Imágenes de página

the settlers for a long time to come. They have, even the most worldly, been driven by the extremity of their circum

stances, to supplication and prayer. The truly pious among ' us have thus contracted the habit of regarding, and acknow

ledging the hand of God in all their ways; and of trusting His gracious promises more implicitly, both for soul and body, for this world and the next. Indeed, I think I can say of a goodly number, that their chastisements have increased in them, visibly, “the peaceable fruits of righteousness. I beg your prayers that such may prove their blessed effect

on your unworthy Brother and Servant in the profession of the Gospel.

“We are now one hundred and fifty strong, all in health, (I speak of the Colonists) have about fifty houses, including three store houses, and a heavy substantial stone tower, fourteen feet high, mounting six pieces of ordnance. We have a good framed house surrounded with a piazza. Dr. Ayres has brought out the frame of another of equal dimen- sions. Harmony and a good degree of industry, at present prevail. Thus you see, that we are prepared to go on and fulfil the anxious wishes of the friends of the cause, in relation to the cultivation of the lands, and the formation of a regular, moral, and happy society.”

[ocr errors]





The presence of Dr. Ayres diminished, for a time, the cares and responsibilities* of Mr. Ashmun, who considering how uncertain was the time he might remain in Africa, resolved to add as much as possible to his stock of general knowledge, and prepare himself for any change in his fortunes. Though he perceived that the tide was fast ebbing with him towards an ocean dark and unexplored, he knew that “wisdom is more precious than rubies," and whatever vicissitudes or dangers might await him, of whatever else he might be deprived, he would retain her incomparable treasure.

Amid the perplexity and uncertainty of his affairs,

* In a letter to a friend, dated June 5th, he writes: “I am recovered, except swollen ankles and legs, and consequent weakness throughout the system. But Dr. Ayres by assuming a weight of cares which has oppressed me for months, will thus, as Agent, probably promote my perfect recovery much more effectually than he could by medical prescription.”

he summoned his intellectual powers to their highest efforts. Probably, during no equal period of his life, did he pursue his studies with more enthusiasm or success, than from the arrival of Dr. Ayres in May, 1823, to his departure in December of the same year. The following rules for conduct, dated September, 1823, indicate the principles which animated, and the spirit that then sustained him:

Let all thy ways be established."

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

“1. Never to be guilty of a meanness which my most 'virtuous and spirited children (should I be blessed with chil

dren possessing these qualities) would blush to see published 'to the world as a part of a parent's Biography.

"2. Never, unless compelled by poverty which fetters the freedom of my own Agency, to accept of a situation, or engage in an occupation contrary to the habits of my education, below that rank in life to which my talents entitle me, or which experience or observation have taught me would cramp the exercise of abilities, either natural or acquired.

"3. To study and avail myself of a quick sense of propriety, in all matters, small or great, of morality, judgment, manners, dress and business.

"4. To build on my own foundation, and to study none but the most perfect examples, living or dead.

"5. To prefer the society of dead authors of eminence, to • that of living actors, of simple mediocrity.

“6. To regard the contracting of a debt, as a mortgage of personal liberty and moral principle. (John Basilworth II, of Russia, affixed a brand of infamy on such as contracted debts they could not pay, and sent them into banishment.)

67. To avoid exposing myself to the degradation of espousing measures, which the situation of a weaker or more ignorant man may give him the power to defeat. 58. Never to assert, without being able to prove to a can

[ocr errors]


e did and sensible man, my proposition: never to advise unless sure that the neglecter of my counsel will repent his folly.

"9. Never to talk without the undivided attention of all to whom I address my discourse.

“10. Always to utter my sentiments with precision and propriety—even should it cost me some previous reflection; and never begin an expression without bringing it to a perfect close.

"11. Let me search after truth, and contract such an affection for it as to endure in my mind no rival prejudices, or opinions, on any subject whatever.

“12. To run the risk of being candid, open, sincere; and abandon utterly the friendship and confidence of any civilized man base and depraved enough to attempt to gain an undue advantage of these qualities.

“13. Never to commence an enterprise without being well assured of its utility; and having undertaken, never to abandon it unaccomplished.

“14. To do whatever I undertake in the best possible manner,-always allowing for the time and means I can employ on the object.

"15. To acquire a style of writing and expression, of conception and feeling-of manners and deportment, which destitute of servility, locality and mannerism, shall pass current among the best ranks of people of all professions and in all countries.

“16. To become master of the grammatical construction and written form of the Italian, (as the key to all the Southern European) and perfectly familiar with the French, languages; both as written and spoken. "17. To make the Latin (written) a second vernacular. “18. To continue my inquiries and reflections on whatever subject may engage them, until either my information is perfectly exact, or the means of extending it exhausted.

[ocr errors]


« AnteriorContinuar »