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trade, as to be able soon to repay it; at least I am sure I can take care that the value of it shall be always kept in stock, so that there may be no risk of losing any part of it. I have made the computation, and with 300 dollars, carefully laid out, I can make all the show that is necessary, and have sufficient conveniences about me. If you will be so generous, Sir, as to complete the goodness you have already begun, by lending me this sum, there is nothing shall tempt me to endanger your losing any part of it; nor shall any thing ever make me forget the obligation.
I am, Sir, your most obliged, and
most obedient humble servant.
LETTER XII. From a Young Man, who had an opportunity to set up in bu
siness, but destitute of money, to a Gentleman of reputed
benevolence. Honoured Sir,
WHEN you look at the subscription, you will remember my serving you with goods when I was apprentice to Mr. Hopkins, grocer, in Water-street. I have been a little above two years out of my time, which has been spent in Mr. Hopkins's service, and the greatest part of my wages have been given to support an aged mother, confined to a sick bed. Mr. Hopkins died about ten days ago, and having no family, his executors, who are alınost strangers to me, are going to let the shop. My worthy master has left me one hundred pounds in his will, but that is no way sufficient to
purchase the stock in trade ; nor will they give any longer * credit than twelve months. Being well acquainted with the
trade, as also the customers, and having such a fair prospect of settling in business, I have presumed to lay it before you. I have often heard of your willingness to serve those under difficulties, especially young people beginning the world. If you approve of this, and will advance so much on my bond, payable in a limited time, it shall be as safe as if in the hands of your banker. I shall be as frugal and industrious as possible, and the whole of my time shall be employed in the closest attention to the duties of my station, and, I shall acknowledge your kindness with gratitude, as long as I live. I hope this will not give any offence ; and, if you give me leave, I will wait on you along with one
of the executors, that you may hear their proposals. My character as to honesty and fidelity will bear the strictest enquiry, as is testified in my late master's will, and also by all with whom I have had any dealings.
I am, honoured and worthy Sir,
Your obedient humble servant..
The Gentleman's Answer. Sir,
I HAVE just received yours, and although I am much indisposed with the gout, yet could not hesitate one moment in sending an answer.
There is such an appearance of honesty, together with such an unaffected simplicity, ruus through the whole of your letter, that I am strongly inclined to comply with your request, and happy shall I think in yself if your
honest endeavours are attended with the desired
You need not give yourself the trouble of calling on me, lest it should interfere with your business. i will either call on you to-morrow, or send a friend to enquire into the particulars. In the mean time it gives me the greatest pleasure to hear that you have not been wanting in filial duty to an aged parent; and while you continue to act consistently with the principles, and regulate your conduct by the practice of virtue, you will have great reason to expect the Divine blessing on whatever you undertake. Trade is of a very precarious nature, and if not attended to with assiduity and regularity, generally involves those engaged in it in the greatest difficulty, if not ruin. Let me beg, therefore, when you become a master, you will avoid mixing in company with those who spend their time and substance in the fashionable follies of the present age. Such practices are inconsistent with the business of tradesmen : And I am afraill that it is greatly owing to such, that we see the Gazettes so often filled with names of bankrupts, who, if they had attended with assiduity to the duties of that station in which Providence had placed them, might have been a comfort to their families, and an honour to their different professions. But although I have ne fears concerning your integrity, yet the best of men cannot be too often reminded of their duty:
I am Sir,
Your sincere well-wisher.
LETTER XIV. To an Acquaintance, to borrow a sum of money for a little
time. Dear Sir,
If it be quite convenient and agreeable to you, I would beg the favour of you to lend me 250 dollars for the space of three months precisely: any security that you shall require, and I can give, you may freely ask. A less time would not suit me; a longer, you may depend on it, I shall not desire. Your answer will oblige, Sir,
An Answer to the foregoing. Dear Sir,
ANY thing in my power is always at your service; the sum you mention, I have now by me, and can very conveniently spare it for the time you fix, and you are most heartily welcome to it. Any hour that you shall appoint tomorrow I will be ready: and am with the greatest sincerity,
Your affectionate friend and humble servant.
LETTER XVI. From a Tradesman in distressed circumstances, desiring a
Letter of License. Sir,
IT is now about ten years since I first had dealings with you, and during that time you well know that I always paid you regularly : but at present am sorry that my affairs are so perplexed, that it is tot in my power to comply with the just demands of my creditors, nor even to pay them any thing until my affairs are settled : For that reason, Sir, I have sent to you, desiring a letter of license for only twelve months, in which time I hope to be able to settie my
af fairs to their satisfaction; but if they will not comply witla this I am utterly ruined. Your answer is iinpatiently expec
Your obedient humble servant.
The Answer. Sir,
YOURS I received, and am extremely sorry to hear that your
circumstances are so distressed. In order to comply with your request, I have called a meeting of the creditors, and I doubt not but they will agree to a proposal so fair and reasonable, of which I shall give you notice.
I am, Sir, your real friend.
LETTER XVIII, From an Insolvent Debtor, to his principal Creditor, re
questing the Acceptance of a Composition. Sir,
WHEN I first entered into business, I little thought that ever I should be under the necessity of writing to you on such a subject as this ; but experience convinces me, that it is much better to acknowledge the state of my affairs to my creditors, than to waste the property that remains in fruitless attempts to retrieve my
fortune. To therefore, Sir, as the person to whom I am principally indebted, do I address myself on this melancholy occasion, and must freely acknowledge that my affairs are very much perplexed. I have been ten years past endeavouring to acquire something for myself, but in vain. The variety of different articles which I have been obliged to sell on credit, and the losses sustained thereby, always kept me in low circumstances; and often when I paid you money, I had none left for the support of my family. If you will be pleased to employ any prudent person to examine my books, I doubt not but you will be convinced, that the whole of my conduct has been consistent with the strictest rules of honesty; and if it shall appear so to you, I must beg you will be pleased to call a meeting of my creditors, and lay it before them. I have not spent any more than was absolutely necessary for the support of my family, and every thing remaining shall be delivered up. When all this is done, I hope you will accept of it, as it is not in my power to do any more, and consider me as one whose misfortunes call for pity instead of re. sentment.
I am, Sir, your most humble servant.
The Answer. Sir,
IT is with the greatest concern that I have peru sed your affecting letter; and should consider myself as very cruel indeed if I refused to comply with a request so reasonable as that made by you. I have employed a worthy person, a friend of mine, to examine your books, the result of which shall be immediately laid before the other creditors, and if it be as you represent, “you need not be afraid of any harsh usage. I always considered you as a person of the greatest integrity, and am determined to lay down a plan for your future support. In the mean time I have sent a trifle to defray your expenses, till your affairs are settled,
Your sincere well wisher.
LETIER XX. From a Young Man in the Country, to a Merchant in Phi
ladelphia, offering his 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 one thousand dollars to begin the world, which 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 them from the arst hand, and likewise the usual time of credit. If it be 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 the following order as soon, and as cheap as possible, and am, Sir,
Your humble servant
The Merchant's Answer. YOURS I received, and am extremely glad to hear that your parents have enabled you to open a shop for