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methods, contrived to get a considerable sum into his hands, which he found means to secrete, he declared himself insolvent. In examining into the state of his affairs, there appeared so much reason to suspect fraud, that his creditors unanimously refused to come to any terms of accommodation: and he was on the point of being thrown into prison, when he had the art to make his escape, and stepping on board a fishing smack, arrived in safety at the Isle of Man. Thither his secret store had been already conveyed; and there he has ever since resided, protected by a narrow-minded and mistaken policy, against the just claims of those whom he has injured, and wallowing in luxury, whilst some of the innocent victims of his villany are reduced to depend for a precarious subsistence on the charity of the humane. In the unrivalled laws of Britain, is there no remedy for this glaring injustice ?*

But notwithstanding this wretch has escaped the hand of justice, no person that knows anything of the power of conscience will believe that he is happy. I am informed, indeed, that the reverse is the case that he is becoming

* Since the first publication of this, some steps have been taken by the Legislature, for preventing insolvent debtors from finding an asylum in the Isle of Man.

every day more gloomy, sullen, and desperate : and that unless when his spirits are raised by intemperance, his countenance is seldom brightened by a smile. Unhappy in himself, he looks with discontent on everything around hire; and the only satisfaction he was ever known since his bankruptcy to express, has been called forth, not by the happiness, but by the misery of his fellow-creatures. It is difficult to conceive a stronger proof of a mind given up to the inward tortures of guilt; and I do not know if the most ingenious of his enemies could invent a punishment more dreadful than that which, in the use of his ill-gotten riches, he daily suffers. What a contrast does this unhappy man's situation form to that of his old neighbour, the Honest Farmer! and how strongly does it point out to us the truth of a maxim, which is oftener quoted than reduced to practice, that



"There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked."

Isle of Man, Nov. 1st, 1809.


You may think it strange, that one for whom you have expressed so just a contempt, should present himself voluntarily to your notice; and your surprise will not be lessened when I inform you, that my motive is a desire to do good: but the full confession I am now going to make, will, I trust, convince you, that I am sincere. My intention is to give you a short account of the most interesting particulars of my life, and to leave you to make what use of it you please. If it should appear likely to answer the benevolent purpose you have in view in your publications, by joining instruction with amusement, you are heartily welcome to make it public. I owe this reparation to society, however painful it may be to my feelings.

I was born on the estate of Seaton, in the parish of in the West of Scotland, of

honest and industrious parents. That they were honest and industrious, is all that truth allows me to say in their praise; for they had failings which I must not conceal, as the discovery of them may be a useful warning to others. But I will not attempt to describe their characters. You shall have an opportunity of judging for yourselves as I go on.

I know very little of the first four years of my life. I only remember to have heard my mother say, that I was always a clever cunning little rogue, and that she and my father used to have many a hearty laugh at my little childish tricks. I must not omit to mention one incident that took place when I was about five years of age, which I have often heard my father repeat as a proof of my uncommon cleverness and sagacity. I had a little companion of my own age. It was John Johnston, the very person whom you have so justly celebrated under the title of the Honest Farmer. His father and mine were next door neighbours, and we were frequently permitted to run about and play together. It happened one day, when I was left for a short time in the house by myself, that I broke a cup and saucer which had been carelessly left within my reach. I was afraid that my mother would be angry with me

for this accidental trespass, and to free myself from the blame, I fell upon the following expedient. I observed my little friend John playing before the door, and having called him in, I gave him the broken pieces of the ware to amuse himself with. As soon as I saw him sufficiently occupied in endeavouring to put them together, I ran out in search of my mother, and having found her, told her, with the most barefaced impudence, that little John had broken her cup and saucer. This information made my mother hasten home, and when she found John employed in the way I have mentioned, she never doubted that he was the culprit, notwithstanding his assertions to the contrary; and punishing him severely, sent him home in tears. But the matter did not rest here. John was known to be a boy whose word 'could be trusted, for he had never uttered a lie in his life, and the simple story he told to his father caused the good man to inquire into the business, and by cross-questioning me, he came to discover the truth. Such an instance of treachery and cunning, on my part, ought to have been punished with the utmost rigour; but alas! my parents, only considering it as a proof of superior talents, took every opportunity of commending me for it, even when I was

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