Imagens das páginas

you. You see, madam, that all human expectations are vain, and often attended with deception. When we think our circumstances are independent, there is generally some latent mischief hidden under the spe. cious appearance; and this should teach us continually to look to that Providence which superintends the affairs of this lower world, and orders all for the good of its creatures. With respect to your two children, I' have proposed the following scheme for their benefit.

Let the boy think of some trade, to which his inclinations lead nim, and I will provide him with every necessary during his apprenticethip; and at the expiration of that term, if his behaviour is agreeable, rdvance something to set him up in business. As for the girl, let her be Bent immediately to my house, where she shall be brought up along with my daughters, and every thing in my power done to serve ber.

I expect, that from time to time, you will communicate to me an account of your circumstances, that I may be happy in alleviating every calamity.

I am, &c.

From an indulgent Father to a profligate Son.

Your continued ill courses oblige me to write this letter to you. I flattcred myself that your solemn promise of amendment might have been better depended on; but I see, to my great mortification, that all I have done for you, and all I have said to you, are thrown away. Perhaps this remaining with you,


jou will now and then seriously peruse it, may, in some happy moment, give you reflection, and, by God's grace, bring on your repentance and amendment. Consider then,

I beseech you, in tine, the evil of your ways, that your present courses niust impair a good constitution, destroy your health, and undoubtedly shorten your life. No family, which values their own honor and the welfare of their child, will suffer your addresses to a daughter worthy of being sought after for a wise, should you incline to marry. In that case the worst of the sex only will accept of you as a companion for life, which will make you completely miserable, when you had it in your power to be as happy. As to another world, beyond this transitory one, my heart trembles for what most probably will be the consequence to your poor soul; for the Puuman mind is seldom at a stop.

Do not, my dear son, let your poor mother and I have the mortificar uion to think, that we have been the unhappy means of giving life to a child of perdition instead of glory; consider, my dear son, we do not want any thing of you but your own good. Let us but have reason to hope, that when we are dead and gone, you will support our name with credii, and be no burden to your poor sisters, nor disgrace to our memories. Let them think of you as a protector in my stead, rather than as an ungrateful spoiler amongst them. My dear son, I conjure you by our hopes and fears from infancy to manhood, to think of all these things ; reflect on the instability of all worldly enjoyments. Your good mother, who mingles her tears so often with mine, to deplore the sad prospect pour il courses give us, joins also her prayers to mine that this my love

effort may be attende 1 with success, and that you will at last listen ty the advice of

Your indulgent and afllicted father

LETTER 48. From a Daughter to a Father, whemein she dutifully expostulates

against a match he had proposed to her, with a Gentleman much

older than herself. HONORED SIR,

Though your injunctions should prove diametrically opposite to my own secret inclipations, yet I am not insensible that the duty which I owe you binds me to comply with them. Besides, I should be very ungrateful, should I presume, in any point whatever, considering your numberless acts of parental indulgence towards me, to contest your will and pleasure. Though the consequences thereof should prove ever so fatal, I am determined to be all obedience, in case what I have to offer in my own defence should have no influence over you, or be thought an insufficient plea for my aversion to a match, which, unhappily for nie, you seem to approve of. It is very possible, sir, the gentleman you recommend to my choice, may be possessed of that substance, and all chose good qualities, that bias you so strongly in his favor ; but be not angry, dear sir, when I remind you that there is a vast disproportion in our years. A lady of more experience and of a more advanced age, would, in my humble opinion, be a more fit helpmate for him. To be ingenuous (permit me, good sir, to speak the sentiments of my heart without reserve for once) a man, almost in his grand climacterick, can never be an agreeable companion for me : nor can the natural gaiety of my temper, which has hitherto been indulged by yourself in every innocent amusement, be over agreeable to him. Though his fondness at first may connive at the little freedoms I shall be apt to take, yet as soon as the edge of his appetite shall be abated, he will grow jealous, and forever torment me without a cause. I shall be debarred of every diversion suitable to my years, though ever so harmless and inoffensive; permitted to see no company; hurried down perhaps to some melancholy rural recess; and there, like my lady Grace in the play, sit pensive and alone under a green tree. Your long experienced goodness, and that tender regard which you have always expressed for my ease and satisfaction, encourage me thus freely to expostulate with you on an affair of so great importance. If, however, after all, you should judge the equality of our age an insufficient plea in my favor, and that want of affection for a husband is but a trifle, where there is a large fortune and a coach and six to throw into the scale ; is, in short you lay your peremptory commands upon me to resign up all my real happiness and peace of mind for the vanity of living in pomp and grandeur, I am ready to to your superior judgment. Give me leave, however, to obscrve, that it is impossible for me ever to love the inan into whose arms I am to be thrown, and that my compliance with so detested a proposition is nothiug more than the result of the most inviolable duty io a father, who never made the east attempt before to thwart the ima clinations of

His ever obedient daughter.

LETTER 49. Mrs. Rowe* to her Mother, on the approach of her own death. MADAM,

I am now taking a final adieu of this world, in certain hope of mecting you in the next. carry to my grave my affection and gratitude to you. I leave you with the sincerest concern for your own happiness, and the welfare of your family. May my prayers be answered when I am sleeping in the dust. May the angels of God conduct you in the paths of inmortal pleasure.

I would collect the powers of my soul, and ask blessings for you with the holy violence of prayer. God Almighty, the God of your pious an. cestors, who has been your dwelling place for many generations, bless you. It is but a short space I have to measure; my shadows are lengthening, and my sun declining : that goodness which has hitherto conducted me, will not fail me in the concluding act of life : that name which I have made my glory and my boast, shall then be my strength and my salvation.

To meet death with becoming fortitude is a part above the powers of nature, and which I can perform by no power or holiness of my own; for, 0! in my best state I am altogether vanity—a wretched, helpless sinner ; but in the merits and perfect righteousness of God my Saviour, I hope to appear justified, at the supreme tribunal, where I must short ly stand to be judged.

[N. B. This letter was not to be sent to her mother till she was dead.]

LETTER 50. The Earl of Stafford to his Son, just before his Lordshp s esecu


These are the last lines that you are to receive from a father that tenderly loves you. I wish there were greater leisure to impart my mind to you ; but our merciful God will supply all things by his grace, and will guide and protect you in all your ways; to whose infinite goodness I bequeath you : and therefore be not discouraged, but serve him, and trust in him, and he will preserve you in all things. Be sure you give all respect to my wife, who hath ever had a great love unto you, and therefore it will be well becoming you. Never be wanting in your love and care to your sisters, but let them ever be most dear unto you; for chis will give others cause to esteem and respect you for it, and is a duly you owe them in the memory of your excellent mother and myself: therefore your care and affection to them must be the very same that you are to have of yourself; and also the like regard must you have to your youngest sister, for indeed you owe it to her also, both for her father's and mother's sake. Sweet Will, be careful to take the advice of those friends, who are, by me, desired to advise you for your education.

* She was a woman of exemplary piety, and authoress of several valuable works She was bern in England, in the year 1674, and di. er 1737.

Serve God diligently, morning and evening, and recommend yourself unto him, and have him before your eyes in all your ways. With pa. tience hear the instruction of those friends I leave with you, and dili. gendly follow their counsel. For, till you come by time to have experience in thə world, it will be far more mfe to trust to their judgment than your own. Lose not the time of you youth, but gather those seeds of virtue and knowledge which may be of use to yourself, and comfort to your friends for the rest of your life. And that this may be the better effected, attend thereanto with patience, and be sure to correct and re strain yourself from anger. Suffer not sorrow to cast you down; bu with cheerfulness and good courage go on the race you have to run ir all sobriety and truth. Be sure, with an hallowed care, to have respect to all the commandments of God, allowing not yourself to neglect them in the least thing, lest by degrees you come to forget them in the great. est; for the heart of man is deceitful above all things.

And in all your duties and devotions towards God, ratlier perform them joyfully than pensively; for God loves a cheerful giver. For your religion, let it be directed according to that which shall be taught by those who are in God's church, the proper teachers thereof, rather than that you either fancy one to yourself, or be led by men that are singular in their own opinion, and delight to go in ways of their own finding out : for you will certainly find soberness and truth in the one, and much vanity and unsteadiness in the other. The king, trust, will deal graciously with you ; restore you those honors and that fortune which a distempered time hath deprived you of, together with the life of your father; which I rather advise might be a new gist and creation from himself than by other means, to the end you may pay the t!anks to hin, without having obligations to any other. Be sure to avoid, as much as you can, to inquire after those who have been sharp in their judgments towards me, and I charge you never to suffer a thought of revenge to enter your heart, but be careful to be informed who are my friends in this prosecution, and to them apply yourself to make them your friends also, and on such you may rely, and bestow much of your conversation amongst them. And God Almighty, of his infinite goodness, bless you and your chil. dren's children, and his same goodness bless your sisters in likc manner; perfeut you 110 every good wor i, and give you a right understanding is

Your most loving father.

LETTER 51. From one Cousin to another on making and breaking Promises. DEAR COUSIN,

I have more than once remarked how very prone you are to make promises ; but I seldom or ever knew you to fulfil one. This, I muss confess, has very much hurt your character; some people have in consequence called you a liar; others, mcre mild, a fool ; instead of mak. ing friends by it you have certainly lost

many. As you subject yourself to be frequently teased and insulted, by this foolish custom, I'wonder you do not drop it. Were I to repeat my vitits every day till you ful. filled all the promises you made me since last week, I fear I should soon become troublesume and disagreeable; and I assure you, if you do not

all things.

Irop this mode of promising, without any intention of performing, I shall give you up as one on whom civility is thrown away, and not on. ly that, but I shall persuade your other acquaintance to follow my ex. ample. Å

very. little reflection and sincerity will enable you to fulfil all that you promise, by taking care to promise no more than you mean to perbrm. By a strict adherence to which you may yet retrieve your char.

I remain yours, &c.




LETTER 52. Mrom a young Man in the country, to a Merchant in Neva York,

offering correspondence. SIR,

My apprenticeship with Mr. Wilson being expired, during which I had proofs of your integrity in all your dealings with my worthy master; my parents have given me two hundred pounds to begin the world, wbich you know is not sufficient to carry on trade to any advantage; that I may be able to sell my goods as cheap as possible, I would choose to have thein from the first hand, and likewise the usual time of credit. If it is agreeable to you, I hereby offer you my correspondence, not doubting but you will use me as well as you did Mr. Wilson, and you may depend on my punctuality with respect to payments.

My late master has no objection to my setting up, as it will not be in the least prejudicial to his business. I shall depend on your sending me the following order as soon and as cheap as possible, and am, sir,

Your humble servant.


The Merchant's Answer. HR,

Yours I received, and am extremely glad to hear that your parents have enabled you to open a store for yourself. Your behaviour to your late master was such that it cannot fail of procuring you many custom

I have sent you the goods by the sloop Polly, of Poughkeepsie, in twelve parcels, marked XI: and I doubt not but you will be punctual in your returns, which will always enable me to serve you as low as possible, and with the best goods ib'ch I can procure.

I beartily wish


« AnteriorContinuar »