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was to be preferred to the destruction such an army of moth as it was sending forth, would have occasioned."

I changed the subject, dexterously, having heard quite enough about the sofa to satisfy me that my bargain was likely to prove a bad one.

All the summer, I was troubled with visions of moth-eaten carpets, furs, shawls, and overcoats; and they proved to be only the foreshadowing of real things to come, for, when, in the fall, the contents of old chests, boxes, drawers, and dark closets were brought forth to the light, a state of affairs truly frightful to a housekeeper, was presented. One of the breadths of my handsome carpet had the pile so eaten off in conspicuous places, that no remedy was left but the purchase and substitution of a new one, at a cost of nearly ten dollars. In dozens of places the texture of the carpet was eaten entirely through. I was, as my lady readers may naturally suppose, very unhappy at this. But, the evil by no means found a limit here. ing my fur boxes, I found that the work of destruction had been going on there also. A single shake of the muff, threw little fibres and flakes of fur in no stinted measure upon the air; and, on dashing my hand hard against it, a larger mass was detached, showing the skin bare and white beneath. My furs were ruined. They had cost seventy dollars, and were not worth ten!

A still further examination into our stock of winter clothing, showed that the work of destruction had extended to almost every article. Scarcely any thing had escaped.

On open

Troubled, worried, and unhappy as I I was, I

, yet concealed from Mr. Smith the origin of all this ruin. He never suspected our cheap sofa for a moment. After I had, by slow degrees, recovered from my chagrin and disappointment, my thoughts turned, naturally, upon a disposition of the sofa. What was to be done with it? As to keeping it over another season, that was not to be thought of for a moment. But, would it be right, I asked myself, to send it back to auction, and let it thus go into the possession of some housekeeper, as ignorant of its real character as I had been? I found it very hard to reconcile my conscience to such a disposition of the sofa. And there was still another difficulty in the way. What excuse for parting with it could I make to Mr. Smith ? He had never suspected that article to be the origination of all the mischief and loss we had sustained.

Winter began drawing to a close, and still the sofa remained in its place, and still was I in perplexity as to what should be done with it.

“ Business requires me to go to Charleston," said Mr. Smith, one day late in February. “ How long will you be away

away ?" was my natural enquiry.

“From ten days to two weeks,” replied Mr. Smith.

“So long as that?"

“ It will hardly be possible to get home earlier than the time I have mentioned.”

“You go in the Osprey ?"

“Yes. She sails day after tomorrow. So you will have all ready for me, if you please.”

Never before had the announcement of my husband that he had to go away on business given me pleasure. The moment he said that he would be absent, the remedy for my difficulty suggested itself.

The very day Mr. Smith sailed in the steamer for Charleston, I sent for an upholsterer, and after explaining to him the defect connected with my sofa, directed him to have the seating all removed, and then replaced by new materials, taking particular care to thoroughly cleanse the inside of the wood work, lest the vestige of a moth should be left remaining.

All this was done, at a cost of twenty dollars. When Mr. Smith returned, the sofa was back in its place, and he was none the wiser for the change, until some months afterwards, when, unable to keep the secret any longer, I told him the whole story.

I am pretty well cured, I think now, of bargain-buying.

CHAPTER XXII.

A PEEVISH DAY AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.

THERE are few housekeepers who have not had their sick and peevish days. I have had mine, as the reader will see by the following story, which I some time since ventured to relate, in the third person, and which I now take the liberty of introducing into these confessions.

“It is too bad, Rachel, to put me to all this trouble; and you know I can hardly hold up my head.”

Thus spoke Mrs. Smith, in a peevish voice, to a quiet looking domestic, who had been called up from the kitchen to supply some unimportant omission in the breakfast table arrangement.

Rachel looked hurt and rebuked, but made no reply.

“How could you speak in that way to Rachel ?" said Mr. Smith, as soon as the domestic had withdrawn.

“If you felt just as I do, Mr. Smith, you would speak cross, too!” Mrs. Smith replied a little warmly—“I feel just like a rag; and my head aches as if it would burst.”

“I know you feel badly, and I am very sorry for you. But still, I suppose it is as easy to speak

kindly as harshly. Rachel is very obliging and attentive, and should be borne with in occasional omissions, which you of course know are not wilful.”

“ It is easy enough to preach," retorted Mrs. Smith, whose temper, from bodily lassitude and pain, was in quite an irritable state. The reader will understand at least one of the reasons of this, when he is told that the scene here presented occurred during the last oppressive week in August Mr. Smith said no more.

He saw that to do so would only be to provoke instead of quieting his wife's ill humor. The morning meal went by in silence, but little food passing the lips of either. How could it, when the thermometer was ninety-four at eight o'clock in the morning, and the leaves upon the trees were as motionless as if suspended in a vacuum. Bodies and minds were relaxed—and the one turned from food, as the other did from thought, with an instinctive aversion.

After Mr. Smith had left his home for his place of business, Mrs. Smith went up into her chamber, and threw herself upon the bed, her head still continuing to ache with great violence. It so happened that a week before, the chambermaid had gone away, sick, and all the duties of the household had in consequence devolved upon Rachel, herself not very well. Cheerfully, however, had she endeavored to discharge these accumulated duties, and but for the unhappy, peevish state of mind in which Mrs. Smith indulged, would have discharged them without a

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