Page images
PDF
EPUB

66 Thou art not known where pleasure is ador'd,
That reeling goddess with the zoneless waist
" And wand'ring eyes, still leaning on the arm
“ Of novelty, her fickle frail support;
66 For thou art meek and constant, hating change,
“ And finding in the calm of truth-tried love,
" Joys that her stormy raptures never yield.
“ Forsaking thee, what shipwreck have we made
Of honour, dignity, and fair renown!"

Cowper's Task, B. 11. 1. 41. “ Here is a MASK—but the people of this Age,” &c. See p. 123, to the end of the speech. Then

“ Here is a Pair of SPECTACLES. . Through these all “ the follies of youth,” &c. See p. 125, to the end of that speech and the Master's next speech. Then

“ This Pair of SCALES is the very emblem of Justice; " a Hair will turn them. I'll engage they shall justly determine,"

" &c. See p. 27. to the end of that speech and the Master's next speech. Then

“ I have, dispersed about in drawers and boxes, a

variety of CURIOSITIES. Close corked up in a Thumb“ Phial,” &c. See p. 129, to the end of the speech, and the next speech of the second lady, and add " and I be" lieve many a poor husband” to the end of that speech. Then " But the most valuable curiosity I have,” &c. to the end of the speech. Then " And one would think “ those Parents," &c. to the end of that speech. Then “ But many are so entirely taken up,” &c. to the end of the speech. Then

“ Thus I can sit behind my Counter, and indulge,” &c. p. 132, to the end of the speech ; and conclude with

“ Thus, in this thoughtless Age, I find a way, " In trifling Things just Morals to convey ;

My aim is both to please and to reform, “ And give old Satire a new Power to charm. " And would you guide your Lives and Actions right, “Think on the Maxims you have heard To-night."

THE END.

At page 117, in the Note, I have suggested that Dr. Franklin's Poor Richard might be made into a MonoDrama, to constitute part of An Attic Evening's Entertainment, or it might be given in a regular theatre as an Interlude. As one object of these volumes is to furnish useful matter for theatrical persons, I shall insert it here, so modified, not doubting but that it will prove acceptable to my readers at large. The mixture of narrative and personation is certainly an imperfection in the piece; but it is by no means without precedent in compositions which have been spoken on the stage, in public speeches at schools, and on other occasions, as in the celebrated odes of Dryden and Pope, Gray's Bard, Cole lins's Ode on the Passions, The Squeoze for St. Paul's, by the younger Colman, The Camelion, by Merrick, &c. &c.

POOR RICHARD's
WAY TO WEALTH;

OR
THE AUCTION ROOM.

A MONO-DRAMA.

TAKEN FROM DR. FRANKLIN.

On the Stage is an Auctioneer's Pulpit, with a variety

of Merchant's goods. The SPEAKER Enters and Addresses the Audience.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, The Great Philosopher, Economist, and Politician, Dr. Benjamin Franklin, was for many years the Editor of an Almanack, published in Pensylvania, under the title of Poor RICHARD, in which he annually introduced some short sentences, or prudential Maxims for the conduct of life. At length, wishing to collect them into one point of view, he contrived the following story; which, as it has gone through innumerable edi. tions, and been printed in a variety of forms in this kingdom, has been translated into several foreign languages, and has already interested, amused and instructed thousands in their own houses, it is hoped that it will not prove unacceptable to the company now assembled in this house..

I have heard (says the supposed author of the Almanack, Richard Saunders, or Poor RICHARD,) that nothing gives an author so great pleasure, as to find his works respectfully quoted by others. Judge, then, how much I must have been gratified by an incident I am going to relate to you. I stopped my horse lately, where a great number of people were collected, at an auction of merchant's goods. The hour of sale not being come, they were conversing on the badness of the times, and one of the company called to a plain clean Old Man, with white locks, Pray, neighbour Wiseman, what think you of the times? Will not these heavy taxes quite ruin the country? How shall we be ever able to pay them? What would you advise us to ? Neighbour Wiseman stood up, and replied, If you would have my advice, I will give it to you in short, for “ A word to the wise is enough,” as Poor Richard says. They joined in desiring him to speak his mind, and gathering round him, he proceeded as follows:

FRIENDS, says he, the taxes are indeed very heavy; and if those laid on by government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them : but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly; and from these taxes the Commissioners cannot ease or deliver us, by allowing an abatement. However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for

us;

" God helps them " that help themselves," as Poor Richard says.

1. It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their time, to be enRichard says.

6 the greatest

ployed in its service: But idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth, by bringing on diseases, absolutely shortens life. “ Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than “ labour wears, while The used key is always bright,” as Poor Richard says.—" But dost thou love life? " then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is s made of,” as Poor Richard says. How much more than is necessary do we spend in sleep! forgetting that, “ The sleeping fox catches no poultry,” and that “ There will be sleeping enough in the grave," as Poor

If Time be of all things the most precious, wasting " time must be,” as Poor Richard says, “ prodigality;" since, as he elsewhere tells us, * Lost “ time is never found again; and what we call time

enough, always proves little enough.Let us then up and be doing, and doing to the purpose; for by diligence we shall do more with less perplexity. “ Sloth “ makes all things difficult, but industry all easy;" and “ He that riseth late, must trot all day, and shall scarce " overtake his business at night;" while “ Laziness " travels so slowly, that poverty soon overtakes him.” “ Drive thy business, let not that drive thee;" and

Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise," as Poor Richard says.

So what signifies wishing and hoping for better times? We

may make these times better, if we-bestir ourselves. Industry need not wish,” and “ He that lives upon hope will die fasting." 6. There are no gains without

pains;" then “ Help hands, for I have no lands," or if I have, they are smartly taxed. 66 He that hath a " trade, hath an estate ; and he that hath a calling, hath

an office of profit and honour," as Poor Richard says; but then the trade must be worked at, and the calling well followed, or neither the estate nor the office will enable us to pay our taxes. If we are industrious we shall never starve; for, “ At the working man's house

hunger looks in, but dares not enter." Nor will the bailiff or the constable enter, for “ Industry pays debts 66 while despair increases them.” What though you

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

66 One

have found no treasure, nor has any rich relation left you a legacy, Diligence is the mother of Good-luck, and God gives all things to industry.”

Then “ Plow deep, wbile sluggards sleep,

“ And you shall have corn to sell and to keep." « Work while it is called to-day, * for you know not " how much you may be hindered to-morrow."

to-day is worth two to-morrows," as Poor Richard says; and farther, “ Never leave that till to-morrow,

which you can do to-day."-If you were a servant, would you not be ashamed that a good master should catch you idle? Are you then your own master be ashamed to catch yourself idle, when there is so much to be done for yourself, your family, your country, and your king. “ Handle your tools without mittens :" remember that “ The cat in gloves catches no mice,” as Poor Richard says. It is true, there is much to be done, and perhaps you are weak-handed; but stick to it steadily, and you will see great effects; for “ Constant “ dropping wears away stones,” and “By diligence and “ patience the mouse ate in two the cable;” and “ Little

strokes fell great oaks."
Methinks I hear some of you say,

Must a man 66 afford himself no leisure?" I will tell thee, my friend, what Poor Richard says : Employ thy time well, if “ thou meanest to gain leisure," and, - Since thou art

not sure of a minute, throw not vay an hour.Lei. sure is time for doing something useful; this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man never; for, " A life of leisure, and a life of laziness are two things. “Many, without labour, would live by their wits only, 6 but they break for want of stock ;" whereas industry gives comfort, and plenty, and respect. sures, and they will follow you."

“ The diligent spinner has a large shift;" and 56 Now I have a sheep and a cow, every body bids me good-morrow."

Fly plea

*“ I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day : " the eight cometb, when uo man can work." Jobb is. 4.

« PreviousContinue »