Friends and Neighbors eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 236 pages of information about Friends and Neighbors.

THE WORLD WOULD BE THE BETTER FOR IT.

IF men cared less for wealth and fame,
  And less for battle-fields and glory;
If, writ in human hearts, a name
  Seemed better than in song and story;
If men, instead of nursing pride,
  Would learn to hate and to abhor it—­
    If more relied
    On Love to guide,
The world would be the better for it.

If men dealt less in stocks and lands,
  And more in bonds and deeds fraternal;
If Love’s work had more willing hands
  To link this world to the supernal;
If men stored up Love’s oil and wine,
  And on bruised human hearts would pour it;
    If “yours” and “mine”
    Would once combine,
The world would be the better for it.

If more would act the play of Life,
  And fewer spoil it in rehearsal;
If Bigotry would sheathe its knife
  Till Good became more universal;
If Custom, gray with ages grown,
  Had fewer blind men to adore it—­
    If talent shone
    In truth alone,
The world would be the better for it.

If men were wise in little things—­
  Affecting less in all their dealings—­
If hearts had fewer rusted strings
  To isolate their kindly feelings;
If men, when Wrong beats down the Right,
  Would strike together and restore it—­
    If Right made Might
    In every fight,
The world would be the better for it.

TWO SIDES TO A STORY.

“HAVE you seen much of your new neighbours, yet?” asked Mrs. Morris, as she stepped in to have an hour’s social chat with her old friend, Mrs. Freeman.

“Very little,” was the reply.  “Occasionally I have seen the lady walking in her garden, and have sometimes watched the sports of the children on the side-walk, but this is all.  It is not like the country, you know.  One may live here for years, and not become acquainted with the next-door neighbours.”

“Some may do so,” replied Mrs. Morris, “but, for my part, I always like to know something of those around me.  It is not always desirable to make the acquaintance of near neighbours, but by a little observation it is very easy to gain an insight into their characters and position in society.  The family which has moved into the house next to yours, for instance, lived near to me for nearly two years, and although I never spoke to one of them, I can tell you of some strange transactions which took place in their house.”

“Indeed!” replied Mrs. Freeman, with little manifestation of interest or curiosity; but Mrs. Morris was too eager to communicate her information to notice her friend’s manner, and lowering her voice to a confidential tone, continued:—­

“There is an old lady in their family whom they abuse in the most shocking manner.  She is very rich, and they by threats and ill-treatment extort large sums of money from her.”

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Project Gutenberg
Friends and Neighbors from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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