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pose to give up one. Now, if you choose to take the boys' school off my hand:*, I will make over my entire interest in it to you. Perhaps you may know the character the school sustains. We have, as pupils, sons of the Honorable Henry Clay, William Wirt, Southard, and other eminent men. The income amounts to something like eight hundred a year. You can go in next Monday, if you like."
Thus suddenly the door, so long mysteriously closed, flew open wide, " on golden hinges turning." What Salmon saw within waa heaven. He was dazzled. He was almost stunned with happiness. His lips quivered, his voice failed him as he spoke.
"Mr. Plumley, this is — you are — too kind!"
The young man was regaining possession of himself. He grasped the other's hand.
"You do not know what this is to me, .Sirl You cannot know from what you have saved me! Providence has surely cent you to me I I cannot thank you now; but some day — perhaps — it may be in my power to do you a service."
He was not the only one happy. Mr. Plnmley felt the sweetness of doing a kind action for one who was truly worthy and grateful. From that moment they were friends. Salmon engaged to see him again, and make arrangements for entering the school the next Monday; and they parted.
His benefactor gone, Salmon hastened to tell the good news to Mrs. Markham.
But he could not remain in the house. His joy was too great to be.ttus confined. Again he went out, — but how different now the world looked to his eyes! He had not observed before that it was such a lovely spring day. The sky overhead was of heaven's deepest hue. The pure, sweet air was like the elixir of life. The hills were wondrously beautiful, all about the city; and it seemed, that, whichever way he turned, there were birds singing in sympathy with his joy. The Potomac, stretching away with soft and misty glimmer between its hazy banks, was like the river of some exquisite dream.
It was no selfish happiness he felt. He thought of his mother and sisters at home, — of all those to whom he was indebted; and in the lightness of his spirit, after its heavy burden had been taken away, he lifted up his heart in thanksgiving to the Giver of all blessings.
The school, transferred to his charge, continued successful; and it opened the way to successes of greater magnitude. Through all his subsequent career he looked back to this as the beginning; and he ever retained for Mr. Plumley the feeling we cherish for one whom we regard as a Heaven-appointed agent of some great benefaction. Were it not for trenching upon ground too private and personal, we might here complete the romance, by relating how the young man's vaguely uttered presentiment, that he might some day render him a service, was, long afterwards, touchingly realized. But enough. All we promised ourselves at the start was a glance at the Secretary's first visit to Washington.
HOUSE AND HOME PAPERS.
BY CHRISTOPHER CROWFIBLD.
Talking to you in this way once a month, O my confidential reader, there seems to be danger, as in all intervals of friendship, that we shall not readily be able to take up our strain of conversation just where we left off. Suffer me, therefore, to remind you that the month past left us seated at the fireside, just as we had finished reading of what a home was, and how to make one.
The fire had burned low, and great, solid hickory coals were winking dreamily at us from out their fluffy coats of white ashes,—just as if some household sprite there were opening now one eye and then the other, and looking in a sleepy, comfortable way at us.
The close of my piece, about the good house-mother, had seemed to tell on my little audience. Marianne had nestled close to her mother, and laid her head on her knee; and though Jennie sat up straight as a pin, yet her over-busy knitting was dropped in her lap, and I saw the glint of a tear in her quick, sparkling eye, — yes, actually a little bright bead fell upon her work ; whereupon she started up actively, and declared that the fire wanted just one more stick to make a blaze before bedtime; and then there was such a raking among the coals, such an adjusting of the andirons, such vigorous arrangement of the wood, and such a brisk whisking of the hearth-brush, that it was evident Jennie had something ou her mind.
When all was done, she sat down again and looked straight into the blaze, which went dancing and crackling up, casting glances and flecks of light on our pictures and books, and making all the old, familiar furniture seem full of life and motion.
"I think that's a good piece," she said, decisively. "I think those are things that should be thought about."
Now Jennie was the youngest of our flock, and therefore, in a certain way, regarded by my wife and me as perennially "the baby "; and these little, oldfashioned, decisive ways of announcing her opinions seemed so much a part of her nature, so peculiarly " Jennyish," as I used to say, that my wife and I only exchanged amused glances over her head, when they occurred.
In a general way, Jennie, standing in the full orb of her feminine instincts like Diana in the moon, rather looked down on all masculine views of women's matters as "tolerabU.es ineptice "; but towards her papa she had gracious turns of being patronizing to the last degree; and one of these turns was evidently at its flood-tide, as she proceeded to say, —
"/ think papa is right, — that keeping house and having a home, and all that, is a very serious thing, and that people go into it with very little thought about it. I really think those things papa has been saying there ought to be thought about."
"Papa," said Marianne, "I wish you would tell me exactly how you would spend that money you gave me for housefurnishing. I should like just your views."
"Precisely," said Jennie, with eagerness; "because it is just as papa says— a sensible man, who has thought, and had experience, can't help having some ideas, even about women's affairs, that are worth attending to. I think so, decidedly."
I acknowledged the compliment for my sex and myself with my best bow.
"But then, papa," said Marianne, "I can't help feeling sorry that one can't live in such a way as to have beautiful things around one. I 'm sorry they must cost so much, and take so much care, for I am made so that I really want them. I do so like to see pretty things! I do like
rich carpets and elegant carved furniture, and fine china and cut-glass and silver. I can't bear mean, common-looking rooms. I should soliketohave my house look beautiful!"
"Your house ought not to look mean and common, — your house ought to look beautiful," I replied. "It would be a sin and a shame to have it otherwise. No house ought to be fitted up for a future home without a strong and a leading reference to beauty in all its arrangements. If I were a Greek, I should say that the first household libation should be made to beauty; but, being an old-fashioned Christian, I would say that he who prepares a home with no eye to beauty neglects the example of the great Father who has filled our earth-home with such elaborate ornament."
"But then, papa, there 's the money I" said Jennie, shaking her little head wisely. "You men don't think of that. You want us girls, for instance, to be patterns of economy, but we must always be wearing fresh, nice things; you abhor soiled gloves and worn shoes: and yet how is all this to be done without money? And it's just so in housekeeping. You sit in your arm-chairs and conjure up visions of all sorts of impossible things to be done; but when mamma there takes out that little account-book, and figures away on the cost of things, where do the visions go?"
"You are mistaken, my little dear, and you talk just like a woman," — (this was my only way of revenging myself,)—" that is to say, you jump to conclusions, without sufficient knowledge. I maintain that in house - furnishing, as well as womanf urn lulling, there 's nothing so economical as beauty."
"There 's one of papa's paradoxes I" said Jennie.
"Yes," said I, "that is my thesis, which I shall nail up over the mantel-piece there, as Luther nailed his to the church-door. It is time to rake up the fire now; but tomorrow night I will give you a paper on the Economy of the Beautiful."
"Come, now we are to have papa's paradox," said Jennie, as soou as the teathings had been carried out.
Entre nous, I must tell you that insensibly we had fallen into the habit of taking our tea by my study-fire. Tea, you know, is a mere nothing in itself, its only merit being its social and poetic associations, its warmth and fragrance,—and the more socially and informally it can be dispensed, the more in keeping with its airy and cheerful nature.
Our circle was enlightened this evening by the cheery visage of Bob Stephens, seated, as of right, close to Marianne's work-basket.
"You see, Bob," said Jennie, "papa has undertaken to prove that the most beautiful things are always the cheapest."
"I 'm glad to hear that," said Bob, — "for there 's a carved antique bookcase aud study-table that I have my eye on, and if this can in any way be made to appear"
"Oh, it won't be made to appear," said Jennie, settling herself at her knitting, "only in some transcendental, poetic sense, such as papa can always make out. Papa is more than half a poet, and his truths turn out to be figures of rhetoric, when one comes to apply them to matters of fact."
"Now, Miss Jennie, please remember my subject and thesis," I replied,—" that in house-furnishing there is nothing so economical as beauty; and I will make it good against all comers, not by figures of rhetoric, but by figures of arithmetic. I am going to be very matter-of-fact and commonplace in my details, and keep ever in view the addition-table. I will instance a case which has occurred under my own observation."
THE ECONOMY OF THK BEAUTIFUL.
Two of the houses lately built on the new land in Boston were bought by two friends, Philip and John. Philip had plenty of money, and paid the cash down for his house, without feeling the slightest vacancy in his pocket . John, who was an active, rising young man, just entering on a flourishing business, had expended all his moderate savings for years in the purchase of his dwelling, and still had a mortgage remaining, which he hoped to clear off by his future successes. Philip begins the work of furnishing as people do with whom money is abundant, and who have simply to go from shop to shop and order all that suits their fancy and is considered 'the thing' in good society. John begins to furnish with very little money. He has a wife and two little ones, and he wisely deems that to insure to them a well-built house, in an open, airy situation, with conveniences for warming, bathing, and healthy living, is a wise beginning in life; but it leaves him little or nothing beyond.
Behold, then, Philip and his wife, well pleased, going the rounds of shops and rtores in fitting up their new dwelling, and let us follow step by step. To begin with the wall-paper. Imagine a front and back parlor, with folding-doors, with two south windows on the front, and two looking on a back court, after the general manner of city houses. We will suppose they require about thirty rolls of wall-paper. Philip buys the heaviest French velvet, with gildings and traceries, at four dollars a roll. This, by the time it has been put on, with gold mouldings, according to the most established taste of the best paper-hangers, will bring the wall-paper of the two rooms to a figure something like two hundred dollars. Now they proceed to the carpet-stores, and there are thrown at their feet by obsequious clerks velvets and Axminsters, with flowery convolutions and medallion-centres, as if the flower-gardens of the tropies were whirling in waltzes, with graceful lines of arabesque, — roses, callas, lilies, knotted, wreathed, twined, with blue and crimson and golden ribbons, dazzling marvels of color and tracery. There Is no restraint in price,—four or six dollars a yard, it is all the same to them,—and soon a ma^ic flower-garden blooms on the floors, at a cost of five hundred dollars. A pair of
elegant rugs, at fifty dollars apiece, complete the inventory, and bring our rooms to the mark of eight hundred dollars for papering and carpeting alone. Now come the great mantel - mirrors for four hundred more, and our rooms progress. Then comes the upholsterer, and measures our four windows, that he may skilfully barricade them from air and sunshine. The fortifications against heaven, thus prepared, cost, in the shape of damask, cord, tassels, shades, laces, and cornices, about two hundred dollars per window. To be sure, they make the rooms close and sombre as the grave; but they are of the most splendid stuffs; and if the sun would only reflect, he would see, himself, how foolish it was for him to try to force himself into a window guarded by his betters. If there is anything cheap and plebeian, it is sunshine and fresh air! Behold us, then, with onr two rooms papered, carpeted, and curtained for two thousand dollars; and now are to be put in them sofas, lounges, dtageres, centretables, screens, chairs of every pattern and device, for which it is but moderate to allow a thousand more. We have now two parlors furnished at an outlay of three thousand dollars, without a single picture, a single article of statuary, a single object of Art of any kind, and without any light to see them by, if they were there. We must say for our Boston upholsterers and furniture - makers that such good taste generally reigns in their establishments that rooms furnished at hap-hazard from them cannot fail of a certain air of good taste, so far as the individual things are concerned. But the diflerent articles we have supposed, having been ordered without reference to one another or the rooms, have, when brought together, no unity of effect, and the general result is scattering and confused. If asked how Philip's parlors look, your reply is, —" Oh, the usual way of such parlors, — everything that such people usually get,—medallion-carpets, carved furniture, great mirrors, bronze mantel-ornaments, and so on." The only impression a stranger receives, while waiting in the dim twilight of these rooms, is that their owner is rich, and able to get good, handsome things, such as all other rich people get.
Now our friend John, as often happens in America, is moving in the same social circle with Philip, visiting the same people,— his house is the twin of the one Philip has been furnishing, and how shall he, with a few hundred dollars, make his rooms even presentable beside those which Philip has fitted up elegantly. at three thousand?
Now for the economy of beauty. Our friend must make his prayer to the Graces, — for, if they cannot save him, nobody can. One thing John has to begin with, that rare gift to man, a wife with the magic cestus of Venus, — not around her waist, but, if such a thing could be, in her finger-ends. All that she touches fells at once into harmony and proportion. Her eye for color and form is in- tuitive: let her arrange a garret, with nothing but boxes, barrels, and cast-off furniture in it, and ten to one she makes it seem the most attractive place in the house. It is a veritable "gift of good faerie," this tact of beautifying and arranging, that some women have, — and, on the present occasion, it has a real, material value, that can be estimated in dollars and cent Come with us and you can see the pair taking their survey of the yet unfurnished parlors, as busy and happy as a couple of blue-birds picking up the first sticks and straws for their nest.
"There are two sunny windows to begin with," says the good fairy, with an appreciative glance. "That insures flowers all winter."
"Yes," says John; "I never would look at a house without a good sunny exposure. Sunshine is the best ornament of a house, and worth an extra thousand a year."
"Now for our wall-paper," says she. "Have you looked at wall-papers, John?"
"Yes; we shall get very pretty ones for thirty-seven cents a roll; all you want of a paper, you know, is to make a groundtint to throw out your pictures and other
matters, and to reflect a pleasant tone of light."
"Well, John, you know Uncle James says that a stone-color is the best, — but I can't bear those cold blue grays."
"Nor I," says John. "If we must have gray, let it at least be a gray suffused with gold or rose-color, such as you see at evening in the clouds."
"Sol think," responds she ; " but, better, I should like a paper with a tone of buff, — something that produces warm yellowish reflections, and will almost make you think the sun is shining in cold gray weather; and then there is nothing that lights up so cheerfully in the evening. In short, Jolm, I think the color of a zqfferano rose will be just about the shade we want."
"Well, I can find that, in good American paper, as I said before, at from thirty-seven to forty cents a roll. Then, our bordering: there't an important question, for that nui-i determine the carpet, the chairs, and everything else. Now what shall be the ground - tint of our rooms?"
"There are only two to choose between," says the lady,—"green and maroon: which is the best for the picture?"
"I think," says John, looking above the mantel-piece, as if he saw a picture there,—" I think a border of maroon velvet, with maroon furniture, is the best for the picture."
"I think so too," said she; "and then we will have that lovely maroon and crimson carpet that I saw at Lowe's;—it is an ingrain, to be sure, but has a Brussels pattern, a mossy, mixed figure, of different shades of crimson; it has a good warm, strong color, and when I come to cover the lounges and our two old armchairs with maroon rep, it will make such a pretty effect."
"Yes," said John; "and then, you know, our picture is so bright, it will light up the whole. Everything depends on the picture."
Now as to "the picture," it has a story must be told. John, having been all his life a worshipper aud adorer of beauty