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mean by it? If you presume to proceed any farther in this business, I will prosecute you to the utmost extent of the law.' The poor fellow cowered before the storm of his indignation, and was silent for his wrath was terrible. Dr. Bowditch went home, and slept on it; and the next day, hearing from some authentic source that the man was extremely poor, and had probably been driven by the necessities of his family to commit this audacious plagiarism, his feelings were touched, his heart relented, his anger melted away like wax. He went to him again, and said, 'Sir, you did very wrong, and you know it, to appropriate to your own use and benefit, the fruit of my labors. But I understand you are poor, and have a family to support. I feel for you, and will help you. That plan is unfinished, and contains errors that would have disgraced you and me, had it been published in the state in which you found it. I'll tell you what I will do. I will finish the plan; I will correct the errors; and then you shall publish it for your own benefit, and I will head the subscription list with my name.'"*
This simple fact adds great glory to the memory of this eminent man. It shows that he could command his passions, so as to forgive the
*Memoir of the Life and Character of Nathaniel Bowditch, in Waldie's Library, vol. 8, p. 411.
person who had wronged him, and to overcome him with unexpected kindness. In this respect he was greater than Alexander-for in all the pride and luxury of a mighty nation, Alexander, with enslaved kings at his feet, was a slave to himself. But Bowditch, in a case of real injury to himself, smothered his rising wrath, and overcame evil with good, and that, too, in a most substantial manner. Was not his conduct very beautiful-more noble, than though he had exerted every effort to crush the man who was driven by poverty, to the commission of a wrong act? Surely!-it was god-like, and worthy of all imitation.
In the popular work entitled, "Nicholas Nickleby," Dickens has pictured a firm of merchants, the CHEERYBLE BROTHERS, in a most delightful manner. They were bent on good-their hearts were overflowing with benevolence—and their greatest joy was, to be certain that they had increased the happiness of some one or more of their fellow-beings. The Cheeryble Brothers, though described and existing in a fictitious work, are said to be but the representatives of a firm of merchants who live in England, and are full of excellent deeds and the warmest kindness. The following noble fact concerning these truly good men, nobly shows the power of the law, overcome evil
with good." It is related in a paper published in Manchester, England.
"The elder brother of this house of merchant-princes, amply revenged himself upon a libeller who had made himself merry with the peculiarities of the amiable fraternity. This man published a pamphlet, in which one of the brothers (D.) was designated as 'Billy Button,' and represented as talking largely of their foreign trade, having travellers who regularly visited Chowbent, Bullock, Smithy, and other foreign parts. Some kind friend' had told W. of this pamphlet, and W. had said that the man would live to repent of its publication. This saying was kindly conveyed to the libeller, who said that he should take care never to be in their debt. But the man in business does not always know who shall be his creditor. The author of the pamphlet became bankrupt, and the brothers held an acceptance of his, which had been endorsed by the drawer, who had also become bankrupt. The wantonly libelled men had thus become creditors of the libeller. They now had it in their power to make him repent of his audacity. He could not obtain his certificate without their signature, and without it he could not enter into business again. He had obtained the number of signatures required by the bankrupt laws, except one.
"It seemed folly to hope that the firm of 'Brothers' would supply the deficiency. What, they, who had cruelly been made the laughingstock of the public, forget the wrong, and favor the wrong-doer! He despaired; but the claims of a wife and children forced him at last to make the application. Humbled by misery, he presented himself at the counting-room of the wronged. W. was there alone, and his first words to the delinquent were, "Shut the door, Sir!" sternly uttered. The door was shut, and the libeller stood trembling before the libelled. He told his tale, and produced his certificate, which was instantly clutched by the injured merchant.
"You wrote a pamphlet against us once!' exclaimed W. The supplicant expected to see his parchment thrown into the fire; but this was not its destination. W. took a pen, and writing something on the document, handed it back to the bankrupt. He, poor wretch, expected to see there 'rogue, scoundrel, libeller,' inscribed; but there was, in fair, round characters, the signature of the firm ! 'We make it a rule,' said W., 'never to refuse signing the certificate of an honest tradesman, and we have never heard you was any thing else.' The tear started into the poor man's eyes.
“Ah!' said W., 'my saying was true. I said you would live to repent writing that pamphlet. I did not mean it as a threat; I only meant that some day you would know us better, and would repent you had tried to injure us. I see you repent of it now.' 'I do, I do,' said the grateful man. Well, well, my. dear fellow,' said W., 'you know us now. How do you get on? What are you going to do?' The poor man stated that he had friends who could assist him when his certificate was obtained. 'But how are you off in the mean time?' And the answer was, that having given up every thing to his creditors, he had been compelled to stint his family of even the common necessaries, that he might be enabled to pay the cost of his certificate. My dear fellow,' said W., ' this will never do-your family must not suffer. Be kind enough to take this ten pound note to your wife from me. There, there, my dear fellow-nay, don't cry-it will be all well with you yet. Keep up your spirits, set to work like a man, and you will raise your head yet.' The overpowered man endeavored in vain to express his thanks-the swelling in his throat forbade words; he put his handkerchief to his face, and went out of the door crying like a child."