The farm-work did not continue behindhand long, however. The remainder of the haying was accomplished in a week, and James had opportunity for other jobs. He found work clear up to the close of his vacation, not having even a day for pastime. Thus he was able to pay off his doctor’s bill, provide a better outfit for another school term than he had the first term, and to aid his mother also.

James was not idle during the evenings of his vacation. Algebra occupied a portion of his time; and two or three reading books which he brought from the Chester library beguiled many of his evening hours. If he had any leisure hours during his vacation, they were not idle hours. Every hour told upon the new purpose of his life. He had ceased to talk about going to sea, or even coasting on Lake Erie, in his enthusiasm for an education. His mother, of course, never reverted to the subject, and she was rejoiced to find that James was aspiring after something higher and nobler. He was too much absorbed in his course of study to talk about a seafaring life, or even to think about it.

“I wish you had some money to take back with you, James,” remarked his mother, the day before he left for the seminary.

“I don’t know as I care for more,” answered James.

“I have a ninepence (showing the bit, and laughing), and that will go as far as it is possible for a ninepence to go. I have it all arranged to work for Mr. Woodworth, out of school, and I can easily pay my way.”

“That may be true; but a few dollars to begin the term with would be very convenient,” responded Mrs. Garfield.

“Better begin with nothing and end with something, than to begin with something and end with nothing,” added James.

“I suppose, then, that you expect to end the term with more money than you begin it with?” said his mother, inquiringly.

“Yes, I do; for I shall want a little change in my pocket in the winter, if I teach school,” replied James.

“Then you really expect to be qualified to teach school next winter, do you?”

“I design to; perhaps I shall be disappointed, though.”

“I hope not,” continued his mother. “By teaching school in the winter you can get together money enough to pay your school bills all the rest of the year; and that will make it easy for you. I want to see you able to earn enough in winter to pay all your school bills, so that you will not be obliged to work before and after school to earn money.”

“I don’t expect to see that time, mother. I am content to work my may along as I have done,” was James’s brave reply. “Nobody can be healthier than I am; so that it don’t wear upon me much.”

James returned to Geauga Seminary at the opening of the fall term, with the solitary ninepence in his pocket. He playfully suggested to Henry that “the bit must be very lonesome,” and thought he might provide acompanion” for it ere long. The circumstances remind us of the experience of the late Horace Mann, of Massachusetts. Born in poverty, though not so poor as James, he had little hope of gratifying his strong desire for an education. Providence, however, opened the way for him to prepare for college, which he did in six months, not knowing whether he would be able to enter or not. By dint of perseverance, he scraped together money enough to get him into college, although he could not tell where the money was coming from to keep him there. After a few weeks he wrote to his sister, “My last two ninepences parted company some days ago, and there is no prospect of their ever meeting again.” That is, he had a solitary ninepence in his pocket.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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