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sumption of his servant, who rather than utter a falsehood, would be dumb for ever. I am become wretched by the loss of that which I never possessed: thou hast raised wishes, which indeed I am not worthy thou shouldst satisfy; but why should it be thought, that he who was happy in obscurity and indigence, would not have been rendered more happy by eminence and wealth?"


When I had finished this speech, Almalic stood some moments in suspense, and I continued prostrate before him. Hassan," said he, "I perceive, not with indignation but regret, that I mistook thy character; I now discover avarice and ambition in thy heart, which lay torpid only because their objects were too remote to rouse them. I cannot therefore invest thee with authority, because I would not subject my people to oppression; and because I would not be compelled to punish thee for crimes which I first enabled thee to commit. But as I have taken from thee that which I cannot restore, I will at least gratify the wishes that I excited, lest thy heart accuse me of injustice, and thou continue still a stranger to thyself. Arise, therefore, and follow me."-I sprung from the ground as it were with the wings of an eagle; I kissed the hem of his garment in an ecstacy of gratitude and joy; and when I went out of my house, my heart leaped as if I had escaped from the den of a lion. I followed Almalic to the caravansera in which he lodged: and after he had fulfilled his vows, he took me with him to Medina. He gave me an apart ment in the seraglio; I was attended by his own servants; my provisions were sent from his own table; I received every week a sum from his treasury, which exceeded the most romantic of my expectations. But I soon discovered, that no dainty was so tasteful, as the food to which labour procured an appetite; no slumbers so sweet, as those which weariness invited; and no time so well enjoyed, as that in which diligence is expecting its reward. I remembered these enjoyments with regret; and while I was sighing in the midst of superfluities, which, though they encumbered life, yet I could not give up, they were suddenly taken away.

Almalic, in the midst of the glory of his kingdom, and in the full vigour of his life, expired suddenly in the bath: such, thou knowest, was the destiny which the Almighty had written upon his head.

His son, Aububekir, who succeeded to the throne, was incensed against me, by some who regarded me at once with contempt and envy; he suddenly withdrew my pension, and commanded that I should be expelled the palace; a command which my enemies executed with so much rigour, that within twelve hours I found myself in the streets of Medina, indigent and friendless, exposed to hunger and derision, with all the habits of luxury, and all the sensibility of pride. O! let not thy heart despise me, thou whom experience has not taught, that it is misery to lose that which it is not happiness to possess. O! that for me this lesson had not been written on the tablets of Providence! I have travelled from Medina to Mecca; but I cannot fly from myself. How different are the states in which I have been placed! The remembrance of both is bitter! for the pleasures of neither can return.—Hassan having thus ended his story, smote his hands together; and looking upward, burst into tears.


Omar, having waited till this agony was past, went to him, and taking him by the hand, "My son," said he, more is yet in thy power than Almalic could give, or Aububekir take away. The lesson of thy life the Prophet has in mercy appointed me to explain.

"Thou wast once content with poverty and labour, only because they were become habitual, and ease and affluence were placed beyond thy hope; for when ease and affluence approached thee, thou wast content with poverty and labour no more. That which then became the object, was also the bound of thy hope; and he, whose utmost hope is disappointed, must inevitably be wretched. If thy supreme desire had been the delights of Paradise, and thou hadst believed that by the tenor of thy life these delights had been secured, as more could not have been given thee, thou wouldst not have regretted that less was not offered. The content which was once enjoyed, was but the lethargy of soul; and the distress which is now suffered, will but quicken it to action. Depart, therefore, and be thankful for all things; put thy trust in Him, who alone can gratify the wish of reason, and satisfy thy soul with good; fix thy hope upon that portion, in comparison of which the world is as the drop of the bucket, and the dust of the balance. Return, my son, to thy labour; thy food shall be again tasteful, and thy rest shall

be sweet: to thy content also will be added stability, when it depends not upon that which is possessed upon earth, but upon that which is expected in Heaven."

Hassan, upon whose mind the Angel of Instruction impressed the counsel of Omar, hastened to prostrate himself in the temple of the Prophet. Peace dawned upon his mind like the radiance of the morning: he returned to his labour with cheerfulness; his devotion became fervent and habitual, and the latter days of Hassan were happier than the first.


§ 81. Bad company-meaning of the phrase-different classes of bad company -ill-chosen company--what is meant by keeping bad company-the danger of it, from the aptness to imitate and catch the manners of others-from the great power and force of custom-from our bad inclinations.


"Evil communication," says the text, corrupts good manners." The assertion is general, and no doubt all people suffer from such communication, but above all, the minds of youth will suffer, which are yet uninformed, unprincipled, unfurnished; and ready to receive any impression.

But before we consider the danger of keeping bad company, let us first see the meaning of the phrase.

In the phrase of the world, good company means fashionable people. Their stations in life, not their morals, are con-sidered: and he, who associates with such, though they set him the example of breaking every commandment of the decalogue, is still said to keep good company.-I should wish you to fix another meaning to the expression; and to consider vice in the same detestable light, in whatever company it is found; nay, to consider all company in which it is found, be their station what it will, as bad company.

The three following classes, will perhaps include the greatest part of those who deserve this appellation.

In the first, I should rank all who endeavour to destroy the principles of Christianity-who jest upon Scripture-talk blasphemy-and treat revelation with contempt.

A second class of bad company, are those, who have a tendency to destroy in us the principles of common honesty and integrity. Under this head we may rank gamesters of every denomination; and

the low and infamous characters of every profession.

A third class of bad company, and such as are commonly most dangerous to youth, includes the long catalogue of men of pleasure. In whatever way they follow the call of appetite, they have equally a tendency to corrupt the purity of the mind.

Besides these three classes, whom we may call bad company, there are others who come under the denomination of illchosen company: trifling, insipid, characters of every kind; who follow no business-are led by no ideas of improvement

but spend their time in dissipation and folly-whose highest praise it is, that they are only not vicious.-With none of these, a serious man would wish his son to keep company.

It may be asked what is meant by keeping bad company? The world abounds with characters of this kind: they meet us in every place; and if we keep company at all, it is impossible to avoid keeping company with such persons.

It is true, if we were determined never to have any commerce with bad men, we must, as the apostle remarks "altogether go out of the world." By keeping bad company, therefore, is not meant a casual intercourse with them, on occasion of business, or as they accidentally fall in our way; but having an inclination to consort with them-complying with that inclinanation-seeking their company when we might avoid it-entering into their parties

and making them the companions of our choice. Mixing with them occasionally cannot be avoided.

The danger of keeping bad company, arises principally from our aptness to imitate and catch the manners and sentiments of others-from the power of customfrom our own bad inclinations-and from the pains taken by the bad to corrupt us.

In our earliest youth, the contagion of manners is observable. In the boy, yet incapable of having any thing instilled into him, we easily discover, from his first ac tions, and rude attempts at language, the kind of persons with whom he has been. brought up: we see the early spring of a civilized education, or the first wild shoots of rusticity.

As he enters farther into life, his be haviour, manners, and conversation, all take their cast from the company he keeps. Observe the peasant, and the man of edu

cation; the difference is striking. And yet God hath bestowed equal talents on each. The only difference is, they have been thrown into different scenes of life; and have had commerce with persons of different stations.

Nor are manners and behaviour more easily caught, than opinions and principles. In childhood and youth we naturally adopt the sentiments of those about us. And as we advance in life, how few of us think for ourselves! How many of us are satisfied with taking our opinions at second hand!

The great power and force of custom forms another argument against keeping bad company. However seriously disposed we may be; and however shocked at the first approaches of vice; this shocking appearance goes off upon an intimacy with it. Custom will soon render the most disgustful thing familiar. And this is indeed a kind provision of nature, to render labour, and toil, and danger, which are the lot of man, more easy to him. The raw soldier, who trembles at the first encounter, becomes a hardy veteran in a few campaigns. Habit renders danger familiar, and of course indifferent to him.

But habit, which is intended for our good, may, like other kind appointments of nature, be converted into a mischief. The well disposed youth, entering first into bad company, is shocked at what he hears, and what he sees. The good principles which he had imbibed, ring in his ears an alarming lesson against the wickedness of his companions. But, alas! this sensibility is but of a day's continuance. The next jovial meeting makes the horrid picture of yesterday more easily endured. Virtue is soon thought a severe rule; the gospel, an inconvenient restraint: a few pangs of conscience now and then interrupt his pleasures; and whisper to him, that he once had better thoughts: but even these by degrees die away; and he who at first was shocked even at the appearance of vice, is formed by custom into a profligate leader of vicious pleasures perhaps into an abandoned tempter to vice. So carefully should we oppose the first approaches of sin! so vigilant should we be against so insidious an enemy!

Our own bad inclinations, form another argument against bad company. We have so many passions and appetites to govern; so many bad propensities of different kinds

to watch, that, amidst such a variety of enemies within, we ought, at least, to be ou our guard against those without. The breast even of a good man is represented in scripture, and experienced in fact, to be in a state of warfare. His vicious inclinations are continually drawing him one way; while his virtue is making efforts another. And if the scriptures represent this as the case even of a good man, whose passions, it may be imagined, are become in some degree cool and temperate, and who has made some progress in a virtuous course; what may we suppose to be the danger of a raw unexperienced youth, whose passions and appetites are violent and seducing, and whose mind is in a still less confirmed state? It is his part surely to keep out of the way of temptation; and to give his bad inclinations as little room as possible to acquire new strength. Gilpin.


Religion the best and only Support in Cases of real Distress. There are no principles but those of religion, to be depended on in cases of real distress; and these are able to encounter the worst emergencies; and to bear us up under all the changes and chances to which our life is subject.


Consider then what virtue the very first principle of religion has, and how wonderfully it is conducive to this end: That there is a God, a powerful, a wise and good Being, who first made the world, and continues to govern it;-by whose goodness all things are designed and by whose providence all things are conducted to bring about the greatest and best ends. The sorrowful and pensive wretch that was giving way to his misfortunes, and mournfully sinking under them, the moment this doctrine comes in to his aid, hushes all his complaints-and thus speaks comfort to his soul-" It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good.-Without his direction, I know that no evil can befal me,-without his permission, that no power can hurt me;-it is impossible a Being so wise should mistake my happiness-or that a Being so good should contradict it.-If he has denied me riches or other advantages-perhaps he foresees the gratifying my wishes would undo me, and by my own abuse of them be perverted to my ruin.-If he has denied me the request of children—or in his providence has thought fit to take them from me-how can I say whether he has

not dealt kindly with me, and only taken that away which he foresaw would embitter and shorten my days?-It does so to thousands, where the disobedience of a thankless child has brought down the parent's grey hairs with sorrow to the grave. Has he visited me with sickness, poverty, or other disappointments?-can I say, but these are but blessings in disguise?-so many different expressions of his care and concern to disentangle my thoughts from this world, and fix them upon another—“ another, a better world beyond this!"-This thought opens a new face of hope and consolation to the unfortunate: -and as the persuasion of a Providence reconciles him to the evils he has suffered,-this prospect of a future life gives him strength to despise them, and esteem the light afflictions of this life, as they are, not worthy to be compared to what is reserved for him hereafter.

Things are great or small by comparison and he who looks no further than this world, and balances the accounts of his joys and sufferings from that consideration, finds all his sorrows enlarged, and at the close of them will be apt to look back, and cast the same sad reflection upon the whole, which the Patriarch did to Pharaoh, "That few and evil had been the days of his pilgrimage." But let him lift up his eyes towards heaven, and steadfastly behold the life and immortality of a future state, he then wipes away all tears from off his eyes for ever; like the exiled captive, big with the hopes that he is returning home, he feels not the weight of his chains, or counts the days of his captivity; but looks forward with rapture towards the country where his heart is fled before. These are the aids which religion offers us towards the regulation of our spirit under the evils of life, but like great cordials, they are seldom used but on great occurrences. In the lesser evils of life, we seem to stand unguarded-and our peace and contentment are overthrown, and our happiness broke in upon, by a little impatience of spirit, under the cross and untoward accidents we meet with. These stand unprovided for, and we neglect them as we do the slighter indispositions of the body-which we think not worth treating seriously, and so leave them to nature. In good habits of the body, this may do, and I would gladly believe, there are such good habits

of the temper, such a complexional ease
and health of heart, as may often save the
patient much medicire.-We are still to
consider, that however such good frames
of mind are got, they are worth preserving
by all rules Patience and contentment,
-which like the treasure hid in the field
for which a man sold all he had to pur-
chase-is of that price, that it cannot be
had at too great a purchase; since with-
out it, the best condition of life cannot
make us happy; and with it, it is impos-
sible we should be miserable even in the
Sterne's Sermons.

$83. On Prodigality.

It is the fate of almost every passion, when it has passed the bound which nature prescribes, to counteract its own purpose. Too much rage hinders the warrior from circumspection; and too much eagerness of profit hurts the credit of the trader. Too much ardour takes away from the lover that easiness of address with which ladies are delighted. Thus extravagance, though dictated by vanity, and incited by voluptuousness, seldom procures ultimately either applause or pleasure.

If praise be justly estimated by the character of those from whom it is received, little satisfaction will be given to the spendthrift by the encomiums which he purchases. For who are they that animate him in his pursuits, but young men, thoughtless and abandoned like himself, unacquainted with all on which the wisdom of nations has impressed the stamp of excellence, and devoid alike of knowledge and of virtue? By whom is his profusion praised, but by wretches who consider him as subservient to their purposes; Syrens that entice him to shipwreck; and Cyclops that are gaping to devour him?

Every man, whose knowledge or whose virtue can give value to his opinion, looks with scorn or pity (neither of which can afford much gratification to pride) on him whom the panders of luxury have drawn into the circle of their influence, and whom he sees parcelled out among the different ministers of folly, and about to be torn to pieces by tailors and jockeys, vintners and attorneys; who at once rob and ridicule him, and who are secretly triumphing over his weakness, when they present new incitements to his appetite, and heighten his desires by counterfeited applause.

Such is the praise that is purchased by

prodigality. Even when it is not yet discovered to be false, it is the praise only of those whom it is reproachful to please, and whose sincerity is corrupted by their interest; men who live by the riots which they encourage, and who know, that whenever their pupil grows wise, they shall lose their power. Yet with such flatteries, if they could last, might the cravings of vanity, which is seldom very delicate, be satisfied: but the time is always hastening forward, when this triumph, poor as it is, shall vanish, and when those who now surround him with obsequiousness and compliments, fawn among his equipage, and animate his riots, shall turn upon him with insolence, and reproach him with the vices promoted by themselves.

And as little pretensions has the man who squanders his estate by vain or vicious expenses, to greater degrees of pleasure than are obtained by others. To make any happiness sincere, it is necessary that we believe it to be lasting; since whatever we suppose ourselves in danger of losing, must be enjoyed with solicitude and uneasiness, and the more value we set upon it, the more must the present possession be embittered. How can he, then, be envied for his felicity, who knows that its continuance cannot be expected, and who is conscious that a very short time will give him up to the gripe of poverty, which will be harder to be borne, as he has given way to more excesses, wantoned in greater abundance, and indulged his appetite with more profuseness?

It appears evident, that frugality is necessary even to complete the pleasure of expense; for it may be generally remarked of those who squander what they know their fortune not sufficient to allow, that in their most jovial excess there always breaks out some proof of discontent and impatience; they either scatter with a kind of wild desperation and affected lavishness, as criminals brave the gallows when they cannot escape it; or pay their money with a peevish anxiety, and endeavour at once to spend idly, and to save meanly; having neither firmness to deny their passions, nor courage to gratify them, they murmur at their own enjoyments, and poison the bowl of pleasure by reflection on the cost.

Among these men there is often the vociferation of merriment, but very seldom the tranquillity of cheerfulness; they inflame their imaginations to a kind of momentary jollity, by the help of wine and

riot; and consider it as the first business of the night to stupefy recollection, and lay that reason asleep, which disturbs their gaiety, and calls upon them to retreat from ruin.

But this poor broken satisfaction is of short continuance, and must be expiated by a long series of misery and regret. In a short time the creditor grows impatient, the last acre is sold, the passions and appetites still continue their tyranny, with incessant calls for their usual gratifications; and the remainder of life passes away in vain repentance, or impotent desire. Rambler.

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Every principle that is a motive to good actions ought to be encouraged, since men are of so different a make, that the same principle does not work equally upon all minds. What some men are prompted to by conscience, duty, or religion, which are only different names for the same thing, others are prompted to by honour.

The sense of honour is of so fine and

delicate a nature, that it is only to be met with in minds which are naturally noble, or in such as have been cultivated by great examples, or a refined education. This essay therefore is chiefly designed for those who by means of any of these advantages are, or ought to be, actuated by this glorious principle.

But as nothing is more pernicious than a principle of action, when it is misunderstood, I shall consider honour with respect to three sorts of men. First of all, with regard to those who have a right notion of it. Secondly, with regard to those who have a mistaken notion of it. And thirdly, with regard to those who treat it as chimerical, and turn it into ridicule.

In the first place, true honour, though it be a different principle from religion, is that which produces the same effects. The lines of action, though drawn from different parts, terminate in the same point. Religion embraces virtue as it is enjoined by the laws of God; honour, as it is graceful and ornamental to human nature. The religious man fears, the man of honour scorns, to do an ill action. The latter considers vice as something that is beneath him; the other, as something that is offensive to the Divine Being: the one, as what is unbecoming; the other, as what is forbidden. Thus Seneca speaks in the natural and genuine language of a man of honour,

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