When I was a child of seven years old , my friends , on a holiday ,filled my pocket with coppers . I went at once to a shop where they sold toys for children . Being charmed with the sound of a whistle that I had seen by the way , in the hands of another boy , I handed over all my money for one . I then came home , went whistling all over house , much pleased with my whistle , but disturbing all my family .My brother and sister and cousins ,when I told of the bargain I had made,said I had given four times as much as the whistle was worth . they put me in mind of what good things I might have bought with the rest of the money, and laughed at me so much for my folly that I cried with vacation . think about the matter gave me more chagrin than the whistle gave me pleasure.
This , however , was afterwards of use to me , for the impression continued on my mind . so that often , when I was tempted to buy something I do not need . I said to myself . "Don't give too much for the whistle ," and I saved my money . As I grew up , came into the world and observed the actions of men . I thought I met with many ,very many ,who "gave too much for the whistle ." When I saw some man too eager for cout favour, wasting his time at court gatherings ,giving up his rest , his liberty ,his virtue, and perhaps his friends ,for royal favour , I said to myself --"This man gives too much for the whistle." When I saw another fond of popularity , constantly taking part in political affairs ,neglecting his own business ,and ruining it by neglect , "He pays , indeed ," said I , "too dear for his whistle .
If I knew a miser who gave up every kind of comfortable living , all the pleasure of doing good to others , all the esteem of his fellow citizens and the joys of friendship , for the sake of gathering and keeping wealth --"Poor man." said I , "you pay too dear for your whistle ."When I met a man of pleasure , who did not try to improve his mind or his fortune but merely devoted himself to having a good time ,perhaps neglecting his health ,"Mistaken man," said I , "you are providing pain for yourself , instead of pleasure ; you are paying too dear for your whistle ." If I saw someone fond of appearance of who had fine clothes , fine houses , fine furniture , fine earrings , all above his fortune , and for which he had run into debt ,and ends his career in a prison ."Alas," said I , "he has paid dear , very dear , for his whistle . " In short the miseries of mankind are largely due to their putting a false value on things --to giving "too much for their whistles".