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.
these unavailing regrets, another hour has glided away past your recall forever; and will be added to your already lengthened list of opportunities misimproved.  You grieve that your name is not placed on the lists of fame.  Cease from thy fruitless longings.  Discharge faithfully your present duties, and if you merit fame it will certainly be awarded you.  You also complain that no friend is near you.  Have you ever truly sought a friend, by the unwearied exercise of those affections, and in the performance of those numberless offices of kindness by which alone friendship is secured and perpetuated?

    ’All like the purchase, few the price will pay;
    And this makes friends such miracles below.’

Hast thou hoped for the society of the wise and good?  Then with diligence and untiring zeal you should seek to fit yourself for such companionship.  Have your early companions got before you in the race of life; and yet you remain at ease, dreaming over the past?  Awake, young man, ere yet your day is done, and address yourself to your work with renewed energy; look forward to the future instead of brooding over the past, and be assured you will acquire wisdom, friends and every other needful blessing.”  With these words the aged man disappeared, and the student awoke.  His fire had gone out and his lamp burned but dimly.  He rose, replenished his fire, trimmed his lamp, and resumed his studies with ardor.  This dream was not lost upon Arthur Wilton.  Instead of now wasting his time in regrets for the past, he looked forward with a steady purpose of improvement, and from that period no harder student was to be found in the college; and he finally graduated with high honors.  In after years he often related this dream to those of his acquaintances whom he thought in danger of falling into the same habit to which he himself had been so prone in his youthful days.


For some years, when a child, I used daily to pass the dwelling of Uncle Ephraim, on my way to and from school.  He was not my uncle; indeed he bore no relationship whatever to me, but Uncle Ephraim was the familiar appellation by which he was known by all the school-boys in the vicinity.  He was among the oldest residents in the section, and although a very eccentric person, was much respected by all his neighbors.  How plainly do I yet remember him, after the lapse of so many years!  His tall figure, shoulders that slightly stooped, his florid complexion, clear blue eyes, and hair bleached by the frosts of time to snowy whiteness.  The farm on which he resided had improved under the hand of industry, till since my earliest recollection, it was in a state of high cultivation.  His dwelling was an old-fashioned structure, placed a little back from the main road, and almost hidden from view by thick trees.  In an open space, a little to one side, was the draw-well with its long pole and sweep;

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