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.
all my views clearly.”  “Indeed,” replied Mr. Talbot, “he must have a wonderful flow of language to have handled so extensive a subject, in the usual time allotted to a sermon.”  His answer displeased her very much.  Among her other gloomy forebodings she always seemed sure of the fact that Mr. Talbot would survive her; and she replied:  “That is always the way.  You make light of every thing I say; and I only hope you wont have all these things to repent of when I shall be no more.”  Mr. Talbot seemed sorry he had wounded her feelings, and replied:  “We shall both live our appointed time, and it is not for us to decide which of us will be first removed.”  The last time I saw Mrs. Talbot she was indulging in her anticipation of some coming calamity.  I have learned from various sources, that since I last saw her she has met with real afflictions of a very trying nature, even to the most hopeful; and it may be that the presence of real troubles, has put to flight many which were only imaginary; and she may by this time have learned to be thankful for whatever of blessings may yet be left her in her path through life.


My schoolmate Edward Barton, or ‘Ned’ as he was usually called by the boys, was such an odd character in his way, that I trust my readers will pardon me for introducing him to their notice.  His father was a physician in a distant village, and was justly esteemed among the residents of the place.  He had an extensive practice both in the village and surrounding country, and his time was very much occupied; and as Ned grew up he proved a source of constant anxiety to his father, who, being unable to keep him under his own eye, at length decided to send him to reside with some relatives in a farming district some twenty miles distant from his home.  Ned’s disposition was a singular compound of good and evil, and his conduct depended in a great measure, upon the companions he associated with.  He was easily persuaded, and often during his father’s frequent and lengthened absences from home he played truant from school, and associated with the worst boys in the village.  I well remember the first morning he entered our school.  He was then about twelve years of age; but, owing to his carelessness and inattention, he had made but slight progress in study.  I learned afterwards that he had so long borne the names of “dunce” and “blockhead” in the school he attended in his own village, that he supposed himself to be really such, and made up his mind that it was useless for him to try to be anything else:  and I think when our teacher first called him up for examination he was inclined to be of the same opinion.  The teacher first addressed him by saying, “How far have you advanced in reading, my boy?” “Don’t know sir, never thought anything about how far I’ve been.”  “Well, at least,” replied the master, “you can tell me the names of the books you have studied, in reading and spelling.” 

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