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Mrs Jenkins accordingly lost no time in developing her plans by throwing out various intimations of the uncomfortableness of the house and of the delights of a residence detached from shops, where visitors might be received at a private door, and where the children could have room to play without forever destroying the parlor furniture and leaving no person in peace or so' much as a single room where a person can be retired for a few moments. Nor were wanting numerous examples of acquaintances who had lately bought or built new houses, and nothing was more surprising than the statistical facts on this point which Mrs. Jenkins was able to collect, now that her attention was directed that way.
These new demonstrations were not lost on Mr. Jenkins, who knew enough of human nature to understand their drift, hence he was not taken unawares when, in the fulness of time, his wife declared all her wants and showed to him the deep hold which, unaccountably to him, the subject had taken on her feelings. We have already said that he never denied his wife any thing about which he found she was pertinacious, nor did he in the present case. He confessed that the present residence was inconvenient. He had long felt it himself, and would lose no time unnecessarily in performing all that his wife required after he should extricate himself from debt and get his business into a shape that would enable bim to purchase a suitable building lot for such a house as his family ought to occupy. He did not want to build a contracted house nor in a bad location, but to combine some elegance with comfort, just as so good a house-keeper as his wife deserved after all her privations.
Mrs. Jenkins was delighted and lost no time in writing to her friend Mrs. Jackson her brilliant prospects, and as no account loses in the telling, the consummation of her wishes imbibed some rainbow tints from her imagination and, like a full moon, seemed far nearer than it was in sober reality. In the fervor of her feelings she lauded her husband not sparingly; for though he had never denied her any thing, yet she was fain to confess, that to be accommodating in so large a matter was rather an unexpected token of his affection and kindness.
Mrs. Jackson read this epistle with less pleasure than she ought to have felt at the happiness of so old and good a friend, and her house from thenceforth became more insupportable than ever, till by pondering long on her discontent it gradually became mingled with all her thoughts and actions and exhibited itself prominently in all her intercourse with her husband. When he was affectionately disposed toward her, as he usually was when relieved at evenings from the cares of his shop, she would sigh deeply or shed tears and let him know otherwise that the want of a better house was a cruel obstruction to her happiness. When he was in an ill humor, as would sometimes happen from the perplexity of business, she would retort with complaints of the wretched house in which she was straitened and confined. In the winter she suffered martyrdom from the cold and in the summer she was suffocated by heat, and all from the age or misconstruction of the worthless old house. If the children became sick the house was the cause, by denying proper exercise or in admitting
dampness through the walls. If the family expenses increased, or the servants were unfaithful, the ill construction of the house would not admit of economy or provide security against petty depredations.
The project of his wife appeared to Mr. Jackson so manifestly improper, that he could not countenance it for a moment; but as he was a reasonable man himself, he hoped to convince her of the impropriety of her demands. He accordingly told her that he had risen, as she knew, from nothing, but though he had been prosperous, his business was still incumbered by a want of capital, which compelled him to make purchases on credit, instead of ranging the market and obtaining his supplies where they could be purchased most cheaply for money. Were he by building to abstract from his business any portion of his active capital, he would still farther embarrass himself, while his creditors, seeing his imprudence, would begin to suspect his ability to pay and refuse him their assistance.
In vain, however, poor Mr. Jackson argued with his wife and combatted her reasons with countervailing proofs ; the result only evinced the truth of the proverb, that she who is convinced against her will, is of the same opinion still ;' though his arguments were not sufficiently effectual to even nominally convince his wife; they only excited her ingenuity to the discovery of fresh reasons why the old tenement should be abandoned and a new one constructed in a better position for both enjoyment and economy. But what she deemed the most potent of all that could be said on the subject, was the practical fact that Walter Jenkins, of Philadelphia, who commenced business at the same time with Jackson and was admittedly less successful in money.making, was still able to give his wife a new house and every thing else ; for he never denied his wife
any thing. This was indeed a potent argument and Jackson never knew how to combat it, except by saying that Jenkins was a fool ; nor could poor Jackson invent any new reasons in opposition to his wife and she professed herself tired of the old ones. He had but to commence his opposition, when she forthwith stopped him and could anticipate all he had to say. It was, she affirmed, the same old argument that she had heard a hundred times before, and if he had any thing to say she wanted something new. poor Jackson ! he was a patient and enduring man, but these perpetual bickerings effectually destroyed his domestic comfort, and as the last resort of a worsted disputant, he one day unfortunately became angry. He had so long smothered his feelings, that now when they obtained vent the explosion was prodigious. He accused his wife of being the torment of his existence and said that nothing would satisfy her but his destruction, which, however, he assured her should never occur; for rather than commit the folly she desired, he would throw himself into the river or blow up the house with all its contents.
The poor woman was sorely afflicted at the unusual spectacle of his
rage. She bore it, however, as only women can bear such afflictions, in meekness and silent sorrow, that appealed to his feelings more eloquently than words ; till on reflection he became so much distressed at his own violence, that he agreed, as the only proper
atonement in his power, to construct a house according to her wishes, let the consequences be what they might. He went at it in good earnest and the construction absorbed all his active capital, while suitable furniture for it, which soon became as indispensable as the house, ran him into debt. He struggled for two years with the embarrassment produced in his business by these abstractions from his resources, and procured additional credit to supply their place, but when he was most extended in this respect a pecuniary crisis pervaded the country, and New-York felt the full force of the existing pressure. The banks could no longer yield their accustomed accommodations, and in the struggle of each institution to save itself the ruin of private persons came to be disregarded. In turn every man who was in debt had to urge payment from his own debtors, and in the general scramble which ensued numerous merchants became bankrupt, till all confidence was lost and every person was afraid of his neighbor. Nothing could have come less opportunely to Jackson than this commercial revulsion. It was like the famine which arose as soon as the prodigal son of the scriptures had squandered his last penny. His spirits also were no longer sustained by a consciousness that he was prospering. He had for some time been more solicitous to sustain his credit than to make profits, and under the existing distrust he soon saw that his ultimate ruin was inevitable; and all his efforts were directed to avert, as long as possible, the sure catastrophe of public discredit. To this end, he was daily compelled to sacrifice to usurers and to purchase his supplies of merchandise at prices enhanced by the suspicions of keen sellers. Even his customers began to desert him, for his goods were known to have been purchased at a disadvantage and were at least imagined to be dearer than the goods of other dealers. His friends became alarmed lest they should become entangled in his fall and forsook him in a body, while his creditors began to assail him for payment or security.
In this bad emergency of his affairs, he often thought of his early friend Jenkins, and would have applied to him for assistance, especially as Philadelphia was less afflicted than New-York with the pecuniary pressure, but he knew that Jenkins never denied his wife any thing, and especially that he had acceded to her wishes in the building of a house, and as like causes will produce like effects he doubted not that Jenkins must be as badly situated as himself. But in this Mr. Jackson was mistaken. On the contrary Jenkins had foreseen the approaching commercial storm and had prudently furled his sails in' season and was prepared to meet the worst, come when it might. He had recently heard of the adverse circumstances of his early friend, and while he was greatly grieved at his reverses, he resolved not to let his grief evaporate in silent sorrow, but to visit NewYork and ascertain personally if his friend's affairs could be relieved. He arrived too late for the assistance that he was kindly prepared to give ; for Jackson had pursued of late the down hill path so desperately and recklessly that he could not be extricated from his difficul. ties. Only one honest course remained, which was to squander no more property in vain efforts to procrastinate a fall that was inevitable, but to meet the crisis at once and assign all his remaining effects to good trustees, for the equal benefit of all his creditors. To this course Jenkins advised with the assurance that if his friend could become relieved from his liabilities, he would assist him to establish himself anew, when with the experience thus dearly purchased he would doubtless regain in time his former standing.
Jackson complied with all the suggestions of his friend, but nothing could well exceed his astonishment at the pecuniary abilities of Jenkins — the man who never denied his wife any thing; while he had yielded to only one request and was ruined.
But the mystery was soon solved. Jenkins admitted that he never denied his wife any thing. It was a way he had; reserving, however, to himself the execution of her projects at such a time only as should suit his convenience. That time had never yet come in the matter of the house, but they lived contentedly where they had always lived; his wife happy in the possession of a complying husband and the pleasant anticipations of future gratifications, and he satisfied in the possession of a hopeful wife, and in the full fruition of his present wishes. This revelation was not lost on Jackson, and when he ultimately obtained a release from his existing debts and commenced anew, under the auspices of his Philadelphia friend, he was never known to argue with his wife and especially never to become angry; and in process of time, by patient industry and resolute self-denial of all improvi. dent expenditures, he became far richer than before, and his wife while chatting with her neighbors in a snug parlor in the rear of the shop, would often, like Mrs. Jenkins, self-complacently boast, that as for Mr. Jackson, she must say he was a man who never denied his wife any thing.
BY A NEW CONTRIBUTOR.
COME let us quaff the morning bowl !
Already through her veil of roses The dawn of day peeps out, and lo!
How sweet the tulip's lip uncloses. That beautiful dark tulip, down
Whose cheek the dew-drops slowly trickle : Bring wine, iny soul, and let me sip,
For life, like love is fleeting, fickle; Behold upon her emerald throne,
The bulbui's queen, all glittering, glorious; Fetch me the ruby wine! that rose
In Eden's bower would reign victorious. Why talk of Eden? Eden's here!
Odors and wine flagon and flowers ; And thou a houri sweeter far
Than all the maids of Eden's bowers, But how? the banquet room is shut; Snug in
castle snores the keeper ; The bolt still fast, the entrance barred,
Up, drowsy dronel up, lazy sleeper! To sleep in such an hour as this
When Earth her varied joys discloses ; Like Hafiz, rather wisely seek
Life while it lasts, among the Roses !
In a soft, still summer twilight,
I have sought the spot full often
Mid my deep and yearning sadness,