Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

where he had bought it, and went straight to the baker's shop, which he pointed out to me.

I asked for some biscuits, expecting to find such as we had at Boston; but they made, it seems, none of that sort at Philadelphia. I then asked for a threepenny loaf. They made no loaves of that price.Finding myself ignorant of the prices, as well as of the different kinds, of bread, I desired him to let me have threepenny-worth of bread of some kind or other. He gave me three large rolls. I was surprised at receiving so much. I took them, however, and, having no room in my pockets, I walked on with a roll under each arm, eating a third.

In this manner, I went through Market Street to Fourth Street, and passed the house of Mr. Read, the father of my future wife. She was standing at the door, observed me, and thought, with reason, that I made a very singular and grotesque appearance.

I then turned the corner, and went through Chesnut Street, eating my roll all the way; and having made this round, I found myself again on Market Street wharf, near the boat in which I arrived. I stepped into it to take a draught of water; and, finding myself satisfied with my first roll, I gave the other two to a woman and her child, who had come down with us in the boat, and was waiting to continue her journey.

Thus refreshed, I regained the street, wbich was now full of well-dressed people, all going the same way. I joined them, and was thus led to a large Quaker meeting-house near the market-place. I sat down with the rest, and, after looking round me for some time, hearing nothing said, and being drowsy from my last night's labour and want of rest, I fell into a sound sleep. In this state I continued, till the assembly dispersed, when one of the congregation had the goodness to wake me. This was, consequently, the first house I entered, or in which I slept, at Philadelphia.

views upon

The handsome and deformed Leg: showing the unhap

piness of a fault-finding Disposition. There are two sorts of people in the world. who, with equal degrees of health and wealth in the world, and the other comforts of life, become the one happy, and the other miserable. This arises very much from the different views in which they consider things, persons, and events; and the effect of those different

their own minds. In whatever situation men can be placed, they may find conveniences and inconveniences; in whatever company, they may find persons and conversation more or less pleasing; at whatever table, they may meet with meats and drinks of better and worse taste, dishes better and worse dressed : in whatever climate, they will find good and bad weather: under whatever government, they may find good and bad laws, and good and bad administration of those laws: in whatever poem, or work of genins, they may see faults and beauties: in almost every face, and every person, they may discover fine features and defects, good and bad qualities.

Under these circumstances, the two sorts of people abovementioned, fix their attention; those who are disposed to be happy, on the convenience of things, the pleasant parts of conversation, the well-dressed dishes, the goodness of the wines, the fine weather, &c., and enjoy all with cheerfulness. Those who are to be unhappy, think and speak only of the contraries. Hence they are continually discontented themselves, and by their remarks, sour the pleasures of society : offend personally many people, and make themselves everywhere disagreeable.

If this turn of mind was founded in nature, such unhappy persons would be the more to be pitied. But as the disposition to criticize, and to be disgusted, is, perhaps, taken up originally by imitation, and is, unawares, grown into a habit, which, though at present strong, may nevertheless be cured, when those who have it are convinced of its bad effects on their felicity; I hope this little admonition may be of service to them, and put them on changing a habit, which, though in the exercise it is chiefly an act of imagination, yet has serious consequences in life, as it brings on real griefs and misfortunes.

For, as many are offended by, and nobody loves this sort of people; no one shows them more than the most common civility and respect, and scarcely that; and this frequently puts them out of humour, and draws them into disputes and contentions. If they aim at obtaining some advantage in rank or fortune, nobody wishes them success, or will stir a step, or speak a word to favour their pretensions.

If they incur public censure or disgrace, no one will defend or excuse, and many join to aggravate their misconduct, and render them completely odious: If these people will not change this bad habit, and condescend to be pleased with what is pleasing, without fretting themselves and others about the contraries, it is good for others to avoid an acquaintance with them; which is always disagreeable, and sometimes very inconvenient, especially when one finds one's self entangled in their quarrels.

An old philosophical friend of mine was grown, from experience, very cautious in this particular, and carefully avoided any intimacy with such people. He had, like other philosophers, a thermometer to show him the heat of the weather; and a barometer, to inark when it was likely to prove good or bad; but there being no instrument invented to discover, at first sight, this unpleasing disposition in a person, he, for that purpose, made use of his legs; one of which was remarkably handsome, the other, by some accident, crooked and deformed. If a stranger, at the first interview, regarded his ugly leg more than his handsome one, he doubted him.

If he spoke of it, and took no notice of the handsome leg, that was sufficient to determine my philosopher to have no further acquaintance with him.Everybody has not this two-legged instrument; but every one, with a little attention, may observe signs of that carping, fault-finding disposition, and take the same resolution of avoiding the acquaintance of those infected with it. I therefore advise those critical, querulous, discontented, unhappy people, that if they wish to be respected and beloved by others, and happy in themselves, they should leave off looking at the ugly leg.

Advice to a young

Tradesman.

Remember that time is money. He that can earn ten shillings a day by his labour, and goes abroad, or sits idle one half of that day, though he spends but sixpence during his diversion or idleness, ought not to reckon that the only expense; he has really spent, or rather thrown away, five shillings besides.

Remember that credit is money. If a man lets his money lie in my hands after it is due, he gives me the interest, or so much as I can make of it during that time. This amounts to a considerable sum when a man has good and large credit, and makes good use of it.

Remember that money is of a prolific generating nature. Money can beget money, and its offspring can beget more, and so on. Five shillings turned is six ; turned again it is seven and three-pence; and so on till it becomes a hundred pounds. The more there is of it, the more it produces, every turning, so that the profits rise quicker and quicker. He that murders a crown, destroys all that it might have produced, even scores of pounds.

Remember that six pounds a year is but a groat a day. For this little sum, which may be daily wasted either in time or expense, unperceived, a man of credit may, on his own security, have the constant possession and use of a hundred pounds. So much in stock, briskly turned by an industrious man, produces great advantage.

Remember this saying, “ the good paymaster is lord of another man's purse.” He that is known to pay punctually and exactly to the time he promises,

« PředchozíPokračovat »