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True Riches T.S. Arthur

Chapter VII

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But Edward did hesitate. This unexpected offer of so important an increase in his salary had excited his love of money, temporarily quiescent. He saw in such an increase a great temporal good; and this obscured his perception of a higher good, which, a little while before, had been so clear.

"I am not so sure, Edith," said he, "that all these sad consequences are necessarily involved. I am under no obligation to deal unfairly with his customers. My duty will be done, when I sell to them all I can at a fair profit. If he choose to take an excess of profit in his own dealing, that is his affair. I need not be partaker in his guilt."

"Edward!" returned his wife, laying her hand upon his arm, and speaking in a low, impressive voice--"Do you really believe that you can give satisfaction to Mr. Jasper in all things, and yet keep your conscience void of offence before God and man? Think of his character and requirements--think of the kind of service you have, in too many instances, rendered him--and then say whether it will be possible to satisfy him without putting in jeopardy all that a man should hold dear--all that is worth living for? Oh, Edward! do not let this offer blind you for a moment to the real truth."

"Then you would have me reject the offer?"

"Without an instant's hesitation, Edward."

"It is a tempting one. And then, look at the other side, Edith. Only four hundred dollars a year, instead of six hundred and fifty."

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"I feel it as no temptation. The latter sum, in the present case, is by far the better salary, for it will give us higher sources of enjoyment. What are millions of dollars, and a disquiet mind, compared to a few hundreds, and sweet peace? If you remain with Jasper, an unhappy spirit will surely steal into our dwelling--if you take, for the present, your old place with Mr. Melleville, how brightly will each morning's sun shine in upon us, and how calmly will the blessed evening draw around her curtains of repose!"

Edith had always possessed great influence over her husband. He loved her very tenderly; and was ever loth to do any thing to which she made opposition. She was no creature of mere impulse--of weak caprices--of captious, yet unbending will. If she opposed her husband in any thing, it was on the ground of its non-agreement with just principles; and she always sustained her positions with the clearest and most direct modes of argumentation. Not with elaborate reasonings, but rather in the declaration of things self-evident--the quick perceptions of a pure, truth-loving mind. How inestimable the blessing of such a wife!

"No doubt you have the better reason on your side, Edith," replied her husband, his manner very much subdued. "But it is difficult for me to unclasp my hand to let fall therefrom the natural good which I can see and estimate, for the seemingly unreal and unsubstantial good that, to your purer vision, looms up so imposingly."

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True Riches
T.S. Arthur

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