioned in Scripture?" "I do," replied
one of his scholars:--"Esau made a bad bargain, when he sold his
birth-right for a mess of pottage." Another said, "Judas made a bad
bargain, when he sold his Lord for thirty pieces of silver." A third
observed, "Our Lord tells us that he makes a bad bargain, who, to gain
the whole world, loses his own soul." Alas! how many such bad bargains
are made every day!

_Simple Faith_.

A missionary in Africa asked a little boy if he was a sinner. The boy
replied by asking if he knew any one who was not. The missionary then
asked him who could save him from his sins. He replied, "Christ." "What
has Christ done to save sinners?" "He has died on the cross." "Do you
believe Jesus Christ will save you?" "Yes." "Why do you believe it?" "I
_feel_ it; and not only so, but I consider that, since he has died, and
sent his servants the missionaries from such a far country to publish
salvation, it would be very strange if, after all, he should reject a
sinner." It would be so indeed, with respect to all that come to Him;
for he has said, "Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out."

_Proof that there is a God_.

A converted Greenlander, conversing with a missionary concerning his
former state, said that, before he had ever heard about God or Jesus
Christ, he used to have such reflections as these: A boat does not grow
into existence of itself, but must be made by the labor and ingenuity of
man. But the meanest bird has far more skill displayed in its structure
than the best boat, and no man can make a bird. But there is far more
art shown in the formation of man than in any other creature. Who was it
that made him? I thought perhaps he proceeded from his parents, and they
from their parents; but some must have been the first parents--whence
did they come? Common report informs me that they grew out of the earth;
but if so, why do not men now grow out of the earth? And from whence did
this same earth, the sea, the sun, the moon, and the stars, arise into
existence? Certainly, there must be some Being, who made all these
things--a Being that always was, and can never cease to be. He must be
inexpressibly more mighty, knowing, and wise, than the wisest man. He
must be very good too; for every thing that is made is good, useful,
and necessary for us. Ah! did I but know him, how would I love him and
honor him! But who has seen him? Who has conversed with him?

This poor heathen, groping in the dark, was led to the same train of
reasoning to prove the existence of God that is used by the learned
Christian philosopher; thus proving the truth of that passage in
Rom. i. 20:--"The invisible things of God, from the creation of the
world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,
even his eternal power and Godhead."

_How to prove the Bible true_.

At one of the South Sea Islands, which had been converted from
heathenism by the labors of the English Missionaries, they were holding
the annual meeting of their Missionary Society. A British vessel
arrived, and the officers and crew attended the meeting. A native took
the chair, and native speakers addressed the meeting, with great effect.
Every thing was done in good order; and the speeches were interpreted by
the missionaries to the Englishmen present from the ship. But some of
them said the natives were mere parrots, and only repeated what the
missionaries had taught them. Others said that was impossible. After a
warm dispute, they agreed to submit it to Mr. Williams, the missionary;
who declined deciding the question, but told them if they would visit
him in the afternoon, he would collect ten or twelve natives, whom they
might ask any questions they pleased. They came, and about fifteen
natives were present, but without knowing the object of the meeting.

The first question asked was, "Do you believe the Bible to be the word
of God?" They were startled. They had never heard such a question
stated before. A doubt had never entered their minds. After a moment's
pause, one of them replied, "Most certainly we do; undoubtedly we do."
"Why do you believe it?" they were again asked. "Can you give any reason
for believing the Bible to be the word of God?" He answered: "Why, look
at the power with which it has been attended, in the utter overthrow of
all that we have been addicted to from time immemorial. What else could
have abolished that system of idolatry, which had so long prevailed
among us? No human arguments could have induced us to abandon that false
system."

The same questions were put to another, who replied, "I believe the
Bible to be the word of God, on account of the pure system of religion
which it contains. We had a system of religion before; but look how dark
and black that system was compared with the bright system of salvation
revealed in the word of God! Here we learn that we are sinners, and that
God gave Jesus Christ to die for us; and by that goodness salvation is
given to us. Now, what but the wisdom of God could have produced such a
system as this presented to us in the word of God? And this doctrine
leads to purity."

Another made the following singular reply, which is worthy of a learned
philosopher: "When I look at myself, I find I have got hinges all over
my body. I have hinges to my legs, hinges to my jaws, hinges to my feet.
If I want to take hold of any thing, there are hinges to my hands to do
it with. If my heart thinks, and I want to speak, I have got hinges to
my jaws. If I want to walk, I have hinges to my feet. Now here is
wisdom, in adapting my body to the various functions which it has to
discharge. And I find that the wisdom which made the Bible exactly fits
with this wisdom which has made my body; consequently I believe the
Bible to be the word of God."

The argument, in this last answer, is the same as that which proves the
existence of God: the perfect adaptation of all the works of nature to
their design, shows them to have been the work of a Supreme
Intelligence. The perfect adaptation of the Bible to the condition,
wants, and necessities of man, proves it to be of divine origin. The
Bible just suits the design for which it professes to have been given.
It gives us just that information and instruction, which we should
expect a revelation from heaven to give. It gives a rational account of
the origin of all things; of the object of man's existence, and of his
relations and duties to God. It explains how man came to be in his
present fallen, wretched condition, and makes provision for his
restoration to the favor of God. It provides for a radical reformation
of character; gives a perfect code of morals, and takes hold on the
heart, and inspires a devotional spirit. Human wisdom could not have
produced such a book; but if it could, _good_ men would not have been
guilty of imposing a work of their own upon mankind, as a revelation
from heaven; and _bad_ men would not have made a book to condemn
themselves, as the Bible condemns all wickedness. We must, then,
conclude, that the Bible is a divine book.

[Illustration]


SECTION II.--THE SABBATH.

_Nothing lost by keeping the Sabbath_.

A pious sailor, on board the steamboat Helen McGreggor, in 1830, was
ordered by the Captain to assist in handling freight on the Sabbath;
which he objected to do, because he wished to keep the Sabbath. "We have
no Sabbaths here at the West," the Captain replied. "Very well," said
the sailor, "wherever I am, I am determined to keep the Sabbath." After
a few more words, the Captain settled with him, and he left the boat. He
was soon offered higher wages, if he would come back; but he refused. In
a few days, he shipped at New Orleans for Europe. The first newspaper he
took up on his arrival contained an account of the terrible disaster
which happened to this boat soon after he left it. On the morning of the
24th of February, 1830, she burst her boiler at Memphis, Tenn., and
nearly one hundred lives were lost. This dreadful disaster he had
escaped, by adhering, at all hazards, to his determination, wherever he
was, to keep the Sabbath.

When George III. was repairing his palace, he found among the workmen a
pious man, with whom he often held serious conversations. One Monday
morning, when the king went to view the works, this man was missing. He
inquired the reason. At first, the other workmen were unwilling to tell.
But the king insisted on knowing; when they confessed that they had
returned Sabbath morning, to complete a piece of work which they could
not finish on Saturday, and that this man had been turned out of his
employment because he refused to come. "Call him back immediately," said
the king. "The man who refused doing his ordinary work on the Lord's day
is the man for me. Let him be sent for." He was restored to his place;
and always afterwards, the king showed him particular favor. Here was a
strong temptation to break the Sabbath, for the man's employment
depended on it. But he found it both safe and profitable to keep the
Sabbath.

_A wise answer_.

A wicked man said to his son, who attended the Sabbath School, "carry
this parcel to such a place." "It is the Sabbath," said the boy. "Put it
in your pocket," said the father. "God can see into my pocket," the
little boy answered.

_Danger of breaking the Sabbath_.

It is believed that more sad accidents happen to young persons, while
seeking their pleasure on God's Holy Day, than by any other means. A
great proportion of the cases of drowning, among boys, occur on the
Sabbath. One fine summer's morning, two sprightly young lads started for
the Sabbath School; but they were met on the way by some rude boys, who
persuaded them to go and play with them by the side of the river. They
hesitated for some time, instead of resolutely saying "No," to the first
temptation. When they yielded, it was with troubled consciences, for
they were well instructed at home. They played about the river for some
time, when one of them, venturing too near, fell into the water, which
was deep. His companions were too much frightened to give him any
assistance, and he was carried away by the rapid current and drowned.
Thus were these two boys punished for their disobedience to God and
their parents.

_But one Sabbath in the week_.

A person being invited to go on an excursion for pleasure, on the Holy
Sabbath, replied, "I should like an excursion very well; but I have but
one Sabbath in the week, and I can't spare that." This expresses an
important truth in an impressive manner. When we have but one day in the
week exclusively devoted to the concerns of eternity, while six are
devoted to the affairs of time, can we spare that one day for pleasure?
It is the best of the seven. It is worth more than all the rest. If
rightly employed, it will bring us a richer return. What we can earn in
the six days is perishable; but the fruits of a well-spent Sabbath will
endure for ever. The Sabbath, when properly spent, is the day for the
highest kind of enjoyment. If, therefore, you would seek pleasure, you
can better afford to take any other day in the week for it, than to take
the holy Sabbath.


SECTION III.--EARLY PIETY RECOMMENDED.

A man eighty-seven years of age, meeting another aged man not quite as
old as himself, the other inquired of him how long he had been
interested in religion. "Fifty years," was the old man's reply. "Well,
have you ever regretted that you began so young to devote yourself to
God?" "O no," said he; and the tears trickled down his cheeks. "I weep
when I think of the sins of my youth."

Another man between sixty and seventy years of age, said, "I hope I
became a disciple of the Lord when I was seventeen;" and he burst into a
flood of tears as he added, "and there is nothing which causes me so
much distress as to think of those seventeen years--some of the very
best portion of my life,--which I devoted to sin and the world."

This was the experience of David, who, in his old age, prayed, "Remember
not, O Lord the sins of my youth." And it will be the reader's
experience, should he ever be brought to a knowledge of the truth, after
giving the flower of his days to the service of sin and Satan.

[Illustration]

_Danger of delay_.

A---- M---- was an impenitent youth. His friend, who had just embraced
the Saviour, in the ardor of his first love, besought him to turn to the
Lord. He acknowledged the great importance of the things which were
urged upon his attention; and said that, long before, the Spirit of God
had called upon him, and he was "almost persuaded to be a Christian."
Once he stood almost on the threshhold of heaven. "But now," said he, "I
am fallen, fallen--O how far! I know that I am not a Christian now. I am
a great sinner. I have quenched the Holy Spirit. If I should die as I
am, I know I shall be eternally lost, for I believe the Bible. You may
think, because I am so careless now, I shall die unconverted. But no, I
have more thoughts about death than many suppose. _I mean to repent
before I die_, and become a Christian. I cannot think of dying as I now
am; but you need not be concerned about me, _for I mean to repent yet_."
Not many days afterwards, he was crossing a river, with a number of
others, for the purpose of spending the day in amusement. The skiff
upset, and they were plunged into the water. All the rest of the company
but A---- (who was the best swimmer among them), reached the shore. He
was heard, as he struggled towards the bank, to utter a fearful oath,
calling upon God to damn his soul. God took him at his word. He sunk to
rise no more--a fearful warning on those who presume on future
repentance!


SECTION IV.--UNCERTAINTY OF LIFE.

    "Go to now, ye that say, To-day or to-morrow we will go into
    such a city, and continue there a year, and buy, and sell, and
    get gain:

    "Whereas ye know not what _shall be_ on the morrow. For what is
    your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time
    and then vanisheth away.

    "For that ye _ought_ to say, if the Lord will, we shall live,
    and do this, or that."--JAMES iv. 13, 14, 15.

On Friday, the Editor of the New-York Commercial Advertiser, met a Mr.
Storrs in the street and requested from him an account of an Indian
adventure which he had heard him relate. Mr. Storrs replied, "I am going
to New Haven in the morning. I will write it there and bring it down for
you on Monday. You shall have it on Monday." These were his last words.
On Monday he was buried. Such is the uncertainty of all human
calculations! Let the business of the day be done to-day; for no one is
sure of to-morrow. Especially let the great business of life always be
done, and then sudden death need not be dreaded.

_Sudden death of an impenitent sinner_.

On a cold day in the middle of winter, a carriage drove up to a
minister's house and he was summoned to attend the death-bed of a young
man, who, in the midst of life and health had been just struck down by a
violent kick from a horse, and was not expected to live more than a few
hours. The blow had broken his skull bone, and cut out a piece as large
as the palm of his hand, presenting a ghastly and horrible sight.

When the minister arrived, he found him just recovering his senses. The
physician came soon after, and decided that there was no hope of saving
his life. The minister, after saying a few words, and engaging in
prayer, proposed to retire for a short time, to give the young man a
little rest. "No, no," he exclaimed, "do not leave me for a moment. I
have but a short time to live, and I dare not die as I am. O what shall
I do? Tell me quickly before the light of reason forsakes me."

"James," said the minister, "there is but one way in which a sinner can
be saved, and that is, by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ;--whether an
hour only, or years be allowed you, the only way for you to secure
salvation is, by casting yourself unreservedly into the Saviour's hand.
Only his blood can save you; and you are welcome now, this moment. All
things are ready--come now."

The young man, with a look of anguish, replied, "Do you remember, sir,
when I was putting up some shelves in your study, eight months ago, that
you asked me to stop, while you talked with me about religion, and
prayed for me? It was then that I felt that I was a sinner, and after
going home, I endeavored to pray for myself, and determined that I would
seek religion. Two or three days, these feelings continued; when,
unhappily for me, I took up a book, which I had commenced reading before
our conversation, and though conscience remonstrated, I went on and
finished it. My feelings were much enlisted in the story, but when I got
through I had no disposition to pray; and my anxiety about religion was
gone. I resumed novel-reading, of which I had been very fond, and
compromised with my conscience, by resolving that at the end of one year
I would throw all such books aside, and seek the salvation of my soul.
Only two thirds of that year are gone, and here I am dying! Fool, fool
that I was, to sell my soul for a novel--to prefer the excitement of an
idle tale to the joys of religion."

The minister begged him, whatever had been his past folly and guilt, to
look to Christ for the forgiveness of all. But while he was speaking,
the young man's reason began to fail. In a short time he was delirious.
"Fool, fool!" he would exclaim, at intervals, and this was all he said.
In this state of mind, death overtook him, four months before the period
arrived, to which he had put off attention to the concerns of his
soul--a sad warning to those who defer this first and great concern!

_Sudden Death of a Christian_.

William G. was a young man in vigorous health and of ardent temperament,
with great energy of character. His office was that of a brakeman upon
the Railroad. A long line of freight cars had been delayed a few minutes
behind the time, and must hasten to reach the turnout in season for the
passenger train, which was expected to pass in a few moments. Two cars
were to be detached; which, by a dexterous movement, could be done
without entirely stopping the train. The moment the engine is slackened,
the cars behind will gain a little upon those in front, when the
connecting pin can be removed, and the hinder cars detached. This the
young man had often done before, and he sprang forward with alacrity to
perform it now. But, in the path lay a pebble, so small as to escape
notice, and yet large enough, as he stepped rapidly backwards, to throw
him prostrate on the track, while the heavy-laden cars passed on over
his body. It was the work of an instant, but it was done. There lay,
mangled and writhing, the young man, who, not one moment before, was
buoyant, healthful, full of enterprise and hope. There was no hope of
his life. With one arm extended, the only unbroken limb in his body, he
speaks: "I must die--I know it--I must die, but thank God I am ready to
die. Yes, I am willing to die, if it is God's will. And yet, I should
like to live. My poor mother--who will take care of her? My poor
sisters--and oh, my _poor dear Mary!_ Send for them--send for them. Send
now. I must see them once more. I have much to say to them. Oh, my God,
thy will be done!" They came, and there was such a burst of grief as is
seldom witnessed. Yet, amid all this, he was calm. Not a groan, not a
murmur had escaped him through the long hours of bodily suffering which
he had endured, and not a murmur nor a groan did he suffer now, when the
heart-strings were broken. He spoke calmly and clearly to them all,
gave them counsel, bade each a tender farewell; then closed his eyes,
and sunk into the sleep of death. What would this scene have been
without the Christian hope? This young man had anchored his hope firm
upon the Rock of Ages. It had supported him in the busy scenes of life.
It now sustained him in the sudden hour of trial, when the pains of
death seized upon him without warning. "LET ME DIE THE DEATH OF THE
RIGHTEOUS, AND LET MY LAST END BE LIKE HIS!"


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 |Transcriber's Note:                                             |
 |                                                                |
 |Variations in chapter and section heads between the Contents and|
 |the body of the text have been retained as they appear in the   |
 |original publication.                                           |
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