t,. U,.T it
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
BY T. S. ARTHUR.
L. P. CROWN & CO., 61 CORNHILL.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1852, by
J. W. BRADLEY,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States in and for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
STEBEOTYPED BT L. JOBNSON AND 00.
THE original title chosen for this book was Riches
without Wings ;" but the author becoming aware,
before giving it a permanent form, that a volume bearing
a similar title had appeared some years ago, of which a
new edition was about to be issued, thought it best to
substitute therefore, "True Riches; or, Wealth without
Wings," which, in fact, expresses more accurately the
character and scope of his story.
The lessons herein taught are such as cannot be
learned too early, nor dwelt on too long or too often, by
those who are engaged in the active and all-absorbing
duties of life. In the struggle for natural riches-the
wealth that meets the eye and charms the imagination-
how many forget that true riches can only be laid up in
the heart; and that, without these true riches, which
have no wings, gold, the god of this world, cannot
bestow a single blessing! To give this truth a varied
charm for young and old, the author has made of it a
new presentation, and, in so doing, sought to invest it
with all the winning attractions in his power to bestow.
To parents who regard the best interests of their
children, and to young men and women just stepping
upon the world's broad stage of action, we offer our
book, in the confident belief that it contains vital prin-
ciples, which, if laid up in the mind, will, like good
seed in good ground, produce an after-harvest, in the
garnering of which there will be great joy.
"A FAIR day's business. A very fair day's
business," said Leonard Jasper, as he closed a
small account-book, over which he had been poring,
pencil in hand, for some ten minutes. The tone in
which he spoke expressed more than ordinary gra-
"To what do the sales amount ?" asked a young
man, clerk to the dealer, approaching his principal
as he spoke.
To just two hundred dollars, Edward. It's the
best day we've had for a month."
"The best, in more than one sense," remarked
the young man, with a meaning expression,
"You're right there, too," said Jasper, with ani-
mation, rubbing his hands together as he spoke, in
the manner of one who is particularly well pleased
with himself. "I made two or three trades that
told largely on the sunny side of profit and loss
True enough. Though I've been afraid, ever
since you sold that piece of velvet to Harland's
wife, that you cut rather deeper than was prudent."
8 TRUE RICHES; OR,
Not a bit of it-not a bit of it! Had I asked
her three dollars a yard, she would have wanted it
for two. So I said six, to begin with, expecting to
fall extensively; and, to put a good face on the
matter, told her that it cost within a fraction of
what I asked to make the importation-remarking,
at the same time, that the goods were too rich in
quality to bear a profit, and were only kept as a
matter of accommodation to certain customers."
"And she bought at five ?"
"Yes; thinking she had obtained the velvet at
seventy-five cents a yard less than its cost. Gene-
rous customer, truly !"
"While you, in reality, made two dollars and a
half on every yard she bought."
"Precisely that sum."
"She had six yards."
S"Yes; out of which we made a clear profit of
fifteen dollars. That will do, I'm thinking. Opera-
tions like this count up fast."
"Very fast. But, Mr. Jasper"-
"But what, Edward?"
Is it altogether prudent to multiply operations
of this character ? Won't it make for you a bad
reputation, and thus diminish, instead of increasing,
your custom ?"
I fear nothing of the kind. One-half the peo-
ple are not satisfied unless you cheat them. I've
handled the yardstick, off and on, for the last fif-
teen or twenty years, and I think my observation
during that time is worth something. It tells me
this-that a bold face, a smooth tongue, and an
easy conscience are worth more in our business than
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS. V
any other qualities. With these you may do as you
list. They tell far better than all the 'one-price'
and fair-dealing professions, in which people have
little faith. In fact, the mass will overreach if they
can, and therefore regard these 'honest' assump-
tions with suspicion."
The young man, Edward Claire, did not make a
reply for nearly a minute. Something in the words
of Mr. Jasper had fixed his thought, and left hini,
for a brief space of time, absorbed in his own
Lifting, at length, his eyes, which had been rest-
ing on the floor, he said-
"Our profit dn to-day's sales must reach very
nearly fifty dollars."
"Just that sum, if I have made a right estimate,"
replied Jasper; "and that is what I call a fair day's
While he was yet speaking, a lad entered the
store, and laid uponthe counter a small sealed
package, bearing the superscription, Leonard Jas-
per, Esq." The merchant cut the red tape with
which it was tied, broke the seal, and opening the
package, took therefrom several papers, over which
he ran his eyes hurriedly; his clerk, as he did so,
"What's this?" muttered Jasper to himself, not
at first clearly comprehending the nature of the
business to which the communication related.
"Executor! To what? Oh! ah! Estate of Ruben
Elder. Humph! What possessed him to trouble
me with this business? I've no time to play execu-
tor to an estate, the whole proceeds of which would
TRUE RICHES; OR,
hardly fill my trousers' pocket. He was a thrift-
less fellow at best, and never could more than keep
his head out of water. His debts will swallow up
every thing, of course, saving my commissions,
which I would gladly throw in to be rid of this
With this, Jasper tossed the papers into his desk,
and, taking up his hat, said to his clerk-
You may shut the store, Edward. Before you
leave, see that every thing is made safe."
The merchant than retired, and wended his way
Edward Claire seemed in no hurry to follow this
example. His first act was to close the window-
shutters and door-turning the key in the latter,
and remaining inside.
Entirely alone, and hidden from observation, the
young man seated himself, and let his thoughts,
which seemed to be active on some subject, take
their own way. He was soon entirely absorbed.
Whatever were his thoughts, one thing would have
been apparent to an observer-they did not run in
a. quiet stream. Something disturbed their current,
for his brow was knit, his compressed lips had a dis-
turbed motion, and his hands moved about at times
uneasily. At length he arose, not hurriedly, but
with a deliberate motion, threw his arms behind
him, and, bending forward, with his eyes cast down,
paced the length of the store two or three times,
backward and forward, slowly.
"Fifty dollars profit in one day," he at length
said, half audibly. "That will do, certainly. I'd
be contented with a tenth part of the sum. He's
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
bound to get rich; that's plain. Fifty dollars in a
single day! Leonard Jasper, you're a shrewd one.
I shall have to lay aside some of my old-fashioned
squeamishness, and take a few lessons from so ac-
complished a teacher. But, he's a downright
Some better thought had swept suddenly, in a
gleam of light, across the young man's mind, show-
ing him the true nature of the principles from which
the merchant acted, and, for the moment, causing
his whole nature to revolt against them. But the
light faded slowly; a state of darkness and confu-
sion followed, and then the old current of thought
moved on as before.
Slowly, and now with an attitude of deeper ab-
straction, moved the young man backward and
forward the entire length of the room, of which he
was the sole occupant. He felt that he was alone,
that no human eye could note a single movement.
Of the all-seeing Eye he thought not-his spirit's
evil counsellors, drawn intimately nigh to him
through inclinations to evil, kept that consciousness
from his mind.
At length Claire turned to the desk upon which
were the account-books that had been used during
the day, and commenced turning the leaves of one
of them in a way that showed only a half-formed
purpose. There was an impulse to something in
his mind; an impulse not yet expressed in any form
of thought, though in the progress toward some-
"Fifty dollars a day!" he murmurs. Ah, that
shows the direction of his mind. He is still strug-
TRUE RICHES; OR,
gling in temptation, and with all his inherited
cupidities bearing him downward.
Suddenly he starts, turns his head, and listens
eagerly, and with a strange agitation. Some one
had tried the door. For a few moments he stood
in an attitude of the most profound attention. But
the trial was not repeated. How audibly, to his
own ears, throbbed his heart! How oppressed was
his bosom! How, in a current of fire, rushed the
blood to his over-excited brain!
The hand upon the door was but an ordinary oc-
currence. It might now be only a customer, who,
seeing a light within, hoped to supply some neglected
want, or a friend passing by, who wished for a few
words of pleasant gossip. At any other time Claire
would have stepped quickly and with undisturbed
expectation to receive the applicant for admission.
But guilty thoughts awakened their nervous attend-
ants, suspicion and fear, and these had sounded an
Still, very still, sat Edward Claire, even to the
occasional suppression of his breathing, which, to
him, seemed strangely loud.
Several nlinutes elapsed, and then the young man
oonmenced silently to remove the various account-
books to their nightly safe deposit in the fire-proof.
The cash-box, over the contents of which he lin-
gered, counting note by note and coin by coin, seve-
ral times repeated, next took its place with the books.
The heavy iron door swung to, the key traversed
noiselessly the delicate and complicated wards, was
removed and deposited in a place of safety; and, yet
unrecovered from his mood of abstraction, the clerk
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
left the store, and took his way homeward. From
that hour Edward Claire was to be the subject of a
fierce temptation. He had admitted an evil sugges-
tion, and had warmed it in the earth of his mind,
even to germination. Already a delicate root had
penetrated the soil, and was extracting food there-
from. Oh! why did he not instantly pluck it out,
when the hand of an infant would have sufficed in
strength for the task? Why did he let it remain,
shielding it from the cold winds of rational truth
and the hot sun of good affections, until it could
live, sustained by its own organs of appropriation
and nutrition? Why did he let it remain until its
lusty growth gave sad promise of an evil tree, in
which birds of night find shelter and build nests
for their young?
Let us introduce another scene and another per-
sonage, who will claim, to some extent, the reader's
There were two small but neatly, though plainly,
furnished rooms, in the second story of a house lo-
cated in a retired street. In one of these rooms tea
was prepared, and near the tea-table sat a young
woman, with a. sleeping babe nestled toiher bosom.
She was fair-faced and sunny-haired; and in her
blue eyes lay, in calm beauty, sweet tokens of a
pure and loving heart. How tenderly she looked
down, now -and then, upon the slumbering cherub
whose winning ways and murmurs of affection had
blessed her through the day! Happy young wife!
th se are thy halcyon days. Care has not thrown
u n the a sigle shadow from hi gldomy wing,
2 a# .
V- i g
TRUE RICHES ; OR,
and hope pictures the smiling future with a sky of
How long he stays away !" had just passed her
lips, when the sound of well-known footsteps was
heard in the passage below. A brief time, and
then the room-door opened, and Edward Claire
came in. What a depth of tenderness was in his
voice as he bent his lips to those of his young wife,
"My Edith!" and then touching, with a gentler
pressure, the white forehead of his sleeping babe.
"You were late this evening, dear," said Edith,
looking into the face of her husband, whose eyes
drooped under her earnest gaze.
"Yes," he replied, with a slight evasion in his
tone and manner; we have been busier than usual
As he spoke the young wife arose, and taking
her slumbering child into the adjoining chamber,
laid it gently in its crib. Then returning, she made
the tea-the kettle stood boiling by the grate-
and in a little while they sat down to their evening
Edith soon observed that her husband was more
thoughtful and less talkative than usual. She
asked, however, no direct question touching this
change; but regarded what he did say with closer
attention, hoping to draw a correct inference, with-
out seeming to notice his altered mood.
"Mr. Jasper's business is increasing ?" she said,
somewhat interrogatively, while they still sat at the
table, an expression of her husband's leading to tks
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
Yes, increasing very rapidly," replied Claire,
with animation. The fact is, he is going to get
rich. Do you know that his profit on to-day's sales
amounted to fifty dollars ?"
So much ?" said Edith, yet in a tone that showed
no surprise or particular interest in the matter.
Fifty dollars a day," resumed Claire, counting
three hundred week-days in the year, gives the
handsome sum of fifteen thousand dollars in the
year. I'd be satisfied with as much in five years."
There was more feeling in the tone of his voice
than he had meant to betray. His young wife lifted
her eyes to his face, and looked at him with a won-
der she could not conceal.
Contentment, dear," said she, in a gentle, sub-
dued, yet tender voice, "is great gain. We have
enough, and more than enough, to make us happy.
Natural riches have no power to fill the heart's most
yearning affections; and how often do they take to
themselves wings and fly away."
"Enough, dear !" replied Edward Claire, smiling.
S0 no, not enough, by any means. Five hundred
dollars a year is but a meagre sum. What does it
procure for us? Only these two rooms and the
commonest necessaries of life. We cannot even af-
ford the constant service of a domestic."
"Why, Edward! what has come over you? Have
"No, dear, no. But think you I have no ambi-
tion to see my wife take a higher place than this ?"
Ambition! Do not again use that word," said
ELith, very earnestly. What has love to do with
ambition ? What have we to do with the world and
TRUE RICHES; OR,
its higher places? Will a more elegant home secure
for us a purer joy than we have known and still
know in this our Eden? Oh, my husband! do not
let such thoughts come into your mind. Let us be
content with what God in his wisdom provides, as-
sured that it is best for us. In envying the good of
another, we destroy our own good. There is a
higher wealth than gold, Edward; and it supplies
higher wants: There are riches without wings;
they lie scattered about our feet; we may fill our
coffers, if we will. Treasures of good affections and
true thoughts are worth more than all earthly
riches, and will bear us far more safely and happily
through the world; such treasures are given to all
who will receive them, and given in lavish abun-
dance. Let us secure of this wealth, Edward, a
Mere treasures of the mind, Edith, do not sus-
tain natural life, do not supply natural demands.
They build no houses; they provide not for increas-
ing wants. We cannot always remain in the ideal
world; the sober realities of life will drag us
The simple-hearted, true-minded young wife was
not understood by her husband. She felt this, and
felt it oppressively.
"Have we not enough, Edward, to meet every
real want?" she urged. "Do we desire better food
or better clothing? Would our bodies be more
comfortable because our carpets were of richer ma-
terial, and our rooms filled with costlier furniture ?
O no! If not contented with such things as Prt-
vidence gives us to-day, we shall not find content-
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
ment in what he gives us to-morrow; for the same
dissatisfied heart will beat in our bosoms. Let Mr.
Jasper get rich, if he can; we will not envy his
"I do not envy him, Edith," replied Claire.
"But I cannot feel satisfied with the small salary
he pays me. My services are, I know, of greater
value than he estimates them, and I feel that I am
dealt by unjustly."
Edith made no answer. The subject was repag-
nant to her feelings, and she did not wish to prolong
it. Claire already regretted its introduction. So
there was silence for nearly a minute.
When the conversation flowed on again, it em-
braced a different theme, but had in it no warmth
of feeling. Not since they had joined hands at the
altar, nearly two years before, had they passed so
embarrassed and really unhappy an evening as this.
A tempting spirit had found its way into their Para-
dise, burning with a fierce desire to mar its beauty.
OH, what a dream I have had !" exclaimed Mrs.
Claire, starting suddenly from sleep, just as the
light began to come in dimly through the windows
on the next morning; and, as she spoke, she
caught- hold of her husband, and clung to him,
frightened and trembling.
TRUE RICHES; OR,
"Oh, such a dream!" she added, as her mind
grew clearer, and she felt better assured of the
reality that existed. "'I thought, love, that we
were sitting in our room, as we sit every evening-
baby asleep, I sewing, and you, as usual, reading
aloud. How happy we were! happier, it seemed,
than we had ever been before. A sudden loud
knock startled us both. Then two men entered,
one of whom drew a paper from his pocket, declar-
ing, as he did so, that you were arrested at the in-
stance of Mr. Jasper, who accused you with having
robbed him of a large amount of money."
"Why, Edith!" ejaculated Edward Claire, in a
voice of painful surprise. He, too, had been dream-
ing, and in his dream he had done what his heart
prompted him to do on the previous evening-to act
unfaithfully toward his employer.
Oh, it was dreadful! dreadful!" continued Edith.
Rudely they seized and bore you away. Then came
the trial. Oh, I see it all as plainly as if it had
been real. You, my good, true, noble-hearted hus-
band, who had never wronged another, even in
thought-you were accused of robbery in the pre-
sence of hundreds, and positive witnesses were
brought forward to prove the terrible charge. All
they alleged was believed by those who heard. The
judges pronounced you guilty, and then sentenced
you to a gloomy prison. They were bearing you
off, when, in my agony, I awoke. It was terrible,
terrible! yet, thank God! only a dream, a fearful
Claire drew his arms around his young wife, and
clasped her with a straining embrace to his bosom.
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
He made no answer for some time. The relation
of a dream so singular, under the circumstances,
had startled him, and he almost feared to trust his
voice in response. At length, with a deeply-drawn,
sighing breath, nature's spontaneous struggle for
relief, he said-
Yes, dear, that was a fearful dream. The
thought of it makes me shudder. But, after all, it
was only a dream; the whispering of a malignant
spirit in your ear. Happily, his power to harm
extends no further. The fancy may be possessed in
sleep, but the reason lies inactive, and the hands
remain idle. No guilt can stain the spirit. The
night passes, and we go abroad in the morning as
pure as when we laid our heads wearily to rest."
"And more," added Edith, her mind fast reco-
vering itself; "with a clearer perception of what
is true and good. The soul's disturbed balance
finds its equilibrium. It is not the body alone that
is refreshed and strengthened. The spirit, plied
with temptation after temptation through the day,
and almost ready to yield when the night cometh,
finds rest also, and time to recover its strength.
In the morning it goes forth again, stronger
for its season of repose. How often, as the day
dawned, have I lifted Ay heart and thanked God
for sleep !"
Thus prompted, an emotion of thankfulness arose
in the breast of Claire, but the utterance was kept
back from the lips. He had a secret, a painful and
revolting secret, in his heart, and he feared lest
something should betray its -existence to his wife.
What would he not have given at the moment to
TRUE RICHES; OR,
have blotted out for ever the memory of thoughts
too earnestly cherished on the evening before, when
he was alone with the tempter?
There was a shadow on the heart of Edith Claire.
The unusual mood of her husband on the previous
evening, and the dream which had haunted her
through the night, left impressions that could not
be shaken off. She had an instinct of danger-
danger lurking in the path of one in whom her very
life was bound up.
When Edward was about leaving her to go forth
for the day, she lingered by his side and clung to
him, as if she could not let him pass from the safe
shelter of home.
Ah! if I could always be with you!" said Edith
-"if we could ever move on, hand in hand and
side by side, how full to running over would be my
cup of happiness !"
Are we not ever side by side, dear?" replied
Claire, tenderly. "You are present to my thought
all the day."
And you to mine. 0 yes! yes! We are mov-
ing side by side; our mutual thought gives presence.
Yet it was the bodily presence I desired. But that
Good-bye, love! Good-bye, sweet one !" said
Claire, kissing his wife, and gently pressing his lips
upon those of the babe she held in her arms. He
then passed forth, and took his way to the store of
Leonard Jasper, in whose service he had been for
two years, or since the date of his marriage.
A scene transpired a few days previous to this,
which we will briefly describe. Three persons were
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
alone in a chamber, the furniture of which, though
neither elegant nor costly, evinced taste and refine-
ment. Lying upon a bed was a man, evidently near
the time of his departure from earth. By his side,
and bending over him, was a woman almost as pale
as himself. A little girl, not above five years of
age, sat on the foot of the bed, with her eyes fixed
on the countenance of her father, for such was the
relation borne to her by the sick man. A lovely
creature she was-beautiful even beyond the com-
mon beauty of childhood. For a time a solemn
stillness reigned through the chamber. A few low-
spoken words had passed between the parents of the
child, and then, for a brief period, all was deep, op-
pressive silence. This was interrupted, at length,
by the mother's unrestrained sobs, as she laid her
face upon the bosom of her husband, so soon to be
taken from her, and wept aloud.
No word of remonstrance or comfort came from
the sick man's lips. He only drew his arm about
the weeper's neck, and held her closer to his heart.
The troubled waters soon ran clear: there was
calmness in their depths.
"It is but for a little while, Fanny," said he, in
a feeble yet steady voice; "only for a little
"I know; I feel that here," was replied, as a
thin, white hand was laid against the speaker's
bosom. "And I could patiently await my time,
Her eyes glanced yearningly toward the child,
who sat gazing upon her parents, with an instinct
of approaching evil at her heart.
TRUE RICHES; OR,
Too well did the dying man comprehend the
meaning of this glance..
God will take care of her. He will raise her
up friends," said he quickly; yet, even as he spoke,
his heart failed him.
All that is left to us is our trust in Him," mur-
mured the wife and mother. Her voice, though so
low as to be almost a whisper, was firm. She real-
ized, as she spoke, how much of bitterness was in
the parting hours of the dying one, and she felt
that duty required her to sustain him, so far as she
had the strength to do so. And so she nerved her
woman's heart, almost breaking as it was, to bear
and hide her own sorrows, while she strove to
comfort and strengthen the failing spirit of her
"God is good," said she, after a brief silence,
during which she was striving for the mastery over
her weakness. As she spoke, she leaned over the
sick man, and looked at him lovingly, and with the
smile of an angel on her countenance.
Yes, God is good, Fanny. Have we not proved
this, again and again?" was returned, a feeble light
coming into the speaker's pale face.
"A thousand times, dear! a thousand times!"
said the wife, earnestly. He is infinite in his good-
ness, and we are his children."
"Yes, his children," was the whispered response.
And over and over again he repeated the words,
"His children;" his voice falling lower and lower
each time, until at length his eyes closed, and his
in-going thought found no longer an utterance.
Twilight had come. The deepening shadows were
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
fast obscuring all objects in the sick-chamber, where
silence reigned, profound almost as death.
"He sleeps," whispered the wife, as she softly
raised herself from her reclining .position on the
bed. And dear Fanny sleeps also," was added,
as her eyes rested upon the unconscious form of her
Two hours later, and the last record was made in
Ruben Elder's Book of Life.
For half an hour before the closing scene, his
mind was clear, and he then spoke calmly of what
he had done for those who were to remain behind.
"To Leonard Jasper, my old friend," said he to
his wife, I have left the management of my affairs.
He will see that every thing is done for the best.
There is not much property, yet enough to insure a
small income; and, when you follow me to the bet-
ter land, sufficient for the support and education of
Peacefully, after this, he sank away, and, like a
weary child falling into slumber, slept that sleep
from which the awakening is in another world.
How Leonard Jasper received the announcement
of his executorship has been seen. The dying man
had referred to him as an old friend; but, as the
reader has already concluded, there was little room
in his sordid heart for so pure a sentiment as that
of friendship. He, however, lost no time in ascer-
taining the amount of property left by Elder, which
consisted of two small houses in the city, and a bar-
ren tract of about sixty acres of land, somewhere in
Pennsylvania, which had been taken for a debt of
five hundred dollars. In view of his death, Elder
TRUE RICHES; OR,
had wound up his business some months before, paid
off what he owed, and collected in nearly all out-
standing accounts; so that little work remained for
his executor, except to dispose of the unprofitable
tract of land and invest the proceeds.
On the day following the opening of our story,
Jasper, who still felt annoyed at the prospect of
more trouble than profit in the matter of his execu-
torship, made a formal call upon the. widow of his
The servant, to whom he gave his name, stated
that Mrs. Elder was so ill as not to be able to leave
"I will call again, then, in a few days," said he.
"Be sure you give her my name correctly. Mr. -
The face of the servant wore a troubled aspect. "J
She is very sick, sir," said she, in a wprried,
hesitating manner. "Won't you take a seat, for a
moment, until I go up and tell her that you are here ?
Maybe she would like to see you. I think I heard
her mention your name a little while ago."
Jasper sat down, and the domestic left the room.
She was gone but a short time, when she returned
and said that Mrs. Elder wished to see him. Jasper
arose and followed her up-stairs. There were some
strange misgivings in his heart-some vague, trou-
bled anticipations, that oppressed his feelings. But
he had little time for thought ere he was ushered
into the chamber of his friend's widow.
A single glance sufficed to tell him the whole sad
truth of the case. There was no room for mistake.
The bright, glazed eyes, the rigid, colourless lips,
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
the ashen countenance, all testified that the hour of
her departure drew nigh. How strong, we had
almost said, how beautiful, was the contrasted form
and features of her lovely child, whose face, so full
of life and rosy health, pressed the same pillow that
supported her weary head.
Feebly the dying woman extended her hand, as
Mr. Jasper came in, saying, as she did so-
I am glad you have come; I was about sending
A slight tremor of the lips accompanied her
words, and it was plain that the presence of Jasper,
whose relation to her and her child she understood,
caused a wave of emotion to sweep over her heart.
"I am sorry, Mrs. Elder, to find you so very ill,"
said Jasper, with as much of sympathy in his voice
as he could command. Has your physician been
here to-day ?"
"It is past that, sir-past that," was replied.
"There is no further any hope for me in the phy-
A sob choked all further utterance.
How oppressed was the cold-hearted, selfish man
of the world! His thoughts were all clouded, and
his lips for a time sealed. As the dying woman
said, so he felt that it was. The time of her depar-
ture had come. An instinct of self-protection-
protection for his feelings-caused him, after a few
moments, to say, and he turned partly from the bed
as he spoke-
"Some of your friends should be with you, ma-
dam, at this time. Let me go for them. Have you
a sister or near relative in the city ?"
TRUE RICHES; OR,
The words and movement of Mr. Jasper restored
at once the conscious self-possession of the dying
mother, and she raised herself partly up witA4,.
quick motion, and a gleam of light in her counter:
Oh, sir," she said eagerly, "do not go yet. I
have no sister, no near relative; none but you to
whom I can speak my last words and give my at
injunction. You were my husband's friend wulhe
lived, and to you has he committed the care his
widow and orphan. I am called, alas, too sooner. to
follow him; and now, in the sight of God, and in
the presence of his spirit-for I feel that he is near
us now-I commit to you the care of this dear
child. Oh, sir! be to her as a father. Love her
tenderly, and care for her as if she were your own.
Her heart is rich with affection, and upon you will
its treasures be poured out. Take her! take her as
your own! Here I give to you, in this the solemn
hour of my departure, that which to me is above all
And as she said this, with a suddenly renewed
strength, she lifted the child, and, ere Jasper could
check the movement, placed her in his arms. Then,
with one long, eager, clinging kiss pressed upon the
lips of that child, she sank backward on the bed;
and life, which had flashed up brightly for a mo-
ment, went out in this world for ever.
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
LEONARD JASPER would have been less than hu-
man had he borne such an assault upon his feelings
without emotion; less than human had his heart
instantly and spontaneously rejected the dying mo-
ther's wildly eloquent appeal. He was bewildered,
startled, even deeply moved.
The moment he could, with propriety and a decent
regard for appearances, get away from the house
where he had witnessed so painful a scene, he re-
turned to his place of business in a sobered, thought-
ful state of mind. He had not anticipated so direct a
guardianship of Ruben Elder's child as it was evident
would now devolve upon him, in consequence of the
mother's death. Here was to be trouble for him-
this was his feeling so soon as there was a little time
for reaction-and trouble without profit. Hewould
have to take upon himself the direct charge of the
little girl, and duly provide for her maintenance and
"If there is property enough for this, well and
good," he muttered to himself; he had not yet be-
come acquainted with the real state of affairs. If
not," he added, firmly, "the loss will be hers; that
is all. I shall have sufficient trouble and annoy-
ance, without being put to expense."
For some time after his return to his store, Jasper
refrained from entering upon any business. During
W TRUE RICHES; OR,
at least fifteen or twenty minutes, he sat at his desk,
completely absorbed in thought. At length he called
to Edward Claire, his principal clerk, and said that
he wished to speak a few words with him. The
young man came back from the counter to where
he was sitting, wondering what had produced the
very apparent change in his employer's state of
"Edward," said Mr. Jasper, in a low, serious
voice, there is a little matter that I must get you to
attend to for me. It is not very pleasant, it is true;
though nothing more than people are required to do
every day. You remember Mr. Elder, Ruben El-
der, who formerly kept store in Second street ?"
"He died last week."
"I noticed his death in the papers."
"He has appointed me his executor."
Yes; and I wish to my heart he had appointed
somebody else. I've too much business of my own
to attend to."
Of course," said Claire, you will receive your
regular commissions for attending to the settlement
of his estate."
"Poor picking there," replied Jasper, shrugging
his shoulders. "I'd very cheerfully give up the
profit to be rid of the trouble. But that doesn't
signify now. Elder has left his affairs in my hands,
and I must give them at least some attention. I'm
not coming to the point, however. A little while
ago I witnessed the most painful scene that ever
fell under my eyes."
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.'
"Yes, truly. Ugh! It makes the chills creep
over me as I think of it. Last evening I received
regular notification of my appointment as executor
to Elder's estate, and to-day thought it only right
to call upon the widow, and see if any present ser-
vice were needed by the family. Such a scene as I
encountered! Mrs. Elder was just at the point of
death, and expired a few moments after my entrance.
Besides a single domestic and a child, I was the only
witness of her last extremity."
"You may well say shocking, Edward, unpre-
pared as I was for such an occurrence. My nerves
are quivering yet."
Then the widow is dead also ?"
"Yes; both have gone to their long home."
"How many children are left ?"
"Only one-a little 'girl, not, I should think,
above four years of age."
"Some near relative will, I presume, take charge
"In dying, the mother declared that she had no
friend to whom she could leave the child. On me,
therefore, devolves the care of seeing to its main-
"No friend. Poor child! and of so tender an age!"
"She is young, certainly, to be left alone in the
Jasper uttered these words, but felt nothing of the
sad meaning they involved.
What disposition will you make of her ?" asked
TRUE RICHES; OR,
I've had no time to think of that yet. Other
matters are first to be regarded. So let me come to
the point. Mrs. Elder is dead; and, as far as I
could see, there is no living soul, beyond a fright-
ened servant, to do any thing. Whether she will
have the presence of mind to call in the neighbours,
is more than I can say. I left in the bewilderment
of the moment; and now remember me that some-
thing is to be done for the dead. Will you go to
the house, and see what is needed ? In the next
block is an undertaker; you had better call, on
your way, and ask him to go with you. All arrange-
ments necessary for the funeral can be left in his
hands. Just take this whole matter off of me, Ed-
ward, and I will be greatly obliged to you. I have
a good many things on my mind, that must receive
The young man offered no objection, although the
service was far from being agreeable. On his return,
after the absence of an hour, Jasper had, of course,
many inquiries to make. Claire appeared serious.
The fact was, he had seen enough to touch his feel-
ings deeply. The grief of the orphaned child, as he
was a witness thereto, had brought tears upon his
cheeks, in spite of every manly effort to restrain
them. Her extreme beauty struck him at the first
glance, even obscured as it was under a vail of sor-
row and weeping.
"There were several persons in, you say ?" re-
marked Jasper,, after Claire had related a number
"Yes, three or four."
"Ladies, of course ?"
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
"Did any of them propose to take the child home
with them ?"
"Not directly. One woman asked me a number
of questions about the little girl."
"Of what nature ?"
As to whether there were any relatives or par-
ticular friends who would take charge of her?"
And you told her there were none ?"
Yes; none of whom I had any knowledge."
Well ? What had she to say to that ?"
"She wanted to know if there would be any thing
for the child's support. I said that there would, in
Then she gave me to understand, that if no one
took the child, she might be induced to board her
for a while, until other arrangements were made."
"Did you give her to understand that this was
Why not ? She will have to be boarded, you
I neither liked the woman's face, manner, nor
Oh, she was a vulgar, coarse, hard-looking crea-
ture to my eyes."
"Kind hearts often lie concealed under unpro-.
"True; but they lie not concealed under that
exterior, be well assured, Mr. Jasper. No, no. The
clild who has met with so sad a loss as that of a
TRUE RICHES; OR,
mother, needs the tenderest guardianship. At best,
the case is hard enough."
Jasper did not respond to this humane sentiment,
for there was no pity in him. The waves of feeling,
stirred so suddenly a few hours before, had all sub-
sided, and the surface of his heart bore no ripple of
emotion. He thought not of the child as an object
claiming his regard, but as a trouble and a hinder-
ance thrown in his way, to be disposed of as summa-
rily as possible.
I'm obliged to you, Edward, for the trouble you
have taken in my stead," he remarked, after a slight
pause. To-morrow, I may wish you to call there
again. Of course, the neighbours will give needful
attention until the funeral takes place. By that
time, perhaps, the child will have made a friend of
some one of them, and secure, through this means,
a home for the present. It is, for us, a troublesome
business at best, though it will soon be over."
A person coming in at the moment, Claire left
his employer to attend at the counter. The new
customer, it was quickly perceived by the clerk, was
one who might readily be deceived into buying the
articles for which she inquired, at a rate far in ad-
vance of their real value; and he felt instantly
tempted to ask her a very high price. Readily, for
it was but acting from habit, did he yield to this
temptation. His success was equal to his wishes.
The woman, altogether unsuspicious of the cheat
practised upon her, paid for her purchases the sum
of ten dollars above their true value. She lingered
a short time after settling her bill, and made some
observation upon a current topic of the day. One
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS. 88
or two casually-uttered sentiments did not fall like
refreshing dew upon the feelings of Claire, but
rather stung him like words of sharp rebuke, and
made him half regret the wrong he had done to her.
He felt relieved when she retired.
It so happened that, while this customer was in,
Jasper left the store. Soon after, a clerk went to
dinner. Only a lad remained with Claire, and he
was sent up-stairs to arrange some goods.
The hour of temptation had again come, and the
young man's mind was overshadowed by the powers
Ten dollars clear gain on that transaction," said
he to himself, as he drew open the money-drawer in
which he had deposited the cash paid to him by his
For some time his thoughts were busy, while his
fingers toyed with the gold and bills in the drawer..
Two five-dollar pieces were included in the payment
Jasper, surely, ought to be satisfied with one of
these." Thus he began to argue with himself. "I
drove the bargain; am I not entitled to a fair pro-
portion of the profit? It strikes me so. What
wrong will it be to him? Wrong? Humph!
Wrong? The wrong has been done already; but
it falls not on his head.
If I am to do this kind of work for him,"-the
feelings of Claire now commenced running in a more
disturbed channel; there were deep contractions on
his forehead, and his lips were shut firmly,-" this
kind of work, I must have a share of the benefit.
TRUE RICHES; OR,
If I am to sell my soul, Leonard Jasper shall not
have the whole price."
Deliberately, as he spoke this within himself, did
Claire take from the drawer a five-dollar gold piece,
and thrust it into his pocket.
"Mine, not his," were the words with which he
approved the act. At the same instant Jasper en-
tered. The young man's heart gave a sudden bound,
and there was guilt in his face, but Jasper did not
read its true expression.
"Well, Edward," said he, cheerfully, "what luck
did you have with the old lady? Did she make a
pretty fair bill ?"
So-so," returned Claire, with affected indiffer-
ence; about thirty dollars."
"Ah! so much?"
Yes; and, what is better, I made her pay pretty
.strong. She was from the country."
That'll do." And Jasper rubbed his hands to-
gether energetically. How much over and above
a fair percentage did you get ?"
"About five dollars."
"Good, again! You're a trump, Edward."
If Edward Claire was relieved to find that no
suspicion had been awakened in the thoughts of
Jasper, he did not feel very strongly flattered by
his approving words. The truth was, at the very
moment he was relating what he had done, there
came into his mind, with a most startling distinct-
ness, the dream of his wife, and the painful feelings
it had occasioned.
What folly! What madness! Whither am I
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
These were his thoughts now, born of a quick re-
vulsion of feeling.
"It is your dinner-time, Edward. Get back as
soon as possible. I want to be home a little earlier
than usual to-day."
Thus spoke Mr. Jasper; and the young man,
taking up his hat, left the store. He had never felt
so strangely in his life. The first step in crime had
been taken; he had fairly entered the downward
road to ruin. Where was it all to end? Placing
his fingers, almost without thought, in his pocket,
they came in contact with the gold-piece obtained
by a double crime-the robbery both of a customer
and his employer. Quickly, as if he had touched a
living coal, was the hand of Claire withdrawn, while
a low chill crept along his nerves. It required some
resolution for the young man to meet his pure-
hearted, clear-minded wife, whose quick intuitions
of good or evil in others he had over and over again
been led to remark. Once, as he moved along, he
thrust his hand into his pocket, with the suddenly-
formed purpose of casting the piece of money from
him, and thus cancelling his guilt. But, ere the
act was accomplished, he remembered that in this
there would be no restoration, and so refrained.
Edward Claire felt, while in the presence of his
young wife, that she often looked into his face with
more than usual earnestness. This not only embar-
rassed but slightly fretted him, and led him to speak
once in a way that brought tears to her eyes.
Not a minute longer than necessary did Claire
remain at home. The fact that his employer had
desired him to return to the store as quickly as poe
86 TRUE RICHES; OR,
sible, was an all-sufficient reason for his unusual
hurry to get away.
The moment the door closed upon him, his wife
burst into tears. On her bosom lay a most oppres-
sive weight, and in her mind was a vague, troubled
sense of approaching evil. She felt that there was
danger in the path of her husband; but of its na-
ture she could divine little or nothing. All day
her dream had haunted her; and now it reproduced
itself in her imagination with painful distinctness.
Vainly she strove to drive it from her thoughts; it
would not be gone. Slowly the hours wore on for
her, until the deepening twilight brought the period
"when her husband was to return again. To this
return her mind looked forward with an anxiety
that could not be repressed.
The dreaded meeting with his wife over, Claire
thought with less repugnance of what he had done,
and was rather inclined to justify than condemn
It's the way of the world," so he argued; and
unless I do as the world does, I must remain where
I am-at the bottom of the ladder. But wlty should
I stay below, while all around me are struggling up-
ward? As for what preachers and moralists call
strictly fair dealing, it may be all well enough in
theory, pleasant to talk about, and all that; but it
won't do in practice, as the world now is. Where
each is grasping all that he can lay his hands on,
fair or foul, one must scramble with the rest, or get
nothing. That is so plain that none can deny the
proposition. So, Edward Claire, if you wish to rise
above your present poor condition, if you wish to
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
get rich, like your enterprising neighbours, you
must do as they do. If I go in for a lamb, I might
as well take a sheep: the morality of the thing is
the same. If I take a large slice off of a customer,
why shall not a portion of that slice be mine; ay,
the whole of it, if I choose to make the appropria-
tion ? All Jasper can fairly ask, is a reasonable
profit: if I, by my address, get more than this,
surely I may keep a part thereof. Who shall say
Justifying himself by these and similar false rea-
sonings, the young man thrust aside the better sug-
gestions, from which he was at first inclined to re-
trace the false step he had taken; and wilfully shut-
ting his eyes, resolved to go forward in his evil and
During the afternoon of that day a larger num-
ber of customers than usual were in, and Claire was
very busily occupied. He made three or four large
sales, and was successful in getting several dollars
in excess of fair profit from one not very well skilled
in prices. In making an entry of this particular
transaction in the memorandum sales-book, the
figures recorded were three dollars less than the
actual amount received. So, on this, the first day
of the young man's lapse from honesty, he had ap-
propriated the sum of eight dollars-nearly equal to
his entire week's salary For such a recent travel-
ler in this downward road, how rapid had already
become his steps!
Evening found him again alone, musing and de-
bating with himself, ere locking up the store and
returning home. The excitement of business being
TRUE RICHES; OR,
over, his thoughts flowed in a calmer current; and
the stillness of the deserted room gave to his feel-
ings a hue of sobriety. He was not altogether satis-
fied with himself. How could he be ? No man ever
was satisfied with himself, when seclusion and silence
found him after his first departure from the right
way. Ah, how little is there in worldly'possessions,
be it large or small, to compensate for a troubled,
self-accusing spirit! how little to throw in the ba-
lance against the heavy weight of conscious villany!
How tenderly, how truly, how devotedly had
Edward Claire loved the young wife of his bosom,
since the hour the pulses of their spirits first beat
in joyful unity! How eager had he ever been to
turn his face homeward when the shadows of even-
ing began to fall! But now he lingered-lingered,
though all the business of the day was over. The
thought of his wife created no quick impulse to be
away. He felt more like shunning her presence.
He even for a time indulged a motion of anger to-
ward her for what he mentally termed her morbid
sensitiveness in regard to others' right-her dreamy
ideal of human perfection.
"We are in the world, and we must do as it
does. We must take it as it is, not as it should
So he mused with himself, in a self-approving ar-
gument. Yet he could not banish the accusing
spirit; he could not silence the inward voice of
Once there came a strong revulsion. Good im-
pulses seemed about to gain the mastery. In this
state of mind, he took from his pocket his ill-gotten
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
gains, and threw them into the money-box, which
had already been placed in the fire-closet.
"What good will that do ?" said he to himself,
as the wave of better feelings began to subside.
"All the sales-entries have been made, and the
cash balanced; Jasper made the balance himself.
So the cash will only show an excess to be accounted
for; and from this may come suspicion.: It is always
more hazardous to go backward than forward-
(false reasoner !)-to retrace our steps than to press
boldly onward. No, no. This will not mend the
And Claire replaced the money in his pocket. In
a little while afterward, he left the store, and took
his way homeward.
As on the previous evening, Mrs. Claire was
alone for some time later than usual, but now with
an anxious, almost fearful looking for her husband's
return. Suddenly she had taken the alarm. A
deep, brooding shadow was on her heart, though
she could not see the bird of night from whose
wings it had fallen. Frequently, during the after-
noon, tears had wet her cheek; and when an old
friend of her mother's, who lived in the country,
and who had come to the city in order to make a
few purchases, called to see her, it was with diffi-
TRUE RICHES; OR,
culty she could hide her disturbed feelings from
The absent one came in at last, and with so much
of the old, frank, loving spirit in his voice and man-
ner, that the troubled heart of Mrs. Claire beat with
freer pulsations. And yet something about her hus-
band appeared strange. There was a marked dif-
ference betwben his state of mind now, and on the
evening before. Even at dinner-time he was silent
In fact, Edward Claire was, for the first time,
acting a part toward his wife; and, as in all such
cases, there was sufficient over-action to betray the
artifice, or, at least; to awaken a doubt. Still,
Edith was greatly relieved by the change, and she
chided herself for having permitted doubt and vague
questioning to find a harbour in her thoughts.
During tea-time, Claire chatted freely, as was his
custom; but he grew serious as they sat together,
after the table was cleared away, and Edith had
taken her sewing. Then, for the first time, he
thought out of himself sufficiently to remember his
visit to the house of death in the morning, and he
"I witnessed something this morning, dear, that
has made me feel sad ever since."
"What was that, Edward?" inquired the wife,
looking instantly into his face, with a strongly
I don't think you knew Mr. Elder or his family
-Ruben Elder ?"
"I have heard the name, nothing more."
"Mr. Elder died last week."
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
"Ah! What family did he leave ?"
"A wife and one child."
Mrs. Claire sighed.
"Did he leave them comfortably off in the
world ?" she asked, after a brief silence.
"I don't know; but I'm afraid, he's not left
much, if any thing. Mr. Jasper has been appointed
"Mr. Jasper !"
"Yes. This morning he called to see Mrs. Elder,
and found her in a very low state. In fact, she died
while he was there."
"Edward! Died ?"
"Yes, died; and her only child, a sweet little
Girl, not five years old, is now a friendless orphan."
How very sad !"
"Sad enough, Edith, sad enough. Mr. Jasper,
who has no taste for scenes of distress, wished me
to look after the funeral arrangements; so I went
Sto the house, and attended to matters as well as I
could. Ah me! It has cast a gloom over my feel-
ings that I find it hard to cast off."
"Did you see the child?" inquired Mrs. Claire,
the mother's impulse giving direction to her
Yes; and a lovely child it is. Poor thing!"
"There are near relatives, I presume ?"
"None; at least, so Jasper says."
"What is to become of the child ?"
Dear above knows! As for her legal guardian,
she has nothing to hope from his humanity. She
will naturally find a home somewhere-a home pro-
cured for money. But her future comfort and well-
TRUE RICHES; OR,
being will depend more on a series of happy acci-
dents than on the good-will of the hard-hearted
man to whose tender mercies the dying parents
have committed her."
"Not happy accidents, Edward," said Mrs. Claire,
with a tender smile; "say, wise providence. There
is no such thing as chance."
"As you will, dear," returned the husband, with
a slight change in his tone. I would not call that
providence wise by which Leonard Jasper became
the guardian of a friendless child."
This is because you cannot see the end from the
beginning, Edward. The Lord's providence does
not regard merely the external comfort and well-
being of his features ; it looks far beyond this, and
regards their internal interests. It permits evil
and suffering to-day, but only that good, a higher
than earthly good, may come on the morrow. It
was no blind chance, believe me, my husband, that
led to the appointment of Mr. Jasper as the guard-
ian of this poor child. Eternal purposes are in-
volved therein, as surely as God is infinitely wise
and good. Good to one, perhaps to many, will
. grow out of what now seems a deeply to be regretted
You're a happy reasoner, Edith. I wish I could
believe in so consoling a philosophy."
"Edward!" There was a change in Mrs. Claire's
voice, and a look blending surprise with a gentle
rebuke in her countenance. "Edward, how can
you speak so? Is not mine the plain Christian
doctrine? Is it not to be found everywhere in the
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
"Doubtless, Edith; but I'm not one of the pious
kind, you know."
Claire forced a smile to his face, but his wife
Looked serious, and remarked-
S" I don't like to hear you talk so, Edward. There
is in it, to me, something profane. Ah, my dear
husband, in this simple yet all-embracing doctrine
of providence lies the whole secret of human happi-
ness. If our Creator be infinite, wise, and good,
he will seek the well-being of his creatures, even
though they turn from him to do violence to his
Slaws; and, in his infinite love and wisdom, will so
order and arrange events as to make every thing
conspire to the end in view. Both bodily and men-
tal suffering are often permitted to take place, as
Sthe only agencies by which to counteract hereditary
Sevils that would otherwise destroy the soul."
S"Ah, Edie Edie !" said Claire, interrupting his
wife, in a fond, playful tone, "you are a wise
preacher, and as good as you are wise. I only
wish that I could see and feel as you do; no doubt
it would be better for me in the end. But such a
wish is vain."
"Oh, say not so, dear husband!" exclaimed
Edith, with unexpected earnestness; "say not so!
It hurts me almost like words of personal unkind-
"But how can I be as good as you are? It isn't
I am not good, Edward. There is none good
but God," answered the wife solemnly.
"Oh yes, yes! You are an angel!" returned
TRUE RICHES; OR,
Claire, with a sudden emotion that he could not
control. And I-and I"-
He checked himself, turned his face partly away
to conceal its expression, sat motionless for a mo-
ment, and then burying his face on the bosom of
his wife, sobbed for the space of nearly a minute,
overcome by a passion that he in vain struggled to
Never had Edith seen her husband so moved.
No wonder that she was startled, even frightened.
"Oh, Edward, dear Edward! what ails you?"
were her eager, agitated words, so soon as she could
speak. What has happened? Oh, tell me, my
husband, my dear husband !"
But Claire answered not, though he was gaining
some control over his feelings.
Oh, Edward! won't you speak to me? Won't
ou tell me all your troubles, all your heart? Am
Snot your wife, and do I not love you with a love
no words can express ? Am I not your best and
closest friend ? Would I not even lay down my life
for your good ? Dear Edward, what has caused this
great emotion ?"
Thus urged, thus pleaded the tearful Edith. But
there was no reply, though the strong tremor which
had thrilled through the frame of Claire had sub-
sided. He was still bowed forward, with his face
hid on her bosom, while her arm was drawn
lovingly around him. So they remained for a
time longer. At length, the young man lifted
himself up, and fixed his eyes upon her. His
countenance was pale and sad, and bore traces of
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
"My husband! my dear husband!" murmured
"'My wife! my good angel!" was the low, thrill-
ing response; and Claire pressed his lips almost
reverently upon the brow of his wife.
"I have had a fearful dream, Edith!" said he;
" a very fearful dream. Thank God, I am awake
A dream, Edward ?" returned his wife, not fully
S"Yes, love, a dream; yet far too real. Surely, I
Dreamed, or was under some dire enchantment. But
the spell is gone-gone, I trust, for ever."
"What spell, love? Oh, speak to me a plainer
"I think, Edith," said the young man, after re-
maining thoughtfully silent for some time, "that I
will try and get another place. I don't believe
Sit is good for me to live with Leonard Jasper.
Gold is the god he worships; and I find myself
Daily tempted to bend my knee in the same
Edward !" A shadow had fallen on the face of
S"You look troubled at my words, Edith," re-
sumed the young man; "yet what I say is true,
too true. I wish it were not so. Ah! this passage
through the world, hard and toilsome as it is, has
many, many dangers."
"If we put our trust in God, we need have no
fear," said Edith, in a gentle yet earnest and pene-
trating voice, laying her hand lovingly on the hot
forehead of her husband, and gazing into his eyes.
46 TRUE RICHES; OR,
"Nothing without can harm us. Our worst ene-
mies are within."
"Yes, love; within our bosoms. Into our dis-
trusts and unsatisfied desires they enter, and tempt
us to evil."
"True, true," said Claire, in an abstracted man-
ner, and as if speaking to himself.
"What more do we want to make us happy?"
asked Edith, comprehending still more clearly her
husband's state of mind.
Claire sighed deeply, but made no answer.
"More money could not do it," she added.
"Money would procure us many comforts that
we do not now possess," said the young man.
"I doubt this, Edward. It might give more of
the elegancies of life; but, as I have often said,
these do not always produce corresponding pleasure.
If they come, without too ardent seeking, in the
good pleasure of Providence, as the reward of use-
ful and honest labour, then they may increase the
delights of life; but never otherwise. If the heart
is set on them, their acquirement will surely end in
disappointment. Possession will create satiety; and
the mind too quickly turns from the good it has
toiled for in hope so long, to fret itself because
there is an imagined higher good beyond. Believe
me, Edward, if we are not satisfied with what
God gives us as the reward of useful toil to-day,
we will not be satisfied with what he gives to-
"Perhaps you are right, Edith; I believe yoqare.
My mind has a glimpse of the truth, but to fully re
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
ize it is hard. Ah, I wish that I possessed more of
your trusting spirit !"
We are both cared for, Edward, by the same in-
finite love-cared for, whether we doubt and fear,
or trust confidingly."
It must be so. I see it now, I feel it now-see
it and feel it in the light of your clearer intuitions.
Ah, how different from this pure faith is the faith
of the world! Men worship gold as their god; they
trust only in riches."
"And their god is ever mocking them. To-day
he smiles upon his votary, and to-morrow hides his
face in darkness. To-day he gives full coffers, that
are empty to-morrow. But the true riches offered
so freely to all by the living God are blessed both
in the getting and in the keeping. These never
produce satiety, never take to themselves wings.
Good affections and true thoughts continually nou-
rish and re-create the mind. They are the soul's
wealth, the perennial fountains of all true enjoy-
ment. With these, and sufficient for the body's
health and comfort, all may be happy: without
them, the riges of the world have no power to
A pause ensued, during which the minds of both
wandered back a little.
"If you feel," said Edith, recalling the words of
her husband, "that there is danger in remaining
where you are"-
"That was hastily spoken," Edward Claire inter-
rupted his wife, and in a moment of weakness. I
must resist the evil that assaults me. I must strive
with and overcome the tempter. I must think less
TRUE RICHES; OR,
of this world and its riches; and in my thoughts
place a higher value upon the riches without wings
of which you have spoken to me so often."
Can you remain where you are, and be out of
danger?" asked Edith.
"There is danger everywhere."
"Ay; but in some positions more imminent dan-
ger. Is it well to court temptation ?"
"Perhaps not. But I cannot afford to give up
my place with Jasper."
"Yet, while remaining, you will be strongly
"Jasper is dishonest at heart. He is ever trying
to overreach in dealing, and expects every one in
his employment to be as keen as himself."
"Oh, Edward, do not remain with him a day
longer! There is death to the spirit in the very
atmosphere around such a man. You cannot serve.
such a master, and be true to yourself and to God.
It is impossible."
"I believe you are right in that, Edith; I know
you are right," said the young man, with a strong
emphasis on the last sentence. "~t what am I
to do ? Five hundred dollars a year 'Tittle enough
for our wants; I have, as you know, been dissatis-
fied with that. I can hardly get as much in another
situation. I know of but one opening, and that is
"Go back to him, Edward," said his wife.
"And get but four hundred a year ? It is all he
If but three hundred, it were a situation far to
be preferred to the one you now hold."
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
A hundred dollars a year, Edith, taken from our
present income, would deprive us of many comforts."
Think of how much we would gain in true in-
ward enjoyment, Edward, by such a change. Have
you grown happier since you entered the store of
Mr. Jasper ?"
The young man shook his head sadly, and mur-
mured, "Alas! no."
Can any thing compensate for the anguish of mind
we have both suffered in the last few hours, Edward?"
There was a quick flushing of the face, as Edith
Both suffered !" exclaimed Edward, with a look
Ay, both, love. Can the heart of my husband
feel a jar of discord, and mine not thrill painfully ?
Can he be in temptation, without an overshadowing
of my spirit ? Can he be in darkness, atd I at the
same time in light ? No, no; that wepimpossible.
You have been in great peril; I that some
evil threatened you, even before ieonfessed it
with your lips. Oh, Edward, w he both tasted,
in the last w hours, a bitterer- than has yeFt
been placeM our lips. May we not be galled upon
to drink it to the very dregs !"
"Amen !" fell solemnly from the lips of Edward
Claire, as a cold shudder crept along his nerO.
If there had been any wavering in his mind before,
there was none now. He resolved to make restitu-
tion in the moving, and, as soon as opportunity
offered, to leave a place where he was so strongly
tempted to step aside from the path of integrity.
SThe virtue of his wife had saved him.
TRUE RICHES; OR,
"EDWARD," said Mr. Jasper, on the next morn-
ing, soon after he came to the store, Was any time
fixed for the funeral yesterday ?"
"I believe not."
"That was an oversight. It might as well take
place to-day as to-morrow, or a week hence, if there
are no intimate friends or relatives to be thought of
or consulted. I wish you would take the forenoon
to see about this troublesome matter. The under-
taker will, of course, do every thing according to
your directions. Let there be as little expense as
While they were yet speaking, the undertaker
came in to make inquiry as to the funeral arrange-
ments to be observed.
"Is the cofflifeady ?" asked Jasper, in a cold,
"It is," was the reply.
What of the ground ? Did you see to her hus-
band's funeral ?"
"Yes. I have attended to all these matters.
Nothing remains but to fix the time, and notify the
"Were you at the house this boring ?" aped
"I was." -
"Who did you find there ?"
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
"One or two of the neighbours were in."
No near relatives of the deceased?"
"Not to my knowledge."
Was any thing said about the time for burying
Mrs. Elder ?"
"No. That matter, I suppose, will rest with you."
"In that case, I see no reason for delay," said
Jasper. What end is served?"
"The sooner it is over the better."
"So I think. Suppose we say this afternoon ?"
"Very well. The time might be fixed at five. The
graveyard is not very distant. How many carriages
shall I order ?"
"Not many. Two, I should think, would be
enough," replied Jasper. There will not be much
left, I presume; therefore, the lighter the funeral ex-
penses the better. By the way, did you see the
child, when you were there this morning ?"
Some neighbour has, in all probability, taken it."
"Very likely. It is a beautiful child."
"Yes-rather pretty," was Jasper's cold response.
"So young to be left alone in the world. Ah,
me But these things will happen. So, you decide
to have the funeral at five this afternoon ?"
Yes; unless something that we do not now know
of, interferes to prevent. The quicker a matter like
this is over the better."
"True. Very well." 9
"You will see to every thing ?"
"Certainly; that is my business. Will you be at
th, house this afternoon ?"
"At the time of the funeral ?"
TRUE RICHES; OR,
"I think not. I can't do any good."
No,-only for the looks of the thing."
The undertaker was already beginning to feel the
heartless indifference of Jasper, and his last remark
was half in irony, half in smothered contempt.
"Looks! Oh! I never do any thing for looks.
If I can be of any service, I will be there-but, if not,
not. I'm a right up-and-dovwn, straight-forward man
of the world, you see."
The undertaker bowed, saying that all should be
as he wished.
"You can step around there, after a while, Ed-
ward," said Jasper, as soon as the undertaker had
retired. "When you go, I wish you would ascer-
tain, particularly, what has been done with the child.
If a neighbour has taken her home, make inquiry as
to whether she will be retained in the family; or,
better still, adopted. You can hint, in a casual way,
you know, that her parents have left property, which
may, some time or other, be valuable. This may be
a temptation, and turn the scale in favour of adop-
tion; which may save me a world of trouble and re-
There is some property left ?" remarked Claire.
"A small house or two, and a bit of worthless
land in the mountains. All, no doubt, mortgaged
within a trifle of their value. Still, it's property
you know; and the word 'property' has a very at-
tractive sound in some people's ears."
A strong, feeling of disgust toward Jasper swelled
in the young man's heart, but he guarded against its
expression in look or words.
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
A customer entering at the moment, Claire left
his principal and moved down behind the counter.
He was not very agreeably affected, as the lady ap-
proached him, to see in her the person from whom
he had taken ten dollars on the previous day, in ex-
cess of a reasonable profit. Her serious face warned
him that she had discovered the cheat.
"Are you the owner of this store ?" she asked, as
she leaned upon the counter, and fixed her mild, yet
steady eyes, upon the young man's face.
I am not, ma'am," replied Claire, forcing a
smile as he spoke. Didn't I sell you a lot of goods
"You did, sir."
"I thought I recognized you. Well, ma'am,
there was an error in your bill-an overcharge."
So I should think."
A overcharge of five dollars."
Claire, while he affected an indifferent manner,
leaned over toward the woman and spoke in a low
tone of voice. Inwardly, he was trembling lest
Jasper should became cognizant of what was passing.
"Will you take goods for what is due you; or
shall I hand you back the money ?" said he.
"As I have a few more purchases to make, I may
as well take goods," was replied, greatly to the
young man's relief.
What shall I show you, ma'am ?" he asked, in a
voice that now reached the attentive ears of Jasper,
who had been wondering to himself as to what was
passing between the clerk and customer.
A few articles were mentioned, and, in a little
while, another bill of seven dollars was made.
TRUE RICHES; OR,
I am to pay you two dollars, I believe ?" said
the lady, after Claire had told her how much the
articles came to. As she said this, Jasper was close
by and heard the remark.
"Right, ma'am," answered the clerk.
The customer laid a ten-dollar bill on the counter.
Claire saw that the eyes of Jasper were on him. He
took it up, placed it in the money-drawer, and stood
some time fingering over the change and small bills.
Then, with his back turned toward Jasper, he
slipped a five dollar goldpiece from his pocket. This,
with a three dollar bill from the drawer, he gave to
the lady, who received her change and departed.
Other customers coming in at the moment, both
Jasper and his clerk were kept busy for the next
hour. When they were alone again, the former
How large a bill did you sell the old la* from
the country, who was in this morning ?"
The amount was seven dollars, I believe."
"I thought she said two dollars ?"
She gave me a ten-dollar bill, and I only took
three from the drawer," said the young man.
"I thought you gave her a piece of gold ?"
"There was no gold in the drawer," was replied,
Much to the relief of Claire, another customer en-
tered, thus putting an end to the conference between
him and Jasper. .,
The mind of the latter, ever suspicious, was not
altogether satisfied. He was almost sure that two
dollars was the price named for the goods, and that
he had seen a gold coin offered in change. And he
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
took occasion to refer to it at the next opportunity,
when his clerk's positive manner, backed by the en-
try of seven dollars on the sales' book, silenced him.
As for Claire, this act of restitution, so far as it
was in his power to make it, took from his mind a
heavy burden. He had, still, three dollars in his
possession that were not rightfully his own. It was
by no means probable that a similar opportunity to
the one just embraced would occur. What then
was it best for him to do ? This question was soon
after decided, by his throwing the money into the
cash-drawer of Jasper.
On his way home to dinner that day, Claire called
into the store of a Mr. Melleville, referred to in the
conversation with his wife on the previous evening.
This gentleman, who was somewhat advanced in
ye3 ss in the same business with Jasper. He
was ki n as a strictly upright dealer-" Too ho-
nest to get along in this world," as some said. Old
Stick-in-the-mud," others called him. "A man be-
hind the times," as the new-comers in the trade were
pleased to say. Claire had lived with him for some
years, and left him on the offer of Jasper to give him
a hundred dollars more per annum than he was
"Ah, Edward! How do you do to-day?" said
Mr. Melleville, kindly, as the young man came in.
"Very well in body, but not so well in mind,"
was.the frank reply, as he took the proffered hand
of his old employer.
"Not well in mind, ah! That's about the worst
kind of sickness I know of, Edward. What's the
TRUE RICHES; OR,
"As I have dropped in to talk with you a little
about my own affairs, I will come at once to the
That is right. Speak out plainly, Edward, and
you will find in me, at least, a sincere friend, and
an honest adviser. What is the matter now?"
"I don't like my present situation, Mr. Melle-
"Ah! Well? What's the trouble? Have you
and Jasper had a misunderstanding ?"
"Oh no! Nothing of that. We get on well enough
together. But I don't think its a good place for
a young man to be in, sir !"
"I can be plain with you. In a word, Mr. Jas-
per is not an honest dealer; and he expects his
clerks to do pretty much as he does." 4g
Mr. Melleville shook his head and look rave.
To tell the truth," continued Edward, "I have
suffered myself to fall, almost insensibly, into his
way of doing business, until I have become an abso-
lute cheat-taking, sometimes, double and treble
profit from a customer who happened to be ignorant
"Edward!" exclaimed the old man, an expres-
sion of painful surprise settling on his countenance.
It is all too true, Mr. Melleville-all too true.
And I don't think it good for me to remain with
"What does he give you now?"
The same as at first. Five hundred dollars."
The old man bent his head and thought for a
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
"His system of unfair dealing toward his cus-
tomers is your principal objection to Mr. Jasper ?"
"That is one objection, and a very serious one,
too: particularly as I am required to be as unjust
to customers as himself. But there is still another
reason why I wish to get away from this situation.
Mr. Jasper seems to think and care for nothing but
money-getting. In his mind, gold is the highest good.
To a far greater extent than I was, until very re-
cently, aware, have I fallen, by slow degrees, into
his way of thinking and feeling; until I have grown
dissatisfied with my position. Temptation has come,
as a natural result; and, before I dreamed that my
feet were wandering from the path of safety, I have
found myself on the brink of a fearful precipice."
"My dear young friend!" said Mr. Melleville,
visiblygoved, "this is dreadful!"
ItT dreadful. I can scarcely realize that it is
so," replied Claire, also exhibiting emotion.
"You ought not to remain in the employment of
Leonard Jasper. That, at least, is plain. Better, far
better, to subsist on bread and water, than to live
sumptuously on the ill-gotten gold of such a man."
"Yes, yes, Mr. Melleville, I feel all the truth of
what you affirm, and am resolved to seek for ano-
ther place. Did you not say, when we parted two
years ago, that if ever I wished to return, you would
endeavour to make an opening for me?"
"I did, Edward; and can readily bring you in
now, as one of my young men is going to leave me
for a higher salary than I can afford to pay. There
is one drawback, however."
What is that, Mr. Melleville?"
TRUE RICHES; OR,
The salary will be only four hundred dollars a
I shall expect no more from you."
"But can you live on that sum now? Remem-
ber, that you have been receiving five hundred dol-
lars, and that your wants have been graduated by
your rate of income. Let me ask-have you saved
any thing since you were married?"
"So much the worse. You will find it difficult
to fall back upon a reduced salary. How far can
you rely on your wife's co-operation ?"
To the fullest extent. I have already suggested
to her the change, and she desires, above all things,
that I make it."
Does she understand the ground of this pro-
posed change?" asked Mr. Melleville.
"And is willing to meet privation-to step down
into even a humbler sphere, so that her husband be
removed from the tempting influence of the god of
this world ?"
She is, Mr. Melleville. Ah! I only wish that
I could look upon life as she does. That I could
see as clearly-that I could gather, as she is ga-
thering them in her daily walk, the riches that have
Thank God for such a treasure, Edward! She
is worth more than the wealth of the Indies. With
such an angel to walk by your side, you need feel
"You will give me a situation, then, Mr. Melle-
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
"Yes, Edward," replied the old man.
"Then I will notify Mr. Jasper this afternoon,
and enter your service on the first of the coming
month. My heart is lighter already. Good day."
And Edward hurried off home.
During the afternoon he found no opportunity
to speak to Mr. Jasper on the subject first in his
thoughts, as that individual wished him to attend Mrs.
Elder's funeral, and gather for him all possible in-
formation about the child. It was late when he
came back from the burial-ground-so late that he
concluded not to return, on that evening, to the
store. In the carriage in which he rode, was the
clergyman who officiated, and the orphan child who,
though but half comprehending her loss, was yet
overwhelmed with sorrow. On their way back, the
clergynpn asked to be left at his own dwelling;
and this was done. Claire was then alone with the
child, who shrank close to him in the carriage. He
did not speak to her; nor did she do more than lift,
now and.then, her large, soft, tear-suffused eyes to
Arrived, at length, at the dwelling from which
they had just borne forth the dead, Claire gently
lifted out the child, and entered the house with her.
Two persons only were within, the domestic and the
woman who, on the day previous, had spoken of
taking to her own home the little orphaned one.
The former had on her shawl and bonnet, and said
that she was about going away.
"You will not leave this child here alone," said
"I will take her for the present," spoke up the
60 TRUE RICHES; OR,
other. "Would you like to go home with me,
Fanny?" addressing the child. "Come,"-and she
held out her hands.
But the child shrank closer to the side of Edward,
and looked up into his face with a silent appeal that
his heart could not resist.
"Thank you, ma'am," he returned politely. But
we won't trouble you to do that. I will take her to
my own home for the present. Would you like to
go with me, dear?"
Fanny answered with a grateful look, as she lifted
her beautiful eyes again to his face.
And so, after the woman and the domestic had
departed, Edward Claire locked up the house, and
taking the willing child by the hand, led her away
to his own humble dwelling.
Having turned himself resolutely away from evil,
already were the better impulses of his nature quick-
ened into active life. A beautiful humanity was
rising up to fill the place so recently about to be
consecrated to the worship of a hideous selfishness.
EDWARD CLAIRE was in no doubt as to the recep-
tion the motherless child would receive from his
kind-hearted wife. A word or two of explanation
enabled her to comprehend the feeling from which
he had acted.
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS. 61
You were right, Edward," said she in hearty
approval. "I am glad you brought her home.
Come, dear," speaking to the wondering, partly
shrinking orphan, "let me take off your bonnet."
She kissed the child's sweet lips and then gazed
for some moments into her face, pleased, yet half
surprised, at her remarkable beauty.
Little Fanny felt that she was among friends.
The sad expression of her face soon wore off, light
came back to her eyes, and her prattling tongue re-
leased itself from a long silence. An hour after-
ward, when she was laid to sleep in a temporary
bed, made for her on the floor, her heavy eyelids
fell quickly, with their long lashes upon her cheeks,
and she was soon in the world of dreams.
Then followed a long and serious conference be-
tween Edward and his wife.
"I saw Mr. Melleville to-day," said the former.
"Did you? I am glad of that," was answered.
"He will give me a place."
"But, Edith, as I supposed, he can only pay me
a salary of four hundred dollars."
"No matter," was the prompt reply; "it is bet-
ter than five hundred where you are."
"Can we live on it, Edith ?" Edward spoke in a
"Why not ? It is but to use a little more econo-
my in our expenses--to live on two dollars a week
less than we now spend; and that will not be very
hard to do. Trust it to me, dear. I will bring the
account out even. And we will be just as happy.
As happy ? Oh, a thousand times happier A hun-
62 TRUE RICHES; OR,
dred dollars How poorly will that compensate for
broken peace and a disquieted conscience. Edward,
is it possible for you to remain where you are, and
be innocent ?"
"I fear not, Edith," was the unhesitating reply.
"And yet, dear, I should be man enough, should
have integrity enough, to resist the temptations that
might come in my way."
"Do not think of remaining where you are," said
the young wife earnestly. "If Mr. Melleville will
pay you four hundred dollars a year, take his offer
and leave Mr. Jasper. It will be a gain rather than
a loss to us."
A gain, Edith ?"
"Yes, a gain in all that is worth having in life-
peace of mind flowing from a consciousness of right
action. Will money buy this ? No, Edward. High-
ly as riches are esteemed-the one great good in
life as they are regarded-they never have given
and never will give this best of all blessings. How
little, how very little of the world's happiness, after
all, flows from the possession of money. Did you
ever think of that, Edward ?"
"And yet, is it not worth a passing thought ? Mr.
and Mrs. Casswell are rich-we are poor. Which
do you think the happiest ?"
"Oh, we are happiest, a thousand times," said
Edward warmly. "I would not exchange places
with him, were he worth a million for every thou-
"Nor I with his wife," returned Edith. "So
money, in their case, does not give happiness. Now
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
look at William Everhart and his wife. When we
were married they occupied two rooms, at a low
rent, as we now do. Their income was just what
ours has been. Well, they enjoyed life. We vi-
sited them frequently, and they often called to see
us. But for a little ambition on the part of both to
make some show, they would have possessed a large
share of that inestimable blessing, contentment. Af-
ter a while, William's salary was raised to one thou-
sand dollars. Then they must have a whole house
to themselves, as if their two nice rooms were not as
large and comfortable, and as well suited to their
real wants as before. They must, also, have showy
furniture for their friends to look at. Were they
any happier for this change ?-for this marked im-
provement in their external condition ? We have
talked this over before, Edward. No, they were
not. In fact, they were not so comfortable. With
added means had come a whole train of clamorous
wants, that even the doubled salary could not sup-
"Everhart gets fifteen hundred a year, now," re-
That will account, then," said Edith, smiling,
Sfor Emma's unsettled state of mind when I last
saw her. New wants have been created; and they
have disturbed the former tranquillity."
"All are not so foolish as they have been. I
think we might bear an increased income without
the drawbacks that have attended theirs."
If it had been best for us, my husband, God
would have provided it. It is in his loving-kindness
that he has opened the way so opportunely for you
TRUE RICHES; OR,
to leave the path of doubt and danger for one of
confidence and safety; and, in doing it, he has really
increased your salary."
Increased it, Edith! Why do you say that ?"
Will we not be happier for the change ?" asked
"I believe so."
Then, surely, the salary is increased by so
much of heartfelt pleasure. Why do you desire an
increase rather than a diminution of income ?"
In order to procure more of the comforts of
life," was answered.
Comfort for the body, and satisfaction for the
"Could our bodies really enjoy more than they
now enjoy ? They are warmly clothed, fully fed,
and are in good health. Is it not so?"
"Then, if by taking Mr. Melleville's offer, you
lose nothing for the body, -and gain largely for the
mind, is not your income increased ?"
"Ah, Edith!" said Claire, fondly, you are a
wonderful reasoner. Who will gainsay such argu-
Do I not argue fairly ? Are not my positions
sound, and my deductions clearly brought forth."
If I could always see and feel as I do now,"
said Claire, in a low, pleased tone of voice, "how
smoothly would life glide onward. Money is not
every thing. Ah! how fully that is seen. There
are possessions not to be bought with gold."
"And they are mental possessions-states of the
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
mind, Edward," spoke up Edith quickly. Riches
that never fade, nor fail; that take to themselves
no wings. Oh, let us gather of these abundantly,
as we walk on our way through life."
Heaven has indeed blessed me." Such was the
heartfelt admission of Edward Claire, made in the
silence of his own thoughts. With a different
wife-a lover of the world and its poor vanities-
how imminent would have been my danger! Alas!
scarcely any thing less than a miracle would have
saved me. I shudder as I realize the fearful danger
through which I have just passed. I thank God for
so good a wife."
The first inquiry made by Jasper, when he met
Edward on the next morning, was in relation to
what he had seen at the funeral, and, particularly,
as to the disposition that had been made of the
"I took her home with me," was replied, in
answer to a direct question.
"You did !" Jasper seemed taken by surprise.
How came that, Edward ?"
When I returned from the cemetery, I found
the domestic ready to leave the house. Of course
the poor child could not remain there alone; so I
took her home with me for the night."
How did your wife like that ?" asked Jasper,
with something in his tone that showed a personal
interest in the reply.
Very well. I did just what she would have done
under t49 circumstances."
Youhave only one child, I believe ?" said Jasper,
after %a pause of some moments.
66 TRUE RICHES; OR,
"That is all."
Only three in family ?"
How would you like to increase it ? Suppose
you keep this child of Elder's, now she is with you.
I have been looking a little into the affairs of the
estate, and find that there are two houses, un-
incumbered, that are rented each for two hundred
and fifty dollars a year. Of course, you will re-
ceive a reasonable sum for taking care of the child.
What do you say to it? As executor, I will pay
you five dollars a week for boarding and clothing
her until she is twelve years of age. After that, a
new arrangement can be made."
"I can't give an answer until I consult my
wife," said Claire, in reply to so unexpected a
Urge her to accept the offer, Edward. Just
think what it will add to your income. I'm sure it
won't cost you one-half the sum, weekly, that I have
specified, to find the child in every thing."
Perhaps not. But all will depend on my wife.
We are living, now, in two rooms, and keep no do-
mestic. An addition of one to our family might so
increase her care and labour as to make a servant
necessary. Then we should have to have an addi-
tional room; the rent of which and the wages-and
board of the servant would amount to nearly s
much as we would receive from you on account of
"Yes, I see that," returned Jasper. And he
mused for some moments. He was particularly
anxious that Claire should take the orphan. for then
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
all the trouble of looking after and caring for her
would be taken from him, and that would be a good
I'll tell you what, Edward," he added. If you
will take her, I will call the sum six dollars a week
-or three hundred a year. That will make the
matter perfectly easy. If your wife does not seem
at first inclined, talk to her seriously. This ad-
dition to your income will be a great help. To show
her that I am perfectly in earnest, and that you
can depend on receiving the sum specified, I will
draw up a little agreement, which, if all parties are
satisfied, can be signed at once."
Claire promised to talk the matter over with his
wife at dinner-time.
The morning did not pass without varied assaults
upon the young* man's recent good resolutions.
Several times he had customers in from whom it
would have been easy to get more than a fair profit,
but he steadily adhered to what he believed to be
right, notwithstanding Jasper once or twice ex-
pressed dissatisfaction at his not having made better
sales, and particularly at his failing to sell a
piece of cloth, because he would not pledge his
word as to its colour and quality-neither of which
The proposition of Jasper for him to make, in
his family, a place for the orphan, caused Claire to
postpone the announcement of his intention to leave
his service, until after he had seen and conferred
with his wife.
At the usual dinner-hour, Claire returned home.
His mind had become by this time somewhat dis-
TRUE RICHES ; OR,
turbed. The long-cherished love of money, sub-
dued for a brief season, was becoming active again.
Here were six dollars to be added, weekly, to his
income, provided his wife approved the arrangement,
-and it was to come through Jasper. The more
he thought of this increase, the m6re his natural
cupidity was stirred, and the less willing he felt to
give up the proposed one hundred dollars in his
salary. If he persisted in leaving Jasper, there
would, in all probability, be a breach between them,
and this would, he felt certain, prevent an arrange-
ment that he liked better and better the more he
thought about it. He was in this state of mind
when he arrived at home.
On pushing open the door of their sitting-room,
the attention of Claire was arrested by the ani-
mated expression of his wife's face. She raised
her finger to enjoin silence. Tripping lightly
to his side, she drew her arm within his, and
Come into the chamber, dear-tread softly-
there, isn't that sweet ?-isn't it lovely ?"
The sight was lovely indeed. A pillow had been
thrown on the floor, and upon this lay sleeping, arm
in arm, the two children. Pressed close together
were their rosy cheeks; and the sunny curls of
Fanny Elder were mixed, like gleams of sunshine,
amid the darker ringlets that covered profusely the
head of little Edith.
"Did you ever see any thing so beautiful?" said
the delighted mother.
"What a picture it would make!" remarked Ed-
ward, who was charmed with the sight.
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
Oh, lovely! How I would like just such a
"She is a beautiful child," said Edward.
( Very," was the hearty response. Very-and
so sweet-tempered and winning in her ways. Do
you know, I am already attached to her. And little
Edie is so delighted. They have played all the
morning like kittens; and a little while ago lay
down, just as you see them-tired out, I suppose-
and fell off to sleep. It must have been hard for the
mother to part with that child-hard, very hard."
And Mrs. Claire sighed.
"You will scarcely be willing to give her up, if
she remains here long," said Edward.
"( I don't know how I should feel to part from
her, even now. Oh, isn't it sad to think that she
has no living soul to love or care for her in the
"' Mr. Jasper is her guardian, you know."
"Yes; and such a guardian !"
"I should not like to have my child dependent
on his tender mercies, certainly. But he will have
little to do with her beyond paying the bills for her
maintenance. He will place her in some family to
board; and her present comfort and future well-
being will depend very much upon the character of
the persons who have charge of her."
I wish," said she, after a pause, that we were
able to take her. But we are not."
And she sighed again.
"Mr. Jasper will pay six dollars a week to any
TRUE RICHES; OR,
one who will take the entire care of her until she is
twelve years of age."
"Will he?" A sudden light had gleamed over
the face of Mrs. Claire.
"Yes; he said so this morning."
"Then, why may not we take her? I am will-
ing," was Edith's quick suggestion.
"It is a great care and responsibility," said Ed-
I shall not feel it so. When the heart prompts,
duty becomes a pleasure. O yes, dear, let us take
the child by all means."
Can we make room for her ?"
Why not? Her little bed, in a corner of our
chamber, will in noway incommode us; and through
the day she will be a companion for Edie. If you
could only have seen how sweetly they played to-
gether Edie has not been half the trouble to-day
that she usually is."
It will rest altogether with you, Edith," said
Claire, seriously. "In fact, Mr. Jasper proposed
that we should take Fanny. I did not give him
much encouragement, however."
"Have you any objection, dear ?" asked Edith.
"None. The sum to be paid weekly will more
than cover the additional cost of housekeeping. If
you are prepared for the extra duties that must
come, I have nothing to urge against the arrange-
If extra duties are involved, I will perform them
as a labour of love. Without the sum to be paid
for the child's maintenance, I would have been
ready to take her in and let her share our home.
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
She is now in the special guardianship of the Father
of the fatherless, and he will provide for her, no
matter who become the almoners of his bounty.
This is my faith, Edward, and in this faith I would
have freely acted even without the provision that
has been made."
"Let it be then, as you wish, Edith."
'How providential this increase of our income,
Edward!" said his wife, soon afterward, while the
subject of taking Fanny into their little household
was yet the burden of their conversation. "We
shall gain here all, and more than all that will be
lost in giving up your situation with Mr. Jasper.
Did I not say to you that good would come of this
guardianship; and is there not, even now, a fore-
shadowing of things to come ?"
"Perhaps there is," replied Edward thoughtfully.
"But my eye of faith is not so clear as yours."
"Let me see for you then, dear," said Edith, in
a tender voice. "I am an earnest consider in the
gook purposes of our Heavenly Father. I trust in
them, as a ship trusts in its well-grounded anchor.
That, in summing up the events of our life, when
the time of our departure comes, we shall see
clearly that each has been wisely ordered or pro-
vided for by One who is infinitely good and wise, I
never for an instant doubt. Oh, if you could only
see with me, eye to eye, Edward! But you will,
love, you will-that my heart assures me. It may be
some time yet-but it will come."
"May it come right speedily!" was the fervent
response of Edward Claire.
TRUE RICHES; OR,
"WELL, Edward, what does your wife say ?"
Such was the inquiry of Jasper, immediately on
the return of his clerk from dinner.
"There will be no difficulty, so far as she is con-
cerned," the young man answered.
"None, did you say, Edward?"
"None. She is willing to take the child, under
the arrangement you propose."
"That is, for three hundred dollars a year, to
find her in every thing ?"
"Yes; until she is twelve years of age."
"So I understand it. After that, as the expense
of her clothing and education will increase, we can
make a new arrangement. Very well. I'm glad
you have decided to take the child. It won't cost
you six dollars a week, for the present, I am sure:
so the additional income will be quite a help to you."
"I don't know how that will be. At any rate,
we are willing to take the child into our family."
"Suppose then, Edward, we mutually sign this
little agreement to that effect, which I have drawn
And Jasper took a paper from his desk, which he
handed to Edward.
"I've no objection," said the latter, after he had
read it over. It binds me to the maintenance of
the child until she is twelve years of age, and you
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
to the payment therefore of three hundred dollars a
year, in quarterly payments of seventy-five dollars
Yes, that is the simple statement of the matter.
You see, I have prepared duplicates: one for you,
and one for myself. I will sign them first."
And Jasper took a pen and placed upon each of
the documents his sign-manual.
Claire did the same; and a clerk witnessed the
signatures. Each, then, took a copy. Thus, quickly
and fully, was the matter arranged.
This fact of giving to the contract a legal form,
was, under the circumstances, the very thing Claire
most desired. He had already begun to see diffi-
culties ahead, so soon as he announced his intention
of leaving Jasper's service; particularly, as no rea-
son that he could give would satisfy the merchant-
difficulties growing out of this new relation as the
personal guardian of little Fanny Elder. The sign-
ing of a regular contract for the payment of a certain
sum of money, quarterly, for the child's maintenance,
gave him a legal right to collect that sum, should
Jasper, from any change of feeling, be disposed at
some future time to give him trouble. This was
It was with exceeding reluctance that Claire
forced himself, during the afternoon, to announce
his intention to leave Mr. Jasper. Had he not pro-
mised Mr. Melleville and his wife to do this, it would
certainly have been postponed for the present; per-
haps altogether. But his word was passed to both
of them, and he felt that to defer the matter would
be wrong. So, an opportunity offering, he said-
TRUE RICHES; OR,
"I believe, Mr. Jasper, that I shall have to leave
"Leave me, Edward!" Mr. Jasper was taken
altogether by surprise. "What is the meaning of
this? You have expressed no dissatisfaction. What
The position of Edward was a trying one. He
could not state the true reasons for wishing to leave
his present situation, without giving great offence,
and making, perhaps, an enemy. This he wished,
if possible, to avoid. A few days before he would
not have scrupled at the broadest equivocation, or
even at a direct falsehood. But there had been a
birth of better principles in his mind, and he was
in the desire to let them govern his conduct. As
he did not answer promptly the question of Jasper
as to his reasons for wishing to leave him, the latter
This seems to be some sudden purpose, Edward.
Are you going to receive a higher salary ?"
Still Edward did not reply; but looked worried
and irresolute. Taking it for granted that no mo-
tive but a pecuniary one could have prompted this
desire for change, Jasper continued-
"I have been satisfied with you, Edward. You
seem to understand me, and to comprehend my mode
of doing business. I have found you industrious,
prompt, and cheerful in performing your duties.
These are qualities not always to be obtained. I do
not, therefore, wish to part with you. If a hundred,
or even a hundred and fifty dollars a year, will be
any consideration, your salary is increased from
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
This, to Edward, was unexpected. He felt more
bewildered and irresolute than at first. So import-
ant an advance in his income, set against a reduc-
tion of the present amount, was a strong temptation,
and he felt his old desires for money arraying them-
selves in his mind.
I will think over your offer," said he. "I did
not expect this. In the morning I will be prepared
"Very well, Edward. If you remain, your salary
will be increased to six hundred and fifty dollars."
To Claire had now come another hour of dark-
ness. The little strength, just born of higher prin-
ciples, was to be sorely tried. Gold was in one scale,
and the heavenly riches that are without wings in
the other. Which was to overbalance ?
The moment Claire entered the presence of his
wife, on returning home that evening, she saw that a
change had taken place-an unfavourable change;
and a shadow fell upon her pure spirit.
I spoke to Mr. Jasper about leaving him," he
remarked, soon after he came in.
"What did he say ?" inquired Edith.
"He does not wish me to go."
I do not wonder at that. But, of course, he is
governed merely by a selfish regard to his own in-
He offers to increase my salary to six hundred
and fifty dollars," said Edward, in a voice that left
his wife in no doubt as to the effect which this had
"A thousand dollars a year, Edward," was the
serious answer, would be a poor compensation for
TRUE RICHES; OR,
such services as he requires. Loss of self-respect, loss
of honour, loss of the immortal soul, are all involved.
Think of this, my dear husband! and do not for a
But Edward did hesitate. This unexpected offer
of so important an increase in his salary had ex-
cited his love of money, temporarily quiescent. He
saw in such an increase a great temporal good; and
this obscured his perception of a higher good, which,
a little while before, had been so clear.
I am not so sure, Edith," said he, "that all these
sad consequences are necessarily involved. I am
under no obligation to deal unfairly with his custom-
ers.. My duty will be done, when I sell to them all
I can at a fair profit. If he choose to take an excess
of profit in his own dealing, that is his affair. I
need not be partaker in his guilt." 4
"Edward!" returned his wife, laying her hand
upon his arm, and speaking in a low, impressive
voice-" Do you really believe that you can give sa-
tisfaction to Mr. Jasper in all things; and yet keep
your conscience void of offence before God and man ?
Think of his character and requirements-think of
the kind of service you have, in too many instances,
rendered him-and then say whether it will be pos-
sible to satisfy him without putting in jeopardy all
that a man should hold dear-all that is worth liv-
ing for? Oh, Edward! do not let this offer blind
you for a moment to the real truth."
Then you would have me reject the offer ?"
"Without an instant's hesitation, Edward."
"It is a tempting one. And then, look at the
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
other side, Edith. Only four hundred dollars a year,
instead of six hundred and fifty."
"I feel it as no temptation. The latter sum, in
the present case, is by far the better salary, for it
will give us higher sources of enjoyment. What are
millions of dollars, and a disquiet mind, compared
to a few hundreds, and sweet peace ? If you remain
with Jasper, an unhappy spirit yill surely steal into
our dwelling-if you take, for the present, your old
place with Mr. Melleville, how brightly will each
morning's sun shine in upon us, and how calmly will
the blessed evening draw around her curtains of re-
Edith had always possessed great influence over
her husband. He loved her very tenderly; and was
ever loth to do any thing to which she made oppo-
sition. Shewas no creature of mere impulse-of
weak caprices--of captious, yet unbending will. If
she opposed her husband in any thing, it was on the
ground of its non-agreement with just principles;
and she always sustained her positions with the
clearest and inost direct modes of argumentation.
Not with elaborate reasoning, but rather in the de-
claration of things self-evident-the quick percep-
tions of a pure, truth-loving mind. How inestima-
ble the blessing of such a wife!
No doubt you have the better reason on your
side, Edith," replied her husband, his manner very
much subdued. But it is difficult for me to unclasp
my hand to let fall therefrom the natural good which
I can see and estimate, for the seemingly unreal
and unsubstantial good that, to your purer vision,
looms up so imposingly."
78 TRUE RICHES; OR,
Unreal-unsubstantial-Edward !" said Edith,
in reply to this. "Are states of mind unreal ?"
I have not always found them so," was answered.
"Is happiness, or misery, unreal? Oh, are they
not our most palpable realizations ? It is not mere
wealth that is sought for as an end-that is not the
natural good for which the many are striving. It is
the mental enjoyment that possession promises-the
state of mind that would be gained through gold as
a means. Is it not so ? Think."
"Yes-that iV undoubtedly, the case."
"But, is it possible for money to give peace
and true enjoyment, if, in the spirit, even though
not in the letter, violence is done to the laws of
both God and man? Can ill-gotten gain produce
heavenly beatitudes ?-and there are none others.
The heart never grows truly warm and joyous ex-
cept when light from above streams through the
darkened vapours with which earth-fires have sur-
rounded it. Oh, my,.husband! Turn yourself away
from this world's fal n allurement d seek with
me the true riches. JVhatever your lot in
life-I care not how pr and i I shall walk
erect and cheerful by ur si you have been
able to keep a conscieno void of offence; but if
this be not so, and you g to me gold and tre'
sure without stint, my he will lie bowed upon my
bosom, and my heart thr in low, grief-burdened
pulsations. False lights, l ve me, Edward, are
hung out by the world, and y lure life's mariner
on to dangerous coasts. Iet us remain on a smooth
and sunny sea, while we can, and not tempt the
troubled and uncertain Wave, unless duty requires
EALTH WITHOUT WINGS. 79
the venture. Then, with virtue at the helm, and the
light of God's love in the sky, we will find a sure
haven at last."
"'Tt shall be as you wish, Edith," said Claire, as
he gazed with admiring affection into the bright and
glowing face of his wife, that was lovely in her beau-
"No-no, Edward! Don't say as Iwish," was her
quick reply. "I cannot bear that you should act
merely under my influence as an external pressure.
If I have seemed to use persuasionI it has not been
to force you over to my way of thinking. But, can-
not you see that I am right ? Does not your reason
approve of what I say ?"
It does, Edith. I can see, as well as feel, that
you are right. But, the offer of a present good is a
strong temptation. I speak freely."
And I thank you for doing so. Oh! never con-
ceal from me your inmost thoughts. You say that
you can see as well as feel that I am right ?"
"Yes; I fry acknowledge that."
"Your re rrroves what I have said ?"
"Fully." t a
"This tells yo at itJwill be better for you m
eend to accept of four hundred dollars from Mr.
lleville, than to remain with Mr. Jasper at six
hundred and fifty?"
"It does, Edith." I
"Then, my husbai let the reason which God
has given to you as *Pide, direct you now in the
right way. Do not act under influence from me-
for then the act will not be freely your own-but,
as a truly rational, and, therefore, a wise man, choose
80 TRUE RICHES; OR
/ now the way in which an enlightedf reason tells
' you that you ought to walk."
t "I have chosen, Edith," was the young man's low,
but firm reply.
"How?" The wife spoke with a sudden, trem-
bling eagerness, and held her breath for an answer.
I will leave my present place, and return to Mr.
"God be thanked !" came sobbing from the lips
of Edith, as she threw herself in unrestrained joy
upon the bosomof her husband.
I DON'T just understand this," said Jasper to
himself, after the interview with his clerk described
in another chapter. I thought him perfectly sa-
tisfied. He didn't say he was offer d a higher sa-
lary. Ah guess I've got it now. s only a bit of
a ruse on his part to get me to* increase his wages.
I didn't think of this before. Well, it has succeed-
ed; and, in truth, he's worth all I've offered hi
Shrewd, quick, and elarp; he's a young man ju
to my mind. 8hd'l he grow restless again, I must
tempt him with th dea of a partnership at some
future period. If business goes on increasing, I
shall want some one with me whom Ipan trust and
depend on more fully than on a cleric'
Thus, in the mind of Jasper, all was settled; and
he was fully prepared, onIihe next morning, when
STTH WITHOUT WINGS. 81
he metEdwarto hear from him that he would re-
mail in his service. A different decision took him
altogether by surprise.
"Where are you going?" he asked. Edward
hesitated a moment ere replying.
"Back to Mr. Melleville's."
"To Melleville's Will he give you more salary
than I have agreed to pay ?"
"No," was the answer; "but I have reasons for
wishing to accept the place he offers me."
Well, just as you please," said Jasper, coldly.
"Every one must suit himself."
And, with the air of a person offended, he turned."
himself from the young man. Soon aft he went out,.
and did not come back for two or three urs. When
he re-entered the store there was an angry flash in
his eyes, which rested somewhat sternly upon Claire.
"Let me say a word with you, Edward."
There happened to be no customer in to engage
the clerk's attention, and he retired, with his em-
ployer, to the back part of the store. Jasper then
turned and confronted him with a stern aspect.
"Well, young man !" said he sharply, "it seems
that you have been making rather free with my good
a one, of late; representing me as a cheat and a
For a few moments the mind of Claire was strong-
lyexcited and in a perfect maze of confusion. The
blood mounted to his face, and he felt a rising and
choking sensation in his throat. Wisely he forbore
any answer ultil he had regained his self-possession.
Then, with a coolness that surprised even himself, he
82 TRUE RICHES; OR I
That's a broad accusation, Mr. sper. will you
go with me to your authority ?"
Jasper was not just prepared for a response like
this; and he cooled down, instantly, several de-
Aly authority is quite satisfactory," he returned,
still manifesting angry feeling. That you have
been slandering me is plain; and, also, betraying
S the confidential transactions of the house. It is full
time we parted-full time. I didn't dream that I
was warming an adder to sting me ?"
I must insist, Mr. Jasper," said Claire firmly,
that you give me your authority for all this. Let
me stand fa to face with the man who has so
broadly acq d me."
Then youieny it all ?"
"I shall neither affirm nor deny any thing. You
have angrily accused me of having done you a
great wrong. All I ask is your authority, and the
right to stand face to face with that authority. This
is no light matter, Mr. Jasper."
"Well said, young man. It is no fight matter,
as you will, perhaps, know to your sorrow in the
end. Don't suppose, for a moment, that I shall
either forget or forgive this outrage. Leave me
cause I cheat iii my business !" An expression o
unmitigated contempt was of his face. "Poh!
What hypocrisy I know you! And let Mr. Melle-
ville beware. He, I more than suspect, is at the
bottom of ttis. But he'll rue the day he crossed
my path-he will !"
And Jasper ground his teeth in anger.
By this time, Claire had become entirely self-pos-
WyALTH WITHOUT WINGS. 83
sessed. He was both surprised and troubled; yet
concealed, as far as possible, the real state of his
So far as Mr. Melleville is concerned," said he,
" I wish you to understand, that I applied to him
for the situation."
Exactly! That is in agreement with what I
heard. I was such a rogue that you could not live
with me and keep a clear conscience-so you sought
for a place with an honest man."
Claire dropped his eyes to the floor, and stood
musing for some considerable time. When he raised
them, he looked steadily at his employer ansaid-
"Mr. Jasper, I never made use of ds you
If not the very words, those of pike significa-
To whom ? There is no need of concealment,
Mr. Jasper." Claire. was feeling less and less anxious
for the result of this conference every moment.
" Speak out freely, and you will find me ready to do
the same. There had been some underhand work
here-or some betrayal of an ill-advised confidence.
The former, I am most ready to believe. In a word,
sir, and to bring this at once to an issue-your in-
fokmant in this matter is Henry Parker, who lives
with Mr. Melleville.'*
The change instantly perceptible in the manner
of Jasper showed that Edward's suspicion was
right. He had, all at once, remembered that, during
his conversation with Melleville, this young man was
I see how it is," he continued. An eavesdrop-
84 TRUE RICHES; OR,
per has reported, with his own comments and exag-
gerations, a strictly confidential interview. Such
being the case, I will state the plain truth of the
matter. Are you prepared to hear it ?"
Oh, certainly," replied Jasper, with a covert
sneer in his voice. I'm prepared to hear any thing."
"Very well. What I have to say is now wrung
From me. I did not wish to leave you in anger. I
did not wish to draw upon me your ill-will. But,
what is unavoidable must be borne. It is true, Mr.
Jasper, as you have been informed, that I am not
satisfied with your way of doing business."
"How long since, pray ?" asked Jasper, with ill-
"I did ni l e it in the beginning, but gradual-
ly suffered m elf to think that all was fair in trade,
until I found I was no better than a common cheat!
Happily, I have been able to make a sudden pause
in the way I was going. From this time, I will
serve no man who expects me to overreach a cus-
tomer in dealing. So soon as my mind was fully
made up to leave your employment, I called to see
my old friend, Mr. Melleville; stated to him, frank-
ly and fully, what I thought and felt; and asked
him if he could not make room for me in his store.
Parker doubtless overheard a part of what we were
saying, and reported it to you. I would, let me say
in passing, much rather hold my relation to this un-
pleasant business than his. Mr. Melleville offered
me my old salary-four hundred dollars-and I
agreed to enter his service."
Four hundred dollars !" Jasper said this in un-
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
9" Yes, sir; that is all he can afford to pay,and of
course all I will receive."
"And I offered you six hundred and fifty."
"Edward, you are the most consummate fool I
ever heard of."
Time will show that," was the undisturbed reply.
I have made my election thoughtfully, and am pre-
pared to meet the result."
"You'll repent of this; mark my word for it."
"I may regret your ill-will, Mr. Jasper; but
never repent this step. I'm only thankful that I
possessed sufficient resolution to take it."
When are you going ?"
"Not before the end of this monkh, unless you
wish it otherwise. I would like to give you full
time to supply my place."
You can go at once, if it so please you. In fact,
after what has just passed, I don't see how you can
remain, or I tolerate your presence."
I am ready for this, Mr. Jasper," coolly replied
the young man.
How much is due you ?" was inquired, after a
Twenty-five dollars, I believe," answered Claire.
Jasper threw open a ledger that lay on the desk,
and, turning to the young man's account, ran his
eyes up the two columns of figures, and then struck
"Just twenty-seven dollars," said he, after a se-
cond examination of the figures. And here's the
money," he added, as he took some bills from the
desk and counted out the sum just mentioned. Now
TRUE RICHES; OR,
sign me a receipt in full to date, and that ends the
The receipt was promptly signed.
"And now," sneered Jasper, bowing with mock
deference, I wish you joy of your better place.
You will, in all probability, hear from me again.
I haven't much faith in your over-righteous people ;
and will do myself the justice to make some very
careful examinations into your doings since you en-
tered my service. If all is right, well; if not, it
won't be good for you. I'm not the man to forgive
ingratitude, injury, and insult-of all three of which
you have been guilty."
We will not bandy words on that subject,
Mr. Jasper," said Claire-" I simply deny that I
have been guilty of either of the faults you al-
lege. As for an investigation into my business
conduct, that you can do as early and as thoroughly
as you please. I shall feel no anxiety for the
Jasper did not reply. For a few moments the
young man stood as if expecting some remark;
none being made, he turned away, gathered to-
gether a few articles that were his own private pro-
perty, tied them into a bundle and marked his name
thereon. Then bowing to the merchant, he retired
-oppressed from recent painful excitement, yet
glad, in his inmost feelings, that a connection so
dangerous as that with Jasper had been dissolved-
dissolved even at the cost of making an enemy.
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS. 87
As no event of particularly marked interest oc-
curred with those whose histories we are writing,
during the next few years, we will pass over that
time without a record. Some changes of more or
less importance have taken place, in the natural
progress of things; but these will become apparent
as we pursue the narrative.
A dull, damp November day was losing itself in
the sombre twilight, when Edward Claire left the
store of Mr. Melleville, and took his way homeward.
An errand for his wife led him past his old place
of business. As he moved along the street, oppo-
site, he noticed a new sign over the door, the large
gilt letters of which were strongly reflected in the
light of a gas-lamp. It bore the words, JASPER &
Involuntarily the young man sighed. If he had
remained with Jasper, there was little doubt but
that his name would have been the one now associ-
ated with his in a copartnership. Parker was the
young man who had betrayed the conversation be-
tween Claire and Mr. Melleville. His end in doing
this was to gain the favour of Jasper, and thus se-
cure the place left vacant by the departing clerk.
He had succeeded in his purpose. Jasper offered
him the situation, and he took it. Five years after-
ward, in which time Jasper had made money
TRUE RICHES; OR,
rapidly, he was elevated to the position of partner,
with a fair interest in the business. He had been
honest toward his employer, because he saw that
through him there was a chance to rise. Honest in
heart he was not, for he never scrupled to overreach
Edward Claire, as we have remarked, sighed in-
voluntarily. His own prospects in life were not
what are called flattering. His situation with Mr.
Melleville was now worth five hundred dollars a
year, but his family had increased, and with the
increase had come new wants. The condition of
Mr. Melleville's business gave him no encourage-
ment to hope for a larger income while in his service.
Several times during the last two years he had made
application for vacant places, but without success.
Sometimes he felt restless and discouraged, as his
vision penetrated the future; but there was ever a
cheerful light at home that daily dispelled the
Scarcely had the sigh lost itself on the air, when
a hand was laid on his arm, and an old acquaintance
"Ah, Edward! How are you ?"
Claire seeing the face of his friend, returned the
"What have you been doing with yourself?"
asked the latter. It is months, I believe, since I
had the pleasure of meeting you."
"Busy all day," returned Clare, "and anchored
at home in the evening. So the time is passing."
"Pleasantly and profitably, I hope," said the
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
"Pleasantly enough, I will own," was answered;
9" as to the profit-if you mean in a money sense-
there is not ipuch to boast of."
"You are still with Melleville ?"
"At what salary ?"
"Is that all? How much family have you ?"
"Three children; or, I might say four; but the
fourth brings us three hundred dollars a year for
That is something."
Oh yes. It is quite a help."
"By the way, Edward-the new store we just
past reminds me of it-your old friend Jasper has
just given one of his clerks, named Parker, an in-
terest in his business."
So I am aware."
"Jasper is doing first-rate."
He is making money, I believe."
"Coining it. The fact is, Edward, you never
should have left him. Had you kept that situation,
you would have been the partner now. And,
by the way, there was rather a strange story afloat
at the time you took it into your head to leave
< Ah what was it ?"
"It is said that you thought him a little too close
in his dealings, and left him on that account. I
hadn't given you credit for quite so tender a con-
science. How was it, Edward ?"
"I didn't like his modes of doing business, and,
therefore, left him. So far you heard truly."
TRUE RICHES; OR,
But what had you to do with his modes of doing
"A great deal. As one of his employees, I was
expected to carry out his views."
And not being willing to do that, you left his
"That is the simple story."
"Excuse me, Edward, but I can't help calling
you a great fool. Just see how you have stood in
your own light. But for this extra bit of virtue,
for which no one thinks a whit the better of you,
you might this day have been on the road to fortune,
instead of Parker."
I would rather be in my own position than in
his," replied Claire firmly.
You would!" His companion evinced surprise.
"He is in the sure road to wealth."
But not, I fear, in the way to happiness."
How can you say that, Edward ?"
"No man, who, in the eager pursuit of money,
so far forgets the rights of others as to trample on
them, can be in the way to happiness."
Then you think he tramples on the rights of
I know but little, if any thing, about him," re-
plied Claire; "but this I do know, that unless Leo-
nard Jasper be a different man from what he was
five years ago, fair dealing between man and man is
a virtue in a clerk that would in nowise recommend
him to the position of an associate in business.
His partner must be shrewd, sharp, and unscrupu-
lous-a lover of money above every thing else-a
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
man determined to rise, no matter who is trampled
down or destroyed in the ascent."
In business circles such men are by no means
"I am aware of it."
And it is unhesitatingly affirmed by many whom
I know, that, as the world now is, no really honest
man can trade successfully."
That is more than I am ready to admit."
'' The sharpest and shrewdest get on the best."
"Because it is easier to be sharp and shrewd
than to be intelligent, persevering, industrious, pa-
tient, and self-denying. The eagerness to get rich
fast is the bane of trade. I am quite ready to ad-
mit that no man can get rich at railroad speed, and
not violate the law of doing as you would be done
"Doing as you would be done by! 0 dear!"
said the friend; "you certainly don't 'mean to
bring that law down into the actual life of the
It would be a happier world for all of us if this
law were universally obeyed."
"That may be. But, where all are selfish, how
is it possible to act from an unselfish principle?"
"Do you approve of stealing?" said Claire, with
Of course not," was the half-indignant answer.
"I need not have asked the question, for I now
remember to have seen the fact noticed in one of
our papers, that an unfaithful domestic in your fa-
mily had been handed over to the police."
"True. She was a thief. We found in her
yz TRUE RICHES; OR,
trunk a number of valuable articles that she had
stolen from us."
"And you did right. You owed this summary
justice as well to the purloiner as to the public.
Now, there are many ways of stealing, besides this
direct mode. If I deprive you of your property
with design, I steal from you. Isn't that clear?"
And I am, to use plain words, a thief. Well,
now take this easily to be understood case. I have
a lot of goods to sell, and you wish to purchase them.
In the trade I manage to get from you, through di-
rect misrepresentation, or in a tacit advantage of
your ignorance, more than the goods are really
worth. Do I not cheat you?"
And having purposely deprived you of a portion
of your money, am I not a thief ?"
In all that goes to make up the morality of the
case, you are."
The truth, unquestionably. Need I proceed
further? By your own admission, every business-
man who takes undue advantage of another in deal-
"Pretty close cutting, that, friend Claire. It
wouldn't do to talk that right out at all times and
in all places."
"I rather think it would make some people feel
bad; and others regard themselves as insulted."
I can believe so. But we are only talking this
between ourselves. And now I come back to my
rather abrupt question-Do you approve of steal-
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
ing? No, you say, as a matter of course. And
yet, you but just now were inclined to justify sharp
dealing, on the ground that all were sharpers-quot-
ing the saying of some, that no honest man could
trade successfully in the present time. For the di-
rect stealing of a few articles of trifling value, you
hand a poor, ignorant domestic over to the police,
yet feel no righteous indignation against the better-
taught man of business, who daily robs his customers
in some one form or another."
"You are too serious by far, Edward," returned
his companion, forcing a laugh. Your mind has
fallen into a morbid state. But you will get over
this one of these times. Good evening! Our ways
part here. Good evening !"
And the young man turned off abruptly.
A morbid state," mused Claire to himself, as
he continued on alone. So thousands would say.
But is it so ? Is honesty or dishonesty the morbid
state ? How direct a question! How plain the
answer! Honesty is health--dishonesty the soul's
sickness. To be honest, is to live in obedience to
social and divine laws; dishonesty is the violation
of these. Is it possible for a diseased body to give
physical enjoyment? No! Nor can a diseased
mind give true mental enjoyment. To seek happi-
ness in the possession of wealth obtained through
wrong to the neighbour, is as fruitless as to seek
bodily pleasure in those practices which inevitably
destroy the health. To me, this is self-evident, and
may God give me strength to live according to my
clear convictions !"
The very earnestness with which Claire mentally
TRUE RICHES; OR,
confirmed himself in his honest convictions, and
especially his upward looking for strength in con-
scious weakness, showed that his mind was in tempt-
ation. He had felt somewhat depressed during the
day, in view of his external relation to the world;
and this feeling was increased by his observation of
the fact that Parker had been advanced to the po-
sition of a partner to his old employer. It seemed
like a reward for unfair dealing, while honesty was
suffered to remain poor. The young man's en-
lightened reason-enlightened during five years'
earnest search after and practice of higher truths
than govern in the world's practice-strongly com-
bated all the false arguments that were presented
to his mind, during this season of his overshadowing.
The combat was severe, and still continued on his
arrival at home-causing his mind to be in a mea-
THE increase of Claire's family had caused him,
some time before, to remove from the two comfort-
able rooms in which were passed the first pleasant
years of his married life. He now occupied a small
house in a retired street, the rent of which, though
moderate, drew pretty heavily on his income. But
he had managed, through the prudent co-operation
of his wife, not only to keep even with the world,
but to lay by a small sum of money.
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS.
Few homes, in the large city wherein dwelt this
obscure family, were so full of all the elements bf
happiness. If, sometimes, the spirit of Claire was
overshadowed by passing clouds-as would unavoid-
ably happen from his contact with the world, and his
own variant states-the evening's return to the bo-
som of his family, generally made all bright again.
Little Fanny Elder, now ten years of age, had
been steadily growing into his affections from the
first. It is questionable whether his love for his
own children was a purer passion. Older, by several
years, than Edith, she had been to him more com-
panionable; and had ever greeted his return at
evening with warmer expressions of pleasure than
were manifested by Edith, or the two younger
children who had been added to the number of his
On this evening, as Claire drew nearer and nearer
to his home, and his thoughts began to make pictures
of the scene within, its light and warmth penetrated
his feelings, and when he opened, at length, the door,
he was himself again.
First to bound into his arms was Fanny Elder.
What a beautiful, fairy-like creature she was! How
more than fulfilled the promise of her early child-
hood! Next came Edith, now six years of age, side
by side with her brother Harry, a wild little rogue,
and were only a few seconds behind Fanny in throw-
ing themselves upon their father; while little baby
Mary, as she sat on the carpet, fluttered her tiny
arms, and crowed out her joyous welcome.
What a merry romp they all had for the next two
or three minutes. When quiet came back again,
TRUE RICHES; OR,
baby was sitting on one knee, Harry on the other,
and Fanny leaning her face on the shoulder of her
"father"-for so she called him with the rest--
while her glossy curls were resting in sunny clusters
upon his bosom. The memory of the child's former
home and parents seemed to have faded almost en-
tirely. If the past ever came back to her, like a
dream, with its mingled web of sunshine and tears,
she never spoke of it. Fully had she been taken
into the hearts and home of her new parents; and
she rested there as one having a right to her posi-
And the pure spirit who presided over this little
Paradise, where was she? Present-observing all,
and sharing in the delight her husband's return had
occasioned. The expected kiss had not long been
kept from her loving lips.
Happy household! What have its inmates to envy
in those around them? Within the circle of many
squares were none so rich in all the elements of hap-
Soon after the evening meal was over, the chil-
dren, after another merry romp with their father,
went off to bed. When Mrs. Claire returned from
the chamber, whither she had accompanied them,
she held a letter in her hand.
"I had forgotten all about this letter, Edward,"
said she. It was left here for you, this afternoon."
Claire took the letter and broke the seal, running
his eye down to the signature as he unfolded it.
"Leonard Jasper! What is this ?"
His brow contracted instantly, as he commenced
reading the letter. It was brief, and in these words-
WEALTH WITHOUT WINGS. 97
MR. EDWARD CLAIRE-Sir: From this time I
will relieve you of the burden of my ward, Fanny
Elder. Mrs. Jasper and myself have determined to
take her into our own family, in order that we may
give the needful care to her education. Call around
and see me to-morrow, and we will arrange this mat-
ter. Yours, &c. LEONARD JASPER."
The face of the young man had become pale by
the time he had finished reading this letter; but
that of his wife, who did not yet know a word of its
contents, was almost white-the effect produced on
her husband filling her with a vague alarm.
"What is it, Edward?" she asked, in a low, eager
"Jasper wants us to give up Fanny."
Edith sank into a chair, exclaiming-
"But she is only ten years of age," said the hus-
band, and our contract is to keep her until she is
We cannot give her up," murmured Edith, tears
already beginning to flow over her cheeks. "I ne-
ver thought of this. What can it mean?"
Some sudden determination on the part of Jas-
per, and based on nothing good," was the reply.
"But, as I said, our contract is binding until Fanny
is twelve years of age, and I will never consent to
its being broken. He was over anxious to hold me
in writing. He did not value his own word, and
would not trust mine. It was well. The dear child
shall remain where she is."
But, after she is twelve, Edward ? What then?
TRUE RICHES; OR,
Oh, I can never part with her," said Mrs. Claire,
now weeping freely.
Two years will pass ere that time. Jasper may
have other purposes in view when our present con-
You will see him in the morning?"
"0 yes. I must understand all about this mat-
ter. What can it mean? 'Needful care to her
education !' A mere hypocritical pretence. What
does he care for her, or her education? What, in
fact, does he know of her ? Nothing at all. Has
he ever called to see her ? Has he ever made the first
inquiry after her ? No. There is something wrong,
without doubt. This movement bodes no good to
our dear child. But she has one friend who will
stand between her and harm-who will protect her,
if need be, at the risk of his own life."
Claire, as his words indicate, had suffered himself
to become much excited. Seeing this, his wife re-
covered, to some extent, her own self-possession, and
spoke to him soothingly.
We will wait and see what it means," said she.
Mr. Jasper cannot force her away from us now, if
After seeing him to-morrow, you can understand
better what we are to expect. This note may have
been written from some momentary feeling. I can-
not think that he has a settled purpose to take the
child from us."
Time will show," was the abstracted response.
Not for years had so unhappy an evening been
spent by Edward Claire and his wife; and when