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end of the boat to the other. Forcel directed his course, partly by chance, towards the entrance to the bay, and was fortunate enough to get in ; when suddenly cries of despair were heard amid the roar of the breakers, and a vessel, it was clear, had just been wrecked. In spite of all remonstrances, he set out with his son. He directed his course through the rocks towards the spot whence the cries came, and where he found a vessel overset, and two men and a woman, tossed by tren dous waves, clinging to the mast and awaiting death. Unable to persuade them to leave hold of the mast and make towards his boat, he was obliged to leap to the perishing vessel, seize one of the doomed creatures, and leap back with him to his own boat. Three times he performed this dangerous feat, and brought them in triumph to Blainville. The admiration excited on this occasion among the whole coast population was such that the government sent him a medal of the first class.
What a man he would have made of his step-son! But his hopes were cruelly disappointed. On the 6th August 1865, when the boy was bathing in the harbour of Blainville, Forcel suddenly heard cries of distress. Not seeing the lad, he threw off his coat, dived three times without finding him ; and supposing that the current had carried him out, he put off with his boat from the shore, dived again, and found him. But the sea this time had taken its revenge ; the poor old sailor only brought home a corpse. The profoundest sympathy for his misfortune, and the admiration long felt for his conduct, were expressed in the memorandum sent to the Academy, which in 1866 granted him a prize of 3000 francs (£120).*
* In imitation of M. de Montyon, a M. Souriau has founded an annual prize of a thousand francs (£40), for virtuous actions; and a Madame Marie Lasne has founded six
medals' of three hundred francs each. The former came into operation in 1866, the latter in 1869. The awards are made by the Academy in the same way as for the Montyon prizes.
ND so, Frank, you are really going to be married ?'
And live on broth ?'
'Yes, sir; and if I cannot afford that, on water-gruel.' And
pray, have you persuaded Jane to starve with you?' 'I have persuaded her, sir, that we can be happy on the bare necessaries of life ; and those my industry will always procure us.'
'How do you know that you will always have health to labour in your profession?'
'I certainly do not; it would be presumption in me to speak securely on that subject.' * Yet you are going to act as if this were a certainty.'
And is it wrong, my dear sir, that I should ? I have health and strength—these, to me, are positive wealth. I possess them now,
* The present story (a few alterations excepted) formed a small volume of unpretending appearance, and of anonymous authorship, published some years ago at Boston, United States, and which had there gone through several editions. We were so much pleased with the production, as a contribution to good morals, virtuous habits, and domestic and social comfort-in which respects it reminded us of some of the early popular works of Miss Edgeworth-as to feel satisfied that we should be doing a duty to our readers, and a benefit to society, by its republication in our Miscellany. -Ed.
and I must make the most of them. If the uncertainty of our possessions is to paralyse our exertions, those who have money are nearly as ill off as those who have not. Riches take to themselves wings and fly away; they are at the mercy of fire and water. Uncertainty is written upon all things. I believe my prospects are as stable as most people's.'
'Let me hear what they are.'
'In the first place, sir, I have health; in the next, activity; and! then my profession is a pretty sure one. A physician will always: find patients, if he is attentive and skilful; and I mean to be both.. However, I confess that our greatest security for a living will consist: in our moderate desires and simple habits. You know, sir, Jane has no passion for fine dress; and, in short’
In short, Frank, you are determined to be married; and there is an end of all argument.'
'I only wait for your consent, sir.' 'You know very well that mine will follow Jane's. And she is willing to live with you on the bare necessaries of life?' Jane, only answered by an assenting smile. Very well, give up. One thing, however, let me tell you-beyond bread and water, a shelter for one's head, a bag of straw to sleep on, and covering and fuel to guard us from the inclemencies of the weather, there are no positive necessaries; all the rest are comparative. Jane had hitherto sat very quietly at her work, but she now laid it in her lap, and looked up with an air of astonishment. 'You do not agree with me, I perceive,' said Uncle Joshua ; ‘tell me, then, what you think are the necessaries of life.'
' I confess, sir,” said Jane a little contemptuously, 'when I agreed with Frank that we could live on the necessaries of life, I did not mean like the beasts of the field or the birds of the air ; but graduating our ideas to what is around us, I am sure we shall ask for nothing more than the necessaries of life. The luxuries,' added she with a pretty sentimental air, 'we will draw from our own hearts.
' And I,' said Frank, looking enchanted with her eloquence, 'shall be the happiest of men.'
Graduating our ideas to what is around us !' exclaimed Uncle Joshua. 'Ah, there it is; you could live on broth or water-gruel, if everybody else did; but the fact is, that nobody does; and so you, like the rest of the world, will live a little beyond your means.
'No, sir,' said the young people eagerly; we are determined to make it a rule never to exceed our means.'
'As long as you keep to that rule, you are safe ; you do not know what it is to be beset by temptations. But I have done; advice is of little value where we have nothing else to give--and that is pretty much my case; but a bachelor's wants are few.'
“Yes, dear uncle,' said Jane smiling ; "he wants nothing but the necessaries of life-an elbow-chair, a good fire, and a cigar half
a dozen times a day; and long, long,' added she, affectionately embracing him, 'may you enjoy them, and give to us what is of far more value than money—your affection ; and on every other subject,
In one fortnight from this conversation Frank and Jane were man and wife. Perhaps a more united or a more rational pair had seldom pronounced the marriage vow. They began with the wise purpose of incurring no debts, and took a small house, at a cheap rate, in an obscure but populous part of the city.
Most young physicians begin life with some degree of patronage, but Frank had none. He came to the city a stranger from the wilds of Vermont, fell in love with Jane Churchwood, the niece of Uncle Joshua, a man whom nobody knew, and whose independence consisted in limiting his wants to his means. What little he could do for Jane, he cheerfully did. But after all necessary expenses were paid, the young people had but just enough between them to secure their first quarter's rent, and place a sign on the corner of the house, with ‘ Dr Fulton' handsomely inscribed upon it. The sign seemed to excite but little attention-as nobody called to see the owner of it, though he was at home every hour in the day.
After a week of patient expectation, which could not be said to pass heavily-for they worked, read, and talked together—Frank thought it best to add to the sign : ‘Practises for the poor gratis.' At the end of a few days another clause was added : ‘Furnishes medicines to those who cannot pay for them. In a very short time the passers-by stopped to spell out the words, and Frank soon began to reap the benefit of this addition. Various applications were made ; and though they did not, as yet, promise any increase of revenue, he was willing to pay for the first stepping-stone. What had begun, however, from true New-England calculation, was continued from benevolence. He was introduced to scenes of misery that made him forget all but the desire of relieving the wretchedness he witnessed; and when he related to his young and tender-hearted wife the situation in which he found a mother confined to her bed, with two or three helpless children crying around her for bread, Jane would put on her straw bonnet, and follow him with a light step to the dreary abode. The first quarter's board came round; it was paid, and left them nearly penniless. There is something in benevolent purpose, as well as in industry, that cheers and supports the mind. Never was Jane's step lighter, or her smile gayer, than at present. But this could not last : the next quarter's rent must be provided—and how? Still the work of mercy went on, and did not grow slack. One day taking a small supply of provisions with them, they went to visit a poor sick
After ascending a crooked fight of stairs, they entered the forlorn apartment, where lay the sick mother, while the hungry squalid children were gathered round the ashes upon the hearth.
But an object attracted their attention that might be said to afford all the picturesque relief which a painter would require in such a
By the side of the bed sat a lady in the prime of life, redolent with health and beauty, and dressed in the extreme of fashion. After gazing with some surprise at the new-comers, she bent over the sufferer, sweeping her bird-of-paradise feathers in the sick woman's face, and inquired who they were. In the meantime the children gathered round Jane, and, with a true animal instinct, began to scent the provision that the basket contained. It was with difficulty she could restrain their eager appetites. The lady looked on with wonder, and inhaled the odour of the vinaigrette attached to her watch-chain. 'I hope there is nothing infectious ?' said she in a low voice to the doctor.
He assured her there was not. 'She has been,' said he, 'too weak to work for several months, and is reduced to this state as much by the want of nourishing food as disease.'
‘How shocking !' said the lady, putting her embroidered pockethandkerchief to her eyes. “Why did she not go to the almshouse ?' ΤΙ wom n's lips moved, but no sound was articulated. “T is a very foolish prejudice against this institution,' said Mrs Hartwhich was the name of the lady. “I have known many people that had rather beg than go there.'
'It is foolish,' said the doctor, “if that is the case; but as long as people can earn a living without applying to the town for support, we must commend them for their exertions:
'I am very sorry,' replied she, 'that Martha did not let me know her situation before. I certainly would have done all I could to relieve her.'
"Then you know her, madam?' said Jane, for the first time speaking to the lady.
'Yes; that is, she has washed in my kitchen for some weeks.' ‘Months,' said Martha with exertion.
'She sent to me, continued the lady, 'a few days ago; and I ordered my coachman this morning to find out where she lived ; and I have ventured here, notwithstanding my weak nerves and delicate health.'
'How good of you, madam !' said Jane, who was evidently impressed by the apparent rank of the lady. 'Mrs Barber is very destitute.
“So I perceive; but I rejoice she has found friends in you, able and willing to assist her.'
“We are more willing than able,' said Jane meekly.
“That is precisely my case,' replied Mrs Hart. Jane glanced at her costly apparel. We who are called rich have constant claims; but I will assist you in aiding poor Martha ;' and she drew from her reticule a splendid crimson purse, and drawing back the gold rings, placed in the woman's emaciated hand a small sum. Strange as it