. All had lost its power to communicate pleasure. There stood the costly piano, once coveted and afterwards admired. But it possessed no charm to lay the troubled spirit within him. He had bought it as a marriage present for his wife, who had little taste for music, and preferred reading or sewing to the blandishment of sweet sounds. And for this toy--it was little more in his family--a debt of four hundred dollars had been created. Had it brought him an equivalent in comfort? Far, very far from it.
As Brainard stood in his elegant parlour, with troubled heart and troubled face, his wife came in with a light step.
"George!" she exclaimed on seeing him, her countenance falling and her voice expressing anxious concern. "What is the matter? Are you sick?"
"Oh, no!" he replied, affecting a lightness of tone.
"But something is the matter, George," said the young wife, as she laid her hand upon him and looked earnestly into his face. "Something troubles you."
"Nothing of any conse