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In solid homespun clad, and tidy,
And with no coxcomb learning giddy,
Daily, to hear his maxims sound,
The approaching neighbors flock'd around ;
Daily they saw his counsels prove
The source of union, peace, and love,
The means of prudence, and of wealth,
Of comfort, cheerfulness, and health :
And all, who follow'd his advice,
Appear'd more prosperous, as more wise.

Wearied, at length, with many a call,
The sage resolved to summon all :
And gathering, on a pleasant Monday,
A crowd, not always seen on Sunday,
Curious to hear, while hard they press’d him,
In friendly terms, he thus address'd 'em.

“My friends, you have my kindest wishes;
Pray think a neighbor not officious,
While thus, to teach you how to live,
My very best advice I give.

" And first, industrious be your lives;
Alike employ'd yourselves, and wives :
Your children, join'd in labor gay,
With something useful fill each day.
Those little times of leisure save,
Which most men lose, and all men have;
The half days, when a job
The whole days, when a storm is on.
Few know, without a strict account,
To what these little times amount:
If wasted, while the same your cost,
The sums, you might have earn'd, are lost.

“Learn small things never to despise :
You little think how fast they rise.
A rich reward the mill obtains,
Though but two quarts a bushel gains :
Still rolling on its steady rounds,
The farthings soon are turn’d to pounds.

6 Nor think a life of toil severe :
No life has blessings so sincere.
Its meals so luscious, sleep so sweet,
Such vigorous limbs, such health complete,

done ;

A mind so active, brisk, and gay,
As his, who toils the livelong day.
A life of sloth drags hardly on;
Suns set too late, and rise too soon;
Youth, manhood, age, all linger slow,
To him, who nothing has to do.
The drone, a nuisance to the hive,
Stays, but can scarce be said to live ;
And well the bees, those judges wise,
Plague, chase, and sting him, till he dies.
Lawrence, like him, though saved from hanging,
Yet every day deserves a banging.

“Let order o'er your time preside,
And method all your business guide.
Early begin, and end, your toil ;
Nor let great tasks your hands embroil.
One thing at once, be still begun,
Contrived, resolved, pursued, and done.
Hire not, for what yourselves can do;
And send not, when yourselves can go;
Nor, till tomorrow's light, delay
What might as well be done today.
By steady efforts all men thrive,
And long by moderate labor live;
While eager toil, and anxious care,
Health, strength, and peace, and life impair.

66 What thus your hands with labor earn,
To save, be now your next concern.
Whate'er to health, or real use,
Or true enjoyment, will conduce,
Use freely, and with pleasure use ;
But ne'er the gifts of heaven abuse :
I joy to see your treasured stores,
Which smiling plenty copious pours;
Your cattle sleek, your poultry fine,
Your cider in the tumbler shine,
Your tables, smoking from the hoard,
And children smiling round the board.
All rights to use in you conspire;
The laborer's worthy of his hire.
Ne'er may that hated day arrive,
When worse yourselves, or yours, shall live
Your dress, your lodging, or your food,
Be less abundant, neat, or good;
Your dainties all to market go,
To feast the epicure, and beau ;

But ever on your tables stand,
Proofs of a free and happy land.

“Yet still, with prudence, wear, and taste;
Use what you please, but nothing waste :
On little, better far to live,
Than, poor and pitied, much survive.
Like ants, lay something up in store,
Against the winter of threescore.
Disease may long your strength annoy ;
Weakness and pain your limbs destroy ;
On sorrow's bed your households lie;
Your debtors fail, your cattle die;
Your crops untimely seasons kill,
And life be worn with many an ill.

« 'T is folly in the extreme, to till Extensive fields, and till them ill. The farmer, pleased, may boast aloud His bushels sown, his acres plough'd ; And, pleased, indulge the cheering hope, That time will bring a plenteous crop; Shrew'd common-sense sits laughing by, And sees his hopes abortive die; For, when maturing seasons smile, Thin sheaves shall disappoint his toil. Advised, this empty pride expel ; Till little, and that little well. Of taxing, fencing, toil, no more, Your ground requires, when rich, than poor ; And more one fertile acre yields, Than the huge breadth of barren fields.

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“ When first the market offers well,
At once your yearly produce sell.
A higher price you wait in vain,
And ten times lose, where once you gain.
The dog, that at the shadow caught,
Miss'd all he had, and all he sought.
Less, day by day, your store will grow,
Gone, you scarce know or when, or how;
Interest will eat, while you delay,
And vermin steal your hopes away.
In parcels sold, in ways unknown,
It melts, and, unobserved, is gone.
No solid purpose driblets aid,
Spent, and forgot, as soon as paid :

The sum, a year's whole earnings yield,
Will pay a debt, or buy a field.

*

“Neat be your farms : 't is long confess'd, The neatest farmers are the best. Each bog, and marsh, industrious drain, Nor let vile balks deform the p'nin; No bushes on your headlands grow, Nor briars a sloven's culture show. Neat be your barns ; your houses neat; Your doors be clean; your court-yards sweet; No moss the sheltering roof insbroud ; No wooden panes the window cloud ; No filthy kennel foully flow; Nor weeds with rankling poison grow : But shades expand, and fruit-trees bloom, And flowering shrubs exhale perfume. With pales your garden circle round; Defend, enrich, and clean the ground: Prize high this pleasing, useful rood, And fill with vegetable good.

" With punctual hand your taxes pays
Nor put far off the evil day.
How soon to an enormous size,
Taxes, succeeding taxes, rise!
How easy, one by one, discharged!
How hardly, in the mass enlarged !
How humbling the intrusive dun!
How fast, how far, the expenses run!
Fees, advertisements, travel, cost,
And that sad end of all, the post!
This gulf of swift perdition flee,
And live, from duns and bailiffs free.

“In merchants' books, from year to year,
Be cautious how your names appear.
How fast their little items count!
How great, beyond your hopes, the amount !
When shelves, o'er shelves, inviting stand,
And wares allure, on either hand ;
While round you turn enchanted eyes,
And feel a thousand wants arise,
(Ye young, ye fair, these counsels true
Are penn'd for all, but most for you,)
Ere fancy lead your hearts astray,

21

VOL. I.

Think of the means you have to pay;
What wants are nature's; fancy's what;
What will yield real good, when bought;
What certain, future means you find,
To cancel contracts, left behind ;
What means to make the first of May
To you and yours a welcome day.

“To you, let each returning spring
That day of certain reckoning bring;
All debts to cancel, books t'adjust,
And check the wild career of trust.
From frequent reckonings friendship grows,
And peace, and sweet communion, flows.

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“ With steady hand your household sway, And use them always to obey. Always their worthy acts commend ; Always against their faults contend; The mind inform; the conscience move ; And blame, with tenderness, and love. When round they flock, and smile, and tell Their lambkin sport, and infant weal, Nor foolish laugh, nor fret, nor frown; But all their little interests own; Like them, those trifles serious deem, And daily witness your esteem: Yourselves their best friends always prove, For filial duty springs from love. Teach them, with confidence t impart, Each secret purpose of the heart: Thrice happy parents, children bless'd, Of mutual confidence possess’d! Such parents shall their children see From vice, and shame, and anguish, free.

“ How blest this heaven-distinguish'd land ! Where schools in every hamlet stand; Far spread the beams of learning bright, And every child enjoys the light. At school, beneath a faithful guide, In teaching skill’d, of morals tried, And pleased the early mind to charm To every good, from every harm, Learn they to read, to write, to spell, And cast accompts, and learn them well:

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