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though not more kindly, I believe, than I felt, "Come my young friend be open with me, I am sure from what I have seen of you, that you have too much good sense and good principle to turn a deaf ear to what is designed for your profit. I can read your circumstances in the occurrences of the last few days. I know more about you than you think I do: take your pen, and put down on paper as nearly as you can remember, how your money has been spent, and more than that, what you owe." "What I owe, uncle," interrupted the young man, eagerly, "who has told you that I am in debt?" "Yourself," I replied, "you have told me by your words, your manners, and the things you have exhibited; so fear not to tell me the whole truth, and disguise nothing from me, and I will still be your friend, I shall never forget the look of gratitude and ingenuousness, which he cast upon me, as he replied, "Unele, I will hide nothing from you." My own feelings were much excited. I left the room soon afterwards-setting before him pen, ink, and paper; and in the course of the day he put into my hands a tolerably correct statement of his affairs, and the amount of his debts, which had been incurred chiefly on account of dress and baubles which had taken his eye, and did not at all exceed the sum I had calculated them in my own mind.
I sat alone in my own little parlour till a late hour, looking over these papers, and laying my plans for the future welfare of the young man, and I went to bed so full of the feelings which the events of the day had excited in my mind, that it was very long before I could close my eyes to sleep. I had always been fond of little performances with my pen, and as I lay awake for some hours, I tried to beguile the time by forming the difficulties of my young friend, into an allegory, which I thought might teach him some useful lessons, and which, from time to time, he might take up as a useful remembrancer. For the benefit of other persons circumstanced as he is, I shall venture to subjoin this allegory, when I have finished what I have to say about my nephew. I got up at my usual early hour and committed my ideas to paper; and then adding on a separate sheet a few prudential rules, particularly applicable to the circumstances of my nephew, I enclosed both my
manuscripts in a sealed paper :-I then took out of my bureau, a note which would cover my young friend's debts, and putting it within a morocco pocket book ruled for accounts, I went down into my little parlour, where a dish of warm coffee was prepared for a solitary breakfast. My nephew was to set off by an early coach, as soon as he had finished his hasty meal; I put into his hands the sealed paper; "this," I said, “you will read at your leisure, it is an old man's way of teaching you a lesson;" then, giving him the pocket book, I added, “you will find a note here with which you will pay all your debts as soon as you reach your town. I lend it you upon one condition, that you put down in this pocket book every thing you spend, and that I have a copy of it sent me every half year; and the oftener you can be the bearer of it yourself, the better. Let me add only one word more, that you are to regard this little help which I have been enabled to give you, as a seasonable interference of a good providence in your behalf, and I pray you to regard every suffering which imprudence at any time may occasion you, as the chastising rod of a kind Father, who would lead you to the knowledge of yourself; and not as a proof that you are abandoned and deserted." The young man looked up at me with a countenance so illuminated and so softened as passes my description: he was unable to speak; he took my hand and seemed as if he knew not how to separate from me. For my own part, I had in vain tried to conclude my own formal address without emotion, and now the young man's countenance brought the tears from my eyes, but there was time for nothing more to be said on either side-the clock struck, my nephew threw his little portmanteau over his shoulder and walked away, giving me at the garden gate one last expressive look.
I was one day thinking over my troubles, which were chiefly of a pecuniary nature, in a spirit of despair almost arraigning providence; when I fell asleep, and dreamed that I was sitting by a grass plot, upon which, lay all my troubles collected together in one mass and transformed into a huge animal, composed like the Elephant of Krishna,-of many smaller
living creatures, and beside it waited a company of men with large characters stamped on their foreheads, and they were deeply engaged in administering to its wants, and fondling and caressing it with every mark of attention.
On one side of me was a beautiful female form, clothed in white with a glory round her head. I did not wonder at this sight, but my eyes were fixed on my troubles with the same feeling of angry and unbelieving gloom, which I had felt when awake. After some minutes had passed away, the female figure approached me, and gently rebuking me for my behaviour, she said, "Pray to God, to make you humble and open your eyes, and you will see who are the troublers of your peace." I obeyed her, and after I had knelt down and spent some time in earnest prayer, I stood up to see what would follow-immediately, before I had well risen from my knees, a tall man with a wand in his hand, whom I had not seen before, came forward, and laying the wand upon the animal, it was divided in a moment into its several parts at the magic touch, then raising his wand towards the persons attending upon the creature, with an air of authority, he disappeared. These men then severally came forward and took a portion of the frightful beast in their arms and walked away with it, and as the first stooped down to lift up his ugly burden, I saw upon his forehead, the name of Idleness; as the second came forward, I beheld the inscription Vanity; then followed Worldly mindedness and Extravagance; then was Imprudence; and next followed Inaccuracy:-I could not distinctly read the inscriptions that were graven upon ́the foreheads of the two last, but I thought that Ingratitude was one, and Impatience the other. I was surprised to find that in a few minutes, the whole of this frightful creature was removed, except only one portion; and no sooner had the men withdrawn with their burdens, than the female figure came forward and stood beside this last portion; then she called me to her, and as I approached nearer to her, I knew her to be Faith, though I had not at first recollected her. Through the greatest of my troubles, the burden that was left, still seemed larger than I could raise, but I found that in the society of my sweet companion, I could look upon it without despair.
We remained for some time together my mind gradually becoming more comforted; when suddenly the earth at my feet opened and swallowed up my burden, and in the stead of it, an olive tree laden with olives appeared in its place; and the olives were filled with fatness, and from the midst of the olive tree, there flew a dove, which rested in my bosom; then I awoke, and I understood the lesson which my dream was intended to teach me.
THERE are few who have lived long in the world, without meeting persons of that character, which Locke describes so well, when he says, "they know a little, presume a good deal, and so jump to a conclusion." Perhaps I might go a step farther, and say, that scarcely any who narrowly watch their own mind, will find themselves altogether free from this propensity. For we are naturally averse from labour-pleased to have something to communicate, and fond of the praise of quick discernment. Hence that want of application, which, when it shews itself in study, or in the perusal of books, leads young persons superficially to turn over the stores of knowledge, and believe themselves sufficiently furnished from them; because, to quote the same writer, they have "a shred to match" with the various rich productions, they find in the conversation of others. This may serve for display in the eyes of the ignorant; as strips of many colours might delight an infant. But amidst such useless acquirements, the mind remains naked and unadorned, and a person of real information, will soon turn with disgust from the paltry deception. Still, under these circumstances, the injury and disgrace attach to those who deserve them; but when the same careless inaccuracy pervades the conduct in society, those who are guilty of it may do incalculable mischief, before they are aware. How often is some trifling circumstance heard, to the credit or disadvantage of another, on which, without further enquiry, an opinion is formed respecting him: the circumstance may indeed be untrue, for it has not been
examined; but even if true, it has probably never produced one of those effects, which an expert presumer will connect with it, as a necessary consequence. Allowing however, that he is for once, more correct than usual; yet prejudice rather than truth, may be expected as the result: for we must view a character, not from one point, but many, before we can form a right estimate of its worth.
These observations will, perhaps, be better illustrated, by a relation of the mortifying, though salutary situation, in which Eliza Wilmot was more than once placed, during a visit to her grandpapa, the Vicar of Arundel. Could you have seen that venerable man, whose heart had been so long under the influence of the gospel of peace, that his very features bore the impress of holiness and love-whose exertions were still active in his master's cause, though the silver hairs of age were already scattered on his ample forehead ;—you would have almost envied Eliza the privilege of passing a few weeks in such society. He had passed through many trials; nature had felt keenly; and there was one which still, at times, pressed heavily upon him: but he had learned to cast every burden on his God, and under all the dispensations of providence to say, "It is well:" and never did he preach more powerfully on the blessedness of true religion, than when, with a countenance illumined by resignation and joy, he exclaimed,
God is the way by which my steps he leads,
To state briefly the trials that have been alluded to,-in early life he had lost the partner of his affections, who left him a son and two daughters, to whom he tenderly supplied the place of a double parent. The former had in every respect been a comfort to him, and was settled at a great distance: the eldest daughter, who sweetly repaid all his affectionate care, was, to his utmost satisfaction, united with a gentleman in the neighbourhood, temporally and spiritually a help-meet for her. But alas! how uncertain is the duration of earthly happiness: she had scarcely been married one year, when, by a peculiarly distressing accident, she was suddenly deprived of