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Abel, a poor Man, Teacher of a School of the lower Order;

is placed in the Office of a Merchant; is alarmed by Discourses of the Clerks; unable to reply; becomes a Convert; dresses, drinks, and ridicules his former Conduct — The Remonstrance of his Sister, a devout MaidenIts Effect—The Merchant dies—Abel returns to Poverty unpitied; but relieved-His abject Condition-His Melancholy-Hewanders about: is found–His own Account of himself, and the Revolutions in his Mind.




A QUIET simple man was Abel Keene,
He meant no harm, nor did he often mean :
He kept a school of loud rebellious boys,
And growing old, grew nervous with the noise ;
When a kind merchant hired his useful pen,
And made him happiest of accompting men;
With glee he rose to every easy day,
When half the labour brought him twice the pay.

There were young clerks, and there the merchant's son,
Choice spirits all, who wish'd him to be one;
It must, no question, give them lively joy,
Hopes long indulged, to combat and destroy;
At these they leveld all their skill and strength,-
He fell not quickly, but he fell at length:

They quoted books, to him both bold and new,
And scorn'd as fables all he held as true;
“ Such monkish stories and such nursery lies,”
That he was struck with terror and surprise.

“ What! all his life had he the laws obey'd, “ Which they broke through and were not once afraid ? “ Had he so long his evil passions check’d, “ And yet at last had nothing to expect ? “ While they their lives in joy and pleasure led, “ And then had nothing, at the end, to dread ? 66 Was all his priest with so much zeal convey’d, “ A part! a speech ! for which the man was paid ? “ And were his pious books, his solemn prayers, “ Not worth one tale of the admired Voltaire's ? “ Then was it time, while yet some years remain’d, “ To drink untroubled and to think unchain'd, “ And on all pleasures, which his purse could give,

Freely to seize, and while he lived, to live.”

Much time he passed in this important strife,
The bliss or bane of his remaining life;
For converts all are made with care and grief,
And pangs attend the birth of unbelief;
Nor pass they soon ;-—with awe and fear he took
The flow'ry way, and cast back many a look.

The youths applauded much his wise design,
With weighty reasoning o'er their evening wine ;

And much in private 'twould their mirth improve,
To hear how Abel spake of life and love;
To hear him own what grievous pains it cost,
Ere the old saint was in the sinner lost,
Ere his poor mind with every deed alarm'd,
By wit was settled, and by vice was charm’d.

For Abel enter'd in his bold career,
Like boys on ice, with pleasure and with fear;
Lingering, yet longing for the joy, he went,
Repenting now, now dreading to repent :
With awkward pace, and with himself at war,
Far gone, yet frightend that he went so far;
Oft for his efforts he'd solicit praise,
And then proceed with blunders and delays:
The young more aptly passion's calls pursue,
But age and weakness start at scenes so new,
And tremble when they've done, for all they dared

to do.

At length example Abel's dread removed,
With small concern he sought the joys he loved ;
Not resting here, he claim'd his share of fame,
And first their votary, then their wit became;
His jest was bitter and his satire bold,
When he his tales of formal brethren told;
What time with pious neighbours he discussid,
Their boasted treasure and their boundless trust :


“ Such were our dreams,” the jovial elder cried ;
“ Awake and live,” his youthful friends replied.

Now the gay clerk a modest drab despised,
And clad him smartly as his friends advised;
So fine a coat upon his back he threw,
That not an alley-boy old Abel knew;
Broad polish'd buttons blazed that coat upon,
And just beneath the watch's trinkets shone,-
A splendid watch, that pointed out the time,
To fly from business and make free with crime:
The crimson waistcoat and the silken hose
Rank'd the lean man among the Borough beaux :
His raven hair he cropp'd with fierce disdain,
And light elastic locks encased his brain :
More pliant pupil who could hope to find,
So deck'd in person and so changed in mind ?

When Abel walk'd the streets, with pleasant mien
He met his friends, delighted to be seen;
And when he rode along the public way,
No beau so gaudy and no youth so gay.

His pious sister, now an ancient maid,
For Abel fearing, first in secret pray’d;
Then thus in love and scorn her notions she convey'd :

“ Alas! my brother! can I see thee pace “ Hoodwink'd to hell, and not lament thy case, “ Nor stretch my feeble hand to stop thy headlong race?

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