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Ben said, yes. Why Philadelphia must be a tarnal nation way off! Four hundred miles, said Ben. At this they stased on him in silent wonder, for having been four hundred miles from Boston!
And so they have got a printing office in Philadelphia!
Two or three of them, said Ben.
Not at all, said Ben: their advertising "lost pocket books" - unawuy servants" and "stray cows" in Philadelphia, can no noré starve you heie in Boston, than the cat-fish of Delaware, by picking up a few soft-craius there, car starve our cat-tish were in Boston harbour. The world's big enough for us all.
We'l. I wonder now if they have any such thing as money in Philadelpisia?
Ben thrust his hand into his pocket and brought up a whole fis full of dollars!
The dazzling silver struck them all speechless. raping and gazing at him and at each other. Poor fellows, they had never, at oncı seen so much of that precius metal in Boston; the money there being nothing but a puor paper proc.
To kerp up their stare, Ben drew his silver watch, which soon had to take the rounds among them, every one insisting to have a look at it. Then, to crown ail, he gave them a shilling to drink his health; and alter telling them what great things lay before then if they would but continue industrious and prudent, and make themselves masters of their trade, he went back to the house.
This visit to the office stung poor James to the quick; for when his myther spoke to him of a reconciliation witli Bern, and said how happy she should be t see them like brothers again before she died, he flew into a passion and told her such a thing would never be, for that Ben had so insulted him before his inen that he would nev: e forgive nor forget it as long as he I ved. But Ben bad the satisfaction to live to see that James was no prophet. For when James, many years after this, fell behind hard and got quite low in the world, Ben lent him money and was a steady friend to him and his fainily all the days of his life.
BUT we have said nothing yet about the main object of Beo's sudden return to Boston, i. e. governor Keith's letter to his father, on the grand project of set. ting him up as a printer in Philadelphia. The reader hari been told that all the family, his brother Jannies excepted, were greatly rejoiced to see Ben again. But among them all there was none whose heart felt half such joy as did that of his father. He had always duated on this young son, as one whose rare genius aid unconquerable industry, if but conducted by prudence, would assuredly, one day, lead him to greatness. His sudden elopement, as we have seen, had greatly dis• tressed the old man, especially as he was under the im. pression that he was gone to sea." And when he remenibered how few that go out at his young and inexpe. riencid age, ever return better thavi blackguards and vagabonds, his heart sickened within him, and he was almost ready to wish he had never lived to feel the pang of such bitter disappointment in a child so beloved. He counted the days of Ben's absence; by night his sleep de parted from his eyes for thinking of his son; and all day lon; whenever he heard a rapping at the door, his heart would leap with expectation: “who knows," he would say to hiinsell, “but this may be my child?" And although he would feel disappointed when he saw it was not Ben who rapped, yut he was afraid, at times, to see him lest he should see him covered with the marks of dishonor. Who they can tell what this anxious fa. ther felt when he saw his son return as he did? Not in the mean apparel and sneaking looks of a drunkard, but in a dress far more genteel than he himself had ever been able to put on him; while his beloved cheeks were fresh with temperance, and his eyes bright with innoeence and conscious well doing. Imagination dwells with pleasure on the tender scene that marked that meeting, where the withered cheeks of seventy and the florid bloon of seventeen met together in the
eager em brace of parental attection and filial gratitude.
*God bless my son!” the sobbing sire he sigh’d.
"God bless my sire!" that pious son replied.
Soon as the happy father could recover his articulation, with great tenderness he said, “but how, my belov- . ed boy, couid you give me the pain to leave me as you did?"
“Why you know, my dear father,” replied Ben that I could not live with my brother; nor would he let me live with the other printers; and so I could not bear the thought of living on an aged father now that I was able to work for myself, I determined to leave Boston and seek my fortune abroad. And knowing that if I but hinted my intentions you would prevent me, I thought I would leave you as I did."
“But why, iny son, did you keep me so long unhappy about your fat-, and not write to ine sooner?”
so knew father, what a deep interest you took in my wellare, and therefore I resolved never to write to
you until by my own industry and economy I had got myself into such a state that I could wiite to you with pleasure. This state I did not attain to till lately. And just as I was going to write to you a strange affair took place that decided me to come and see you rather than write to you."
6. Strange affair! what can that mean, my son?" "Why, sir, the governor of Pennsylvania, sir William Keith-i dare say, father, you have often heard of goveroor Keithpur
"I may have heard of him, child-l'ın not positivebut what of governor Keith?"
"Wiiy he has taken a wonderful liking to me, father!"
"Aye! has he so?" said the old man with joy sparkling in his eyes. "Well I pray God you may be grateful for such favours, my son, and make a good use of then!"
“Yes, father, he has taken a great liking to me sure enough; he says I am the only one in Philadelphia wio knows any thing about printing: and he says too, that if I will only come and set up in Philadelphia, he will Make mv fortune for me in a trice!!"
Ola Josias here shook his head; "No, no, Ben!"said he, “that will never do: that will never do: you are
too young yet, child, for all that, a great deal too young.
so I told him, father, that I was too young. And I told him too that I was certain you would never give your consent to it.“
"You were right there, Ben; no indeed, I could never give my consent to it, that's certain."
"So I told the governor, father; but still he would : have it there was so fine an opening in Philadelphia,
and that I would fill it so exactly, that n thing could be waiting to insure your approbation but a clear understanding of it. And to that end he has written you a letter."
“A letter, child! a letter from governor Keith to “Yes, father, here it is."
With great eagerness the old gentleman took it from Ber; and drawing bis spectacles, read it over and over again with much eagerness. When he was done he listed his eyes to heaven, while in the motion of his lips and change of countenance, Ben could clearly see that the soul of his father was breathing all ejaculation of praise to God on his account. Soon as his Te deum was finished he turned to Beli with a countenance bright with holy joy, and said, "Ben, I've cause to be happy; my son, I've cause to be happy indeed. ( how itferentiy have things turred out with you! God's bessed name be praised for it, how diffrentiy have they turned out to what I dreaded! I was afraid you were gone a poor vagabond, on the seas; but instead of that you tiad fixed yourseif iii one of the finest cities in the country. I was afraid to see you; yes, my dear child, I was afraid to see you, lest I should see you clad in the mean garð of a poor sailor boy; but there I beholi
your clad in the dress of a gentleman! I trem bled lest you had been degrading yourself into the low company of the profane and worthless; and lo! you have been all the time exalting yourself into the lrigh society of great men and governors. And all this in so short a time and in a way most honourable to yourself anal therefore most delightlul to me, I mean by your virtues and your close attention to the duties of a most uselul profession. Goʻon, my son, go on!
and may God Almighty, who has given you wisdom to begin sa glorious a course, grant you fortitude to perSevere in it!"
Ben thanked his father for the continuance of his love and solicitude for him; and he told him moreover, that one principal thing that had stirred him up to act as he had done, was the joy which he knew he should be giving him thereby; as also the great trouble which he knew a contrary conduct would have brought upon him. Here his father terderly embraced him, and said, "blessed be God for giving me such a sop! I'aave always, Ben, fed myself with hopes of great things from you. And now I have the joy to say my hopes were not in vain. Yes, glory to God. I trust my precious hopes of you were not in vain." Then, after making a short pause, as from fulness of joy, he went on, “but as to this letter, my son; this same letter here from governor Keith; though nothing was ever niore flattering to you, yet depend upon it, Ben, it will never do; at least not yet awhile.The duties of the place are too numerous, child, and difficult for
but one who has had many more years of experience than you have had.”
“Well then, father, what's to be done, for I know that the governor is so very anxious to get me into this place, that he will hardly be said nay?" “Why, my
dear boy, we must still decline it, for all that: not only because from your very unripe age and inexperience, it may involve you in ruin; but also because it actually is vot in your power. It is true the governor, from his letter, appears to have the greatest friendship in the world for you; but yet, it is not to be expected that he would advance funds
O no, my dear boy, that's entirely out of the question. The governor, though perhaps rich, has no doubt too many poor friends and relations hanging on him, for you to expect any thing from that quarter. And as to myself, Ben, with all my love for
you, it is not in my power to assist you in such an affair. My family you know, is very large, and the profits of my trade but small, insomuch that at the end of the year there is nothing left. And indeed I never can be sufficiently thankful to God for that health
to set you up.