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sumption of his servant, who rather than His son, Aububekir, who succeeded to utter a falsehood, would be dumb for ever. the throne, was incensed against me, by I am become wretched by the loss of some who regarded me at once with conthat which I never possessed: thou hast tempt and envy; he suddenly withdrew raised wishes, which indeed I am not my pension, and commanded that I should worthy thou shouldst satisfy; but why be expelled the palace; a command which should it be thought, that he who was my enemies executed with so much rigour, happy in obscurity and indigence, would that within twelve hours I found myself in not have been rendered more happy by the streets of Medina, indigent and friend. eminence and wealth ?"
less, exposed to hunger and derision, with When I had finished this speech, Al- all the habits of luxury, and all the sensibimalic stood some moments in suspense, lity of pride. O! let not thy heart despise and I continued prostrate before him. me, thou whom experience has not taught, “ Hassan,” said he, “ I perceive, not with that it is misery to lose that which it is not indignation but regret
, that I mistook thy happiness to possess. O! that for me character; I now discover avarice and this lesson had not been written on the ambition in thy heart, which lay torpid tablets of Providence! I have travelled
I only because their objects were too remote from Medina to Mecca; but I cannot fly to rouse them. I cannot therefore invest from myself. How different are the thee with authority, because I would not states in which I have been placed! The subject my people to oppression; and be- remembrance of both is bitter! for the cause I would not be compelled to punish pleasures of neither can return.- Hassan thee for crimes which I first enabled thee having thus ended his story, smote his to commit. But as I have taken from hands together; and looking upward, thee that which I cannot restore, I will at burst into tears. least gratify the wishes that I excited, lest Omar, having waited till this agony was thy heart accuse me of injustice, and thou past, went to him, and taking him by the continue still a stranger to thyself. Arise, hand, “My son,” said he, “ more is yet therefore, and follow me.”—1 sprung in thy power than Almalic could give, or from the ground as it were with the wings Aububekir take away. The lesson of thy of an eagle; I kissed the hem of his gar- life the Prophet has in mercy appointed ment in an ecstacy of gratitude and joy; me to explain. and when I went out of my house, my " Thou wast once contert with poverty heart leaped as if I had escaped from the and labour, only because they were become den of a lion. I followed Almalic to the habitual, and ease and affluence were placed caravansera in which he lodged: and after beyond thy hope ; for when ease and afhe had fulfilled his vows, he took me with fluence approached thee, thou wast content him to Medina. He gave me an apart- with poverty and labour no more. That ment in the seraglio; T was attended by which then became the object, was also the his own servants; my provisions were sent bound of thy hope; and he, whose utmost from his own table; I received every hope is disappointed, must inevitably be week a sum from his treasury, which ex- wretched. If thy supreme desire had been ceeded the most romantic of my expecta- the delights of Paradise, and thou hadst tions. But I soon discovered, that no believed that by the tenor of thy life these dainty was so tasteful, as the food to which delights had been secured, as more could labour procured an appetite; no slumbers not have been given thee, thou wouldst so sweet, as those which weariness invited; not have regretted that less was not offered. and no time so well enjoyed, as that in The content which was once enjoyed, was which diligence is expecting its reward. but the lethargy of soul; and the distress I remembered these enjoyments with re- which is now suffered, will but quicken it gret; and while I was sighing in the midst to action. Depart, therefore, and be thankof superfluities, which, though they encum- ful for all things; put thy trust in Him, bered life, yet I could not give up, they who alone can gratify the wish of reason, were suddenly taken away.
and satisfy thy soul with good ; fix thy Almalic, in the midst of the glory of his hope upon that portion, in comparison of kingdom, and in the full vigour of his life, which the world is as the drop of the expired suddenly in the bath: such, thou bucket, and the dust of the balance. Reknowest, was the destiny which the Al- turn, my son, to thy labour; thy food mighty had written upon his head. shall be again tasteful, and thy resi shall
be sweet: to thy content also will be added the low and infamous characters of every stability, when it depends not upon that profession. which is possessed upon earth, but upon A third class of bad company, and that which is expected in Heaven.” such as are commonly most dangerous to
Hassan, upon whose mind the Angel of youth, includes the long catalogue of men Instruction impressed the counselof Omar, of pleasure. In whatever way they follow hastened to prostrate himself in the temple the call of appetite, they have equally a of the Prophet. Peace dawned upon his tendency to corrupt the purity of the mind like the radiance of the morning: be mind. returned to his labour with cheerfulness; Besides these three classes, whom we his devotion became fervent and habitual, may call bad company, there are others and the latter days of Hassan were hap- who come under the denomination of illpier than the first. Adventurer. chosen company: trifling, insipid, charac
ters of every kind; who follow no busi$81. Bad company---meaning of the ness--are led by no ideas of inprovement phrase -- different classes of bad company --but spend their time in dissipation and
-ill-chosen company--what is meant by folly -- whose highest praise it is, that they keeping bad company—the danger of it, are only not vicious.— With none of from the aptness to imilate and catch these, a serious man would wish his son the manners of others-from the great to keep company. power and force of custom--from our
It may be asked what is meant by keepbad inclinations.
ing bad company? The world abounds “Evil communication,” says the text, with characters of this kind : they meet us “corrupts good manners.”
in every place; and if we keep company tion is general, and no doubt all people at all, it is impossible to avoid keeping suffer from such communication, but company with such persons. above all, the minds of youth will suffer, It is true, if we were determined never which are yet uninformed, unprincipled, to have any commerce with bad men, we unfurnished; and ready to receive any must, as the apostle remarks “altogether impression.
go out of the world.” By keeping bad But before we consider the danger of company, therefore, is not meant a casual keeping bad company, let us first see the intercourse with them, on occasion of bumeaning of the phrase.
siness, or as they accidentally fall in our In the phrase of the world, good com- way; but having an inclination to consort pany means fashionable people. Their with them--complying with that inclinastations in life, not their morals, are con- nation-seeking their company when we sidered: and he, who associates with such, might avoid it-entering into their parties though they set him the example of break: -and making them the companions of our ing every commandment of the decalogue, choice. Mixing with them occasionally is still said to keep good company.-i cannot be avoided. should wish you to fix another meaning to
The danger of keeping bad company, the expression; and to consider vice in the arises principally from our aptness to imisame detestable light, in whatever com- tate and catch the manners and sentiments pany it is found; nay, to consider allcom- of others — from the power of custompany in which it is found, be their station from our own bad inclinations—and from what it will, as bad company.
the pains taken by the bad to corrupt us. The three following classes, will per- In our earliest youth, the contagion of haps include the greatest part of those manners is observable. In the boy, yet who deserve this appellation.
incapable of having any thing instilled into In the first, I should rank all who en- him, we easily discover, from his first ac. deavour to destroy the principles of Chris- tions, and rude attempts at language, the tianity-who jest upon Scripture-talk kind of persons with whom he has been blasphemy --and treat revelation with brought up: we see the early spring of a contempt.
civilized education, or the first wild shoots A second class of bad company, are of rusticity. those, who have a tendency to destroy in As he enters farther into lise, his beus the principles of common honesty and haviour, manners, and conversation, all jotegrity. Under this head we may rank take their cast from the company he keeps. gamesters of every denomination; und Observe the peasant, and the man of edu
cation; the difference is striking. And to watch, that, amidst such a variety of yet God hath bestowed equal talents on enemies witbin, we ought, at least, to be ou each. The only difference is, they have our guard against those without. The been thrown into different scenes of life; breast even of a good man is represented in and have had commerce with persons of scripture, and experienced in fact, to be in different stations.
a state of warfare. His vicious inclinations Nor are manners and behaviour more are continually drawing him one way; easily caught, than opinions and princi- while his virtue is making efforts another. ples. In childhood and youth we natu. And if the scriptures represent this as the rally adopt the sentiments of those about case even of a good man, whose passions, us. And as we advance in life, how few it may be imagined, are become in some of us think for ourselves! How many of degree cool and temperate, and who has us are satisfied with taking our opinions at made some progress in a virtuous course; second hand!
what may we suppose to be the danger of The great power and force of custom a raw unexperienced youth, whose pasforms another argument against keeping sions and appetites are violentand seducing, bad company. However seriously dis- and whose mind is in a still less confirmed posed we may be; and however shocked state? It is his part surely to keep out of at the first approaches of vice; this shock- the way of temptation; and to give his ing appearance goes off upon an intimacy bad inclinations as little room as possible with it. Custom will soon render the most to acquire new strength. Gilpin. disgustful thing familiar. And this is indeed a kind provision of nature, to render § 82. Religion the best und only Support labour, and toil, and danger, which are the in Cases of real Distress. lot of man, more easy to him. The raw There are no principles but those of soldier, who trembles at the first encoun- religion, to be depended on in cases of real ter, becomes a hardy veteran in a few cam. distress; and these are able to encounter paigns. Habit renders danger familiar, the worst emergencies; and to bear us up and of course indifferent to him.
under all the changes and chances to which But habit, which is intended for our our life is subject. good, may, like other kind appointments Consider then what virtue the very first of nature, be converted into a mischief. principle of religion has, and how wonderThe well disposed youth, entering first fully it is conducive to this end: That there into bad company, is shocked at what he is a God, a powerful, a wise and good Behears, and what he sees. The good prin- ing, who first made the world, and continues ciples which he had imbibed, ring in his to governit; -by whose goodness all things ears an alarming lesson against the wick- are designed--and by whose providence all edness of his companions. But, alas ! this things are conducted to bring about the sensibility is but of a day's continuance. greatest and best ends. The sorrowful and The next jovial meeting makes the horrid pensive wretch that was giving way to his picture of yesterday more easily endured. misfortunes, and mournfully sinking under Virtue is soon thought a severe rule ; the them, the moment this doctrine comes in gospel, an inconvenient restraint: a few to his aid, hushes all his complaints-and pangs of conscience now and then inter- thus speaks comfort to his soul—" It is rupt his pleasures; and whisper to him, the Lord, let him do what seemeth him that he once had better thoughts: but good.-Without his direction, I know that even these by degrees die away; and he no evil can befal me,-without his permiswho at first was shocked even at the ap- sion, that no power can hurt me;—it is pearance of vice, is formed by custom into impossible a Being so wise should mistake a profligate leader of vicious pleasures— my happiness or that a Being so good perhaps into an abandoned tempter to should contradict it.-- If he has denied me vice.-So carefully should we oppose the riches or other advantages—perhaps he first approaches of sin! so vigilant should foresees the gratifying my wishes would we be against so insidious an enemy! undo me, and by my own abuse of thein
Our own bad inclinations, form another be perverted to my ruin.-- If he has deargument against bad company. We have nied me the request of children-or in his so many passions and appetites to govern; providence bas thought fil to take them so many bad propensities of different kinds from ine-how can I say whether he has
not dealt kindly with me, and only taken of the temper, such a complexional ease that away which he foresaw would em bitter and health of heart, as may often save the and shorten my days? - It does so to thou- patient much medicire. — We are still to sands, where the disobedience of a thank- consider, that however such good frames less child has brought down the parent's of mind are got, they are worth preserving grey hairs with sorrow to the grave. Has by all rules : Patience and contentment, he visited me with sickness, poverty, or - which like the treasure hid in the field other disappointments?--can I say, but for which a man sold all he had to purthese are but blessings in disguise? --so ma- chase - is of that price, that it cannot be ny different expressions of his care and con- had at too great a purchase; since withcern to disentangle my thoughts from this out it, the best condition of life cannot world, and fix them upon another—"ano- make us happy; and with it, it is imposther, a better world beyond this!" – This sible we should be miserable even in the thought opens a new face of hope and worst.
Sterne's Serinons. consolation to the unfortunate:-and as the persuasion of a Providence reconciles
$83. On Prodigality. hiin to the evils he has suffered,—this It is the fate of almost every passion, prospect of a future life gives him strength when it has passed the bound which nature to despise them, and esteem the light af- prescribes, io counteract its own purpose. flictions of this life, as they are, not wor- Too much rage hinders the warrior from thy to be compared to what is reserved circumspection; and too much eagerness for him hereafter,
of profit hurts the credit of the trader. Too Things are great or small by compa- much ardour takes away from the lover rison--and he who looks no further than that easiness of address with which ladies this world, and balances the accounts of are delighted. Thus extravagance, though his joys and sufferings from that conside- dictated by vanity, and incited by volupration, finds all his sorrows enlarged, and tuousness, seldom procures ultimately at the close of them will be apt to look either applause or pleasure. back, and cast the same sad reflection upon If praise be justly estimated by the chathe whole, which the Patriarch did to Pha- racter of those from whom it is received, raoh, " That few and evil had been the little satisfaction will be given to the spenddays of his pilgrimage.” But let him lift thrift by the encomiums which he purchases. up his eyes towards heaven, and steadfasily For who are they that animate him in his behold the life and immortality of a future pursuits, but young men, thoughtless and state,—he then wipes away all tears from abandoned like himself, unacquainted with off bis eyes for ever; like the exiled cap- all on which the wisdom of nations has imtive, big with the hopes that he is return. pressed the stamp of excellence, and deing home, he feels not the weight of his void alike of knowledge and of virtue ? By chains, or counts the days of his captivity; whom is his profusion praised, but by but looks forward with rapture towards wretches who consider hiin as subservient the country where his heart is filed before. to their purposes; Syrens that entice him
These are the aids which religion offers to shipwreck ; and Cyclops that are gaping us towards the regulation of our spirit to devour him? under the evils of life,—but like great Every mai), whose knowledge or whose cordials, they are seldom used but on virtue can give value to his opinion, looks great occurrences. -- In the lesser evils of with scorn or pity (neither of which can life, we seem to stand unguarded -and afford much gratification to pride) on him our peace and contentment are whom the panders of luxury have drawn thrown, and our happiness broke in upon, into the circle of their influence, and whom by a little impatience of spirit, under the he sees parcelled out among the different cross and untoward accidents we meet ministers of folly, and about to be torn to with. These stand unprovided for, and pieces by tailors and jockeys, vintoers and we neglect them as we do the slighter attorneys; who at once rob and ridicule indispositions of the body-which we him, and who are secretly triumphing over think not worth treating seriously, and so his weakness, when they present new inleave them to nature.
In good habits of citements to his appetite, and heighten his the body, this may do, and I would desires by counterfeited applause. gladly believe, there are such good habits Such is the praise that is purchased by
prodigality. Even when it is not yet dis- riot; and consider it as the first business covered to be false, it is the praise only of of the night to stupefy recollection, and those whom it is reproachful to please, and lay that reason asleep, which disturbs their whose sincerity is corrupted by their in- gaiety, and calls upon thein to retreat terest; men who live by the riots which from ruin. they encourage, and who know, that when
But this poor broken satisfaction is of ever their pupil grows wise, they shall lose short continuance, and must be expiated by their power. Yet with such flatteries, if
Yet with such flatteries, if a long series of misery and regret. In a they could last, might the cravings of va- short time the creditor grows impatient, nity, which is seldom very delicate, be sa• the last acre is sold, the passions and aptisfied: but the time is always hastening petites still continue their tyranny, with forward, when this triumph, poor as it is, incessant calls for their usual gratificashall vanish, and when those who now sur. tions; and the remainder of life passes round him with obsequiousness and com- away in vain repentance, or impotent depliments, fawn among his equipage, and sire.
Rumbler. animate his riots, shall turn upon him with
$ 84. On Honour. insolence, and reproach him with the vices promoted by themselves.
Every principle that is a motive to good And as little pretensions has the man actions ought to be encouraged, since men who squanders his estate by vain or vicious are of so different a make, that the same expenses, to greater degrees of pleasure principle does not work equally upon all than are obtained by others. To make any minds. What some men are prompted to happiness sincere, it is necessary that we by conscience, duty, or religion, which are believe it to be lasting; since whatever we only different names for the same thing, suppose ourselves in danger of losing, must others are prompted to by honour. be enjoyed with solicitude and uneasiness, The sense of honour is of so fine and and the more value we set upon it, the delicate a nature, that it is only to be met more must the present possession be ein
with in minds which are naturally noble, bittered. How can he, then, be envied for or in such as have been cultivated by great his felicity, who knows that its continuance examples, or a refined education. This cannot be expected, and who is conscious essay therefore is chiefly designed forthose that a very short time will give him up to who by means of any of these advantages the gripe of poverty, which will be harder are, or ought to be, actuated by this gloto be borne, as he has given way to more
rious principle. excesses, wantoned in greater abundance, But as nothing is more pernicious than and indulged his appetite with more pro- a principle of action, when it is misunderfuseness?
stood, I shall consider honour with respect It appears evident, that frugality is ne- to three sorts of men. First of all, with cessary even to complete the pleasure of regard to those who have a right notion of expense; for it may be generally remarked it. Secondly, with regard to those who of those who squander what they know their have a mistaken notion of it. And thirdly, fortune not sufficient to allow, that in their with regard to those who treat it as chimost jovial excess there always breaks merical, and turn it into ridicule. out some proof of discontent and impa- In the first place, true honour, though tience; they either scatter with a kind of it be a different principle from religion, is wild desperation and affected lavishness, that which produces the same effects. The as criminals brave the gallows when they lines of action, though drawn from difcannot escape it; or pay their money with ferent parts, terminate in the same point. a peevish anxiety, and endeavour at once Religion embraces virtue as it is enjoined to spend idly, and to save meanly; having by the laws of God; honour, as it is graceneither firmness to deny their passions, nor
ful and ornamental to human nature. The courage to gratify them, they murmur at religious man fears, the man of honour their own enjoyments, and poison the bowl scorns, to do an ill action. The latter conof pleasure by reflection on the cost. siders vice as something that is beneath
Among these men there is often the vo- him; the other, as something that is offenciferation of merriment, but very seldom sive to the Divine Being: the one, as what the tranquillity of cheerfulness; they in- is unbecoming ; the other, as what is forflame their imaginations to a kind of mo- bidden. Thus Seneca speaks in the natural mentary jollity, by the help of wine and and genuine language of a man of honour,