A MEMBER of a large mercantile firm recently gave me a bit of his early experience. Said he, "I was seventeen years old when I left the country store where I had 'tended' for three years, and came to Boston in search of a place. Anxious, of course, to appear to the best advantage, I spent an unusual amount of time and solicitude upon my toilet; and when it was completed, I surveyed my reflection in the glass with no little satisfaction, glancing lastly and most approvingly upon a seal ring which embellished my little finger, and my cane, a very pretty affair, which I had purchased with direct reference to this occasion.

"My first day's experience was not encouraging. I traversed street after street, up one side and down the other, without success. I fancied toward the last that the clerks all knew my business the moment I opened the door, and that they winked ill-naturedly at my discomfiture, as I passed out. But nature had endowed me with a good degree of persistency, and the next day I started again. Toward noon I entered a store where an elderly gentleman stood talking with a lady at the door. I waited till the visitor had left, and then stated my errand. 'No, sir,' was the answer, given in a peculiarly crisp and decided manner. Possibly I looked the discouragement I was beginning to feel, for he added, in a kinder tone, 'Are you good at taking a hint?' ‘I don't know,' I answered, while my face flushed painfully. ‘What I wish to say is this,' said he, smiling at my embarrassment; ‘if I were in want of a clerk, I would not engage a young man who came seeking employment with a flashy ring upon his finger, and swinging a fancy cane.'

"For a moment, mortified vanity struggled against common sense, but sense got the victory, and I replied, with rather a shaky voice, I am afraid, 'I'm very much obliged to you,' and then beat a hasty retreat. As soon as I had got out of sight, I slipped the ring into my pocket, and walking rapidly to the Worcester depot, I left the cane in charge of the baggage master, till called for.' It is there now, for aught I know. At any rate, I never called for it. That afternoon I obtained a situation with the firm of which I am now a partner.

"How much my unfortunate finery had injured my prospects on the previous day I shall never know; but I never think of the old gentleman and his plain dealing without feeling, as I told him at the time, 'very much obliged' to him."-



Youth's Companion.