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No sleep closed my eyes till I had planned this little book, with a view of aiding, with Heaven's assistance, the development of thy Head and Heart; for with those two gems thou wouldst be richer far than if thousands were within thy grasp. Possessed of a Head and a Heart, and a useful education, I would not be grieved did circumstances compel me to take thee by the shoulder, pat thee on the head, bless thee, put £50 in thy pocket, and say to thee, Go, my son: thou art a rich man. Wherever thou goest prosperity will be in thy track. Thou hast a Head, to discover the truly heartless : and a Heart to sympathise with those who have only a Heart; for many are called heartless, who have nothing but a heart; who, launched upon the world, like a boat placed in the stream without a rudder, go rolling from side to side down the mazy paths of life, ruining the injudicious as well as themselves, and at last ending their days in a workhouse; and if perchance their names should be mentioned, the appellation of heartless scoundrels is appended to them!
Possessed of a Head, my dear boy, thou wouldst keep a keen eye on the heartless; and possessed of the second gem, the Heart, the morning dews of which rising to thy Head would keep it ever fresh, and ever eager to lend assistance to frail barks that thou mightst see drifting rudderless to their ruin. Yes, my dear boy, the dews of the heart mellow the brain; and when a selfish thought starts in the mind, the Heart calls out, Hollo, Head, what are you after ? Judgment is then called in as umpire. Heart is right; Head begs Heart's pardon. The same, on the other hand, occurs when the Heart, in its softness, is foolishly yielding to its impulse. The Head calls out, What, below, Heart! what are you after ? Judgment is again called in as umpire : Heart, thou art wrong: beg Head to excuse thee!
Thus, my dear boy, possessed of a Head and Heart, thou wouldst be a wealthy and happy man. Thy good deeds will
be many, and blessings, that thy Heart will duly appreciate, shall be often showered upon thy Head. Thou wilt then know what true nobility is
Than mere language can impart :
Some improvement yet to plan;
And like man, to feel for Man!”
To have these
life, which I trust may not only be useful to thyself but to others, speedily written, I left the Rhine, the next morning, and in twenty-four hours I was in London.
Over-anxious, fatigued, excited, I fell suddenly ill; and through the inexperience of a strange doctor, my illness might have ended in the frustration of thy father's hopes, and proved detrimental to thy future prospects, but God in His goodness willed it otherwise. I recovered, and now smile at what I then suffered, with the joyous hope that the knowledge of my sufferings, caused by a desire to benefit thee and others, will prove useful; and that the injunctions and warnings that I lay down in this book, will be observed as a just demand from a Father.
It contains, my son, a collection of facts of every-day life, facts of which your father has been a keen observer, and which may be considered :
A WARNING VOICE from those who erred in ignorance, but who paid dearly for the experience which is now plainly and truthfully set before thee.
PARENTAGE-THE Two MARRIAGES-EARLY LIFE—THE
POOR MAN AND MY GENEROUS UNCLE—THE PROMISE
ULTIVATE industrious habits, for you will find that industry is the true source of happiness.
I was born an angel, so my mother said ; but the world soon changed me from an angel
to a veritable diable. Of my angelic life I may thus speak :
In honest poverty, yet ever and anon basking in the sunshine of affluence; braving the blast of adversity, still at times partaking of the influence of prosperity ; in a word, from my seventh year—from which I date these passages—I found myself elbowing the extremes of wealth and poverty. Six days in the week cheerfully working with my good mother and two sisters; the seventh, seated at the rich man's table, enjoying all the delights which a gentleman's country seat could afford; and what was more, cheered with the love of warm and affectionate hearts.
You ask, how was that? Easily explained.
My grandfather, a banker, died young, leaving two daughters, to each of whom he bequeathed a handsome legacy. The two sisters lived together till they reached a reasonable age for marriage. My aunt, who was the eldest, chose for a husband a young man of excellent character. He was poor, and out of his daily earnings he supported his aged parents. My mother's choice was a sprightly young man, overseer in a large concern that belonged to his uncle. He was the only son of industrious parents, was the idol of his mother's eye, and was in
dulged by her in his most extravagant wishes.
The marriage took place, and the couple drove away from Stirling ; the neighbours saying "Marjory has got something like a husband."
About fourteen years afterwards—when I had reached my seventh year—the abode of my aunt was a mansion, with horses, carriages, servants, and all the luxuries that wealth could procure; my mother's dwelling consisted of a couple of clean tidy rooms; and, instead of riding out in her carriage, she was seen working, with three of her children, from morning till night; aye, very often two entire nights in the week.
You start, my son; and say, " What a contrast !" I have witnessed hundreds of such changes. You inquire the cause; -my father's large Heart, and Head softened by parental indulgence!
Our little home, notwithstanding, had its happiness. A mother's merry song lightened our hearts; my sisters and I joined in chorus, while our scissors kept time with the tune. No jarring, no dissentient voice at our fireside ; when my father returned from his workshop, he had always a hearty welcome. No whinings over the past. The present had its troubles, yet there were blessings and hope to cheer us on.
To return. As I stated, at seven years of age I found myself working whole days, and often entire nights.
My being placed so early to a laborious life was the result of an accident. While at play with some boys, I threw a stone, and inadvertently broke a window. My poor mother looked at me, and calmly said" How wrong it is for you to be so thoughtless ; you know how I have to work, and how I require money just now." The rebuke touched my heart. It was near quarter-day. I looked in my mother's sweet face; a sudden thought started in my mind, and my heart swelled. I threw my arms round her neck, and, kissing her, asked for a pair of my sisters' scissors. Smiling and inquiring what my little foolish head was thinking of, she gave me a pair. I took
FRUITS OF GENEROSITY.
them, drew my little chair near to hers, placed some of the work on my knee; then, looking at her, I said with a triumphant air, “ I'll soon pay for the window.” In a very short time I became a very expert clipper, and from that day contributed
my share towards the household expenses. At this period, a great change in my affairs was likely to result from a trifling cause.
Returning home one morning from my aunt's, I came to where a poor old man usually stood begging; his face was eaten up with cancer, and his appearance abject in the extreme. My custom was to share with him the roll which my aunt always gave me at parting. At this particular time the man appeared to be more wretched than I had ever seen him. Without asking the Head's sanction, I drew forth the roll and presented it to him.
Scarcely had I walked a few yards, when a hand gently tapped me on the shoulder; starting, I looked round, and
“Oh! it's you, uncle," I said.
“ Did I not see you give that poor man something ?” my uncle inquired.
“No; nothing, uncle, only my roll; I thought he required it more than I did.”
“ Have you another in your pocket?”
done this before ?" ". No. I only gave him the half ; I thought he looked very ill this morning, and that I could do without it for once." 16 What school do
attend?" - None, now;
I work with
mother." • Work with your mother, eh? Give me your hand.” I did so.
He took it, pressed it, and walked with me to my mother's house. On entering, I took my little chair, armed myself with my scissors, drew the muslin across my knee. My uncle-when he saw me running with celerity the scissors from one knee to the other, then quickly separating the thread from