Doing As Other People Do
'Did you notice thnt bem.tifu! sofa that Mr. hnTlT 1 bglt!' Mis Fob er fiaid to her husband, as t hey gamed thestreet on leaving the hwuse of a fneiid. fa ;Yes( I noticd that they had a sofa.' 'It was abeaÃ¼Ãy. Oh, Ã wish I had one, Henryl Our parK.rbokssonnked vviih notbing in them, hurdly, but a dozen common chaira.' 'lamsure, Hannah. ihey are neaily carpeted, and have a pair of good tables, end a looking glass. 6 'But that's no kind of furniture. Every body has a sola now, and J'ni sure we might ' 'But 1 am, rsally not ableto buy a sofa. HannÃ¼h. ' 'I am sure you can earn as mucli as fÃamilton does, and your family is Ã±o lat er.' 1 don't know how it is ihen,' Mr. Foster replied thoiightfully. 'VVe cannot ailbrd to live in the s.ime style that he does.' 'Oh, you onÃy (hink so. erfainly there can be no good rerson wljy e may not. Nearly all ofour oldacquaintances huve handsomer (hinge about them than we have, and I an ente, weouuht to do asotherpeople do who are no betteroiF.' 'I don't know about that, Hannah, I should not like to do altogether as some 'othcr people do,' of whom I could teil.' 'Yes, but this isanother matter.' 'Well. perhnpsit is. But really, I don't think we can aftbrd to buy a sni'a.' Oh. ycs we can You earn iwelve dollars week. and I am sure this is good wages. We can live on eight doflars, easÃ¼y; and wirh the 'jtner tour we might buy a great niany nice things f..r our parlor during the course of this year.' But don t you think thnt it would be much ..ctier for 'is Hannah, f we caa renly save (()ur iollars afweek, to ru h in the Savings bank. msteadofspendingitforwhatwe do n!t roally wam? } 'Oh, but we can put money into the Savings)ank oiter wc get a sofa. Four dollars a week cdmes to over two hundred dollars a year; but a beamii'ulsofa will not cost over forty or fifty dollars. Airs. Hainilton saya they paid Ibrty-five dollars for iheirs, and the ciibinet maker don't want hismoney tor six nonths. We could get one Hko theirs and save more than enough to pay (or it lang before the six montha are out.' 'Still Hftnnah, we hav'rit siived half that eum, in the past six moriths, or, indeed, in the whole time ihat has elapsed sinco we were married.' 'No, but we can do teasÃ¼y enough if we try. Eight dollars a week Ãs a plenty for us to live on. 1 will be os savirig as I can, in every ihing. - The children will want but lew ctothes for some time to come, and you have several pnir of oÃd pantaloons, and one or two oÃd coais, Urit I can cut up and make for them when those they have are worn out.' Who made Mr. Hnmilton'ssofa?' Aask'd Mr. Foster, evidemly moved by bis wife's arguments. 'Mr. Bruce, aroundin Thompson street, and Mrs. Hamilton said that he hadanother just like tbeirs.' 'How much did you say?' 'Forty-five dollars.' 'Forty-live!ollars, (musingly) ten fours make forty, and four fours make fbrty four. I we could save four dollars a week for a hule over e leven weeks, we could then pay for it.' 'Yes, indeed! nnd we can easily save that much,' Mrs. Foster replied, in a lively tone. 'You think so7' â¦Certainly, I know so.'A 6igti tollowed this positivo ossertion of hie wifc, for Mr. Foeter lelt by no means so certom. Butas hisbetter half teemed confident, his own tnind gradually becnme assured. and Ãinally it was agreed thnt he should go on Ãhe next day, and buy a sufa on a credit of six months. fihat time could be obtained on the purchase. Mr. Foster wns known to the cabinet maker.as an honestÃ.rid industrious mechanic. 'Oh, isfit not beautiful?' exclaimed Mrs. Foster, as the highly polished piece of furniture was broughc in and placed n the email parlor. ;It is certaifily a comfortable aft'air.' the husband said, seating himself, and rising and falling wiih the spring of the seat. For sonie time Mrs. Foster enjoyed her new sofa wiih a feeling oflively pleasure. About four weeks after she cnlled in again wiih her husband to spend an evening with Mr. and Mie. Hamilton. 'How neat and even elegant they had every ihing!' Mrs. Foster sa id as she proceeded homeward. after their visi'. had been completen. 'Yes. they ceriainly have every thing around them vcrycomfort;il)ie,' her husband replied. 'And Mr. Hamilton earns no more than you do.' 'No.' 'How beautiful their set of cane seat chairs looked. And how much mofe beautiful they are han the common wooden ones like ours.' 'Ai.dyet, Hannah, the latter are just as comroitablÃ«. 'Oh, no. indeed! Why, how you talk! There is no clmir so pleasant as the cano-seat chair.' 'But they cost a grcai deal.' 'Only twenty-five dollars a dozen. And you know we can save that much in six or seven weeks ,So then, you are bent on having a set of these chairs?' Oh no- -not bent on it. But then I think we ought to have a set. Other poiple can have them who are no better off; and I don'i sej any reason why we can't do as other people do.' 'I don't mysclf. see. e.vactly, how we are going to do as oiherpeople do, in the matter ofbuyinga set of cane-scat cliairs. One thing is certain we have not vet snved a cent towards paying for our new sofa, and it is four weeks since it was sent home. ' __ 'Oh, but Henry, you know that we have had to pay George's quarier bill in that time which was four dollars. And then we have bought a barrel of fiour.' 'Vcry true. But will there not he every week or two. something or other to take one or two, or three, or even five dollaw more than what is required for current cxpenses'' 'Oh, no. Why should there be? Eight dollars a week will meet ever; thing.' 'I could hope so. Hannah.' :1 knowso. Henry. Other peopie can get along on no more, and 1 am sure that wc can.' 'The hiisband did not feel so confident. Still he allowed his better judgement tocÃ³me under her influence. and his true preceptions as to the consequenree were obsciircd. On entering '.heil own neat and ccmfoitabie home, for Mrs. Foster was quiten Ã¼dy house wife, they seated themselves upon the sofa, now the pet article in their house.'mean those chairs do look! Mrs. Fostor said, witU a toss of the head, & slight curl of the lip. 'They don't look so handsomc, certainly, as Mr. and Mis. Iiamilton's. But, then, they arO very goud chairs of their kind.' 'Of their kind! Oh, yes. Of thcir kind.- But they are not the kind that other people have.' 'Yes, hut wlio wants to Ã¼ve ns sonie people live? Some have n. parlor nt all. Ãot a spare bed in the house. But that would'nt suit me at all. I like to live ns other people in similar circumstances live. As for instance the Hamiltona, who are no better off then we.' 'I am sure, Hannnh. that it purzles me to teil how they live in the slile that they do, on tw elve doll.irs per week. 'It's plain enoush. Ithink. They eave three or four dollars out of their oidinary expense?, nnd spend that in getting comfortable things arouml thcni. '1 hen, if they save money, certainly we should.' 'Of course, and we can save just as they can. Yeu will get a set of cane-seated chaiis, won't you?' 'We ennnot buy them now, for I have not a single dollar aheaJ.' 'That need'nt matter you know, for you can buy just as niany as you want. on credit. You know half a dozen chnir makers who would be glad to sell you on credit.' 'Dont you think it would be better for us to wait until we have eaved enoueh to buy them wjth - then there would be nodonger oiour not being able to pny for them.' 'Oh. but we can pay for them easily enough.' Well, f you think eo,' the husband replied, yiclding his better convictions to the pereuasions of his wife. On the next day, Mrs Foster, by permission of her , husband, went to a chair maker, with whom he was acquninted, and bought a dozen cane-seated chair6, which were to bo paid lor in si months. The di'II amounted to twenty four dollars. It was wiih no ordinary degree oÃ pride and pleasure that slie stirveyed her new chairs, after they had been sent home. Bu', all at once, she perceived that her parlor carpet, which was nf cotton. had become much faded, and really disgraced her new sofa and chairs. 'Ain't they benutiful,' she remarked to her husband, when he carne home in the evening from the shop, 'They certainly are very beautiful chairs Hannah.' 'But ' hesitating. 'But what, Hannah.' But indeed, thia carpet looks too bad.' 'How look bad, Hannab?''It is all vvorn and fdded. Vnd is nothihg bu' a common piecc of cotton carpeting at best.' 'h oost me sLxty cents a yard. though ' 'Bui ilmtis no price tb poy for a good carpet. Mrs. Hamilton gave a duliar and a quarter. And I ani sure that we can aÃl'ord to have as good things as she can. You earn as much.' 'If I do, 8omehow or other it does not go as f;ir.' the husbnnd replied in a half desponding tone. 'There is no renson why it shoulÃ¡ not. And then not only Mr and Mrs. Hamilton, but half a duzftn others that I know of, who hare elegant ingrain carpeta and sofus. and canc seat chairs, and I don'tknow what all, and yet have nolarger incomethan we have.' 'I am sure I don't know how they can do it.I cnn't get any ahcad. It takes all that I can earn to get something to eat and wear and have enough lei't to pay the rent.' 'VVhy. I am sure, Henry, we can live on eight dollars a week, and you earn twelve.' 'I am afraid not, Hnnnah.' 'Oh, yes wÃ© can. 111 guarantee thÃ¡t our expenses shall not exceed that #um.' 'They have exceeded i!, you know.' That was only because we did not economize properly. And the lust four weeks, you know. we have had some extra expenses that do not occurmorethan once in three months.' Thus Mrs Foster urged, and her husbnnd soon yielded. The desire to do os othcr people did - 10 have things around her as other peopje had thein, was too strong to be resisted and obscured all ideas of prudonce. Thirty yards of ingrain carpeting were bought on trust, atone dollar and 25 cent6 per yard, amounting to thirty seven and o half dollars.For the first time in his life. Mr. Foster found himself bunhened with n debt - a debt of more than one hundred dollnrs. This was n sum of no mfian importance fora man of a family, the extent of whose enrninga was but twelve dollare a week, nnd cspecially for one who hnd a nervous8hrinking fiom the idea Ã³f being in debt. Various efforts were now made to reduce their weekly expenses down to the minimum standard of eight dollars. Sometimes it would seem to fall below that. but again it would swell beyond that in spite of every fcfftrl. At the expiration of the fourth month from the time the sofa was bought, they had managed by the closest econo my to lay up twenty dollars. About this time on reiurning from a visit to a friend, Mrs. Foster who was too fond of contrasting her own condition with, that of nihers. eaid: 'I am really almost ashamed to go out, sometimes, Henry. l've never had a silk dress si nee we were married. flut other womÃ©n' can hnve them. There was Mrs. Jone, who called in tonight where we were vieiting, had a beautifiil black silk. and her husband is only a mechnnic, and earns no more than you do. Mrs Hamilton luÃa two silk dresses. a light one and a daris one. and has besides, a beautiful cashmere shawl, and iarge collnrs, rnd I hav'nt got any thing. I think youmighi get me one silk dress in your life.' 'And how in the world am I to get it for you. Hnnnnh. without the money.' We've got twenty dollars loid"up you know.' 'Yos I know. but Ã¯ need not teil you that ihat is 10 go towards paying for the sofa, and the money willbeduein twomonths' 'In two monihs! Oh, we can easily save enough in that time to pay for the sofa. Four dollars a week wÃ¼l be thirty two dollare. I only want twelve for the dress, nnd that will leave eisht out of the twenty we have uow, and cight added to thirty-two will make 40. If you pay h:m forty punctually, you need not fear but thai lie will wa:t willingly enough for the other five a week or two.' 'Butjwo hav'nt saved four dollars a week. Hannah ' 'Yes, but we can do it, and must do it.' 'Cdii'i you wait a little longer Hannah? You have done without a silk dress for a good many years, and surely you niight get along still, until our thinjrs are all pnid fo'.' But Mra. Foster conld not listen to the voice of reason. Other people hnd silk dressess, nnd she feit 'mean' as she expressed t whnnever ahe went out any where. Twelve dollnrs were therefore expended, for a black eilk dress, and two morÃ to get it made. This reduced the reserved fur.d of twenty dollars down to six dollars. ((""rtnrlnfifvj ripx week.
Signal of Liberty