voice, her face beamed in beauty that was not of the
earth, earthy. In the eyes of her husband, she had
always borne a lovely countenance, but she was lovelier
176 AXyA LEE,
now than ever. Clasping her with tender earnestness
in his arms, he said, â€”
" May Heaven shower upon you its choicest bless-
ings ! You make me ashamed of my own weakness ;
of my own want of trust in the Providence that I
know governs all things well. With you by my side,
life's journey can never be a very painful one; for you
will make for me all the rough places of peevish nature
even. Come what will, whether prosperity or adver-
sity, I shall ever find your heart as true to love as is
the needle to the pole."
" Yes, ever,'' was the low, murmured reply.
Hartley returned to the warehouse after dinner,
feelincj much more as a man should feel, under circum-
stances of trial, than he did in the morning. The
afternoon brought farther intelligence from the west.
It was decisive. The houses that had suspended pay-
ment would each make a most disastrous failure, and
it was almost certain would carry two others with
them, both of which were indebted to Pt , S ,
When Hartley came home at night, his mind was
again overshadowed. Anna had suffered a good deal
THE WIFE. 177
during tlie afternoon, for lier husband's sake. She
could enter into and understand his feelings, and she
therefore knew how hard a trial he had to bear in the
threatened ruin of his bright hopes of worldly success.
Xor was she indifferent, so far as herself was concerned.
To all, prosperity and the temporal blessings it brings,
is pleasant. And Mrs. Hartley could enjoy them as
well as others. It was not, therefore, without an
earnest struggle with herself, that she could rise, really,
into that state of composure and trust in Providence,,
that she had so strongly urged upon her husband.
When he came in, at the close of the day, she saw
that he was again depressed in spirits ; and again she
sought to raise his thoughts above the mere fact of
present temporal losses, to a realization of the truth
that all things are made, in the divine Providence, to
work together for good. In this as before, she was
successful, even though more recent intelligence than
that received in the morning tended to confirm Hartley's
On the day following things looked still more gloomy.
A week elapsed, and all yet remained dark and threaten-
ing. A month passed, and the house of R , S ,
& Co., considered one of the most promising in the city,
suspended payment, and commenced winding up its
business. There was property enough to pay off all
the debts, and leave something over. But as Hartley
had put in no capital, and all the profits and more
178 AN^^A LEE,
than half of the capital had been lost, he went out of
the concern with less than fifty pounds in his pocket,
the two senior partners remaining to close up everything.
Requiring the services of some one, R & S â–
offered Hartley a salary of a hundred and fifty pounds,
which he gladly accepted, and from a merchant with
large expectations, fell back into his former capacity of
a clerk. It required all the young man's philosophy,
aided by the hopeful, trusting spirit of his wife, to bear
up with anything like fortitude. For the sake of her
who was loved beyond what words could express, he
grieved more deeply over this reverse than he would
have done had he stood alone in the world. She would
have to bear half of the burden, and the thought of
this touched him to the quick.
As soon as Anna knew that her husband had dis-
solved all connection with the house in which he had
been a partner, and that his income was fixed at a
hundred and fifty pounds per annum, she said to him
with a cheerful face and tone, â€”
"We must look out for another house, James; the
rent of this one is too high for us now."
" I don't know, Anna; I think I can still manage to
pay the rent. I have partly engaged to post a set of
books, which I can do by devoting a couple of hours to
it every evening. If I will undertake them, it will in-
crease my income nearly thirty pounds. I would rather
do it than move. I can't bear the thought of that.
THE WIFE. 179
We live so comfortably and genteelly here. It will be
impossible to get a house that is respectable, for a rent
low enough to make it an object to give up this one."
" So far as mere appearance is concerned, James,"
replied his wife, " I do not think we should consider
that. What is right for us to do? That should be the
question. Is it right to live up close to our income 1 "
" I think not," Hartley could not help replying.
" Can you, after being closely engaged all day, post
books for two or three hours every evening, without
affecting your health?" pursued Anna.
" I can hardly tell."
" Is it not reasonable to conclude that such incessant
appHcation would be injurious ? I think so. How much
better would it be to get a smaller house farther from
the centre of the city, and reduce all our expenses to
the lowest scale. If good fortune again smile upon us,
we can easily procure all we now relinquish. I am
sure that I can be just as happy in a house that costs
twenty pounds a-year as I can be in one at five times
the rent. Cannot you be ? "
" I ought to be happy anywhere with you. But the
truth is, it wounds my pride to think of removing you
to a lower condition. I would gladly place you on a
throne, so to speak, if in my power."
"You cannot depress me below my true condition,
nor elevate me above it," Mrs. Hartley said, half-smil-
ing, half-serious. " There is One who sees the end
180 AJV.VA LEE,
from the beginning â€” One who governs all things with
infinite wisdom â€” He will take care that I am ever in
my right place. But I must be a co-worker with Pro-
vidence, in freedom according to reason. The same is
true, in regard to yourself. Let us then use the reason
that has been given us, and act from its dictates, in
perfect freedom from all selfishness or pride, or false
views of our relations in life. If you seek my happi-
ness, do it in this Avay, for in this way alone can you
Hartley could not withstand the force of truth from
the lips of so eloquent a reasoner. Three weeks more
elapsed. At the end of that time a snug little house
in the district of Spring Garden held the young couple.
Were they less happy? No! Hartley's salary was
ample, and he felt that he was still independent, and
that his wife had every comfort she desired. Their
house was no less tastefully arranged than the one
they had left. It was only smaller. But what of that ]
They had room enough and to spare.
" Is it not much better to be here," Anna said, as
they sat together one evening in their little parlour,
before a cheerful grate, " than for me to be alone in a
larger house, and you away toiling, wearily, beyond
your strength, to get the means of keeping up appear-
ances? I am sure it is."
"Yes, Anna, it is better!" Hartley replied. "We
were no happier before tfian we are now."
THE WIFE. 181
" Suppose we had rented the house in Wahiut
Street," Anna said, with an arch look.
" Hush ! " and Hartley put his fingers en the Hps of
his wife, playfully. " Don't remind me of my weak-
ness. If you had been a woman at all like Mrs. Riston,
how quickly you might have ruined me ! "
"And made you and myself both unhappy for life.
T am not like her, James."
" No; thank Heaven ! You are like nobody but your
own dear self! You are a wise and prudent woman,
and a loving wife."
" I can bear to hear my praises spoken by your lips,"
Anna returned, leaning her head back upon the breast
of her husband, and looking up into his face with a
fond happy smile.
" It comes from the heart â€” be sure of that."
" And reaches the heart ere the words are half-
uttered," was the blushing reply.
Three months more elapsed, when an event, looked
for with hope and trembling anxiety, transpired. A
new chord vibrated in Anna's heart, and the music was
sweeter far in her spirit's ear, than any before heard.
She was changed. Suddenly she felt that she wa^s a
182 ANNA LEE,
new creature. Her breast was filled with deeper,
purer, and tenderer emotions. She was a mother ! A
babe had been born to her ! A sweet pledge of love
lay nestling by her side, and drawing its life from her
bosom. She was happy â€” how happy cannot be told.
A mother only csinfeel how happy she was on first re-
alizing the new emotions that thrill in a young mother's
As health gradually returned to her exhausted frame,
and friends gathered around her with warm congratula-
tions, Anna felt that she was indeed beginning a new
life. Every hour her soul seemed to enlarge, and her
mind to be filled with higher and purer thoughts. Be-
fore the birth of her babe, she suffered much more than
even her husband had supposed, both in body and mind.
Her spirits were often so depressed, that it required
her utmost effort to receive him with her accustomed
cheerfulness at each period of his loved return. But
living as she did in the ever active endeavour to bless
others, she strove daily and hourly to rise above every
infirmity. Now all was peace within â€” holy peace.
There came a Sabbath rest of deep, interior joy, that
was sweet, unutterably sweet. Body and spirit entered
into this rest. No wind ruffled the still, bright waters
of her life.
Hartley had loved his wife truly, deeply, tenderly.
Every day he saw more and more in her to admire.
There was an order, consistency, and harmony in her
THE WIFE. 183
cliai\icter as a wife, that won his admiration. In the
few months they had passed since their marriage, she
had filled her place to him perfectly. Without seeming
to reflect how she should regulate her conduct towards
her husband, in every act of her wedded life she had
displayed true wisdom, united with unvarying love.
All this caused his heart to unite itself more and more
closely with hers. But now that she held to him the
twofold relation of a wife and mother, his love was in-
creased fourfold. He thought of her, and looked upon
her, with increased tenderness.
" Mine by a double tie," he said, with a full realiza-
tion of his words, when he first pressed his lips upon
the brow of his child, and then, with a fervour unfelt
before, upon the lips of his wife. " As you have been
a good wife, you will be a good mother," he added,
Hereafter we must know Mrs. Hartley in the two-
fold character of wife and mother, for they are inex-
tricably blended. Thus far, scarcely a year has passed
since the maiden became the wife. But little presents
itself in the first year of a woman's married history of
deep interest. Her life is more strongly marked in-
ternally than externally. She feels much, but the
world sees little, and little can be brought forth to
view. The little that we could present in the history
of our gentle, true-hearted friend, with some strong
contrasts, has been presented. Enough is apparent, we
184 A.yXA LEE, THE WIFE.
hope, to enable us to say to the young wife, " Go thou
and do likewise." Enough to make all feel the loveli-
ness of her example.
The change in her husband's external condition was
good for them both. It tried their characters in the
beginning, and, more than anything else that had
occurred, made Hartley sensible of the real worth of a
prudent and self-denying wdfe. Although months had
elapsed since he was suddenly thrown down from a
position so full of promise, into one comparatively dis-
couraging to a man of an active, ambitious spirit, he
still remained a clerk, with no prospect of ridng above
that condition. Had his wife seemed in the least
degree to feel this change, it would have chafed him
sorely. He would have been unhappy; but she was
so cheerful and contented, and made everything so
comfortable, and regulated her household expenses
without appearing to think about doing so, according
to her husband's reduced income, that he was rarely
ever more than half -conscious while at home, that he was
not in the receipt of over one-third of his former income.
If we were to lift for the reader, a moment or two,
the veil that hides Mr. Riston and his wife from the
public eye, a very different picture from this would be
seen. But we care not to do so. The sayings and
doings of ]Mrs. R. have already filled more than a fair
proportion of our pages. Their moral needs no further
expositions to give them force.
[1UM:MER had passed away, and autumn had
vero-ed on towards winter. Instead of a
brief, sultry twilight, there were long
evenings and pleasant meetings of the
family circle. Care looked more cheerful ; there was a
lio-ht on the wan cheek of Sickness ; and Labour sung
merrily as she turned her wheel.
His daily labours ended, James' Hartley returned
home on such an evening, his step light, his mind
clear, and his. spirits buoyant. Scarcely a year had
passed since the wreck of his worldly prospects ; but in
that time the reacting strength of a manly character
had lifted his bowed head, and fixed with confidence
his steady eye. But this result would have taken place
slowly and imperfectly under other circumstances and
different influences from those with which he was sur-
186 ANNA LEE,
rounded. He owed much to the cheerful temper and
hopeful spirit of his wife. So far from murmuring at
the change in their prospects, or permitting her husband
to murmur, every allusion to this change was accom-
panied by Mrs. Hartley with expressions of thankful-
ness that all the t-eal blessings the world had to give
were left them.
" We have more than enough for all our wants," she
would say â€” " And besides, we have each other, and our
dear little Marion. Do you think we have reason to
complain? No â€” you cannot. Our cup is not empty
â€” it is full to the brim."
As was ever the case, a smile of welcome greeted
Hartley on entering his pleasant home. But it seemed
to him, after the smile had died away, that there was a
thoughtful expression upon Anna's brow. This grew
distinct to his eye, as he observed her face more care-
" Is Marion asleep 1 " he asked, soon after he came in.
" Yes. She was tired, and went to sleep early. I
tried to keep her awake until you came home, but she
was so drowsy and fretful, that I thought it best to put
her to bed."
" Dear little creature."
" She is a sweet child."
" A sweeter one cannot be found. As she grows
older, how much delight we shall take in seeing her
mind expand and become filled with images of all that
THE MOTHER. 187
is lovely and innocent. As the twig is bent, so is tlie
tree inclined. Anna, all we have to do is to bend this
twig aright. Heaven's rain and sunshine will do the
" To bend it aright may not be so easy a task as yon
" Perhaps not. And yet it seems to me that a wise
course of government, carefully pursued, must produce
the desired result."
" To determine wisely is not always in our power.
Ah, James ! It is that thing of determining ivisely that
gives me the greatest concern. I believe that I could
faithfully carry out any system of government, were I
only well satisfied of its being the true one. But so
conscious am I, that, if in the system I adopt there be
a vital error, the effect will be lastingly injurious to our
child, that I hesitate and tremble at every step. The
twig that shoots forth, unwarped by nature, pliant and
graceful, may be trained to grow in almost any direc-
tion. But our child is born with an evil and perverse
will â€” a will thoroughly depraved."
" That the human heart is by nature, not only deceit-
ful, but desperately wicked, we know from God's own
" Alas ! it is but too true, James. It needs not
Eevelation to tell us this. Already the moral deformity
we have entailed upon our child is showing itself every
day. How shall we correct it 1 How shall we change
188 A XX A LEE,
it into beauty 1 I think of this ahiiost every hour, and
sometimes it makes me feel sad. It is easy to say â€”
' Just as the twig is bent the tree's inclined ' â€” but it is
not so easy a thing to bend the human twig as you will.
There is great danger of creating one deformity in the
effort to correct another ; or of checking, in its flow,
the healthy sap by undue pressure. And still further;
our own states of mind, from various causes, are ever
changing, and from these changes result obscurity, or a
new direction of our thoughts. What seems of the
first moment to-day, is not so considered to-morrow,
because other ideas are more distinctly before our
minds, and throw things of equal importance into
obscurity. Our own uncorrected hereditary evils are
also in our way, and hinder us from either seeing aright
or doina; aright."
" You are disposed to look at the gloomy side of the
picture, Anna," replied her husband, smiling. " Sup-
pose you take a more encouraging view."
" Show me the bright side, James. I will look at
it with pleasure."
"There is a bright side, Annaâ€”everything has a
sunny side ; but I do not know that it is in my power
to show you the sunny side of this picture. I will,
however, present to your mind a truth that may sug-
gest many others of an encouraging nature. Have we
not the- divine promise to those who train up a child
in the way he should go, that when he is old he will
THE MOTHER. 189
not depart from it *? Foolishness is indeed bound up
in the heart of a child, but the Christian parent need
not despond in the struggle to eradicate it. Can there
be a higher or holier end than a mother's, when she
proposes to herself the good of her child ? "
" I believe not."
" Into that end will there most assuredly be an
mflux of wisdom to discover the true means. Do not
despond, then. As your day is, so will your strength
Anna sighed heavily, but made no reply for some
moments. She was too deeply conscious of the diffi-
culty of applying the true means, to feel confidence in
the practical bearing of the principles that her husband
had declared, and which she so well knew were true.
" It is easy to theorize," she at length said. " It is
pleasant to the mind to dwell upon true principles, and
see how they apply in real life. But it is a different
matter when we come to bring down these tlieories
ourselves. There is in us so much that hinders â€” self-
love, indolence, pride, and a thousand other things,
come between our good purposes arid their accomplish-
" True. But on the side of good resolutions is One,
who is all "
"Right, my dear husband! â€” Right,'' exclaimed
Anna, interrupting him. " He that is for us is more
than all who are against us. If I can only fix my con-
190 AN^A LEE,
fidence, like an anchor of the soul, upon Him, all the
rough places of peevish nature will be made even.
Light will break in from a dark sky. I shall see
clearly to walk in right paths."
" Ever let us both strive to fix our confidence upon
God," responded Hartley in a low but earnest voice.
" If we do so, we shall not find our duty so hard to
perform as at first sight it may appear to us. We must
keep our minds elevated above all mere worldly and
selfish ends, and seek only the highest good for our off-
" The highest good, â€” Yes, that must be our aim.
But do we agree as to what is the highest good ? "
" An important question, Anna. If we do not agree,
our task will be a diflScult one. What do you call the
highest good 1 "
Anna mused for some time.
" The highest good â€” the highest good â€” " she mur-
mured abstractedly. " Is it wealth 1 â€” Honour ? â€” The
love and praise of men 1 â€” The attainment of all earthly
blessings 1 â€” No â€” no. These can only continue for a
time. This life is a brief season at best^ â€” a mere point
in our being â€” a state of preparation for our real and
true existence. In seeking the highest good of our
child we must seek first the kingdom of God, and his
" If we do not, Anna, our seeking for the good of
our child will be in vain. But, after determining what
THE MOTHER. 191
are the best interests of our child, the next great ques-
tion is, how shall we secure them ? Thousands have
decided as we have, but alas ! how few have been able
to secure the right means. A religious education, I
know to be the only true education. All others must
fail. But what is a religious education 1 It is in the
wrong determination of this question that so many
" Can you determine it, James ? "
" Is it not already determined for us in God's Word]
Religion is heavenly order, and involves in it the true
relation of the creature and the Creator. It is not the
abstract, formal thing of mere outward show that so
many make it ; but a spirit of love ruling the heart,
and of obedience to the divine will influencing every
action of our lives. This we cannot give ; but while
we employ the means with her, we must ask of Him,
who can alone bestow it, the sanctifying seal of the
" Most true ; yet have you determined how we are
to educate our child in such religious principles ] "
" First of all we should, as I have already endeav-
oured to do, impress upon her mind the idea of a God,
and that he loves her, watches over her, and protects
her from harm. This is easily done. No idea is so
readily conveyed to a child's mind as that of the exist-
ence of God as a good being. When I talk to Marion,
young as she is, about God and the angels who live in
192 AXXA LEE,
heaven, she will look me steadily in the eyes, and list^jn
with the most fixed attention. She cannot yet speak
her thoughts, but I know that she more than half com- â€¢
prehends me, and that in her tender and still most
impressible young mind, I am fixing ideas that can
never be eradicated. As she grows older, and her
mind expands, I shall not only teach her to regard the
good of others, but instruct her in the right means of
promoting it. The whole Law and the Prophets hang
upon the precept, ' Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and thy neighbour as thyself.'
Here is the starting point in all religion. With this
fundamental doctrine must all other doctrines square.
To love God is to live according to his commandments ;
and to love our neighbour is to seek his good â€” his
highest good. But it is God, as he was manifested in
the flesh, the divine Redeemer, to whom I desire to
lead our child. He who said, ' Suffer little children to
come unto me, and forbid them not.' Oh ! that I
could do this as I desire."
This was the first serious conversation that had taken
place between Mr. and Mrs. Hartley on the subject of
the education of their child. As their thoughts
THE MOTHER. 103
became more and more steadily directed to the subject,
they saw their duty clearer and clearer. At least such
was the case with Mrs. Hartley, for hers was the task
of making the first impression upon her child's mind â€”
the first and most lasting impression. Upon the train-
ing of the mother depends, almost entirely, the future
character and position of the child. No matter how
wise and good the father may be, his influence will do
but little if opposed to that of an injudicious mother.
Take ten instances where men have risen from humble
stations into eminence, and nine of these at least will
be found the result of a mother's influence. Her love
is a different one ; it is more concentrated â€” and the
more we love an object, the more accurate becomes our
perception of the means of benefitting that object.
The father is usually all absorbed in the pursuit of a
business or profession by which to secure the temporal
good of his family, and has little time, and too often
less inclination, to devote himself to his children.
When he retires into his family, his mind seeks rest
from the over excitements of the day, and he is unpre-
pared to give to his children judicious instruction, or
to administer wise correction. He cannot adopt a
system, and regularly carry it out, because he is with
them only for a short time each day, and cannot know
their characters thoroughly, nor the means that best
re-act upon and keep their evils quiescent. Upon the
mother devolves therefore, of necessity, the high and
194 ^.V^^^ LEE,
important duty of moulding the characters of her chil-
dren â€” of imiDressing them for good or evil â€” of giving
them true strength for their trials in after life.