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cies made but a poor appearance on paper ; in short, he was utterly ashamed of his cash account, and gave up the attempt, for that day, in despair.
But time pressed, and every time he met his young creditor, Albert dreaded a repetition of his angry looks and words. But this was no part of Sam's plan : he waited his time. The next day, however, found Albert at his heavy task; and, while sighing over it, a sudden temptation presented itself to his mind. “It will do ; it must do," said he to himself. With trembling hands and flushed cheeks he commenced another letter, hurried through it, sealed, directed, posted it. The next hour he repented of what he had done ; but to recall it was impossible, and to confess it—no, he would not, he could not. Dear young reader, this was not TRUE repentance.
The nature of Albert's sin will be learned from the following answer to his letter, which arrived a few days after.
“Son Albert, I could not have thought that a boy of mine would ever have been guilty of the deceit you have tried to put upon me. I have made inquiries among your relations, and have found you out in a string of falsehoods. Your uncle Edward gave you five shillings; your uncle John gave you half-a-crown; your aunt Rachel gave you half-a-crown; your grandfathers gave you half-a-crown each ;--and you have had the wickedness to tell me that your uncle Edward's gift was only half-acrown; and you have put down the rest at shillings. I am distressed for you, Albert. You know that I have never cared-perhaps I have not cared enough-how you spend your money, so long as you keep a good account of your spendings. But it seems that you know well enough both how to squander money, and to make up a false account. Go on, as you have begun, and you will bring ruin on yourself, and disgrace on your family. You need not expect that I shall furnish you with any more spending money this half-year. If you have none left, you must learn to do without. It will be useless for you to write to any of your relatives to help you; for I have strictly charged them not to send you a farthing; and if I know that you apply to them, it will be worse for you, etc. etc.”
Poor Albert! when he received this severe letter, he was stupified. How happy would he have been to be able to live over again the ast few weeks of his life: but that could not be; and nothing but disgrace, on all hands, seemed to await him. His sin had found him out. The effects of his trouble soon became visible. He got by himself, and cried until a sick headache came on; a wretched, sleepless night followed ; and the next morning he was too unwell to rise and dress. And the worst of it was, he could not disclose the cause of his illness. It was many days before he recovered ; but he did gradually get better, and was thought sufficiently well to enter the school again. It was on the very day that his month was out; and he really trembled when he caught the quick eye and knowing look of Sam Brown fixed upon him. Once in the course of that morning, too, Sam found an opportunity of whispering in the ear of his unfortunate debtor, “This is the day, you know.” Poor Albert! why would you have dealings with a money lender ?
try to sell his toys, books—anything, to raise the money for Sam Brown. Never, surely, did anyitinerant merchant labour so hard in his calling, or so earnestly invite customers, as did Albert that day when play hours arrived. But never did pedlar meet with worse success. In vain the bankrupt boy vaunted the strength of his bow, the superior quality of his arrows, the sharpness of his knives, and so on. One thing after another did he bring out to tempt a purchaser-flute and fiddle. school-book and story book; it was all useless, although he offered every article at less than a quarter of its value. Those who were willing to buy, had no money ; and the few who had a little money, did not care to buy; so he gave up in despair.
Sam Brown had watched all these suspicious proceedings, although Albert had taken care not to invite him to purchase ;