Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

hold forth the alluring prospect of prosperous returns, it multiplies also adverse chances, without leaving a possibility of retreat from their assault, except in delusive and dishonourable shifts, which, though they may for a time ward off ruin, in the end bring it on with accumulated evils. Under this head, can the caution be too strongly urged against extensive and hazardous speculations; against seeking what ought to be the reward of honest assiduity, as it were, by the cast of the die, and converting trade into a mischievous species of gaming? When this is done, will not honour and probity soon fall a sacrifice; and in their place trick and chicanery be substituted ? It is a just remark, “The man who lays but a narrow foundation, yet, if he lays it well and strong, may raise a firm and lofty, though not a spacious, building upon it; and in time may add both to the foundation and the superstructure; but he who lays a wide and large foundation, fit to build a palace on, and has nothing wherewith to carry on the superstructure proportionable to such a foundation, grows justly ridiculous; and, if others lose by him, odious to his neighbours.”

These hints are suggested by wisdom and prudence, and will afford barriers to integrity. The young man who sets out in life on these maxims, and who regulates his affairs by them, will be preserved from many a snare and temptation, that betrays others into a fallacious and disgraceful neglect of truth and honesty. These, as before observed, are virtues of the first obligation, and of the highest importance, in the commerce of life. They are of a firm and manly tone. They invite confidence, while they command respect, and will add to confidence undoubted security.

The influence of these qualities may be assisted and improved by the union of mild manners, with an obliging readiness in the transactions of life. Probity is valuable; but a disposition to please is winning and conciliating. Integrity, by its sterling worth, preserves esteem, and gives weight to character. An obliging department wins attachment. Complaisance conciliates the regard of mankind, before they have made trial of probity, and prepossesses them in our favour. It is the temper of benevolence, modifying the manners in trade or a profession, expressing itself in various attentions to the wishes, and even to the humours of others; till it creates those friends which it will be the providence of diligence and probity hereafter to preserve.

Let these views direct and govern you. A constant regard to them will be highly useful in the management of your calling, and in the acquisition of gain. It will secure you from many snares; it will guard integrity; it will preserve the moderation of your ininds; it will restrain the excessive love of money ; it will sanctify your worldly employments; it will raise you above that rapaciousness which extinguishes all the sparks of good-will and generosity; and afford exercise to the best moral dispositions.

The following excellent rules, copied from the Monthly Magazine, are recommended to the serious attention of young men, who have to procure a living by trade :GOLDEN RULES TO RENDER YOUNG TRADESMEN RESPECT

ABLE, PROSPEROUS, AND WEALTHY. 1. Choose a good and commanding situation, even at a higher rent or premium; for no money is so well laid out as for situation, provided good use be made of it.

2. Take your shop-door off the hinges at seven o'clock every morning, that no obstruction may be opposed to your customers.

3. Clean and set out your windows before eight o'clock; and do this with your own hands, that you may expose for sale the articles which are most saleable, and which want to sell.

4. Sweep before your house; and, if required, open a footway from the opposite side of the street, that passengers may think of you while crossing, and that all your neighbours may be sensible of your diligence. 5. Wear an apron, if such be the custom of your

business; and consider it as a badge of distinction, which will procure you respect and credit.

6. Apply your first returns of ready money to pay debts

you most

before they are due, and give such transactions due emphasis by claiming discount.

7. Always be found at home, and in some way employed; and remember that your meddling neighbours have their eyes upon you, and are constantly guaging you by appearances.

8. Re-weigh and re-measure all your stock, rather than let it be supposed that you have nothing to do.

9. Keep some article not usually kept, or sell some current article cheap, that you may draw customers, and enlarge your intercourse.

10. Keep up the exact quality or flavour of all articles which you find are approved by your customers; and by this means you will enjoy their preference.

11. Buy for ready money as often as you have any to spare, and, when you take credit, pay to a day, and unasked.

12. No advantage will ever arise to you from any ostentatious display of expenditure.

13. Beware of the odds and ends of stock, of remnants, of spoiled goods, and of waste; for it is in such things that your profits lie.

14. In serving your customers be firm and obliging, and never lose your temper, for nothing is got by it.

15. Always be seen at ehurch or chapel on Sunday; never at a gaming table; and seldom at the theatres, or at places of amusement.

16. Prefer a prudent and discreet to a rich and showy wife.

17. Spend your evenings by your own fire-side, and shun a public house, or a sottish club, as you would a bad debt.

18. Subscribe with your neighbours to a book-club, and improve your mind, that you may be qualified to use your future afíuence with credit to yourself, and advantage to the public.

19. Take stock every year, estimate your profits, and do not spend above their fourth.

20. Avoid the common folly of expending your precious capital upon a costly architectural front; such things operate on the world like paint on a woman's cheeks,-repelling beholders instead of attracting them.

21. Every pound wasted by a young tradesman is two pounds lost at the end of three years, and sixteen pounds at the end of twenty-four years.

22. To avoid being robbed and ruined by apprentices and assistants, never allow them to go from home in the evening ; and the restriction will prove equally useful to servant and master.

23. Remember that prudent purchasers avoid the shop of an extravagant and ostentatious trader; for they justly con

sider that, if they deal with him, they must contribute to his follies.

24. Let these be your rules till you have realized your stock, and till you can take discount for prompt payment on all purchases; and you may then indulge in any degree which your habits and sense of prudence suggest.

CHAP. XX.

SLEEP.

Sleep steals away
The wild desires of men, and toils of day,
And brings, descending through the silent air,
A sweet forgetfulness of human care.

Pope.

SLEEP then has its pleasures, if not strictly of a positive nature, yet certainly of a negative kind. The balm of slumber softens and assuages the fiercer passions of our nature, suspends our anxious cares, hushes us to peace, heals our diseases, and repairs our decays. Sleep is a precious gift of heaven; one of the most remarkable effects of the divine goodness. It comes to us unsummoned, and takes possession of us imperceptibly and unawares. It is a very agreeable companion after labour and exercise; and is a great blessing to all mankind. Sleep has a similar effect upon men, that night has upon colours; it reduces all to an equality.

Sleep, by drawing us aside from the pleasures of the world, and intermitting the conscionsness of our existence, prevents satiety, endears us to life, and redoubles all our enjoyments. And perhaps it would not be too much to assert that there is positive enjoyment even during the hours of sleep. I knew an innocent and virtuous young lady, who declared she had pleasant dreams almost every night.

For sleep has this advantage too,

It goodly feasts doth make;
And furnisheth rare food in dreams,

We cannot find awake. It is true, dreams are sometimes painful, and we imagine ourselves involved in inextricable woe, but on waking, we enjoy all the ecstasies of deliverance; though, I believe, persons of healthy, temperate, and virtuous habits, seldom have unpleasant dreams :

And when soft sleep the body lays at ease,
And from the heavy mass the fancy frees;
Whate'er it is in which we take delight,
And think of most by day, we dream by night.

ANON. Mr. Locke traces the origin of dreams to previous sensations, and says, that the dreams of sleeping men are all made up of the waking man's ideas, though, for the most part, oddly put together. And Dr. Hartly, who explains all the phenomena of the imagination by his theory of vibrations and associations, says, that dreams are nothing but the imaginations or reveries of sleeping men, and that they are deducible from three causes, namely, the impressions and ideas lately received, and particularly those of the preceding day; the state of the body, particularly of the stomach and brain; and association. Hail! potent empress of the tranquil hour!

On whose capacious breast

All nature sinks to rest,
Lull'd by thy fascinating pow'r.

And see, attendant at thy side,

Two peaceful sister handmaids glide:
Darkness, o'er a vanquish'd world,

Soft her sable mantle spreading ;
With pensive silence, her loose hair uncurl'd,
On light and timorous footsteps treading;

While, hovering round thy head,
By gay Delusion led,
Myriads of shapes fantastic swarm,
Imagination's ardent eye to charm.

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »