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“ You may think, perhaps, that a little tea, or a little punch now and then, diet a little more costly, clothes a little finer, and a little entertainment now and then, can be no great matter. But remember, many littles make a mickle.”
“Silks and satins, scarlet and velvet, put out the kitchen fire.”
“Away with your expensive follies, and you will not have so much cause to complain of hard times, heavy taxes, and chargeable families.”
“ What maintains one vice would bring up two children.”
“A man may, if he knows not how to save as he gets, keep his nose all his life to the grindstone, and die not worth a groat at last. A fat kitchen makes a lean will.”
The subject of frugality cannot be fully appreciated without considering the ruin wrought by extravagance. There is moral danger in the path of the spendthrift. Multitudes of young men have been ruined through no worse propensity than the desire to dress well. We remember one of this class. He was the son of a poor widow, accustomed to humble fare. At the age of fifteen he went into a shop in the city, where he enjoyed the watchful care of excellent employers. Having been religiously educated, and being addicted to no evil habits, he bid fair to escape the snares and pit-falls of the city. But scarce a year elapsed before a change was observed. He became desirous of wearing better apparel. It became alnıost a passion with him. What money he earned, and what he could get from his widowed mother, together with what he could borrow, was expended for
fine clothes. Soon he made his appearance in a new garb, with a fine cane and watch. The cap, too, was exchanged for a good hat. We met him in the street one day, and scarcely knew him. What has been said of many, might have been said of him—“he cut a dash.” Where his thoughts were we learned from the drift of his conversation. The most prominent topic of remark with him was the expectation of a new watch. The one he possessed was silver, and he hoped to be able soon to exchange it for one of gold. His grandfather had promised him a little sum of money when he became of age, and he had decided to write to the old gentleman to ask if he was not willing to let him have it now. he should receive the money, it would be sufficient, with this silver watch, to get "a nice gold one." Without detailing the course of the young man further, it is sufficient to say, that this passion for dress alone seemed to change his entire character. His views on other matters became erroneous, he grew negligent of his business, and finally lost his situation. His friends saw the tendency of his extravagance in dress, and took him home to save him from utter ruin.
There are thousands of such examples. There is danger in forsaking the principle of frugality. The want of it often leads to folly, immorality, and vice. What money is spent for, makes a great difference as to the result. The young man who spends his last farthing for a gold watch,will probably lead a career very different from that of him who spends his last penny for books. Benjamin Franklin parted with all his money many times in early life for books. It was evidence of
a desire for knowledge which promised future distinction. When the boy, Samuel Budgett, was counting over his pennies, saved by the strictest economy, the beholder might have supposed that he would become a miser. It looked very much as if he loved money exceedingly. But when he took that money, as soon as it amounted to enough, and purchased “Wesley's Hymns” with it, the appearance of the thing was entirely changed. The act proved that there was not a miser's calculation in his heart, but sterling principles, that would make him a burning and shining light in the world.
There is now a young man doing a flourishing business in Massachusetts, whose boyhood was adorned by the following act. He was reared in poverty, and was early instructed to save his money.
This he did with extreme care, until he had enough to pay for a Bible, when he laid it out for this Book of books. Subsequently he was wont to purchase other volumes, as fast as he acquired the means, and he read them over and over with the deepest interest. He grew up a model young man, and has been pursuing a successful business for some years. Although still a young man, he is yet the possessor of much property. If he had spent the first shilling he possessed in visiting the theatre, or in like pleasures, he might have been a miserable spendthrift now, without wealth or character.
Here is a subject which we commend to the notice of every reader. The aged will tell you, that as they look around upon those who were their associates in early life, there was an evident connection between their manner of spending money, and their subsequent
Those who lavished it upon their own personal appearance, or laid it out to purchase the pleasures and baubles of the world, turned out very differently from those who were frugal for the sake of possessing the means to buy substantial blessings. He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man.”
ANOTHER of the maxims which Amos Lawrence observed from his youth was, “Never put off till to-morrow what can be done to-day.” This quality usually is found in company with industry and frugality. The indolent person is most likely to be dilatory in discharging his duties. The less he has to do, the more he procrastinates. On the other had, the man of industrious and systematic habits, though pressed with business, finds seasons for incidental toils, because he is punctual. Thus it was with Mr Lawrence. Having disciplined himself to punctuality while young, the habit continued with him through life. While in health he performed a vast amount of business, and yet found time to attend to the numerous demands made upon him by the public. He could never have attended to so many duties without the strictest punctuality. To a friend he once wrote :-“I acted upon the
• Business before pleasure,' from the commencement of my course. During the first seven years of my business in this city, I never allowed an invoice against me to stand unarranged over the Sabbath. If the purchase of goods was made at auction on Saturday, and delivered to me, I always examined and arranged the bill by a note or by crediting it, and having it so clear, that, in case I was not on duty on Monday, there would be no trouble for my boys ; thus keeping the business before me, instead of allowing it to drive me.
In writing to a son about the principles which governed him in early life, he said :
“ The secret of the whole matter was, that we had formed the habit of promptly acting, thus taking the top of the tide ; while the habit of some others was to delay until about half-tide, thus getting on the flats; while we were all the time prepared for action, and ready to put into any port that promised well. I wish, by all these remarks, to impress upon you the necessity of qualifying yourself to support yourself. The best education that I can secure shall be yours, and such facilities as may be in my power shall be rendered; but no food to pamper idleness or wickedness will I ever supply willingly to any connection, however near.”
This punctuality, without doubt, increased his credit by securing the confidence of men. Dr Franklin said : _“ Remember this saying, “The good paymaster is lord of another man's purse.' He that is known to pay punctually and exactly to the time that he promises, may, at any time, and on any occasion, raise all the money his friends can spare. This is sometimes of great use. After industry and frugality, nothing con tributes more to the raising of a young man in the world than punctuality and justice in all his dealings;