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Mr. Bullion calling Henry to return.
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"IT IS ONLY A PIN."
A TALE FOR YOUTH,
.4 U T J1OR
It is only a pin .
The pin factory
Mr. Barton's story .
The pin .
Henry enters Mr. Bullion's service
Henry's industry and ability
Mr. and Mrs. Bullion at home
Henry's assiduity to business
Henry introduced into company
Henry displays his talent in music
Mr. Bullion's picture gallery
Henry's account of the picture
Henry in fashionable company
Henry is sent to Paris. .
Henry's mission to Canada .
Henry's voyage to America
Henry succeeds in his object
Henry returns home .
Henry visits Paris again .
Henry's interview with Julia
The cottage at Saint Germain
Henry visits his mother
Henry's interview with Mrs. Termn
Henry's vindication of himself
Henry at Saint Germain .
Henry and Julia's reflections
Julia's New-year's gift to Henry
Tidings of trouble in the Cottage
Henry visits the sister's creditor
A fortunate discovery
The friendly plot
The persecuting creditor
Henry's surprise .
Union of Henry and Julia
IT IS ONLY A PIN.
SONLY a pin ? such .a trifle to make so
much fuss about, why----"
Stop, my dear; before you despise this
useful little object, consider how very in-
convenient it would be for us if there were
no pins. I scarcely know what we should
do without them. I do not know what
they do in those countries where there
are no pins; they must use thorns, or some
such things that grow pointed. Just try if
you can make a pin; I will not ask you to
make-the wire. I will give you a piece; it
has already gone through several operations
in the hands of the wire-drawer, and the
dresser, who has straightened it, and cut it
to the proper length; so you will only have to
point it and put a head on."
6 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
Saying these words, Mrs. Ashton gave a
piece of wire such as pins are made of, to
her son, and watched him while he took the
matter of pin-making in hand.
Alfred was the owner of a little box of
carpenter's tools, with which he pleasantly
wiled away many an hour. He ran to fetch
them, never doubting that, with their assist-
ance, he would be able to convert the piece
of wire into a handsome straight-pointed
He first attempted to point the wire, and
by means of a file he managed to produce
something that looked like a point, although
very rough; but he found much difficulty
in holding the wire, which was continually
slipping through his fingers,
But when he arrived at the consideration
of how the head was to be made, his confi-
dence forsook him; he saw at once that,
small as it was, the task was beyond his
skill; and somewhat crestfallen he informed
his mother that he could not maka a pin,
and that he should like to see somebody
make one; it must be so very curious.
Now, my son, since you have discovered
THE PROMISE. 7
how difficult it is to make a pin, you will,
perhaps, in future not be wasteful and throw
them into the fire. To-morrow, if you are a
good boy, I will take you to a place where
they make pins, to Mr. Barton's factory,
where you will see all the people at work,
making pins; and you will, perhaps, be sur-
prised to see that more than a dozen persons
are employed in making a single pin. If one
man undertook to make pins completely by
himself, he could make only very few a day;
whereas, by taking in hand only one portion
of the various operations required to perfect
a pin, he is enabled to contribute to the
production of a very great number."
THE PIN FACTORY.
NEXT -day, according to promise, Mrs.
Ashton took her son and daughter to Mr.
Barton's factory. That gentleman, upon
receiving Mrs. Ashton's request to be per-
mitted to show her children the way pins
were made, kindly undertook to accompany
them through the workshops, and explain
8 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
what was being done in each. On reaching
the workshop of the wire-drawer, they saw
the bright brass metal converted into fine
wire of various thicknesses, according to the
kind of pins for which it was required; from
the little ribbon-pin, almost as fine as a hair,
up to the stout and strong upholsterer's pin,
nearly as large as a bodkin. They next pro-
ceeded to the dresser's, who took the heavy
coils of wire, cut them into lengths for two
pins, and straightened them: they were
then ready for the pointer, who sharpened
each end of the wire upon a mill; from him
they were transferred to the cutter, and by
him cut to the proper length.
Making the heads was, however, the ope-
ration most eagerly watched by the children,
and they saw that several persons were
required to complete a pin's head. First
there was the twister, who twisted the wire
into a sort of ring, and then handed it to
the head cutter, who cut off these little rings
from the superfluous wire. The heads were
then passed to the baker, who annealed them
in an oven, first making them hot, and then
allowing them to cool gradually; by this
PIN MAKING. 9
means the wire becomes exceedingly tough.
The heads were next taken in hand by the
shaper, who fashioned them round and neat;
another workman fastened the head on to
Mr. Barton informed the little folks that,
in some pin factories, the heads are produced
in a different manner, not made separately,
but formed out of the length of wire which
is the pin, by pressing the-end into a nob or
head. The advantages presented by pins so
made are that the heads never come off, as
they sometimes do when made by the other
After the heads are put on, the pins require
to be cleaned, they next pass to the hands of
the bleacher, who whitens by covering them
with melted tin, tinning them as it may be
called; they then go to the cooler, who cools
them in water. The polisher takes them
from the cooler, and puts them into a sort of
churn, with some bran, and keeps them
turning until they are polished bright. It is
then necessary to separate them from the
bran, and this operation is performed by the
fanner. The pins are now finished; but as
10 IT TS ONLY A PIN.
a great many of them are sold stuck upon
paper, a pricker is employed to make the
holes in the paper, and the paperer puts the
pins into the holes.
The children passed from one workshop to
another with increasing curiosity and sur-
prise, wondering when they would arrive at
the last stage of progress in the art of pin-
making; and when they did arrive at the
last, they looked for more, nothing doubting
that there might be others in store.
"I take great pride in my business," said
Mr. Barton, for I think that of all inani-
mate objects a pin is perhaps the one that
performs the most important part in the
many little things that make up the whole
of domestic life. I knew a gentleman, who
became a wealthy merchant and banker; he
owed all his good fortune to a pin. He was
once a poor youth, but a pin was the means
of introducing him to a good situation, in
which he acquitted himself so well, that he
became what I have told you."
"How curious," said the children, both
together, "and all through a little pin. Oh,
how I should like to hear how he made his
fortune out of a pin."
STORY OF A PIN. 1H
"I shall take much pleasure," said Mr.
Barton, "in relating the story to you; it is
indeed quite romantic, but nevertheless true,
every word of it. Let us walk into the
garden, and take a seat in the summer-house.
I will then tell you as much of this story of
a pin as you will be able to remember to-
day: the rest I will relate to you the first
leisure time I have."
MR. BARTON'S STORY.
HENRY ARDEN, the hero of my story, was
the only son of a merchant, who dying
when young, left his family but slenderly
provided for. Besides Henry, there were
two elder daughters. Mrs. Arden, entertain-
ing great hopes that Henry would prove as
good a man as his father had been, made
every sacrifice in her power to give him a
good education. Henry showed, when very
young, a strong taste for art; he was never
so happy, when away from his books, as
when he had a pencil in his hand, drawing
objects by which he was surrounded.
12 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
Henry's father, perceiving his talent, had
wished him to become an artist; but his
mother, knowing how precarious that pro-
fession was, except to those who possess true
genius, preferred that Henry, at his father's
death, should enter commercial life. Henry
felt it a great sacrifice to be obliged to quit
the fairy-land of art, for the dull routine of
the counting-house; but as he knew it was
his duty to obey his parent's wishes, he
followed her injunctions without a murmur.
He at once sought to obtain a situation as
clerk in a mercantile house. Many of his
late father's friends undertook to speak for
him, and promised, when anything in the
way of vacancy came under their notice,
they would let him know of it. But Henry,
fearing their memories might prove treacher-
ous, resolved to set out himself in quest of a
situation, and it was while engaged on this
praiseworthy errand, that the adventure of
the pin befel him, that I have spoken of.
Threading his way through the narrow
streets of the city, where the business of the
world is transacted in dark rooms that sur-
prise everybody but those who inhabit them,
DISCOURAGING EVENTS. 13
Henry called at one counting-house after
another, until he became nearly discouraged
at his want of success. Some looked at him
with an air of surprise; others, he thought,
with pity. From some he received civil
replies, but many, upon hearing his inquiries,
scarcely deigned to reply at all, but turned
their heads away, muttering inaudibly.
Henry's heart sank within him, He had
always felt it a duty to be kind and civil to
all, and he could not understand why he,
who spoke civilly, should receive such curt
responses to his solicitations. But Henry
was, unintentionally, doing these gentlemen
injustice: he did not know that they were so
deeply absorbed in their business, that they
had neither a thought nor a word for any-
thing that did not concern it. Had Henry
been the bearer of money bags, or had he
attempted to carry anything off furtively
from the places he visited, he would probably
have seen a different result.
It was late in the afternoon, when Henry,
now very weary and disheartened, found
himself in Billiter-square. He ascended
the st9s of one of the largest houses, and
IT IS ONLY
opening a door, upon which was a brass plate,
he perceived he was in a large room filled
with desks, at each of which a clerk was
engaged writing. Henry's heart fluttered
more than ever. He felt here was just the
place in which he would like to be installed;
and he looked around in the hope that he
might find at least one desk vacant.
A gray-haired dignified gentleman, whom
Henry supposed to be the principal, came
forward, and politely inquired his business.
I am seeking a situation, sir, as clerk,"
Henry, "and hope, if
y in your office, you will
I shall certainly do my
gentleman Henry addre
kindly, but shaking his 1
ey were not in want of
; he should be very g]
it laid in his nower.
you have a
allow me to
best to serve
any one at
lad to assist
enry had secretly resolved that he would
admittance into that establishment, if
HENRY'S PERSEVERANCE. 15
possible; and acting under that conviction,
he became rather pertinacious. The gentle-
man made some inquiries of Henry, as to
the kind of employment he had been accus-
tomed to; but when he learned that Henry
had never been engaged in a counting-house,
he assured him that he would find it very
difficult to obtain a situation. He also
intimated to Henry that he was not the
principal of the house, but only the manage.
Upon hearing this, Henry was seized with
a desire to see the merchant himself, and
begged of the clerk to allow him to go to
him; but this the clerk said he could not do,
as Mr. Bullion would not allow himself to
be interrupted except by the most important
Just at this moment, the door of an inner
room opened, and a portly intelligent-look-
ing gentleman entered the counting-house.
From his manner, and from the deference
with which he was received, Henry at once
concluded he was the merchant.
He approached the place where Henry
and the clerk were standing, and addressing
16 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
the clerk, he inquired of him what was the
young gentleman's business. The clerk
replied in so low a tone, that Henry could
catch but little of what was said; but the
merchant, in passing Henry on his way to
the door, observed to him that he was very
sorry he could not take him into his office,
he was quite full.
"Will you give me leave to call again,
sir ?" said Henry, "perhaps you may, before
long, have a vacancy which I can fill."
"You may do so, if you please," replied
the merchant. Have you any friends who
can speak for you, in the event of your meet-
ing with employment."
Henry mentioned the names of three or
four of his late father's friends, among others,
a Mr. Taylor.
"I know that gentleman very well," said
the merchant; "he is one of my most es-
During these words, they had both reached
the outer door, where the merchant paused.
Henry, feeling that the interview had ended,
bowed and descended the steps,
HENRY was, to say the least, a little disap.
pointed. He had allowed his hopes to lift
his expectations too high. As he crossed the
square, with his eyes looking on the ground,
feeling rather dejected, he saw a pin lying
between two stones; he involuntarily stooped
and picked it up.
"Young man, stop come back !"
were the loud words that reached Henry's
ear; and looking back, he saw the merchant
beckoning him to return. He immediately
retraced his steps to the door he had just
"What treasure is that you just picked
up, sir?" said the merchant; "if it is any-
thing of value, you ought to have brought it
back here, so that we might endeavour to
find the owner."
Henry looked confused, and blushed. He
was ashamed to confess that the treasure he
had stooped to pick up was only a pin; it
seemed so ridiculous.
At length summoning up sufficient cou-
18 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
.age, he pulled out from the inside of his
oat the pin he had picked up, and exhibit-
ing it to the merchant, said,
"This, sir, is what I picked up; it is only
a pin; but my poor father, who is dead,
taught me when a child, to pick up a pin
whenever I saw one lying on the ground;
for, as he said, nothing was so insignificant
but what might some day be found useful.
I saw this pin lying on the ground, and from
habit I stooped to pick it up." Saying this,
Henry returned the pin to his coat.
"My son," said the merchant, you need
not blush for what you have done; it is
nothing you need be ashamed of. Attention
to little things bespeaks carefulness in
greater ones. Orderly and thrifty habits are
valuable qualities in a young man who
aspires to be a merchant. A pin is some-
times as useful as a nail, and you may have
'For want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For want of a horse the rider was lost,
And all for the want of a horse-shoe nail.'
A GLEAM OF SUCCESS. 19
I admire your candour, and think much of
your attention to such trifles, and although,
as I just now informed you, I have, at pre-
sent, no need of your services, I am now
disposed to give you an opportunity of em-
ploying yourself. Walk in to the counting-
house, and we will speak to Mr. Plumer."
Mr. Plumer was the managing clerk, with
whom Henry had held a conference at the
beginning of this adventure. When he saw
Henry return with Mr. Bullion, he looked,
surprised, first at Henry and then at the
Mr. Plumer, give me a sheet of paper,
and a good pen:"-and placing them on a
desk near where he stood, he said to Henry,
"I should like to see a specimen of your
Now, Henry prided himself upon his
writing. He wrote a firm, bold, clear hand,
which was as easy to read as print. So he
took the pen Mr. Bullion handed to him,
with confidence, and he wrote as follows:
Every river and sea on the globe is visited by
ships bearing the flag of England: every wind
that blows favours her mariners: they carry the
20 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
productions of one country to be exchanged for
those of other countries. The prosperity of a
nation may be measured by the freedom of its
Handing the sheet of paper to Mr. Bullion, he
eagerly watched that gentleman's face while
he perused the lines he had written. After
viewing them attentively for a few seconds,
he turned to Henry, saying,-" Your hand-
writing displays much character; it is clear,
bold, and free, without any redundant flou-
riches; your i's are dotted, your t's are all
crossed, and your punctuation is correct.
My business requires many clerks to carry
on the correspondence with my agents in
various parts of the world. Pray do you
Henry immediately replied in that lanu
guage, which ,he had been carefully taught
by his mother: he informed Mr. Bullion
that he could correspond as freely in French
as iId English, and that he could also write
in Spanish and in German, although he
could not speak those languages very fluently,
"I think," replied Mr. Bullion, "I can
HENRY S ENGAGEMENT. 21
at once make you very useful to me. My
business with Canada and the United States
is increasing very fast: so by the time you
have become initiated into the mode of
addressing persons on business matters, you
will be able to take upon yourself the entire
responsibility of corresponding with my
agents in America, which is even now much
too onerous for the gentlemen entrusted
HENRY ENTERS MR. BULLION'S SERVICE.
MR. BULLION now proceeded to the room
reserved for his private office. whither he
invited Henry to accompany him. He then
summoned Mr. Plumer, the managing clerk:
upon his making his appearance, he said to
him, "' I have made up my mind, Mr. Plu-
mer, to give this young gentleman a trial.
You will be pleased to explain to him the
nature of his duties with respect ti3 our
correspondence: as he is acquainted with
the French language, he will be employed on
the Canadian agency." Turning to Henry,
22 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
he said, "You will go with Mr. Plumer, and
he will show you what to do."
Leading the way, Mr. Plumer conducted
Henry into a large apartment lighted from
the roof: it was divided all round the sides
into little rooms, sufficiently large to contain
a double desk, Each of these rooms bore
on its door the name of some country: one
was France; another, Russia; another,
Havannah; another, United States; another,
Canada. Upon reaching this last, the clerk
knocked at the door: it was opened by a
young gentleman, and Henry was introduced.
Mr. William Shard, this young gentle-
man, Mr. Henry Arden, is engaged to assist
you," said the clerk; "it is Mr. Bullion's
wish that you make him as useful as possi-
ble, so that he may be able to relieve you of
a portion of your heavy duties."
"1 shall be most happy," replied Mr.
Shard, "to give Mr. Arden every assistance
he may require." So saying, he took down
from a shelf a large folio volume, bound in
red, and labelled "Letter-book." "You had
better begin with this," said the clerk : by
reading these copies of the letters we have
HENRY S INITIATION. 23
sent to our correspondents, you will be able
to learn the style in which we are accustomed
to address them. Commercial letter-writing
is very different from that of ordinary corre-
spondence. The qualities we have to study
and practice are clearness and brevity: to
omit nothing essential, to say nothing super-
fluous. In business, time is money; there-
fore we avoid wasting it by writing only
what is strictly essential to the explanation
of the business in question. At the same
time we do not entirely omit courteous ex-
pressions, which, like compliments, though
unmeaning, yet soften the asperities of dis-
course, and, as it were, place us on good
terms with each other."
Henry read over the letters very atten-
tively, noticing carefully the manner in
which the facts were expressed. He soon
saw, that commerce, like every other calling,
had a vocabulary of its own: the words of
most frequent occurrence were freight, in-
surance, disbursements, and so forth. Here
is a copy of one, which may serve as a model
for numerous others of its class:
24 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
London, June 10, 1863.
We have the pleasure of informing you
that the ship, Benjamin Franklin, arrived at Ports-
mouth on the 3rd instant, after a very short but
boisterous passage of fifteen days from New York.
We chartered a steam-tug to tow her through the
channel, and she arrived safely in the London Docks
on the 5th instant. During the voyage, the ship
sprung a leak in a heavy gale, and the cargo is
damaged. A large portion of the flour is wetted,
and several barrels of turpentine are stoved in.
The light cargo, stored between deck, is uninjured.
We duly notified the insurance company, who sur-
veyed the cargo as it was discharged, and they
estimate the damage at Z2,500, (Twenty-five
hundred pounds). The sound portion of the cargo
will be put-up at auction on the 12th instant. We
expect to obtain a very good return freight for the
ship. Captain Scott has gone on a short visit to his
family at Uxbridge. We have put the ship on the
berth to sail on the 25th instant. Many steerage-
passengers are offering, and we have every prospect
of getting a full complement. The ship will
accommodate 216 in the steerage, at L3 10 0 each.
We have duly accepted your First of Exchange
for three bills in favour of Messrs. Baring & Co.
for two thousand pounds each, at sixty days' sight.
HENRY'S INITIATION. 25
We hope to have the pleasure of again address-
ing you by the mail steamer of the 17th instant.
Meanwhile, we remain, Gentlemen,
Your's most obediently,
"Messrs. Delafield & Co. BULLION & Co."
Henry observed that most of the letters in
the book had a number, in red ink, attached
to them in the margin. He inquired of
Mr. Shard what it meant, who informed him
that it was the index number, to facilitate
In the course of the day, Mr. Shard gave
the letters he wrote to Henry, for him to
copy into the book. At the conclusion of
the day's work, he inquired of Henry how
he liked his employment: Henry replied,
that he felt himself very much interested in
it, and hoped he should soon become quali-
fied to write letters himself.
There is no better way of learning the art
of letter-writing than by copying letters.
You insensibly acquire the style and form of
expression. One thing, however, is neces-
sary, namely, that you have a full and clear
knowledge of the transactions you write
26 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
about; in fact, without that knowledge, you
cannot write a letter at all.
"I would recommend you," said Mr.
Shard, to provide yourself with two books,
which you will find very useful to you, in
your new occupation: these are, a good
Gazetteer, and Mc Culloch's Dictionary of
Commerce. The first speaks for itself; the
other contains quite a library of information
on every subject that interests the merchant
Henry bought those books on his way
home that very night, and sat up late perus-
ing them. He looked in the Gazetteer for
the names of those places to which the letters
he had copied were addressed. In the
Dictionary, he looked out the words of which
he did not clearly understand the full mean-
ing, such as exchange, freight, insurance, &c.
He soon saw that he had a great deal to
learn, and resolved to lose no time in making
himself familiar with the contents of his
Henry was already familiar with book-
keeping, and well acquainted with commer-
cial arithmetic; he could calculate interest
PLEASANT ASSOCIATIONS, 27
and discount, and readily convert the cur-
rency of other nations into sterling money.
Henry and Mr. Shard used generally to
walk together on the road home in the
evening after their day's work was over, and
held very pleasant and instructive conversa-
tion together. Mr. Shard was a very intelli-
gent person, who employed most of his
leisure in cultivating his mind. He took
great pleasure in imparting what he knew to
Henry, and in directing his studies. Henry
considered himself very fortunate in being
associated with such a person. On one of
their evening walks, the conversation turned
upon Mr. Bullion, whom Henry had seldom
seen since he had been in his service.
"Mr. Bullion," said Mr. Shard, "is a
gentleman who has raised himself to the
highest rank among merchants, entirely by
the force of his character. His industry is
unceasing, his integrity unimpeachable, and
he has great tact in studying men, and
discerning their aptitudes. He spends a
large portion of his fortune in encouraging
the fine arts, and in promoting useful
andertakings. To the unfortunate he is
28 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
always a friend. His clerks all look to him
with respect and confidence; and he is not
unmindful of their interests whenever he
sees them attentive, and discharging their
HENRY'S INDUSTRY AND ABILITY.
ONE morning, Mr. Bullion sent for Henry
to come to him in his private room. It was
the day the mail from Canada was expected
to arrive. Upon entering the room, Henry
saw several heaps of newly-opened letters on
the table; and another heap, consisting of
bills of exchange.
Good morning, Henry," said M.r. Bul-
Slion: "you see we have plenty of work laid
out for us. The spring orders are beginning
to arrive, and we must be as busy as bees.
Mr. Shard informs me that you are very
diligent, and attentive to your duties. I
think you may safely venture to take a little
responsibility upon yourself now. We must
use great despatch with these orders, for we
have only ten days to get them executed and
HENRY'S ABILITY TESTED. 29
shipped. Mr. Shard will have as much as
he can attend to with the American corre-
spondence; so I shall hand over the Canadian
letters to you !"
I shall feel proud, sir, of the opportunity
of showing you my desire to make myself
useful," replied Henry.
"I will allow you three hours," said Mr.
Bullion, "to extract the orders, and to make
the necessary entries in the day book, as to
the various remittances and invoices con-
signed to us."
Saying this, he handed the pile of letters
to Henry, who received them with much
exultation, and quickly returned to his little
He showed his trophy to Mr. Shard with
feelings of pride. See," said he, "what
Mr. Bullion has entrusted me with! all the
How long," said Mr, Shard, "has he
given you to do it in ?" "Three hours,"
replied Henry. "You will never get it done
in the time," said Mr. Shard, laughing.
The first thing Henry did was to sort out
the bills of )exchange, and enter them in
IT :S ONLY A PIN.
the bill-book, the next was to copy the
orders into the order-book; then to read
each letter carefully, and make notes of the
important matters; marking each subject
with figures, or his initials, in red ink, to
show that every one had received due atten-
tion. When he had finished, he found he
had half-an-hour to spare before the three
hours would expire. He hastened to Mr.
Bullion's room, with the letters and bills,
and laid them on his desk before him.
"What, already ?" said Mr. Bullion, look-
ing at the clock, and smiling: are you sure
that everything is duly noted ?"
"Everything, I believe, sir," replied
"Well, really," said Mr. Bullion: "sit
down, we must have a little talk together.
How old are you, Mr. Henry ?" "Twenty,
sir," was the reply. "I think you said your
father was dead ?"
"Yes, sir, he died four years ago. My
mother has brought up myself and sisters as
carefully as she could, and gave us the best
education she could afford. She resides in
the country, not far from London, and I go
to visit her every Saturday."
BENRYIS REMINISCENCES. 81
"Is the mercantile profession your own
"I had no choice," replied Ienry, "else
I should have been an artist: my mother
dissuaded me from that career, because she
thought it too difficult to succeed in; and, in
obedience to her counsel and wishes, I have
devoted myself to business ?"
Have you ever been abroad ?"
"I have been to Paris, where I staid for a
year, with a relation of my mother's, who is
a commission agent; and I obtained while
there, some knowledge of the routine of
business. When I returned to LGndon, I
endeavoured to obtain a situation, but every
door seemed closed against me; and had
it not been for your kindness, sir, I do not
know what I should have done."
"Your fortune hung by a pin," said Mr.
Bullion, smiling. I hope you have kept
that little treasure, as a memento of your
starting in life. I have not troubled myself
with your references. I think I can tell, by
looking in a man's face, whether he may be
trusted or not. Your's inspires me with
confidence. I hope we may yet be friends."
IT IS ONLY A PIN.
"I am pleased,
" to see you so
d desirous of
making yourself quali
the office I intend
When I have looked
shall return them tc
answers. Your replied
clear; it is by these
ness. Say all that is
fied for the duties of
to intrust you with.
over these letters, I
o you, to write the
s must be concise and
se qualities that our
te our talent for busi-
s necessary in as few
words as possible; but remember that in
case of deficiency, the reader cannot ask
questions of your letter."
What is the total amount of the remit-
tances from Canada you have entered in the
Henry did not expect such a question to
be put to him, but, from his business habits,
he had instinctively added up the sum for
his own satisfaction, so he promptly replied:
" Twenty-three thousand pounds, sir, and
some odd shillings."
Mr. Bullion, who had only put this ques-
tion as a test, opened his eyes wider,
evidently surprised at so prompt a reply.
"Twenty-three?" said he, "very well. I
MIR. BULLION'S ADVICE. 83
see you will make a good man of business."
In fact, Mr. Bullion was quite charmed with
Henry: he scanned his face and features so
earnestly, that it would have embarrassed a
less ingenuous nature. As your friends do
not live in London," said Mr. Bullion, "it
is necessary that you be provided with a
comfortable and respectable lodging. Mr.
Shard can recommend you to one, if you are
not already suited. I have no desire to
interfere with your leisure, still I should like
to know how you employ yourself when not
engaged in my business. I consider it a
part of my duty to see that my clerks do not
fall into bad habits: it is my duty to them
as well as to myself. I do not allow any
one in my establishment to smoke tobacco
or cigars, until he is married and settled in
life. Smoking, in a young man, is a most
pernicious habit, besides being extravagant.
It leads to drinking, and bad company."
I have no taste for smoking, sir," ob.
served Henry, my leisure is chiefly spent in
reading, and in taking air and exercise in
the park. I am very fond of music, and
that is the only luxury I indulge in." "I'
IT IS ONLY
rejoice to hear it," replied Mr. Bullion, "it
your taste in music is good, it is the most
harmless luxury you can indulge in. Are
you a musician?" "A poor one," replied
"You must be very careful in forming
acquaintance," said Mr. Bullion; "and as
for friends, make none without consulting
me. Think often of your mother; the
thought of her will sustain you in your
severest labours: your work will sometimes
be very heavy." I am not afraid of work,
sir," said Henry.
Your salary," said Mr, Bullion, will be
one hundred and twenty pounds a-year, for
the present; and if you are in want of
money, you may draw your first quarter's
salary at once. You have had no opportunity
of saving money, and must not incur debt on
iny account,-the debtor is the creditor's
Henry gladly embraced
for he desired to send
mother, to show her h
Mr. Bullion then gave
ow well h
SHenry a note to
MR. BULLION S LIBERALITY. S3
the cashier, who would give him a check for
"This is the man to suit me," said Mr.
Bullion to himself, when Henry had retired;
"so cool, yet so ardent in his labours; so
well informed, and yet so modest; so much
simplicity and self-reliance. How many
young men I meet without finding such a
nature. He will surely make his way in the
world. I must speak to Mrs. Bullion about
MR. AND MRS. BULLION AT HOME.
MR. BULLION had a charming villa in the
Regent's-park. At dinner, in the evening,
he addressed Mrs. Bullion on the subject of
his treasure of a clerk. "You must know,
my dear," said he, "that I lately engaged a
young man as clerk, with whom I am very
much pleased. He is quite an uncommon
person, I assure you." "I should like to
see him, very much," replied Mrs. Bullion,
* but as I am not allowed to enter your
counting-house, I do not know how I am to
IT IS ONLY
obtain a sight of him: what is he like?"
"I suspect he is very much like his mother,"
said Mr. Bullion, laughing; "all clever boys
are. But I will sketch his portrait. He is
about nineteen or twenty years old, of a fine
figure, and tall for his age. His skin is fair,
his hair is dark and curling, his eyes are
black and large, his forehead is broad and
open; he has a well-formed mouth, and his
nose is Roman; his expression is caln and
simple, with a slight tinge of melancholy, or
Stop, stop! that will do!" cried Mrs.
Bullion; "I think, from your description, he
must be a perfect Adonis, for beauty. You
really must let me see him. I have so many
invitations to reply to, and notes to write,
that I really want a private secretary; so
you must give your Mr. Henry to me."
He is much too good for the office you
propose to bestow upon him, my dear; but
the next dinner-party you give, to which
Canadians are invited, you must also invite
Mr. Henry; he speaks French fluently, and
his presence will be very useful."
I' That is a very good idea," said Mrs. Bul-
MRS. BULLION'S CHARACTER. 87
lion. "As all our guests do not speak
French, it is apt to become very dull for
those who speak no English. Your Henry
will be very welcome."
"Our Canadian friends will be arriving
very soon, to make their spring purchases;
so you will not have to wait long for the
opportunity of seeing my Henry."
Mrs. Bullion was rather a frivolous per-
son: mingling with fashionable society had
spoiled her: she had lost her interest in
serious things, and had given herself wholly
up to the trifling pursuits, pleasures as they
are called, of the wealthy. Her natural
abilities fitted her for better things, but
having fallen into the vortex of fashionable
frivolity, her time was almost wholly occupied
in dressing, making fashionable calls, and in
giving and attending parties. To any sensi-
ble observer, this would appear a life of
profitless toil, and a great sacrifice; but those
who pursue this gay round of giddy plea-
sure, think little else is worth living for.
38 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
HENRY'S ASSIDUITY TO BUSINESS.
MR. BULLION had said truly that his esta-
blishment was like a hive for industry and
labour. This worthy gentleman, who enter-
tained much company, who went abroad
daily, was zealous in public affairs, who
indulged in a taste for the fine arts, who was
an active member of more than one charit-
able institution, was yet always in his
business. This was a problem that no one
Before breakfast, even, he wrote several
letters; was the first at his counting-house;
overlooked every department of his large
establishment; formed his judgment of the
absent clerks by the state of their pens and
inkstands, and by the manner in which they
left their books and papers. He could en-
dure no irregularities; order and punctuality
were with him imperative.
During one of his morning surveys, he
was astonished at finding Henry at his desk
writing! Henry was so deeply absorbed in
HENRY 8 ASSIDUITY DISCOVERED. 9
his task, that he did not hear Mr. Bullion
"Ah! how is this? surely my house is
badly protected: how could you get in here,
Mr. Henry, when I found the door double-
"I beg you will excuse me, sir: I allowed
myself to be locked in, for a very important
account with Montreal requires to be finished
in time to go by this day's mail, and I could
not possibly get it done in time, without
working all night. If it can be sent to
Liverpool by this morning's mail, it will
arrive in time for the steamer which sails
this evening for New York, and your interests
will be secured."
So saying, he handed to Mr. Bullion the
account-current which he had just completed,
together with the other documents necessary
to verify it.
"I think I ought to scold you, Henry.
You have set a very bad example. I shall
have my other clerks neglecting their work
in the day-time, if they think they can make
up for it by working at night. Your cha-
racter is compromised by such a proceeding.
40 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
And to do this without even consulting me?
I suppose you consider yourself master here.
You look very weary; go home to bed, and
do not do so again."
Mr. Bullion now looked over the account;
after a few moments' examination, he ex-
"Ah! I see exactly what you thought of
this affair, the least delay might prove ruin-
ous. This business must be brought to a
close with these Montreal gentlemen; they
are very irregular. I must forgive you, for I
see you have laboured for my interest in
this affair. But be careful not to abuse
your health, for your mother's sake."
Nor was this the only time that Henry
thus acted, but when he did so, the urgency
of the affair was so evident as to plead his
excuse; Mr. Bullion was more and more
charmed with the diligence of his new
HENRY INTRODUCED INTO COMPANY.
MATTLtS had continued thus for upwards of
MR. BULLION'S SOLICITUDE. 41
a year, when Mr. Bullion observed that
Henry always dressed very plain, but neatly,
sometimes negligently. Henry," said he,
one day, "I have no doubt you are very
economical, and take good care of your
money, for you do not appear to spend much
on yourself: have you any objection to show
me the memorandum-book of your expenses ?
do not be offended at such a request.
I make it for your good, and not to satisfy
an idle curiosity. Perhaps your salary is
insufficient." Quite the contrary," said
Henry, "thanks to your liberality. I can
save a trifle."
He then handed a small neatly-bound me-
morandum book to Mr. Bullion, who took it,
excusing himself. Casting his eyes over it,
he returned it to Henry without saying a
word, for he did not wish the emotion he
felt to be perceived.
He saw by the book, that Henry had sent
more than half his salary to his mother,
and had also given several small sums in
Next day, Mr. Bullion said to Henry, "I
want you to do the honours of my house.
IT IS ONLY A PTN.
I often receive some Canadians as guests,
who do not speak much English. Your
presence in my drawing-room will be a great
convenience to them. You will come and
dine with us to-morrow; but as this will in-
volve some extra expenses upon you, I shall
defray them. I shall raise your salary to
one hundred and fifty pounds a-year."
It was without embarrassment that Henry
found himself, next evening, seated at a
sumptuous table, surrounded by men of the
world, whose fortune and position differed
so much from his own. It certainly did not
appertain to so young a man to take a pro-
minent part in the conversation of such a
circle; he felt that he should be responsive,
but not intrusive.
Henry was a good deal surprised to see
how different a person Mr. Bullion appeared
at thl dinner-table from what he was at his
desk. At the latter, he was serious, silent,
and impassive; while at table, he was lively
and agreeable, full of wit and anecdote, and
he possessed the ait of drawing out the best
qualities of his guests. His topics of con-
versation were those in which they could all
be interested and take a part.
HENRY IN COMPANY. 43
In discussions on fashionable parties, and -
rhe gossip of coteries, Henry kept a modest
and becoming reserve, and even appeared to
listen with interest. But when the subject
of art came up, and Henry's opinion on the
merits of the Exhibition was asked, his
replies showed, not a flippant criticism, but
a judicious appreciation of what he had
seen. He spoke with earnest simplicity,
testing what he had seen by their truth to
nature. His observations were listened to
with respect, for every person present felt
their force, and paid them that deference
honest truth will ever command. Even
Mr. Bullion looked surprised at Henry,
when he spoke so sensibly on painting. A
great lover of art, Mr. Bullion had collected
a choice gallery of paintings, and his great-
est pleasure consisted in showing them to
whoever could truly appreciate them. Mrs.
Bullion was as much taken by surprise.; for
she certainly was not prepared to see a
young gentleman who could discuss profound
questions on art, and who sparingly used his
glass, while others drank so freely. She
could not, however, resist the temptation of
44 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
trying to get some amusement at his ex-
pense. Turning to one of the fashionable
ladies seated near her, she said, loud enough
for Henry to overhear her, "Do you know,
my dear, our Mr. Henry has had some
remarkable adventures? He is quite a
hero, I assure you. Pray tell us, Mr. Henry,
the history of that wonderful pin to which
you owe so much."
The attention of all the room was imme-
diately turned upon Henry. Now, he was
neither timid nor bashful, but he felt embar-
rassed at being addressed in that marked
manner before so large an assembly. A
brilliant dining-room was a novel and con-
spicuous arena, and he suddenly found him-
self in a position like that of a new actor on
He soon, however, recovered his self-
possession, and in a low, modest tone,
addressed Mrs. Bullion: "The history of
the pin, madam, is a very brief and unim-
portant affair: I saw it lying on the ground
in Billiter-square, and stooped to pick it up.
This action caught the attention of Mr. Bul-
lion, and led to his taking me into his
service, rescuing me from a position of
anxiety and discomfort, and placing me in
an honourable situation much above what I
could expect to obtain. I hope I shall never
be unmindful of the obligation such favour
as I have received at his hands enforces
A murmur of approbation followed this
well-spoken reply, and Henry found himself
the object of the keen scrutiny of most of
the young ladies present. This made him
feel a little nervous, for he knew how prone
young ladies are to quiz young gentlemen;
so he addressed himself to some gentlemen
who were discussing the merits of a new
Correggio, that had been added to the
NRY DISPLAYS HIS
guests now adjour
A lady seated
essing a refined t
ng did not act a
)any to commence t
TALENT IN MUSIC.
ned to the drawing-
herself at the piano.
aste for music, her
is a signal for the
walking, but every one
46 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
listened with attention and evident pleasure.
She played streams of true melody and pure
harmony from the compositions of Haydn,
Mozart, Rossini, Beethoven, and Mendels-
sohn, which speak to the heart in a language
all who have sensibility and feeling can
Will you have the kindness to play that
charming Notturno of Mendelssohn's," said
Mr. Bullion; "no one that ever 1 heard can
play it so well as you."
"Mr. Bullion is a flatterer," said the
lady, "but I have not got four hands: who
will take a part ?" She looked inquiringly
around the room: there was a dead silence,
no one ventured to take a part in the per-
"How very unfortunate," said Mr. Bul-
lion, "that we have no one here who can
assist you !"
If you will not consider it a presumption
on my part," said Henry, "I shall feel very
happy and proud to accompany you. I have
often heard this delightful composition, and
have practised it several times."
His offer was warmly applauded: he seated
HENRY'S MUSICAL SUCCESS,
himself beside the lady at the piano, who
looked puzzled, as if she knew not what to
expect. Exchanging glances with Mrs. Bul-
lion, the duo commenced.
There was breathless attention from every
one present, not a hand or a foot stirred;
not a shade of beauty or expression in this
ravishing composition was lost. When
finished, there was a general desire to have
it repeated. The lady was evidently asto-
nished at the skill and taste of her youthful
second. Mr. Bullion, who was an enlight-
ened amateur, and no mean performer on
the violin, was in raptures.
"So you know something more than
arithmetic, Mr. Slyboots ?" said he, taking
Henry familiarly by the ear. "I knew you
were an amateur of painting, but you never
told me you were a musician."
"We shall never discover all his merits
and accomplishments," said Mrs. Bullion.
Henry was astonished to find himself so
much complimented for simply endeavouring
to make himself agreeable. He did not
seem to be aware that he was indeed singular
in his tastes for a young man; but his re-
48 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
| fined nature would not permit him to indulge
in the gross and rude amusements to which
many young men sacrifice their time and
health. Henry was not adverse to taking a
part in active sports and recreations in the
open air, and could play at cricket, and ply
the oar, with the roughest and quickest of
Henry had been taught music, with his
sisters, by his mother, who was a skilful
musician. Her teaching was of the best
kind: he was taught the principles of the
art, which made the practice of one or more
instruments easy to acquire. He had ac-
quired some proficiency on the violin and
guitar, and taught himself to play on the
flute. Possessed of this delightful resource,
he was quite secure against those tempta-
tions young men are so often exposed to for
want of an innocent occupation for their
hours of leisure. His friend, Mr. Shard,
was an amateur performer on the violoncello,
and frequently, during the winter months,
held quartette meetings, at which Henry
took his part on the violin or flute.
MR. BULLION'S PICTURE GALLERY.
ONE day, Henry had been engaged many
hours with Mr. Bullion in the counting-
house upon important business matters.
Suddenly rising from his chair, Mr. Bullion
exclaimed, "There, that will do: enough
of business for to-day, Mr. Henry: I list-
ened to your remarks upon painting, the
other evening, in the drawing room: you
appear to have some knowledge of that
S"I am but an amateur, not a connoisseur,
sir," replied Henry; "I know what I admire
and what pleases me; but I am too inex-
perienced to be a critic."
"But you judge naturally; you know
when a picture is truthful, and can discover
under what impulse it was painted; and
that, I think, constitutes the truest know-
ledge of art, for those who are not artists."
"My father," said Henry, "who wished
me to cultivate art as a profession, made a
practice of taking me to every picture-galery
50 IT TS ONLY A PIN.
to which we could gain:-admission. While
in Paris, we went almost every day to the
Louvre. We did not study more than two
or three master-pieces each time. Correggio
claimed our attention, one day; Murillo
another; then Leonardo da Vinci, -or Ra-
phael. My father examined their works as
an amateur, as a connoisseur, and as an
artist. He explained to me the circum-
stances under which their works were painted,
their peculiar styles, and the characteristics
by which each artist's works might be recog-
"That was an admirable way of making
you an enlightened judge of painting," said
Mr. Bullion; "it is better instruction than
I have received myself."
I look back upon those days, sir," said
Henry, "as the happiest of my life; such
happiness as, I fear, I shall never meet
And why not ?"
"Because the season of pleasure, my
golden age, is fleeting away : misfortune came
early upon me, and I have had to sacrifice my
tastes; but my sense of duty leads me to
A GRATIFYING PROPOSAL. 51
take pleasure in the sacrifice. And to serve
you, sir, who received me, a total stranger,
with so much kindness and generosity, would
reconcile me to still greater sacrifices, were
"Very well, my young philosopher: since
you are so submissive to my wishes, it is my
sovereign will and pleasure that, instead of
writing your correspondence to day, you
shall indulge yourself with a little art. It
is a bright clear day, so come with me, if
"But, sir! my letters must--"
"Wait, that's what they must: you will
work all the quicker to morrow, if you take
a little recreation to-day."
So saying, he made Henry step into his
carriage, which was waiting to take him home
to dinner. Arrived at the villa, he passed
through several rooms and passages, and
paused before one concealed with heavy
curtains; lifting these, he applied a small
key to the door, and Henry found himself
on the threshold of a picture gallery; it was
What do you say to this, Mr. Connois
IT IS ONLY
seur?" Mr. Bullion's collection of pictures
was celebrated and known to all the ama-
teurs of Europe. Henry found himself in a
long gallery, illuminated by a soft diffused
light which descended through ground glass
from the roof. It had evidently been built
for the purpose to which it was applied,
Every picture seemed the master-piece of its
painter. Here was nothing mediocre or
doubtful. Every school of
represented, each master by a
Their arrangement, too, was
were not crowded together, as
room, but hung singly on a
eye, a large interval of space
The walls were coloured, to
in an auction
level with the
give the best
effect; and in the space between each picture,
a marble statue or bust was placed on a
bracket or pedestal.
Henry was at first quite bewildered.
Looking around he saw at once that the
Italian schools reigned supreme; the Roman
school revelled in the ideal; the Florentine
school was distinguished by its purity; the
Venetian, by its colouring. There was a
2Murillo, for which potentates would have
HENRY'S FEELINGS EXCITED, 53
disputed, had it been put up at auction: this
and a fine Velasquez represented the Spanish
school. Teniers, Rubens, and Vandyck, carried
the spectator back to the palmy days of the
Flemish school. As to the Dutch, there was
a most unexceptionable selection from those
masters, so varied and amusing: there was
an interior, by Gerard Dow; a landscape, by
Ruysdael; a group of flowers, by Van Huiysum :
nothing was wanting.
Henry was absorbed in thought: he forgot
to speak. We always feel silenced in the
presence of greatness, either in art or nature.
At the farther end of the gallery he observed
a small picture that excited in him a strong
interest, but he did not wish his emotion to
"Have you nothing to say?" said Mr.
Bullion: "do you not find my collection
good enough to interest an amateur ?"
"Everything is perfect, sir. I see nothing
that could be changed for the better; a finer
selection could not be made. Every picture
proclaims undeniably its painter; they are
genuine. I could spend my life in this
paradise, admiring nature poetized by art.
5 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
Here I learn what a boon wealth is when it
permits its possesser to acquire such trea-
sures as I see around me. I could almost
wish to become rich !"
"Ah! my philosopher! I have caught
you at fault. Do you not perceive that my
crown yet wants one jewel? Look for the
great master of Parma, the regenerator of
art! where's my Correggio?"
"You have one, or I am greatly mistaken;
but I have looked at so many beautiful
things, when I ought to have looked at only
two or three. I can hardly see or speak. I
am not fit to remain here any longer; but I
shall be very happy if you will allow me to
revisit your gallery."
Mr. Bullion was only too glad to have a
connoisseur in his establishment.
"Not only shall you come again," said he,
to Henry, "but it shall be your duty to
come and work here. I have this means of
diverting your mind from too close applica-
cation to business; else your health will
suffer. Will you be keeper of my gallery ?
If you know how to enjoy these treasures
without possessing them,-if, for an artist, to
A CONGENIAL EMPLOYMENT.
behold is to possess,-if to see is to have,---
then these pictures will belong to both of
us, to you as well as to me. Do you con.
Henry was quite bewildered, he could
only answer by bowing.
"Well, Mr. Keeper, your salary will now
be two hundred pounds a-year. You will be
in constant communication with artists,
amateurs, and picture-dealers. The first
duty I shall require of you will be to make
me a catalogue of my collection, a Catalogue
raisonnd. I have desired one for a long
time, but have never found leisure to do it
myself. I give you carte blanche."
Nothing could be more congenial to Hen,
ry's taste than Mr. Bullion's proposal. He
was naturally gifted to be an artist; all his
instincts tended in that direction. Duty had
called him to other pursuits: great was the
sacrifice, but he became resigned to it. The
recollection of his past enjoyments could
not be effaced.
He entered upon his new occupation at
once, and brought to it that spirit of order
and method which he was accustomed to
56 TT IS ONLY A PIN.
bestow upon other things. He found that
the arrangement of the pictures in the
gallery might be improved. Carefully clas-
sifying them, he took their exact dimensions,
wrote a concise account of each painter, and
an exact description of each picture. He was
careful to avoid using the exaggerate expres-
sions employed in catalogues of dealers; but
he dwelt upon those particulars which at-
tested the authenticity of the work. When
his task was finished, carefully revised, and
copied with his usual neatness, he deposited
it one morning upon Mr. Bullion's desk.
Mr. Bullion examined it with eager curio-
sity, and shewed evident signs of his ap-
proval: addressing Henry, he said,
"Ah, Mr. Know-all, I have caught you in
a blunder; you say in your catalogue,
'ALLEGRI, (Coreggio). Misfortune, a female
head.' You have read the signature incor-
rectly: the error is excusable: it is a charm-
ing study by Allori: the similarity of the
names has deceived you. I remember that
you said a Correggio was one of my deside-
rata, the want of which I often regretted.
Do you think I have been imposed upon?
A STARTLING OBSERVATION. 57
Know, my young friend, that everything in
this sanctuary of art is as pure as gold,
fraud has never penetrated within these
"Far be it from me to have any idea of
fraud," said Henry, "I have not, 1 admit,
examined the signature very attentively, but
I venture to affirm that it is a beautiful
Correggio. Have the kindness to read the
lines that follow the title of the picture."
"Let us see," said Mr. Bullion, and he
"ANTONIO ALLEGRI, called CORREGGIO, Mis-
fortune, a female head.
"Do you really believe it, Henry?" He
"(A young girl, in a meditative attitude, covering
her bosom with a thin black drapery: a pale star
shines upon her forehead. In the irreproachable
execution of the hands we may recognize the
master. The sombre drapery heightens the white-
ness of the shoulders, through the light blue veins
in which the blood seems to circulate. There is a
good copy of this picture in the Louvre. The
present original formed part of the celebrated
Dusseldorff Gallery, and was admired under thq
IS IS ONLY A PIN.
title of the Misfortune, which has been retained
remembrance of the misfortunes of the painter."
" Is it
said Mr. Bullion,
you must prove it,
And he led the way to the
In presence of the anxiety and excitement
of the merchant, the charming poetic image
of the Misfortune, that inspiration of genius
which lives through
all ages, wore a celestial
The hand that had created this charm-
ing work was now cold, and become dust
which the winds had dispersed,-the thought
! ALLEGRI !"
in decyphering the
half effaced name.
Henry examined the
an old wooden
panel, seeking some further proof to support
the edge he read,
" ALLEGRI !
A VALUABLE DISCOVERY.
warmly by the hand; then carefully replaced
"An old Jew of Hamburg sold it to me,
twenty years ago, for a hundred pounds.
Finding the picture very charming, I did
not cheapen it. I would not have parted
with it for ten times that sum. But how
humiliating! to have so long possessed such
a treasure without knowing its value, and
here a mere child comes to open my eyes!
There is some witchcraft at work here."
I can very easily explain it without
witchcraft, sir," said Henry. "This picture
excited my feelings when I first entered
your gallery: it was well known to me, and
I was surprised to find it here, only much
more beautiful. It has been my companion
for a long time."
Saying this, he opened his portfolio, and
showed to the astonished merchant a very
highly- finished drawing of the picture,
Study, after Co'reggio. Paris, May 18-."
HENRY'S ACCOUNT OF THE PICTURE.
THERE was a great flutter of excitement that
evening in Mrs. Bullion's drawing room,
upon learning that she had so long been the
possessor of a Correggio, without being
aware of it. Mr. Bullion's delight was un-
bounded; his ambition was gratified; his
happiness complete. There could be no
doubt that he possessed an indubitable Cor-
reggio: the proofs were satisfactory. Henry
was called upon to explain the circumstance
by which he was led to the discovery. He
related that, when in Paris, his taste for the
arts led him to visit the picture galleries
whenever he could find leisure. That he
read the lives of all the old painters he
could meet with, as well as the remarks and
criticisms of eminent writers of modern
It was while at Paris that he received the
news of the death of his father; and he fell
into a fit of despondency, from which he was
only aroused by a sense of duty and of the
responsibility that now devolved upon him.
A MENTAL VISION, 61
It was while in this state of depression
that he one day found himself seated in one
of the splendid galleries of the Louvre. But
his thoughts wandered to his dear father,
who had always been so affectionate and
kind to him. He regretted every day he
had spent away from him: he wished he
could have listened to his last words, and
received his blessing before he passed away
to another world.
Absorbed in his sad meditations, he list-
lessly raised his eyes, and beheld, in the
gloom of approaching evening, what ap-
peared a vision or apparition standing before
him. It was a young and beautiful maiden.
Her countenance was clouded with grief,
but yet serene; her clear penetrating glance
reminded Henry of what he had read of the
virgin martyr entering the amphitheatre,
exclaiming with a thrilling voice, "I am a
He raised himself to approach the fair
object, but the illusion had disappeared. He
had been dozing, and had dreamed. The
Misfortune of Correggio occupied its place.
He often returned and seated himself
IT IS ONLY A PIN.
before this confident of his griefs. He had
found an object that reflected the image of
his sorrows, and silent communings with the
Misfortune soothed his wounded spirit. He
wished to return home, but before doing so,
he sought and obtained permission to make
a drawing of this picture, which was an
admirable copy of the original, and executed
by a German painter of the seventeenth
century. This drawing Henry carried home
with him; its image was engraved on his
mind, and it was through it that he had
been able to discover the treasure Mr. Bul.
HENRY IN FASHIONABLE COMPANY.
HENRY found himself at least once a week
among the guests in Mrs. Bullion's drawing-
room. Although he felt proud of the honour
conferred upon him, and endeavoured to
make himself agreeable to the persons he
met there, yet he did not take half so much
satisfaction in spending his evenings in this
FASHIONABL LADIES. 63
gay scene as he did in his quiet, social walks
with Mr. Shard.
Most of the fashionable ladies he met
appeared to him very beautiful, but very
frivolous and heartless. Indolent, satiated
with pleasure, they trifled their lives away in
fitting on a new dress, and visiting their
circle of friends to exhibit it to them in the
hope of exciting envy. The drive in the
park, the late dinner, the opera, the rout,
the concert, or the ball,-these form the
real business of their lives. "They toil
much, but spin little."
Henry's staid demeanour irritated these
fair ladies: they could not succeed in
making him frivolous, so they endeavoured
to make him appear ridiculous.
Mrs. Bullion was entertaining a party of
ladies one evening, when the conversation
turned upon Henry. "My dear," said one
fair dame, "you will never be able to make
anything of your favourite : he comes among
us, it is true, and could make himself very
agreeable, if he would condescend to do so:
but although he comes here in person, his
thoughts appear to be elsewhere. You must
IT IS ONLY
have noticed with what an air of coldness
listens to every thing you say. Under
appearance of politeness and simplicity,
conceals a spice of pedantry, which is any-
thing but flattering to us."
Mrs. Bullion, reclining on her couch,
listened to these remarks with disdain. She
did not like to have her protege found fault
with by others: she wished to retain that
privilege for herself. "I am sorry Henry
does not amuse you. I must lecture him on
his want of condescension. I am sure he
will be very submissive,"
"I should like to know," said a young
lady, rising from the piano, what you want
of this young man. You complain that he
will only talk sensibly, and speak but when
spoken to: have you not plenty of beaus in
your own train, who are always talking, yet
never utter a word of sense. For my part,
I find his conversation more interesting than
that of any other person in the company.
He is so original and fresh in his ideas, and
yet so humble in venturing an opinion. I
beg to inform you that I shall be his cham-
pion, and take him under my protection,"
HENRY FINDS 'A DEFENDER. 65
"You may shelter him under your white
wings, as his guardian angel; but mind you
take great care of him," was Mrs. Bullion's
The amiable lady who had undertaken to
defend Henry, was, as may be supposed, the
same who had found in him so agreeable a
partner at the piano upon the evening of
his first appearance at Mr. Bullion's dinner-
parties. She was of Italian origin, her
name Ossoli. Passionately fond of music,
in which she excelled, she was much ad-
mired, and was always welcome at Mrs.
Bullion's. Her manners and style were a
passport to the best society; and as she had
an independent fortune, she could venture
to speak her mind freely.
-HENRY IS SENT TO PARIS.
" HENRY," said Mr. Bullion, one evening, as
he was about going home from business,
"there is to be a great sale of pictures at
Paris next week; among them is a fine
specimen of Rivola, which I should like to
6C IT IS ONLY A PIN.
obtain, if it be an unquestionable production
of that artist. Now I think you will be
glad to revisit the French capital, and as I
have reason to repose confidence in your
judgment, I shall be glad to have you go
and examine this picture, and see if you are
satisfied with it. I will give you a letter of
introduction to a gentleman, who will gladly
assist you with his knowledge and opinion.
You may start to-morrow, if you like; we
are not so busy just now but that you can be
Next day, Henry accordingly provided
himself with a passport, and took the train
to Folkstone, and on the following morning
found himself in Paris.
He was quite at home in the gay capital;
his former residence there had enabled him
to acquire a thorough knowledge of the city.
His first step was to go to the place where
the pictures were, and examine the one he
was in quest of, unbiassed by the opinions
of any other person.
Next day he called with his letter of
introduction at the residence of Monsieur
Redoute. He found he had gone to the
THE FLORAL STUDIO. 67
Jardin des Plants, where he taught flower-
painting to a class of pupils.
The Jardin des Plants has been so often
described, that it is scarcely necessary to
enumerate all its labyrinths, its elegant
rustic-houses, where the animals are kept,
or the little farm where the birds strut
about, or the splendor of the flower-beds,
or the magnificent greenhouses where tropi-
cal vegetation displays its wonders: it may
be described as our Zoological Gardens and
Kew Botanical Gardens, both in one.
Henry, to whom all these objects were
familiar, passed rapidly on, until he reached
the building where the artist-professor was
giving his lessons.
Opposite each window, a young woman is
seated, clothed in a loose wrapper, suitable
for studying in. Before her a basket of
flowers or an elegant model is placed for
study. All give their serious attention to
work, and the little conversation required is
carried on in whispers or nods and smiles.
It is a charming scene; these fair young
girls and women, surrounded by green
branches, perfumed flowers, and luscious
(38 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
fruits, engaged in their graceful and intelli-
gent task. Henry entered this sanctuary
with a timid step, and was about to address
one of the attendants, when he saw coming
out of an adjoining apartment, a little fat
man, whose physiognomy would perhaps
have been thought vulgar, had not his fore.
head and eyes denoted great vivacity and
intelligence. He was high priest to Flora,
and Pomona also. His arms were filled with
the rarest and brightest flowers. He smiled
as he bore his rich treasure around the room,
distributing the flowers according to the
skill and intelligence of his pupils.
The proud and happy professor, who
reigned in this realm of beauty, was the
celebrated Redout6, whose inimitable talent
in simplifying the practice of his art, had
created an epoch in purifying taste; teach-
ing us to see nature better, and imparting to
his favoured pupils the secret of his magic
After giving Henry a brief audience, he
asked him to accompany him round the
hall. He had quickly recognized an artistic
feeling in Henri, and he was glad of an
ART IMITATING NATURE. C9
opportunity to do the honours of his match-
less class of pupils.
Stopping before a tall elegant vase, in
which a splendid lily displayed itself majes-
tically, amid its long lanceolated leaves, he
exclaimed, What a charming contrast !"
A branch of clematis falling from the vase,
inclined towards the pure calyx of the lily,
as if to embrace it; then twisting as if
overcome with its beauty and fragrance, it
fell in graceful spirals at the foot of the
vase, where it remained extended.
Redoute stood in contemplation before
this freak of nature, in which majestic
beauty and grace were displayed. "How
beautiful !" he exclaimed.
Giving some hints to a young lady who
had undertaken to copy this beautiful group,
he passed on. At another table he found a
small urn, containing a camellia, a rose, and
a petunia: the pure white of the flowers
heightened the effect produced by the dark
leaves of the camellia. Looking first atten-
tively at the flowers, "That is not very
easy," he remarked to a young man at work
upon this group. "You know the difference
70 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
between velvet, silk, and muslin?" "Yes,
sir, I think Ido," was the reply. "Weil,
then, why have you made your three flowers
of paper? now, the camellia is like velvet;
the rose is silky: and the petunia is like
Taking Henry by the sleeve, he drew him
on one side, where he could see, at a little
distance, a table, upon which was a double
branch of convolvulus, which freely followed
the caprices of nature. He made him ad-
mire its large blue, red, and white calices,
its lanceolated leaves, and the spiral tendrils
growing around them in the prettiest man.
With a significant nod, he next directed
Henry's attention to the young lady who
was drawing this charming study, com-
pletely absorbed in her task. Here was a
rare combination of art, flowers, and beauty.
The fair artist was bending over her
drawing, too much occupied to be aware
that her master and Henry were overlooking
her. She had seized upon the most graceful
aspect of the model, and her colours had all
the freshness and brilliancy of nature.
A NATUiRAL ARTIST. 71
-* That is what I call a good picture," said
Redoute to Henry.
The young lady raised her head, and
seeing a stranger, blushed, and in her con-
fusion appeared to be seeking something she
"Mind you do not spoil your picture,"
cried the master. "You want a pin? here!
stop! no. Perhaps this gentleman has got
one. Ah! here it is !" And he drew the
treasured pin out of Henry's coat.
Henry seized his hand, and took the pin,
before he could give it to the young lady,
and held it between his figures, as if loth
to part with it. The young lady looked
at Henry with an air of astonishment, and
smiling, took the pin.
Had this young artist been merely pretty,
Henry would perhaps not have noticed her
further; such was his reserved disposition.
But one of those incidents that seldom occur
except in romances, now fixed his attention.
A fine forehead, beautiful eyebrows, soft
eyes, shaded with a canopy of dark eye-
lashes, a frank expression, and an air of
melancholy that overspread her countenance.
72 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
recalled to his mind the loved image that
had consoled him in his hours of despon-
dency. Imagination, had doubtless, added
something to this fortuitous resemblance,
but to him it appeared as if the original and
animated image of the Misfortune of Correg-
gio blushed and breathed. He was lost in
thought in contemplating the image before
Redout6, after a few words of compliment
and encouragement to his pupil, accompanied
Henry to the door, promising to go with
him next day to see the picture Mr. Bullion
desired his opinion upon.
The picture being entirely approved by
Redout6, in whose opinion of its merits
Henry fully participated, it was purchased,
and carried by Henry to London, where
Mr. Bullion awaited it impatiently.
He warmly complimented Henry upon
the success of his mission, and the picture
gallery was adorned with one more ,trea.-
HENRY'S MISSION TO CANADA.
HENRY hastened to resume his labours in
the counting-house, which had fallen into
arrear during his absence.
Mr. Bullion was busily examining a packet
of papers, which had been handed to him for
immediate attention. Calling Henry aside,
he said, "You must take the American
steamer from Liverpool to New York: it
sails to-morrow afternoon: there is a very
important matter in hand, and unless we act
with great promptitude and decision, our
loss will be serious. You very well know
that the account with Ledger & Co. of
Montreal, has for some time given me great
uneasiness: from information just commu-
nicated to me, there is every reason to
believe they must soon suspend payment.
Here we can do nothing: some one must go
to them, and enforce payment of our claims.
I need not explain the matter further to
you, as the details of their business have all
passed through your hands. Here is a
74 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
power of attorney, which will be your author
rity to act. And here is a pocket book,
which contains bank notes for one hundred
and fifty pounds, to cover the expenses of
your journey. They can pay, and you must
compel them. Here is a letter to the Consul
at New York, who is my friend, and will aid
you, if necessary. Now, start by the first
train in the morning.
shall expect you back in a month," con-
tinued the merchant; "we travel quick now-
a-days. The first voyage I made to New
York occupied thirty-five days, my last was
performed in ten !"
Henry wrote a hurried note to his mother;
had there been time, he would have taken
farewell of her, but it was impossible. He
hastened to put his things into a light
portmanteau, to have everything in readi-
ness before going to bed. He arose at hall-
past five, and was soon on his way to
HENRY'S VOYAGE TO AMERICA.
HENRY started upon his voyage full of con-
fidence and hope. A visit to America was
to him a stroke of good fortune. He had
heard and read much of that country, and
felt a desire to see it. His desire to be use-
ful, and to prove himself worthy of the great
confidence reposed him, gave him strength
When on board the steamer, Henry did
not join in the trifling amusements most of
the passengers indulged in; but he kept a
journal, entering in it his observations as to
the state of the weather, and the appearance
of the sea. He watched the wake of the
ship, which kept a straight course. He con-
versed with the engineers and the officers of
the ship, picking up information from every
one. He would watch a brilliant sunset,
and scan the horizon for distant ships, for
the Atlantic Ocean has now become a mari-
At the expiration of twelve days, Henry
76 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
found himself at New York. He perceived
very quickly that he was literally in a "new
world." Everything wore an aspect of
novelty. Although men spoke the same
language, dressed in the same style, still
there was something un-English about all
Henry saw. There appeared to be a greater
activity and intensity in everything.
Henry lost no time in delivering his
letters of introduction, and in writing to
Mr. Bullion, and to his mother. He then
proceeded on his way to Montreal, in one of
those magnificent steamboats, which ply on
the Hudson river. It was a delightful
journey. On the second day, Henry reached
the city of Montreal.
It was not till he was seated in his
apartment in the hotel that Henry fully
realized the importance of his undertaking.
He had been wafted some three or four
thousand miles as if by enchantment.
HENRY SUCCEEDS IN HIS OBJErT.
ON the morning after his arrival, Her,:y's
212 M~t~~- ____
=------ -- =---~_ ----~.
Henry's arrival in America.
- / i 1
first business was to secure the services of a
respectable attorney, to whom he had been
recommended, he next presented himself at
the counting-house of Messrs. Ledger & Co.
In the business he had now to perform,
it was necessary to use some stratagem to
insure success. Had Henry proceeded in
the ordinary way to demand the amount of
the debt due to Mr. Bullion, he might not
have succeeded in obtaining it.
Monsieur," said Henry, in French, to a
person who represented himself as one of
the firm of Ledger and Company, "I beg
to present you with these letters of intro-
duction.from our mutual friends, Williams
& Co. of New York. I have made some
very heavy purchases in England, and shall
want to buy some bills of exchange on
Manchester and Liverpool, to remit in pay-
ment for them: the account I will furnish
The partners, Ledger & Co. exchanged
"You pay cash? certainly, sir: what is
the amount of the bills you require ?"
78 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
"Between forty and fifty tlo sand dol.
We can sell you bills at ten days' sight,
for fifty thousand dollars, on Davidson & Co.
one of the first houses in Manchester, who
are indebted to us more than that sum."
"Very well, gentlemen," said Henry, be
so good as to draw the bills payable to my
order, in sums of .1,000 each, meanwhile I
will go and fetch the cash."
After agreeing to some other conditions in
the transaction, Henry went away. But it
was only to fetch the attorney, who returned
with him, and remained in attendance, while
Henry expressed himself as follows:
"Gentlemen, I think I understood you to
say that the house of Davidson & Co. owes
you fifty thousand dollars, which you agree
to place at my disposal against a similar sum
which I place in your hands."
"Yes, sir, that is quite correct."
"I suppose there is no set-off against this
amount, which would prevent Messrs. David.
son from accepting these bills?"
"How, sir ? do you suppose--"
"I suppose nothing, gentlemen; but look
COGENT REASONING. 79
at this protest on the part of Messrs. Bul-
lion & Co. of London, and you must have
been notified that Messrs. Davidson are in-
structed to make no payment with the funds
you say they hold at your credit. Besides,
here is Messrs. Bullion & Co.'s account-cur-
rent with you: the balance against you is
forty-nine thousand seven hundred and
seventy-five dollars. This gentleman here
can tell you how serious the consequences
will be to you, after having declared that
you had funds at your credit at Manchester,
if you do not give me a receipt on account
of Messrs. Bullion & Co. in exchange for
your bills of Davidson's."
The attorney here explained that Messrs.
Ledger and Co. could be indicted for conspi-
racy and fraud, and that their wisest course
would be to do as Mr. Arden proposed; to
which, with some reluctance, they agreed.
The bills were drawn in favour of Henry.
The protest rendered them of no value to
any one but to Messrs. Bullion & Co. as
they only had the power of removing the
attachment they had placed on the funds in
the hands of Messrs. Davidson. In point
80 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
of fact, the bills were fraudulent, and the
offence of uttering them was punishable.
Messrs. Ledger & Co. attempted to raise
some objections to Messrs. Bullion's account
against them; but as Henry had full know-
ledge of every transaction that had passed
between them and Messrs. Bullion, he ex-
plained away every objection. At last, it
was only through fear of exposure and con-
sequent ruin that they agreed to take
Messrs. Bullion's quittance of their debt for
their drafts on Davidson & Co.
This done, Henry went away to dine with
the attorney, whose presence had proved so
useful to him. The success of his mission
was assured. Messrs. Davidson & Co. could
not part with the money in their hands
belonging to Ledger & Co. so long as
Messrs. Bullion & Co.'s attachment re-
mainied. Messrs. Ledger's bills authorized
Messrs Davidson to pay Messrs. Bullion,
and thus the latter was quite secured.
Davidson had formerly been clerk in Mr.
Bullion's house, and had since maintained
friendship with him. It was he who, acting
a. friend's part, had advised Mr. Bullion of
of affairs in
her's business, and of the only means by
which they could secure their debt.
Henry immediately sent the firsts of ex-
change to Messrs. Bullion, quite satisfied
that they would be paid at maturity. The
seconds he retained in his possession, in
case the firsts miscarried. Everything had
occurred as he had planned and anticipated,
and Henry, in spite of his youth and inex-
perience, had acted with the sagacity of an
Henry was not at all surprised, a few days
after his transaction, to hear that the house
of Ledger & Co. had failed. Any proceed-
ings less prompt and decisive than those he
had taken, would have resulted in the loss
of their debt.
HENRY RETURNS HOME.
BUSINESS ended, Henry thought himself
entitled to a little recreation. He had
accomplished his object so quickly, that he
had nearly a week to spare, and then would
85 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
be in London by the time the month of
Henry thought he might combine business
with pleasure, by calling on the various
correspondents of the house of Bullion & Co.
who resided in the various cities and towns
he passed through, on his way back to New
York. Most of these places, now so busy
and prosperous, had risen within a few years,
as if by enchantment. Lower Canada still
preserves the traces of its French origin in
its religion and customs. The fertile fields,
overshadowed with long rows of apple trees,
reminded Henry of some of the most beau-
tiful scenes of Normandy. In every village,
the church spires pointed heavenwards, while
the sound of their bells completed the illu-
sion, and stirred his feelings deeply.
While at Montreal, Henry chanced to fall
in with a picture-dealer. It is true that his
stock in trade was of the humblest character.
The things termed Raffaelle's, Rubens's,
Guido's, Claude's, were only good enough
for sign-boards to country inns. If Cana-
dians were to take these productions as the
representatives of European taste in art, we
AN AMERICAN DEALER. 83
cannot be surprised that they should prefer
to study nature for themselves, and leave the
arts to others more capable of appreciating
The stock in trade of the picture-dealer
was, however, not entirely of the character
described: Henry observed among them
some genuine studies from nature, of Indian
manners and customs, made by young native
artists, which would have excited interest
and admiration even in Europe. Henry re-
solved to take some of these home with him,
He could foresee that art would in due time
be developed and spread its roots in the
fruitful soil which industry had ploughed.
The dealer informed Henry that many
Canadian ladies who had visited Europe had
brought back with them a knowledge of the
art of flower-painting, and had set the
fashion of making it an accomplishment;
but as there existed a difficulty in obtaining
good copies for study, they had to make
shift with old engravings.
It immediately occurred to Henry, that
among the pupils of the Jardin des Plants,
there might be some who would be glad to
84 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
find a good market for their productions.
So he made a bargain with the dealer to
send out to him, upon his return, a dozen
choice studies of flowers, after nature.
Henry found himself again in New York.
He took care to avail himself of the oppor-
tunity of looking into the business of that
busiest of cities. He visited the Exchange,
the Custom-house, the auction rooms, the
ship yards, the dry-docks, the public
libraries, and hotels. The novelty delighted
and bewildered him. What their grand-
fathers found a forest, inhabited only by red
men and wild animals, is now covered with
beautiful cities, and towns, and villages that
soon aspire to become cities. A map of this
region becomes obsolete when a few years
old. The richest and most varied products
of nature abound. The dinner table is
laden with tropical fruits, southern vege-
tables, and northern fish, and a traveller sits
down to a sumptuous dinner at a New York
hotel for half-a.-crown. For this modest
coin he obtains a choice of many kinds of
soup, and fish, of joint, game, pastry, ices,
HENRY'S SAFE RETURN. 85
Henry took passage in the first steamer
that sailed for Liverpool, and on the evening
of the tenth day after leaving New York,
found himself again in the quiet counting-
house in Billiter-square,
HENRY VISITS PARIS AGAIN.
" ALL is right," exclaimed Mr. Bullion, upon
seeing Henry come in; "we have got the
money, and you have well earned your com-
mission: here it is." He then handed
Henry a cheque, and shook him warmly by
"You have proved yourself a most active
and zealous agent," said Mr. Bullion; "but
you were none too soon: one week later,
and the funds in Davidson's hands would
have been seized by Ledger & Co.'s assignees,
and our friend could not have retained them
for our benefit. You must not think of
work yet; after your long voyage, you must
feel fatigued, and require rest. Business
will accumulate a little during your absence,
but we will provide against any mischief
86 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
arising. I do not want to see you lhre
again for a week."
I know my mother must be very anxious
to see me," said Henry. So after express-
ing his thanks to Mr. Bullion for his kind-
ness, he proceeded to his lodgings with a
light and happy heart.
Upon reaching home, Henry found a
letter from his mother awaiting him, in
which she stated, that, anticipating he would
be some weeks absent, she had accepted an
invitation from her sister to accompany her
to Granville, a pretty sea-bathing place on
the coast of Normandy.
Henry felt a little disappointment at tl1is
news, although he knew the change would
be beneficial to his mother's delicate health.
So without losing any time, he determined
to make a visit to Paris, and proceed from
thence to where his mother was staying.
Arrived in Paris, he wended his way to
the Jardin des Plants, to execute the com-
mission he had undertaken for the picture-
dealer of Montreal. He arrived there just
at the hour at which the lessons in painting
are given, and it was not without apprehen-
THE VACANT SEAT. 87
sion that he saw that the only seat which
interested him was vacant.
Redoute, who observed Henry's emotion,
said, laughingly, "I suppose Mr. Bullion
has sent you here with another commission.
I expected to see you again soon. Come
into my study, and let us have a little chat."
"Do notthink I am jesting," said Henry,
"when I tell you I have an order for you,
although it is not from Mr. Bullion. While
I was abroad, I undertook a commission for
some flower-studies, that might suit some
of your pupils. I freely confess that, after
comparing the different studies you had the
kindness to show me, when I was here
before, the free and natural style of draw-
ing of the person, who I perceive is absent
to-day, pleased and satisfied me more than
any of the others. May I beg the favour
of your opinion."
Redout6 replied, "You have shown your
taste and discernment, and I must say, that
such a commission could not be placed in
better hands. They are two sisters, worthy
of esteem and respect; they were recom-
mended to me by some esteemed friends, and
88 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
1 shall be happy to serve them in any way
that lies in my power."
Redoute added, jokingly, "Perhaps you
would like to know where they live? All I
know is that their name is Melville, and
that they reside in a little cottage at Saint
Germain. The one you saw is the youngest;
her name, I believe, is Julia. I hope,
through Providence, you are sent to do them
a service, for their circumstances are not
Next day, Henry set out for the place
where the young ladies resided. He under-
stood that they gave lessons in painting ;
therefore, he did not anticipate any difficulty
in finding them. Henry flattered himself
with meeting beings quite worthy of the
interest which the ingenuous countenance of
Julia, and the commendations of Redoute,
As he entered the village, he passed the
church which adjoins the chateau, and ob-
served that the usual daily service was about
to commence. As his journey had prevented
him from attending church for several Sun-
days, he felt glad of the opportunity that
TIE ARTIST DISCOVERED. 89
presented itself of returning thanks to God
for preserving him through the journey he
HENRY'S INTERVIEW WITH JULIA.
SERVICE ended, Henry was among the first
who reached the door, where he lingered
while the congregation came out. He had
not waited long before he saw two young
ladies slowly approaching the door, one of
which he recognized as Julia. She instantly
recognized him, and when he extended his
hand, she put hers into it.
"Let me have the pleasure of returning
you your pin," said Julia; and she took it
out cf her scarf, and handed it to Henry,
who received it with a smile,
I have come here at the recommendation
of Monsieur Redoute," said Henry; "to
make a proposal to you respecting your
"I shall be happy to listen to it," replied
The two sisters proceeded on their way,
90 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
and Henry walked respectfully beside them.
The elder sister whispered to Julia.
You have never been in this place before,
I presume ?" said Julia to Henry.
"Never, miss. I am very much occupied
in business, and have but little leisure; but
what I see around me, the noble trees and
pure air, appear to me most delightful.
Who could place his foot upon these flowery
meadows without experiencing a desire to
revisit them ?"
"That is what all our friends say. But
you are not always so busy but you can
sometimes enjoy painting? and you know
"I made his acquaintance but a few
weeks ago, miss, when I came to Paris to
purchase a picture; and being now in want
of some flower-studies, to send to America,
and having noticed your work when I first
had the pleasure of meeting you, it occurred
to me that you might perhaps find it agree-
able to undertake them."
"He is a picture-dealer, then?" said
the elder sister.
"I really do not know," said Julia,
SISTERLY QUERIES. 91
"but you can easily see that he is a
gentleman, and quite in earnest; he evi-
dently has no idea of being impertinent."
They endeavoured to engage him in con-
versation with a view of learning something
more about him, as well as to study his
physiognomy, before they could make up
their minds to let him cross the threshold of
their home. The result of their scrutiny
was favourable to Henry. His behaviour
was so respectful, and his face so free from
guile, that it was impossible to mistrust him.
They soon reached a neat cottage situated
in the midst of a garden, on the borders of
the forest. The front of the cottage was
covered with climbing roses, which gave it
a charming aspect. The landlady was Mrs.
Temple, who occupied the ground floor.
She was friend and guardian of the two
sisters, who occupied the rooms above.
"Dear Mrs. Temple," said Julia, who
entered first, "here is a gentleman, who
wishes to see our paintings. Have the
kindness to allow him to take a seat in your
parlour, while I go and select some specimens
to show him."
92 IT IS ONLY A PTN.
"Pray take a seat, sir," said Mrs. Temple.
" It is a beautiful day, although rather warm.
Will you take some refreshment? I dare
say you are tired, and perhaps hungry."
Henry thanked her, and she placed before
him some cake and fruit, and a bottle of
wine, and some delicious cold water fresh
from the spring.
"There," said Mrs. Temple, "when you
have finished that, you shall see the works of
the young ladies. Ah, dear creatures! they
are so good, so prudent, so clever, and
always contented, and with what? with
nothing! But I must hold my tongue, for
here they come. Do you want a good many
drawings ? I hope you do; they have a good
many done: they are always at work. I
hope you will buy a good lot. Oh! Miss
Julia paints such pretty things, is so clever
with her fingers. But you will soon see
what she can do, but don't say a word."
The two sisters now came in, carrying
portfolios. They displayed their merchan-
dize. Mrs. Temple seated herself near the
window; Julia placed herself at a large
table covered with her drawings; and Henry,
THE DRAWINGS VALUED. 93
i: his character as purchaser, placed himself
on the opposite side.
"These, sir, are a lot of very beautiful
drawings: we have a most complete assort-
ment. Have the goodness, sir, to select
those most to your taste."
Henry assuming a serious air, observed,
"I shall select this bunch of daisies, and
this group of poppies, if we can arrange as
"Sir," said Julia, I really cannot take
less than" ... and she turned greatly em-
barrassed to Jane, who said to her:
"Go on; you are a very good merchant."
"Well," said Julia, "cI cannot take less
than twenty-five shillings each. But next
time you come --"
How well she understands business,"
said Mrs. Temple, upon hearing the price,
"she can sell as well as she can paint; she
"Twenty-five shillings !" said Henry, as-
suming a dissatisfied air, "it is quite impos-
sible for me to offer you such a price."
"Well, then," said Mrs. Temple, now
warmly interfering, "there can be no deal-
9 IT IS ONLY A PIN.
ing. Poor dear girls, they have well warned
the paltry fifty shillings. If you only
knew how many hours it cost them; up
early and late; but you never can know.
Ah! you don't know !"
The two sisters vainly attempted-to stop
the flow of words, till at length, Julia, taking
the old lady by the arm, gently, said: "My
dear Mrs. Temple, let the gentleman do as he
pleases; he will, I am sure, give us what
he thinks they are worth."
"I cannot think of paying less than fifty
shillings a-piece, or five pounds the pair, for
such drawings as these," said Henry. "I
shall give you an order for a dozen. You
will perhaps, allow me to fix the price."
But, sir," replied Julia, after a moment's
reflection, "you offer me twice as much as I
I only offer you the price I am autho-
rized to give by my employer, and I must
bid no less. As this transaction may lead to
others, I recommend you to close the
"Well," said Mrs. Temple, "this is quite
a new way of doing business. I shall make
FRIENDLY OFFICIOUSNESS. 95
it up with the gentleman now. I see, now,
he is not a dealer, but only a connoisseur.
Will you take some more cake ? take a little
more wine, Mr.- Mr.-"
And the good dame ransacked her brain
to find his name, but could not, for a very
good reason-she had never heard it.
Jane, who in a manner took the part of
mother in their little home, addressing
Henry, said, I suppose, sir, we may take in
earnest what you have said to my sister, as
you are recommended by a very worthy
gentleman ? but we have not the honour of
Henry, anticipating the question, replied,
" Here is the order of my correspondent. I
hope it may be followed by many others.
You see, the price he has himself fixed, and
I cannot pay you less than that, which is
what I have offered you. I will now pay
you for the two drawings I have selected."
Counting out five sovereigns, he placed
them on the table.
"As to the other ten subjects," he said to
Julia, "I leave the choice and treatment to
yourself, only they must be the size of