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FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS;
OR, Two Ways of Living in the World.
EDITED BY T. S. ARTHUR.
WE were about preparing a few words of introduction to this volume,
the materials for which have been culled from the highways and
byways of literature, where our eyes fell upon these fitting
sentiments, the authorship of which we are unable to give. They
express clearly and beautifully what was in our own mind:--
"If we would only bring ourselves to look at the subjects that
surround as in their true flight, we should see beauty where now
appears deformity, and listen to harmony where we hear nothing but
discord. To be sure there is a great deal of vexation and anxiety in
the world; we cannot sail upon a summer sea for ever; yet if we
preserve a calm eye and a steady hand, we can so trim our sails and
manage our helm, as to avoid the quicksands, and weather the storms
that threaten shipwreck. We are members of one great family; we are
travelling the same road, and shall arrive at the same goal. We
breathe the same air, are subject to the same bounty, and we shall,
each lie down upon the bosom of our common mother. It is not
becoming, then, that brother should hate brother; it is not proper
that friend should deceive friend; it is not right that neighbour
should deceive neighbour. We pity that man who can harbour enmity
against his fellow; he loses half the enjoyment of life; he
embitters his own existence. Let us tear from our eyes the coloured
medium that invests every object with the green hue of jealousy and
suspicion; turn, a deal ear to scandal; breathe the spirit of
charity from our hearts; let the rich gushings of human kindness
swell up as a fountain, so that the golden age will become no
fiction and islands of the blessed bloom in more than Hyperian
It is thus that friends and neighbours should live. This is the
right way. To aid in the creation of such true harmony among men,
has the book now in your hand, reader, been compiled. May the truths
that glisten on its pages be clearly reflected in your mind; and the
errors it points out be shunned as the foes of yourself and
GOOD IN ALL
FORGIVE AND FORGET
OWE NO MAN ANYTHING
RETURNING GOOD FOR EVIL
PUTTING YOUR HAND IN YOUR NEIGHBOUR'S POCKET
GOOD WE MIGHT DO
THE TOWN LOT
THE SUNBEAM AND THE RAINDROP
A PLEA FOR SOFT WORDS
MR. QUERY'S INVESTIGATIONS
ROOM IN THE WORLD
THE THANKLESS OFFICE.
"EVERY LITTLE HELPS"
HOW TO BE HAPPY
THE VISION OF BOATS
REGULATION OF THE TEMPER
ANTIDOTE FOR MELANCHOLY
THE SORROWS OF A WEALTHY CITIZEN
"WE'VE ALL OUR ANGEL SIDE"
TWO RIDES WITH THE DOCTOR
KEEP IN STEP
THE THIEF AND HIS BENEFACTOR
JOHN AND MARGARET GREYLSTON
THE WORLD WOULD BE THE BETTER FOR IT
TWO SIDES TO A STORY
LEAVING OFF CONTENTION BEFORE IT BE MEDDLED WITH
"ALL THE DAY IDLE"
THE BUSHEL OF CORN
CONTENTMENT BETTER THAN WEALTH
FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS.
GOOD IN ALL.
THERE IS GOOD IN ALL. Yes! we all believe it: not a man in the depth
of his vanity but will yield assent. But do you not all, in
practice, daily, hourly deny it? A beggar passes you in the street:
dirty, ragged, importunate. "Ah! he has a _bad_ look," and your
pocket is safe. He starves--and he steals. "I thought he was _bad_."
You educate him in the State Prison. He does not improve even in
this excellent school. "He is," says the gaoler, "thoroughly _bad_."
He continues his course of crime. All that is bad in him having by
this time been made apparent to himself, his friends, and the world,
he has only to confirm the decision, and at length we hear when he
has reached his last step. "Ah! no wonder--there was never any
_Good_ in him. Hang him!"
Now much, if not all this, may be checked by a word.
If you believe in Good, _always appeal to it._ Be sure whatever
there is of Good--is of God. There is never an utter want of
resemblance to the common Father. "God made man in His own image."
"What! yon reeling, blaspheming creature; yon heartless cynic; yon
crafty trader; yon false statesman?" Yes! All. In every nature there
is a germ of eternal happiness, of undying Good. In the drunkard's
heart there is a memory of something better--slight, dim: but
flickering still; why should you not by the warmth of your charity,
give growth to the Good that is in him? The cynic, the miser, is not
all self. There is a note in that sullen instrument to make all
harmony yet; but it wants a patient and gentle master to touch the
You point to the words "There is _none_ good." The truths do not
oppose each other. "There is none good--_save one._" And He breathes
in all. In our earthliness, our fleshly will, our moral grasp, we
are helpless, mean, vile. But there is a lamp ever burning in the
heart: a guide to the source of Light, or an instrument of torture.
We can make it either. If it burn in an atmosphere of purity, it
will warm, guide, cheer us. If in the midst of selfishness, or under
the pressure of pride, its flame will be unsteady, and we shall soon
have good reason to trim our light, and find new oil for it.
There is Good in All--the impress of the Deity. He who believes not
in the image of God in man, is an infidel to himself and his race.
There is no difficulty about discovering it. You have only to appeal
to it. Seek in every one the _best_ features: mark, encourage,
educate _them._ There is no man to whom some circumstance will not
be an argument.
And how glorious in practice, this faith! How easy, henceforth, all
the labours of our law-makers, and how delightful, how practical the
theories of our philanthropists! To educate the _Good_--the good in
_All_: to raise every man in his own opinion, and yet to stifle all
arrogance, by showing that all possess this Good. _In_ themselves,
but not _of_ themselves. Had we but faith in this truth, how soon
should we all be digging through the darkness, for this Gold of
Love--this universal Good. A Howard, and a Fry, cleansed and
humanized our prisons, to find this Good; and in the chambers of all
our hearts it is to be found, by labouring eyes and loving hands.
Why all our harsh enactments? Is it from experience of the strength
of vice in ourselves that we cage, chain, torture, and hang men? Are
none of us indebted to friendly hands, careful advisers; to the
generous, trusting guidance, solace, of some gentler being, who has
loved us, despite the evil that is in _us_--for our little Good, and
has nurtured that Good with smiles and tears and prayers? O, we know
not how like we are to those whom we despise! We know not how many
memories of kith and kin the murderer carries to the gallows--how
much honesty of heart the felon drags with him to the hulks.
There is Good in All. Dodd, the forger, was a better man than most
of us: Eugene Aram, the homicide, would turn his foot from a worm.
Do not mistake us. Society demands, requires that these madmen
should be rendered harmless. There is no nature dead to all Good.
Lady Macbeth would have slain the old king, Had he not resembled her
father as he slept.
It is a frequent thought, but a careless and worthless one, because
never acted on, that the same energies, the same will to great
vices, had given force to great virtues. Do we provide the
opportunity? Do we _believe_ in Good? If we are ourselves deceived
in any one, is not all, thenceforth, deceit? if treated with
contempt, is not the whole world clouded with scorn? if visited with
meanness, are not all selfish? And if from one of our frailer
fellow-creatures we receive the blow, we cease to believe in women.
Not the breast at which we have drank life--not the sisterly hands
that have guided ours--not the one voice that has so often soothed
us in our darker hours, will save the sex: All are massed in one
common sentence: all bad. There may be Delilahs: there are many
Ruths. We should not lightly give them up. Napoleon lost France when
he lost Josephine. The one light in Rembrandt's gloomy life was his
And all are to be approached at some point. The proudest bends to
some feeling--Coriolanus conquered Rome: but the husband conquered
the hero. The money-maker has influences beyond his gold--Reynolds
made an exhibition of his carriage, but he was generous to
Northcote, and had time to think of the poor Plympton
schoolmistress. The cold are not all ice. Elizabeth slew Essex--the
queen triumphed; the woman _died._
There is Good in All. Let us show our faith in it. When the lazy
whine of the mendicant jars on your ears, think of his unaided,
unschooled childhood; think that his lean cheeks never knew the
baby-roundness of content that ours have worn; that his eye knew no
youth of fire--no manhood of expectancy. Pity, help, teach him. When
you see the trader, without any pride of vocation, seeking how he
can best cheat you, and degrade himself, glance into the room behind
his shop and see there his pale wife and his thin children, and
think how cheerfully he meets that circle in the only hour he has
out of the twenty-four. Pity his narrowness of mind; his want of
reliance upon the God of Good; but remember there have been
Greshams, and Heriots, and Whittingtons; and remember, too, that in
our happy land there are thousands of almshouses, built by the men
of trade alone. And when you are discontented with the great, and
murmur, repiningly, of Marvel in his garret, or Milton in his
hiding-place, turn in justice to the Good among the great. Read how
John of Lancaster loved Chaucer and sheltered Wicliff. There have
been Burkes as well as Walpoles. Russell remembered Banim's widow,
and Peel forgot not Haydn.
Once more: believe that in every class there is Good; in every man,
Good. That in the highest and most tempted, as well as in the
lowest, there is often a higher nobility than of rank. Pericles and
Alexander had great, but different virtues, and although the
refinement of the one may have resulted in effeminacy, and the
hardihood of the other in brutality, we ought to pause ere we
condemn where we should all have fallen.
Look only for the Good. It will make you welcome everywhere, and
everywhere it will make you an instrument to good. The lantern of
Diogenes is a poor guide when compared with the Light God hath set
in the heavens; a Light which shines into the solitary cottage and
the squalid alley, where the children of many vices are hourly
exchanging deeds of kindness; a Light shining into the rooms of
dingy warehousemen and thrifty clerks, whose hard labour and hoarded
coins are for wife and child and friend; shining into prison and
workhouse, where sin and sorrow glimmer with sad eyes through rusty
bars into distant homes and mourning hearths; shining through heavy
curtains, and round sumptuous tables, where the heart throbs audibly
through velvet mantle and silken vest, and where eye meets eye with
affection and sympathy; shining everywhere upon God's creatures, and
with its broad beams lighting up a virtue wherever it falls, and
telling the proud, the wronged, the merciless, or the despairing,
that there is "Good in All."
WE are told to look through nature
Upward unto Nature's God;
We are told there is a scripture
Written on the meanest sod;
That the simplest flower created
Is a key to hidden things;
But, immortal over nature,
Mind, the lord of nature, springs!
Through _Humanity_ look upward,--
Alter ye the olden plan,--
Look through man to the Creator,
Maker, Father, God of Man!
Shall imperishable spirit
Yield to perishable clay?
No! sublime o'er Alpine mountains
Soars the Mind its heavenward way!
Deeper than the vast Atlantic
Rolls the tide of human thought;
Farther speeds that mental ocean
Than the world of waves o'er sought!
Mind, sublime in its own essence
Its sublimity can lend
To the rocks, and mounts, and torrents,
And, at will, their features bend!
Some within the humblest _floweret_
"Thoughts too deep for tears" can see;
Oh, the humblest man existing
Is a sadder theme to me!
Thus I take the mightier labour
Of the great Almighty hand;
And, through man to the Creator,
Upward look, and weeping stand.
Thus I take the mightier labour,
--Crowning glory of _His_ will;
And believe that in the meanest
Lives a spark of Godhead still:
Something that, by Truth expanded,
Might be fostered into worth;
Something struggling through the darkness,
Owning an immortal birth!
From the Genesis of being
Unto this imperfect day,
Hath Humanity held onward,
Praying God to aid its way!
And Man's progress had been swifter,
Had he never turned aside,
To the worship of a symbol,
Not the spirit signified!
And Man's progress had been higher,
Had he owned his brother man,
Left his narrow, selfish circle,
For a world-embracing plan!
There are some for ever craving,
Ever discontent with place,
In the eternal would find briefness,
In the infinite want space.
If through man unto his Maker
We the source of truth would find,
It must be through man enlightened,
Educated, raised, refined:
That which the Divine hath fashioned
Ignorance hath oft effaced;
Never may we see God's image
In man darkened--man debased!
Something yield to Recreation,
Something to Improvement give;
There's a Spiritual kingdom
Where the Spirit hopes to live!
There's a mental world of grandeur,
Which the mind inspires to know;
Founts of everlasting beauty
That, for those who seek them, flow!
Shores where Genius breathes immortal--
Where the very winds convey
Glorious thoughts of Education,
Holding universal sway!
Glorious hopes of Human Freedom,
Freedom of the noblest kind;
That which springs from Cultivation,
Cheers and elevates the mind!
Let us hope for Better Prospects,
Strong to struggle for the night,
We appeal to Truth, and ever
Truth's omnipotent in might;
Hasten, then, the People's Progress,
Ere their last faint hope be gone;
Teach the Nations that their interest
And the People's good, ARE ONE.
SOME people have a singular reluctance to part with money. If waited
on for a bill, they say, almost involuntarily, "Call to-morrow,"
even though their pockets are far from being empty.
I once fell into this bad habit myself; but a little incident, which
I will relate, cured me. Not many years after I had attained my
majority, a poor widow, named Blake, did my washing and ironing. She
was the mother of two or three little children, whose sole
dependence for food and raiment was on the labour of her hands.
Punctually, every Thursday morning, Mrs. Blake appeared with my
clothes, "white as the driven snow;" but not always, as punctually,
did I pay the pittance she had earned by hard labour.
"Mrs. Blake is down stairs," said a servant, tapping at my room-door
one morning, while I was in the act of dressing myself.
"Oh, very well," I replied. "Tell her to leave my clothes. I will
get them when I come down."
The thought of paying the seventy-five cents, her due, crossed my
mind. But I said to myself,--"It's but a small matter, and will do
as well when she comes again."
There was in this a certain reluctance to part with money. My funds
were low, and I might need what change I had during the day. And so
it proved. As I went to the office in which I was engaged, some
small article of ornament caught my eye in a shop window.
"Beautiful!" said I, as I stood looking at it. Admiration quickly
changed into the desire for possession; and so I stepped in to ask
the price. It was just two dollars.
"Cheap enough," thought I. And this very cheapness was a further
So I turned out the contents of my pockets, counted them over, and
found the amount to be two dollars and a quarter.
"I guess I'll take it," said I, laying the money on the shopkeeper's
"I'd better have paid Mrs. Blake." This thought crossed my mind, an
hour afterwards, by which time the little ornament had lost its
power of pleasing. "So much would at least have been saved."
I was leaving the table, after tea, on the evening that followed,
when the waiter said to me,
"Mrs. Blake is at the door, and wishes to see you."
I felt a little worried at hearing this; for I had no change in my
pockets, and the poor washerwoman had, of course, come for her
"She's in a great hurry," I muttered to myself, as I descended to
"You'll have to wait until you bring home my clothes next week, Mrs.
Blake. I haven't any change, this evening."
The expression of the poor woman's face, as she turned slowly away,
without speaking, rather softened my feelings.
"I'm sorry," said I, "but it can't be helped now. I wish you had
said, this morning, that you wanted money. I could have paid you
She paused, and turned partly towards me, as I said this. Then she
moved off, with something so sad in her manner, that I was touched
"I ought to have paid her this morning, when I had the change about
me. And I wish I had done so. Why didn't she ask for her money, if
she wanted it so badly?"
I felt, of course, rather ill at ease. A little while afterwards I
met the lady with whom I was boarding.
"Do you know anything about this Mrs. Blake, who washes for me?" I
"Not much; except that she is very poor, and has three children to
feed and clothe. And what is worst of all, she is in bad health. I
think she told me, this morning, that one of her little ones was
I was smitten with a feeling of self-condemnation, and soon after
left the room. It was too late to remedy the evil, for I had only a
sixpence in my pocket; and, moreover, did not know where to find
Having purposed to make a call upon some young ladies that evening,
I now went up into my room to dress. Upon my bed lay the spotless
linen brought home by Mrs. Blake in the morning. The sight of it
rebuked me; and I had to conquer, with some force, an instinctive
reluctance, before I could compel myself to put on a clean shirt,
and snow-white vest, too recently from the hand of my unpaid
One of the young ladies upon whom I called was more to me than a
mere pleasant acquaintance. My heart had, in fact, been warming
towards her for some time; and I was particularly anxious to find
favour in her eyes. On this evening she was lovelier and more
attractive than ever, and new bonds of affection entwined themselves
around my heart.
Judge, then, of the effect produced upon me by the entrance of her
mother--at the very moment when my heart was all a-glow with love,
who said, as she came in--
"Oh, dear! This is a strange world!"
"What new feature have you discovered now, mother?" asked one of her
"No new one, child; but an old one that looks more repulsive than
ever," was replied. "Poor Mrs. Blake came to see me just now, in
"What about, mother?" All the young ladies at once manifested
Tell-tale blushes came instantly to my countenance, upon which the
eyes of the mother turned themselves, as I felt, with a severe
"The old story, in cases like hers," was answered. "Can't get her
money when earned, although for daily bread she is dependent on her
daily labour. With no food in the house, or money to buy medicine
for her sick child, she was compelled to seek me to-night, and to
humble her spirit, which is an independent one, so low as to ask
bread for her little ones, and the loan of a pittance with which to
get what the doctor has ordered her feeble sufferer at home."
"Oh, what a shame!" fell from the lips of Ellen, the one in whom my
heart felt more than a passing interest; and she looked at me
earnestly as she spoke.
"She fully expected," said the mother, "to get a trifle that was due
her from a young man who boards with Mrs. Corwin; and she went to
see him this evening. But he put her off with some excuse. How
strange that any one should be so thoughtless as to withhold from
the poor their hard-earned pittance! It is but a small sum at best,
that the toiling seamstress or washerwoman can gain by her wearying
labour. That, at least, should be promptly paid. To withhold it an
hour is to do, in many cases, a great wrong."
For some minutes after this was said, there ensued a dead silence. I
felt that the thoughts of all were turned upon me as the one who had
withheld from poor Mrs. Blake the trifling sum due her for washing.
What my feelings were, it is impossible for me to describe; and
difficult for any one, never himself placed in so unpleasant a
position, to imagine.
My relief was great when the conversation flowed on again, and in
another channel; for I then perceived that suspicion did not rest
upon me. You may be sure that Mrs. Blake had her money before ten
o'clock on the next day, and that I never again fell into the error
of neglecting, for a single week, my poor washerwoman.
FORGIVE AND FORGET.
THERE'S a secret in living, if folks only knew;
An Alchymy precious, and golden, and true,
More precious than "gold dust," though pure and refined,
For its mint is the heart, and its storehouse the mind;
Do you guess what I mean--for as true as I live
That dear little secret's--forget and forgive!
When hearts that have loved have grown cold and estranged,
And looks that beamed fondness are clouded and changed,
And words hotly spoken and grieved for with tears
Have broken the trust and the friendship of years--
Oh! think 'mid thy pride and thy secret regret,
The balm for the wound is--forgive and forget!
Yes! look in thy spirit, for love may return
And kindle the embers that still feebly burn;
And let this true whisper breathe high in thy heart,
_'Tis better to love than thus suffer apart_--
Let the Past teach the Future more wisely than yet,
For the friendship that's true can forgive and forget.
And now, an adieu! if you list to my lay
May each in your thoughts bear my motto away,
'Tis a crude, simple ryhme, but its truth may impart
A joy to the gentle and loving of heart;
And an end I would claim far more practical yet
In behalf of the Rhymer--_forgive and forget!_
OWE NO MAN ANYTHING.
THUS says an Apostle; and if those who are able to "owe no man
anything" would fully observe this divine obligation, many, very
many, whom their want of punctuality now compels to live in
violation of this precept, would then faithfully and promptly render
to every one their just dues.
"What is the matter with you, George?" said Mrs. Allison to her
husband, as he paced the floor of their little sitting-room, with an
anxious, troubled expression of countenance.
"Oh! nothing of much consequence: only a little worry of business,"
replied Mr. Allison.
"But I know better than that, George. I know it is of consequence;
you are not apt to have such a long face for nothing. Come, tell me
what it is that troubles you. Have I not a right to share your
griefs as well as your joys?"
"Indeed, Ellen, it is nothing but business, I assure you; and as I
am not blessed with the most even temper in the world, it does not
take much you know to upset me: but you heard me speak of that job I
was building for Hillman?"
"Yes. I think you said it was to be five hundred dollars, did you
"I did; and it was to have been cash as soon as done. Well, he took
it out two weeks ago; one week sooner than I promised it. I sent the
bill with it, expecting, of course, he would send me a check for the
amount; but I was disappointed. Having heard nothing from him since,
I thought I would call on him this morning, when, to my surprise, I
was told he had gone travelling with his wife and daughter, and
would not be back for six weeks or two months. I can't tell you how
I felt when I was told this."
"He is safe enough for it I suppose, isn't he, George?"
"Oh, yes; he is supposed to be worth about three hundred thousand.
But what good is that to me? I was looking over my books this
afternoon, and, including this five hundred, there is just fifteen
hundred dollars due me now, that I ought to have, but can't get it.
To a man doing a large business it would not be much; but to one
with my limited means, it is a good deal. And this is all in the
hands of five individuals, any one of whom could pay immediately,
and feel not the least inconvenience from it."
"Are you much pressed for money just now, George?"
"I have a note in bank of three hundred, which falls due to-morrow,
and one of two hundred and fifty on Saturday. Twenty-five dollars at
least will be required to pay off my hands; and besides this, our
quarter's rent is due on Monday, and my shop rent next Wednesday.
Then there are other little bills I wanted to settle, our own wants
to be supplied, &c."
"Why don't you call on those persons you spoke of; perhaps they
would pay you?"
"I have sent their bills in, but if I call on them so soon I might
perhaps affront them, and cause them to take their work away; and
that I don't want to do. However, I think I shall have to do it, let
the consequence be what it may."
"Perhaps you could borrow what you need, George, for a few days."
"I suppose I could; but see the inconvenience and trouble it puts me
to. I was so certain of getting Hillman's money to meet these two
notes, that I failed to make any other provision."
"That would not have been enough of itself."
"No, but I have a hundred on hand; the two together would have paid
them, and left enough for my workmen too."
As early as practicable the next morning Mr. Allison started forth
to raise the amount necessary to carry him safely through the week.
He thought it better to try to collect some of the amounts owing to
him than to borrow. He first called on a wealthy merchant, whose
annual income was something near five thousand.
"Good morning, Mr. Allison," said he, as that individual entered his
counting-room. "I suppose you want some money."
"I should like a little, Mr. Chapin, if you please."
"Well, I intended coming down to see you, but I have been so busy
that I have not been able. That carriage of mine which you did up a
few weeks ago does not suit me altogether."
"What is the matter with it?"
"I don't like the style of trimming, for one thing; it has a common
look to me."
"It is precisely what Mrs. Chapin ordered. You told me to suit her."
"Yes, but did she not tell you to trim it like General Spangler's?"
"I am very much mistaken, Mr. Chapin, if it is not precisely like
"Oh! no; his has a much richer look than mine."
"The style of trimming is just the same, Mr. Chapin; but you
certainly did not suppose that a carriage trimmed with worsted lace,
would look as well as one trimmed with silk lace?"
"No, of course not; but there are some other little things about it
that don't suit me. I will send my man down with it to-day, and he
will show you what they are. I would like to have it to-morrow
afternoon, to take my family out in. Call up on Monday, and we will
have a settlement."
Mr. Allison next called at the office of a young lawyer, who had
lately come into possession of an estate valued at one hundred
thousand dollars. Mr. Allison's bill was three hundred dollars,
which his young friend assured him he would settle immediately, only
that there was a slight error in the way it was made out, and not
having the bill with him, he could not now correct it.
He would call on Mr. Allison with it, sometime during the next week,
and settle it.
A Custom-House gentleman was next sought, but his time had been so
much taken up with his official duties, that he had not yet been
able to examine the bill. He had no doubt but it was all correct;
still, as he was not accustomed to doing business in a loose way, he
must claim Mr. Allison's indulgence a few days longer.
Almost disheartened, Mr. Allison entered the store of the last
individual who was indebted to him for any considerable amount, not
daring to hope that he would be any more successful with him than
with the others he had called on. But he was successful; the bill,
which amounted to near one hundred and fifty dollars, was promptly
paid, Mr. Allison's pocket, in consequence, that much heavier, and
his heart that much lighter. Fifty dollars was yet lacking of the
sum requisite for that day. After calling on two or three
individuals, this amount was obtained, with the promise of being
returned by the middle of the next week.
"I shall have hard work to get through to-day, I know," said he to
himself, as he sat at his desk on the following morning.
"Two hundred and fifty dollars to be raised by borrowing. I don't
know where I can get it."
To many this would be a small sum, but Mr. Allison was peculiarly
situated. He was an honest, upright mechanic, but he was poor. It
was with difficulty he had raised the fifty dollars on the day
previous. Although he had never once failed in returning money at
the time promised, still, for some reason or other, everybody
appeared unwilling to lend him. It was nearly two O'clock and he was
still a hundred dollars short.
"Well," said he to himself, "I have done all I could, and if Hall
won't renew the note for the balance, it will have to be protested.
I'll go and ask him, though I have not much hope that he will do
As he was about leaving his shop for that purpose, a gentleman
entered who wished to buy a second-hand carriage. Mr. Allison had
but one, and that almost new, for which he asked a hundred and forty
"It is higher than I wished to go," remarked the gentleman. "I ought
to get a new one for that price."
"So you can, but not like this. I can sell you a new one for a
hundred and twenty-five dollars. But what did you expect to pay for
"I was offered one at Holton's for seventy-five; but I did not like
it. I will give you a hundred for yours."
"It is too little, indeed, sir: that carriage cost three hundred
dollars when it was new. It was in use a very short time. I allowed
a hundred and forty dollars for it myself."
"Well, sir, I would not wish you to sell at a disadvantage, but if
you like to, accept of my offer I'll take it. I'm prepared to pay
the cash down."
Mr. Allison did not reply for some minutes. He was undecided as to
what was best.
"Forty dollars," said he to himself, "is a pretty heavy discount. I
am almost tempted to refuse his offer and trust to Hall's renewing
the note. But suppose he won't--then I'm done for. I think, upon the
whole, I had better accept it. I'll put it at one hundred and
twenty-five, my good friend," said he, addressing the customer.
"No, sir; one hundred is all I shall give."
"Well, I suppose you must have it, then; but indeed you have got a
"It is too bad," muttered Allison to himself, as he left the bank
after having paid his note. "There is just forty dollars thrown
away. And why? Simply because those who are blessed with the means
of discharging their debts promptly, neglect to do so."
"How did you make out to-day, George?" asked his wife, as they sat
at the tea-table that same evening.
"I met my note, and that was all."
"Did you give your men anything?"
"Not a cent. I had but one dollar left after paying that. I was
sorry for them, but I could not help them. I am afraid Robinson's
family will suffer, for there has been sickness in his house almost
constantly for the last twelvemonth. His wife, he told me the other
day, had not been out; of her bed for six weeks. Poor fellow! He
looked quite dejected when I told him I had nothing for him."
At this moment; the door-bell rang and a minute or two afterwards, a
young girl entered the room in which Mr. and Mrs. Allison were
sitting. Before introducing her to our readers, we will conduct them
to the interior of an obscure dwelling, situated near the outskirts
of the city. The room is small, and scantily furnished, and answers
at once for parlour, dining-room, and kitchen. Its occupants, Mrs.
Perry and her daughter, have been, since the earliest dawn of day,
intently occupied with their needles, barely allowing themselves
time to partake of their frugal meal.
"Half-past three o'clock!" ejaculated the daughter, her eyes
glancing, as she spoke, at the clock on the mantelpiece. "I am
afraid we shall not get this work done in time for me to take it
home before dark, mother."
"We must try hard, Laura, for you know we have not a cent in the
house, and I told Mrs. Carr to come over to-night, and I would pay
her what I owe her for washing. Poor thing! I would not like to
disappoint her, for I know she needs it."
Nothing more was said for near twenty minutes, when Laura again
broke the silence.
"Oh, dear!" she exclaimed, "what a pain I have in my side!" And for
a moment she rested from her work, and straightened herself in her
chair, to afford a slight relief from the uneasiness she
experienced. "I wonder, mother, if I shall always be obliged to sit
"I hope not, my child; but bad as our situation is, there are
hundreds worse off than we. Take Annie Carr, for instance--how would
you like to exchange places with her?"
"Poor Annie! I was thinking of her awhile go, mother. How hard it
must be for one so young to be so afflicted as she is!"
"And yet, Laura, she never complains; although for five years she
has never left her bed, and has often suffered, I know, for want of
"I don't think she will suffer much longer, mother. I stopped in to
see her the other day, and I was astonished at the change which had
taken place in a short time. Her conversation, too, seems so
heavenly, her faith in the Lord so strong, that I could not avoid
coming to the conclusion that a few days more, at the most, would
terminate her wearisome life."
"It will be a happy release for her, indeed, my daughter. Still, it
will be a sore trial for her mother."
It was near six when Mrs. Perry and her daughter finished the work
upon which they were engaged.
"Now Laura, dear," said the mother, "get back as soon as you can,
for I don't like you to be out after night, and more than that, if
Mrs. Carr comes, she won't want to wait."
About twenty minutes after the young girl had gone, Mrs. Carr
called. "Pray, be seated, my dear friend," said Mrs. Perry, "my
daughter has just gone to Mrs. Allison's with some work, and as soon
as she returns I can pay you."
"I think I had better call over again, Mrs. Perry," answered the
poor woman; "Mary begged me not to stay long."
"Is Annie any worse, then?"
"Oh, yes, a great deal; the doctor thinks she will hardly last till
"Well, Mrs. Carr, death can be only gain to her."
"Very true; still, the idea of losing her seems dreadful to me."
"How does Mary get on at Mrs. Owring's?"
"Not very well; she has been at work for her just one month to-day;
and although she gave her to understand that her wages would be at
least a dollar and a quarter a week, yet to-night, when she settled
with her, she wouldn't give her but three dollars, and at the same
time told her that if she didn't choose to work for that she could
"What do you suppose was the reason for her acting so?"
"I don't know, indeed, unless it is because she does not get there
quite as early as the rest of her hands; for you see I am obliged to
keep her a little while in the morning to help me to move Annie
while I make her bed. Even that little sum, small it was, would have
been some help to us, but it had all to go for rent. My landlord
would take no denial. But I must go; you think I can depend on
receiving your money to-night?"
"I do. Mrs. Allison is always prompt in paying for her work as soon
as it is done. I will not trouble you to come again for it, Mrs.
Carr. Laura shall bring it over to you."
Let us now turn to the young girl we left at Mr. Allison's, whom our
readers, no doubt, recognise as Laura Perry.
"Good evening, Laura," said Mrs. Allison, as she entered the room;
"not brought my work home already! I did not look for it till next
week. You and your mother, I am afraid, confine yourselves too
closely to your needles for your own good. But you have not had your
tea? sit up, and take some."
"No, thank you, Mrs. Allison; mother will be uneasy if I stay long."
"Well, Laura, I am sorry, but I cannot settle with you to-night.
Tell your mother Mr. Allison was disappointed in collecting
to-day, or she certainly should have had it. Did she say how much it
"Two dollars, ma'am."
"Very well: I will try and let her have it next week."
The expression of Laura's countenance told too plainly the
disappointment she felt. "I am afraid Mrs. Perry is in want of that
money," remarked the husband after she had gone.
"Not the least doubt of it," replied his wife. "She would not have
sent home work at this hour if she had not been. Poor things! who
can tell the amount of suffering and wretchedness that is caused by
the rich neglecting to pay promptly."
"You come without money, Laura," said her mother, as she entered the
"How do you know that, mother?" she replied, forcing a smile.
"I read it in your countenance. Is it not so?"
"It is: Mr. Allison was disappointed in collecting--what will we do,
"The best we can, my child. We will have to do without our beef for
dinner to-morrow; but then we have plenty of bread; so we shall not
"And I shall have to do without my new shoes. My old ones are too
shabby to go to church in; so I shall have to stay at home."
"I am sorry for your disappointment, my child, but I care more for
Mrs. Carr than I do for ourselves. She has been here, and is in a
great deal of trouble. The doctor don't think Annie will live till
morning, and Mrs. Owrings hag refused to give Mary more than three
dollars for her month's work, every cent of which old Grimes took
for rent. I told her she might depend on getting what I owed her,
and that I would send you over with it when you returned. You had
better go at once and tell her, Laura; perhaps she may be able to
get some elsewhere."
"How much is it, mother?"
"Half a dollar."
"It seems hard that she can't get that small sum."
With a heavy heart Laura entered Mrs. Carr's humble abode.
"Oh how glad I am that you have come, my dear!" exclaimed the poor
woman. "Annie has been craving some ice cream all day; it's the only
thing she seems to fancy. I told her she should have it as soon as
Mrs. Carr's eyes filled with tears as Laura told of her ill success.
"I care not for myself," she said "but for that poor suffering
"Never mind me, mother," replied Annie. "It was selfish in me to
want it, when I know how hard you and Mary are obliged to work for
every cent you get. But I feel that I shall not bother you much
longer; I have a strange feeling here now." And she placed her hand
upon her left side.
"Stop!" cried Laura; "I'll try and get some ice cream for you
Annie." And off she ran to her mother's dwelling. "Mother," said
she, as she entered the house, "do you recollect that half dollar
father gave me the last time he went to sea?"
"Well, I think I had better take it and pay Mrs. Carr. Annie is very
bad, and her mother says she has been wanting some ice cream all
"It is yours, Laura, do as you like about it."
"It goes hard with me to part with it, mother, for I had determined
to keep it in remembrance of my father. It is just twelve years
to-day since he went away. But poor Annie--yes, mother, I will take
So saying, Laura went to unlock the box which contained her
treasure, but unfortunately her key was not where she had supposed
it was. After a half hour's search she succeeded in finding it.
Tears coursed down her cheeks like rain as she removed from the
corner of the little box, where it had lain for so many years, this
precious relic of a dear father, who in all probability, was buried
beneath the ocean. Dashing them hastily away, she started again for
Mrs. Carr's. The ice cream was procured on the way, and, just as the
clock struck eight, she arrived at the door. One hour has elapsed
since she left. But why does she linger on the threshold? Why but
because the sounds of weeping and mourning have reached her ears,
and she fears that all is over with her poor friend, Her fears are
indeed true, for the pure spirit of the young sufferer has taken its
flight to that blest land where hunger and thirst are known no more.
Poor Annie! thy last earthly wish, a simple glass of ice-cream, was
denied thee--and why? We need not pause to answer: ye who have an
abundance of this world's goods, think, when ye are about to turn
from your doors the poor seamstress or washerwoman, or even those
less destitute than they, without a just recompense for their
labour, whether the sufferings and privations of some poor creatures
will not be increased thereby.
RETURNING GOOD FOR EVIL.
OBADIAH LAWSON and Watt Dood were neighbours; that is, they lived
within a half mile of each other, and no person lived between their
respective farms, which would have joined, had not a little strip of
prairie land extended itself sufficiently to keep them separated.
Dood was the oldest settler, and from his youth up had entertained a
singular hatred against Quakers; therefore, when he was informed
that Lawson, a regular disciple of that class of people had
purchased the next farm to his, he declared he would make him glad
to move away again. Accordingly, a system of petty annoyances was
commenced by him, and every time one of Lawson's hogs chanced to
stray upon Dood's place, he was beset by men and dogs, and most
savagely abused. Things progressed thus for nearly a year, and the
Quaker, a man of decidedly peace principles, appeared in no way to
resent the injuries received at the hands of his spiteful neighbour.
But matters were drawing to a crisis; for Dood, more enraged than
ever at the quiet of Obadiah, made oath that he would do something
before long to wake up the spunk of Lawson. Chance favoured his
design. The Quaker had a high-blooded filly, which he had been very
careful in raising, and which was just four years old. Lawson took
great pride in this animal, and had refused a large sum of money for
One evening, a little after sunset, as Watt Dood was passing around
his cornfield, he discovered the filly feeding in the little strip
of prairie land that separated the two farms, and he conceived the
hellish design of throwing off two or three rails of his fence, that
the horse might get into his corn during the night. He did so, and
the next morning, bright and early, he shouldered his rifle and left
the house. Not long after his absence, a hired man, whom he had
recently employed, heard the echo of his gun, and in a few minutes
Dood, considerably excited and out of breath, came hurrying to the
house, where he stated that he had shot at and wounded a buck; that
the deer attacked him, and he hardly escaped with his life.
This story was credited by all but the newly employed hand, who had
taken a dislike to Watt, and, from his manner, suspected that
something was wrong. He therefore slipped quietly away from the
house, and going through the field in the direction of the shot, he
suddenly came upon Lawson's filly, stretched upon the earth, with a
bullet hole through the head, from which the warm blood was still
The animal was warm, and could not have been killed an hour. He
hastened back to the dwelling of Dood, who met him in the yard, and
demanded, somewhat roughly, where he had been.
"I've been to see if your bullet made sure work of Mr. Lawson's
filly," was the instant retort.
Watt paled for a moment, but collecting himself, he fiercely
"Do you dare to say I killed her?"
"How do you know she is dead?" replied the man.
Dood bit his lip, hesitated a moment, and then turning, walked into
A couple of days passed by, and the morning of the third one had
broken, as the hired man met friend Lawson, riding in search of his
A few words of explanation ensued, when, with a heavy heart, the
Quaker turned his horse and rode home, where he informed the people
of the fate of his filly. No threat of recrimination escaped him; he
did not even go to law to recover damages; but calmly awaited his
plan and hour of revenge. It came at last.
Watt Dood had a Durham heifer, for which he had paid a heavy price,
and upon which he counted to make great gains.
One morning, just as Obadiah was sitting down, his eldest son came
in with the information that neighbour Dood's heifer had broken down
the fence, entered the yard, and after eating most of the cabbages,
had trampled the well-made beds and the vegetables they contained,
out of all shape--a mischief impossible to repair.
"And what did thee do with her, Jacob?" quietly asked Obadiah.
"I put her in the farm-yard."
"Did thee beat her?"
"I never struck her a blow."
"Right, Jacob, right; sit down to thy breakfast, and when done
eating I will attend to the heifer."
Shortly after he had finished his repast, Lawson mounted a horse,
and rode over to Dood's, who was sitting under the porch in front of
his house, and who, as he beheld the Quaker dismount, supposed he
was coming to demand pay for his filly, and secretly swore he would
have to law for it if he did.
"Good morning, neighbour Dood; how is thy family?" exclaimed
Obadiah, as he mounted the steps and seated himself in a chair.
"All well, I believe," was the crusty reply.
"I have a small affair to settle with you this morning, and I came
"So I suppose," growled Watt.
"This morning, my son found thy Durham heifer in my garden, where
she has destroyed a good deal."
"And what did he do with her?" demanded Dood, his brow darkening.
"What would thee have done with her, had she been my heifer in thy
garden?" asked Obadiah.
"I'd a shot her!" retorted Watt, madly, "as I suppose you have done;
but we are only even now. Heifer for filly is only 'tit for tat.'"
"Neighbour Dood, thou knowest me not, if thou thinkest I would harm
a hair of thy heifer's back. She is in my farm-yard, and not even a
blow has been struck her, where thee can get her at any time. I know
thee shot my filly; but the evil one prompted thee to do it, and I
lay no evil in my heart against my neighbours. I came to tell thee
where thy heifer is, and now I'll go home."
Obadiah rose from his chair, and was about to descend the steps,
when he was stopped by Watt, who hastily asked,
"What was your filly worth?"
"A hundred dollars is what I asked for her," replied Obediah.
"Wait a moment!" and Dood rushed into the house, from whence he soon
returned, holding some gold in his hand. "Here's the price of your
filly; and hereafter let there be a pleasantness between us."
"Willingly, heartily," answered Lawson, grasping the proffered hand
of the other; "let there be peace between us."
Obadiah mounted his horse, and rode home with a lighter heart, and
from that day to this Dood has been as good a neighbour as one could
wish to have; being completely reformed by the RETURNING GOOD FOR
PUTTING YOUR HAND IN YOUR NEIGHBOUR'S POCKET.
"DO you recollect Thomas, who lived with us as waiter about two
years ago, Mary?" asked Mr. Clarke, as he seated himself in his
comfortable arm-chair, and slipped his feet into the nicely-warmed,
embroidered slippers, which stood ready for his use.
"Certainly," was the reply of Mrs. Clarke. "He was a bright, active
fellow, but rather insolent."
"He has proved to be a regular pickpocket," continued her husband,
"and is now on his way to Blackwell's Island."
"A very suitable place for him. I hope he will be benefited by a few
months' residence there," returned the lady.
"Poor fellow!" exclaimed Mr. Joshua Clarke, an uncle of the young
couple, who was quietly reading a newspaper in another part of the
room. "There are many of high standing in the world, who deserve to
go to Blackwell's Island quite as much as he does."
"You are always making such queer speeches, Uncle Joshua," said his
niece. "I suppose you do not mean that there are pickpockets among
"Indeed, there are, my dear niece. Your knowledge of the world must
be very limited, if you are not aware of this. Putting your hand in
your neighbour's pocket, is one of the most fashionable
accomplishments of the day."
Mrs. Clarke was too well acquainted with her uncle's peculiarities
to think of arguing with him. She therefore merely smiled, and said
to her husband:--
"Well, Henry, I am glad that neither you nor myself are acquainted
with this fashionable accomplishment."
"Not acquainted with it!" exclaimed the old gentleman. "I thought
you knew yourselves better. Why, you and Henry are both regular
"I wonder that you demean yourself by associating with us!" was the
"Oh, you are no worse than the rest of the world; and, besides, I
hope to do you some good, when you grow older and wiser. At present,
Henry's whole soul is absorbed in the desire to obtain wealth."
"In a fair and honourable way, uncle," interrupted Mr. Clarke, "and
for honourable purposes."
"Certainly," replied Uncle Joshua, "in the common acceptation of the
words _fair_ and _honourable_. But, do you never, in your mercantile
speculations, endeavour to convey erroneous impressions to the minds
of those with whom you are dealing? Do you not sometimes suppress
information which would prevent your obtaining a good bargain? Do
you never allow your customers to purchase goods under false ideas
of their value and demand in the market? If you saw a man, less
skilled in business than yourself, about to take a step injurious to
him, but advantageous to you, would you warn him of his danger--thus
obeying the command to love your neighbour as yourself?"
"Why, uncle, these questions are absurd. Of course, when engaged in
business, I endeavour to do what is for my own advantage--leaving
others to look out for themselves."
"Exactly so. You are perfectly willing to put your hand in your
neighbour's pocket and take all you can get, provided he is not wise
enough to know that your hand is there."
"Oh, for shame, Uncle Joshua! I shall not allow you to talk to Henry
in this manner," exclaimed Mrs. Clarke perceiving that her husband
looked somewhat irritated. "Come, prove your charge against me. In
what way do I pick my neighbour's pockets?"
"You took six shillings from the washerwoman this morning," coolly
replied Uncle Joshua.
"_Took_ six shillings from the washerwoman! Paid her six shillings,
you mean, uncle. She called for the money due for a day's work, and
I gave it to her."
"Yes, but not till you had kept her waiting nearly two hours. I
heard her say, as she left the house, 'I have lost a day's work by
this delay, for I cannot go to Mrs. Reed's at this hour; so I shall
be six shillings poorer at the end of the week.'"
"Why did she wait, then? She could have called again. I was not
ready to attend to her at so early an hour."
"Probably she needed the money to-day. You little know the value of
six shillings to the mother of a poor family, Mary; but, you should
remember that her time is valuable, and that it is as sinful to
deprive her of the use of it, as if you took money from her purse."
"Well, uncle, I will acknowledge that I did wrong to keep the poor
woman waiting, and I will endeavour to be more considerate in
future. So draw your chair to the table, and take a cup of tea and
some of your favourite cakes."
"Thank you, Mary; but I am engaged to take tea with your old friend,
Mrs. Morrison. Poor thing! she has not made out very well lately.
Her school has quite run down, owing to sickness among her scholars;
and her own family have been ill all winter; so that her expenses
have been great."
"I am sorry to hear this," replied Mrs. Clarke. "I had hoped that
her school was succeeding. Give my love to her, uncle, and tell her
I will call upon her in a day or two."
Uncle Joshua promised to remember the message, and bidding Mr. and
Mrs. Clarke good evening, he was soon seated in Mrs. Morrison's neat
little parlour, which, though it bore no comparison with the
spacious and beautifully furnished apartments he had just left, had
an air of comfort and convenience which could not fail to please.
Delighted to see her old friend, whom she also, from early habit,
addressed by the title of Uncle Joshua, although he was no relation,
Mrs. Morrison's countenance, for awhile beamed with that cheerful,
animated expression which it used to wear in her more youthful days;
but an expression of care and anxiety soon over shadowed it, and, in
the midst of her kind attentions to her visiter, and her
affectionate endearment to two sweet children, who were playing
around the room, she would often remain thoughtful and abstracted
for several minutes.
Uncle Joshua was an attentive observer, and he saw that something
weighed heavily upon her mind. When tea was over, and the little
ones had gone to rest, he said, kindly,
"Come, Fanny, draw your chair close to my side, and tell me all your
troubles, as freely as you used to do when a merry-hearted
school-girl. How often have listened to the sad tale of the pet
pigeon, that had flown away, or the favourite plant killed by the
untimely frost. Come, I am ready, now as then, to assist you with my
advice, and my purse, too, if necessary."
Tears started to Mrs. Morrison's eyes, as she replied.
"You were always a kind friend to me, Uncle Joshua, and I will
gladly confide my troubles to you. You know that after my husband's
death I took this house, which, though small, may seem far above my
limited income, in the hope of obtaining a school sufficiently large
to enable me to meet the rent, and also to support myself and
children. The small sum left them by their father I determined to
invest for their future use. I unwisely intrusted it to one who
betrayed the trust, and appropriated the money to some wild
speculation of his own. He says that he did this in the hope of
increasing my little property. It may be so, but my consent should
have been asked. He failed and there is little hope of our ever
recovering more, than a small part of what he owes us. But, to
return to my school. I found little difficulty in obtaining
scholars, and, for a short time, believed myself to be doing well,
but I soon found that a large number of scholars did not insure a
large income from the school. My terms were moderate, but still I
found great difficulty in obtaining what was due to me at the end of
"A few paid promptly, and without expecting me to make unreasonable
deductions for unpleasant weather, slight illness, &c., &c. Others
paid after long delay, which often put me to the greatest
inconvenience; and some, after appointing day after day for me to
call, and promising each time that the bill should be settled
without fail, moved away, I knew not whither, or met me at length
with a cool assurance that it was not possible for them to pay me at
present--if it was ever in their power they would let me know."
"Downright robbery!" exclaimed Uncle Joshua. "A set of pickpockets!
I wish they were all shipped for Blackwell's Island."
"There are many reasons assigned for not paying," continued Mrs.
Morrison. "Sometimes the children had not learned as much as the
parents expected. Some found it expedient to take their children
away long before the expiration of the term, and then gazed at me in
astonishment when I declared my right to demand pay for the whole
time for which they engaged. One lady, in particular, to whose
daughter I was giving music lessons, withdrew the pupil under
pretext of slight indisposition, and sent me the amount due for a
half term. I called upon her, and stated that I considered the
engagement binding for twenty-four lessons, but would willingly wait
until the young lady was quite recovered. The mother appeared to
assent with willingness to this arrangement, and took the proffered
money without comment. An hour or two after I received a laconic
epistle stating that the lady had already engaged another teacher,
whom she thought preferable--that she had offered me the amount due
for half of the term, and I had declined receiving it--therefore she
should not offer it again. I wrote a polite, but very plain, reply
to this note, and enclosed my bill for the whole term, but have
never heard from her since."
"Do you mean to say that she actually received the money which you
returned to her without reluctance, and gave you no notice of her
intention to employ another teacher?" demanded the old gentleman.
"Certainly; and, besides this, I afterwards ascertained that the
young lady was actually receiving a lesson from another teacher,
when I called at the house--therefore the plea of indisposition was
entirely false. The most perfect satisfaction had always been
expressed as to the progress of the pupil, and no cause was assigned
for the change."
"I hope you have met with few cases as bad as this," remarked Uncle
Joshua. "The world must be in a worse state than even I had
supposed, if such imposition is common."
"This may be an extreme case," replied Mrs. Morrison, "but I could
relate many others which are little better. However, you will soon
weary of my experience in this way, Uncle Joshua, and I will
therefore mention but one other instance. One bitter cold day in
January, I called at the house of a lady who had owed me a small
amount for nearly a year, and after repeated delay had reluctantly
fixed this day as the time when she would pay me at least a part of
what was due. I was told by the servant who opened the door that the
lady was not at home.
"What time will she be in?" I inquired.
"Not for some hours," was the reply.
Leaving word that I would call again towards evening, I retraced my
steps, feeling much disappointed at my ill success, as I had felt
quite sure of obtaining the money. About five o'clock I again
presented myself at the door, and was again informed that the lady
was not at home.
"I will walk in, and wait for her return," I replied.
The servant appeared somewhat startled at this, but after a little
delay ushered me into the parlour. Two little boys, of four and six
years of age, were playing about the room. I joined in their sports,
and soon became quite familiar with them. Half an hour had passed
away, when I inquired of the oldest boy what time he expected his
"Not till late," he answered, hesitatingly.
"Did she take the baby with her this cold day?" I asked.
"Yes, ma'am," promptly replied the girl, who, under pretence of
attending to the children, frequently came into the room.
The youngest child gazed earnestly in my face, and said, smilingly,
"Mother has not gone away, she is up stairs. She ran away with baby
when she saw you coming, and told us to say she had gone out. I am
afraid brother will take cold, for there is no fire up stairs."
"It is no such thing," exclaimed the girl and the eldest boy. "She
is not up stairs, ma'am, or she would see you."
But even as they spoke the loud cries of an infant were heard, and a
voice at the head of the stairs calling Jenny.
The girl obeyed, and presently returned with the child in her arms,
its face, neck, and hands purple with cold.
"Poor little thing, it has got its death in that cold room," she
said. "Mistress cannot see you, ma'am, she is sick and gone to bed."
"This last story was probably equally false with the other, but I
felt that it was useless to remain, and with feelings of deep regret
for the poor children who were so early taught an entire disregard
for truth, and of sorrow for the exposure to cold to which I had
innocently subjected the infant, I left the house. A few days after,
I heard that the little one had died with croup. Jenny, whom I
accidentally met in the street, assured me that he took the cold
which caused his death from the exposure on the afternoon of my
call, as he became ill the following day. I improved the opportunity
to endeavour to impress upon the mind of the poor girl the sin of
which she had been guilty, in telling a falsehood even in obedience
to the commands of her mistress; and I hope that what I said may be
useful to her.
"The want of honesty and promptness in the parents of my pupils
often caused me great inconvenience, and I frequently found it
difficult to meet my rent when it became due. Still I have struggled
through my difficulties without contracting any debts until this
winter, but the sickness which has prevailed in my school has so
materially lessened my income, and my family expenses have, for the
same reason, been so much greater, that I fear it will be quite
impossible for me to continue in my present situation."
"Do not be discouraged," said Uncle Joshua; "I will advance whatever
sum you are in immediate need of, and you may repay me when it is
convenient to yourself. I will also take the bills which are due to
you from various persons, and endeavour to collect them. Your
present term is, I suppose, nearly ended. Commence another with this
regulation:--That the price of tuition, or at least one-half of it,
shall be paid before the entrance of the scholar. Some will complain
of this rule, but many will not hesitate to comply with it, and you
will find the result beneficial. And now I would leave you, Fanny,
for I have another call to make this evening. My young friend,
William Churchill, is, I hear, quite ill, and I feel desirous to see
him. I will call upon you in a day or two, and then we will have
another talk about your affairs, and see what can be done for you.
So good night, Fanny; go to sleep and dream of your old friend."
Closing the door after Uncle Joshua, Mrs. Morrison returned to her
room with a heart filled with thankfulness that so kind a friend had
been sent to her in the hour of need; while the old gentleman walked
with rapid steps through several streets until he stood at the door
of a small, but pleasantly situated house in the suburbs of the
city. His ring at the bell was answered by a pretty,
pleasant-looking young woman, whom he addressed as Mrs. Churchill,
and kindly inquired for her husband.
"William is very feeble to-day, but he will be rejoiced to see you,
sir. His disease is partly owing to anxiety of mind, I think, and
when his spirits are raised by a friendly visit, he feels better."
Uncle Joshua followed Mrs. Churchill to the small room which now
served the double purpose of parlour and bedroom. They were met at
the door by the invalid, who had recognised the voice of his old
friend, and had made an effort to rise and greet him. His sunken
countenance, the hectic flush which glowed upon his cheek, and the
distressing cough, gave fearful evidence that unless the disease was
soon arrested in its progress, consumption would mark him for its
The friendly visiter was inwardly shocked at his appearance, but
wisely made no allusion to it, and soon engaged him in cheerful
conversation. Gradually he led him to speak openly of his own
situation,--of his health, and of the pecuniary difficulties with
which he was struggling. His story was a common one. A young family
were growing up around him, and an aged mother and invalid sister
also depended upon him for support. The small salary which he
obtained as clerk in one of the most extensive mercantile
establishments in the city, was quite insufficient to meet his
necessary expenses. He had, therefore, after being constantly
employed from early morning until a late hour in the evening,
devoted two or three hours of the night to various occupations which
added a trifle to his limited income. Sometimes he procured copying
of various kinds; at others, accounts, which he could take to his
own house, were intrusted to him. This incessant application had
gradually ruined his health, and now for several weeks he had been
unable to leave the house.
"Have you had advice from an experienced physician, William?"
inquired Uncle Joshua. The young man blushed, as he replied, that he
was unwilling to send for a physician, knowing that he had no means
to repay his services.
"I will send my own doctor to see you," returned his friend. "He can
help you if any one can, and as for his fee I will attend to it, and
if you regain your health I shall be amply repaid.--No, do not thank
me," he continued, as Mr. Churchill endeavoured to express his
gratitude. "Your father has done me many a favour, and it would be
strange if I could not extend a hand to help his son when in
trouble. And now tell me, William, is not your salary very small,
considering the responsible situation which you have so long held in
the firm of Stevenson & Co.?"
"It is," was the reply; "but I see no prospect of obtaining more. I
believe I have always given perfect satisfaction to my employer,
although it is difficult to ascertain the estimation in which he
holds me, for he is a man who never praises. He has never found
fault with me, and therefore I suppose him satisfied, and indeed I
have some proof of this in his willingness to wait two or three
months in the hope that I may recover from my present illness before
making a permanent engagement with a new clerk. Notwithstanding
this, he has never raised my salary, and when I ventured to say to
him about a year ago, that as his business had nearly doubled since
I had been with him, I felt that it would be but just that I should
derive some benefit from the change, he coolly replied that my
present salary was all that he had ever paid a clerk, and he
considered it a sufficient equivalent for my services. He knows very
well that it is difficult to obtain a good situation, there are so
many who stand ready to fill any vacancy, and therefore he feels
quite safe in refusing to give me, more."
"And yet," replied Uncle Joshua, "he is fully aware that the
advantage resulting from your long experience and thorough
acquaintance with his business, increases his income several hundred
dollars every year, and this money he quietly puts into his own
pocket, without considering or caring that a fair proportion of it
should in common honesty go into yours. What a queer world we live
in! The poor thief who robs you of your watch or pocket-book, is
punished without delay; but these wealthy defrauders maintain their
respectability and pass for honest men, even while withholding what
they know to be the just due of another.
"But cheer up, William, I have a fine plan for you, if you can but
regain your health. I am looking for a suitable person to take
charge of a large sheep farm, which I propose establishing on the
land which I own in Virginia. You acquired some knowledge of farming
in your early days. How would you like to undertake this business?
The climate is delightful, the employment easy and pleasant; and it
shall be my care that your salary is amply sufficient for the
support of your family."
Mr. Churchill could hardly command his voice sufficiently to express
his thanks, and his wife burst into tears, as she exclaimed,
"If my poor husband had confided his troubles to you before, he
would not have been reduced to this feeble state."
"He will recover," said the old gentleman. "I feel sure, that in one
month, he will look like a different man. Rest yourself, now,
William, and to-morrow I will see you again."
And, followed by the blessings and thanks of the young couple, Uncle
"Past ten o'clock," he said to himself, as he paused near a
lamp-post and looked at his watch. "I must go to my own room."
As he said this he was startled by a deep sigh from some one near,
and on looking round, saw a lad, of fourteen or fifteen years of
age, leaning against the post, and looking earnestly at him.
Uncle Joshua recognised the son of a poor widow, whom he had
occasionally befriended, and said, kindly,
"Well, John, are you on your way home from the store? This is rather
a late hour for a boy like you."
"Yes, sir, it is late. I cannot bear to return home to my poor
mother, for I have bad news for her to-night. Mr. Mackenzie does not
wish to employ me any more. My year is up to-day."
"Why, John, how is this? Not long ago your employer told me that he
was perfectly satisfied with you; indeed, he said that he never
before had so trusty and useful a boy."
"He has always appeared satisfied with me, sir, and I have
endeavoured to serve him faithfully. But he told me to-day that he
had engaged another boy."
Uncle Joshua mused for a moment, and then asked,
"What was he to give you for the first year, John?"
"Nothing, sir. He told my mother that my services would be worth
nothing the first year, but the second he would pay me fifty
dollars, and so increase my salary as I grew older. My poor mother
has worked very hard to support me this year, and I had hoped that I
would be able to help her soon. But it is all over now, and I
suppose I must take a boy's place again, and work another year for
"And then be turned off again. Another set of pickpockets," muttered
his indignant auditor.
"Pickpockets!" exclaimed the lad. "Did any one take your watch just
now, sir? I saw a man look at it as you took it out. Perhaps we can
overtake him. I think he turned into the next street."
"No, no, my boy. My watch is safe enough. I am not thinking of
street pickpockets, but of another class whom you will find out as
you grow older. But never mind losing your place, John. My nephew is
in want of a boy who has had some experience in your business, and
will pay him a fair salary--more than Mr. Mackenzie agreed to give
you for the second year. I will mention you to him, and you may call
at his store to-morrow at eleven o'clock, and we will see if you
will answer his purpose."
"Thank you, Sir, I am sure I thank you; and mother will bless you
for your kindness," replied the boy, his countenance glowing with
animation; and with a grateful "good night," he darted off in the
direction of his own home.
"There goes a grateful heart," thought Uncle Joshua, as he gazed
after the boy until he turned the corner of the street and
disappeared. "He has lost his situation merely because another can
be found who will do the work for nothing for a year, in the vain
hope of future recompense. I wish Mary could have been with me this
evening; I think she would have acknowledged that there are many
respectable pickpockets who deserve to accompany poor Thomas to
Blackwell's Island;" and thus soliloquizing, Uncle Joshua reached
the door of his boarding-house, and sought repose in his own room.
WE have more than once, in our rapidly written reflections, urged
the policy and propriety of kindness, courtesy, and good-will
between man and man. It is so easy for an individual to manifest
amenity of spirit, to avoid harshness, and thus to cheer and gladden
the paths of all over whom he may have influence or control, that it
is really surprising to find any one pursuing the very opposite
course. Strange as it may appear, there are among the children of
men, hundreds who seem to take delight in making others unhappy.
They rejoice at an opportunity of being the messengers of evil
tidings. They are jealous or malignant; and in either case they
exult in inflicting a wound. The ancients, in most nations, had a
peculiar dislike to croakers, prophets of evil, and the bearers of
evil tidings. It is recorded that the messenger from the banks of
the Tigris, who first announced the defeat of the Roman army by the
Persians, and the death of the Emperor Julian, in a Roman city of
Asia Minor, was instantly buried under a heap of stones thrown upon
him by an indignant populace. And yet this messenger was innocent,
and reluctantly discharged a painful duty. But how different the
spirit and the motive of volunteers in such cases--those who exult
in an opportunity of communicating bad news, and in some degree
revel over the very agony which it produces. The sensitive, the
generous, the honourable, would ever be spared from such painful
missions. A case of more recent occurrence may be referred to as in
point. We allude to the murder of Mr. Roberts, a farmer of New
Jersey, who was robbed and shot in his own wagon, near Camden. It
became necessary that the sad intelligence should be broken to his
wife and family with as much delicacy as possible. A neighbour was
selected for the task, and at first consented. But, on
consideration, his heart failed him. He could not, he said,
communicate the details of a tragedy so appalling and he begged to
be excused. Another, formed it was thought of sterner stuff, was
then fixed upon: but he too, rough and bluff as he was in his
ordinary manners, possessed the heart of a generous and sympathetic
human being, and also respectfully declined. A third made a like
objection, and at last a female friend of the family was with much
difficulty persuaded, in company with another, to undertake the
mournful task. And yet, we repeat, there are in society, individuals
who delight in contributing to the misery of others--who are eager
to circulate a slander, to chronicle a ruin, to revive a forgotten
error, to wound, sting, and annoy, whenever they may do so with
impunity. How much better the gentle, the generous, the magnanimous
policy! Why not do everything that may be done for the happiness of
our fellow creatures, without seeking out their weak points,
irritating their half-healed wounds, jarring their sensibilities, or
embittering their thoughts! The magic of kind words and a kind
manner can scarcely be over-estimated. Our fellow creatures are more
sensitive than is generally imagined. We have known cases in which a
gentle courtesy has been remembered with pleasure for years. Who
indeed cannot look back into "bygone time," and discover some smile,
some look or other demonstration of regard or esteem, calculated to
bless and brighten every hour of after existence! "Kind words," says
an eminent writer, "do not cost much. It does not take long to utter
them. They never blister the tongue or lips on their passage into
the world, or occasion any other kind of bodily suffering; and we
have never heard of any mental trouble arising from this quarter.
Though they do not cost much, yet they accomplish much. 1. They help
one's own good nature and good will. One cannot be in a habit of
this kind, without thereby pecking away something of the granite
roughness of his own nature. Soft words will soften his own soul.
Philosophers tell us that the angry words a man uses in his passion
are fuel to the flame of his wrath, and make it blaze the more
fiercely. Why, then, should not words of the opposite character
produce opposite results, and that most blessed of all passions of
the soul, kindness, be augmented by kind words? People that are for
ever speaking kindly, are for ever disinclining themselves to
ill-temper. 2. Kind words make other people good-natured. Cold words
freeze people, and hot words scorch them, and sarcastic words
irritate them, and bitter words make them bitter, and wrathful words
make them wrathful. And kind words also produce their own image on
men's souls; and a beautiful image it is. They soothe, and quiet,
and comfort the hearer. They shame him out of his sour, morose,
unkind feelings; and he has to become kind himself. There is such a
rush of all other kinds of words in our days, that it seems
desirable to give kind words a chance among them. There are vain
words, idle words, hasty words, spiteful words, silly words, and
empty words. Now kind words are better than the whole of them; and
it is a pity that, among the improvements of the present age, birds
of this feather might not have more of a chance than they have had
to spread their wings."
It is indeed! Kind words should be brought into more general use.
Those in authority should employ them more frequently, when
addressing the less fortunate among mankind. Employers should use
them in their intercourse with their workmen. Parents should utter
them on every occasion to their children. The rich should never
forget an opportunity of speaking kindly to the poor. Neighbours and
friends should emulate each other in the employment of mild, gentle,
frank, and kindly language. But this cannot be done unless each
endeavours to control himself. Our passions and our prejudices must
be kept in check. If we find that we have a neighbour on the other
side of the way, who has been more fortunate in a worldly sense than
we have been, and if we discover a little jealousy or envy creeping
into our opinions and feelings concerning said neighbour--let us be
careful, endeavour to put a rein upon our tongues, and to avoid the
indulgence of malevolence or ill-will. If we, on the other hand,
have been fortunate, have enough and to spare, and there happens to
be in our circle some who are dependent upon us, some who look up to
us with love and respect--let us be generous, courteous, and
kind--and thus we shall not only discharge a duty, but prove a
source of happiness to others.
MOST people think there are cares enough in the world, and yet many
are very industrious to increase them:--One of the readiest ways of
doing this is to quarrel with a neighbour. A bad bargain may vex a
man for a week, and a bad debt may trouble him for a month; but a
quarrel with his neighbours will keep him in hot water all the year
Aaron Hands delights in fowls, and his cocks and hens are always
scratching up the flowerbeds of his neighbour William Wilkes, whose
mischievous tom-cat every now and then runs off with a chicken. The
consequence is, that William Wilkins is one half the day occupied in
driving away the fowls, and threatening to screw their long ugly
necks off; while Aaron Hands, in his periodical outbreaks,
invariably vows to skin his neighbour's cat, as sure as he can lay
hold of him.
Neighbours! Neighbours! Why can you not be at peace? Not all the
fowls you can rear, and the flowers you can grow, will make amends
for a life of anger, hatred, malice, and uncharitableness. Come to
some kind-hearted understanding one with another, and dwell in
Upton, the refiner, has a smoky chimney, that sets him and all the
neighbourhood by the ears. The people around abuse him without
mercy, complaining that they are poisoned, and declaring that they
will indict him at the sessions. Upton fiercely sets them at
defiance, on the ground that his premises were built before theirs,
that his chimney did not come to them, but that they came to his
Neighbours! Neighbours! practise a little more forbearance. Had half
a dozen of you waited on the refiner in a kindly spirit, he would
years ago have so altered his chimney, that it would not have
Mrs. Tibbets is thoughtless--if it were not so she would never have
had her large dusty carpet beaten, when her neighbour, who had a
wash, was having her wet clothes hung out to dry. Mrs. Williams is
hasty and passionate, or she would never have taken it for granted
that the carpet was beaten on purpose to spite her, and give her
trouble. As it is, Mrs. Tibbets and Mrs. Williams hate one another
with a perfect hatred.
Neighbours! Neighbours! bear with one another. We are none of us
angels, and should not, therefore, expect those about us to be free
They who attempt to out-wrangle a quarrelsome neighbour, go the
wrong way to work. A kind word, and still more a kind deed, will be
more likely to be successful. Two children wanted to pass by a
savage dog: the one took a stick in his hand and pointed it at him,
but this only made the enraged creature more furious than before.
The other child adopted a different plan; for by giving the dog a
piece of his bread and butter, he was allowed to pass, the subdued
animal wagging his tail in quietude. If you happen to have a
quarrelsome neighbour, conquer him by civility and kindness; try the
bread and butter system, and keep your stick out of sight. That is
an excellent Christian admonition, "A soft answer turneth away
wrath, but grievous words stir up anger."
Neighbours' quarrels are a mutual reproach, and yet a stick or a
straw is sufficient to promote them. One man is rich, and another
poor; one is a churchman, another a dissenter; one is a
conservative, another a liberal; one hates another because he is of
the same trade, and another is bitter with his neighbour because he
is a Jew or a Roman Catholic.
Neighbours! Neighbours! live in love, and then while you make others
happy, you will be happier yourselves.
"That happy man is surely blest,
Who of the worst things makes the best;
Whilst he must be of temper curst,
Who of the best things makes the worst."
"Be ye all of one mind," says the Apostle, "having compassion one of
another; love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous; not rendering
evil for evil, or railing for railing, but contrariwise blessing.
"To a rich man I would say, bear with and try to serve those who are
below you; and to a poor one--
"Fear God, love peace, and mind your labour;
And never, never quarrel with your neighbour."
GOOD WE MIGHT DO.
WE all might do good
Where we often do ill;
There is always the way,
If we have but the will;
Though it be but a word
Kindly breathed or supprest,
It may guard off some pain,
Or give peace to some breast.
We all might do good
In a thousand small ways--
In forbearing to flatter,
Yet yielding _due_ praise--
In spurning ill humour,
Reproving wrong done,
And treating but kindly
Each heart we have won.
We all might do good,
Whether lowly or great,
For the deed is not gauged
By the purse or estate;
If it be but a cup
Of cold water that's given,
Like "the widow's two mites,"
It is something for Heaven.
THE TOWN LOT.
ONCE upon a time it happened that the men who governed the municipal
affairs of a certain growing town in the West, resolved, in grave
deliberation assembled, to purchase a five-acre lot at the north end
of the city--recently incorporated--and have it improved for a park
or public square. Now, it also happened, that all the saleable
ground lying north of the city was owned by a man named Smith--a
shrewd, wide-awake individual, whose motto was "Every man for
himself," with an occasional addition about a certain gentleman in
black taking "the hindmost."
Smith, it may be mentioned, was secretly at the bottom of this
scheme for a public square, and had himself suggested the matter to
an influential member of the council; not that he was moved by what
is denominated public spirit--no; the spring of action in the case
was merely "private spirit," or a regard for his own good. If the
council decided upon a public square, he was the man from whom the
ground would have to be bought; and he was the man who could get his
own price therefor.
As we have said, the park was decided upon, and a committee of two
appointed whose business it was to see Smith, and arrange with him
for the purchase of a suitable lot of ground. In due form the
committee called upon the landholder, who was fully prepared for the
"You are the owner of those lots at the north end?" said the
spokesman of the committee.
"I am," replied Smith, with becoming gravity.
"Will you sell a portion of ground, say five acres, to the city?"
"For what purpose?" Smith knew very well for what purpose the land
"We have decided to set apart about five acres of ground, and
improve it as a kind of park, or public promenade."
"Have you, indeed? Well, I like that," said Smith, with animation.
"It shows the right kind of public spirit."
"We have, moreover, decided that the best location will be at the
north end of the town."
"Decidedly my own opinion," returned Smith.
"Will you sell us the required acres?" asked one of the councilmen.
"That will depend somewhat upon where you wish to locate the park."
The particular location was named.
"The very spot," replied Smith, promptly, "upon which I have decided
to erect four rows of dwellings."
"But it is too far out for that," was naturally objected.
"O, no; not a rod. The city is rapidly growing in that direction. I
have only to put up the dwellings referred to, and dozens will, be
anxious to purchase lots, and build all around them. Won't the
ground to the left of that you speak of answer as well?"
But the committee replied in the negative. The lot they had
mentioned was the one decided upon as most suited for the purpose,
and they were not prepared to think of any other location.
All this Smith understood very well. He was not only willing, but
anxious for the city to purchase the lot they were negotiating for.
All he wanted was to get a good round price for the same--say four
or five times the real value. So he feigned indifference, and threw
difficulties in the way.
A few years previous to this time, Smith had purchased a
considerable tract of land at the north of the then flourishing