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|True Riches||T.S. Arthur|
|Page 2 of 6||
"And yet, is it not worth a passing thought? Mr. and Mrs. Casswell are rich--we are poor. Which do you think the happiest?"
"Oh, we are happiest, a thousand times," said Edward warmly. "I would not exchange places with him, were he worth a million for every thousand."
"Nor I with his wife," returned Edith. "So money, in their case, does not give happiness. Now look at William Everhart and his wife. When we were married they occupied two rooms, at a low rent, as we now do. Their income was just what ours has been. Well, they enjoyed life. We visited them frequently, and they often called to see us. But for a little ambition on the part of both to make some show, they would have possessed a large share of that inestimable blessing, contentment. After a while, William's salary was raised to one thousand dollars. Then they must have a whole house to themselves, as if their two nice rooms were not as large and comfortable, and as well suited to their real wants as before. They must, also, have showy furniture for their friends to look at. Were they any happier for this change?--for this marked improvement in their external condition? We have talked this over before, Edward. No, they were not. In fact, they were not so comfortable. With added means had come a whole train of clamorous wants, that even the doubled salary could not supply."
"Everhart gets fifteen hundred a year, now," remarked Claire.
"That will account, then," said Edith, smiling, "for Emma's unsettled state of mind when I last saw her. New wants have been created; and they have disturbed the former tranquillity."
"All are not so foolish as they have been. I think we might bear an increased income without the drawbacks that have attended theirs."
"If it had been best for us, my husband, God would have provided it. It is in his loving-kindness that he has opened the way so opportunely for you to leave the path of doubt and danger for one of confidence and safety; and, in doing it, he has really increased your salary."
"Increased it, Edith! Why do you say that?"
"Will we not be happier for the change?" asked Edith, smiling.
"I believe so."
"Then, surely, the salary is increased by so much of heartfelt pleasure. Why do you desire an increase rather than a diminution of income?"
"In order to procure more of the comforts of life," was answered.
"Comfort for the body, and satisfaction for the mind?"
"Could our bodies really enjoy more than they now enjoy? They are warmly clothed, fully fed, and are in good health. Is it not so?"
"Then, if by taking Mr. Melleville's offer, you lose nothing for the body, and gain largely for the mind, is not your income increased?"
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