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"Truth is immutable. It is neither old nor new. It cannot change with the little changing circumstances by which we are surrounded. If, therefore, we take our stand by truth and excellence, we join all the wise and good among the ancients; and we shall be joined by all the wise and good of the present and future generations."

"The Bible is a blessed book. It teaches us to set a due value upon every thing, to judge of things by their real importance, to choose or reject them as they are suitable or otherwise to our character, circumstances, and duties; and, amidst all the changing opinions and customs of men, it gives us something to direct our steps, to satisfy our souls, and to sustain our expectations, that can neither be worn out by antiquity, nor superseded by novelty."


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MAMMA," said my cousin Mortimer's eldest little girl, "what does don't care mean?”

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"I think, Ellen, it never means any good; and generally a great deal of harm. If y ning along the towing path, by the side of the river, and I were to say to you, Take care, Ellen," —what do you think I should mean?"

"That I should mind, and not go too near the edge."

"But suppose you did not mind, and did go too near the edge?"

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Perhaps I should fall in, and be drowned." "Yes, Ellen; and something else, whether or not you should fall into the water."

"I should be disobedient, mamma."

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'Yes, my child; that would be the worst of it; because disobedience is a sin."

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Mamma, when I was at play last night with Louisa Parry, she climbed up a ladder, and gathered some grapes; and her maid begged her to come down, lest she should break her neck: besides, she told her she must not gather grapes without leave; her mamma would be very angry with her. But Louisa said, 'I don't care,' and went on doing it."

"I am very sorry, my dear, that Louisa should have acted so improperly; and very sorry that you should have witnessed her conduct. But as you have seen and heard it, I hope you will remember that it is very foolish not to take care at all times those who do not, are likely to fall into mischief and danger. It is more than foolish, it is very sinful indeed, for a child not to take care to obey her parents, and not to care whether they are pleased or displeased. I hope my dear little Ellen will never utter such an expression, or cherish such a feeling."

The conversation between my cousin and her little daughter, recalled to mind an old spelling book, used by Frank and myself, which contained a notable story of a disobedient, careless boy, who used to treat both command and admonition with the insolent defiance, "I don't care." I forget the various stages of vice and misery through which he passed; but he was at length torn to pieces by a lion, into whose power he was thrown by some act of headstrong disobedience. This tragical scene was rudely depicted at the commencement of the story, which ended with the moral, "Don't care always comes to an ill end at last." spelling book has long since become obsolete; and I am not sure that the warning was based upon sound principles; for, in the moral tales of that day, obedience, diligence, and good conduct, were made invariably to conduct to wealth and honour, while idleness and vice as invariably led to disgrace and ruin. This, though in accordance with the general tendency of things, is not, in point of fact, always immediately and visibly verified; and, if it were, policy is but a poor ground on which to


build morality. He who does right, merely because he thinks he shall fare the better by so doing, will, at best, do it but partially and superficially; and will, in all probability, become the easy prey of temptation, when it comes baited with a plausible representation of greater advantage to be derived by pursuing an opposite course. However, without at present too nicely scanning that point, I know that the closing sentiment of the tale was deeply lodged in my mind; and that I always considered it a very alarming thing to say, "I don't care."

The question of little Ellen led to a conversation on the subject and long after the child had returned to her playthings, we were enumerating instances in which this unguarded phrase is often used.

Arthur Longley was referred to as adopting it, in a tone of listless indifference. Frank, who was his schoolfellow, complained that more than one holiday had been wasted by his frittering, undecided way. When asked if he would join in a walk, or a game at cricket, or whatever else the projected recreation might be, his reply was, "I don't care if I do ;" or, if two things were proposed for choice, he would say, "I don't care which ;" and still loiter away the time in indecision, until it was too late to enjoy either.

"We never now, ," said Frank, “include him in our consultations; but form a plan the day before, and make all ready, so that we have the whole time to spend on active recreation. If Arthur joins us, he is welcome; but then he must act upon our motto, Work while you work, and play when you play.' We shall not again suffer him to cheat

us out of our pleasure by his dilatory I don't care.'

"Another of our boys," continued Frank, "is continually adopting the phrase, in defiance of authority. So daring is he, that he commonly goes among us by the name of Dreadnought. He is the most ingenious inventor, and the most daring perpetrator, of mischief; and when engaged in his rebellious frolics, if some more timid transgressor-though perhaps an admiring spectator of his boldness-interposes the caution, 'Oh, take care! Hark! there is master coming! You will surely be caught!' his reply always is, 'What do I care? let him come:' and it is really astonishing," continued Frank, "how frequently he does come off harmless."


No, Frank," said my uncle, "not harmless. Such daring spirits may, and often do, escape the immediate infliction of disgrace and punishment, which they are apt to consider the only harm that can result from their offences. But they do not escape moral harm; nor do they escape the guilt of inflicting it on others. I have known more than one lamentable instance, of a spirited young rebel, such as you describe, who-by the success and impunity which generally attended his feats of youthful mischief, and especially by the admiration and applause poured upon him, (perhaps by misguided parents,) for the cleverness which outwitted, or the courage which defied, a master-has lost all moral susceptibility, and become hardened in defiance of all authority, human and Divine. The influence, too, of such an example, is most injurious on others. The hero and his feats become objects of emulation to those who have not equal


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