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ping in to see how we do. The mention of the young folks led Mr Edwards to make some enquiries about them. I have had seven children, said the old man. It pleased Providence that three of them should be taken from us. One was a kind-hearted worthy lad, who died in bis eighteenth year, the other two were cut off in their infancy. Here the old man's voice faultered a little, and a tear came into his eye, but he quickly recovered himself, and added, the rest of my children are gaining their bread in an honest way; and were it not for them, I should now be a very poor old man. I regret to hear, said Mr Edwards, that you are dependant on any one, yet it is a pleasant circumstance that your children are able and willing to assist you. It is so, said the old man. My children have been all dutiful to their mother and to me. They are not wealthy, but they cheerfully give us a part. What sometimes troubles me, is the thought that I should be any way burdensome to tliem. But I consider again, that they are doing nothing more than their duty, and that I myself, when I was a young man, did the same. There was, indeed, a time when I might have hoped to pass my old age in plenty, on the fruits of my own industry, but we must expect disappointments, and should be thankful for the comforts that are still left us..
I have a wish, said Mr Edwards, to know a little more of your history. If it be pot irksome to you, will you do me the favour to gratify my curiosity? You are kind, sir, replied the old man, to interest yourself in one who is a stranger to you, and I will readily comply with your request, though, indeed, my life has had little in it beyond what very usually happens in the world. My father was a day labourer, as I have myself been.. He
was a sober, diligent man. My mother was frugal and careful, and I was early bred to habits of industry and frugality. Both my parents were very pious, and they were anxious to impress me with the same good principles of which they had found the comfort themselves. They took me regularly with them to church, and our Sabbath evenings were employed in reading the Bible, and in conversing together. These, sir, were very pleasant evenings; I shall never forget them. My father, thougla he was religious, was not austere, and he gave us his fatherly Counsels in a very affectionate manner. Often did he tell me to love God and pray to bim, to be obedient to ny masters, and to be a faithful true-hearted man. I am thankful that I had such parents, and I hope their in. structions were not lost upon me. When I was about six years of age, I went to school, and at ten, I conld read and write, and had a pretty good notion of arithmetic. My father never encouraged me to look much beyond the station in which I was born, but he said, that these things would be useful to me in any station, and I have indeed found much benefit from them. When I left school, I went to be a herd with a neighbouring farmer. He was a hard man, but I tried the best I could to mind my business, and I at last gained my master's good will so much, that he used to tell me now and then that I was a trusty lad, and sometimes even gave me a small present. I always remembered my father's advice to be faithful and true-hearted; and indeed, I think I may venture to say, that I have endeavoured all my life to do my work faithfully, whether my masters or employers were present with me or not. It is a poor account of a man, sir, if he can. not do his duty, unless his employer's eye be always watching over him.
When I became stout enough to manage a plough, I was hired to another master. He had an extensive farm, and was a very intelligent man ; and in his service I gained a great deal of experience, which was useful to me on many occasions afterwards. Here I passed my time very comfortably. My master was an active man himself, and wished to see us active too: but he was very considerate, and required nothing of us, but what every good servant should be willing to do. For my part, I endeavoured to do his work, and to mind his interest, both because it was my duty, and because I had a real regard for him. I stayed with bim about five years, and left him in consequence of the death of my father.
My father died very poor. I had a brother, who, I am sorrow to say, turned out very differently from what we had reason to expect. While we lived together at honie he was a good natured gentle lad, and we all loved. bim much; but we were sorrowfully disappointed in the end. He was bound apprentice to a stocking weaver in a manufacturing town. For a long time he did very well, but he at length got acquainted with some bad associates, who led him quite astray. They took him to the alehouse, where they laughed him out of his sober maxims, and filled him with all their own idle notions, about its being hearty and social to drink and to spend freely. Among these loose young men he soon forgot or grew ashamed of his religion. Instead of going to church, and employing himself in a suitable manner, his Sabbaths were spent with his profligate companions or in soine idle way or another; and in short, sir, my poor brother was so entirely led astray, that he lost all relish for honest industry, and at length ran away from his master, Where he went to, we never could learn, though. w€. E. 3
made many inquiries, and I fear, poor man, he must have come to some unhappy end. This behaviour of my brother, was a beavy affliction to his parents, and it ex. hausted the little money which they had saved; for besides his other debts, he was twice fined for fishing salmon at unlawful seasons, and a sum was forfeited by his breaking his apprenticeship, 'all of which my father had to pay.
My father was now old, and his health much broken, so that with the little aid which I could give, bis labour was barely sufficient to mantain himself and my mother. He soon after died, and indeed I fear my brother's behaviour contributed to hasten bis end. I then thought it most prudent to quit service, and live with my mother : and endeavour to maintain her and myself by working as a day labourer. I accordingly left my niaster at the first term, and lived with my mother till her death, which happened four years after.
I will not trouble you, sir, with a particular account of my life after that period. I married, and my wife being brought up in sober and careful principles, we lived happily together, and our affairs went on very prosper. ously. I took a cottage with a cow's grass, and a piece of garden ground, and I never wanted employment. In: deed, I cannot say that I had a wish for this world, beyond what I then possessed. I wrought hard, but I have always found it pleasanter to labour than to be idle. When my work was over, I had a home to go to, that was neat and comfortable, and I was sure of a cheerful welcome from my wife and my little ones. I have known many, sir, to whom the Sabbath was a gloomy and burdensome day, hut it was not so to us. When the labours of the week were over, we enjoyed the Sabbath's rest.
My wife and children, cleanly and decently dressed, accompanied me to church, and our evenings were spent as they had been in my father's house. I was often pleased with the thought, that my children listened to my con. versation with the same pleasure that I bad listened to bis ; and I think, sir, our hearts were all united, when we offered up our thanks and our requests. But I am afraid I begin to grow tedious to you, and I shall basten to the concluding parts of my history. In the course of thirty years after my marriage, besides bringing up my children I had been enabled to save a little money, which I hoped would make us easy in our old age. I had put it into different bands, but latterly I had lodged it all with a banker, whom I had heard greatly spoken of as a man of extraordinary piety. I would be sorry to judge ill of a man, though he had been the cause of loss to me, but I have had reason to doubt that his piety was less sincere than it seemed to be, and I have learned in my old age, not to trust so much as I once did to unusual professions of zeal in religion. One night, as my wife and I were sitting down to supper, my eldest son, who had been married about three years, and was gaining his bread very comfortably as a manufacturer, came in. I thought there was something melancholy in his look, and he soon explained the reason of it, by informing me that the person with whom I had lodged my money was become bankrupt, and that there was no reason to..xe pect that any thing would be got from him beyond a mere trifle. My, son lived in the same town where the banker resided, and immediately on bearing the report, bad enquired, and found it true. I couless, sir, I was disconiposed on hearing this. My wife, poor woman, looked at me with tears in her eyes, and for a little while