Anne was the daughter of a wealthy farmer. She had a good New England
school education, and was well bred and well taught at home in the
virtues and manners that constitute domestic social life. Her father
died a year before her marriage. He left a will dividing his property
equally between his son and daughter, giving to the son the homestead
with all its accumulated riches, and to the daughter the largest share
personal property amounting to 6 or 7000 dollars. This little
fortune became at Anne's marriage the property of her husband. It
would seem that the property of a woman received from her father
should be her's. But the laws of a barbarous age fixed it otherwise.
Anne married John Warren, who was the youngest child, daintly bred
by his parents. He opened a dry good store in a small town in the
vicinity of B----, where he invested Annie's property. He was a farmer,
and did not think of the qualifications necessary to a successful
merchant. For five or six years he went on tolerably, living _genteelly_
and _recklessly_, expecting that every year's gain would make up the
excess of the past. When sixteen years of their married life had passed,
they were living in a single room in the crowded street of R----.
Every penny of the inheritance was gone--three children had died--three
survived; a girl of fifteen years, whom the mother was educating to be
a teacher--a boy of twelve who was living at home, and Jessy, a pale,
delicate, little struggler for life, three years old.
Mrs. W---- was much changed in these sixteen years. Her round blooming
cheek was pale and sunken, her dark chestnut hair had become thin and
gray, her bright eyes, over-tasked by use and watching, were faded,
and her whole person shrunken. Yet she had gained a great victory.
Yes, it was a precious pearl. And you will wish to know what it was.
It was a gentle submission and resignation--a patience under all her
afflictions. But learn a lesson. Take care to whom you give your hand