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more unlike in their temper than Oliver and Blanche. He was all fire, and she was all gentle
He was courageous and affectionate, but high-tempered. When he had any project in his head, he was earnest and impatient till it was accomplished. If any thing crossed him, he was too apt to fly into a passion, even with his little sister; but, when the storm was over, he was sorry for what he had done, and ready to ask forgiveness, which was always granted with a smile and a kiss. Blanche was timid and childish, but full of gaiety and affection. When her brother was angry,
she only smiled. When he tore his clothes in his rage, she took out her thread and needle and mended them, singing and laughing all the while. She was wiser than he, though she was younger, and he often felt sorry for having offended her, and for not following her advice.
Several years passed away, and brought with them changes in the condition of Oliver and Blanche; but there was the same difference in their temper. Their parents had formerly been very poor, but now they began to have a little property, which they had earned by trade. Oliver was a stout boy, and went to the academy in their native town. He was a good scholar, and generally behaved himself well, but he was still a passionate fellow, and sometimes got into quarrels and even fights with his schoolmates.
On these occasions, his sister Blanche, who had now become a miss in her teens, was as affectionate and as goodhumoured an adviser, as when they were little children. She smoothed down the rough points of his temper, and laughed him out of his whims, and comforted him under his disappointments.
The summer holidays were approaching, and Oliver was very busy in preparing for his examination. A prize was to be given to the best scholar in the academy, and it was the wish of Oliver and his friends that he might be the favoured person. No one desired this more than Blanche, and she used all the means in her power to make her brother study diligently. But she had more fears about it than he. For she observed that he went to his books by fits and starts, and she knew that his exercise-book was blotted and torn, and she remembered that, at the beginning of the year, he had been much more zealous about his fishing-lines than his grammar and dictionary. At last the disappointment came, and broke like a thunder-cloud over their heads. Blanche sat under the large willow tree in the garden waiting for her brother's return. Her heart beat when she saw him turn the corner. He walked very fast, his face was flushed, and his eyes seemed as if they would start from his head.
“I am afraid you have not got the prize," said Blanche.
“ No !” cried he, throwing himself on the grass with violent motions of his arms and fists; “No! they have cheated me, and given it to Tom Hall ! This is the way they are always serving me; and I know the master hates me, and Tom Hall is his favourite, and all the boys know how partial he is to him, and I will let every body know it, and never go to his school any more.” He was swelling with rage and disappointment, so he stretched himself under the tree, and burst into tears. Blanche wept, too, but sat down by him, and wiped the tears from his cheeks, and smoothed his face with her hands. “Never mind, Oliver,” said she, “ it is only a bubble;" and, saying this, she smiled through her tears. Oliver remembered the occurrence of their childhood, and her remark on that occasion. After a little while, he perceived that it was just as applicable to the present case, and he rose and washed away the marks of sorrow from his face, and thanked his sister for her good advice. It would be well for older persons, if they could learn in time that worldly honour, fame and glory are only very large bubbles, of many gaudy hues, which last but an instant, and vanish before they can be grasped.
Let the reader imagine several more years to have elapsed. Oliver is now a young gentleman of education, expecting in due time to have a large fortune from the avails of his father's merchandise. Blanche is a young lady of beauty and accomplishment. Yet, though both are greatly altered in various respects, there are some in which they are the Blanche and Oliver of former days. It is true Oliver is less heady, and Blanche less timid than they were fifteen years ago; but Oliver still chases his bubble with eagerness, and Blanche is still easily moved to laughter and to tears. The one is still fiery and impatient, and the other gay and contented.
The brother and sister had just returned from a ride along the river-bank, when the servant, who came to take their horses, put a letter into the hands of Oliver. He hastily broke the seal, and turned deadly pale. Blanche seized the paper, and read in the first sentence that their father was a bankrupt. They hastened to their respective apartments, almost stupified with grief. It was some hours before they could meet one another. When they did, both wept profusely. But Oliver's tears were hot and angry, while Blanche soon became placid and resigned.
“Who would be a beggar ?” said Oliver.
“Our circumstances have indeed changed, my brother, but let us resign ourselves to the will of Providence. Thousands are happy who are no richer than we are. Our fortune is gone, but what then ? It is only a bubble.”
Oliver did not smile, but he felt instructed. “Yes, my dear sister,” said he; “it is true, wealth is a bubble. I thought I should have been better prepared for this stroke, but my hopes havo been too sanguine, and I have the stunned feeling of one who has fallen from a great height. My philosophy has failed me.”
“ There is something better than philosophy, and that is Scripture:-“A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. Luke xii. 15. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle towards heaven. Prov. xxiii. 5. Be content with