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he said, in a high tone, * Vice! Why vice, sirr ? Sirr, it is a disease -an incurable disease ! a disease implanted by nature! Sirr, a man is no more blameable because he is the victim of it, than if he suffered rheumatism, calculus, fever of the blood or brain, or any other of the “ills that flesh is heir to.'n

* That flesh is heir to ? Flesh is not heir to the diseases which proceed from intemperance: The indulgence of the appetite that grows by what it feeds on. Natural appetite becomes vicious and criminal, as it is hurtful, when it throws off the restraint of reason; and it becomes ten times more criminal in me to indulge appetite after once knowing that it is injurious to my own mind and body, as well as to those most intimately connected with me."

Cooke groaned. Spiffard continued. The diseases that you have enumerated, and others to which we are subjected by our natural constitution, or the constitution of society, have no disgrace attached to them. Not so intemperance and its evils. They bring shame as well as suffering." After a pause Spiffard continued, “R

" Rheumatism may be brought upon us by causes over which we have no control; accidental exposures to heat, damps, cold. Epidemics with pestilential influence sweep off their thousands. Diseases visit us beyond the reach of medicine ; we suffer ; we die. These are the ills that flesh is heir to." In the course of our allotted duties, while performing our parts worthily in life's dráma, we are subject to accidents and various maladies, by which we are deprived of health, and brought to the tomb. But although we suffer, we do not feel the stings of conscience-we have not acted in opposition to our better knowledge. We may indeed say, resignedly, these are * ills that flesh is heir to." But the diseases which we bring upon ourselves by sensual indulgence, it is blasphemy to lay the flattering unction to our souls, that they are evils inflicted by heaven, and not entailed by our own vices."

Cooke was not willing to abandon the sophistry with which he had endeavoured to lull his conscience.

** Surely,” said he, " we are to be pitied when we suffer from the dictates of passions and appetites which are implanted in us by nature without our will ?

* I would pity and endeavour to relieve,” said his young mentor, “but I would not encourage the belief that he is not himself the cause of his sufferings. Reason is given us to control passion and appetite. The will of God is made known to us, to preserve us from following the dictates of those pasVOL. II.

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sions and appetites, which, when not improperly indulged, are necessary to our welfare. But we find a momentary gratification in the indulgence of appetite, or in obeying the dictates of our passions, and our wills, and forget the lessons of reason or of revelation. We bring disease and misfortune upon ourselves, and we are so prone to self-flattery as well as self-indulgence, that we say, 'I could not avoid it; I obeyed the dictates of nature.' Thus we charge our own faults and their consequences on our Creator. The intemperate man says, 'I only seek the gratification which nature points out or makes necessary;' he fires his blood with wine and brandy, and then flies to the haunts of impurity. Still he says, I have these impulses from nature. If strise and murder, or disease and death, follow, all must of course be charged on nature. There is no evil which man brings upon himself by his own selfishness that he does not endeavour to impute to necessity, fate, nature, or the Creator of the universe. Even the fears and torments of the slave-dealer, whether on the coast of Africa,

at the seat of our government; or of the slave-holder, whether in Havanna or Savannah, Cuba or Carolina, are all charged to the same cause. He says, in excuse for all the misery which slavery inflicts on slave and master, •Nature ordained it so.' He will tell you, even in the soleinn assembly of a nation's sages, (a nation that boasts its freedom, and has declared all men equal in rights), that God has marked a certain portion of his creatures as slaves to a certain other portion. Has he not made them black? Has he not given them wool instead of hair? He has given thenı the form of man, merely the better to accommodate them to my purposes.' What crime can man perpetrate, that he does not in self-delusion charge upon nature ? No, sir! Man has the choice of good and evil ; and his Creator has given him the power to restrain every impulse that leads to his destruction."

“ But there is a point,” said Cooke, “which, if passed, we can never return to. I have been irresistibly impelled to what I knew was destruction : an incurable disease has been upon me for years.' He threw himself back, and hid his face. Spiffard continued as if under an uncontrollable influence, although advocating the doctrine of a self-controlling power; but reason approved the impulse.

" It is a lamentable self-delusion to say • My desires are irresistible, or the habits of intemperance, of any description, incurable.' While life, with reason, remains, the sanity of the mind may be restored, and comparative bodily health regained. The only irredeemable step is that which has led to death. I conjure you, sir, not to give way to the thought that your

sufferings, or the habits which have produced them, are beyond remedy. I beg you to recollect that when you have had any particular object in view—when you have wished to appear well in the eyes of an individual, or the public—when you have desired to outdo a rival, or make a favourable impression on coming to a strange place--you can I know it I have observed it-you can, and have, repeatedly, refrained from touching the accursed thing.' And if for a comparatively trifling object you can do it, can you not do it for health, strength, life, good name? Think, sir, think how infinitely more important these are, than the paltry consideration of appearing to advantage in any given character on the stage, or before any individual in private life; or to attract more plaudits from a motley crowd than are bestowed on a rival! What are these in comparison with the will of God, and the blessings which follow the doing his will ?"

While Spiffard spoke, his countenance kindled—his eyes sparkled—benevolence shone in every feature, action, and word. The hearer of truth cannot be offended, even if it condemns him, when he is convinced that the speaker has no selfish motive; but that the counsel, or even the reproof, springs from pure benevolence. Spiffard spoke with more energy than any one could have done who had not seen and suffered so much from the cause of Cooke's misery. The arguments he used to save the friend before him, had been used, in different language, to save one nearer to him. His feelings, though not selfish, were so far connected with self.

Cooke made nor further defence. He raised himself in bed, clasped Spiffard's hand with both his, and the big tears coursed each other down his furrowed cheeks till they became a torrent. He sunk again-hid his face on his pillow, and sobbed audibly. His young friend was affected most powerfully. The scene was touching : the humiliation of age before truth from the lips of youth. Spiffard was silent for a time, and then resumed in a soothing tone and manner.

“It may appear improper for a young man like me to counsel one of your age ; but my motive must plead my excuse. The sufferings of those dearest to me, and the most poignant sufferings of my life, have proceeded from the errors I so ardently combat. I have seen a mother destroyed-a father's peace and fortune blasted-all my kindred swept away-lost -immolated at the altar of this demon. Let me persuade you

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Even in my

that you have only to resolve to do what you have done for temporary considerations, and you can retrieve all yet-health, fame, and peace of mind.”

Cooke had been motionless; his face buried in the bedclothes. He started up.

No, no, no !” he exclaimed; “I cannot recall the past. For myself, I might amend health and life ; but misery inflicted on others is past remedy, and can never be obliterated from my memory. It has been to deaden the sense of my own unworthy conduct towards others-towards one, the best, the most patient; to drown the thought of the past, I have continued the same practice which caused the guilt I lament. I cannot undo what is done : I cannot recall the dead! Would you believe it? Even this resource now fails me. hours of madness she appears to me! As I live, I saw her heard her-in a miserable hovel-sick-stretched on her deathbed--poor-starving-dying! I have had such visions before in my sleep, after my waking thoughts have been employed on the past; but never like this. I heard her voice! It rings in my ears still! I know it was a dream, caused by an imagination distempered from the previous day's excess: I have had such visions before, but never so wild or so vivid. Would you believe it? I thought I saw myself, as I was in my youth; and then I thought I had a son, and I saw him before me! I shook off the image ; it was a watchman. I know they are dead. But these images haunt me! Where was I last night when you found me? Where did you bring me from this morning? Or was it last night? I think it was. No, no. 1 lose time-time! I have lost time, indeed !"

Spiffard recounted the transactions of the night as far as he had seen them ; and being convinced, himself, that his friend's imagination had conjured up unreal images, and transformed Mrs. Johnson and her son into personages connected with his former life, he easily persuaded him that it was so.

Whether this conversation, or the solicitude of Spiffard, would have been of avail under happier circumstances, must be left in doubt. The irretrievable step, as it respected health und life, had been taken.

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" For let the gods so speed me, as I love
The name of honour more than I fear death."- Shakspeare.
Within

my

bosom dwells another lord"
Reason—" sole judge and umpire of itself."--Home.
"Rought all his battles o'er again,

And thrice he routed all his foes,
And thrice he slew the slain.”Dryden.

It would be “stale, flat, and unprofitable" to go into a dotail of the boyish scenes which the young companions of Spiffard planned and executed as a trial of his unsuspicious character, and as a source of amusement for themselves.

Beaglehole was a man who would enter with all his heart into Allen's plot, and with the more glee as it was to be played off upon a Yankee. Having been informed of the preceding transactions—the particulars of the first acts of what was intended as a comedy---he undertook the part of Captain John Smith's friend, and waited upon Spiffard.

“ My name is Beaglehole, sir." Spiffard bowed. The visitor repeated, “ Beaglehole, sir."

“ I have no acquaintance of that name.
“My friend, Captain John Smith, you know him, sir."
“I do not, sir."

“ You addressed certain words to him at the theatre which require explanation."

“I spoke very plainly."
“ He demands an apology."
“I have none to make."

"I am directed by him to call on you, and, if no apology is made, I am requested to see your friend. You have nothing further to say to me, sir ?"

Nothing. I was called to a meeting with a Captain Smith, and went with the intention of representing the impropriety of

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