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Her foretop and mane want combing and cutting very much. If any one should see her in her present plight, it would ruin the sale of her.
Der. O, a horse is soon curried, and my son Sam shall despatch her at once.
Scrape. Yes, very likely; but I this moment recollect the creature has no shoes on.
Der. Well, is there not a blacksmith hard by?
Scrape. What, that tinker of a Dobson! I would not trust such a bungler to shoė a goat. No, no; none but uncle Tom Thumper is capable of shoeing my mare.
Der. As good luck will have it, then, I shall pass right by his door.
Scrape. (Calling to his son.] Timothy, Timothy! Here's neighbour Derby, who wants the loan of the gray mare to ride to town to-day. You know the skin was rubbed off her back last week a hand's breadth or more. [He gives Tim a wink.] However, I believe she's well enough by this time. You know, Tim, how ready I am to oblige my neighbours. And, indeed, we ought to do all the good we can in this world. We must certainly let neighbour Derby have her, if she will possibly answer his purpose. Yes, yes;
I see plainly by Tim's countenance, neighbour Derby, that he's disposed to oblige you. I would not have refused you the mare for the worth of her. If I had, I should have expected you would have refused me in your turn. None of my neighbours can accuse me of being backward in doing them a kindness. Come, Timothy, what do you
Tim. What do I say, father! Why, I say, sir, that I am no less ready than you are to do a neighbourly kindness. But the mare is by no means capable of performing the journey. About a hand's breadth did you say, sir ? Why, the skin is torn from the poor creature's back of the bigness of your great brimmed hat. And, besides, I have promised her, as soon as she is able to travel, to Ned Saunders, to carry a load of apples to market.
Scrape. Do you hear that, neighbour? I am very sorry matters turn out thus. I would not have disobliged you for the price of two such mares. Believe me, neighbour Derby, I am really sorry for your sake, that matters turn out thus.
Der. And I as much for yours, neighbour Scrapewell for, to tell you the truth, I received a letter this morning from Mr. Griffin, who tells me, if I will be in town this day, he will give me the offer of all that lot of timber, which he is about cutting down, upon the back of Çobble-Hilly and I intended you should have shared half of it, which would have been not less than fifty dollars in your pocket. But~
Scrape. Fifty dollars did you say ?
Der. Aye, truly did I; but, as your mare is out of order, I'll go and see if I can get old Roan, the blacksmith's horse.
Scrape. Old Roan! My mare is at your service, neighbour. Here, Tim, tell Ned Saunders he can't have the mare. Neighbour Derby wants her; and I won't refuse so good a friend any thing he asks for. Der. But what are you to do for meal ?
Scrape. My wife can do without it this fortnight, if you want the mare so long.
Der. But then your saddle is all in pieces.
Scrape.. I meant the old one. I have bought a new one since, and you shall have the first use of it.
Der. And you would have me call at Thumper's, and get her shod?
Scrape. No, no; I had forgotten to tell you, that I let neighbour Dobson shoe her last week by way of trial; and, to do him justice, I must own he shoes extremely well.
Der. But if the poor creature has lost so much skin from off her back
Scrape. Poh, poh! That is just one of our. Tim's large stories. I do assure you, it was not at first bigger than my thumb nail; and I am certain it has not grov!n any since.
Der. At least, however, let her have something she will eat, since she refuses hay.
Scrape. She did, indeed, refuse hay this morning; but the only reason was that she was cranimed fuli of oats. You have nothing to fear, neighbour; the mare is in perfect trim; and she will skim you over the ground like a bird. I wish you a good journey, and a profitable job.
ON PROFANE SWEARING.
EW evil habits are of more pernicious consequence, or overcome with more difficulty, than that very odious one of profane cur'sing and swearing. It cannot be expected that the force of moral principles should be very strong upon any one who is accustomed, upon every trivial occasion, and frequently without any occasion at all, to slight the precepts and the character of the Supreme Being.
2. When we have lost any degree of respect for the Author of our existence, and the concerns of futurity, and can bring the most awful appellations into our slightest conversation, merely by way of embellishing our foolish and perhaps fallacious narratives, or to give a greater force to our little resentments, conscience will soon lose its influence upon our minds.
3. Nothing but the fear of disgrace, or a dread of human laws, will restrain any person, addicted to common swearing, îrom the most detestable perjury. For, if a man brought to trifle with the most sacred things in his common discourse, he cannot surely consider them of more consequence when his interest leads him to swear falsely for his own defence or emolument.
4. It is really astonishing how imperceptibly this vice creeps upon a person, and how rootedly he afterwards adheres to it. People generally begin with, using only slight exclamations, and which seem hardly to carry the appearance of any thing criminal ; and so proceed. on to others, till the most shocking oaths become familiar.
5. And when once the habit is confirmed, it is rarely ever eradicated. The swearer loses the ideas which are attached to the words he makes use of, and therefore execrates his friend, when he means to bless him; and calls God to witness his intention of doing things, which he knows he has no thoughts of performing in reality.
6. A young gentleman with whom I am intimately acquainted, and who possesses many excellent qualifications, but is unhappily in a declining state of health, and evidently tending rapidly to the chambers of death, has been from his childhood so addicted to the practice of swearing in his common conversation, that even now I am frequently shocked by his profaning the name of that sacred Being, before whom he, most probably, will soon be obliged to appear.
7. It must surely be exceedingly painful to a sensible heart, feeling for the best interests of a valuable friend, and otherwise excellent acquaintance, to observe the person he so highly regards confirmed in such a shocking habit, even while standing in the most awful situation in which it is possible for'a human creature to be placed.
8. Almost every other vice affords its votaries some pretences of excuse, from its being productive of present pleasure, or affording a prospect of future advantage ; but the profane swearer cannot even say that he feels any satisfaction, or that he hopes to meet with any benefit from this foolish habit.
9. But let not the force of habit be urged as an excuse for its continuance. As well might the highwayman, who is unacquainted with any honest employment, expect, on that account, to be allowed to plunder every passenger he meets with impunity. The following anecdote will prove that this habit is not so inveterate that it cannot instantly be checked.
10. In the presence of men who are his superiours, the swearer is never profane. “Why did you cut short your oath ?" said a gentleman to a man who was notoriously profane. “ I was afraid the king, who was present, would hear me," said the swearer. 'Why, then," said the gentleman, “ do you not fear to be heard by the King of kings, who is always present ?"
THE TRIUMPH OF VIRTUE.
A MERCHANT of Provence, in France, of a most amiable character, but of narrow circumstances, met with some considerable losses in trade, and became a bankrupt. Being reduced to pennry and want, he went to Paris to seek some assistance.
2. He waited on all his old customers in trade, represented to them his misfortunes, which he had taken every method to avoid, and begged them to enable him to pursue his business, assuring those to whom he was indebted, that his only wish was to be in a condition to pay them, and that he should die contentedly, could he but accomplish that wish.
3. Every one he had applied to felt for his misfortunes, and promised to assist him, excepting one, to whom he owed a thousand crowns; and who, instead of pitying his misfortunes, threw him into prison.
4. The unfortunate merchant's son, who was about twentytwo years of age, being informed of the sorrowful situation of his father, hastened to Paris, threw himself at the feet of the unrelenting creditor, and, drowned in tears, besought him, in the most affecting expressions, to condescend to restore to him his father ; protesting to him, that, if he would not throw obstacles in the way to his father's re-establishing his affairs, of the possibility of which they had great reason to hope, he should be the first man paid.
5. He implored him to have pity on his youth, and to have some feelings for the misfortunes of an aged mother, encumbered with eight children, reduced to want, and nearly on the point of perishing. Lastly, that, if these considerations were not capable of moving him to pity, he entreated him, at least, to permit him to be confined in prison instead of his father, in order that he might be restored to his family.
6. The youth uttered these expressions in so affecting a manner, that the creditor, struck with so much virtue and generosity, at once softened into tears, and, raising the youth from his humble posture, “Ah! my son,” said he, “your father shall be released. So much love and respect as you have shown for him makes me ashamed of myself. I have carried this matter too far ; but I will endeavour for ever to efface the remembrance of it from your mind.
7. “ I have an only daughter, who is worthy of you ; she would do as much for me as you have done for your father. I will give her to you, and, with her, all my fortune. Accept the offer I make you, and let us hasten to your father to release him, and ask his consent.