The Path of Duty, and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 310 pages of information about The Path of Duty, and Other Stories.
and support of his mother, of whom it might be said, ’her last days were her best days.’  After the death of his mother, as he had no living tie to bind him to the spot, he removed to another section of country, where he married and is now a useful and respected member of society.  And now boys,” said Mrs. Knights, “allow me in conclusion to say to you all as one, as you value your own well-being in time and eternity, be sure that you honor and obey your parents; think of what the end of this young man might have been, and shun his example.  But I see that the hour for tea is near at hand; and for a time I will leave you to amuse yourselves, while I assist in preparing your tea; and if you have been interested in my story, I may tell you another when you next pass a rainy afternoon at our house.”  We all thanked the kind lady for the interesting story, and I fear one very much hoped that the next day we chanced to pass at Mrs. Knights’ farm would prove to be rainy in the afternoon.


Arthur Wilton had been for several years a student; but he was one of the plodding sort, who make but slow progress.  The principal barrier to his improvement arose from one defect in his character; and that was the habit in which he constantly indulged, of deploring the past, without making any very strong efforts toward amendment in the future.  He was one evening seated in his room; a ponderous volume lay open on his study-table, and for a time he vainly tried to fix his attention thereon, till finally he closed the book, and leaning back in his chair, his brows contracted, and the lines about his mouth grew tense, as if his thoughts were anything but pleasing.  As usual he was bemoaning his misspent hours.

“Ah,” said he, speaking in soliloquy, “they are gone, never more to return, the careless happy days of childhood, the sunny period of youth, and the aspiring dreams of mature manhood.  I once indulged in many ambitious dreams of fame, and those dreams have never been realized.  Many with whom I set out on equal ground have outstripped me in the race of life, and here am I alone.  Many who were once my inferiors have nearly overtaken me, and doubtless they too will soon pass me by.  What I very much prize is a true friend, and yet no friend approaches with a word of sympathy or encouragement; would that some would counsel me, as to how I may better my condition.”  Thus far had Arthur Wilton proceeded in his soliloquy, when his eyelids were weighed down by drowsiness, and he soon sank into a deep slumber.  In his dream an aged man, with a most mild and venerable countenance stood before him, who, addressing him by name, said:  “Thy heart is full of sorrow; but if you will listen to, and profit by my words, your sorrow shall be turned into joy.  You have been grieving over the hours which have been run to waste, without pausing to reflect, that while you have been occupied with

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The Path of Duty, and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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