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glass two. Add five that we have already paid for repairs, and the four that our maple bedstead . has cost above the price of a handsome French one, and we will have the sum of twenty-one dollars,—enough to purchase as handsome a dressing-bureau as I would ask. So you see, Mr. Jones, that our cheap furniture is not going to turn out so cheap after all. And as for looks, why no one can say there is much to brag of.”
This was a new view of the case, and certainly one not very flattering to my economical vanity. I gave in, of course, and admitted that Mrs. Jones was right.
But the dilapidations and expenses for repairs, to which I have just referred, were but as the
beginning of sorrows.” It took about three years to show the full fruits of my error. By the end of that time, half my parlor chairs had been rendered useless in consequence of the back-breaking and seat-rending ordeals through which they had been called to pass. The sofa was unanimously condemned to the dining room, and the ninety cent carpet had gone on fading and defacing, until my wife said she was ashamed to put it even on her chambers. For repairs, our furniture had cost, up to this period, to say nothing of the perpetual annoyance of having it put out of order, and running for the cabinet maker and upholsterer, not less than a couple of hundred dollars. Finally, I grew desperate.
I'll have decent, well made furniture, let it cost what it will,” said I, to Mrs. Jones.
“ You will find it cheapest in the end,” was her quiet reply.
On the next day we went to a cabinet maker, whose reputation for good work stood among the highest in the city; and ordered new parlor and chamber furniture—mahogany chairs, French bedstead, dressing-bureau and all, and as soon as they came home, cleared the house of all the old cheap (dear!) trash with which we had been worried since the day we commenced housekeeping
A good many years have passed since, and we have not paid the first five dollar bill for repairs. All the drawers run as smoothly as railroad cars; knobs are tight; locks in prime order, and veneers cling as tightly to their places as if they had grown there. All is right and tight, and wears an orderly, genteel appearance; and what is best of all, the cost of every thing we have, good as it is, is far below the real cost of what is inferior.
“ It is better—much better,” said I to Mrs. Jones, the other day. “ Better!” was her reply. !
“ Yes, indeed, a thousand times better to have good things at once. Cheap furniture is dearest in the end. Every housekeeper ought to know this in the beginning. If we had known it, see what we would have saved."
“If I had known it, you mean,” said I.
My wife looked kindly, not triumphantly, into my face, and smiled. When she again spoke, it was on another subject.
LIVING AT A CONVENIENT DISTANCE.
THERE are few of us who do not feel, at some time in life, the desire for change. Indeed, change of place corresponding, as it does, in outward nature, to change of state in the mind, it is not at all surprising that we should, now and then, feel a strong desire to remove from the old, and get into new locations, and amid different external associations. Thus, we find, in many
, families, an ever recurring tendency to removal. Indeed, I have some housekeeping friends who are rarely to be found in the same house, or in the same part of the city, in any two consecutive years. Three moves, Franklin used to say, were equal to a fire. There are some to whom I could point, who have been, if this holds true, as good as burned out, three or four times in the last ten years.
But, I must not write too long a preface to my present story. Mr. Smith and myself cannot boast of larger organs of Inhabitativeness I believe that is the word used by phrenologists -than many of our neighbors. Occasionally we have felt dissatisfied with the state of things around us, and become possessed of the demon of change. We have moved quite frequently, sometimes attaining superior comfort, and some