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OLD HUMPHREY'S

OBSERVATIONS.

ON

THE PRICE OF THINGS.

WHENEVER I want any thing, I always ask the price of it, whether it be a new coat, or a shoulder of mutton ; a pound of tea, or a ball of packstring. If it appears to be worth the money, I buy it, that is, if I can afford it; but if not, I let it alone, for he is no wise man who pays for a thing more than it is worth.

But not only in the comforts of food and clothing, but in all other things I ask the same question ; for there is a price fixed to a day's enjoyment, as well as to an article of dress; to the pleasures of life, as well as to a joint of butcher's meat. Old Humphrey has now lived some summers and winters in the world, and it would be odd indeed if he had passed through them all,

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without picking up a little wisdom from his experience. Now, if you will adopt my plan, you will reap much advantage ; but if you will not, you will pay too dearly for the things you obtain,

The spendthrift sets his heart on expensive baubles, but he does not ask their price: he is, therefore, obliged to give for them his houses, his lands, his friends, and his comforts ; and these are fifty times more than they are worth. The drunkard is determined to have his brandy, his gin, and his strong ale ; and as he never makes the price an object, so he pays for them with his wealth, his health, his character, and his peaceand a sad bargain he makes of it! It is the same with others. The gamester will be rich at once, but riches may be bought too dear; for he who in getting money gets also the habit of risking it on the turn of a card, or a throw of the dice, will soon bring his noble to ninepence. The gamester pays for his riches with his rest, his reputation, and his happiness.

Do you think if the highwayman asked the rice of ungodly gain, that he could ever commit robbery ? No, never! but he does not ask the price, and foolishly gives for it his liberty and his life. Old Humphrey has little more to say; for if a

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do so.

few words will not make you wise, many will not Ask the price of what you

would

possess, and make a good bargain. A little prudence will secure you a great deal of peace. But if, after all, you will have the pleasures of sin, I pray you, consider the price you must pay for them.

Yes, thine may be the joys of vice,

And thine without control:
But ah! at what a fearful price-

The price may be thy soul!

“ What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ?" Matt. xvi. 26,

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