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how, I should dip my head into a pail of water twice a day, and see if I couldn't make it a little slicker. You never can make it curl in the fashion!”
"That would only make it worse," said Candace, despondingly. "When I wet it, or when the weather is damp, it curls all over my head, so that I can't do any thing with it. Grandfather used to call me his almanack, because he could always tell when it was going to rain by my curls."
"It is dreadful, I declare," said Miss Duncan. "Don't you think if you should have it all shaved off it would grow straight? I could sell it for you, and buy you some elegant long ringlets with the money.”
Next to amending Candace's appearance, Miss Duncan's favourite object was to induce her to break with Lewis Arden, who did not like the gay lady, and had treated her somewhat cavalierly, especially after he observed her efforts to acquire an influence over Candace. We cannot say how far the guest was conscious of a spiteful feeling towards
a handsome young man who had shown something beyond a decided indifference to her charms; but she lost no occasion of depreciating him in the esteem of his fair mistress, and for this she thought she had sure ground. With all his manliness, fine eyes, noble forehead, and frank address, Lewis Arden had one immense, undeniable, unpardonable fault.
His father, a plain, hardworking farmer, had toiled all his life for little more than a living for his family. He was one of those farmers who look neither to the right hand nor to the left notice nobody's plans but their own eschew every thing like experiment observe no necessity for improvement in implements or modes of tillage feel too poor to take an agricultural paper, and too busy to read one-and so go on, from year to year, plodding in circuitous paths, when a little enquiry would have shown them short cuts equally safe; and groaning under the unprofitableness of farming, without a single effort to discover why this necessary and fundamental branch of
business should not be influenced by causes identical with those which influence all the other modes of earning a share of this world's goods. Mr. Arden had made up his mind that hard work was all; and most faithfully had he acted upon this idea.
But there was another reason why his affairs had prospered no better. Some years before the time of which we have been speaking, he had, in a moment of angry dispute with a friend and neighbour - an uncle of Candace, by the way become involved in a lawsuit; which, being carried from court to court, with characteristic obstinacy, had silently devoured all the profits of the farm, and resulted in a heavy incumbrance on the land itself, in the shape of a mortgage given to the lawyer; who, far from " doing it on spec.," would not go on with the suit unless his pay was secured before hand.
And this brings us back to that great overshadowing fault, which was the only one to be charged against that fine high-spirited youth, his son. Lewis Arden was poor.
"How rarely reason guides the stubborn choice, Rules the bold hand, or prompts the suppliant voice! JOHNSON.
VARIOUS as are the characteristics of mankind, there are yet some traits in which all agree; and one of the most striking of these is a propensity to be ungrateful to our best friends. We are not entirely incapable of gratitude. There are some occasions that call forth warm emotions which must be referred to this virtue. But this fact weakens not our position. It is not to our best friends that we are grateful. It is to those who humour our whims and gratify our passions, not to those who give us unpalatable advice, who remind us of our besetting sin, or endeavour to rectify our estimate of our own abilities,
For instance-Who loves poverty? Who courts poverty? Who sings the praises of this great teacher? Who tells of the cures
it has performed-the eyes it has opened? Who calls upon his friends to rejoice with him when his merchandise is shipwrecked, or his house burned? Who gives a ball to celebrate his removal from a marble mansion in Carroll Place to a two-story tenement in Twenty-fifth Street? Who carries his head the higher for a patched coat or a bad hat? Is it necessary to prove that poverty is a friend? Let us consider for a moment. What is the most desirable kind of knowledge? Self-knowledge, of course. This is emphatically the boon of poverty. Who tells the rich man of his faults? He struts through the world, wrapped, as it were, in a golden mantle, which the darts of wholesome truth can never penetrate. He may have a thousand faults and failings that every body sees but himself; yet in the wretchedness of his prosperity no voice is found to whisper in his ear the startling words that should arouse him to self-examination to repentanceto amendment.
Let the poor man rejoice in the contrast. Has he any glaring sin unrebuked? Nay