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|True Riches||T.S. Arthur|
|Page 2 of 4||
"At what salary?"
"Is that all? How much family have you?"
"Three children; or, I might say four; but the fourth brings us three hundred dollars a year for her maintenance."
"That is something."
"Oh yes. It is quite a help."
"By the way, Edward--the new store we just past reminds me of it--your old friend Jasper has just given one of his clerks, named Parker, an interest in his business."
"So I am aware."
"Jasper is doing first-rate."
"He is making money, I believe."
"Coining it. The fact is, Edward, you never should have left him. Had you kept that situation, you would have been the partner now. And, by the way, there was rather a strange story afloat at the time you took it into your head to leave Jasper."
"Ah! what was it?"
"It is said that you thought him a little too close in his dealings, and left him on that account. I hadn't given you credit for quite so tender a conscience. How was it, Edward?"
"I didn't like his modes of doing business, and, therefore, left him. So far you heard truly."
"But what had you to do with his modes of doing business?"
"A great deal. As one of his employees, I was expected to carry out his views."
"And not being willing to do that, you left his service."
"That is the simple story."
"Excuse me, Edward, but I can't help calling you a great fool. Just see how you have stood in your own light. But for this extra bit of virtue, for which no one thinks a whit the better of you, you might this day have been on the road to fortune, instead of Parker."
"I would rather be in my own position than in his," replied Claire firmly.
"You would!" His companion evinced surprise. "He is in the sure road to wealth."
"But not, I fear, in the way to happiness."
"How can you say that, Edward?"
"No man, who, in the eager pursuit of money, so far forgets the rights of others as to trample on them, can be in the way to happiness."
"Then you think he tramples on the rights of others?"
"I know but little, if any thing, about him," replied Claire; "but this I do know, that unless Leonard Jasper be a different man from what he was five years ago, fair dealing between man and man is a virtue in a clerk that would in nowise recommend him to the position of an associate in business. His partner must be shrewd, sharp, and unscrupulous--a lover of money above every thing else--a man determined to rise, no matter who is trampled down or destroyed in the ascent."
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