Page:The Daughters of England.djvu/45

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friends will cease to depend upon our aid, believing, what may all the while be unjust to our feelings, that we have never entertained any earnest desire to promote their interest.

Above all other subjects, however, connected with the consideration of time, the law of love bears most directly upon that of punctuality. No one can fail in this point, without committing an act of injury to another. If the portion of time allotted to us in this life be aptly compared to a valuable estate, of which an enemy robs us by taking away a certain portion every day; surely it is a hard case that a friend must usurp the same power, and take away another portion, contrary to our expectations, and without any previous stipulation that it should be so. Yet, of how much of this precious property do we deprive our friends during the course of a lifetime, by our want of punctuality? and not our friends only, but all those who are in any way connected with, or dependent upon us. Our friends, indeed, might possibly forgive us the injury for the love they bear us; but there are the poor—the hard-working poor, whose time is often their wealth; and strangers, who owe us no kindness, and who consequently are not able to endure this injury without feelings of irritation or resentment.

The evil, too, is one which extends in its consequences, and widens in its influence, beyond all calculation. Yet, for the sake of conveying to the youthful and inexperienced reader, some idea of its mode of operation, we will suppose the case of a man carrying letters or despatches along one of our public roads, and so calculating his time as to appoint to be met at some post on the road every hour, by this means to transmit his despatches by other couriers along branch-roads to distant parts of the country. The person whose business it is to place these despatches in his hand at a certain time and place, is half an hour too late; conse-