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of it do I inherit. Every wind that blows veers me about, and gives me a new direction. But with all my father's firmness and knowledge, I very much doubt whether he knows any thing of real life. That is the main thing, my dear hearts. But, come, Lavinia, finish your message.
Lav. My mother says, the fraud you have practised, whether from wanton folly to give pain, or from rapacious discontent to get money, she will leave with. out comment; satisfied that if you have any feeling at all, its effects must bring remorse; since it has dangerously increased the infirmities of your uncle, driven him to a foreign land, and forced your mother to for. sake her home and family in his pursuit, unless she were willing to see you punished by the entire disinheritance with which you are threatened. But
Lion. O, no mox! no more! I am ready to shoot myself already! My dear, excellent mother, what do I not owe you! I had never seen, never thought of the business in this solemn way before. I meant nothing at first but a silly joke; and all this mischief has fol. lowed unaccountably. I assure you, I had no notion at the beginning, he would have minded the letter; and afterwards, Jack Whiston persuaded me, that the money was as good as my own, and that it was nothing but a little cribbing from myself. I will never trust him again! I see the whole now, in its true and atrocious colours. I will devote all the means in my power to make amends to my dear incomparable mother. But proceed, Lavinia.
Lav. But since you are permitted, said my mother, to return home, by the forgiving temper of your father, who is himself, during the vacation, to be your tutor after he is sufficiently composed to admit you into his presence, you can repay his goodness only by the most intense application to those studies which you have, hitherto neglected, and of which your neglect has been the cause of your errors. She charges you also to ask yourself, upon what pretext you can justify the fast
ing of his valuable time, however little you may regard your own. Finally
Lion. I never wasted his time! I never desired to have any instruction in the vacations. 'Tis the most deuced thing in life to be studying so incessantly. The waste of time is all his own affair, his own choice, not mine. Go on, however, and open the whole of the budget. Lav. Finally, she adjures you to consider, that if
persevere to consume your time in wilful neg. ligence, to bury all thought in idle gaiety, and to act without either reflection or principle, the career of faults which begins but in unthinking folly, will termi. nate in shame, in guilt and in ruin! And though such a declension of all good must involve your family in your affliction, your disgrace will ultimately fall but where it ought; since your own went of personal sensibility will neither harden nor blind any human being beside yourself. This is all.
Lion. And enough too. I am a very wretch! I believe that, though I am sure I can't tell how I came so; for I never intend any harm, never think, never dream of hurting any mortal! But as to study, I must own to you, I hate it most deucedly. Any thing else; if my mother had but exacted any thing else, with what joy I would have shown my obedience! If she had ordered me to be horse-ponded, I do protest to you, I would not have demurred.
Cam. How you always run into the ridiculous!
Lion. I was never so serious in my life; not that I should like to be horse-ponded in the least, though I would submit to it by way of punishment, and out of duty: but then when it was done, it would be over. Now the deuce of study is, there is no end to it! And it does so little for one! one can go through life so well without it! there is but here and there an old codger who asks one question that can bring it into any play. And then, a turn upon one's heel, or looking at one's watch, or wondering at one's short me.
mory, or happening to forget just that one single passage, carries off the whole in two minutes, as complete. ly as if one had been working one's whole life to get ready for the assault. And pray now tell me, how can it be worth one's best days, one's gayest hours, the
very flower of one's life, all to be sacrificed to piodding over musty grammars and lexicons, merely to cut a figure just for about two minutes, once or twice in a year?
Cam. Indeed, Lionel, you appear to me a striking example of what a hard thing it is to learn to do well after one has been accustomed to do evil. How volatile! how totally void of all stability! One minute you ex. hibit appearances of repentance and reformation, and the next minute, all fair prospects vanish. How I lament that
you were so early exposed to a vitious world, before you had gained sufficient strength of mind to withstand bad examples?
Lion. Forbear, Camilla. You hurt me too much. You excite' those severe twinges of remorse, which I am obliged to own, I have never been wholly free fron, since I joined my merry companions, and began to learn the world. Notwithstanding my gaiety, and my apparent contentment, I confess there is something within, which constantly admonishes me of my errors, and makes me feel unhappy: so that, if it were not for fashion's sake, I can truly say, I could wish I were in your recluse situation; here to remain, in my once pleasant abode, and never more mingle with the world.
Lav. Dear brother, I cannot leave you, without once more calling your attention to your parents, your family and your friends. Think of their present situation. If you have no regard for your own character, your present, or future happiness, I entreat you to have some pity for them. Let not the tyrant fashion bring you into abject slavery. Pardon me when I tell you, your pretended friends are your worst enemies. They have led you into a path which will carry you directly to inevitable ruin, unless you immediately forsake it. That knowledge of the world, of which you so vainly
boast, is infinitely worse than the ignorance which you so much despise. Believe me, my dear brother, it is a knowledge, which, by your own confession, never has produced you any happiness, nor will it ever; but will guide you to wretchedness and misery,
Lion. My dear sisters, I am convinced. Your words have pierced my very soul. I am now wretched, and I deserve to be so. I am determined from this moment to begin my reformation, and, with the assistance of Heaven, to complete it. Never more will I see my vile companions, who have enticed me to go such lengths in wickedness. What do I not owe to my amiable sisters for their friendly and seasonable ad. vice! I will go directly to my father, and, like the prodigal son, fall on my knees before him, beg his forgiveness, and put myself entirely under his direction and instruction; and, so long as I live, I never will offend him again.
Lav. May heaven assist you in keeping your resolution!
EXTRACT FROM A SPEECH IN CONGRESS, APRIL,
1796, ON THE SUBJECT OF THE TREATY WITH GREAT BRITAIN. F
offered, should maintain that the peace with the Indians will be stable without the Western Posts, to them I will urge another reply. From arguments calculated to produce conviction, I will appeal directly to the hearts of those who hear me, and ask whether it is not already planted there! I resort especially to the convictions of the Western gentlemen, whether, supposing no Posts and no Treaty, the settlers will remain in security? Can they take it upon them to say, that an Indian peace, under these circumstances, wili prove firm? No, Sir, it will not be peace, lut a sword; it will be no better than a lure to draw victims within the reach of the tomahawk,
On this theme, my emotions are unutterable. If I could find words for them, if my powers
any proportion to my zeal, I would swell my voice to such a note of remonstrance, it should reach every log house beyond the mountains. I would say to the inhabitants, Wake from your false security! Your cruel dangers, your more cruel apprehensions are soon to be renewed. The wounds, yet unhealed, are to be torn open again. In the day time, your path through the woods will be ambushed. The darkness of midnight will glitter with the blaze of your dwellings. You are a father; the blood of your sons shall fatten your cornfield. You are a mother; the war-whoop shall wake the sleep of the cradle.
On this subject you need not suspect any deception on your feelings. It is a spectacle of horror which cannot be overdrawn. If you have nature in your hearts, they will speak a language compared with which, all I have said or can say, will be poor and frigid. Will it be whispered that the treaty has made me a new champion for the protection of the frontiers? It is known that my voice as well as vote have been uniformly given in conformity with the ideas I have expressed. Protection is the right of the frontiers it is our duty to give it.
Who will accuse me of wandering out of the subject? Who will say that I exaggerate the tendencies of our measures? Will any one answer by a sneer, that all this is idle preaching? Will any one deny that we are bound, and I would hope to good purpose, by the most solemn sanctions of duty for the vote we give? Are despots alone to be reproachedforunfeelingindiffer. ence to the tears and blood of their subjects? Are republicans unresponsible? Have the principles on which you ground the reproach upon cabinets and kings no practical influence, no binding force? Are they merely themes of idle declamation, introduced to decorate the morality of a newspaper essay, or to furnish pretty topics of harangue from the windows of that Statehouse?