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The House On The Corner

The House On The Corner image
Parent Issue
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At the corner of Cbarlnsand Aberorombie streets, in our town, is a small plain house, which I paRS every day on my way to the cars. I have often looked at it and wondered if anything could be more oommo'n place, outside and in ; for of the latter I have had occasional glimpses when the windows were thrown open in the morning for 'airings.' Tho parlor walls, I saw, were dead white, though elegantly relieved by a gilt-framed certifícate of inembership of the Missionary Society, the last enromo of the lleathen FortnighÜy, a wreath of wax flowers in an oval frame, an elaborately colored photograph or two, and the crimson cords wherewith the aforenamed were severally suspended. Tho white-boarded, green-blinded exterior had not a single indication of individuality - if you except the little tin sign nailed under one of the parlor windows proolaiming the profession of the head of tho fainily to be that of an " Architect and Builder." The faot that never, save in a single instanco, have I happened to see any one go in or come out at the front door, iind that no member of the family bas ever been visible at any of the windows, from garret to cellar, has doubtless given a certain airy freedom to niy imagiuations concerning this house's inhabitants. But my wildest imaginings nevor carried a single member of that mysterious family beyond the domain of the commonplace. In my mind I have followed tho fancied father to and from his daily work ; the probable rnother up and down the unseen staircase, intent upon the most primitive domestic drudgery ; the needie of the suppostitious grandmother back and forth across the all too posible hole in the stocking . I have seen the ideal baby tended and tossed, day in and day out, by the daughter in curl-papers, - of whose existence I feit well assured, from the fact that I one evening obsorved the young gentleman clerk; of the neighboring ribbon store, standing upon the front steps, arrayed in red necktie, green kids, and a twenty-five cent cane, and with the air of embarrassed astonishment with which one sometimes listens to the clamor of a door-bell one's own hand has set going. How could I know that the leaves of the maples that trembled about those second-story windows were listening daily to a story of shame and agony and heart-break ; that within those four commonplace walls a tragedy was being enacted, upon the last terrible scène of which the world would soon look with horror' How could I know that one day people would speak in whispers when they passed beneath those windows ; that even the little front stoop and the missionary certifícate would, ere long, be invested with tragic interest. After all, my lorda and ladies, your houses, your husks, your arts, your mannors, your dresses and your deductions, are nothing - and your humanity is everything. And yet your houses and your dresses and all about you are much ; because they have to do with the human. And nothing that has to do with the human can be commonplaco. Certainly I think I shall never again cali any house commonplace, no matter how ordinary it ,n9jriip{rlr,nonttor mTTI-V, tast, niay bo evident through the windows open for uirings. A great many human beings theraselves are just like my little house on the corner. I've considered thein in the same way, God forgive me, - and have lived to be astonished and ashamed, thank God ! -


Old News
Michigan Argus