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or forgotten, stood by him and his daughter in what he considered their day of adversity.
In her treatment of the domestics, Amy never forgot that we are all equally the children of God. She ever recognized the truth, that the difference between the employer and those whom he employs is adventitious and accidental-imposing mutual duties, but leaving the natural rights of each the same. She felt that the heaviest and most sacred obligation rested upon the most favored party. She thought that he, who pays money for faithful services, always gains what is, in itself, more valuable than what he gives; and that if, in addition, he receives confidence and affection, he has given the perishable for the imperishable treasure, and that the bargain is unfair, unless he returns love for love.
Some will say, “All this is very excellent; these are grand principles, and show that Amy had a just notion of Christianity ; but it does not prove her a perfect housekeeper. Could she make puddings and pies, and did she understand all the arcana of the pantry and larder ? ” Yes ; she could make puddings, and pies, and soups, and sauces, and jams, and jellies, and cakes, and custards, according to the most approved receipts. “Was she punctual at meals ? " asks some dyspeptical gentleman. “ Were
that the dinner would not grow cold, and her husband's temper grow hot, while she finished
Yes; she was sure as the clock, and ever at her post, ready for its summons. “And was she patient with those who were not punctual, - that harder duty ?” asks the nice moralist. In this, too, Amy did not fail. Her cousin Fanny said of her, that she was the only punctual and careful person she had ever known, that she could tolerate. Unlike these pattern folks,” she said, “when another was too late, when another was so unfortunate as to lose any thing, Amy never remarked that she never lost any thing - she never kept people waiting." She thought it was well to be faithful in her attention to these minor duties, but believed that any degree of boasting would diminish, if not efface their merit.
There is one question that perhaps no one will be impertinent enough to ask, which we must therefore put ourselves. Was Amy careful, and neat, and attentive, in her personal appearance? - Self-respect, regard for others, even her religious sensibilities, all combined to urge upon her mind the importance of this duty. She wished that her dress might please others, for she wished to give pleasure in every thing. The human body, this exquisite instrument of knowl
edge and happiness, so cunningly, so wonderfully made — should it not be the object of as much care as we bestow upon some of God's lesser gifts ? Does it not contain a celestial spirit? Some may call it a fanciful enthusiasm ; but Amy felt that since Jesus had consecrated the human form, it should be kept as a holy temple, in which divine excellence had once been enshrined.
We ask pardon of the reader, for giving such a catalogue of Amy's excellences as a wife and a housekeeper ; but she was too modest to speak of them herself, and they could be known fully only to intimate friends and daily visitors. Edward had much improved during his ab
His character was more firm, more decided. There was an open-hearted pleasantry, a Christian cheerfulness, in his manners, that gave them an inexpressible charm. He was so trustful, so frank, so spiritual, so purely happy, that he seemed to animate every one, even the dullest, that he approached. All seemed sunshine where he was.
His business was prosperous; he made some very successful speculations, and again called himself a rich man. Amy was rejoiced at again having money at her command. She fully appreciated the pleasure which all the refined luxuries of life afford; more especially
that purest of all luxuries, of always having her purse well supplied for the needy. Mr. Weston, too, had never been so truly happy. The coldest and the most worldly heart cannot but yield, at last, to the gentle but all-subduing influences of a constant stream of Christian love. His opinions were not changed; his views of happiness could not become elevated; his intellectual and moral eye was too dim to see the true glory, the true beauty of existence; but his heart was softened and improved by the healthful moral atmosphere which pervaded Amy's and Edward's household.
“I observe, my dear," he said to Amy, “ that some of our old friends, among the first class, who forgot us during our fallen fortunes, have again found us out, since Edward has grown rich. It is well enough to have a visiting acquaintance with people of their standing in society; but I can never take as much pleasure in them as I did formerly.”
Had Edward and Amy no faults? Were all their days a bright succession of halcyon hours
— all success, all goodness, all love? No; there is no truth in such pictures. Offences must and do come; temptations are around and within us. There is no point in the scale of Christian perfection, however high, which does not present new and real, though different and more refined, trials. Married life, as an offset to its higher and more exquisite pleasures, does not lessen, but increase these dangers. The mistakes and misunderstandings of every day call forth virtues, and tempt to faults, the importance of which should not be judged of in comparison with grosser neglects of duty, but according to the higher advantages and attaininents of those who commit them. Nothing has been said of Amy's faults; the following incident shows of what nature they were.
“ Amy,” said her husband, one day, “where did you put my journal of my voyage to Can
“ I returned it to you.”
No; I think not; you said you wished to look at it again."
“O, but I am sure that I returned it to you, Edward.”
“I believe that you kept it, Amy.”
“I am so habitually careful about such things that I know I should not have kept it, and then have forgotten it."
“ I still think, my dear, that it is in your possession.”
“I should think, Edward, that when I assert a thing so positively, you would be satisfied that I