« PreviousContinue »
raged from the gates of Madras to the gates of Tanjore; and so completely did these masters in their art—Hyder Ali, and his more ferocious son, absolve themselves of their impious vow, that when the British armies traversed, as they did, the Carnatic for hundreds of miles in all directions, through the whole line of their march did they not see one man, not one woman, not one child, not one four-footed beast of any description whatever. One dead, uniform silence reigned over the whole region. With the inconsiderable exceptions of the narrow vicinage of some few forts, I wish to be understood as speaking literally. I mean to produce to you witnesses, above all exception, who will support this assertion in its full extent. The Carnatic is a country not much inferior in extent to England. Figure to yourself, Mr. Speaker, the land in whose representative chair you sit; figure to yourself the form and fashion of your sweet and cheerful country from Thames to Trent, north and south, and from the Irish to the German Sea, east and west, emptied and embowelled (may God avert the omen of our crimes !) by so accomplished a desolation. That hurricane of war passed through every part of the central provinces of the Carnatic. Six or seven districts to the north and to the south (and these not wholly untouched) alone escaped the general ravage.
DR. FRANKLIN, 1706—1790. I HAVE heard, that nothing gives a writer so great pleasure as to find his works respectfully quoted by others. Judge, then, how much I must have been gratified by an incident I am going to relate to you. I stopped my horse, lately, where a great number of people were collected at an auction of merchants' goods. The hour of the sale not being come, they were conversing on the badness of the times ; and one of the company called to a plain, clean old man, with white locks,“ Pray, father Abraham, what think you of the times? Will not those heavy taxes quite ruin the country? how shall we ever be able to pay them? What would you advise us to do ?" Father Abraham stood up and replied, “If you would have my advice I will give it to you in short : for a word to the wise is enough,' as poor Richard says.” They joined in desiring him
to speak his mind, and gathering round him, he proceeded as follows :
“Friends,” says he, “the taxes are indeed very heavy ; and if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them ; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly and self-indulgence, and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us by allowing an abatement. However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us ; “God helps them that help themselves,' as poor Richard says.
“It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their time to be employed in its service; but idleness taxes many of us much more : sloth, by bringing on disease, absolutely shortens life. “Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labour wears, while the used key is always bright.' 'But dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.' How much more than is necessary do we spend in sleep! forgetting that “The sleeping fox catches no poultry, and that there will be sleeping enough in the grave, as poor Richard says.
“ If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality; since as he elsewhere tells us, “Lost time is never found again ; and what we call time enough, always proves too little enough. Let us then up and be doing, and be doing to the purpose, so by diligence shall we do more with less perplexity. “Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry all easy, and he that riseth late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night; while laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him. Drive thy business, let not that drive thee; and early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.'
“So what signifies wishing and hoping for better times? We may make these times better if we bestir ourselves. Industry need not wish, and he that lives upon hope will die fasting. There are no gains without pains ; then help hands for I have no lands,' or if I have they are smartly taxed. "He that hath a trade, hath an estate ; and he that hath a calling, hath an office of profit and honour ;' but then the trade must be worked at, and the calling well followed, or neither the estate nor the office will enable us to pay our taxes. If we are industrious we shall never starve ; for at the working-man's house hunger looks in but does not enter. Nor will the bailiff or the constable enter, "for industry pays debts, while despair increaseth them. What though you have found no treasure, nor has any rich relation left a legacy. “Diligence is the mother of good luck, and God gives all things to industry. Then plough deep, while sluggards sleep, and you shall have corn to sell and to keep.' Work while it is called today, for you know not how much you may be hindered to-morrow. ‘One to-day is worth two to-morrows ;' and 'Never leave that till to-morrow which you can do to-day. If you were a servant, would you not be ashamed that a good master should catch you idle ? Are you then your own master ? Be ashamed to catch yourself idle, when there is so much to be done for yourself, your family, your country, and your God. Handle your tools without mittens ; remember that · The cat in gloves catches no mice. It is true there is much to be done, and perhaps you are weak-handed; but stick to it steadily, and you will see great effects ; for Constant dropping wears away stones ; and by diligence and patience the mouse ate in two the cable ; and little strokes fell great oaks.
“Methinks I hear some of you say, “Must a man afford himself no leisure ? I will tell thee, my friend, what Poor Richard says: • Employ thy time well if thou meanest to gain leisure ; and, since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour. Leisure is time for doing something useful ; this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man, never ; for 'A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. Many, without labour, would live by their wits only, but they break for want of stock ;' whereas industry gives comfort, and plenty, and respect. 'Fly pleasures and they will follow you. The diligent spinner has a large store ; and now I have a sheep and a cow, everybody bids me good morrow.
“But with our industry we must likewise be steady, settled, and careful, and oversee our own affairs with our own eyes, and not trust too much to others; for as Poor Richard says,
I never saw an oft-removed tree,
And again, “Three removes is as bad as a fire ;' and again, 'Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee;' and again, 'If you would have your business done, go ; if not, send ; and again,
66. He that by the plough would thrive,
Himself must either hold or drive.' And again, 'The eye of the master will do more work than both his hands; and again, 'Want of care does us more damage than want of knowledge; and again, ‘Not to oversee workmen is to leave them your purse open. Trusting too much to others' care is the ruin of many ; for, “In the affairs of this world, men are saved, not by faith, but by the want of it; but a man's own care is profitable,' for if you would have a faithful servant and one that you like, serve yourself. A little neglect may breed great mischief; for want of a nail the shoe was lost ; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost,' being overtaken and slain by the enemy ; all for want of a little care about a horse-shoe nail.
“ And now to conclude ; ‘Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other,' and scarce in that : for it is true, “We may give advice, but we cannot give conduct. However remember this, They that will not be counselled cannot be helped ;' and further, that, “ If you will not hear reason, she will surely rap your knuckles.?”
Thus the old gentleman ended his harangue. The people heard it, and approved the doctrine, and immediately practised the contrary, just as if it had been a common sermon ; for the auction opened and they began to buy extravagantly.
THE FAVOURITE HARES.
COWPER, 1731–1800. In the year 1774, being much indisposed both in mind and body, incapable of diverting myself either with company or books, and yet in a condition that made some diversion necessary, I was glad of anything that would engage my attention, without fatiguing it. The children of a neighbour of mine had a leveret given them for a plaything; it was at that time about three months old. Understanding better how to tease the poor creature than to feed it, and
soon becoming weary of their charge, they readily consented that their father, who saw it pining and growing leaner every day, should offer it to my acceptance. I was willing enough to take the prisoner under my protection, perceiving that, in the management of such an animal, and in the attempt to tame it, I should find just that sort of employment which my case required. It was soon known among the neighbours that I was pleased with the present, and the consequence was, that in a short time I had as many leverets offered to me as would have stocked a paddock. I undertook the care of three, which it is necessary that I should here distinguish by the names I gave them-Puss, Tiney, and Bess. Notwithstanding the two feminine appellatives, I must inform you that they were all males. Immediately commencing carpenter, I built them houses to sleep in ; each had a separate apartment, so contrived that they were able to be kept perfectly sweet and clean. In the daytime they had the range of a hall, and at night retired each to his own bed, never intruding into that of another.
Puss grew presently familiar, would leap into my lap, raise himself upon his hinder feet, and bite the hair from my temples. He would suffer me to take him up, and to carry him about in my arms, and has more than once fallen fast asleep upon my knee. He was ill three days, during which time I nursed him, kept him apart from his fellows, that they might not molest him (for, like many other wild animals, they persecute one of their own species that is sick), and by constant care, and trying him with a variety of herbs, restored him to perfect health. No creature could be more grateful than my patient after his recovery ; a sentiment which he most significantly expressed by licking my hand, first the back of it, then the palm, then every finger separately, then between all the fingers, as if anxious to leave no part of it unsaluted ; a ceremony which he never performed but once again upon a similar occasion. Finding him extremely tractable, I made it my custom to carry him always after breakfast into the garden, where he hid himself generally under the leaves of a cucumber vine, sleeping or chewing the cud till evening; in the leaves also of that vine he found a favourite repast. I had not long habituated him to this taste of liberty, before he began to be impatient for the return of the time when he might enjoy it. He would invite me to the garden by drumming upon my knee, and by a look of such ex