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by [?]

TRULY hath the poet said that, “Trifles swell the sum of human happiness and woe.” Our highest and holiest aspirations, our purest and warmest affections, are frequently called forth by what in itself may be deemed of trivial importance. The fragrant breath of a flower, the passing song of the merry milk-maid, a soothing word from one we love, will often change the whole current of our thoughts and feelings, and, by carrying us back to the days of childhood, or bringing to our remembrance some innocent and happy state which steals over us like a long-forgotten dream, will dissipate the clouds of sorrow, and even the still deeper shades of falsity and evil.

How many of the great events of life have their origin in trifles; how many deep, heart-felt sorrows spring from neglect of what seemed to us a duty of little or no account–something that could be done or left undone as we pleased!

Alas! this is a dangerous doctrine. Let us endeavour to impress upon the minds of our children that no duty is trifling; that nothing which can in any way affect the comfort and happiness of others is unimportant.

The happiness of domestic life, particularly of married life, depends almost wholly upon strict attention to trifles. Between those who are united by the sacred tie of marriage, nothing should be deemed trivial. A word, a glance, a smile, a gentle touch, all speak volumes; and the human heart is so constituted that there is no joy so great, no sorrow so intense, that it may not be increased or mitigated by these trifling acts of sympathy from one we love.

Nearly three months had elapsed since the papers had duly announced to the public that Mary, daughter of Theodore Melville, had become the bride of Arthur Hartwell; and the young couple had returned from a short bridal tour, and were now quietly settled in a pleasant little spot which was endeared to Arthur by having been the home of his youthful days. He had been left an orphan at an early age, and the property had passed into the hands of strangers, but he continued to cherish a strong attachment for the “old place,” as he termed it, and he heard with joy, some few months before his marriage, that it was for sale; and without even waiting to consult his intended bride, he purchased it for their future home. This was a sad disappointment to Mary, for she had fixed her affections upon a pretty romantic little cottage, half hid by trees and shrubbery, which was situated within two minutes’ walk of her father’s house; and which, owing to the death of the owner, was offered for sale upon very favourable terms. In her eyes it possessed every advantage, and as she mentally compared it with the old-fashioned dwelling of which Arthur had become the possessor, she secretly conceived a strong prejudice against the spot where the duties and pleasures of the new sphere which she was about to enter were to commence; particularly as it was five miles distant from her parents, and not very near to any of her early friends.

Some faint attempts were made to induce Arthur to endeavour to get released from his bargain, and to become the purchaser of the pretty cottage, but in vain. He was delighted to have become the owner of what appeared to him one of the loveliest spots on the earth, and assured Mary that the house was vastly superior to any cottage, advancing so many good reasons for this assertion, and describing in such glowing terms the beauty of the surrounding scenery, and the happiness they should enjoy, that she could not help sympathizing with him, although her dislike to her future home remained unabated.

The first few weeks of her residences there passed pleasantly enough, however. All was new and delightful. The grounds about the house, although little cultivated, were beautiful in the wild luxuriance of nature; the trees were loaded with rich autumnal fruits; and even the old-fashioned mansion, now that it was new painted, and the interior fitted up in modern style, assumed a more favourable aspect. It was a leisure time with Arthur, and he was ever ready to accompany Mary to her father’s; so that she became quite reconciled to the distance, and even thought it rather an advantage, as it was such a pleasant little ride.