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which he was satisfied would be their ruin: that he had been remiss in his duty of instruction and reproof to his children ; but that he begged God's pardon for that omission, and would do his best to make us all amends. He concluded with asking me whether I had rather be a rake or a sober man? I answered, I hoped he did not expect any reply from me to that, and that I hoped I had not gone so far as to make him doubt in the least that I did not design to be a sober man. Why, son, replies my father, you have no other way to do this, but to conclude, that if there was no divine law, no future state, no rewards or punishments; yet, regarding the honour and character which you expect in the world, you ought to be sober, if it were only to preserve your reputation. He told me, that I knew he had designed me for the practice of the law; that though he would do what he could for me, yet, as he had a great many other children, I must expect to live, or at least to advance myself, by my own merit and industry; and that a lawyer, like a virgin, having once lost the reputation of his virtue or sobriety, no body will meddle with him.
“ 1 not only listened very attentively to my father's discourse, but, looking steadily upon him, I thought I saw more than usual tenderness and affection in him, all the while he was speaking. Whenever he mentioned his having omitted his duty to his family, I thought I saw tears standing in his eyes; and to hear him say, he begged God's pardon for the neglect of it, brought tears into mine. When he told me he would make us all amends for the future, it suggested to my mind, that my father supposed that this want of more early instructing us, who are his children, was our loss, as well as his fault, and that we were not such children as we should have been if we had been better taught. I must own to you, sister, these thoughts bave since made a great disturbance in my mind. I thought I saw the two young ladies at the next door, and their brother too, look quite another sort of people than we did ; they appear so modest, so sober, and yet so decently and
genteelly affable and pleasant, that I think they live quite another life than we do; they never swear, nor use lewd and profane words in their discourse; they never sit up all night at cards, or go a visiting on Sundays, nor do a bundred foolish things that our family makes a trade of; and yet they live as merrily, cotofortably, sociably, and genteelly as we do.
" I must own to you, though I have osten laughed at them, and ridiculed them before, yet my thoughts often told me they lived a more rational life than we did: and when I heard my father talk thus, it presently came into my thoughts, that if my father took the new course with his family as he talked of, we should begin to like them, and I thought that would be very well for us all.
Well, after my father had gone on thus, and paused awhile, I suppose to hear whether I would say any thing to it or not, I told him I would be glad to do any thing to answer his end, and desired to know what it was be expected of me. My father said, the chief end of his discourse was then to convince me of the reasonableness and necessity of an alteration in my life, and of the advantages of a religious family, and of a sober and religious education ; and for the rest, if I was first satisfied of the general, he knew it would be easy to bring me to comply with all the measures he should take to bring it about.
“We had a great deal more such discourse; but I told him I was very well satisfied that he designed nothing but our good, and I should be ready to observe all the injunctions he should lay on me. And truly, sister, now I begin to reflect upon it, I find a great deal of satisfaction in it; for, upon my word, I think we have lived very oddly all along; whether it were my father's fault, or our own, I don't inquire; but if we know no more, none of us, of the town, than we do of religion, we should be a very unfashionable family."
Sist. Pr’ythee don't fill my head with all this canting stuff; I don't value it a farthing.
Hive eu 2 Bro. Why, sister, have you no manner of inclination use leu to live religiously, and like a Christian, or to listen to what
your father may say to you? o abs Sist. I think I am religious enough in all my conscience; of; ? and I don't intend to disturb my thoughts with any more enteel religion than needs must.
2 Bro, You talk wildly now; I hope you will be a good Christian.
Sist, A Christian! Why, what do you take me for a Mahometan? I think I am a very good Christian.
2 Bro. Why, suppose that too; yet, if it were no more than that my father desires it, and says, he resolves to have it so, you will hardly persuade yourself not to submit to bim. You know, besides, that he is our father, and we ought in duty to obey him; and not only that, but he has been the kindest, tenderest, obligingest father in the world to us; and it would be very ungrateful to show yourself rude to such a father, as it would be wicked to disobey him. I am sure you would not be a Christian if you should.
Sist. Don't tell me: I think myself as good a Christian as any of you; but I won't be made a fool of, for all that. I had rather you think me no Christian, than you should think me a fool. Sure I am past my born-book.
2 Bro. And what, because you are past your horn-book, do you think you are past teaching? Have you nothing to learn but your A B C?
Sist. No, no, I'll learn any thing too: but I won't be taught to be a hermit. If they have a mind to breed me up for an abbess, let them send me to a monastery. I'd rather be in a real cloister, than be cloistered up at home. Use none of your new cant with me. I tell you, brother, my
ruffle me as much as she will, I'll have my own may
2 Bro. Sister! sister! you may talk, and huff, aud flounce about as much as you will, but you will have the worst of it at last; for if both father and mother set upon it, as I find they are both of a mind, they will conquer you at
last: and perhaps it may mortify you more than you think of.
Sist. I am not so 30on conquered as my father may think, If they will not let me be quiet at home, I'll take another method, I am not so much to seek.
2 Bro. Pray, sister, don't be angry with me for my good will. I am not threatening you, nor my father by
Sist. No, no, I won't be threatened neither. Sure I'm too old for correction.
2 Bro. But not for advice, I hope, sister, nor for instruction; and if my father should think you deserve correction, do you think there is no way for him to show his resentment, but laying his fingers on you?
Sist. You may all do your worst. I won't trouble myself about it. 'Tis vain to threaten me.
2 Bro. Nay, sister, I think you are not so above my father's threatening you. Would you be willing my father should hear you?
Sist. You may tell him, if you please.
2 Bro. Though it is very disobliging, sister, yet I love you too well to go on that errand, or to obey a command that would be so much to your prejudice.
Sist. I care not a farthing if you did.
2 Bro. It is a satisfaction to me that I know you will be of another mind hereafter.
Sist. Not I, I defy you all. I'll go as far as my legs can carry me, before I'll be confined, or made a fool of.
2 Bro. Wherever you go, I would have you take this hint along with you, that you leave your reputation behind you, and esp
and especially the Christian will be left behind you.
Sist. Don't you trouble your head about that, I shall take care of my own reputation.
2 Bro. While it is in your own keeping, I hope you will, sister; but you talk foolishly enough of going away from your father. If you once go out of your father's
doors, take my word for it, your character is at every body's mercy.
Sist. For what, pray?
2 Bro. Why should you ask for what? Pray what will you say, or what would you have said to any that should ask you, or ask us, why you are gone away from your fatber? You won't venture to say,
you came away because your father was about to reform bis family! That you came away because you would not submit to be instructed by your father! That you came away because your father and mother would have you more religious than you were before! And if you will not say that, pray what can you say, or what can any body say for you?
Sist. I warrant you I shall have enough to say; and as for what you or others shall say, you may say your worst of me, I don't care.
2 Bro. Truly, the greatest misfortune will be, that when we say the worst, we shall
say the truth; and that when we say the truth, we must say the worst of you that can be spoken ; and, upon that account, I hope you will consider what you do, when you think of going from your father's house, though it were to the best friend you have.
Sist. Indeed, if they put bard upon me, I shall make no scruple of it.
2 Bro. I cannot tell what you will say then to bring yourself off. Pray what do you call putting hard upon you ? Will you call my father's desire to reform your life a putting bard upon you? I hope you will first prove, that he designs to press you to some wicked thing, some forbidden uplawful course; but to call my father's desire to regulate your conduct, and reform your life, I say, to call this putting hard upon you, every body that bears it will reflect upon you.
Sist. No matter for that, I won't be confin'd, not I.
2 Bro. Not from the worst wickedness. Do you mean you will not be confined so?
Sist. I desire no wickedness; I don't know what you