Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 5.djvu/165

This page has been validated.
155
WHAT A SHOVEL DID.

little room, without one cent in my pocket, and no prospect of getting one.

"I had gone supperless to bed, and spent the long night asking, 'What shall I do?' and, receiving no reply but that which is so hard for eager youth to accept, 'Wait and trust.'

"I was alone in the world, with no fortune but my own talent, and even that I was beginning to doubt, because it brought no money. For a year I had worked and hoped, with a brave spirit; had written my life into poems and tales; tried a play; turned critic and reviewed books; offered my pen and time to any one who would employ them, and now was ready for the hardest literary work, and the poorest pay, for starvation stared me in the face.

"All my ventures failed, and my paper boats freighted with so many high hopes, went down one after another, leaving me to despair. The last wreck lay on my table then,—a novel, worn with much journeying to and fro, on which I had staked my last chance, and lost it.

"As I stood there at my window, cold and hun-