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sery. It is really a shame for society to be deprived of her attractions. I am sure even Uncle Barnaby must cry out against the young interlopers for depriving him of his favourite organist. Ellen certainly might have trusted the nurses for one day, rather than inflict disappointment on such a party as this.” The captain looked at my uncle, as if half hoping for his support. My uncle returned the look, as if he had no remark to make. The captain directly appealed to my uncle, whether, if he had been Mortimer, he would not have insisted on his wife leaving her nursery for a few hours to fulfil an engagement with society. “It is hard to say,” replied my uncle, “how I should act if I were not myself ; but, as far as I can tell, if I were Mr. Mortimer, I should wish my wife to make herself happy in the way of her own choice, provided that choice did not run counter to the claims of duty ; and I rather think I should be very well pleased to find that her preference lay in self-devotion to duties of the highest order, and which cannot be delegated without disadvantage to the dearest and most sacred trust. My niece's musical performance is very delightful to me; but it delights me far more to know that she now prefers the music of the nursery.”

“If I were you, Mr. Johnson,” said a dashing young tradesman to his old-fashioned neighbour, “I would certainly have this shop new fronted and remodelled throughout. With plate glass windows, and mahogany counters, and a considerable display of modern articles, you might easily do more than double your present trade. This dull-looking place is enough to drive away

customers.” “It may be so,” replied Johnson ;

some are better driven away than invited in. Those that have dealt with me longest, best know whether it is worth their while to come again. I have always depended more on the quality and price of my goods within, than upon the dashing appearance of my shop without. Here I have

een upwards of twenty years, and though I have not jumped into a great fortune, like some of my speculating neighbours, neither have I been ruined, like many others. By the blessing of God on honest, plodding industry, I have been enabled to bring up my numerous family in comfort, and I never meet the man that I am ashamed to look in the face. I do not say, if I were you,

I should adopt the same humble scale of beginning, and the same quiet mode of proceeding with which I am now satisfied; but I think if I had to begin again, I should prefer the same course myself.” Twenty years have elapsed since this conversation. Oid Johnson still maintains his ground, and has lately taken into partnership two of his sons. The old shop has been new fronted, and in many respects modernized ; for it was necessary that the house should undergo a thorough repair, and Mr. Johnson was not so prejudiced as to reject all modern improvements, and spend his money on rebuilding in the old style what was unsightly or inconvenient. The shop is much lighter, and the shelves better arranged than formerly, and the establishment is as much frequented as ever ; perhaps as much as any shop in the town, though there are neither mahogany counters nor plate glass windows to attract the customers. One careful purchaser is

continually saying to another, “If you want a really good article, and at a fair price, go to old Mr. Johnson's, he will not deceive you ;” and thus the custom of the shop is well kept up. The young man who, twenty years ago, suggested improvements which Mr. Johnson deferred, has two or three times set off in a dashing style, and as often experienced a speedy downfal, and involved many in the ruinous consequences of his bold speculations; and at last is gone to America, with the confident, but perhaps ill-founded, hope of repairing his shattered fortunes. “ How much longer, Mr. Gilbert, do you

intend to toil behind the counter ? Really, at your time of life, and with so few to provide for, it is high time for you to retire, and begin to enjoy life. If I were you, I would dispose of the business, and take a house in the country, or travel about a little. At all events, I would have a regular summer's excursion for a month or two, and not be pent up here from one year's end to another, as if you had a large family to care for, and not a guinea beforehand with the world. If I had realized your property, I would act very differently from what


do. “That is very likely,” replied Mr. Gilbert ; "you have a taste for travelling about, and going to watering-places, and amusing yourself like a gentleman; I have none. I reckon a day's pleasure far more fatiguing than a day's business ; and as to taking a country house, and having nothing to do, it would drive me mad in less than six months. Business is what I have been used to all my life, and nothing would ever suit me so well. I never knew much good come of such people as



I am, leaving business and setting up for gentle

I could not live a life of idleness." “Idleness !” rejoined the antagonist; "a retired gentleman need not live an idle or a useless life. Think how much good you might do with your property and leisure. There is our old neighbour Downing, I often envy him ; he left business just in the right time to enjoy the sweets of retirement, the cultivation of his mind, the society of his family, the promotion of the best interests of his neighbours. Why, sir, he is doing ten times more good in the world, and enjoying a hundred-fold more happiness, than if he had gone on seven years longer, toiling to accumulate more property. It is a great thing, neighbour Gilbert, to know when we have got enough.”

Yes, I suppose it is, Master Best ; but every one likes to fix his own standard of what is enough, and what is the best way of enjoying himself, and doing good to others. For my part, I do not know that I am more anxious to amass property than either yourself or Mr. Downing, or less willing to part with it in any good cause. But if your fancy is for a country life, and you envy Mr. Downing his retirement, and blame me for remaining in town, why, if I were you, I would just follow


bent, and retire into the country; you know very well that you have property enough to do it if

you I retire, Mr. Gilbert! I wish I could afford it. To be sure, I have done pretty well, considering all things; but what is my property to Mr. Downing's ?”

“You know best about that. I only say what I would do if I were you, seeing you have so


great a desire to do it. There is no obligation on you to count just as many thousands as Mr. Downing, or to have as large a house, and keep as many servants. Many people lead a country life, and do a great deal of good, on a smaller scale.” “Well, true, I wish it

may be in my power to do the same ; for, after all, the great object to keep in view should be pious usefulness, rather than personal gratification and aggrandizement. I assure you I do look forward with eager desire to the period when I shall be able to devote myself to the sacred and delightful employ of doing good; but I cannot do it just at present."

Ah,” said my uncle, who happened to hear this conversation,“ how much more quick-sighted are we to discern another's duties and capabilities than our own ! And how easy it is to say, 'If I were you I would do what you can and I cannot,' when our insincerity is proved by the palpable fact of our not doing what we can.

“What an ill-managed set of children those little Bentleys are !” exclaimed Mrs. Churchill : “if I were their mother, I should be quite ashamed of them. There is a boy of four years old that absolutely cannot tell his letters ; and the two girls, the eldest of whom is seven, have not yet been sent to school, but are romping about like colts on a common; and the little one, of more than a year old, is kicking and rolling on the floor, without a single effort to teach him to walk. If I were Mrs. Bentley, I should be ashamed of such indolence; and I am

sure I would not encourage a nurse-maid in it.”

“ Are you quite sure,” said a more candid lady

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