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.
upon my health.  I followed his advice, and, with the small sum of money which I had been able to lay by, added to what I received from the sale of my few articles of household furniture, I left the city.  When I left Boston I had no particular place in view as to where I might find a home.  I had decided upon opening a school in some country village if I could meet with encouragement in the undertaking.  About fifty miles distant from this city I was taken ill, and for several weeks was unable to proceed on my way.  When I was sufficiently recovered to allow of my again travelling I found it to be imperatively necessary that I should seek some place where I could earn a support for myself and child, as the small sum of money with which I left Boston was now nearly gone.  The kind gentleman, in whose house I remained during my illness, informed me that he was well acquainted in the village of Walden, and he thought it a place where I would be likely to succeed in establishing a select school for young children, as he informed me there were many wealthy people residing here, who would patronize a school of this kind.  With this intention I came to this village, and when I purchased my ticket for Walden I had but one dollar remaining in my purse, which, with the clothing and other articles contained in my trunk is all I possess in the world.  But this matters little to me now, for I feel that my days on earth are numbered.  I am unable to reward you for your exceeding kindness to myself and child; but I pray Heaven to reward and bless you, both temporally and spiritually.  It is hard for me to leave my dear child, but I now feel resigned to the will of Heaven, knowing that whatever He wills is for the best.”


And so the little orphan boy found a home and friends to love and cherish him.

Mr. and Mrs. Humphrey felt a tender love for the lovely and engaging orphan.  Mrs. Humphrey, in particular, seemed almost to idolize him.

She had many years before lost, by death, a little boy, when of about the same age which little Ernest was when thus strangely cast upon her bounty; and this circumstance may have attached her more strongly to the child.

Mr. Humphrey was equally fond of the boy, but his disposition was less demonstrative than was that of his wife he was, therefore not so much inclined to indulge, the child in a manner which would prove injurious to him as he grew older.

Although the child had a very affectionate disposition he yet possessed a will that liked not to yield to that of another.  Young as the child was, his mother had discovered this trait in his character and had, previously to her death, spoken of the matter to Mrs. Humphrey, and besought her—­as she valued her own happiness and that of the child—­to exact strict obedience from him when he should be left solely to her care.

“Even,” said she, “should it require severe measures to break that will, it must be done.  Remember it is for the best good of the child.”

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