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Our friend and we were invited abroad on a party of pleasure, which is to last for ever. His chair was ready first; and he is gone before us. We could not all conveniently start together : and why should you and I be grieved at this, since we are foon to follow, and know where to find him?
TO THE LATE
DOCTOR MATHER OF BOSTON.
I RECEIVED your kind letter, with your excellent advice to the people of the United States, which I read with great pleasure, and hope it will be duly regarded. Such writings, though they may be lightly passed over by many readers, yet, if they make a deep impression on one active mind in a hundred, the effects may be confiderable..
Perinit me to mention one little instance, which, though it relates to myself, will not be quite uninteresting to you. When I was a boy, I met with a book entitled “ Efsays to do good," which I think was written by your father. It had been so little regarded by a former poffeffor, that several leaves of it were torn out, but the reinainder gave me such a turn of thinking, as to have an influence on my conduct through life : for I have always fet a greater value on the character of a doer of good, than any other kind of reputation; and if I have been, as you seem to think, a useful citizen, the public owes the advantage of it to that book.
You mention your being in your seventyeighth year. I am in my seventy-ninth. We are grown old together. It is now more than fixty years since I left Boston ; but I remember well both your father and grandfather, having heard them both in the pulpit, and seen them in their houses. The last time I saw your father
was in the beginning of 1724, when I visited him after my first trip to Pennsylvania. He received me in his library; and on my taking leave, shewed me a shorter way out of the house, through a narrow passage, which was croffed by a beam overhead. We were still talking as I withdrew, he accompanying me behind, and I turning partly towards him, when he said haftily, “ Stoop, Stoop!”
I did not understand him till I felt my head hit against the beam. He was a man who never missed any occasion of giving instruction; and upon this he said to me: “ You are young, and have " the world before you : stoop as you go through " it, and you will miss many hard thumps." This advice, thus beat into my heart, has frequently been of use to me; and I often think of it, when I see pride mortified, and misfortunes brought upon people by their carrying their heads too high.
I long much to see again my native place ; and once hoped to lay my bones there. I left it in 1723. I visited it in 1733, 1743, 1753, and 1763; and in 1773 I was in England. In 1775 I had a fight of it, but could not enter, it being in poffeffion of the enemy. I did hope to have been there in 1783, but could not obtain my dismission from this employment here; and now I fear I shall never have that happiness. My best wishes however attend my dear 'country, efto perpetua.” It is now blessed with an excellent constitution : may it last for ever!
This powerful monarchy continues its friendfhip for the United States. It is a friendship of the utmost importance to our security, and should be carefully cultivated. Britain has not yet well digested the loss of its dominion over us; and has still at times some flattering hopes
of recovering it. Accidents may increase those hopes, and encourage dangerous attempts. A breach between us and France would infallibly bring the English again upon our backs: and yet we have fome wild beasts among our countrymen, who are endeavouring to weaken that connection.
Let us preserve our reputation, by performing our engagements; our credit, by fulfilling our contracts; and our friends, by gratitude and kindness : for we know not how foon we may have occasion for all of them.
A TRUE STORY.
WRITTEN TO HIS NEPHEW.
WHEN I was a child, at seven years old, my friends, on a holiday, filled my pocket with coppers. I went directly to a shop where they sold toys for children; and being charmed with the sound of a whistle, that I met by the way in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered him all my money for one. I then came home, and went whistling all over the house, much pleased with my whistle, but disturbing all the family. My brothers, and fifters, and cousins, understanding the bargain I had made, told me I had given four times as much for it as it was worth. This put me in mind what good things I might have bought with the rest of the money, and they laughed at me so much for my folly, that I cried with vexation; and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the whistle gave me pleasure.
This however was afterwards of use to me, the impression continuing on my mind; so that often, when I was tempted to buy some unne. ceffary thing, I said to myself Don't give too much for the whistle ; and fo I saved my money,
As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many, who gave too much for the whistle.
When I saw any one too ambitious of court favours, facrificing his time in attendance on