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THE HISTORY OF

DILIGENT DICK;

OR,
Truth will out though it be hid in a Well.

de falfe witness shall not go unpunished, and he

who speaketh lies friall perish. DON'T

ON'T be frightened, Reader ! Although I set out with a text, I am not going to preach a sermon, but to tell a story. On the right side of Marsh-moor common, and not more than five hundred yards out of the turnpike road, stood a lone cottage, inhabited by one Richard Rogers, a day-laborer, commonly called DILLIGENT Dick. Though poor, he was as much noted for his honesty as for the care and industry with which he had brought up a large family in a very decent manner.

About fifteen years ago, in the month of January, there suddenly fell a deep fnow, attended by such a high wind, that many travellers lost their lives in it. When all on a sudden, as Rogers and his family were crowding round a handful of fire to catch a last heat before they went to bed, they heard a doleful cry of

Help! help! for God's fake help!"-Up Started Rogers in an instant, when clapping the end of a farthing candle into a broken horn lanEtern, and catching up his staff, cut he fallied, directing his feps iowards the spot from whence

the cries came. In one of the fand-pits he found a gentleman who had fallen from his horse, and was nearly buried in the fnow. Rogers, though with much difficulty, at length dragged him out, and after securing the horse, conveyed them both bome.

The gentleman appeared elderly, and seemed almost perished with cold; for a long time he was quite speechless, his jaws appeared locked, and it was only by inward groans they could perceive he had any remains of life in him, so be. numbed an stiffened was he with cold. After they had rubbed his limbs for some time before the fire, the gentleman by. degrees recovered himself, and began to thank Rogers and his wife, whom he saw busied about him, as well as his children, * Sir," said Betty Rogers, although we be poor in pocket, we may nevertheless be kind in heart." Hear the stranger, after fetching a deep figh, said, “ if his life were granted him, he hoped it would be in his power to reward them for their kindness.” Rogers replied, " that what he had done for him, he would have done for his worst enemy.” Here the gentleman groaned heavily, saying he had been long fick himself, and that he could not enough admire the healthy looks of Rogers's children.

“ Blessed be God, sir,” said Rogers, " although my family is numerous, I never paid a shilling for doctor's stuff in my life, nor do I even know the price of a coffin ; if my wealth is small, my wants are few, and though I know I

am a finner, and need daily repentance, yet my conscience is quiet, for I have knowingly done wrong to no man, nor would I forfeit my peace of mind, sir, to become the richest man in Old England. I am not covetous of wealth, fir, since I have seen how little comfort they often enjoy who possess it ; the honest man, sir, sleeps foundly on the hardest bed, whilst he who has “ made too much haste to be rich,” may lie down on the softest bed with an aching heart, but shall not be able to find rest.” All this while Betty Rogers fat puffing and blowing the fire with a pair of broken nofed bellows in order to boil her kettle, to make the gentleman a dish of her coarse bohea tea, as she had no spirits or liquor of any kind, except spring water, to offer him : fhé also toasted a bit of bread, though she had no butter to rub over it; this she hoped the gentleman would excuse, since many of the farmers were so extortionate in their price of butter and cheese, that some of their laborers live, for the greater part of their time, on bread only, or a few potatoes.

Here the gentleman attempted to partake of Petty's tea and toast, when all at once he began to tremble all over so exceedingly, that he begged she would set it down for the present, for if: he was to attempt to swallow it, he was certain it would choak him. “It is but cold comfort to be sure, sir,” said Rogers, “ we have to of. fer you ; but nevertheless we must hope you will take the will for the deed. I suppose, fir, you

1

are very rich, and yet you now see, that all the wealth in the world cannot help a man in certain situations. I had a pretty education, fir, and I remember when I was a boy at school to have regd the history of a great king, who, when harraffed by the enemy, and being overcome with thirst, was thankful to a poor foldier who brought him a draught of cold water in his helmet, which he drank off greedily, saying, that amidst all his pomp he had never tafted such luxury as that cup of water yielded him. So you see, fir, what strange ups-and-downs there are in life; therefore people of all degrees should be careful to keep pride out of their hearts, since the most prosperous man to-day, may be thankful for the poor man's allistance to morrow.' “ And after all," cried Betty Rogers, “ high and low, rich and poor, should pray daily for God's grace, since that alone can give peace to their poor souls when the hour of affliction cometh. But, bless me," cried the, clafping her hands, 6 what shall we do, our last inch of candle is burnt out." “ Then,” said Rogers, “ we must content ourselves, my Betty, with passing the rest of the night in the dark.” The gentleman faid he must be content to do as they did. “Many is the dark night, sir,” said Richard, “have I fat by my dames's bed-side when she had been fick or lying-in, endeavoring to make up to her in kindness what I could not provide for her in eomforts, when I have not had the least glim

mering of light, but what came from the twinkling stars throuzh our tattered casement.

“Amidst all our poverty, fir, we have ever been the happiest pair in each other. It is a brave thing, fir, to be able, by the grace of God, to drive pride out of the cottage, when poverty enters in ; for fin is the father of shame. man, fir, amidst the extremeft poverty, yet may stand high in the favor of God, by patience, prayer, and a hearty faith in his Redeemer."

Here the stranger appeared under very great distress both of body and mind ; he shivered all over as if he had an ague fit upon him, and by a little blaft, which was just then lighed up, they perceived he looked as pale as deach ; they begged him to lie down on their bed, saying, " it was very clean, though it was ill provided with sheets and blankets.” “O my good people.” cried the gentleman, “your goodness will be the death of me; the kindness of your hearts proves to me the unkindness of my own : No, go you to bed, and let me sit here till morning.

That,” Rogers said, “they could not do." The gentleman then replied, he should be glad if Rogers would give him a little history of him. self and family to beguile the time.

" That I will do most readily, fir," said he, “ if so be it will oblige you in the least.-My name is · Rogers, although my neighbors are pleased to call ms DILIGENT Dick. I have a wise and seven children; I rise with the lark,

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