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Miriam Leslie waB liStenitig to a word oí' adrice" froin her step-fat'ner, Mr. Palmer. Sbe was a very beautil'ul voinan oí twenty-two, with a face th it was a rare combination of sweetuess aud trength. Just now the resolute mouth nd txpression of the brown eyeshowed hat firmness in her character.predomiated, tliough no look of teinper uiarted íer amiability. " I havo no power over your movenents, Miriam," said the old gentleman, cindly. " You are of age. and the wealth ou inherited f rom your father is entirey under your own control ; but I ara fraid you are committing a grave error [' you accept Wilton Seyinour's offer. I m'afraid he is a man to marry powers of money. "Why? I pass over the implied slight o my attraetiohs: bilt teil me Why you hink Mr. Seymour marries me for my uioney r" "I don't know that I mean that exacty. I know that you are young, beautiul and talen ted; büt I th.ilk if you liad een poor you would not have received his offer." " Again I ask, why do you think eo f. " Wilton Seymour is one of that tltiforunate class - a young man who has lived upon eSpectations. He has been educatd and supported by an eccentric únele, ■who was supposed to be ehotmoüsly wealthy. Wilton has been raised in compete idleness, passing tbrougb. college witb moderate credit, and since that, moving in society, received everywhere as the heir of his unclo's money. Six months ago his únele died, leeving his moile)' - much less thaü was supposed - ;o a hospital. Wilton accepted the situation gracefully enough, applied for a ituatiou as elerk in the wholesale house of Myers tfe Oo., andcourted an heirss. "You aro bitter. I believe Wilton Seymour to be an honorable, upright maiij who loves rao, who is trying to earn support for hihiself, aud who doss not ook upon my'money either as u. stimulus o his affectioni or an impediment in the way of it." 'I seo yoü ais dstertnined to marry íitn. Well I will see that yoür money is ettled upon youirself." " I love my future hiisbaiid too well to ífer him an insult. My inoney will hase hita a junior partnership with üyers & Co," "He has toldyoU that?" "No. Mr. Myers informed me that he ould be admitted into the firHi if he had a capital of ten thousand pounds - only a rnall portion of niy money. The remaindor may still retnain where it is, subeot to Wilton's öheok atld control." " This is shoer insanityi I never heard f such folly !" Mariani's face grew vciy sweetj as a ook dame into her soft brown eyes of devotion and trust. " If I am willing to trust ïnyself, my whole future bappiness in Wilton's hands, my money is of little consequenoe. If hs cannot win my confidence sufticiehtly to control iny fortune, do you think he can win my love - myself ?" Mr. Palmer moved uneasily in bis obair. "I wish you could listen to réaSon," he replied. " I am trüly speaking tor your own good." " I know that. Hine yoars of uch love as my own father would have j;iven me bad he lived ; i'ter seeing your evere grief for my motber's death, your ffection for my little step-sisters - your own childïen neter guipassing tbat shown to me, do you think that I do not appreciate your motives ? I thank you :rom my heatt for your advice ; but my whole iüture happinessis involved in this decisión, and I believe I am deciding to secure it." " I smcerely hope sd. If iil the future you flnd I was right, remember I claim i íather's right to comfort you, and tnis r'ather's home to reeeive you." Too íniich mdYed by the öld man's solemn ronu to reply in words, Miriam pressed her lips pon the kind eyes that looked into lier own. " There, my dear ,'' he said gently, "I bave spoken as I felt it ray duty to speak. Nnw ve will write to Mr. Seymour, who will become my son when he becomes your husband Get your finery, and we will have a happy wedding. God bless you, Miriam." ïwo honro later 'Wilton Seymotir caiiic to pöt the engageluent ritig on Mirium's finger, to thank her for bis promised happiness. Looking at this man as lie held the hand so soon to be bis own, no one could doubt his love fot' the fait wötnan who stood bcfore him. They had spoken of many subjccts, when he 3aid suddenly : " Mr, Palmer has told me your generous wishesj Mifiatby with regard to money. I cannot consent to this. It is true we raust have waited long before I could oiïer you a home, but I will win my way to fortune yet" He lified his yoUng, oble as he tossing the dark c'tírls frorn such a frank, flianly facey so i'ull of brave, brigtt resolution, that Miriam wondered in her heart how any one could look into his eyes and suspect him of one mercenary deSire.She 8aid öoiliiiig in nswer to his impetuóus speech, only smilèd and nestled her hand in his. She was not a caressing wotnan- rather coy in her Bweet maidenly ; bnt where she gave fore and cotifidence, she gare them fully and free'ly. The days of t)êtrotnal spcd fajiidly. During the day "Wilton stood at his desk fingering over massire ledgers, and dreaming of future happiness, and Miriam selected her house, furnished it, and kept dressmakers, seamstresses and milii ' ners busy. She had no objection to ho step-father's tvish to have house and furniture settlecl upon herself, but was résölute about the remainder of her large fortune being left subject to the control of hr future husbaud. Busy days were followed by happy efening8. The young people Were favorites ih society, and iriends would insist upon social festivities to celébrate the betrothal. The quiet home evenings were pleasant beyoud these) whtn two loviiig hearts learned to read each other. While Wilton loved more deeply every day, Miriam was giviug süch respect to his worth and manliness as uiade her future look brighter every day. But the days of the betrothal were short. A gay wpdding, a happy tour, and tiie youug people carne home to settlo down in the handsoino new house as quiet married folks. Two year of happineas followed. Wiltoa was rapidly rising in the esteein of business men - his position as juniot partner in the firm of ïlyers & Co., at Miriam's carnest request. But although attentive to his business, he was no mere drudge, seeking money as the only end and aim of lifei Miriam found him ever a willing escort to party, ball or opera ; and the home evenings were given to music, or reading) or such bright intellectilal intereourse as held its power of mutual attraction before their marriage. There were sage poople who shook their heads over the young wife's extravagance ; but Wilton seemed most happy when she was gratifying some new whim or desire; and she had never known the hoed of economy. Money had always been at her command, and there was do new restraint upon her expendí tures. For fine dress she cared but little, thcugh she was tasteful, and her costuiues were always rich and appropriate ; but she was generöus and charitable, loved to collect triffes of exquisite art arouhd her, patroniÉing rising attists, and found bo difliculty in exhausting her liberal income each year. It was durins? the third yeat öf her married life Miriam began to find a cloud upon the former bright happiness of ber married life. Wilton was changed. In these three words the lovmg heart of the young wife summed up all her forebodings. He had beeu the sunlight of her lifo, loVing, tendsr ahd thuughtful ; but it became evident to her that some absorbing interest was gradually winning him more and more from her side. ËVelling after evening he left her, on one pretext or another, oftentimes staying away froin her till lung after midnight. His sleep became restless und brokeni and some absorbing care kept his face pale, bis eyes c!ouded( his manner grave. There was no unkindness to complain of. Miriam met ever a tender oaressi a lovh:g yord. She missed the pleasant homo intercourse and a strange dull fear crept into hef heart. Wilton was beeoiuing miserly ! He denied her nothing, but would sometimes sigh heavily if she challenged his adiniration of some new dress or ornament, aud it was evident that he was curtailing his personal eipensis to the merest necessities. Too proud to complain, Miriam suífered silently, praying that she might not learn to despise her husband as a mere money-making machine. At first she endeavored to win his coniidence, but he kindly evaded her inquiriese and she made no further effort. But hof homere distasteí'ul, missing the conijjcnionship that had made the hours there fly so swiftly. She had never feit household cares, truating everything to an espei'ienced llousekeeper. She had no children to a#aken mother loVe arld care, so she plunged into fashionable follies, and ti'ied to forget her loneliness. Never had her toilets been choen with moro faultless taste ; never had her beauty been more marked than it now becanio; and she sought for exeitument as she had never ddue in the happy years of her married life. And while Mrs; Seymoür Was thus seeking for happiness abfoad that cüUld found at home, her husband's face grew paler and thinner, and he became more absorbed in business cares. One year more passed, and the hearts that had been so ñrmly bound together Seeined to be drifting entirely apart. Miriam was sitting sadiy in her draWing-room, one eVening, waiting for tile carriage which Was to tionvey her to a large social gathering at a fashionable iïiend's. She waa dressed in costiy lace, over rich silk) aiid every detail of het costuino was faultless in finish) and of choicest quality; Her face was palej and hnr eyes very Badi She looked up as the door oponed, hoping to see Wilton, though it was long since he had spent au evening in her society. Instead of his talli graceful figure, the portly form öf her utep-father entered the room. Miriam sprang forward tnth a glad smile. " Iin so glad to aee yoü," sHe exclaihied warmly. " But you wern going out?" 'Onlytobo rid of my loneliness aftd mycelfi I shall be happier hore with you" " Truly, Mirianij -Will yoü treat öle as your father to-night ? I have come here on a painful and delicate errand, and I want your confidence." She was silent a moment, and then said, " You shail have it." " You lovo your husband, Miriam P' ureat tears answered hun. "Do you love society; drcss and excltedient better than you do Wiltou 't" " Isr0j no ! A thousand times, no !" " Could you givo all these up for bis sake 't" " You hayo soma motive for asking this f " I have, indeed. I love your husband also, Miriam. I have learned to respect him, to trust hiui, and I was wrong when you decided to trust your liappineta in lüs hands." "But, father, some great change lias oome over Wilton. He seems absorbed in money-inaking." " One year ago y%ur husband askec me to keep a secret trom you. Believing he was inereasing your happineSs by so doingj I eousented, but I am conviucec now that the deceit is wrong. He has assunied a burden that is too heavy for him to bear, and you are not happier than you were a j'ear ago." " Happier !" cried impülsitsly; " 1 am wretcüed ! wretched in los ing my husband's scSiety and confidence.' " Yuu shall not oompiain of thatagain I am breaking my promise, but you wil soon understand my motive. A year ago the' bank in which ëvery guinea of your private fortune was invested failed, anc everything was lost. .This house; and the money Wilton had paid to secure his bus mesa were all tbat was leffc o your father's wealth. Couvinced tha luxury, society, and extravaganco were uecessiiry for your happiness, Wilton iai plored me to keep tho faet a secret frotn you, and braced himselí' for a tussel with fortuno, resolved to regain by his own exertions what was swept away by the ïailure before you conld discover the losj. But, Miriarn, he is oveftasking his strongth ; and you are becoming a butt for severe censure in your extravagance. My secret has burdened me too long, and you must now yourself be the judge of the right coutse to pursue." Miriam was weepiug, but the tears Were not all bitter, láhe gave its full meed of gratitude to ttio loVe that WöUld ïave shieided her froin the knowledge of joverty and pain ; and yet she could carcely forgive the want of conridenco in ïer own abüity to bear thö Bacriücö that he dtceit ilnplied. It was long before she spoke, but when he did, her eyes wero bnght and her voice clear and tirin. " ïhe house is mine ?" she aeked. " Certainly. But it needs a large inome to sustain such an establishment." " Teil nle, what style of. a house does Wilton's income warrant ? I mean the inomo he had two years ago." " A smaller house, dear - no earriage j ïo housekeeper ; two servants, but cerainly no footmaii iu livery ; no conservutory- " " Stop, stop ! I understand you. You vill see, father, if I am made unhappy )y your frank kiadness. Wilton is in the ibrary absorbed in business. Will you vait here while I Speak to him ?" "I will come again soon," he said kindly. " Good night, Miriam. Heaven rant that I have judged your heart ightly." But Miriam did not seek her husband at once. It seemed a mockery to go tb lim with diamonds flashing froiu her ich dress ; so she sought her ojvn room, and putting aside her evening toilet, iressed herself plaiuly and carefully, and ;lien knelling down praycd With ourUjst ervor before she lef t the upartment. " Wilton !" The haggard, weary man looked up. " Wilton, you should have trusted me. 3ive me your heart, your confidence, iny iear husband." He bowed his head upon her outtretched hands. " Can you bear it, Miriam f" " I can bear anythihg if yoll are beside me - if you love me, and trust me. What . cunnot bear is to believe that my husjand loves juoney better than his wife!" " No, no !" " I understand that now. But there must be contidence between üS Wilton ; must be your true wife bearing your oriows and your reverses." " My 0W11 brave darling !" He was standing beside now, and :or the first time in that loiig weary fear the old bright look was on his weary ace and the old clear ring in his voice. ïis arm was aio and her and she leaned ïpon his breast. " Forgive me," he said earnestlyi " for ïoubting your courage - neVer yoür loVe, Miriam." Sho laughed, a merry, bright laugh, and as sho playfully olosed his desk Shc dreW him to a seat beside her and sketched a burlesquo picture of their future ïome, with Mrs. Sey-inour frying onions, n a crimson dt'ess-, and Mr Seymour uiilking the cow in the garden. It is four yéars siuPe Mr. Palmer broke ïis promise. A happier home) a more ibrifty housekeeper or prouder husband cannot be foünd than in the pretty house of the Seymours, where loVe, coilfldence and happinels will not yield the first ilace to mouey.


Old News
Michigan Argus