Friends and Neighbors eBook

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

“But then (hesitatingly), those geese—­I killed three.  Let it go for them.”

“If you did kill them, we ate them.  So that is even.  No, no, let the past be forgotten, and if it makes better neighbours and friends of us, we never need regret what has happened.”

Farmer Gray remained firm, and the bill was settled, omitting the item of “corn.”  From that time forth he never had a better neighbour than the shoemaker.  The cows, hogs, and geese of both would occasionally trespass, but the trespassers were always kindly removed.  The lesson was not lost on either of them—­for even Farmer Gray used to feel, sometimes, a little annoyed when his neighbour’s cattle broke into his field.  But in teaching the shoemaker a lesson, he had taken a little of it himself.

THE ACCOUNT.

THE clock from the city hall struck one;
The merchant’s task was not yet done;
He knew the old year was passing away,
And his accounts must all be settled that day;
He must know for a truth how much he should win,
So fast the money was rolling in.

He took the last cash-book, from the pile,
And he summed it up with a happy smile;
For a just and upright man was he,
Dealing with all most righteously,
And now he was sure how much he should win,
How fast the money was rolling in.

He heard not the soft touch on the door—­
He heard not the tread on the carpeted floor—­
So still was her coming, he thought him alone,
Till she spake in a sweet and silvery tone: 
“Thou knowest not yet how much thou shalt win—­
How fast the money is rolling in.”

Then from ’neath her white, fair arm, she took
A golden-clasped, and, beautiful book—­
“’Tis my account thou hast to pay,
In the coming of the New Year’s day—­
Read—­ere thou knowest how much thou shalt win,
How fast the money is rolling in.”

He open’d the clasps with a trembling hand—­
Therein was Charity’s firm demand: 
“To the widow, the orphan, the needy, the poor,
Much owest thou of thy yearly store;
Give, ere thou knowest how much thou shalt win—­
While fast the money is rolling in.”

The merchant took from his box of gold
A goodly sum for the lady bold;
His heart was richer than e’er before,
As she bore the prize from the chamber door. 
Ye who would know how much ye can win,
Give, when the money is rolling in.

CONTENTMENT BETTER THAN WEALTH.

“IT is vain, to urge, Brother Robert.  Out into the world I must go.  The impulse is on me.  I should die of inaction here.”

“You need not be inactive.  There is work to do.  I shall never be idle.”

“And such work!  Delving in, and grovelling close to the ground.  And for what?  Oh no Robert.  My ambition soars beyond your ’quiet cottage in a sheltered vale.’  My appetite craves something more than simple herbs, and water from the brook.  I have set my heart on attaining wealth; and where there is a will there is always a way.”

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