« PředchozíPokračovat »
AN EASTERN TALE.-THE END OF FRIENDSHIP SHOULD BE CONSIDERED.
JOHN MORPHEW.-SOME ACCOUNT OF HIS PARENTS.- A LESSON ON
CONTENTMENT. — IZAAK WALTON QUOTED. - THE CHARACTER OF JOHN MORPHEW - DESPISED BY MATT NORDEN. -- HIS CAUSE PLEADED BY MYSELF. MY SUCCESS, THE STORY OF MASTER EVRETT AND CHARLES MURPHY. - JOHN MORPHEW'S FRIENDSHIF INCREASED BY MY VINDICATION OF HIS CHARACTER.—JOHN MORPHEW GOES TO RESIDE IN LONDON. HIS INDUSTRY REWARDED. -SENDS HIS FIRST REWARD TO HIS PARENTS. HIS FILIAL PIETY.BECOMES A PARTNER IN THE FIRM BY WHICH HE WAS EMPLOYED-LIVES IN HONOUR AND AFFLUENCE, THOMAS FULLER'S DESCRIPTION OF A TRUE GENTLEMAN APPLIED TO HIM.
“ Brother, for so I call thee, not because
Not consanguinity, nor wedlock laws
We are not of one blood, nor yet name neither,
We never were so much as drunk together.
But a long knowledge with much trial did it,
And though we lov'd both well at first, both hid it
Since which thou hast o'erdone me far in showing
Lo, here's a memorandum for what's owing;
Unless thou'lt show how I may service do thee,
It is related that a certain cham of Tartary, on going a progress with his nobles, was met by a dervise, who cried with a loud voice, “ Whoever will give me a hundred pieces of gold, I will give him a piece of advice." The cham, on hearing this, ordered him the sum : upon which the dervise said, “Begin nothing of which thou hast not well considered the end.” The courtiers, upon hearing this simple sentence, smiled, and said sneeringly, “ The dervise is well paid for his maxim." The cham, or king, however, was so well pleased with the answer, that he directed it should be written, in letters of gold, in several parts of his palace, and engraved on all his plate. Not long after, the king's surgeon was bribed to kill him with a poisoned lancet at the time he let him blood. One day, when the king's arm was bound, and the fatal lancet was in the surgeon's hand, he read on the bason, Begin nothing of which thou hast not well considered the end." He immediately started, and let the lancet fall out of his hand. The king observed his confusion, and inquired the reason, whereupon the surgeon fell prostrate before him, and confessed the whole affair. He was pardoned; but the conspirators suffered death. On his confession the king, turning to his courtiers, who had sneered at the advice of the dervise, remarked, 6. That counsel which has saved a king's life cannot be too highly prized."
Analogous to the advice of the dervise is this couplet of an English poet :
“ Think well ere you resolve ; weigh each event,
Lest, when too late, in sorrow you repent." It would, indeed, be well if mankind in general acted in the spirit of this advice. Youth, especially, would exhibit their wisdom if they began nothing of which they had not well considered the end; or, in other words, if they thought before they resolved, and weighed the
result of that which they undertook to perform. The maxim of the dervise is especially applicable to the important subject of friendship. This should never be commenced without serious consideration : the end of it should be kept in view : that is, whether it is likely to be beneficial or hurtful. For my own part, I must confess that I should have escaped much uneasiness in my early years had I acted upon some such maxim. I should not have had to have blushed for the follies of this companion, or mourned over the moral turpitude of others : in a word, I should have been spared the pang of being compelled to give up the company of those to whom I had attached myself, because our thoughts and pursuits were not in unison.
One friend, however, never caused me moment's uneasiness -that friend was John Morphew.
John Morphew was born of humble yet respectable parents, who were near neighbours of my parents. Old Mr. Morphew had been engaged in trade, and had accumulated, by unceasing industry, a small competency - just enough “ to keep the wolf from the door.” He would, doubtless, have accumulated a larger income, but illhealth prevented his personal attention to business; and, like a careful parent, he considered it. safest to retire with the little he had collected, than intrust his business to others and run the risk of losing it. It is true, from having a large family, he found enough to do to make “both ends meet,” notwithstanding Mrs. Morphew was a careful housewife ; but then he had what
is worth more than all the gold and silver in
“ Low was our pretty cot: our tallest rose
True happiness, in truth, has no localities, no provincial tones, and no peculiar garb: she resides as often in the cottage, nay oftener, than in the mansion. Old Izaak Walton, in his
Angler,” says: - “I sat down under a willowtree by the water side, and considered what you had told me of the owner of that pleasant meadow, in which you then left me : that he had a plentiful estate, and not a heart to think
80: that he had at this time many lawsuits depending, and that they both damped his mirth, and took so much of his time and thoughts, that he had not leisure to take the sweet content that I, who pretend no title to them, took in his fields. For I could sit there quietly, and, looking in the water, see some fishes sport themselves on the silver streams, others leaping at flies of several shapes and colours : looking on the hills, I could behold them spotted with woods and groves: looking down the meadows, could here see a boy gathering lilies, there a girl cropping culverkeys and cowslips ; all to make garlands suitable to this present month of May." Here was happiness, and just such happiness reigned in the cottage of old Mr. Morphew.
It was early in life that I became acquainted with John Morphew, and from that hour to this I have never had the slightest occasion to repent my choice of his friendship. On the contrary, it has been a constant source of pleasure.
“But little of the past will stay!
And quickly all will melt away !
Which hath been more than wealth to me
And kept till now unchangiogly;
Where Love's true light at last I've found
And comfortless and stormy round."
It is true, John lived in humble circumstances, and was even despised by some of my other companions; but I never once thought of this. His manners were so agreeable and pleasing,