Page:Letters of Life.djvu/281

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DOMESTIC LIFE. 269

The custom which prevailed among merchants in the olden time, of drawing within their circle of home-charities those whom they received as pupils in their profession, was both kind and wise. The benevo- lence of sheltering from temptation the young who are •thus severed from parental supervision, and whose hearts often pine for the tones of lost affection, is often recompensed by a more perfect identification of inter- ests, and sometimes by a lifelong friendship.

The year after our marriage we removed to a habi- tation which Mr. Sigourney had erected after his own plan, in a commanding and beautiful situation. It combined convenience with elegance in a remarkable degree. Facing the east, its stately columns caught the first rays of the rising sun, as they unveiled, like a picture, the city stretching at its feet. The interior, with its lofty ceilings, marble mantel-pieces, folding- doors, and windows reaching to the floor, had a patri- cian aspect, more noticeable half a century since than now, when such appendages are common. It was en- vironed by an extensive lawn, whose curving gravel- walks were adorned with shrubbery ; and spacious gar- dens, one of which stretched downward to the fair river that girdled the domain, from which it was pro- tected by a mural parapet. One of the most unique features of the scenery was a grove sloping rather pre- cipitously to the borders of the same graceful stream,

traversed by winding paths, and shaded by lofty trees

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