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us assuredly must give an account of them to God. That we may be so prepared to meet Him, that he that soweth and they that reap may then rejoice together,' is the sincere and fervent prayer of Your affectionate Minister,
1 HINT FOR A LASTING ONE;
IN A LETTER TO G. S., ESQ. OF B-,
Second Thoughts are besi.
WORD ON THE PEACE.
Oct. 15th, 1801. DEAR SIR,
I RECEIVED your letter, desiring a few thoughts on the Peace, which you wish to disperse in your populous neighbourhood. Though I can say nothing as a politician, yet, rather than disoblige you by saying nothing at all
, I will tell you what occurred on my first receiving the welcome news.
You know I am an invalid, and growing into years; and, as age and sickness naturally seek quiet, I retire during the summer months to a small village in Surrey, which lies some miles from the high road. Here, indeed, I obtain a relief which the town does not afford: but one inconvenience attends our situation -We have no means of knowing what is going on in the busy world, except the tidings which a gentleman from the city brings, who visits his family here once a week; and also what we learn from our weekly paper.
Now, our friend, whose return on the Saturday we eagerly watch, came down, and astonished us with the unexpected news of—PEACE! A knot of neighbours was soon assembled to hear the account: but, though a few rejoiced that a stop would at length be put to the effusion of blood and the cries of widows and orphans, that provisions would be cheaper, trade flourish, and the occasion of much enmity be removed, &c. &c. yet I could perceive other springs at work: One, who had a house and land to sell, listened ea
gerly, and hoped Peace would bring Purchasers : A poor Labourer crossed the road, and tried to edge in his thought, that bread, though fallen, would be still lower: A Farmer stood thoughtful, but said nothing : Another, who had served a neighbouring camp, doubted, after all, what sort of a peace this might turn out: But, our carpenter was loud on the occasion : “Peace, at any rate,” said he, “is best for the nation : deals will come down finely now, I'll warrant ye.”
We, however, set the bells a ringing immediately, though late on the Saturday evening: we went to church the next day, but thought and talked too much of the Peace, and its consequences; and, on the Monday, we were all alive in preparing to celebrate it. Though I bear the character of a precise and retiring kind of man, I endeavoured to join my neighbours in their expressions of joy. I lighted up my windows : I suffered my children and servants in the evening to be the endangered spectators of the blaze and noise with which the village was filled : I contributed to the ringing, though I feared it would end in drunkenness; and rather encouraged the discharge of guns, squibs, and crackers, though disorder and mischief were the probable consequences.
But the occasion was great, and I was willing to appear pleased, as I really was. “These expressions," said I to myself, “ of our general joy must not be strictly scrutinised as to the manner."
At length I put out my snuffs of candles; and, after hearing the narrow escapes of my children from being set on fire by the squibs, and reproving my maid for staying out too late among greater mischiefs than squibs, we retired to rest.
Presently after this came our Newspaper, and amused us afresh. We found that the display which had thrown our villagers into amazement, was but as a rushlight in the general blaze of joy. We read of