« ElőzőTovább »
THE BROTHERS; OR, INDUSTRY AND IDLENESS. WILLIAM and Francis White were the sons of a truly honest and respectable man, who, from low beginnings and the situation of a day labourer, had, through the blessing of Providence on his persevering exertions, succeeded in raising himself to the condition of a small farmer, on the borders of Wales. His wife, by her careful and frugal habits, had contributed her full share towards the prosperity of her husband. Instead of the wife squan- . dering what the husband earned, she endeavoured to lay out the money entrusted to her to the best advantage, which praiseworthy custom in a wife goes much farther than many people are apt to imagine, not only in adding to the general well being of a family, but also in securing sobriety, affection, and good conduct on the part of a husband.
Their two boys began life, like other boys, at a day school in the village, under the care of a diligent and well-principled master, who considered it at least as important a part of his business to improve the disposition as to instruct the minds of his pupils. Very different was the behaviour of these two brothers. William, the eldest, although endowed with a superior capacity was refractory, selfsufficient, and very idle. Francis, on the contrary, with moderate abilities, was humble and tractable, and was moreover blest with that industrious and persevering disposition, which never rests without accomplishing its object, whatever pains and trouble it may cost. The consequence was, that the one frequently came under the displeasure of his master, while the other constantly enjoyed his approbation, as well as the cheering sensations in his own mind, arising from a desire of doing what was right. The father too was delighted to see one of his sons, at least, disposed to listen to his counsel, and follow
The Brothers; or, Industry and Idleness. 103 his example ; and, though he hoped that the other might in the end be brought to see the error of his way; yet he had sometimes painful forebodings to the contrary, for he had lived long enous. turned that a self-willed stubborn child, generally out ill as a man. It was not, however, so much a determined disposition to rebellion that he had to lament in his eldest son; but it was a habit of carelessness and a want of all diligence and perseverance. Much and often had he been warned of the evils that such dispositions might bring upon him, but no admonition made any lasting impression on his mind. His own quickness had often enabled him to escape the punishment which his in dolence deserved. The time at length came when the two brothers were to leave school; and the progress which each had made was just such as might have been expected. William had made no regular advance in any thing; he was neither clever in reading, writing, or casting an account, while Frank was thoroughly grounded in every branch of knowledge that was desirable in his station, and had the gratification of receiving the commendations of his beloved master, who, with tears in his eyes, kindly bade him farewell, put a handsome new Bible into his hand as a mark of his favour, and advised him to follow through life the path of humility, patience, and industry, which he had wisely and happily chosen in his youth. The first thing their father did, when they came home, was to look out for suitable places for them in the families of some of the surrounding farmers. The character of Frank was so well known, that there was no difficulty in disposing of him advantageously. With William the case was different; however, his father's good character coming in aid to supply the deficiencies of his own, he did, after some difficulty, succeed in getting a place of much the same description as his brother's. They quitted the dwelling of their parents on the same day, and set to work at first with nearly equal readiness. But it was not long before William's master began to perceive a great alteration for the worse in the behaviour of his servant; his horses were ill cleaned, his pigs ill fed, and, in short, every part of his business was done carelessly. When spoken to, he always made the common excuse of the sluggard, want of time; or, if he did occcasionally, for a few days, do better, he so quickly got into his former practices again, that his master's patience became completely tired out, and he found himself obliged to part with him. William then tried several other places of the same kind, but could not keep any of them, till, at last, finding that none of the farmers would take him, he resolved on trying whether the situation of footboy in a gentleman's service would not be better suited to him. Through the kindness of a friend of his family, a footboy's place was procured for him ; but here also the same ill-fortune, as he called it, followed him, for this plain reason, that though his circumstances were changed, he himself remained the same. His poor father was, at length, completely worn out by the constant complaints that were made to him, and the perpetual vexation which his son's conduct occasioned him; and his health began to decline. His altered looks and depressed spirits had at last the effect of awakening the feelings of sorrow in the mind of William, and prompted him to more vigorous efforts than any other cause had been able to effect. He engaged himself in a new service; and, during a year and a half, gave entire satisfaction to his employer. At the end of that time, his father died, leaving a comfortable maintenance to his widow; and the rest of his property equally divided between his two sons. The small sum of money that fell to William's share unfortunately made him fancy that he might be idle, and his old inclinations then returned upon him in all their force. He
The Brothers; or, Industry and Idleness. 105 lost his place, and, after leading for many years a wandering unhappy life, continually changing from one family to another, dissatisfied with himself, yet incapable of following up any good resolutions ; he was at last seized with a violent rheumatic fever, wbich, after several months of severe suffering, left him in so disabled a condition, as to render him unfit for service ever after. He had not saved a farthing. Among all those whom he had served, he had made no friend, and he ended his days a humble dependent on the bounty of his more industrious, and now thriving younger brother, who, having regularly persevered in his attention to the interests of his master, and the duties of his calling, had risen to the same station which his father enjoyed before him. His first master he never quitted, until the death of his father put him in possession of a babitation (somewhat beyond a cottage) and a trifle in money besides, which, together with his own honest earnings, enabled him to set up for himself with great comfort. The faithfulness with which he had served his master, was repaid him tenfold in the kindness and liberality wbich he always experienced from bim in return; and, at the time of his unhappy brother's return to his native village, farmer Francis White was living with his excellent wife, his aged mother, and four fine children, an example to all who knew him, of the beneficial results, under God's blessing, of early habits of industry and steady perseverance. Cheerfully, contentedly, and bappily, he went on; and, when he cast his eye around on his little comforts and possessions, if he were sometimes tempted to apply to himself the words of Solomon6 the hand of the diligent maketh rich;” the presumptuous risings of human pride were immediately checked with the reflection, “ what hast thou that thou hast not received ?" and he raised his thoughts in grateful adoration to that Almighty Being who had crowned his exertions
with success, and given him so many blessings richly to enjoy- whose bountiful kindness had enar bled him not only to provide for his own children, but also to contribute to the comfort of a parent bowed down with the infirmities of age, and to afford a peaceful asylum to an erring brother, whose sore rows he lamented, and whose faults he had forgiven,
4. Z. Jannary 12th, 1825,
ON BOWING AT THE NAME OF CHRIST IN
PUBLIC WORSHIP. To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
SIR, There is a subject which, every Sunday, particularly leads me to notice, and on which have just met with a speech, in the Parliament of 1641, so much to the point that I cannot help transmitting it for your consideration. The subject alluded to is“ Bowing the head at the name of Jesus during the publick service of the Church," which I observe is not always the practice in churches in the country, and still less so in towns. I say nothing of the propriety and decency of such an act that must be unquestionable; and I am not afraid of any objection that can be raised by the most scrupulous Protestant as to the humble innocence of it. I now go to the speech, which is taken from Nalson's Col. lections, entituled
** A Speech of Sir Edward Dering's against an Or
der of the House of Commons. That all Corporal Bowing at the Name Jesus be, henceforth forborne.
"MR. SPEAKER, : “ Hear me with patience, and refute me with reason. Your command is that all corporal bow