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|True Riches||T.S. Arthur|
|Page 4 of 6||
"The right way," said Edith, after she had to some extent repressed the glad pulses that leaped to her husband's loving words, "is not always the way in which we most desire to walk. Thorns, sometimes, are at its entrance. But it grows pleasanter afterward."
"If we can find the right way, Edith, we will walk in it because it is the right way."
"And we will surely find it if we seek in this spirit," returned the wife.
"What, then, had we best do?" asked Claire, his thought turning earnestly to the subject under consideration.
"What will be best for Fanny? That should be our first consideration," said his wife. "Will it be best for her to remain with us, or to go into Mr. Jasper's family?"
"That is certainly a grave question," returned Claire, seriously, "and must be viewed in many aspects. Mr. Jasper's place in the world is far different from mine. He is a wealthy merchant; I am a poor clerk. If she goes into his family, she will have advantages not to be found with us--advantages of education, society, and position in life. To keep her with us will debar her from all these. Taking this view of the case, Edith, I don't know that we have any right to keep her longer, particularly as Mr. Jasper has signified to us, distinctly, his wish, as her guardian, to take her into his own family, and superintend her education."
Edith bent her head, thoughtfully, for some moments. She then said--
"Do you believe that Mr. Jasper gave the true reason for wishing to have Fanny?"
"That he might superintend her education?"
"No, Edith, I do not. I believe a selfish motive alone influenced him."
"You have good reasons for so thinking?"
"The best of reasons. I need not repeat them; they are as familiar to you as they are to me."
"Do you believe that, under his superintendence, she will receive a better education than under ours?"
"She will, undoubtedly, Edith, if remaining with us she fails to bring the means of education. We are poor, Edith, and the claims of our own children--bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh--must not be forgotten."
A quick change passed over Edith. Her countenance became troubled. The difficulties in the way of retaining the child were suddenly magnified to her thoughts. Ah! how painfully did she feel that often the first steps in the way of duty are among thorns.
"Can we be just to Fanny and just also to our own children?" asked Claire.
"If we still received the old sum for her maintenance, we could. I would not ask its increase to the amount of a single dollar."
"Nor I, Edith. Were we certain of having this continued, there would be no doubt."
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