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A loving woman finds heaven or hell

On the day she is made a bride.
I require all things that are grand and true,

All things that a man should be;
If you give this all, I would stake my life

To be all you demand of me.
If you cannot do this—a laundress and cook

You can hire, with little to pay;
But a woman's heart and a woman's life

Are not to be won that way.

You say I have asked for the costliest thing

Ever made by the Hand above-
A woman's heart and a woman's life,

And a woman's wonderful love.
That I have written your duty out,

And, man-like, have questioned free,-
You deinand that I stand at the bar of your soul,

While you in turn question me.
And when I ask you to be my wife,

The head of my house and home,
Whose path I would scatter with sunshine through life,

Thy shield when sorrow shall come-
You reply with disdain and a curl of the lip,

And point to my coat's missing button,
And haughtily ask if I want a cook,

To serve up my beef and my mutton. 'Tis a king that you look for. Well, I am not he,

But only a plain, earnest man, Whose feet often shun the hard path they should tread,

Often shrink from the gulf they should span. 'Tis hard to believe that the rose will fade

From the check so full, so fair
Twere harder to think that a heart proud and cold

Was ever reflected there.
True, the rose will face, and the leaves will fall,

And the Autumn of life will come;
But the heart that I give thee will be true as in May,

Should I make it thy shelter, thy home.
Thou requir’st“ all things that are good and true;

All things that a man should be ;"
Ah! lady, my truth, in return, doubt not,

For the rest, I leave it to thee.


“My dear Rootle,” says my wife to me, one day, “our kitchen needs painting.” “Does it, my duck?" I replied, blandly but firmly. “Well, it must want it; for I assure you Hester Rootle, that the accruing ‘spons' do not warrant the outlay at present." I saw that she was unhappy, and knew that she would not relinquish her point. “ William Henry," said she, a few days thereafter, “I have thought of an expedient by which we can have our kitchen painted.” Her face lighted up as she spoke. She is a woman for expedients, is Mrs. Rootle. “You can do it yourself!” continued she, touching me with the point of her fore-finger in the region of my fourth vest button. “A pound saved,” said she, still further,“ is as good as a pound earned, you know.” I looked with admiration on that wonderful specimen of her sex as she said this, and "allowed” (as western people say) to myself that, as an economist, she had no peer. And well I might allow it; for at the very moment were her shoulders covered by a sort of monkey-jacket made of one of my wornont coats, and a pair of galligaskins had assumed the form of a basque, and were worn by a juvenile Rootle. “Your suggestion," says I to my wife, “is a good one; and to-morrow shall develop a new phase in my character. I will turn artist, and give the world evidence of a talent that needed but the Promethean spark of necessity to draw it out. I will procure pots and brushes, and Michael Angelo, Raphael, Salvator Rosa, and Claude Lorraine shall yield the palm to Rootle.” Hester was delighted. “Mr. Rootle,” wife in the night, as I was about settling into my solid nap, "you'd better make it pale green.” “Do what?” said I, starting up, forgetting all about the painting. “The paint,” replied she. I am afraid that I used some expression of spleen that was unworthy of me. I turned over to try to sleep again. “Mr. Rootle,” said my wife, “Don't you think the window-sills would look better some other color?” "Any color you please, my dear,” said I; “but let us dismiss the subject from present discussion, as this is no place for a brush." I carried my point, as she had her paint, and I was

» said my

allowed to sleep. But I was all night dreaming of my undertaking. No roseate hues mingled with my sleeping fancies, fraught with the odors of celestial bowers; but paintpots were piled in pyramids about me-brush-handles, like boarding pil I encountered everywhere, and a villainous smell of raw paint almost suffocated me. I was up with the lark, and after breakfast went down to Chrome, the painter's, to procure my paint. That eminent professor of art mixed me two pots of the right article, of hues that were of a satisfactory shade, and I went home with anticipations of the most exalted character. “William Henry," said my wife, "you have dreadfully daubed your light trousers with the paint-strange that you

should be so careless.” Sure enough, on both sides I had bestowed impartial donations of the adhering color. The trousers were new, and I had congratulated myself on their being a wonderful fit. This was a discouragement. “William Henry,” said my wife, “ you'd better put on an old pair." I have always boasted of my ability to compete with anybody in the particular property known as old clothes. I knew that the decayed fashion of many years hung by their allotted pegs in the closet which had been facetiously denominated “the wardrobe," and hastened to procure the garment desired. In the name of all the tribes of Israel, where were the bifurcated teguments that for years had met my view? The pegs were bare ; and my first impression was, that they had taken to their own lege and walked away. “Hester," said I to my wife, on the top of the stairs, and at the top of my lungs, “where are thethe-garments?" I heard her say something about“ sold,” and concluded that she was trying some little trick upon me, as wives sometimes will, and was adopting the formula so much in vogue for expressing it. She came up stairs. “William Henry,” said she, “I declare I sold all of your old clothes only yesterday, for a beautiful pair of vases and some tin ware." I looked at her earnestly; but the evident calmness that prevailed in her own breast softened and subdued the violence in mine. “You'd better put on this," said she, holding up an article of female apparel, the name of wluch I disremember, but which, when secured to my waist, as I rocollect, fell to my feet. She smiled as she placed it in any hand, and I put it on. "Hester,” said I to my wife,“ why am I thus accoutred, liable to be more extravagant than ever?” She said she didn't know. “Because,” said I triumphantly, “I am bound to waist !” She pretended not to see the reason; and I did not explain, but went to work. “Now shall you see, wife of my soul,” said I, “such work as you can find alone in the Vatican at Rome, or the Louvre at Paris, should you feel inclined to seek it. Here before this door I take my stand, and here I commence. You shall see." “ William Henry,” said my wife,“ don't drip it over the floor.” “Never fear,” said I, dipping in the brush, and sopping it up against the side in the most approved form. My first aim was at the upper part of the door-a paneled door-and I applied the brush vigorously. “Hester,” said I to my wife, “ as the morning is rather cold, shouldn't you think it well to put on two coats ?” She took the pleasantry as an unkind reflection on the disposition made of the old clothes, and didn't say anything. I worked away on that door severely, but I found, before I had half done it, a weariness in the wrist; and a cold sensation up my sleeve attracting my attention, revealed the fact that a stream of paint was stealing along the handle of the brush, up my arm. I laid down the implement, and went to procure something with which to wipe the paint off. “Mr. Rootle,” screamed my wife, “look at the baby." I looked, as she held that young prodigy up to view, and was much shocked. The baby had crawled to the paint-pot, and had immersed his two hands to the elbows. Not content with this, he had laid his hands on the brush, and, when Hester saw him, he was engaged in an insane effort to get it into his mouth. The precocity of that child is most wonderful. The paint was washed off, and I commenced again. “Now," said my wife, when I had been working about two hours, with my hands cramped, my wrists and back aching, my eyes full of paint, and my face tattooed by the same like a New Zealander, “are you 'most done?” The “No” that I returned, I fear was not pleasant. All that forenoon I worked at that terrible task, and at about dinner time I saw it accomplished. “Hester,” said I,“the work is completed; come and look, and admire.” She came at my request, and I noticed a mischievous twinkle in her eye as she looked. “Why, William Henry,” said she, you've put more paint on the paper and carpet than you have anywhere else.” Her criticism seemed unkind; but I looked where she had directed, and round the doors and window-frames were rays of paint like the surroundings of islands on a map, and below were large blotches of paint upon the carpet, that had assumed geometrical forms enough to have puzzled the judgment of a professor. “I confess, my dear, that in this particular I have been a little slovenly; but look at that work.” “Mr. Rootle," said my wife, “if there's no better painting in what's-its-name at Rome, I don't care about seeing it.” The door-bell here rang, and “accoutred as I was,” without thinking of it, I rushed to see who had come, and met a whole bevy of ladies, and suffered the severe mortification of a sensitive cature under such circumstances. I here sum up the whole :


£1 0 0 Time and labor spent in paint

Trousers spoilt in ditto
Spoiling carpet
Daubing walls





£0 12 0 112 0 0 80 018 0 1 0 0 2 0 0

To balance

5 10 0

[blocks in formation]

I throw in the dangerous experiment of the baby and the injury to health, both of which, could they be estimated by numbers, would swell the amount to an alarming figure. I came solemnly to the conclusion that it would have been better to have paid a proper person to have done the work in a proper manner. Don't you think so yourself?


My fairest child, I have no song to give you,

No lark could pipe to skies so dull and grey,
Yet, ere we part, one lesson I can leave you

For every day.
Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever;

Do noble things, not dream them all day long;
And so make life, death, and that vast forever,

One grand, sweet song.

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