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Heart-Histories and Life-Pictures   By: (1809-1885)

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First Page:

HEART HISTORIES AND LIFE PICTURES.

BY

T. S. ARTHUR.

NEW YORK:

1853.

INTRODUCTION.

So interested are we all in our every day pursuits; so given up, body and mind, to the attainment of our own ends; so absorbed by our own hopes, joys, fears and disappointments, that we think rarely, if at all, of the heart histories of others of the bright and sombre life pictures their eyes may look upon. And yet, every heart has its history: how sad and painful many of these histories are, let the dreamy eyes, the sober faces, the subdued, often mournful tones, of many that daily cross our paths, testify. An occasional remembrance of these things will cause a more kindly feeling towards others; and this will do us good, in withdrawing our minds from too exclusive thoughts of self.

Whatever tends to awaken our sympathies towards others, to interest us in humanity, is, therefore, an individual benefit as well as a common good. In all that we have written, we have endeavored to create this sympathy and awaken this interest; and so direct has ever been our purpose, that we have given less thought to those elegancies of style on which a literary reputation is often founded, than to the truthfulness of our many life pictures. In the preparation of this volume, the same end has been kept in view, and its chief merit will be found, we trust, in its power to do good.

T. S. A.

PHILADELPHIA, December, 1852.

CONTENTS.

THE BOOK OF MEMORY, THE BRILLIANT AND THE COMMON PLACE, JENNY LAWSON, SHADOWS, THE THANKLESS OFFICE, GOING TO THE SPRINGS, THE WIFE, NOT GREAT BUT HAPPY, THE MARRIED SISTERS, GOOD HEARTED PEOPLE, SLOW AND SURE, THE SCHOOL GIRL, UNREDEEMED PLEDGES, DON'T MENTION IT, THE HEIRESS,

THE BOOK OF MEMORY.

CHAPTER I.

"THERE is a book of record in your mind, Edwin," said an old man to his young friend, "a book of record, in which every act of your life is noted down. Each morning a blank page is turned, on which the day's history is written in lines that cannot be effaced. This book of record is your memory; and, according to what it bears, will your future life be happy or miserable. An act done, is done forever; for, the time in which it is done, in passing, passes to return no more. The history is written and sealed up. Nothing can ever blot it out. You may repent of evil, and put away the purpose of evil from your heart; but you cannot, by any repentance, bring back the time that is gone, nor alter the writing on the page of memory. Ah! my young friend, if I could only erase some pages in the book of my memory, that almost daily open themselves before the eyes of my mind, how thankful I would be! But this I cannot do. There are acts of my life for which repentance only avails as a process of purification and preparation for a better state in the future; it in no way repairs wrong done to others. Keep the pages of your memory free from blots, Edwin. Guard the hand writing there as you value your best and highest interests!"

Edwin Florence listened, but only half comprehended what was said by his aged friend. An hour afterwards he was sitting by the side of a maiden, her hand in his, and her eyes looking tenderly upon his face. She was not beautiful in the sense that the world regards beauty. Yet, no one could be with her an hour without perceiving the higher and truer beauty of a pure and lovely spirit. It was this real beauty of character which had attracted Edwin Florence; and the young girl's heart had gone forth to meet the tender of affection with an impulse of gladness.

"You love me, Edith?" said Edwin, in a low voice, as he bent nearer, and touched her pure forehead with his lips.

"As my life," replied the maiden, and her eyes were full of love as she spoke.

Again the young man kissed her.

In low voices, leaning towards each other until the breath of each was warm on the other's cheek, they sat conversing for a long time. Then they separated; and both were happy. How sweet were the maiden's dreams that night, for, in every picture that wandering fancy drew, was the image of her lover!

Daily thus they met for a long time... Continue reading book >>




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