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The Two Husbands

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"We are asked to the SiJlmans, my dear, for to-morrow night," said pretty Mrs. Trevor, to her husband, " It will be so nioe." The Trevors had been ruarried but a little while, and hitherto no husband could havo been more obliging than Mr. ïrevor. His deference, bis many little attentions, which had so charined the girl, had still continued now that Helen was a wife. But at heart Mr. Trevor was one who ihought only of hiinself. His lover-like conduct had nierely been put on ; he had grown tired of it ; his native character was to assume its real hue. "Let them ask," he said giuffly, as he took off his coat in the hall, for Helen had come to the door to meet him. " I'm too tired after a day's work is done, to go out of evenings. We had to do it for awhile among your family and mine, of course ; but a stop must be put to it some time ; and no time is as good as ïiow. The Sillmans are no relations, or even connections, only acquaintances." Helen's countenance feil. She still had the innocent delight of a pure, lighthearted girl in going into society, meeting old friends, and having a few hours of change trom the nionotony that characterizes a wonian's life. She couuted on no little pleasure in attendiug this party, for the Sillmans were noted for the elegance of their entertaininents, and for the choice people they gathered together. Her countenance feil, as we have said, but she was a true wife, and she only said, meekly : ' Just as you please, dear." "Well, then, that's settled," replied Mr. Trevor, as he put his hat on the rack, too obtuse to see how much his wife was disappointed, and not caring very much, it must be confessed, to notice it. " I did think, once or twice, that you might object to uiy purpose of staying at home after this. But you'ro a sensible woman, and no gad-about ; so we'll say no more about it." No more about it! No, Helen never said any more about it. She never again even hinted that she wished to go out. But she could not help thinking about it 80metimes, especially when one of her young friends had been to see her and told her what a nice time they had had at the Morton's or the Gray's or the Varney's or some other of their mutual acquaintances, the night bofore. " So sorry that Mr. Trevor is too tired of evenings," they would all add, " we all miss you so much." For Helen was proud, and had told her friends that her husband was quite fagged out at night, though she herself had already begun to see that he was more indolent than fatigued. Let us change the scène. The very night of this conversation there was another one, also between two married people ; and also in reference to the Sillman party. " So you have an invitation to the Sillman's to-morrow night," said Mr. Chanter to his young bride, as he received her kiss of welcome. " I met Sillman myself, who told me that it was got up in a great hurry, which accounts for the short notice. Now, mind, look your prettieBt." " But," said the wife, " you are so hard worked, just now. You come home looking so tired. Don't you think we we'd better give up this party 'i We ve beea to a good many lately. You want rest." " Well, puss, there's soine truth in what you say," answered the husband, with another kiss. " You're a dear, good creature to be thoughtful of me. But then, you see, that's a reason all the more, why I should be careful of you in turn. Now I know something of a woman's lite. It's the same indoor, humdrum rouud day after day, week after week, month after month. A man, whatever his occupation, finds more or less excitement daily. At the most, even if he is a book-keeper, which is one of the most coufining of all pursuits, he has a brÍ6k walk to the oounting-house or bank in the fresh air. He meets people he knows, on the street, and has a ohat and hears the news, even if it is only tor a minute that he stops. But a woman gets no recreation after she's married, unless sho goes out now and then, to a ' tea fight,' as you cali it, or a party. Why, my dear, if I was to let you stay at home forever, as somo men do their wives, or make them, you'd soon lose those pretty cheeks of yours, and by-andby even your spirits ; and. at last you'd becoine a dowdy, ií' iiot a connrmed invalid. Put a plant in a collar, if you want to kill it ; give it fresh air and sunshine, if you would have it bloora. Now, there's that fellow, Trevor. I felt, today, as if I would like to thrash him." " Surely, Mr. Trevor has nothing to do with my going out !" exclaimed Mis. Chanter, in surprise. " But he has with his wife's. The Trevors are asked also to the Sillmans. But this lazy fellow of a husband says he doesn't intend to let Mrs. Trevor go! ' It's time to put a stop to the thing,' he told me." " Why, he doesn't work half as hard as you do ! I've always heard hia business I was a very easy one. " So it is. He'8 richer too, than I am, ; and can afFord to takt lite differeutly. But he was always selfish and tyrannical, as poor Helen will fiad out to her cost. Pity she aadn't found it out long ago. Alas! she had ahüady buguu to tind it out, and as the years went by she found it out, more and more. She soon sunk into a mere household drudge. Her hus; band did not desert her of evenings, as niany husbands do their wives; he went neither to tavern nor to club; we will say that in his favor; but he betook himself to his newspaper and cigar, varied ! with an ocoasional doze. As he hardly exchanged a word with poor Helen, sh might as well have been a thousand miles away. She sat in the sime room with him stitching, stitching, till her eyes ached with the monotony and the weariuess of it all. In the first year or two of their mar. riéd life, he had continued the subscription to two or three magazines and nowspapers which had been her favorites before she left her father's hou6e. But after a while he had theni stopped. " What does a inarried woman want with love stories ? he said iuiperiously, forgetting that the magazine was as mueh to his wife as his newspapers wero to him. Often and often poor Helen thought that it she could only have a few books, a new poem, or a periodical of some kind, she would have borne things hetter. Her life was so dry and hard that even the least gliiupse of the world of imagination would have been to her what the cool spring in the desert is to the weary, thirsty traveler. But her husband said, in his dogmatio way, when, once or twice, she ventured to borrow a book, and he found her reading, " Pshaw ! A novel again ; how can you waste your time with such nonsense ; a pretty example you are setting to your daughter."' Mrs. Trevor had been pretty, as we have said, when she married. But in loss than ten years she was a faded, shruuken woman, whose nerves were all awry, and who was fast sinking into a confirmed invalid. Before she had been married twenty years, before her eldest daughter was a grown girl, she quietly slipped into the coffin, and had done with this life forever. Her husband put on black, and wore the deepest crape on his hat, and went about telling people of his inconsolable loss, and then after a year, he married agaiu.


Old News
Michigan Argus