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HAVE not been a furlong from Shandy Hall
fince I wrote to you laft-but why is my pen so perverse ? I have been to *****, and my errand was of fo peculiar a nature, that I must give you an ac. count of it. You will scarce believe me, when I tell you it was to out.juggle a juggling attorney ; to put craft and all its powers to defiance; and to obtain justice from one who has a heart fell enough to take advantage of the mistakes of honest fimplicity, and who has raised a considerable fortune by artifice and injustice. However, I gained my point !-it was a star and garter to me; the matter was as follows:
“ A poor man, the father of my Vestal, having by “ the sweat of his brow, during a course of many la“ borious years, saved a small sum of money, applied * to this scribe to put it out to use for him : this was « done, and a bond given for the money. -The $6 honest man, having no place in his cottage which " he thought fufficiently secure, put it in a hole in o the thatch, which had served instead of a strong " box to keep his money. In this situation the bond “ remained 'till the time of receiving his interest • drew nigh. But, alas! the rain which had done
no mischief to his gold, had found out his paper “ security, and had rotted it to pieces!” It would be a difficult matter to paint the distress of the old
Countryman upon this discovery ;--he came to me weeping, and begged my advice and assistance !mit cut me to the heart !
Frame to yourself the picture of a man upwards of fixty years of age who having with much penury and more toil, with the addition of a small legacy, scraped together about fourfcore pounds to support him in the infirmities of old age, and to be a little portion for his child when he should be dead and gone-loft his little hoard at once-and, to aggravate his misfortune-by his own neglect and incaution. “ If I was young, Sir (faid he), my affliction would " have been light-and I might have obtained it
again! -but I have lost my comfort when I most * wanted it; my staff is taken from me when I
and I have nothing to expect in 6 future life, but the unwilling charity of a parish"S officer.” Never in my whole life did I wish to be rich, with fo good a grace, as at this time! What luxury would it have been to have said to this afflicted fellow-creature, " There is thy money go thy ways -and be at peace."
But, alas! the Shandy family were never much ens cumbered with money; and I (the poorest of them all) could only affist him with good counsel;—but I did not stop here.
I went myself with him to *****, where, by persuasion, threats, and some art, which (by the bye) in such a cause, and with such an opponent, was very justifiable I fent my poor client back to his home,
with his comfort and his bond restored to him. Bravo! Bravo!
If a man has a right to be proud of any thing, it is of a good action, done as it ought to be, without any base interest lurking at the bottom of it.
VI. TO HIS FRIENDS,
FORGIVENESS OF INJURIES.
T is the mild and quiet half of the world, who are
Generally, outraged and borne down by the other haif of it; but in this they have the advantage, whatever be the sense of their wrongs, that pride stands not To watchful a sentinel over their forgiveness, as it does in the breasts of the fierce and froward; we should all of us, I believe, be more forgiving than we are, would the world but give us leave ; but it is apt to interpose its ill offices in remissions, especially of this kind; the truth is, it has its laws, to which the heart is not always a party; and. acts so like an unfeeling engine in all cases without distinction, that it requires all the firmnefs of the most settled humanity to bear up against it.
SERM. XVIII. P. 61.
THE great pursuit of man is after happiness : ir
iş the first and strongest desire of his nature; in every stage of his life, he searches for it as for hidden treasure; courts it under a thousand different Thapes, and though perpetually disappointed,--still perfifts-runs after and enquires for it afresh-alks every passenger who comes in his way, Who will few bim any good? who will assist him in the attainment of it, or direct him to the discovery of this great end of all his wishes ?
He is told by one, to search for it among the more gay and youthful pleasures of life, in scenes of mirth and sprightliness, where happiness ever presides, and is ever to be known by the joy and laughter which he will see at once painted in her looks. A second, with a graver aspect, points out to the costly dwellings which pride and extravagance have erected :---tells the inquirer, that the object he is in search of inhabits there,--that happiness lives only in company with the great, in the midst of much pomp and outward state, that he will easily find her out by the coat of many colours the has on, and the great luxury and expence of equipage and furniture with which she always fits surrounded.
The Mifer blesses God !--wonders how any one would mislead and wilfully put him upon so wrong x
scent convinces him that happiness and extravagance never inhabited under the same roof; that if he would not be disappointed in his search, he must look into the plain and thrifty dwellings of the pru. dent man, who knows and understands the worth of money, and cautiously lays it up againft an evil hour : that it is not the prostitution of wealth upon the parfons, or the parting with it at all, that constitutes happiness--but that it is the keeping it together, and the having and holding it fast to him and his heirs for ever, which are the chief attributes that form this great idol of human worship, to which fo much incenfe is offered up every day.
The Epicure, though he easily rectifies fo gross a mistake, yet at the same time he plunges him, if posli. ble, into a greater ; for hearing the object of his pur. fuit to be happiness, and knowing of no other happiness than what is seated immediately in his fenfes he sends the enquirer there ; tells him 'tis vain to search elsewhere for it, than where Nature herself has placed it in the indulgence and gratification of the appetites, which are given us for that end; and, in a word--if he will not take his opinion in the matterhe may trust the word of a much wiser man, who has assured us--that there is nothing better in this world, than that a man should eat and drink, and rejoice in his works, and make his soul enjoy good in labour : for that is his portion.
To rescue him from this brutal experiment-Am. bition takes him by the hand, and carries him into the