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.# Story of Real Life.
ular wishes respecting his studies? Will you have them selected with a view to any particular profession " “Why, my dear sir, it has pleased Providence to endow us with an ample fortune, and he is our only hope; of course we wish him to receive the education of a gentleman; but it is not probable he will ever have to work for his living.” “Then I suppose a thorough English course of lessons. Let him be well grounded in rhetoric, mathematics, and ** “Oh, my dear sir, no. There is no use of his straining his tender mind with hard studies, make a gentleman of him, but not a pedagogue.” Mr. Robertson smiled and bowed. “If there was the slightest possibility of his ever having to earn his own bread, it would alter the case; but you know, my dear sir, there must be a difference between poor peole and rich.” “He must learn music, then, suppose,” said Mr. Robertson. “Oh, music, certainly, divine music. I wish him to read it at sight. You will find a guitar among his things; and I wish you to see particularly that he practises. You know that keeps him busy, and does not hurt his eyes. See,” she added, affectionately placing her hand, glittering with jewels, beneath the youngster's chin, and pushing back the hair from his forehead, “dear little fellow, his eyes are already very weak.” “Do you wish him to study any of the classical languages, madam?” “Who? what?” said Mrs. Green, looking up. “Latin and Greek, madam. Or, should you prefer Spanish and French " “Should you like to study Latin, and Greek, and Spanish and French, my dear Tom, or any of the other classical languages?” The boy sulked a little, put his finger in his mouth, and looked down on the floor; the mother kissed him again. “Oh do just as you like with him, Mr. Robertson; only be sure that you never punish him, if you please; he is very tender dispositioned, and can't bear to be whipped; and of all things make him attend to his music and dancing; and I wish very much to have him study Italian, it is so useful in singing. Pray my dear, stand up straight and be a good boy, and behave like a gentleman; and here's some money for you, my dear, and you shall often come home and see us.” So saying, although tears were in her eyes, for mothers are still mothers, whether learned or not, she smiled graciously on Mr. Robertson; kissed little Tom again and again; went away a few steps, came back, exclaiming, “my dear, dear little dear;” kissed him again and disappeared. The boy was conducted among his companions in due form, and soon became interested in their sports. A short time afterwards, a man, dressed in
a plain grey suit, with a cane, and feet dusty from an apparently long walk, stopped before the door of the academy. He held by the hand a little boy. The new comers entered and the elder addressed himself to Mr. Robertson, with whom he had been previously acquainted, with the brevity of a man of buSineSS. “My son, Master George Steele, sir. I wish to place him at your school. His trunk will be here immediately from the neighboring town, where the stage left us.” The conversation usual on such occasions then ensued.— Inquiries into the boy's age, tastes, capacities, &c. were made and satisfied, and the directions of the parent given respecting the course of studies to be pursued. “Above all things,” said Mr. Steele, “let him form habits of strictly moral conduct and of severe industry, and subject himself to the discipline of the school, without a murmur. If he does not like the place, he may quit it; but while in it, he must make no disturbance of any kind, but treat every one with respect. He will have to make his own way through the world. I have been unfortunate, and have nothing whatever to leave him but a good education. If he is worth any thing, this will be sufficient; if he is idle and irresolute, he will sink into poverty and neglect. Remember, George, what you learn here, will be your only fortune. At an expense which I can scarcely maintain, I furnish you with this opportunity of obtaining credit in the world. . For all else that makes man respectable and happy, you must depend upon yourself. They shook hands and parted, and so the two boys commenced their education. The next important era in the lives of these young gentlemen, was the period of their quitting school. It was five years after the preceding circumstances, and they were both about sixteen years of age. It happened that at the same time there was a general examination in the academy, and the various attainments of George and Thomas were thereby disclosed. The latter showed to advantage in nothing except a declamation, recited with a considerable flourish of theatrical elegance, and a translation from the Italian, for which he received a medal. George, on the contrary, discovered a pervading knowledge of all necessary branches. He excited some astonishment by the rapidity and ease with which he replied to the casual interrogatories of several men of science, in arithmetic, algebra and the mathematics. Two essays from his pen, on law and political economy, were listened to with attention and interest; and in geography, and the various other ordinary departments of learning he appeared perfectly at home. The parents of both boys attended this exNo. 8.
hibition, and both were pleased. “Come, Tom,” said the mamma, kissing her darling, “good bye to books and school for ever, and now for pleasure.” “Come, George,” said Mr. Steele, shaking the modest boy by the hand, while a quiet smile of pride and pleasure stole over his features; “come, my boy; sofar ou have done well. I am satisfied with you. #. more than satisfied: I am PROUD of you. But,” he added, checking himself, “my dear boy, you must not fall into the error of supposing that your education is completed. You have things yet to learn of which you have no idea. Do not be vain of what you have acquired. Although I am praising your past exertions, I praise you more for what I expect you to do than for what you have done.” “I know, father,” replied George, “it would be foolish in me to be proud, for I recollect having read the other day that Sir Isaac Newton said even of all His knowledge, that it seemed no more than a pebble is to the ocean.” “Right, George, my son, perfectly right; so now let us return home, and teach you business and the world. All that you have learned here is but a weapon, which must now be used.” “But, father, Tom says he has finished his education.” “No man's education is finished until he is in his #. said the father. And so the boys started in life. We will imagine, if the reader pleases, that another period of five years has elapsed. The schoolboys have now grown up to manhood, both inspired in all their actions with the precepts of their parents. The one, that he would “never have to work for his living,” the other, that “for all that makes a man respectable and happy, he must depend upon himself.” At the age of twenty one, George was taken into partnership with the house which for five years he had served with the purest integrity and the most unremitting careWhile he devoted an ample portion of his time to the necessities of his avocation, he still found leisure occasionally to run through a book, keeping alive his taste, and amusing his fancy. He had reviewed his school studies with great profit. . His more matured understanding and experience let in light upon many passages which were before dark to him. Sometimes, indeed, he sighed as he beheld the fine equipages around him, and wished heaven had blessed him with a fortune; but again he felt that he was exempted from mamy temptations which surround the path of the more prosperous. His necessities had drilled him into a severe system of economy and habits of abstemiousness, by which his health remained firm and his mind cheerful, so that, when the reward of his unceasing labors flowed in upon him, he was prepared to avail himself of it to the best advantage. t
While this gradual but steady improvement was working in the mind of George, Thomas was leading a life of pleasure. He had grown up an elegant looking young man, of great taste in points of fashion. His will was law respecting the cut of a coat or the shape of a beaver; and a woman might fall in love with him desperately until he had opened his mouth, when his first sentiment would break the spell. How had he spent his life? What had he studied ? What had he thought? What did he know? What could he do? He was a proficient in horse-flesh. He could drive a tandam superbly. You could not touch him at billiards, and his dress was always exact and perfect; but his mind was uncultivated and so was his heart. He was prodigal, not generous; and he had never known friendship, because he had never felt Want. He was once trying a pair of splendid bays before a gig, on a pleasant summer afternoon. The long train of gay promenaders on either side of the way, looked, admired, envied.— No one ever appeared better while driving. A foot passenger, plainly but neatly dressed, paused in the middle of the street to give him passage. It was George. They had seldom met since their school-days, but nevertheless recognized each other and bowed. George was carrying a large book under his arm.— “What a fool is that plodding fellow " said Tom, as he quickened the pace of his horses with a resounding crack of the whip. How I hate a bookworm Step, you rascals "– “How finely Tom looks?” thought George. “I almost envy him those superb horses; but no matter.” They both passed on; one to spend the af. ternoon and evening in smoking, drinking and carousing ! the other to his humble home, to drink in with secret delight draughts of instruction from a work of genius. At this period I happened to be well acquainted with them, and had an opportunity of observing the different degrees of happiness produced on the one hand by industry, intelligent study, and moderation in all life's pleasures, and on the other by luxury and idleness. I caught Thomas one day alone.— He seemed sad, and even thoughtful—a strange thing for him. “Well, Tom, what's the matter 1" He yawned, and stretched his limbs. “Really, I don't know, but I am wretchedly dull and stupid.” “How can you be dull with every thing that is delightful at your command?” “Well,” he yawned again, “what you say is true. I don't know how it is, but I am fairly tired out. I can't contrive to get rid of my time.” “Have you nothing to do?”
.# Story of Real Life.
“Nothing : positively nothing.” “It's a fine day, why not walk?” “I'm tired of walking. I hate walking. I never enjoyed a walk in my life. Riding has grown tedious, and sailing is horrid.” “Suppose you try reading.” “Oh, dreadful . I could no more sit down and read a book than I could fly. I did drag through Waverly, but I was asleep, fast asleep, when I got to finis. I can't read—I’ve lost the relish. My mind wanders away over a thousand objects. I must have excitement, or I am miserable. The day to me is like a long and unpleasant journey; I am always tired to death before I get to the end. Oh, if some one would invent a method of passing away the time!” I bade him good bye, and left him again yawning and stretching his limbs. Sometime afterwards I had occasion to spend an evening with George. I reproved him for not having visited me. “I blame myself” he said, “but I have scarcely leisure to visit any one. My time is occupied continually. I never get through business until late in the afternoon, and sometimes in the evening; and as every prospect of my prosperity in the world depends upon my care and attention at the counting room, I am very industri. ous, I assure you.” “Are you not afraid,” I asked, “that a too severe application will warp your mind, and injure your health 4” “Oh, no, I am prudent enough to avoid that. I have a most cheerful succession of employments, each in some way uniting pleasure with utility. The only difficulty I have is to get time for them all. The more I apply myself in this way, the more pleasure I take in applying myself. The most melancholy reflection #. is, that, knowing as I do how short life is, the weakness of my body compels me to devote so much of it to sleep, or I regret that fortune has not placed in my hands the means to study with less interruption, to educate myself according to a higher standard, to travel, and thus obtain a wider field of observation.” About a year had elapsed when the elegant Mr. Tom Green suddenly abandoned all his old haunts about town, left off smoking, drinking, and swearing, cut off his mustachios and whiskers, and made the following soliloquy to the moon one night as he was returning from an evening visit to Henrietta Barton: “She is poor, but I have money. I love her, and it will be a noble action to choose such a creature, from no motive more selfish than admiration. How surprised and delighted she will be when she receives my offer— when she is raised from her humble and quiet sphere to my splendor and fashion. I think I ought to marry. I think I will marry her—I will marry her.
Having settled the matter thus to his satisfaction, he entered his home, and went to bed. The next day he wrote her and her father a letter. “The old gentleman will be out of his wits with joy,” said he, as he pressed down the seal upon the yielding wax. The next morning the servant brought a letter. He reached out his hand, with the most self.complacent feeling imaginable. “Poor little thing! Let us see how passion looks in the pretty periods of the charming Henrietta.” He read with a start, and sudden change of countenance—“Deepest regret—highest estimation—valuable as a friend—painful necessity of declining.” He loudly exclaimed with astonishment at an event so totally unexpected. How a man with such a fortune, and such a person, could be refused by a quiet, modest little girl like Henrietta Barton, was beyond his conception. But he was not a man to die of love. “There are others as good as she, and not quite so particular.” A few weeks afterwards, Mr. George Steele's marriage with Henrietta Barton was announced in the daily prints. “Saddle Surrey, John ; quick, you rascal,” said Mr. Tom Green, when he read the paragraph. I have one more picture to show of each. Years passed on. One day a gentleman stepped from a gig, which had stopped before the door of an elegant mansion, and inquired for Mr. Green. “How is he to-day!” asked the doctor of the nurse. “Worse, sir, much worse; his pains are excessive. He is peevish and disagreeable to his best friends.” “Ay, ay,” observed the physician, “the gout is a dreadful complaint.” As he spoke, he entered the chamber where the poor invalid sat, writhing with the anguish of his excruciating disease, which had been brought on by inac. tion and high living. His face was bloated and flushed, and exhibited symptoms of excessive agony. We break abruptly from so unpleasant a scene, and stand for a moment within the halls of Congress. A deeply interesting question engages their attention, and a speaker rises. It is George. His words carry conviction to every heart. The murmur of acquiescence and approbation runs round among the crowd. He obtains the object for which he has exerted himself, and his name is full of honor. This is but a simple sketch, but it is founded on real life; and if I have attempted to introduce no startling incident or marvellous character, more strongly to arrest the reader's attention, it is because I have adhered closely to the true career of two of my friends, one of whom has been ruined by affluence, the other elevated by poverty.
To a Friend— The First Error.
Mary Conway was the flower of her father's family. She was young, and well do I remember, she was beautiful—most beautiful. There is no object beneath the sun– nothing in the wide world, full as it is of allurements, rich as it is in glorious promises, and golden hopes, and spirit-stirring dreams, that burns into the heart like the fresh vision of female loveliness in the heyday of the passions. There is something so pure and innocent, and holy, in the mild lustre of her eye; something so heavenly in the soft and so smile that plays upon the cheek and ips; so many attractions around her, that it seems to me a beholding intelligence from the courts above, would bend a moment to contemplate and consider, before he flew to the eternal throne to enter the crime of idolatry against her youthful worshipper, in the moment he had lost the recollection of his Creator in gazing upon her. I look back through a mist of years, but I see no object beyond it more distinctly than Mary Conway.
She married early in youth, advantageously and happy; in age and fortune her partner was entirely suitable for her; their minds too, were similar, above the ordinary cast, firmly moulded, full of sensibility, delicacy and spirit. And the morning of their matrimonial life wore every prospect of a long and delightful, and quiet day of joy. It seemed
bright to others—it seemed doubly so to them—and lost in the plenitude of their happiness, they forgot, if it ever entertained their minds, how much care and caution, what watchfulness and forbearance, what kindness and prudence, were necessary to secure the peace and tranquility they now enjoyed. Love does not always burn with the brightness of the first light; but it often grows more and more deep, sincere, and unchanging as time rolls away. The feelings remain as tender and susceptible, after the shield that protects them from every kind word or act has been broken. The business in which they were engaged was a prosperous one, and Henry was a man of business—industrious, attentive, and intelligent. Every one of them prophecied that they would speedily realize a splendid independence. They were the pride of the village. But how small a matter sometimes gives an unexpected direction to the fortunes of kingdoms, cities and individuals. It happened one afternoon, several months after her marriage, Mary had a little tea-party, at which several matrons of the village were present; and, as is often the case, a long and learned dissertation on the manner of managing husbands, had been given alternately by one and another; husbands and prudent wives know what such things amount to, and of how much value they are to young house keepers. Unfortunately, Henry returned in the evening, fatigued and weary, in both bod and mind, with the labors of the day, and too his seat at the table. His favorite dish was not there. He inquired for it in a style that, perhaps, savored a little of reproach; it was unintentional. Mary was in the presence of her self constituted preceptors; she was ashamed to appear submissive before them, and besides, her feelings were wounded by her husband's manner; she replied, as she thought, spiritedly; but it was really harsh : Henry cast a single glance across the table, pushed back his plate, and rising, left the room. It was the first error. They were both sensible of it in a moment; but who should make a first concession, where they were both very plainly wrong? As Henry walked down the street engaged in unpleasant meditations, and enveloping himself in gloom, a bright light from the upper window of the village inn attracted his notice; he stepped over; a party of gay young men were about setting down to supper; they urged him to join in the club; the
temptation under such circumstances of the case was all powerful. Supper being over he delayed a little longer taking his leave; |liquor was introduced, music came next, and cards followed; though he did not join in the |last, he looked on the games without abhor182
.Approaching Dissolution—Midnight Meditations.
rence,—the dread he had been brought up in of evil had been broken. Returning late at night, his spirits heated with wine, and the recollection of his wife's behaviour before him, he found her retired, and passed the night in another room. The morning brought a cool meeting; the formal interchange of a few words, and a parting without explanation or complaint. The seed of discontent was sown—it bore the fruit which might have been expected. His home was no longer the centre of attraction to Henry. His tavern companions were gay, good humored, and attentive, and he left the fireside of his own mansion—which no longer wooed him as zealously and comparatively as the ale house club, of which he was very soon the centre and the life. The second error was committed. Though unseen by their friends, a dark cloud brooded over the fortunes of our young couple. It gathered blackness until perceptible to every eye; and when it burst, it carried ruin and desolation with it. Driven to the dangerous company of dissipated and fashionable men, Henry contracted all their habits; he became a drunkard and a gambler, the domestic circle was deserted, and its obligations forgotten. Mary met her husband's harshness and faithlessness with reproaches and bitterness; they both began in error and continued so. By these occasional, long, and loud, and violent collisions, a fearful example was set before their children, who grew up disobedient, violent and passionate. And though for many years the impending bolt of ruin was stayed, just above their heads, at last it sped. Henry died a lingering and awful death. His estate was found insolvent; his children grew up in ruin; and Mary—the once beautiful and enchanting Mary Conway—ended her life in poverty and obscurity. Thus fatal, in its direct and natural consequences, was an errror; the offspring rather of accident than intention. I leave the moral for others to trace out and apply.
BY MISS M. M. DAVISON.
Oh mother, would the power were mine
But, mother, now a shade hath passed
The torch of earthly hope burns dim,
I said that hope had passed from earth,
When God shall guide my soul above,
Hor mother, I will place on thine.
For the Ladies' Garland. M ID NIGHT MED ITATIONS.
Night with her sable pall is around me. Hushed in grim repose, man dreams away his existence in thoughtlessness and sleep. The monarch that has ruled the day with his lovely beams, resigns his dominion to the pearly queen of night. Chill and dark is the air, but the flower drinks vigor from the freshening dews. A flood of silvery light bathes wood, hill, valley and brooklet, and from a distant brake the plaintive whippoorwill echoes his tiny song. Save this, and the gurgling melody of the stream beside me, all is stils. ness. Yet it is enough to break the monotony of the scene; and the two organs of Nature's choir give a rich, full, swelling diapason to the voiceless solitude.
From the earliest ages to the present time, poets, philosophers, sages, and others deeply learned in wisdom and classic lore, have poured forth their language of inspiration at the twilight hour; and it seems to me the most fitting time for reflection. All of whom I have read, seemed to feel the “divinity stir. ring within them.” They soared on the wings of Fancy through the trackless ether, and read their history in the stars. They seemed to look still higher; and the manner in which they breathed forth the most touching pathos and smoothness of expression, invests me with the belief that the very portals
of Paradise were thrown open to their vision, and they revelled in all the pleasures of a