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True Riches; Or, Wealth Without Wings By T. S. Arthur Characters: 19502

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03

Beyond what has already been written, there is not much, in the histories of those whom we have introduced, to be told, except briefly, worthy the reader's interested attention.

Martin, the old accomplice of Jasper, finding his power over that individual gone, and failing in the card he played against Claire's nice sense of honour and integrity of purpose, now turned, like an ill-natured, hungry cur, and showed his teeth to the man through whose advice he had so long been able to extort money from Jasper. He felt the less compunction in so doing, from the fact that Grind, angry with him for having been the agent of Jasper's final destruction, which involved him in a severe loss, had expressed himself in no measured terms-had, in fact, lashed him with most bitter and opprobrious words.

Several times, during the progress of events briefly stated in the concluding portions of the last chapter, Martin had, in his frequent visits to the lawyer, hinted, more or less remotely, at his great need of money. But to these intimations, Grind never gave the slightest response. At last the man said boldly-

"Mr. Grind, you must help me to a little money." This was directly after the failure of Jasper.

"I cannot do it," was the unequivocal reply. "You have, by your miserable vindictiveness, ruined Jasper, after having subsisted on him for years-base return for all you owe him-and, in doing so, half destroyed me. You have killed the goose that laid the golden egg, and there is no one but yourself to thank for this folly."

"You must help me, Mr. Grind," said Martin, his brows knitting, and the muscles of his lips growing rigid. "You had a hand in that business as well as Jasper; you took a big slice, if he did keep the major part of the loaf; and so I have a right to ask some slight return for important service rendered."

"What! This to me!" exclaimed Grind, roused to instant excitement.

"This to you," was the cool, deliberate answer.

"You have mistaken your man," returned the lawyer, now beginning to comprehend Martin more thoroughly. "I understand my whole relation to this affair too well to be moved by any attempt at extortion which you can make. But I can tell you a little secret, which it may be interesting for you to know."

"What is it?" growled the man.

"Why, that I hold the power to give you a term in the State's prison, whenever I may happen to feel inclined that way."

"Indeed!" Martin spoke with a cold, defiant sneer.

"I am uttering no vague threat. From the beginning, I have kept this trap over you, ready to spring, if need be, at a moment's warning."

"I suppose you thought me a poor fool, did you not?" said Martin as coldly and contemptuously as before. "But you were mistaken. I have not been altogether willing to trust myself in your hands, without good advice from a limb of the law quite as shrewd as yourself."

"What do you mean?" exclaimed Grind, somewhat startled by so unexpected a declaration.

"Plainly," was answered, "while I took your advice as to the surest way to act upon Jasper, I consulted another as to the means of protecting myself from you, if matters ever came to a pinch."

"Oh! Preposterous!" Grind forced a laugh. "That's only an afterthought."

"Is it. Hark!" Martin bent close to his ear, and uttered a few words in an undertone. Grind started as if stung by a serpent.


"It is useless to call ill names, my friend. I have you in my power; and I mean to keep you there. But I shall not be very hard on you. So, don't look so awfully cut down."

For once the scheming, unscrupulous lawyer found himself outwitted. His tool had proved too sharp for him. Without a doubt he was in his power to an extent by no means agreeable to contemplate. Grind now saw that conciliation was far better than antagonism.

When Martin retired from the lawyer's office, he had in his pocket a check for two hundred dollars, while behind him was left his solemn pledge to leave the city for New Orleans the next day. The pledge, when given, he did not intend to keep; and it was not kept, as Grind soon afterward learned, to his sorrow. A drunkard and a gambler, it did not take Martin long to see once more the bottom of his purse. Not until this occurred did he trouble the lawyer again. Then he startled him with a second visit, and, after a few sharp words, came off with another check, though for a less amount.

And for years, leech-like, Martin, sinking lower and lower all the time, continued his adhesion to the lawyer, abstracting continually, but in gradually diminishing sums, the money needed for natural life and sensual indulgence, until often his demands went not above a dollar. Grind, reluctantly as he yielded to these demands, believed it wiser to pay them than to meet the exposure Martin had it in his power to make. And so it went on, until, one day, to his inexpressible relief, Grind read in the morning papers an account of the sudden and violent death of his enemy. His sleep was sounder on the night that followed than it had been for a long, long time.

Of Edward Claire, and his happy family-not happy merely from an improved external condition, for the foundation of their happiness was laid in a deeper ground-we have not much to relate.

When Claire brought to Fanny the title-deeds of the property which he had recovered from Jasper, she pushed them back upon him, saying, as she did so-

"Keep them, father-keep them. All is yours."

"No, my dear child," replied Claire, seriously, yet with tenderness and emotion, "all is not mine. All is yours. This property, through a wise Providence, has come into your possession. I have no right to it."

"If it is mine, father," said Fanny, "have I not a right to do with it what I please?"

"In a certain sense you have."

"Then I give it all to you-you, my more than father!"

"For such a noble tender, my dear child, I thank you in the very inmost of my heart. But I cannot accept of it, Fanny."

"Why not, father? Why not? You have bestowed on me more than wealth could buy! I know something of what you have borne and suffered for me. Your health, now impaired, was broken for me. Oh, my father! can I ever forget that? Can I ever repay you all I owe? Were the world's wealth mine, it should be yours."

Overcome by her feelings, Fanny wept for some time on the breast of him she knew only as her father; and there the interview closed for the time.

Soon after it was renewed; and the occasion of this was an advantageous business offer made to Claire by Mr. Melleville, if he could bring in a capital of twelve thousand dollars. Two of the houses received from Jasper, with some stocks, were sold to furnish this capital, and Claire, after his long struggle, found himself in a safe and moderately profitable business; and, what was more, with a contented and thankful spirit. Of what treasures was he possessed? Treasures of affection, such as no money could buy; and, above all, the wealth of an approving conscience.

Mrs. Claire-happy wife and mother!-how large too was her wealth. From the beginning she had possessed the riches which have no wings-spiritual riches, that depend on no worldly changes; laid up in the heaven of her pure mind, where moth could not corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal. The better worldly fortune that now came added to her happiness, because it afforded the means of giving to their children higher advantages, and procured for them many blessings and comforts to which they were hitherto strangers.

Five years, passed under an almost cloudless sky, succeeded, and then the sweet home circle was broken by the withdrawal of one whose presence made perpetual sunshine. One so good, so lovely, so fitted in every way to form the centre of another home circle as Fanny Elder, could hardly remain unwooed or unwon. Happily, in leaving the paternal haven, her life-boat was launched on no uncertain sea. The character of her husband was based on those sound, religious principles, which regard justice to man as the expression of love to God.

A few weeks after the husband of Fanny had taken his lovely young wife to his own home, Claire waited upon him for the purpose of making a formal transfer of his wife's property.

"There are four houses," said Claire, in describing the property; "besides twelve thousand dollars which I have in my business. A portion of this latter I will pay over; on the balance, while it remains"-

"Mr. Claire," returned the young man, interrupting him, "the house you now live in, Fanny says, is your property-also the capital in your business."

"No-no-no. This is not so. I do not want, and I will not keep a dollar of her patrimony."

"You are entitled to every thing, in good right," said the young man, smiling. "But we will consent to take one-half as a good start in life."

"But, my dear sir"-

We will not, however, record the arguments, affirmations, protestations, etc., made by each party in this contention, but drop the curtain, and leave the reader to infer the sequel. He cannot go very far wide of the truth.









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It is by far the most valuable book ever published of his works, inasmuch as it is enriched with a very interesting, though brief autobiography.-American Courier.

No family library is complete without a copy of this book-Scott's Weekly Paper.

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The work should be upon the centre-table of every parent in

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A single story is worth the price charged for the

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Madison, Geo.

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This is the title of a small volume published by Mr. J.W. Bradley, of this city. It is from the pen of Mr. T.S. Arthur-the story of two families, one of which prospers by the union of good-will which prevails among the brothers, and leads them always to aid each other in their worldly undertakings; while the other goes to rack and ruin, because the brothers always act upon the maxim, "Every one for himself." The moral is excellent, and cannot be too earnestly and widely inculcated.

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These narratives, like all of those which proceed from the same able pen, are remarkable not only for their entertaining and lively pictures of actual life, but for their admirable moral tendency.

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This volume is written by T.S. Arthur, the most popular of all our American writers on domestic subjects. His intention is to direct the reader to the real riches of life, the wealth which cannot be taken away by the adverse events of fortune. The true wisdom of life, he shows us, is to place our fortune in ourselves, to make our own minds rich in intellectual treasures, and our hearts true to the legitimate purposes and ends of life. When the doctrine of this little volume becomes universally prevalent, a new era of happiness will dawn upon mankind.-Godey's Lady's Book.

Mr. Arthur, in this volume, impresses upon his readers the importance of laying up treasures in the really profitable way-moral and intellectual treasures, which, in all the storms of ill-fortune, never leave their possessor without ample resources. The world acknowledges the truth of his moral, but often forgets to reduce it to practice. It therefore, becomes the duty of the world's moral teachers, of which Mr. Arthur is one of the most successful, to impress the truth by a well-written narrative.-Scott's Weekly.

[Illustration: A Home Scene]

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