Friends and Neighbors eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 294 pages of information about Friends and Neighbors.

“A gift!  What folly!”

“No, not folly—­but true worldly wisdom; though I believe Jones did not think of advantage to himself when he generously made the offer.  He is worth twenty thousand dollars more to-day than he was yesterday, in the simple advanced value of his land for building lots.  And I know of no man in this town whose good fortune affects me with more pleasure.”

Smith stole back to his home with a mountain of disappointment on his heart.  In his cupidity he had entirely overreached himself, and he saw that the consequences were to react upon all his future prosperity.  The public square at the west end of the town would draw improvements in that direction, all the while increasing the wealth of Mr. Jones, while lots at the north end would remain at present prices, or, it might be, take a downward range.

And so it proved.  In ten years, Jones was the richest man in the town, while half of Smith’s property had been sold for taxes.  The five acre lot passed from his hands, under the hammer, in the foreclosure of a mortgage, for one thousand dollars!

Thus it is that inordinate selfishness and cupidity overreach themselves; while the liberal man deviseth liberal things, and is sustained thereby.


A SUNBEAM and a raindrop met together in the sky
One afternoon in sunny June, when earth was parched and dry;
Each quarrelled for the precedence (’twas so the story ran),
And the golden sunbeam, warmly, the quarrel thus began:—­

“What were the earth without me?  I come with beauty bright,
She smiles to hail my presence, and rejoices in my light;
I deck the hill and valley with many a lovely hue,
I give the rose its blushes, and the violet its blue.

“I steal within the window, and through the cottage door,
And my presence like a blessing gilds with smiles the broad earth o’er;
The brooks and streams flow dancing and sparkling in my ray,
And the merry, happy children in the golden sunshine play.”

Then the tearful raindrop answered—­“Give praise where praise is due,
The earth indeed were lonely without a smile from you;
But without my visits, also, its beauty would decay,
The flowers droop and wither, and the streamlets dry away.

“I give the flowers their freshness, and you their colours gay,
My jewels would not sparkle, without your sunny ray. 
Since each upon the other so closely must depend,
Let us seek the earth together, and our common blessings blend.”

The raindrops, and the sunbeams, came laughing down to earth,
And it woke once more to beauty, and to myriad tones of mirth;
The river and the streamlet went dancing on their way,
And the raindrops brightly sparkled in the sunbeam’s golden ray.

The drooping flowers looked brighter, there was fragrance in the air,
The earth seemed new created, there was gladness everywhere;
And above the dark clouds, gleaming on the clear blue arch of Heaven,
The Rainbow, in its beauty, like a smile of love was given.

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