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and threatens trouble to the tory that shall refuse them as such. "Hurra for us debtors," is now the cry. Blessed times! Whole caravans of honest men are now in motion to pay their debts. Adrastus joins the happy throng; and taking a witness with him, waits on the good old Agathocles, whose generous loan of a thousand guineas, he pays off with half a quire of paper currency—worth about £. 40.
Alas! poor honor! when severed from the love of God, and of man, what art thou but an empty name! Had Adrastus loved his God, could he thus have despised that golden precept which enjoins him—to do unto others as he would that others should do unto him?—Had Adrastus loved the generous Agathocles, could he have thus requited him evil for good—could he have thus repayed the noblest friendship with the
basest basest ingratitude?—Let the following true story reply.
A Young gentleman, whom we shall call Leander, had the good fortune to be born of parents, who well knew that happiness consists rather in the good qualities of the heart, than in the rich contents of the strong box. He was therefore early taught to look on the love of God and of his neighbour, as the best wealth that man or angel can possess. His progress in virtue was equal to the fondest expectations of his parents. Truth, honor and goodness, shone so conspicuously in all his conduct, that to love him, one needed but to know him. At the age of three and twenty he lost his father; and possessing but a very small fortune, he resolved to go into trade. Leander had five or fix mercantile friends, each of whom throwing in a couple of hundred pounds worth of goods, made him up a pretty
assortment. assortment. With great alacrity he entered upon this new employment; but, as it would seem, merely to evince the error of those parents, who think that religion alone is sufficient to make their children happy. His father had taken great pains to fit him for heaven; but had not sufficiently instructed him to make his way good here on earth. He had scarcely ever told Leander, that though it be happiness to love, it is still virtue to be prudent; and, that to mingle the harmlejsness of the dove with the wisdom of the serpent, and to take head of men, even while he loves them, are commandments of the Great Teacher himself. He had hardly ever mentioned to Leander, the importance of receipts, vouchers, and written contracts; nor related to him the many fad instances of unsuspecting goodness snared and ruined by insidious villainy; and how often, for want of receipts,
the the best men have been compelled to a second payment of debts that have kept their noses to the grindstone half their lives after. No; but to consider all men as the children of God, and coheirs of glory; to love them as himself, and to think evil of no man—these were the only sentiments which Leander was taught: These he carried with him behind the counter. Leander was soon found out to be zfine young man! every body admired his goods, and wished to buy if they could but have a little credit. Leander anticipated every wish, and credited every body.
In a very short time, out of a thousand pounds worth of goods, he had not a remnant left. His rivals were fit to burst with spleen and envy at such prodigious sales; while his friends ascribed such singular success to divine interposition. At the appointed time his creditors demanded their money. A a 2 The The too credulous Leander was not prepared to pay. Unable to wait longer, they seized on his little patrimony, and threw him into prison. Cruel parents, who thus expose your children uncovered by the shield of prudence, to the fiery darts of fraud and villainy! O remember that the want of prudence, is too often, even in the best men, succeeded by the want of virtue; and that, in many instances, the devil himself asks not an abler advocate for vice than poverty. Happily for Leander, his virtue was full grown, and of a good constitution. He did not, as thousands have done, curse that easiness of nature, that benevolence of sentiment, which had duped and betrayed him; he did not vow eternal war against his species, and resolve to practise in future the same arts which had wrought his ruin. No! fraud and injustice now appeared to him hateful as the hags of hell.