Page images
PDF
EPUB

But still, in sunshine or in storm,

Whatever task is mine,
May I be faithful to my trust,

As thou hast been to thine.

MY FIRST GUINEA.

Rev. Dr. VAUGHAN.

I WELL remember, when I was very young, possessing for the first time a guinea. I remember, too, that this circumstance cost me no little perplexity and anxiety. As I passed along the streets, the fear of losing my guinea induced me frequently to take it out of my pocket to look at it. First I put it in one pocket, and then I took it out and put it in another; after a while I took it out of the second pocket and placed it in another, really perplexed what to do with it.

At length my attention was arrested by a book auction. I stepped in, and looked about me. First one lot was put up, and then another, and sold to the highest bidder. At last I ventured to the table, just as the auctioneer was putting up the “History of the World,” in two large folio volumes. I instantly thrust

hand into my pocket, and began turning over my guinea, considering all the while whether I had money enough to buy this lot. The biddings proceeded; at last I ventured to bid too. “Halloo, my little man !" said the auctioneer; “what! not content with less than the world ?” This remark greatly confused me, and drew the attention of the whole company toward me, who, seeing me anxious to possess the books, refrained from bidding against me; and so the “World” was knocked down to me at a very moderate price.

How to get these huge books home was the next consideration. The auctioneer offered to send them; but I, not knowing what sort of creatures auctioneers

my.

[ocr errors]

were, determined to take them myself; so, after the assistant had tied them up, I marched out of the room with these huge books upon my shoulder, like Samson with the gates of Gaza, amidst the smiles of all present.

When I reached my home, after the servant had opened the door, the first person I met was my now sainted mother. My dear boy,” said she, “what have you got there? I thought you would not keep your guinea long." "Do not be angry, mother,” said I, throwing them down upon the table: “I have bought the world for nine shillings!” This was on Saturday; and I well remember sitting up till it was well-nigh inidnight, turning over this “ History of the World.” These books became my delight, and were carefully read through and through.

As I grew older, I at length became a Christian, and my love of books naturally led me to desire to be a Christian minister. To the possession of these books I attribute, in a great measure, any honours in connexion with literature that have been added to my name. I have not mentioned this anecdote to gratify any foolish feeling, but to encourage in those young persons I see before me that love of literature which has afforded me such unspeakable pleasure-pleasure which I would not have been without for all the riches of the Indies.

THE POOR MAN'S SONG.

Mrs. HANNAH MORE.

BECAUSE I'm but poor,

And slender's my store,
That I've nothing to lose is the cry, Sir!

Let who will declare it,

I vow I can't bear it,
I give all such praters the lie, Sir.

Tho' my house is but small,

Yet to have none at all,
Would sure be a greater distress, Sir;

Shall my garden so sweet,
And
my

orchard so neat,
Be the prize of a foreign oppressor ?

On Saturday night,

'Tis still my delight, With

my wages to run home the faster;
But if War should come here,
I
may

look far and near,
But I never shall find a paymaster.

I've a dear little wife,

Whom I love as my life,
To lose her I shouldn't much like, Sir;

And 'twould make me run wild
To see my sweet child
With its head on the point of a pike, Sir,
I've
my

church too to save, And will go to my grave, In defence of a church that's the best, Sir;

I've my Queen, too, God bless her!

Let no man oppress her,
For none has she ever opprest, Sir.

British laws for my guard

My cottage is barr’d, 'Tis safe in the light or the dark, Sir;

If the Squire should oppress,

I get instant redress;
My orchard's as safe as his park, Sir.

My cot is my throne,

What I have is my own,
And what is my own I will keep, Sir;

Should fighting come now,

'Tis true I may plough; But I'm sure that I never shall reap, Sir.

Now do but reflect

What I have to protect,
Then doubt if to fight I shall choose, Sir;

Queen, Church, Babes, and Wife,

Laws, Liberty, Life,
Now tell me I've nothing to lose, Sir.

a

So I'll beat my ploughshare

To a sword or a spear,
Though I use it reluctantly then, Sir;

Like a lion I'll fight,
That
my

sword now so bright, May soon turn to a ploughshare again, Sir.,

THE THREE WARNINGS

Mrs. THRALE.

The tree of deepest root is found
Least willing still to quit the ground,
'Twas therefore said by ancient sages,

That love of life increased with years
So much, that in our latter stages,
When pains grow sharp, and sickness rages,

The greatest love of life appears.
This great affection to believe,
Which all confess, but few perceive,
If old assertions can't prevail,
Be pleased to hear a modern tale.

When sports went round, and all were gay,
On neighbour Dobson's wedding day,
Death called aside the jocund groom
With him into another

room;
And looking grave—“You must," says he,

“Quit your fair bride, and come with me.” “With you! and quit my Susan's side ! With you!" the hapless husband cried,

a

“Young as I am, 'tis monstrous hard !
Besides, in truth, I'm not prepared :
My thoughts on other matters go;
This is my wedding day you know.”

What more he urged, I have not heard,
His reasons could not well be stronger;
So death the poor delinquent spared,
And left to live a little longer.
Yet calling up a serious look,
His hour-glass trembled while he spoke-
“Neighbour,” he said “Farewell! no more
Shall death disturb your mirthful hour :
And farther, to avoid all blame
Of cruelty upon my name,
To give you time for preparation,
And fit you for a future station,
Three several warnings you shall have,
Before you are summoned to the grave.
Willing for once I'll quit my prey,

And grant a kind reprieve;
In hopes you'll have no more to say;

But, when I call again this way,

Well pleased the world will leave.” To these conditions both consented, And parted perfectly contented.

What next the hero of our tale befell,
How long he lived, how wise, how well,
How roundly he pursued his course,
And smoked his pipe, and stroked his horse,

The willing muse shall tell :
He chaffer'd then, he bought and sold,
Nor once perceiv'd his growing old,
Nor thought of Death as near;
His friends not false, his wife no shrew,
Many his gains, his children few,

He passed his hours in peace.
But while he viewed his wealth increase,
While thus along life's dusty road
The beaten track content he trod,

« PreviousContinue »