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c. ent fortunes, and retiring from business with credit and honour in their advanced years, we first see their names in the gazette, and the remainder of their lives is either spent. in a prison, or they are left to struggle through the world without credit under the odious appellation of a bankrupt. The last cause I would mention is naturally the effectorihe others; I mean a desperate attempt to repair a broken fortune by engaging too deeply at gaming in the Alley. This practice has been attended with such pernicious consequences, that thechildren unborn will become real sufferers through the madness of their intaluated parents. When those who have wasted their substance in riotous living, are awakened by a feeling sense of their approaching shame and misery, they generally muster up all they can procure, and at one stroke venture it all in the Alley, where, if one is successful, most commonly twenty are ruined. What I have now told you is the result of long experience, and I doubt not but you will find too glaring proofs of it. It now remains that I should, in compliance with your request, point out some rules to be observed, in order to carry on business, both with credit, honour, and profit. But I know of no method more proper than to act diametrically opposite to the conduct of those already mentioned.
Learn to be wise by others' harm,
shall do full well. Never leave that undone till to-morrow that can be performed to-day. Never trust that to either a friend or a serva
rvant which can be done by yourself.
Keep an account of every day's expense, and once at least every week compare your debt with your credit,
Be not over anxious in acquiring riches. Trade is solid, but slow; and experience has long since convinced me, zhat those who are over-hasty in acquiring riches, most commonly fail in their attempts, and soon find themselves real beggare. But, above all, remember, that “in vain do werise soon, or sit up late, unless our labours are crowned with divine blessings.” I leave these things to your consideration, and am
With great sincerity,
From a gentleman of decayed circumstances in the coun
iry, to another lately returned from the East Indies, recommending his son to his protection. Sir, WAS greatly pleased to hear of your arrival, but much
more so, that you had acquired' an ample fortune. You knew me when my circumstances'were not only easy, but likewise affluent; and you also know'thal, at that time, I was glad of every opportunity of assisting nry friends. But alas! I am now in a quite different situation. By the loss of a ship from Jainaica, I was obliged to stop payment, and give up all to my creditors, who have generonsly allowed me a small annuity for my subsistence. When that fatal erent look place, I retired into the country, with any wile and children, and my time has since been spent in superintending their education. The bearer, iny eldest just twenty, and is very desirous of going to the East-Indies; but my circumstances are such, that it is not in my power to give him any assistance, nor indeed do I know in what manner to proceed in an affair of so much importance: The friendship which subsisted betwixt us before you
left England, gives me some encouragement to hope, thia. rour elevation waffluence and grandeur will not inake any alteration in your sentiments concerning benevolence, nolwithstanding the depressed situation to which I am reduced. I rather think that my present distressed circumstances will plead more powerfully in favour of the youth, than if he was supported even by the recommendation of the whole body of directors. I have given him an education perhaps beyond my circumstances, and suitable, I hope, to any sin tuation in the mercantile world. llis morals, so far as I know, are pure, and I doubt not his conduct will give satisfaction; if therefore you will be pleased, either to take him under your own direction, or instruct ine in what mania ner to proceed, in order to proniote his interest, you will thereby confer a lasting obligation on an indulgent, thoug afflicted parent, and it shall be acknowledged with grati.' tude to the latest period of my existence.
I am, sir,
The answer. Dear Sir, WHEN I read your affecting letter, Iscarce knew whe
ther I was more grieved to hear of your distressed circumstances, or filled with shame that I had been three months in England, and never inquired for one who had not only treated me with humanity, but even assisted me in making my
first voyage to the Indies. Your house was an asylum to me when I was utterly destitute, and I should con. sider myself as an object of the utmost abhorrence, if I hesitated one moment in complying with your request, rela. ting to the amiable youth who brought me the letter. But in what light must I consider myself, were my gratitude to the best of men confined to such a favour as would cost me nothing, or what I would grant even to a stranger! No, sir, I am sensible of benefits received, and should consider myself as a mean abject wretch, if I did not acknowledge them with gratitude. I have just been with your son to the Directors, and he is engaged as a writer at Bengal. If the climate agrees with his constitution, there is no great fear but he will soon acquire a considerable fortune. For which purpose I have deposited, in the hands of the supercargo, five hundred pounds for his use, which
know is more than I had when I first embarked for that part of the world. But still I should consider myself as acting very partially, if whilst I am making provision for the son, I should forget his aged parents. The ships for India don't sail till next March, so that your son will have at least three months to remain with you before he embarks. He sets off with the coach 10-morrow, and I have entrusted him with something for your immediate use. I intend calling to spend a few days with you next month, and be assured thai nothing in ny power shall be wanting to make your life as agreeable as possible. I have not so far forgot the principles of a virtuous education, as to look with indifference on the various dispensations of Providence. How true is that saying of the wise man, " The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the stronge!" as human wisdom cannot discern the progress to earthly grandeur, so man's prudence is not always able to guard against calamitous events. I am therefore determined not to place any confidence in riches, but only consider myself as the steward of that all. bouptiful God from whom I have received them, This is my fixed resolution, and I hope no allurement whatever shall tempo me to deviate from it.
I am, dear sir,
Your sincere friend.
LETTER CXXIII. From a clergyman in the country, to a lady in London, on
the death of a valuable friend. Madam, EATH, that king of terrors, having pierced with his
fatal shaft the heart of the generous Pollio, I went to pay niy last duties to my deceased friend; but who can de'scribe that torrent of sorrow whieh overwhelmed my breast, on my arrival at the house of mourning! he had just completed an ample and commodious seal, but was not permilled to spend ons joyful hour under its roof, His
gara dens were planted with the choicest fruits, and decorated in the most graceful manner: but their master is gone down to the valley of the shadow of death. Since death is the portion of every individual, we should engrave the thoughts in the most legible characters, on the tablets of our inemories. We see our neighbours fall, we turn pale at the shock, and feel a trembling dread. No sooner are they removed from our sight, but driven in the whirl of business, or lulled in the langaors of pleasure, we forget Provi. dence, and neglect its erraad. The impression made oir qur unstable minds, is like the trace of an arrow through the penetrated air, or the path of the keel in furrowed
Did we reflect seriously on the numberless disasters, such as no human prudence çan foresee, nor the greatest care prevent, that lie in wait to accomplish our doom, we should be obliged to look upon ourselves as tenants at will, and liable to be dispossessed of our earthly tabernacle at a moment's warning. The last enemy has not only unnumbered avenues for his approach, but even holds his fortress in the seat of our life, The crimson fluid which distributes health, is impregnated with the seeds of death. Some unforeseen impediment may obstruct its passage, or some unknown violence may divert its course; in either of which cases it acts the part of a poisonous draught, or a deadly wound. The partition which separates time from eternity, is nothing more than the breath of our nostrils, and the transition may be made in the least particle of time,
If we examine the records of mortality, we shall find the memorials of a mixed multitude resting together, without aný regard to rank or seniority. None are ambitious of the uppermost rooms, or chief seats in the mansions of the dead, none entertain fond and eager expectations of being honourably greeted in their darksome cells. The man of years and experierće, reputed as an oracle in his generation, is content to lie down at the feet of the babe. In this common receplacle, the master is equally accommodated with his servant. The poor indigent lies as softly as the inost opulent possessor. All the distinction that subsists, is a grassy hillock bound with osiers, or a sepulchral stone ornamented with imagery:
Whya hen should we raise such a mighty stir about superiority and precedence, when the next remove will reduce us all to a state of equal meanness? why should we exalt ourselves and debasé others, since we must all one day lie upon a common level? we must all be blended together in the same common dust. Here persons of contrary interests, and different sentiments, sleep together. Death having laid his hands on the contending parties, and brought all tbeir differences to an amicable conclusion.
Elernity! how are our boldest, our strongest thoughts, fost and overwhelmed in thee! who can set land-marksto limit thy dimensions, or find plummets to fathom thy depth? what numbers can state, what lines can gauge the lengths and breadths of eternity? mysterious, mighly ex• istence! when ages, numerous as the bloom of spring, increased by the herbage of the summer, both augmented by the leaves of autumn, and all multiplied by the drops of sain, which drown the winter-ten thousand more than can be represented by any similitude, or imagined by any conception, are all revolved in eternity-vast, boundless eternity! after all those numerous ages are expired, elernity is only beginning to begin.
I am, madam,