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Mammas and daughters may learn clusion; and that interest draws the a useful lesson from these three mind aside so forcibly in one direcstories. Such imposition, involving tion, that he proves utterly impamisery for life, it has been proved is tient of being made to look in the possible, even where there is no love other. to charm with siren spell, no pas- In the three cases related, the sion to drown the voice of reason- greed of money, as well as conceit none of that blissful hallucination and self-love, supplied the delusive which makes all the hours between medium. Of all dust to throw in a the 'offer' and the wedding, hours man's eyes there is none like gold of the heart, but not of the head; dust. The very news of a fortune hours during which we have seen to be had almost for the asking; even a lady of half a hundred years the lottery prize, the opening of the in a mood to credit everything from millionaire's will, or the ventures of her hoary-headed lover, deaf to the California—the very thoughts of such warnings of all the world besides. golden visions will throw even sober
Affection of all kinds makes men minded people off their balance in a gullible, because it blinds them. moment. In the times of bubble The folly of parents with their chil- manias, more brains have been dren is so proverbial that fond and turned by fortunes gained than by foolish have become convertible fortunes lost; and every season of terms. Most romantic and marvel- speculation proves again and again lous stories in a court of justice have that, if once you quicken the pulse been traced to the creative powers - if once you fire the minds of men of a parent's mind; leading on, step by the prospect of sudden riches, by step, some wicked, lying child and the earnings of a life all grasped who had wit enough to adopt the within an hour-so all-engrossing is suggestions of leading questions. the object, that there is no limit to a For nothing is too improbable for a man's credulity about the means of .parent to believe, in excuse for a realizing it. It is true now, as in child.
the days of Thucydides, that in all It is commonly remarked, 'If per- such exciting moments, men will sons would dispassionately consider;' only talk one way; and whoever is 'If they would honestly consult their bold enough to talk the other is at own sense,' and the like.—But on once set down as disaffected, or at any question vitally affecting us, it all events as a very disagreeable sort is not so easy to think dispassion- of fellow. ately. Do you doubt it? This One fact in the merchant's history shall be the proof: How seldom do singularly illustrates a very common persons really ask advice; how much fallacy-one that has hoodwinked more frequently do they only ask many a dupe. When Mrs. Clyde had for confirmation ? Every lawyer been seen to run like an intimate will tell you that the very client friend into the rich lady's house, this who comes for an opinion invariably confirmation of one point was taken rather argues than consults, and so as a confirmation of all; so very pertinaciouslyconceals or glosses over slight a matter will satisfy us of the very facts on which any impartial what we wish to find true. In lookopinion can possibly be formed, that ing for proofs, men are too ready it is often hard to torture and to to generalize. After cracking one wrest them from him. And could or two nuts, though chosen by the not the Mentor within the breast tell audacious seller, we too fondly bethe same story? Can we imagine lieve well of the rest. that we are ever likely to advise While, then, we are so ready to with ourselves at all more honestly deceive ourselves, who can wonder than when we consult our lawyer or at the success of any imposture, our friend?
where others are artfully flattering The reason of this preposterous and inflaming our own self-love, and folly is, that a man never takes the leading us on in the very direction trouble to consult or ask advice till in which we are already too prone he is already interested in one con- to go?