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fully wheedled out of the smaller boys the sixpences given them for spending money. I can not say that he is absolutely dishonest, - that is, I do not know that he would actually steal,
but his meanness amounts to the same thing, — he borrows without expecting to pay. Debts, to a considerable amount, he has contracted in the village, which I have no doubt you will settle as soon as possible. For my own payment I can wait your convenience.
Joseph will doubtless tell you that he has done nothing unworthy of a gentleman, for I understand that is his chief aim;-he prides himself upon being a gentleman.
I must advise you, madam, not to send your son to college. I understand he expected to enter the Sophomore Class. It would be useless for him to make the attempt.
With great respect, dear Madam, yours, &c.
It would be impossible to describe the sorrow that settled deep into the heart of that widowed mother, the grief and mortification of those loving sisters.
Mrs. Brandon was unable to leave her room during the day. Susan and Fanny were obliged to attend to all the household affairs.
“Pug, it is a shame for you to work so hard,” said Joe, picking his teeth after a late breakfast, and throwing himself back in his chair with the air of a prince ; “you' will make
hands tough as leather.”
"I do not work half as hard as our dear mother does,” was the reply.
“ Her hands are old and tough already, it wont vulgarize her as it will you and Fanny. Why does she not have help ?"
“ Because Mr. Joseph Brandon must be liberally educated,” replied Susan with some bitter- She has toiled day and night for you,
and what is her reward? She will be obliged to sell this, our dear home, to pay your debts, — cruel boy that you are.”
" Go it, Xantippe," said Joe, “your tongue is a glib one; mother need not pay the few hundreds that I owe, I will pay them myself one of these days. By the way Pug, how do you like this cashmere vest? It is the very pattern that Dickens wore in this country, and he wore it because it was a favorite with D'Orsay.”
6 And who is he?"
“ You never heard of the famous Count D'Orsay, the immortal D'Orsay.”
6 Never. Was he one of Napoleon's generals ? asked Susan.
“ That is a good one! No, indeed! he is commander-in-chief of the world of fashion ; have you never heard of the D'Orsay hat, the D'Orsay tie, and a million of other things invented by him ? you really are vulgariously ignorant."
“ Is it possible that any man can have so poor, so mean an ambition, as to wish to be distinguished in this way?
asked Susan. “ It is a glorious distinction! I had rather be a leader in the empire of fashion than to be auto crat of the Russias.”
“ Or to be a Howard, or a Franklin, a Wilberforce, or a Washington. O Joseph, I had hoped that if you were not a distinguished man you would at least have become a respectable one,” said Susan with a sigh.
“ Nonsense : there is nothing I hate like a respectable man; it is nothing but sleek, clear vulgarity.”
“I am sorry to see my only brother such a simpleton. Do you expect to gain your living by letting yourself out in place of a wax-figure at a barber's or a tailor's. As far as I can see, it
is all you are fit for. How much more respectable you
would be as a barber or a tailor." “Me! What, cut me down to a ninth of a man! You are actually murderous.”
“ It would be an immense elevation for you, Joe, for now you are absolutely good for nothing, not the ninety-ninth part of a man, for,
“ Worth makes the man, the want of it the fellow."
Pug, I am shocked at your want of refinement. That line and its fellow have been the rounds of the copy-books these forty years. It has long been excluded from genteel society."
“ In fact, I fear it has. It is not the less true for all that.'
" I do n't know what mother thinks of herself to let two great girls grow up in entire ignorance of every thing that is genteel and fashionable. I must go out among these barbarians in your petty village, and astonish the natives."
So saying, Joe went to the glass, admired his gay vest, put his hat carefully upon his head, that he might not disarrange his beautiful hair. His cane, too, he took that; and then he looked at himself again, smoothed down the brilliant cashmere, drew on his delicate gloves, admired the set of his coat, — it was a perfect fit, — and he did look like a gentleman in his own estimation, but in his heart of hearts he knew that he was a mean fellow."