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THE MOUNTAIN TOWN, &e.
The love of gain is well known to be a predominant characteristic of the people of New England. It possesses the souls of many like as an indwelling spirit, impelling the will and giving direction to all the energies. It enters the man in his very childhood, and oft-times puts down and keeps down that benevolence, which all, in a greater or less degree, are born with, and are intended to manifest in numberless ways, blessing and being blessed. At least, if kindly and spontaneous sympathy is not hindered, how often is its purity corrupted, its beauty tarnished, by accompanying or after-coming thoughts of detestable selfishness. Mammon will stand close to the heart-fountain, to catch the impulsive, stainless gush of charity, and make a bargain out of it. For instance, I have known the single occupant of a carriage invite the wearied or hurried traveler to take a seat by his side, and then at parting receive with chuckling satisfaction the bit of silver which the benefited felt prompted in gratitude to offer. I have known men leap with pure sympathy's uncalculating quickness to the aid of one caught in sudden trouble, and after carefully bestowing relief, go away seemingly more glad with a trifle of heartcursing lucre than with the good they had done. How pitiable is this insensibility to the worth of that benevolence, which not only quickens spontaneously into action, but abides without a single after-thought of selfishness. Its own consciousness is sufficient reward. But besides this, with what consequent and unalloyed gratitude from the recipient of favor is it blessed. Still farther, the prompting feeling,—the performed good,—the touched affections, the sweetened tones, the softened looks of a fellow-being are all laid up, rustless, uncankering treasures, in the heaven of remembrance. What a damnation is worldliness to itself! There is not much hope of breaking this insensibility in gainhardened men. Gain-hardened they will live and act, and thus they are likely to die. But oh! that tender childhood and docile youth might be saved from this money-taint, this metal-crust of the heart. But alas, how numerous the instances of early hardening! A boy but picks up and runs to you with your pocket-book, yea, nothing but your handkerchief, almost the instant it was dropped, and then trips away rejoicing in the curse of your coppers, and not in the sweet little blessing of the kindly deed. And parents—I have seen them manifest a foolish pleasure, indeed it should be called a vile, baneful sympathy, when their child has