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in favour of the resolution we formed of concealing our changed circumstances from the circle of our acquaintances, I had another reason, which pressed itself upon my understanding. My father's behaviour to me had sunk deeply into my heart. He had not performed his written promise, of making some provision for my family, under any circumstances that could occur ; but, instead of providing for our wants, he had turned his back upon us, left us to the miserable subsistence of half-pay, and, had it not been for the seasonable relief derived from my wife's jewels, ornaments which I had never calculated upon as disposable property, I might have begged, or been hanged for robbery. Did my conduct warrant such treatment? I had merely declined one offer he made me, and removed my family from a system of persecution and insult. Even if my undutiful and disobedient courses had authorized his desertion of me, still my children and my wife, to whom he had promised assistance, should have been objects of his care--and even had my poor wife offended him, her conduct would not have vindicated his
justice. Our heavenly Father does not, when we disobey and grieve him, withdraw from us those blessings which he bestows upon his other children. Neither should our earthly parent desert any of his offspring for alleged crime. By such desertion he withholds from them their right; and surely the retention of a debt which is justly due is the infliction of an injury. Earthly fathers, however, too often, instead of making it their glory to imitate the justice and mercy of Omnipotence, arm themselves with vindictiveness, and inhumanly destroy their children. Moreover, my father owed me a settlement on agreement. In consequence of his letters I renounced my profession, expended the money I had been long amassing, in transporting my family fifteen thousand miles, to his door; and yet he left me to provide for them as well as I could, at a time when expense was indispensably necessary for education. I could not forget all this; and I determined, now that I was independent, upon proving whether he conceived me entitled to reparation, or not. “ He is now," thought I, “ free from the influence of an interested woman;
if he follow the dictates of a good heart, he will do me justice. At all events, if misfortune assail his old age, I shall require no sweeter vengeance than to be his prop of support--the safe staff upon which his tottering existence may repose whilst in this life.”
I shall only add further, that two years have elapsed since the funeral, yet he has never entered my humble door, though I have solicited the pleasure of his company at another christening. May other fathers take my counsel not to imitate him! And all be warned by me, to give their parents cause of offence *
Thus I close my selection from the papers of my friend Charles Thoughtless. Should my labours amuse or interest so as to experience public support, it shall be my study to find a new series of Oriental and Irish Sketches and Tales, to give
* In justice to the father of our licro, it is right to say that since the above was written, a perfect reconciliatio: has taken place.
prolonged existence to “ FORTY YEARS IN THE WORLD.”
Sincerely and anxiously do I hope and trust for a favourable "reception, confiding that it is impossible to peruse the life of my friend Charles without being strengthened in many good resolutions, and convinced that whatever Heaven wills is right and best. 66 Sweet are the uses of adversity :" had it not been for the trials Charles experienced in his turbulent journey through this world, it is likely that his accession to wealth might only have augmented his misery. Instead of that calm, happy voyage which is now nearing him daily to eternity, he would be tossed on the billows of vanity and fashion, involved in gulfs of extravagance, the master of neither his time nor his fortune.
And now I have only one observation to make before I write finis.
If the vicissitudes of human life, here truly delineated from actual occurrence, should prove serviceable to any of the rising generation, I have not laboured in vain. I have attempted to incul
cate, that it is the interest of man to be virtuous; that the Christian religion is the only means of securing happiness here and hereafter; and that we live under a political constitution which ensures to the subject as much practical liberty as can be enjoyed without danger. I therefore say, “ Farewell, kind reader," with the deep expression of my gratitude, and every good wish for your felicity.