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told his duty to his children; he has always been a most affectionate father."

“A father may be fond and foolish,” said Charles, who was peculiarly English in his mode of giving an opinion. "For my part, I could not kiss my little Mary and Anne when I go to bed at night, if I did not feel I had already formed an accumulating fund for their future support-a support they will need all the more when their parents are taken from them, as they must be in the course of time."

“They must marry,” said Mrs Adams.

“That is a chance," replied Charles; "women hang on hands now-a-days. At all events, by God's blessing, I am resolved that, if they are beauties, they shall never be forced by poverty to accept unworthy matches; if they are plain, they shall have enough to live upon without husbands."

“ That is easy enough for you, Charles,” said the doctor, " who have had your broad acres to support you, and no necessity for expenditure or show of any kind; who might go from Monday morning till Saturday night in home-spun, and never give anything beyond home-brewed and gooseberry wine, with a chance bottle of port to your visitors; while I—Heaven help me—was obliged to dash in a well-appointed equipage, entertain, and appear to be doing a great deal in my profession, when a guinea would pine in solitude for a week together in my pocket.”

“I do not want to talk with you of the past, John,” said Charles ; “our ideas are more likely to agree now than they were ten or twelve years ago; I will speak of the future and present. You are now out of debt, in the very prime of life, and in the receipt of a splendid income; but do not, let me intreat you, spend it as it comes ; lay by something for those children ; provide for them either by insurance, or some of the many means that are open to us all. Do not, my dear brother, be betrayed by health, or the temptation for display, to live up to an income the nature of which is so essentially precarious.”

"Really," murmured Mrs Adams, “you put one into very low spirits."

Charles remained silent, waiting his brother's reply.

“My dear Charles,” he said at last," there is a great deal of truth in what you say-certainly a great deal; but I cannot change my style of living, strange as it may seem. If I did, I should lose my practice. And then I must educate my children ; that is an imperative duty, is it not?"

"Certainly it is; it is a part of the provision I have spoken of, but not the whole a portion only. If you have the means to do both, it is your duty to do both; and you have the means. Nay, my dear sister, do not seem angry or annoyed with me; it is for the sake of your children I speak; it is to prevent their ever knowing practically what we do know theoretically—that the world is a hard world; hard and unfeeling to those who

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need its aid. It is to prevent the possibility of their feeling a reverse.”

Mrs Adams burst into tears, and walked out of the room. Charles was convinced that she would not uphold his opinion.

Certainly,” said John, “I intend to provide for my children; but there is no hurry, and

“ There should be no hesitation in the case,” interrupted Charles ; “ every man intends to provide for his children. God forbid that I should imagine any man to be sufficiently wicked to say, 'I have been the means of bringing this child into existence-I have brought it up in the indulgence of all the luxuries with which I indulged myself; and now I intend to withdraw them all from it, and leave it to fight its own way through the world. No man could look on the face of the innocent child nestling in your bosom and say that; but if you do not appropriate a portion of the means you possess to save that child from the “hereafter,' you act as if you had resolved so to cast it on the wild waters of a turbulent world.”

But, Charles, I intend to do all that you counsel ; no wonder poor Lucy could not bear these words, when I, your own and only brother, find them stern and reproachful; no wonder that such should be the case; of course I intend to provide for my children."

" Then DO IT,” said Charles.

“Why, so I will; but cannot in a moment. I have already said there is no hurry. You must give a little time.”

The time may come, my dear John, when TIME will give you no time. You have been spending over and above your debt-more than, as the father of four children, you have any right to spend.' The duty parents owe their children in this respect has preyed more strongly on my mind than usual, as I have been called on lately to witness its effects——to see its misery. One family at Repton, a family of eight children, has been left entirely without provision, by a man who enjoyed a situation of five hundred a-year in quarterly payments."

"That man is, however, guiltless. What could he save out of five hundred 'a-year? How could he live on less ?” replied the doctor.

“Live upon four, and insure his life for the benefit of those children. Nay,” continued Charles in the vehemence of his feelings, the man who does not provide means of existence for his helpless children, until they are able to provide for themselves, cannot be called a reasonable person; and the legislature ought to oblige such to contribute to a fund to prevent the spread of the worst sort of pauperism—that which comes upon wellborn children from the carelessness or selfishness of their parents. God in his wisdom, and certainly in his mercy, removed the poor broken-hearted widow of the person I alluded to a month after his death



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been mingled with bitterness, followed in a few days. I saw myself seven children crowd round the coffin that was provided by charity ; I saw three taken to the workhouse, and the elder four distributed amongst kind-hearted hard-working people, who are trying to inure the young soft hands, accustomed to silken idleness, to the toils of homely industry. I ask you, John Adams, how the husband of that woman, the father of those children, can meet his God, when it is required of him to give an account of his stewardship ?”

It is very true-very shocking indeed,” observed Dr Adams. "I certainly will do something to secure my wife and children from the possibility of anything like that, although, whatever were to happen to me, I am sure Lucy's family would pre

Charles broke in upon the sentence his brother found it difficult to complete—“ And can you expect distant or even near relatives to perform what you, whose duty it is, neglect ? Or would you leave those dear ones to the bitterness of dependence, when, by the sacrifice or curtailment of those luxurious habits which, if not closely watched, increase in number, and at last become necessaries, you could leave them in comfort and independence? We all hope for the leisure of a deathbed-awful enough, come as it may-awful, even when beyond its gloom we see the risen Sun of Righteousness in all his glory-awful, though our faith be strong in Him who is our strength; but if the consciousness of having neglected those duties which we were sent on earth to perform be with us then, dark, indeed, will be the valley of the Shadow of Death. I do not want, however, to read a homily, my dear brother, but to impress a truth; and I do hope that you will prevent the possibility of these dear children feeling what they must feel, enduring what they must endure, if you passed into another world without performing your duty towards them, and through them to society, in this.”

Mrs Adams met her brother-in-law that day (people five-andtwenty years ago did dine by day) at dinner with an air of offence. She was, of course, lady-like and quiet, but it was evident she was displeased. Everything at table was perfect, according to its kind. There was no guest present who was not superior in wealth and position to the doctor himself, and each was quite aware of the fact. Those who climb boldly, sometimes take a false step, but at all times make dangerous ones. When Charles looked round upon the splendid plate and stylish servants—when the children were ushered in after dinner, and every tongue was loud in praises of their beauty-an involuntary shudder passed through his heart, and he almost accused himself of selfishness, when he was comforted by the remembrance of the provision made for his own little ones, who were as pretty, as well educated, and as happy in their cheerful country The next morning he was on his return to Repton, happy in the assurance his brother had given him before they parted, that he would really lay by a large sum for the regular insurance of his life.


“My dear John," said the doctor's wife," when does the new carriage come home? I thought we were to have had it this week. The old chariot looked so dull to-day, just as you were going out, when Dr Fitzlane's new chocolate-colour passed; certainly that chocolate-coloured carriage, picked out with blue, and those blue liveries, are very, very pretty.”.

Well, Lucy, I think them too gay—the liveries I mean-for an M.D.; quieter colours do best: and as to the new carriage, I had not absolutely ordered it. I don't see why I cannot go on with the jobs; and I almost think I shall do so, and appropriate the money I intended for my own carriage to another purpose.” “What purpose ?”

Why, to effect an insurance on my life. There was a great deal of truth in what Charles said the other day, although he said it coarsely, which is not usual with him; but he felt the subject, and I feel it also ; so I think of, as I said, going quietly on with the jobs—at all events till next year—and devoting this money to the insurance.

It is difficult to believe how any woman, situated as Mrs Adams was, could have objected to a plan so evidently for her advantage and the advantage of her family; but she was one of those who never like to think of the possibility of a reverse of fortune—who thrust care off as long as they can-and who feel more pleasure in being lavish as to the present than in saving for the future.

“I am sure," she answered in the half-petted, half-peevish tone that evinces a weak mind—“I am sure if anything was to happen to you, I would break my heart at once, and my family of course would provide for the children. I could not bear the idea of reaping any advantage by your death; and really the jobs are so very inferior to what they used to be and Dr Leeswor, next door but one, has purchased such a handsome chariot-you have at least twice his practice; and Why, dear John, you never were in such health; there will be no necessity for this painful insurance. And after you have set up your own carriage, you can begin and lay by, and in a few years there will be plenty for the children ; and I shall not have the galling feeling that any living thing would profit by your death. Dear John, pray do not think of this painful insurance; it may do very well for a man like your brother - a man without refinement; but just fancy the mental torture of such a provision !”

Much more Mrs Adams talked ; and the doctor, who loved display, and had no desire to see Dr Leeswor, his particular rival, or even Dr Fitzlane, better appointed than himself, felt strongly inclined towards the new carriage, and thought it would certainly be pleasanter to save than to insure, and resolved to begin immediately after the purchase of his new equipage.

When persons are very prosperous, a few ten or twenty pounds do not much signify, but the principle of careless expenditure is hard to curb.

Various things occurred to put off the doctor's plan of laying by. Mrs Adams had an illness, that rendered a residence abroad necessary for a winter or two. The eldest boy must go to Eton. As their mamma was not at home, the little girls were sent to school. Bad as Mrs Adams's management was, it was better than no management at all. If the doctor had given up his entertainments, his " friends” would have said he was going down in the world, and his patients would have imagined him less skilful; besides, notwithstanding his increased expenditure, he found he had ample means, not to lay by, but to spend on without debt or difficulty. Sometimes his promise to his brother would cross his mind, but it was soon dispelled by what he had led himself to believe was the impossibility of attending to it then. When Mrs Adams returned, she complained that the children were too much for her nerves and strength, and her husband's tenderness induced him to yield his favourite plan of bringing up his girls under his own roof. In process of time two little ones were added to the four, and still his means kept pace with his expenses; in short, for ten years he was a favourite with the class of persons who render favouritism fortune. It is impossible, within the compass of a tale, to trace the minutiæ of the brothers' history: the children of both were handsome, intelligent, and, in the world's opinion, well educated. John's eldest daughter was one amongst a thousand for beauty of mind and person; hers was no glaring display of figure or information. She was gentle, tender, and affectionate; of a disposition sensitive, and attuned to all those rare virtues in her sphere which form at once the treasures of domestic life and the ornaments of society. She it was who soothed the nervous irritability of her mother's sick chamber and perpetual peevishness, and graced her father's drawing-room by a presence that was attractive to both old and young, from its sweetness and unpretending modesty; her two younger sisters called forth all her tenderness, from the extreme delicacy of their health ; but her brothers were even greater objects of solicitude-handsome, spirited lads—the eldest waiting for a situation, promised, but not given ; the second also waiting for a cadetship; while the youngest was still at Eton. These three young men thought it incumbent on them to evince their belief in their father's prosperity by their expenditure, and accordingly they spent much more than the sons of a professional man ought to spend under any circumstances. Of all waitings, the waiting upon patronage is the most tedious and the most

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