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all trusting. You shall help me to subdue the spirit of complaint. You have already put a better heart into me.”
In man's impatience under suffering, is there not something of that sense of superiority which was the origin of the slavish state in which woman has existed for ages, and to which she is still doomed, in many parts of the world ? When exposed to the same trials, do we not often see the woman enduring with an uncomplaining patience, and cheerful courage; while lordly man either submits with a cold and haughty calmness, or fiercely resists and complains, as if his chartered rights were infringed? This gives rise to a fault in woman, which deserves still more to be reprobated; it is that of flattering this weakness in man, and by that means gaining by art that ascendency over him, which he finds so much self-complacency in thinking he possesses over her by nature. In both sexes, it is an unrighteous love of dominion.
Amy equally detested any approach to the character of tyrant or slave. She would neither flatter nor be flattered. It was this noble independence of soul that first attracted Edward ; and, although his self-love was sometimes tried by it, yet did he always love and honor her the more
for her faithful allegiance to his as well as her own principle of action.
After a silence of some minutes, Edward resumed the conversation.
“I know, Amy, that you will have patience with me; but there is something almost intolerable in the state in which I am now placed. Every one appears to me to look differently upon me, since I lost my property, except you; and the only way in which I can win back their regard - the only way in which I can win even you, Amy, is by gaining money. How I hate the very word ! and yet, never before did I so desire the thing."
“ There is another and a far more just view of your case, Edward."
“ What is it, Amy?”
“ Has not your failure discovered to you, as well as to me, that we are bound together by stronger ties than prosperity could have formed ? Do we not suffer together ? Did you not tell my father that you were satisfied ?
“ And I ought to be satisfied. I asked, I wanted, nothing of him but his daughter, when I can maintain her. But this odious money,
“Come! you must not quarrel so with money, at the same time that you say that with it you can possess my hand.
This is not very gallant in you, Edward. I shall expect you to think that money-making is very pleasant work, for my sake. I only wish I could help you, and do something myself; but, on the contrary, here I am doomed to uselessness, because my father is a rich man.
“ You are right, Amy; you are right, and I am all wrong.
You shall not see me so weak again. I will learn to love to make bargains ; accounts, price currents, invoices, shall be dear to me; and all the cheating I see, I will forgive, for
A few days afterwards, Edward informed Amy that he had made a final settlement with his creditors. His affairs had turned out better than he had feared. He had been able to pay seventyfive cents on a dollar, and had received a full release from all further claims. He then told her that he had resolved to accept a very advantageous proposal, which had been made to him, to go to China ; that he might be gone two years, perhaps more ; but that he trusted that he should return with such a fortune as would enable them to be married.
Poor Amy! It was now Edward's turn to teach resignation and hope. He who makes a brave and cheerful sacrifice to duty, always seems
to acquire a new power of endurance supporting energy, that directly transforms him into the comforter of those for whom he devotes himself.
“And it is for me, Edward, that you are leaving your country, your home; it is for me that you are risking your health, your life.” “It is for myself,” replied Edward.
I have no true happiness, till you are my wife. It is for myself; for I have no home, till you are its guardian angel."
When Edward told Mr. Weston of his determination, he expressed his approbation in more decided terms than it was his habit to do. seems,” he said, “to promise well. Some of our first men have made their fortunes in this way. Your engagement to my daughter is unfortunate.”
Poor Edward writhed under the torture of listening to this and a few more remarks of the same sort, and, after a short silence, said, “I sail to-morrow, sir. I hope, if my life is spared, that, on my return, I shall find you well and happy, and, if I should be successful, that you will ” he hesitated “ look upon me with more favorable eyes than you do at present.”
He rose to depart. The world had left a little piece of Mr. Weston's heart unspoiled. He was
touched at the thought of the sacrifice Edward was making at the thought of that if which involves the question of life and death; he remembered his late coldness and neglect; for
once, he forgot the opinion of the world, and, without consulting the wisest and best, he
reached out his hand to Edward, and said, “ God bless you!”
There was little conversation between Edward and Amy, the last evening they passed together. O, those sad words - the last !” With what
leaden weight do the minutes seem to press on our hearts, when their number can be counted before that shall arrive which parts us from one who is dearer to us than life!
We cannot, we dare not, describe the parting between Amy and Edward. Such scenes are too holy for any
but angels to look upon.
Amy's wakeful eye caught the first streak of early dawn, the next morning. If the wind were favorable, the vessel was to sail. We have never understood the full power of the sound of the wind, if we have not heard it at the moment when its invisible wings are bearing the object of an intense love far, far away. It seemed, this morning, as if it breathed on Amy's very soul, as it rose in prayer to God for a blessing on him she loved.