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Rich Enough a tale of the times   By: (1780-1865)

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And while they were eating and drinking, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon them.

Third Edition.


NEW YORK: SAMUEL COLMAN, No. 114 Fulton Street.


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1837, by WHIPPLE AND DAMRELL, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.


"Welcome," said Mr. Draper, the rich merchant, to his brother, who entered his counting room one fine spring morning. "I am truly glad to see you but what has brought you to the city, at this busy country season, when ploughing and planting are its life and sinews?"

"A motive," said Howard, smiling, "that I am sure will need no apology with you business ! I have acquired a few hundreds, which I wish to invest safely, and I want your advice."

"When you say safely, I presume you mean to include profitably."

"Ay, profitably and safely."

"I am just fitting out a ship for Canton; what do you think of investing the sum in articles of foreign merchandise?"

"I confess," said Howard, "I have great distrust of winds and waves."

"Suppose you invest it in Eastern lands? many have made fortunes in this way."

"I am not seeking to make a fortune," said Howard, quietly; "my object is to secure something for my family in case of accident, and I only want to invest what I do not require for present use in a manner that will bring compound interest. I hope not to be obliged to take up the interest for many years, but to be adding it to the principal, with such sums as I may be able to spare from our daily exertions."

"I perceive, brother," replied Mr. Draper, a little scornfully, "you have not increased in worldly wisdom."

"I have not been much in the way of it," said Howard. "Mine is a still, peaceful life I study the changes of the atmosphere more than the science of worldly wisdom."

"We can get along, however, but poorly without it," replied Mr. Draper; "the harmlessness of the dove is no match for the cunning of the serpent."

"True," said Howard; "but if you mean me by the dove, there is no necessity for my venturing into the nest of serpents. I am well aware that my habits of thinking and modes of life are tame and dull, compared to your projects and success; but we are differently constituted, and while I honor your spirit and enterprise, and do justice to the honest and intelligent business men of your city, I am contented with my own lot, which is that of a farmer, whose object is to earn a competency from his native soil, or, in other words, from ploughing and planting. I have no desire for speculation, no courage for it; neither do I think, with a family like mine, I have a right to risk my property."

"There you are wrong; every body has a right to do as he pleases with his own property."

"To be honest, then," replied Howard, "I have none that I call exclusively my own. Property is given to us for the benefit of others; every man is accountable for his stewardship."

"But can you do better than to double and treble it every year, or, by some fortunate speculation, convert ten thousand dollars into ten times ten thousand?"

"I should say," replied Howard, "if this were a certainty, it would cease to be speculation , and I should feel bound to do it, within honest means. But as the guardian of my family, I feel that I have no right to venture my little capital in a lottery."

"It is lucky all men are not of your mind," said Mr. Draper, rather impatiently, and taking up his pen, which he had laid down; "but really, brother, I am full of engagements, and though I am rejoiced to see you, I must defer further conversation till we meet at dinner; then we shall have time to talk over your affairs; just now, I am wholly engaged."

Near the dinner hour Howard went to his brother's house. It was large, and elegantly furnished, and, what in the city is rather uncommon, surrounded by trees and pleasure grounds, a fine yard in front, and a large garden in the rear... Continue reading book >>

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