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Only A Farmers' Wife

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Two wotnen pat togetber, i.t Bunsot, ia tlio poich door o? i y hite coltage that stcod uuder ils "ld ancestral tree," and "among jts licids of wheat and com," liko a poet's visión of a quiet resting phico for souie weary tuffering human soul. And ono of thosc two omen bad eycs to ece, ears to hear, oud ?, hoa;'t to foei a;id uppreciato ie a!f. Slie was a tall nr.d stately lady, pparently some thirty years of'uge - uot exactly haiulijonii;, but with a grace of air and manner peculiariy ber on-u. Tbo carelul to'.lot, tbo nameless air of elegantie and luzúry, the palo check, atid i-oft '.vliite bands betrnyüd tho city düir.c. Whilo tho wcary g!ance in bcr large dark ejes, wbich oveu tbe ploa'sant quiet of tbat sunsethour could not quite drivo away, sbovrcd t!iat Time had not dealt gently ber, and her beart's.idole, but bad tlircurn tliani. shattered uud ruincd at her fcot. Her coinpsnion was nomé five years ber junior,. od manj limes preititr - :i littlo round faced, apple-cbeoked woinan, with dark-bluo ejos and ciark-browu i hair, and a rountled figure tbat was set off to tliö best advrtiitao ly the afternoon dress of tho tiutrid múslin thatshe wo re. At present the pretty face was aliaost gpoiled by a querulouB diácontented exprcBsioo. Sbu was contrasting ber own band, plunip and sniall, but certainly rather brown, witb tbe slondor white öngers of bcr city friend, all ctiitering wi.h rings. ''Just look at the twór' iho exclaimed. ' ' T L a t comes oí makin ; butter aud checse, atidswaeping and dusting, atid washing dwhee, and nr.;kÏDg beds all tb.9 .iimo. Thai man Lold ht, t.i'. .iid woman'e work i. er done. J know mioa never 3. Oli, dear, dearl to think that you, Margaret, Sihould havo mari'ied a city murcliant, and be as rich as a princesa in a fairy tale; and liero I am plantcd for ite, plaiu Mrs. lliram Parke, and notbig in tl-.ü fforld to compare with jon - ', uni ick of being ooly a fariiicr' wifu." Margaret Van Huwtb looked down Í ber giumbli::' ÜWle friend wilh a ■id tiuiilv.-. 'Jenny, it seems to me, as wo git ïere iu lliis ouiet place, and look out ver all these pleasunt Celds'tliat ar ■our ówn - itBcems to me that you are lmost wicked to talk liko that." "I dare siiy," replied Mra. Jenny ; - bnt yiu would not liko it, Margaret. - 'ou would uever wisb lo chango places with me.'' "Perhaps not. Would yuu like to baDge wiib me ?" "Yus." "AiJtl be Mra. Van Ilowtb, insíead of Mro. lluain Park 'r Jcuny besUated. She dearly lovcd hor handBoma busband. "Well, I don't mean tliat I want to give up Hiram," she a. id at last. "I oniy meau tbíit 1 wisli lie was a city meicbant, instoad ot' a farmer, aiïd as ri'ili as your huaband is; that is all." "And tliatit? a prcat deal," sáiil SinVan Ilowth, coldly. "Jonny, if' your wish cuuld be granted, do you kuow wbat yourlife would ba V"' "Wbat yours is, I suppose. Wbat aiiy lady's is in your positioti." "Exactly. But what is tbat life. Do you know V" "IIow ebould I?" "It is a weay eco, Jenny, with more genuino hurd work in ït all your makingof butter and cbceso can bring.' "Oh, Margaret !" "And oh, Jenny ! Bolievo me, ray dear, tbero are uo people on enrth who work barder than the l'iii-liionables who only havo tbeir own amusement to próvido for. A long lifo of mero amusement is a dog's life, Junuy, at tlio best." "I sbould ftke to bo conviuoed of it by actual experience," said Jenuy, doubtiuglj'- "rio I said and thought once. I have been so conviuced. And it is all vaüity and vexatiou of spirit, my dear." "13ut bow '■" perwated Jenny. "How? In ten thousanu ways. If you live in the fashionablo world, you must do as the fushionablc world dües You must riso and dress and shop and lunch, and dress again and drive, aud dress agaiu aud appear at certaiu balls, particB, concurts exactly tis yaur friends do, or be voted bizarre and out of tho world altpgether. You, my poor Jenny wbo aro by no ineaus fond of dress, what would you do at a f:ih:onable watering place in the hottest dajs of gust, with five clianges of toilet betwce morning snd nilit, and a Freoeh ln)y nmid to tvraonize over jou all táo tim iiitu the barpnin '" "Horrors !" rjaculaU-d Jenny, "lialis that you must go to in pite o fatigue1, piirtius Uiat you must pruce i gpile of tho heat, calis that yon moe luake 0:1 peup!e whom you detobt. Oh Jenny, I should far rather bo at bom with the br.tter and cheese if I wer you." Jenny was silent. Uure was tho sid of tho bright pieture which suehad nev er fccu or üroamed of' beforc. "You love your husbum!, Jenoy f" siid her iïiein!, artera tiniB. Jenny opeoed her cycs widely. "Love hiiii ! liy, isu't hc my Lusb;.nd:''J Mrs. Van Kcwtfa laagbed. "Öoniö women 'in society' might that a reasoo wby you hhould nut love hiia l" she suid dryly. "Aud ho lovcs you also ?" "I should die to-uiorrow if I tbought he diil not!' "Tut, tbild ! People leave this world wlion (iod wüld il, not before. I dare say you would survivo hu infi'lelity - Many women before you havo lived through Buob tb inga." "Don't talk of it Margaret ! I could uot bear it 1 Why, his love is all the world to ma ! Il uw cculd I beur to lose iff' "Then don't w sli him to bo a city tnercliant, my deur. I dre say thcro are agteat many good men in tho city - tneu who lovo their vos; but, on tho otber hand, there areso many temptalioDB, espccially in sooiety, thut I sometimea wonder, not that so mauy go BBtray, but that 80 many 1 omaiu true to theiuBclves aud their düty." She spoko abseutly, and her eyes had B (ar-away glauee, na if they dwelt on other tliingij, 1 1 Jenny veutured a question. "Margaret, i yourd a happy marraga ? Do you lovo vour busband ? - And does he lovo jou F' Mrs Van Howth stur'.ed, aud turned oittnson, "Jenny, I wf uld have loved hini- I woold bave been n good wife to hini; - but lio oever loved me. líe brought me to placa at tho head of his boime, becuuso he thought mo ladylike and interesting; that was all. He told me so O'jce, tliough not (jiiile bo plaioly as this. And since theu, we huve 'eaofa taken our own way, indepepdot of the other. ] Büldoni see bim at our house ia town, I bavomy carriage, my diamonds, my opera Los. In the season I go to Baratoi or Newport, while he lavors Long Branch with bis prrseoee. We are perfiictly polite to each otlier ; we D6T6f [uarrelj aud I euppose, if I were to die tu-niorrow, l.eM bo tha most iuconsolala of nidowers - for a weck. Jenny yti wil! tmt: nlièb tA -!..■,( 1. ...,..„ .lia pe agiiin. Your hasbaúd Ebigilt chütige aa unue has done, exposed to tho iatne teniptations. Thauk Ileaven ihat ynu huvu hini as lic is, a good, truc man who lovcsyou; and nerer mind thü butler acd chocse, Jeuny, so long as your own h ippiness aud his is made up with thera " Shc nrose from her seat assho spoke, ar;d stioüed clown thegad-ii path alone. Jemiy did not.follow her. Shc saton the t-tep lost in thougbt. Tho riddle of her iriend's üfe waB at last made clear t her. She jd ofteu woudercd why Margarjt, iu the midst of all her wcatiii and luxury, sliould seeiu so ad aDd il! at case, tíhe wondei'ed ro longer now. To be lbo wife of a man who him 110 love for you ! V hal "lower deep" can ttere bo ior a pioud and Bensitivo wouüin than this 'i Jenny turned with teara in her ejes to meet her handfome, stalwai t husbuud as ho came froiu the fiold. "Well, little woman," bc cried, ond then she got the rough embrace and the hearty ];iss for whieh sho wus looking. Yes, Margaret was right. The liuttcr and oheese wero of vury little coriseqaence, while lova liko this mado her taskK easy to enduro, And the roty-oheelced little woman bent foudly down over her "LIir3in," as he flung hiinself on the poicli seat, oi.d fanned bun, talked to him, brou' ;ht bim cool lemonado, and made him thoroughly happy, and at rest. I'oor Margaret! Happy Jenny ! - Never acraiu would she wieh to bo anythiug more, ouly a funner''u,


Old News
Michigan Argus