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and he now came forward to claim his debt.
"I have no money,” said Albert, and the tears glistened in his eyes; and my father will not send me any more this half; but "
“ You are a cheat, a great cheat,” exclaimed Sam Brown, his eyes flashing with fury. “ Yes, you are a cheat, and a thief; and I will go this minute and tell Mr. — all about your tricks. I do not care for being punished for lending; but I am not going to be cheated out of my money."
“But you will not hear what I was going to say,” replied Albert. “See, here is my flute, and my bow and arrows, and all the rest of these things : take what you like of them, and keep them till I can pay you. I am not a cheat; and you know I am not.”
Sam's first thought was to refuse this offer-he“ did not want the flute, nor any other of Albert's dirty things," not he. But second thoughts are best. He did care about the punishment he should receive as a lender, if the affair came to light; it was therefore to his interest not to make any publicc omplaints. Besides, could he not make more than three shillings by accepting his schoolfellow's offer?” So he put on the sullen air of one who has been very much injured, and will not forgive—“Well,” he said, “I suppose it must be so then; but mind, you don't have any of these things till you have paid me my three shillings; oh! and another sixpence too, to pay for all this trouble ;” — and saying this, be grasped, to Albert's dismay, the whole pile of goods which the poor boy had collected together-toys,
books—all, all were swept off by the insatiable young usurer.
Very wretchedly did the two last months of that half year pass with Albert. He heard no more from his father, and had not courage to write, so that he had no pleasure in anticipating the holidays. He had no money to spend ; and this to a boy who had so many fancied wants, and had the reputation of being so much richer than all his schoolfellows, was a sad mortification. But he felt, perhaps, more than anything else, the daily and almost hourly taunts and sarcasms of Sam Brown, which he dared neither retort nor complain of. Added to all these vexations and troubles, the rapacity of his cruel young creditor had deprived him of almost all his valuables, and nothing that he could say would induce Sam Brown to relax bis grasp upon them. Little did the kind hearted school
master, when he noticed the altered manners and wan countenance of the unhappy boy, and granted him one indulgence after another, that his health and spirits might be brought back-little did he guess at the real cause of the change.
At length the holidays came, and the holidays passed away; and Albert returned to school, gay and cheerful as ever. To his mother he had told the history of his dealings with Sam Brown, and its consequences; and she had made peace with his father, who hoped that the lesson would not be lost on his son. The parents were very angry at the meanness of the money-lender; and putting money again into their son's purse, told him to pay the young rascal—as the father called him ; never to borrow money again, and, above all things, to keep good accounts, and all would be well. Alas ! in all the advice they
gave, there was one thing entirely overlooked, — Albert had been guilty of a great sin against God in attempting to deceive his father. He had shown that his heart was not right with God; and, above all things, it was needful for him to repent, to seek, through Jesus Christ, the pardon of all his sins, and to obtain the teaching and assistance of God's gracious and Holy Spirit in striving against the power of new temptations. It was right for Albert's parents to admonish their son not to get into debt, and to keep good accounts; but he needed also to have his conscience awakened and alarmed by the solemn truth, that there was an account standing between his Maker and himselfthat the time of reckoning was drawing nearer and nearer every day, and every hour—and that dying, as he had hitherto lived, in unconcern and rebellion against