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be understood to throw the horrid censure of athe. ism, or even the absolute denial of immortality, on all who are called philosophers. Many of that sect as well ancient as modern, have, from the light of reason, discovered some hopes of a future state; but, in reality, that light was so faint and glimmering, and the hopes were so uncertain and precarious, that it may be justly doubted on which side their belief turned. Plato himself concludes his Phædon with declaring, that his best arguments amount only to raise a probability; and Cicero himself seems rather to profess an inclination to believe, than any actual belief in the doctrines of immortality. As to myself, to be very sincere with you, I never was much in earnest in this faith, till I was in earnest a Christian..
You will perhaps wonder at the latter expression; but I assure you it hath not been till very lately, that I could, with truth, call myself so. The pride of philosophy had intoxicated my reason, and the sublimest of all wisdom appeared to me, as it did to the Greeks of old, to be foolishness. God hath, however, been so gracious to show me my error in time, and to bring me into the way of truth, before I sunk into utter darkness for ever.
I find myself beginning to grow weak: I shall therefore hasten to the main purpose of this letter.
When I reflect on the actions of my past life, I know of nothing which sits heavier upon my conscience, than the injustice I have been guilty of to that poor wretch your adopted son. I have indeed not only connived at the villany of others, but been myself active in injustice towards him. Believe me, my dear friend, when I tell you, on the word of a dying man, he hath been basely injured. As to the principal fact, upon the misrepresentation of which you discarded him, I solemnly assure you he is innocent. When you lay upon your supposed death-bed, he was the only person in the house who testified any real concern; and what happened afterwards,
arose from the wildness of his joy on your recovery; and, I am sorry to say it, from the baseness of another person (but it is my desire to justify the innocent, and to accuse none). Believe me, my friend, this young man hath the noblest generosity of heart, the most perfect capacity for friendship, the highest integrity, and indeed every virtue which can ennoble a man. He hath some faults, but among them is not to be numbered the least want of duty or gratitude towards you. On the contrary, I am satisfied, when you dismissed him from your house, his heart bled for you more than for himself.
Worldly motives were the wicked and base rea sons of my concealing this from you so long: to reveal it now I can have no inducement, but the desire of serving the cause of truth, of doing right to the innocent, and of making all the amends in my power for a past offence. I hope this declaration, therefore, will have the effect desired, and will restore this deserving young man to your favour; the hearing of which while I am yet alive, will afford the utmost consolation to,
• Your most obliged
'obedient humble servant, THOMAS SQUARE.'
The reader will, after this, scarce wonder at the revolution so visibly appearing in Mr. Allworthy, notwithstanding he received from Thwackum, by the same post, another letter of a very different kind, which we shall here add, as it may possibly be the last time we shall have occasion to mention the name of that gentleman.
I am not at all surprised at hearing from your worthy nephew a fresh instance of the villany of Mr. Square the atheist's young pupil. I shall not wonder at any murders he may commit; and I heartily pray
that your own blood may not seal up his final commitment to the place of wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Though you cannot want sufficient calls to repentance for the many unwarrantable weaknesses exemplified in your behaviour to this wretch, so much to the prejudice of your own lawful family, and of your character; I say, though these may suf ficiently be supposed to prick and goad your con. science at this season; I should yet be wanting to my duty, if I spared to give you some admonition in order to bring you to a due sense of your errors. I therefore pray you seriously to consider the judge. ment which is likely to overtake this wicked villain; and let it serve at least as a warning to you that you may not for the future despise the advice of one who is so indefatigable in his prayers for your welfare.
Had not my hand been withheld from due correction, I had scourged much of this diabolical spirit out of a boy, of whom from his infancy I discovered the devil had taken such entire possession. But reflections of this kind now come too late.
I am sorry you have given away the living of Westerton so hastily. I should have applied on that occasion earlier, had I thought you would not have acquainted me previous to the disposition.... Your objection to pluralities is being righteous overmuch. If there were any crime in the practice, so many godly men would not agree to it. If the vicar of Aldergrove should die (as we hear he is in a de clining way), I hope you will think of me, since I am certain you must be convinced of my most sincere attachment to your highest welfare--a welfare to which all worldly considerations are trifling as the small tithes mentioned in Scripture are, when compared to the weighty matters of the law.
'I am, sir,
Your faithful humble servant,
This was the first time Thwackum ever wrote in this authoritative style to Allworthy, and of this he had afterwards sufficient reason to repent, as is the case of those who mistake the highest degree of goodness, for the lowest degree of weakness. Ailworthy had, indeed, never liked this man. He knew him to be proud and ill-natured; he also knew that his divinity itself was tinctured with his temper, and such as in many respects he himself did by no means approve; but he was at the same time an excellent scholar, and most indefatigable in teaching the two lads. Add to this, the strict sere. rity of his life and manners, an unimpeached honesty, and a most devout attachment to religion. So that, upon the whole, though Allworthy did not esteem nor love the man, yet he could never bring himself to part with a tutor to the boys, who was, both by learning and industry, extremely well qualified for his office; and he hoped, that as they were bred up in his own house, and under his own eye, he should be able to correct whatever was wrong in Thwackum's instructions.
R. Allworthy, in his last speech, had recollect. ed some tender ideas concerning Jones, which had brought tears into the good man's eyes. This Mrs. Miller observing, said, Yes, yes, sir, your goodness to this poor young man is known, notwithstanding all your care to conceal it; but there is not a single syllable of truth in what those villains said. Mr. Nightingale hath now discovered the whole. matter. It seems, these fellows were employed by a lord, who is a rival of poor Mr. Jones, to have pressed him on board a ship. I assure them, I don't know who they will press next. Mr. Nightingale here hath seen the officer himself, who is a very
gentleman, and hath told him all, and is very sorry for what he undertook; which he would never have done, had he known Mr. Jones to have been a gentleman; but he was told that he was a common strolling vagabond.'.
Allworthy stared at all this, and declared he was a stranger to every word she said. Yes, sir,' answered she, I believe you are. It is a very differ ent story, I believe, from what those fellows told the lawyer.?
What lawyer, madam? What is it you mean? said Allworthy. Nay, nay,' said she, this is so like you, to deny your own goodness; but Mr. Nightingale here saw him.' Saw whom, madam? answered he. Why, your lawyer, sir,' said she, that you so kindly sent to inquire into the affair... I am still in the dark, upon my honour,' said Allworthy. Why then do you tell him, my dear sir,'
cries she. Indeed, sir,' said Nightingale, I did see that very lawyer who went from you when I came into the room, at an alehouse in Aldersgate, in com. pany with two of the fellows who were employed by Lord Fellamar to press Mr. Jones, and who were by that means present at the unhappy rencounter between him and Mr. Fitzpatrick.'.' I own, sir,' said Mrs. Miller, when I saw this gentleman come into the room to you, I told Mr. Nightingale that I apprehended you had sent him thither to inquire into the affair. Allworthy showed marks of astonishment in his countenance at this news, and was indeed struck dumb by it. At last, addressing himself to Mr. Nightingale, he said, I must confess myself, sir, more surprised at what you tell me, than I have ever been before at any thing in my whole life. Are you certain this was the gentleman?'..-' I am most certain,' answered Nightingale. At Aldersgate? cries Allworthy. And was you in company with this lawyer and the two fellows sir,' said the other, very near half an hour.
sir,' said Allworthy, and in what manner did the