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bitterness. But for your selfishness, you might have been as joyous as your companions, whose light hearts beat high with happiness all the day long. Instead of that, you are pining under sickness and weakness, which must make life a burden to you. Besides, your character suffers by it. In truth, I almost wonder that any of your companions should possess the smallest regard for you; or, in other words—for I cannot suppose that they do in reality esteem you-should have acted so nobly as to let you share in their feasts. And how could you be so mean as to accept of their bounties? But I need not ask you that question. Selfishness is a most obliging leveller. It mingles the great and small together with wonderful condescension; and whoever knows you in after life, if the evil is not corrected, may find you the companion of the meanest sot on the ale-bench. It will not matter to you with whom you mingle in life, so that you can partake of their generosity. But your ingratitude is not more contemptible than your selfishness. Let me tell you that, while your companions are raised in my estimation by their generosity, you are degraded in my sight by your selfishness and ingratitude. You richly deserve all you have felt, and all you yet must feel, before your health is restored. Indeed, it is a question whether you are ever restored to perfect health, unless some strong measure is taken to ensure your recovery. Not all the medicines in the world will restore you while you are allowed to indulge in your greediness; and while I request of your companions to withhold their bounties, I must assure you that I shall He wept
write to your parents, and beg of them not to supply you with any more luxuries.”
This determination of Mr. White caused George Green much grief of heart. bitterly, not only on hearing it, but for many days after. His sorrow did not cease till
, having somewhat recovered, his parents, more kind than wise, replied to a letter privately sent, by transmitting to him a cake twice as large as usual, in order to make up for the deprivations he had suffered from his illness. I think I can see our preceptor as he looked at this cake. He drew a deep sigh, and charged him not to take more than was necessary at a time. But his words were not heeded. As soon as George Green had the opportunity, he made such havoc in his treasure, that a few hours disclosed the result.
The physician was again compelled to be called in; and Mr. White felt it his duty to take the cake under his care in order to counteract the evils which the over-fondness of his parents might otherwise have produced. By this means, George Green was kept about the play-ground while he remained at our school; but he was finally removed, as it appeared, from his complaining that he was not allowed to enjoy himself as he pleased. Perhaps he had, at length, discovered that he had forfeited all the regard of his fellow-pupils; for, although we were civil to him, we could not reckon him a desirable companion. He was an outcast in the very midst of society; and not one heaved a sigh of regret at his departure. Charles Murphy, indeed, jocosely remarked, that we were, at length, happily freed from a cormorant.
“There's something in a noble boy
A brave, free-hearted, careless one-
His dread of books, and love of fun;
And unrepressed by sadness,
WILLIS. Had Arthur Sampson sat to the poet who penned these lines, he could not have drawn his character more forcibly.
Arthur Sampson, of whom honourable mention has before been made, was one of the most agreeable companions I ever met with in my schooldays. He was not a wit, like Charles Murphy; but he possessed sound sense, and his conduct was of the noblest kind. He scorned to join in any pastime that was not innocent, albeit he loved fun as well as the best amongst us. Charles Murphy has often observed to me, that he could not make Arthur out; for that, whilst he enjoyed his sports, he always kept himself free from blame. “Philosopher though you are,” he would add, “he comes off better than you, for our preceptor has never had occasion to reprove him ; no, not even for vanity.”
As might be expected, Arthur and I were bosom friends. Together with Charles Murphy, indeed, he was my choicest companion; and Charles frequently suggested that we should be called a second Trio. This point was, in truth, gravely discussed by us on one occasion; but it was set aside by Arthur, who, on being informed of the history of the Trio, sensibly observed that the name was by no means desirable, since guilt was attached to it.
“ I think
you me,” said he, “that such a title is not an enviable one; for we may often be confounded with the guilty, not only amongst our present companions, but those who come after us; and we shall, therefore, be brought into odium.” I agreed with Arthur; and Charles Murphy, who looked up to me as his Mentor, subscribed to my opinion.
The secret by which Arthur kept himself free from blame was this: he was pious. Yes, my young readers, although Arthur Sampson could spin a top, fly a kite, or play at any game, as skilfully as the best amongst us, he had the fear of God before his eyes.
agree with One day, when Charles Murphy was wondering how Arthur could love sport so well, and keep himself so blameless, I explained this to him : “ Charles,” said I, “ Arthur, I believe, is wise in the truest sense of the word. You often see him reading his Bible; and I have no doubt that he derives from thence the rules by which his conduct is guided. I have often heard both my parents and Mr. White say, that there only true wisdom can be found; and I remember a prayer, which I was taught very young to repeat every morning and evening. It was this:
O Lord, I am a simple and sinful child ! Enable me to read and love thy holy word, for therein only can I hope to find wisdom! Grant this, for Jesus Christ's sake! Amen.'
“I wish, Charles, that I did not so often forget this; for I fear that I stand as much in need of wisdom as I did when I was a little child at home.”
“ Nonsense!” replied Charles, hastily; "how can that be?-why you know you are a philosopher."
“ You are pleased to call me so," I rejoined ; “ but, even if I were, what of that ? ceptor said to me, one day, as I sat with him in the summer-house, that all philosophers were not truly wise; and that most of them were ignorant of the word of God, which is the true source of wisdom. Even the great Socrates was as blind as a man possibly could be concerning the way
of salvation. Only think of that.”
“ It is a wonder,” said Charles. “ It is no wonder at all,” I replied; for, as