Page:A New England Tale.djvu/38

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27
A NEW-ENGLAND TALE.

"Certainly," replied Mary, "no one will disrate your right to it; it is not like worldly goods, we will not touch the spoils, though we were tempted by more than the 'goodly Babylonish garment, the two hundred shekels of silver, and the wedge of gold' that made Achan to sin."

In obedience to the strictest dictates of honesty, Mary forbore from permitting her zeal for Jane's interests to violate the letter of the law. She was so scrupulous, that she would not use a family trunk, but took a large cedar chest of her own to pack the clothes in.

While they were busily occupied with these preparations, Jane received a note from her aunt, saying, that she advised her to secure some small articles which would never be missed: some of "the spoons, table-linen, her mother's ivory workbox." &c. &c. The note concluded—"As I have undertaken the charge of you for the present, it is but right you should take my advice. There is no doubt my brother's creditors have cheated him a hundred fold the amount of these things, for, poor man! with all his faults, he was so generous, anybody could take him in; besides, though these things might help to pay the expense I must be at in keeping you, they will be a mere nothing divided among so many creditors—the dust on the balance."

"Poor woman!" said Mary, to whom Jane had handed the note, "I am afraid she will load the balance with so much of this vile dust, that when she is weighed her scale will be "found wanting."