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sons. They were healthy, active, good-tempered, and condescending. Fretfulness no longer made them disgusting, nor did they weary every one with the constant attendance they required. It is impossible to speak the delight of Mr. Jeffries upon this occasion, and he gave the most liberal proofs of his gratitude to Mr. Briant. At the expiration of their holidays, they returned to their improvements, and their useful avocations. Beside the studies and accomplishments deemed necessary for their rank, they were instructed by Mr. Briant in the knowledge of agriculture, in all its various and useful branches. They were astonished to see by what numerous and extensive labours man is supplied with food; and in proportion as they saw how much they depended upon others, they became more affable and obliging. They would frequently go into the fields to see the plough open the bosom of the earth, the sower scatter the seed, and the harrow finish the toil; they would watch the seed as it broke through the ground, and the green blade as it began to sprout. In the joyous time of harvest, they would assist the poor gleaners, and intreat Mr. Briant to throw them a few handfuls from the rich sheaves. By this conduct they endeared themselves to every one, and there was scarcely a cottager in the village who had not cause to revere the name of Lewis and Archibald. Far from despising the menial, but useful offices of life, they felt the greatest pleasure in rendering themselves useful. They no longer sighed for a gilded coach, nor a numerous train of useless dependents.
Their progress in learning was equal to the im-provements of their minds, and whatever advantages they might derive from their rank, were far inferior to those their intrinsic merit bestowed.
At length, after finishing their studies at Oxford, they returned to their father, such sons as any father might delight to own. The splendour, the opulence which surrounded them, gave them frequent oppor
tunities of being serviceable to their fellow-creatures ; nor did they ever let such opportunities pass unheeded.
But, alas! how uncertain is every thing mortal! Mr. Jeffries, whose success in life had hitherto been invariable, now experienced a cruel reverse. The sudden breaking out of war first involved him in difficulties, and a house, with whom he had very large connections, stopping payment, plunged him still deeper in ruin. The information of several ships which were frighted for him being captured, completed the blow; after all his debts were paid he found himself master of little more than 4000l. This, to a man who had been accustomed to spend such a sum as the yearly expences of his household, was but a degree removed from poverty. In the first agony of grief and disappointment, he abandoned himself to despair, till the affectionate and dutiful attention of his sons recalled him to reason and reflection. They made use of every solacing argument they thought likely to comfort him, and added, as neither guilt nor imprudence had been the cause of his misfortunes, he could in no respect upbraid himself; but must endeavour more calmly to submit to the dispensations of heaven. "We are young," said they, "healthy, and strong, and by our labour we will still support you in ease and plenty; long enough have you thus supported us. We have now an opportunity of shewing our gratitude; so sweet will be the offices, that the melancholy occasions which called it forth, shall be wholly forgotten." The afflicted father made no answer, but folded them tenderly to his bosom. By the advice of his friends, and the concurring wishes of his own breast, he determined to leave England, as he could not bear that the place which had witnessed his former grandeur, should behold his present abasement. He had unfortunately been accustomed to look on wealth as the only means of happiness; the luxuries it afforded, the respect it
commanded, were dearer than ever to his bosom; and though while he possessed riches, he was still anxious for more, and still found that accumulation satisfied not his wishes, nor at all added to his real enjoyments, he could now neither resign his wealth with fortitude, nor bear its loss with submission. He had a lesson to learn which to him was very difficult, that industry and content are better securities of happiness, than wealth and parade. The small sum which was left of his immense riches, he proposed laying out in the purchase of some land in Jamaica; whither with his two sons he immediately repaired.
Lewis and Archibald, whose education had furnished them with resources of which no chance could deprive them, and which enabled them to live contented in any sphere, sympathized most sincerely in the afflictions of their father, and by their dutiful and unremitted attention endeavoured to lighten them, but poverty presented not itself to them in a form so dreadful; they were willing and able to support themselves by active industry, and they possessed sufficient resolution to make their wishes subservient to their power of gratifying them.
On their arrival in the West-Indies, they remained for a few days at a friend of Mr. Jeffries, and then repaired to their own dwelling. This was small, and had been built, not for purposes of luxury, but from motives of convenience; it was sweetly situated, and presented to the eye the most beautiful and romantic scenery that can be imagined.
It is impossible to describe the sensations which the beautifully picturesque views of Jamaica occasioned in Lewis and Archibald, for their father was too much absorbed in sorrow, to be sensible of such pleasures. They ascended a neighbouring hill to contemplate at leisure the lovely scene. From this eminence they be held rivers winding in a majestic course along the rich plain, and in some places skirted by woods decked
with perpetual verdure. There rich savannahs opened to distant scenes, where the foot of European had seldom trod. Every thing which could please the eye, all that could satiate avarice, and gratify luxury, were here combined! But, ah! dreadful were the means by which the latter were accomplished. Here poor toiling wretches dragged on a miserable existence, to contribute to the artificial wants of others; and while plenty smiled around them, they were obliged to satisfy the cravings of hunger with a piece of dried fish, their common and scanty fare!
In the generous, the humane, the well-formed minds of Lewis and Archibald, such an abuse of power could create no other sensations than detestation of the oppressor, and pity for the oppressed; and they resolved, if Providence should so far prosper their industry as to place them in a higher station, their dependents should sweeten the bread of labour with the smiles of freedom.
They were soon employed in cultivating the little ground their father possessed, and this, so far from considering as a degradation, was the source of their highest pleasures: they were giving the strongest proofs of filial affection, they were returning some part of the debt they had contracted with their late munificent father.
In a country so bountiful as Jamaica, the necessaries of life were easily procured; but Lewis and his brother sought for their father those luxuries to which he was still but too much attached.
Their little plantation flourished beyond their most sanguine expectations, and bestowed an ample reward on their pious industry. The next year they increased their quantity of land, and had again the most abundant crops. They now found it necessary to employ more servants, but slavery contaminated not their la bours. The generous youths gave them emancipation, and then hired them, leaving them so far masters
of themselves, as to be able to leave their situation whenever it became unpleasant.
In the course of twenty years, by their industry, upright integrity, and the blessing of heaven, they ac quired a very large fortune, and now, with their father, returned to England. There they lived, not to squander, but to enjoy their wealth; to taste the only real delight wealth can impart, that of assisting the needy, aud comforting the afflicted.
Mr. Jeffries lived not long after his return to England, and on his death-bed, calling his sons and friends around him, he spoke to them thus: Twenty years have I been supported by the industry of my sons; who have much more than repaid, whatever they may have received from me. They have been resigned in adversity, cheerful in the midst of affliction, have patiently borne with all my infirmities, and have been the unshaken props of my old age. Heaven has looked upon them with its most favouring eye, and has amply rewarded their exemplary virtue. May their sons deserve, and receive from them such praises as, even now, it is my delight to bestow! In the midst of plenty, even when fortune smiled upon me, I never experienced half the real pleasure the worth of my children has imparted to my heart. Oh, deserving objects of my fondest affection, receive my blessing; accept all the gratitude a parent can bestow!" Here he ceased, the shades of death closed his eyes, and he sunk to eternal repose.
As soon as Lewis and Archibald had paid the last duties to their father, they hastened to Mr. Briant, whom they considered as a second parent, to testify to him that gratitude which warmed their bosoms. It was to him they owed the early culture of their hearts; it was he who had first led them to the paths of virtue, and taught them those useful exercises, which, as they are conducive to the support of man, no one ought to be ashamed to perform. The muta,