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.
they lived in the enjoyment of worldly prosperity and happiness.  But it often happens that sad and unlooked-for reverses succeed a season of long continued prosperity; and it was so in this case.  I am not aware that Mr. Harris’s failure in business was brought about through any imprudence on his part; but was owing to severe and unexpected losses.  He had entered into various speculations, which bid fair to prove profitable, but which proved a complete failure, and one stroke of ill fortune followed another in rapid succession, till the day of utter ruin came.  He gave up every thing; even his house and furniture was sacrificed to meet the clamorous demands of his hard-hearted creditors; and his family was thus suddenly reduced from a state of ease and affluence to absolute poverty.  Mr. Harris possessed a very proud spirit, and his nature was sensitive, and he could not endure the humiliation of remaining where they had formerly been so happy.  He knew the world sufficiently well to be aware that they would now meet with coldness and neglect even from those who had formerly been proud of their notice, and shrank from the trial, and with the small amount he had been able to secure out of the general wreck, he removed to the city of Toronto, some three hundred miles from their former home.  They had but little money remaining when they reached the city, and Mr. Harris felt the necessity of at once seeking some employment, for a stranger destitute of money in a large city is in no enviable position.  For some time he was unsuccessful in every application he made for employment, and he was glad at length to accept the situation of copyist in a Lawyer’s Office, till something better might offer.  His salary barely sufficed for their support, yet they were thankful even for that.  His constitution had never been robust, and the anxiety of mind under which he labored told severely upon his health.  He exerted himself to the utmost, but his health failed rapidly; he was soon obliged to give up work, and in a little more than a year from the time of their removal to Toronto, he died, leaving his wife and daughter friendless and destitute.  Their situation was extremely sad, when thus left alone; they had made no acquaintances during the year they had resided in the city, and had no friend to whom they could apply for aid.  After paying her husband’s funeral expenses, Mrs. Harris found herself well-nigh destitute of money, and she felt the urgent necessity of exerting herself to obtain employment by which they at least might earn a subsistence.  The widow and her daughter found much difficulty at first in obtaining employment.  Some to whom they applied had no work; others did not give out work to strangers; and for several days Mrs. Harris returned weary and desponding to her home, after spending a large portion of the day in the disagreeable task of seeking employment from strangers; but after a time she succeeded in obtaining employment, and as their work proved satisfactory
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The Path of Duty, and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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