The Lights and Shadows of Real Life
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THE LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF REAL LIFE.
BY T. S. ARTHUR.
To all, as they pass through the world, come "light and shadow."
Though the sun may be in the heavens, clouds often intervene, and
cast deep shadows about our footsteps. But, it is a truth which we
cannot too deeply lay to heart, that, in our life, as in nature, the
exhalations which form the obscuring cloud arise from below. They
are not born in the pure heavens, but spring out of the earth
beneath. If there was nothing evil in the mind, there would be no
cloud in the sky of our being,--all would be "eternal sunshine."
If, therefore, in this book the lights and shadows are blessed; if,
in a word, the clouds often hang heavy and remain long in the sky,
the fault is in those whose histories we have written. But the sky
does not always remain dark. As the heart becomes filled with better
purposes through the trials and pains of adversity, or comes out
purer from the furnace of affliction, the clouds disperse, and the
blessed sunlight comes again. Lay this up for your consolation, all
ye who are in trouble and affliction, and look hopefully in the
future. It will not always remain dark as in the present time.
ACCOMPANYING this volume, is a brief auto-biography. In circulating
Mr. Arthur's "Sketches of Life and Character," the publisher met so
frequently with an expressed desire to know something of one whose
writings had made him a general favorite that he was led to solicit
a personal sketch, to go with a new collection of his writings. It
is but due to the author to say, that his concurrence in the matter
was not without considerable reluctance. From this sketch it will be
seen that Mr. Arthur is a self-made man, and that he has gained his
present enviable position through long and patient labor, and
against the pressure of much that was adverse and discouraging. In
his elevation he has this pleasing reflection, that in seeking to
gain a high place for himself, he has dragged no one down, but
rather, sought to carry along, in his upward way, all who could be
induced to go with him.
The portrait given in this volume, was engraved from one recently
painted by Lambdin, and is considered a very good likeness. Mr.
Arthur is now in his forty-second year, and looks somewhat younger
than the artist has represented him.
For the information of those who wish to procure Mr. Arthur's
Temperance Tales, the publisher would state, that in "Lights and
Shadows of Real Life," are included all the stories contained in the
recently issued edition of "Illustrated Temperance Tales," besides
nearly two hundred pages of additional matter, thus making a larger,
more miscellaneous, and more acceptable book for all readers.
In compliance with the earnest request of the publisher of this
volume, I have, with a reluctance that I find it difficult to
overcome, consented to furnish a brief sketch personal to myself.
Although my name has been constantly appearing for some twelve or
fifteen years, yet I have lost none of that, shrinking from
notoriety and observation which made me timid and retiring when a
boy. The necessity to write as a means of livelihood, and to write a
great deal, has brought me so frequently before the public, that I
have almost ceased to think about the matter as any thing more than
an ordinary occurrence; but, now, when called upon to write about
myself, I find that the edge of a natural sensitiveness is quite as
keen as ever. But, I will call the feeling a weakness, and try to
repress it until I have finished my present task.
I was born in the year 1809, near Newburgh, Orange County, New York;
and my eyes first opened on the beautiful scenery of the Hudson. My
earliest recollection is of Fort Montgomery, some six miles below
West Point, on the river, where my parents resided for a few years
previous to 1817. In the Spring of that year, they removed to
Baltimore, which became my place of residence until 1841, when I
came to Philadelphia, where I have since lived.
My early educational advantages were few. There were no public
schools in Maryland, when I was a boy, and, as my father had a large
family and but a moderate income, he could afford to send his
children to school only for a limited period. He knew the value,
however, of a good education, and did all for us in his power.
Especially did he seek to inspire his children with a regard for
religious truth, and, both by precept and example, to lead them into
the practice of such things as were honest and of good rest. In all
this, he was warmly seconded by a mother who still survives; and for
whom, it is but just to say, that her children feel the tenderest
regard--and well may they do so, for they owe her much.
At school, I was considered a very dull boy. My memory was not
retentive, and I comprehended ideas and formulas expressed by others
in a very imperfect manner. I needed a careful, judicious, and
patient teacher, who understood the character of my mind, and who
was able to come down to it with instruction in the simplest and
clearest forms; thus helping me to think for myself and to see for
myself. Instead of this, I was scolded and whipped because I could
not understand things that were never explained. As, for instance, a
slate and pencil were placed in my hands after I had learned to
read, upon which was a sum in simple addition for which I was
required to find an answer. Now, in the word, "Addition," as
referring to figures, I saw no meaning. I did not comprehend the
fact, in connexion with it, that two and two made four. True, I had
learned my "Addition Table," but, strangely enough, that did not
furnish me with any clue towards working out the problem of figures
set for me on my slate. I was then in my ninth year; and I can
remember, to this day, with perfect distinctness, how utterly
discouraged I became, as day by day went by, and still I had not
found a correct result to any one of my sums, nor gained a single
ray of light on the subject. Strange as it may seem, I remained for
several months in simple addition before I knew how to sum up
figures, and then the meaning of addition flashed, in a sudden
thought upon my mind, while I was at play. I had no trouble after
that. During the next week, I escaped both scolding and "belaboring"
(a favorite phrase of my teacher's), and then passed on to
subtraction. Five minutes devoted to an explanation, in some simple
form, of what "Addition" meant, would have saved me the loss of
months, to say nothing of the pain, both mental and bodily, that I
suffered during the time.
With such a mind and such a teacher, it is no wonder that I made but
little progress during the few years that I went to school. Beyond
reading and writing, Arithmetic and English Grammar included the
entire range of my studies. As for Arithmetic, I did not master half
the common rules, and Grammar was to my mind completely
In the end, my teacher, declared that it was only wasting time and
money to send me to school, and advised my father to put me out to a
trade. This was done. I left home and entered upon an apprenticeship
shortly after passing my thirteenth year.
If I found it extremely difficult to comprehend ideas as expressed
in ordinary written forms, I was not without thoughts of my own. I
had an active mind, and soon after entering upon my apprenticeship
the desire for knowledge became strong. As food for this was
supplied, even though in a stinted measure, the desire gained
strength, and I began a system of self-education that was continued
for years afterwards. Of course, the system was a very imperfect
one. There was no one to select books for me, nor to direct my mind
in its search after knowledge. I was an humble apprentice boy,
inclined from habit to shrink from observation, and preferring to
grope about in the dark for what I was in search off, rather than
intrude my wants and wishes upon others. Day after day I worked and
thought, and night after night I read and studied, while other boys
were seeking pleasure and recreation. Thus, through much
discouragement, the years passed by; and thus time went on, until I
attained the age of manhood, when, defective sight compelled me to
give up the trade I had been acquiring for over seven years.
Beyond this trade, my ability to earn a living was small. My efforts
at self-education had been guided by no definite aims in life. I had
read, studied and thought, more to gratify a desire for knowledge
than to gain information with the end of applying it to any
particular use. The consequence was, that on reaching manhood, I
entered the world at a great disadvantage. My trade, to learn which
I had spent so many years, could not be followed, except at the risk
of losing my sight, which had failed for the three preceding years
with such rapidity that I was now compelled to use glasses of strong
magnifying power. I had but slight knowledge of figures, and was
not, therefore, competent, to take the situation of a clerk. At this
point in my life, I suffered from great discouragement of mind.
Through the kind offices of a friend, a place was procured for me in
a counting room, at a very small salary, where but light service was
required, and where I found but few opportunities for acquiring a
knowledge of business. Here I remained for over three years, almost
as much shut out from contact with the business world as when an
apprentice, and with plenty of time on my hands for reading and
writing, which I improved.
The necessity for a larger income caused me to leave this place, and
accept of one in which a higher ability was required. In 1833 I went
to the West as agent for a Banking Company; but the institution
failed and I returned to Baltimore, out of employment. During all
this time, I was devoting my leisure moments to writing, not that I
looked forward to authorship as a trade--nothing could have been
more foreign to my thoughts;--I continued to write, as I had begun,
prompted by an impulse that I felt little inclination to resist.
At this point in my life, I was induced, in association with a
friend who was as fond of writing as myself, to assume the editorial
charge of a literary paper. And here began, in earnest, my literary
labors, that have since continued with only brief periods of
As an author, I have never striven for mere reputation; have never
sought to make a name. Circumstances, over which I had little
control, guided my feet, and I walked onward in the path that opened
before me, not doubting but that I was in the right way. If other
employment had offered; if I had received a good business education,
and been able, through that means, to have advanced myself in the
world, I would, like thousands of others who had an early fondness
for literary pursuits, soon have laid aside my pen and given to
trade the best energies of my mind. But Providence guided my feet
into other paths than these. They were rough and thorny at times,
and I often fainted by the way; yet renewed strength ever came when
I felt the weakest. If my earnest labor has not been so well
rewarded in a money-sense as it might have been had I possessed a
business education at the time of my entrance upon life, my reward
in another sense has been great. Though I have not been able to
accumulate wealth, I have gained what wealth alone cannot give, a
wide-spread acknowledgment that in my work I have done good to my
fellow men. This acknowledgment comes back upon me from all
directions, and I will not deny that it affords me a deep interior
satisfaction. Could it be otherwise? And with this heart-warming
satisfaction, there arises ever in my mind a new impulse, prompting
to still more earnest efforts in the cause of humanity.
My choice of temperance themes has not arisen from any experience in
my own person of the evils of intemperance, but from having been an
eye and ear witness to some of the first results of
Washingtonianism, and seeing, in the cause, one worthy the best
efforts of my pen. The temperance cause I recognized as a good
cause, and I gave it the benefit of whatever talent I possessed. And
I have the pleasant assurance, from very many who have had better
opportunities to know than myself, that my labor has not been in
vain. Thus much I have ventured to write of myself. Beyond this, let
my works speak for me. I can say no more.
Philadelphia, May, 1850.
T. S. A.
THE FACTORY GIRL.
THE TWO PICTURES.
BRANDY AS A PREVENTIVE.
THE TEMPERANCE PLEDGE.
TIME, FAITH, ENERGY.
FLUSHED WITH WINE.
THE FAILING HOPE.
THOU ART THE MAN.
THE TOUCHING REPROOF.
THE TEMPERANCE SONG.
THE DISTILLER'S DREAM.
THE RUINED FAMILY.
THE RUMSELLERS DREAM.
HOW TO CURE A TOPER.
THE BROKEN PLEDGE.
THE WANDERER'S RETURN.
JIM BRADDOCK'S PLEDGE.
WINE ON THE WEDDING NIGHT.
THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT.
THE IRON WILL.
A CURE FOR LOW SPIRITS.
THREE HUNDRED A YEAR.
I'LL SEE ABOUT IT.
THE FIERY TRIAL.
THE MAIDEN'S ERROR.
THE FACTORY GIRL.
THERE was something wrong about the affairs of old Mr. Bacon. His
farm, once the best tilled and most productive in the neighbourhood,
began to show evidences of neglect and unfruitfulness; and that he
was going behindhand in the world, was too apparent in the fact,
that, within two years he had sold twenty acres of good meadow, and,
moreover, was under the necessity of borrowing three hundred dollars
on a mortgage of his landed property. And yet, Mr. Bacon had not
laid aside his habits of industry. He was up, as of old, with the
dawn, and turned not his feet homeward from the field until the sun
had taken his parting glance from the distant hill-tops.
A kind-hearted, cheerful-minded man was old Mr. Bacon, well liked by
all his neighbours, and loved by his own household. His two oldest
children died ere reaching the age of manhood; three remained. Mary
Bacon, the eldest of those who survived, now in her nineteenth year,
had been from earliest childhood her father's favourite; and, as she
advanced towards womanhood, she had grown more and more into his
heart. In his eyes she was very beautiful; and his eyes, though
partial, did not deceive him very greatly, for Mary's face was fair
to look upon.
We have said that Mr. Bacon was a kind-hearted cheerful-minded man.
And so he was; kind-hearted and cheerful, even though clouds were
beginning to darken above him, and a sigh from the coming tempest
was in the air. Yet not so uniformly cheerful as of old, though
never moody nor perverse in his tempers. Of the change that was in
progress, the change from prosperity to adversity, he did not seem
to be _painfully_ conscious.
Yes, there was something wrong about the affairs of old Mr. Bacon. A
habit indulged through many years, had acquired a dangerous
influence over him, and was gradually destroying his rational
ability to act well in the ordinary concerns of life. As a young
man, Mr. Bacon drank "temperately," and he drank "temperately" in
the prime of life; and now, at sixty, he continued to drink
"temperately," that is, in his own estimation. There were many,
however, who had reason to think differently. But Mr. Bacon was no
bar-room lounger; in fact, he rarely, if ever, went to a public
house; it was in his own home and among his household treasures,
that he placed to his lips the cup of confusion.
The various temperance reforms had all found warm advocates among
his friends and neighbours; but Mr. Bacon stood aloof. He would have
nothing to do in these matters.
"Let them join temperance societies who feel themselves in danger,"
was his good natured answer to all argument or persuasion addressed
to him on the subject.
He did not oppose nor ridicule the movement. He thought it a good
thing; only, he had in it no personal interest.
And so Mr. Bacon went on drinking "temperately" until habit, from
claiming a moderate indulgence, began to make, so it seemed to his
friends, rather unreasonable demands. Besides this habit of
drinking, Mr. Bacon had another habit, that of industry; and, what
was unusual, the former did not abate the latter, though it must be
owned that it sadly interfered with its efficiency. He was up, as we
have said, with the dawn, and all the day he was busy at work; but,
somehow or other, his land did not produce as liberally as in former
times, and there was slowly creeping over every thing around him an
aspect of decay. Moreover, he did not manage, as well as formerly,
the selling part of his business. In fact, his shrewdness of mind
was gone. Alcohol had confused his brain. Gradually he was
retrograding; and, while more than half conscious of the ruin that
was in advance of him, he was not fully enough awake to feel
seriously alarmed, nor to begin anxiously to seek for the cause of
impending evil. And so it went on until Mr. Bacon, suddenly found
himself in the midst of real trouble. The value of his farm, which,
after parting with the twenty acres of meadow land, contained but
twenty-five acres, had been yearly diminishing in consequence of bad
culture, and defective management of his stock had reduced that
until it was of little consequence.
The holder of the mortgage was a man named Dyer, who kept a tavern
in the village that lay a mile distant from the little white
farm-house of Mr. Bacon. When Dyer commenced his liquor-selling
trade, for that was his principal business, he had only a few
hundred dollars; now he was worth thousands, and was about the only
man in the neighbourhood who had money to lend. His loans were
always made on bond and mortgage, and, it was a little remarkable,
that he was never known to let a sober, industrious farmer or
store-keeper have a single dollar. But, a drinking man, who was
gradually wasting his substance, rarely applied to him in vain; for
he was the cunning spider watching for the silly fly. More than one
worn-out and run-down farm had already come into his hands, through
the foreclosure of mortgages, at a time of business depression, when
his helpless victims could find no sympathizing friends able to save
them from ruin.
One day, in mid-winter, as Mr. Bacon was cutting wood at his rather
poorly furnished wood pile, the tavern-keeper rode up. There was
something in his countenance that sent a creeping sense of fear to
the heart of the farmer.
"Good morning, Mr. Dyer," said he.
"Good morning," returned the tavern-keeper, formally. His usual
smile was absent from his face.
"Sharp day, this."
"Yes, rather keen."
"Won't you walk in and take something?"
"No, thank you. H-h-e-em!"
There was a pause.
The farmer's eye sunk beneath the cold steady look of Dyer.
"Mr. Bacon, I guess I shall have to call on you for them three
hundred dollars," said the tavern-keeper, in a firm voice.
"Can't pay that mortgage now, Mr. Dyer," returned Bacon, with a
troubled expression; "no use to think of it."
"Rather a cool way to treat a man after borrowing his money. I told
you when I lent it that I might want it at almost any time."
"Oh! no, Mr. Dyer. It was understood, distinctly, that from four to
six months' notice would be given," replied Mr. Bacon, positively.
"Preposterous!" ejaculated the tavern-keeper. "Never thought of such
a thing. Six months notice, indeed!"
"That was the agreement," said Mr. Bacon, firmly.
"Is it in the bond?"
"No, it was verbal, between us."
Dyer shook his head, as he answered,--
"No, sir. I never make agreements of that kind; the money was to be
paid on demand, and I have ridden over this morning to make the
"It is midwinter, Mr. Dyer," was replied in a husky voice.
"You know that a small farmer, like me, cannot be in possession, at
this season, of the large sum you demand."
"That is your affair, Mr. Bacon. I want my money now, and must have
There was a tone of menace in the way this was said that Mr. Bacon
"I haven't thirty dollars, much less three hundred, in my
possession," said he.
"Borrow it, then."
"Impossible! money has not been so scarce for years. Every one is
"You'd better make the effort, Mr. Bacon, I shall be sorry to put
you to any trouble, but my money will have to be forthcoming."
"You will not enter up the mortgage?" said the farmer.
"It will certainly come to that, unless you can pay it."
"That is what I call oppression!" returned Mr. Bacon, in momentary
indignation, for the utterance of which he was as quickly repentant.
"Good morning," said Dyer, suddenly turning his horse's head, and
riding off at a brisk trot.
For nearly five minutes, old Mr. Bacon stood with his axe resting on
the ground, lost in painful thought. Then he went slowly into the
house, and sitting down before the fire, let his head sink upon his
breast, and there mused on the trouble that was closing around him.
But there came no ray of light, piercing the thick darkness that had
fallen so suddenly.
Nothing was then said to his family on the subject, but it was
apparent to all that something was wrong, for the lips that gave
utterance to so many pleasant words, and parted so often in cheerful
smiles, were still silent."
"Are you not well, to-day?" asked Mrs. Bacon, as the family gathered
around the dinner-table, and she remarked her husband's unusually
"Not very well," he replied.
"What ails you, father?" said Mary, with tender concern in her
voice, and her eyes were turned upon him with affectionate
"Nothing of much consequence, child," was answered evasively. "I
shall be better after dinner."
And as Mr. Bacon spoke he poured out a larger glass of brandy than
usual--he always had brandy on the table at dinner time--and drank
it off. This soon took away the keen edge of suffering from his
feelings, and he was able to affect a measure of cheerfulness. But
he did not deceive the eyes of Mrs. Bacon and Mary.
"I wonder what ails father!" said Mary, as soon as she was alone
with her mother.
"I don't know," answered Mrs. Bacon, thoughtfully, "he seems
troubled about something."
"I saw that Mr. Dyer, who keeps tavern over in Brookville, talking
with father at the wood-pile this morning."
"You did!" Mrs. Bacon spoke with a new manifestation of interest.
"Yes; and I thought, as I looked at him out of the window, that he
appeared to be angry about something."
Mrs. Bacon did not reply to this remark. Soon after, on meeting her
husband, she said to him,
"What did Mr. Dyer want this morning?"
"Something that he will not get," replied Mr. Bacon.
"The money he loaned you?"
"It's impossible to pay it back now, in the dead of winter," said
Mrs. Bacon, in a troubled tone of voice, "he ought to know that."
"And he does know it."
"What did you tell him?"
"That to lift the mortgage now was out of the question."
"Won't he be troublesome? You remember how he acted towards poor old
"I know he's a hard-hearted, selfish man. I don't believe that there
is a spark of humanity about him. But he'll scarcely go to
extremities with me. I don't fear that."
"Did he threaten?"
"Yes. But I hardly think that he was in earnest."
How far this last remark of old Mr. Bacon was correct, the following
brief conversation will show. It took place between Dyer and a
miserable pettyfogging lawyer, in Brookville, named Grant.
"I've got a mortgage on old Bacon's farm that I wish entered up,"
said the tavern-keeper, on calling at the lawyer's office.
"Can't he pay it off?" inquired Grant.
"Of course not. He's being running down for the last six or seven
years, and is now on his last legs."
"And so you mean to trip him up before he falls of himself." The
lawyer spoke in an unfeeling tone and with a sinister smile.
"If you please to say so," returned Dyer. "I've wanted that farm of
his for some time past. When I took the mortgage on it my object was
not a simple investment at legal interest; you know that I can do
better with money than six per cent a year."
"I should think you could," responded the lawyer, with a chuckle.
"When I loaned Bacon three hundred dollars, of course I never
expected to get the sum back again. I understood, perfectly well,
that sooner or later the mortgage would have to be entered up."
"And the farm becomes yours for half its real value."
"Are you not striking to soon?" suggested the lawyer.
"Some friend may loan him the amount."
Dyer shook his head.
"It's a tight time in Brookville."
"And still better for my purpose," said Dyer, in a low, meaning,
voice; "drunkards have few friends; none, in fact, willing to risk
their money on them. Put the screws to Bacon, and his farm will drop
into my hands like a ripe cherry."
"You can hardly call Bacon a drunkard. You never see him staggering
about, nor lounging in bar-rooms."
"Do you remember his farm seven years ago?"
"Look at it now."
"There's a great difference, certainly."
"Isn't there! What's the reason of this?"
"Intemperance, I suppose."
"Drunkenness!" said the tavern-keeper. "That is the right word. He
don't spend much in bar-rooms, but look over his store bill and
you'll find rum a large item."
"Poor Bacon! He's a good sort of a man," remarked the lawyer. "I
can't help feeling sorry for him. He's his own worst enemy."
"I want you to push this matter through in the quickest possible
time," said Dyer, in a sharp, firm voice.
"Very well. It shall be done. I know my business."
"And I know mine," returned the tavern-keeper.
On the next day, Mr. Bacon was formally notified that proceedings
had been instituted for the satisfaction of the mortgage. This was
bringing the threatened evil before his eyes in the most direct
aspect. In considerable alarm and perturbation, he called over to
"You cannot mean to press this matter on to the utmost extremity,"
said he, on meeting the tavern-keeper, the hard aspect of whose
features gave him little room for hope.
"I certainly mean to get my three hundred dollars," was replied.
"Can you not wait until after next harvest?"
"I have already told you that I want my money now," said Dyer, with
affected anger. "If you can pay me, well; if not, I will get my own
by aid of the Sheriff."
"That is a hard saying, Mr. Dyer," returned the farmer, in a subdued
"Nevertheless, it is a true one, friend Bacon, true as gospel."
"I haven't the money, nor can I borrow it, Mr. Dyer."
"Your misfortune, not mine. Though I must say, it is a little
"What is strange?"
"That a man who has lived in this community as long as you have,
can't find a friend willing to loan him three hundred dollars to
save his farm from the Sheriff. There's something wrong."
Yes, there was something wrong, and poor old Mr. Bacon felt it now
more deeply than ever. Another feeble effort at remonstrance was
made, when Mr. Dyer coldly referred him to Grant the lawyer, who had
now entire control of the business. But he did not go to him. He
felt that to do so would be utterly useless.
Regular proceedings were entered upon for the settlement of the
mortgage, and hurried to an issue as speedily as possible. It was
all in vain that Mr. Bacon sought to borrow three hundred dollars,
or to find some person willing to take the mortgage on his farm, and
let him continue to pay the interest. It was a season when few had
money to spare, and those who could have advanced the sum required,
hesitated about investing it where there was little hope of getting
the amount back again except by execution and sale. For, Mr. Bacon,
in consequence of his intemperance, was steadily running behindhand;
and all his neighbours knew it.
The effect of this trouble on the mind of Mr. Bacon was to cause him
to drink harder than before. His cheerful temper gave place to a
silent moodiness, when in partial states of sobriety, which where
now of rare occurrence, and he lost all interest in things around
him. A greater part of his time was spent in wandering restlessly
about his house or farm, but he put his hand to scarcely any work.
Deeply distressed were Mrs. Bacon and Mary. Each of them had called,
at different times on Mr. Dyer, in the hope of moving him by
persuasion to turn from his purpose.
But, only in one way would he agree to an amicable settlement, and
that was, by taking the farm for the mortgage and three hundred
dollars cash; by which means he would come into possession of
property worth from twelve to fifteen hundred dollars. This offer he
repeated to Mary, who was the last to call upon him in the hope of
turning him from his purpose.
"No! Mr. Dyer," said the young girl firmly, even while tears were in
her eyes. "My father will not let the place go at a third of its
"He over-estimates its worth," replied Dyer, with some impatience,
"and he'll find this out when it comes under the hammer."
"You will not, I am sure you will not, sacrifice my father's little
place,--the home of his children," said Mary, in an appealing voice.
"I shall certainly let things take their course," replied the
tavern-keeper. "Tell your father, from me, that he has nothing to
hope for from any change in my purpose, and that he need make no
more efforts to influence me. I will buy the place, as I said, for
six hundred dollars, its full value, or I will sell it for my
And saying this, the man left, abruptly, the room in which his
interview with Mary was held, and she, hopeless of making any
impression on his feelings, arose and retired from the house,
taking, with a sad heart, her way homeward. Never before had Mary, a
gentle-hearted, quiet, retiring girl, been forced into such rough
contact with the world at any point. Of this act of intercession for
her father, Mr. Bacon knew nothing. Had she dropped (sic) a a word
of her purpose in his hearing, he would have uttered a positive
interdiction. He loved Mary as the apple of his eye, and she loved
him with a tender, self-devoted affection. To him, she was a choice
and beautiful flower, and even though his mind had become, in a
certain degree, degraded and debased by intemperance, there was in
it a quick instinct of protection when any thing approached his
Slowly and thoughtfully, with her eyes bent upon the ground, did
Mary Bacon pursue her way homeward; and she was not aware of the
approach of footsteps behind her, until a man stood by her side and
pronounced her name.
"Mr. Green!" said she, in momentary surprise, pausing as she looked
Mr. Green was a farmer in easy circumstances, whose elegant and
highly cultivated place was only a short distance from her father's
residence. He was, probably, the richest man in the neighbourhood of
Brookville; though, exceedingly close in all money matters. Mr.
Bacon would have called upon him for aid in his extremity, but for
two reasons. One was, Mr. Green's known indisposition to lend money,
and the other was the fact that he had several times talked to him
about his bad drinking habits; at which liberty he had taken
offence, and retorted rather sharply for one of his mild temper.
The colour mounted quickly to Mary's face, as she paused and lifted
her eyes to the countenance of Mr. Green. The fact was, she had been
thinking about him, and, just at the moment he came to her side, she
had fully made up her mind to call upon him before going home.
"Well Mary," said he, kindly, and he took her hand.
Mary's lips quivered, but she could not utter a word.
Mr. Green moved on, still holding her hand, and she moved by his
"I'm sorry to hear," said Mr. Green, "that your father is in
trouble. I learned it only an hour ago."
"That is just what I was coming to see you about," replied Mary,
with a boldness of speech that surprised even herself.
"Indeed! Then _you_ were coming to see me," said Mr. Green, in a
voice that was rather encouraging than otherwise.
"Yes, sir. But father knows nothing of my purpose."
"Oh! Well, Mary, what is it you wish to say to me?"
The young girl's bosom was heaving violently. Some moments passed
ere she felt calm enough to proceed. Then she said--
"Mr. Dyer has a mortgage on father's place for three hundred
dollars, and is going to sell it."
"Mr. Dyer is a hard man, and your father should not have placed
himself in his power," remarked Mr. Green.
"Unhappily, he is in his power."
"So it seems. Well, what do you wish me to do in the case?"
"To lend _me_ three hundred dollars," said Mary, promptly. Thus
encouraged to speak, she did not hesitate a moment.
"Lend _you_ three hundred dollars! returned Mr. Green, rather
surprised at the directness of her request. "For what use?"
"To pay off this mortgage, of course," replied Mary.
"But, who will pay me back my money?" inquired Mr. Green.
"I will," said Mary, confidently. "You! Pray where do you expect to
get so much money from?"
"I expect to earn it," was firmly answered.
Mr. Green paused, and turning towards Mary, looked earnestly into
her young face that was lit up with a beautiful enthusiasm.
"Earn it, did you say?"
"Yes, sir, I will earn and pay it back to you, if it takes a
lifetime to do it in."
"How will you earn it, Mary?"
Mary let her eyes fall to the ground, and stood for a moment or two.
Then looking up, she said--
"I will go to Lowell."
"And work in a factory?"
Mr. Green moved on again, but in silence, and Mary walked with an
anxious heart by his side. For the distance of several hundred yards
they passed along and not a word was spoken.
"To Lowell?" at length dropped from the lips of Mr. Green, in a tone
half interrogative, half in surprise. Mary did not respond, and the
silence continued until they came to a point in the road where their
two ways diverged.
"Have you thought well of this, Mary?" said Mr. Green, as he paused
here, and laid his hand upon a gate that opened into a part of his
"Why should I think about it, Mr. Green?" replied Mary. "It is no
time to think, but to act. Hundreds of girls go into factories, and
it will be to me no hardship, but a pleasure, if thereby I can help
my father in this great extremity."
"Is he aware of your purpose?"
"Oh, no sir! no!"
"He would never listen to such a thing."
"Not for a moment."
"Then will you be right in doing what he must disapprove?"
"It is done for his sake. Love for him is my prompter, and that will
bear me up even against his displeasure."
"But he may prevent your going, Mary."
"Not if you will do as I wish."
"Lend me three hundred dollars on my promise to you that I will
immediately go to Lowell, enter a factory, and remain at work until
the whole sum is paid back again from my earnings."
"I will then take the money and pay off the mortgage. This will
release father from his debt to Mr. Dyer, and bring me in debt to
"Father is an honest and an honourable man."
"He is, Mary," said Mr. Green. His voice slightly trembled, for he
was touched by the words of the gentle girl.
"He will not be able to pay you the debt in my stead."
"And, therefore, deeply reluctant as he may be to let me go, he
cannot say nay."
"Walk along with me to my house," said Mr. Green, as he pushed open
the gate at which he stood, "I must think about this a little more."
The result was according to Mary's wishes. Mr. Green was a true
friend of Mr. Bacon's, and he saw, or believed that he saw, in his
daughter's proposition, the means of his reformation. He, therefore,
returned into the village, and going to the office of Grant,
satisfied the mortgage on Mr. Bacon's property, and brought all the
papers relating thereto away and placed them in Mary's hands.
"Now," said he, on doing this, "I want your written promise to pay
me the three hundred dollars in the way proposed. I will draw up the
paper, and you must sign it."
The paper was accordingly drawn up and signed. It stipulated that
Mary was to start for Lowell within three weeks, and that she was to
have two years for the full payment of the debt.
"My brave girl!" said Mr. Green, as he parted with Mary. "No one
will be prouder of you than I, if you accomplish the work to which
you are about devoting yourself. Happy would I be, had I a daughter
with your true heart and noble courage."
Mary's heart was too full to thank him. But her sweet young face was
beaming with gratitude, as she turned away and hurried homeward.
Mr. Bacon was walking uneasily, backwards and forwards in the old
porch, when Mary entered the little garden gate. She advanced
towards him with a bright face, holding out as she did so, a small
package of papers.
"Good news, father!" she exclaimed. "Good news!
"How? What, child?" eagerly asked the old man, his mind becoming
"The mortgage is paid, and here is the release!" said Mary, still
holding out the package of papers.
"Paid! Paid, Mary! Who paid it?" returned Mr. Bacon, with the air of
a man awaking from a dream.
"I have paid it, father dear!" answered Mary, in a trembling voice;
and she kissed the old man's cheek, and then laid her face down upon
"You, Mary?" Where did you get money?"
"I borrowed it," murmured the happy girl.
"Mary! Mary! what does this mean?" said the old man, pushing back
her face and gazing into it earnestly. "Borrowed the money! Why, who
would lend you three hundred dollars? Say, child!"
"I borrowed it of Mr. Green," replied Mary, and as she said this,
she glided past her father and entering into the house, hurried away
to her mother. But ere she had time to inform her of what she had
done, the father joined them, eager for some further explanations.
When, at last, he comprehended the whole matter, he was, for a time
like a man stricken down by a heavy blow.
"Never," said he, in the most solemn manner, "will I consent to
this. Mr. Green must take back his money. Let the farm go! It shall
not be saved at this price."
But he soon comprehended that it was too late to recall the act of
his daughter. The money had already passed into the hands of Dyer,
and the mortgage been cancelled. Still, he was fixed in his purpose
that Mary should not leave home to spend two long years of incessant
toil in a factory, and immediately called on Mr. Green in order to
make with him some different arrangement for the payment of the
loan. But, to his surprise and grief, he found that Mr. Green was
unyielding in his determination to keep Mary to her contract.
"Surely! surely! Mr. Green, "urged the distressed father," you will
not hold my dear child to this pledge, made under circumstances of
so trying a nature? You will not punish--I say _punish_--a gentle
girl like her for loving her father too well."
"If there is any hardship in the case," replied Mr. Green, calmly,
"you are at fault, and not me, Mr. Bacon."
"Why do you say that?" inquired the old man.
"For the necessity which drove your child to this act of
self-sacrifice, you are responsible."
"Oh sir! is this a time to wound me with words like these? Why do
you turn a seeming act of kindness into the sharpest cruelty?"
"I speak to you but the words of truth and soberness, Mr. Bacon.
These, no man should shrink from hearing. Seven years ago, your farm
was the most productive in the neighborhood, and you in easy
circumstances. What has produced the sad change now visible to all
eyes? What has taken from you the ability to manage your affairs as
prosperously as before? What has made it necessary for your child to
leave her father's sheltering roof and bury herself for two long
years in a factory, in order to save you from total ruin? Go home,
Mr. Bacon, and answer these questions to your own heart, and may the
pain you now suffer lead you to act more wisely in the future."
"My daughter shall not go!" exclaimed the old man, passionately.
"I hold her written pledge to repair to Lowell at the expiration of
three weeks, and to repay the loan I made her in two years. Will you
compel her to violate her contract?"
"I will execute another mortgage on my farm and pay you back the
"Act like a wise man," said Mr. Green. "Let your daughter carry out
her noble purpose, and thus relieve you from embarrassment."
"No, no, Mr. Green! I cannot think of this. Oh, sir! pity me! Do not
force my child away! Do not lay so heavy a burden on one so young.
Think of her as your own daughter, and do to me as you would
yourself wish to be done by."
But Mr. Green was deaf to all these appeals. He was a man of great
firmness of purpose, and not easily turned to the right nor to the
During the next three weeks, Mr. Bacon tried every expedient in his
power, short of a total sacrifice of his little property, to raise
the money, but in vain. Except for a circumstance new in his life,
he would, in his desperation, have accepted Dyer's offer of six
hundred dollars for his farm, and thus prevented Mary's departure
for Lowell--that circumstance was his perfect sobriety. Not since
the day when Mr. Green charged upon him the responsibility of his
child's banishment from her father's house, had he tasted a drop of
strong drink. His mind was therefore clear, and he was restrained by
reason from acts of rashness, by which his condition would be
rendered far worse than it was already.
Bitter indeed were the sufferings of Mr. Bacon, during the quick
passage of the three weeks--at the expiration of which time Mary was
to leave home, in compliance with her contract--and the more bitter,
because his mind was unobscured by drink. At last, the moment of
separation came. It was a clear cold morning towards the latter end
of March, when Mary left, for the last time, her little chamber, and
came down stairs dressed for her journey. Ever, in the presence of
her father and mother, during the brief season of preparation, had
she maintained a cheerful and confident exterior; but, in her heart,
there was a painful shrinking back from the trial upon which she was
about entering. On going by the door of Mary's chamber, a few
minutes before she came down, Mrs. Bacon saw her daughter kneeling
at her bedside, with her face deeply buried among the clothes. Not
till that moment did she fully comprehend the trial through which
her child was passing.
The stage was at the door, and Mary's trunk strapped up in the boot
before she came down. In the porch stood her father and mother, and
her younger brother and sister, waiting her appearance.
"Good bye, father," said the excellent girl, in a cheerful voice, as
she reached out her hand.
Mr. Bacon caught it eagerly, and essayed to speak some tender and
encouraging words. But though his lips moved, there was no sound
upon the air.
"God bless you!" was at length uttered in a sobbing voice. A fervent
kiss was then pressed upon her lips, and the old man turned away and
staggered rather than walked back into the house.
More calmly the mother parted with her child. It was a great trial
for Mrs. Bacon, but she now fully comprehended the great use to flow
from Mary's self-devotion, and, therefore, with her last kiss,
breathed a word of encouragement.
"It is for your father. Let that sustain you to the end." A few
moments more, and the stage rolled away, bearing with it the very
sunlight from the dwelling of Mr. Bacon. Poor old man! Restlessly
did he wander about for days after Mary's departure, unable to apply
himself, except for a little while at a time, to any work; but his
inquietude did not drive him back to the cup he had abandoned. No,
he saw in it too clearly the cause of his present deep distress, to
look upon and feel its allurement. What had banished from her
pleasant home that beloved child, and sent her forth among strangers
to toil from early morning until the going down of the sun? Could he
love the cause of this great evil? No! There was yet enough virtue
in his heart to save him. Love for his child was stronger than his
depraved love of strong drink. A few more ineffectual efforts were
made to turn Mr. Green from his resolution to hold Mary to her
contract, and then the humbled father resigned himself to the
necessity he could not overcome, and with a clearer mind and a newly
awakened purpose, applied himself to the culture of his farm, which,
in a few months, had a more thrifty appearance than it had presented
In the mean time, Mary had entered one of the mills at Lowell, and
was doing her work there with a brave and cheerful spirit. Some
painful trials, to one like her, attended her arrival in the city
and entrance upon the duties assumed. But daily the trials grew
less, and she toiled on in the fulfilment of her contract with Mr.
Green, happy under the ever present consciousness that she had saved
her father's property, and kept their homestead as the gathering
place of the family. At the end of three months, she came back and
spent a week. How her young heart bounded with joy at the great
change apparent in every thing about the house and farm, but, most
of all, at the change in her father. He was not so light of word and
smilingly cheerful as in former times, but he was sober, perfectly
sober; and she felt that the kiss with which he welcomed her brief
return, was purer than it had ever been.
On the very day Mary came back, she called over to see Mr. Green,
and paid him thirty-seven dollars on account of the loan, for which
he gave her a receipt. Then he had many questions to ask about her
situation at Lowell, and how she bore her separation from home, to
all of which she gave cheerful answers, and, in the end, repeated
her thanks for the opportunity he had given her to be of such great
service to her father.
Mr. Green had a son who, during his term at college, exhibited
talents of so decided a character that his father, after some
deliberation, concluded to place him under the care of an eminent
lawyer in Boston. In this position he had now been for two years,
and was about applying for admission to the bar. As children, Henry
Green and Mary Bacon had been to the same school together, and, as
children, they were much attached to each other. Their intercourse,
as each grew older, was suspended by the absence of Henry at
college, and by other circumstances that removed the two families
from intimate contact, and they had ceased to think of each other
except when some remembrance of the past brought up their images.
After paying Mr. Green the amount of money which she had saved from
her earnings during the first three months of her factory life, Mary
left his house, and was walking along the carriage way leading to
the public road, when she saw a young man enter the gate and
Although it was three years since she had met Henry Green, she knew
him at a glance, but he did not recognize her, although struck with
something familiar in her face as he bowed to her in passing.
"Who can that be?" said he to himself, as he walked thoughtfully
along. "I have seen her before. Can that be Mary Bacon? If so, how
much she has improved!"
On meeting his father, the young man asked if he was right in his
conjecture about the young person he had just passed, and was
answered in the affirmative.
"She was only a slender girl when I saw her last. Now, she is a
handsome young woman," said Henry.
"Yes, Mary has grown up rapidly," replied Mr. Green, evincing no
particular interest in the subject of his remark.
"How is her father doing now?" asked Henry.
"Better than he did a short time ago," was replied
"I'm glad to hear that. Does he drink as much as ever?"
"No. He has given up that bad habit."
"Indeed! Then he must be doing better."
"He ran himself down very low," said Mr. Green, "and was about
losing every thing, when Mary, like a brave, right-minded girl,
stepped forward and saved him."
"Mary! How did she do that, father?"
"Dyer had a mortgage of three hundred dollars on his farm, and was
going to sell him out in mid-winter, when nobody who cared to
befriend him had money to spare. On the very day I heard about his
trouble, Mary called on me and asked the loan of a sum sufficient to
lift the mortgage.
"But how could she pay you back that sum?" asked the young man in
"I loaned her the amount she asked," replied Mr. Green, "and she has
just paid me the first promised instalment of thirty-seven dollars."
"How did she get the money?"
"She earned it with her own hands."
"You surprise me," said Henry. "And so, to save her father from
ruin, she has devoted her young life to toil in a factory?"
"Yes; and the effect of this self-devotion has been all that I hoped
it would be. It has reformed her father. It has saved him in a
"Noble girl!" exclaimed the young man, with enthusiasm.
"Yes, you may well say that, Henry," replied Mr. Green. "In the
heart of that humble factory girl is a truly noble and womanly
principle, that elevates her, in my estimation, far above any thing
that rank, wealth, or social position alone can possibly give."
"But father," said Henry, "is it right to subject her to so severe a
trial? It will take a long, long time, for her to earn three hundred
dollars. Does not virtue like hers--"
"I know what you would say," interrupted Mr. Green. "True I could
cancel the obligation and derive great pleasure from doing so, but
it is the conclusion of my better judgment, all things considered,
that she be permitted to fill up the entire measure of her contract.
The trial will fully prove her, and bring to view the genuine gold
of her character. Moreover, it is best for her father that she
should seem to be a sufferer through his intemperance. I say seem,
for, really, Mary experiences more pleasure than pain from what she
is doing. The trial is not so great as it appears. Her reward is
with her daily, and it is a rich reward."
Henry asked no further question, but he felt more than a passing
interest in what he had heard. In the course of a week, Mary
returned to Lowell and he went back to Boston.
Three months afterwards, Mary again came home to visit her parents,
and again called upon Mr. Green to pay over to him what she had been
able to save from her earnings. It so happened that Henry Green was
on a visit from Boston, and that he met her, as before, as she was
retiring from the house of his father. This time he spoke to her and
renewed their old acquaintance, even going so far as to walk a
portion of the way home with her. At the end of another three
months, they met again. Brief though this meeting was, it left upon
the mind of each the other's image more strongly impressed than it
had ever been. In the circle where Henry Green moved in Boston, he
met many educated, refined, and elegant young women, some of whom
had attracted him strongly; but, in the humble Mary Bacon, whose
station in life was that of a toiling factory girl, he saw a moral
beauty whose light threw all the allurements presented by these
completely into shadow.
Six months went by. Henry Green had been admitted to the bar, and
was now a practising attorney in Boston. It was in the pleasant
month of June and he had come home to spend a few weeks with his
family. One morning, a day or two after his return, as he sat
conversing with his father, the form of some one darkened the door.
"Ah Mary!" said the elder Mr. Green rising and taking the hand of
Mary Bacon, which he shook warmly. "My son, Henry," he added,
presenting the blushing girl to his son, who, in turn, took her hand
and expressed the pleasure he felt at meeting her. Knowing the
business upon which Mary had called, Henry, not wishing to be
present at its transaction, soon retired. As he did so, Mary drew
out her purse and took therefrom a small roll of bank bills, saying,
as she handed it to Mr. Green,
"I have come to make you another payment."
With a grave, business-like air, Mr. Green took the money and, after
counting it over, went to his secretary and wrote out a receipt.
"Let me see," said he, thoughtfully, as he came back with the
receipt in his hand. "How much does this make? One, two, three,
four, five quarterly payments. One hundred and eighty-seven dollars
and a half. You'll soon be through, Mary. There is nothing like
patience, perseverance, and industry. How is your father this
"Very well, sir."
"I think his health has improved of late."
"And so has every thing around him. I was looking at his farm a few
days ago, and never saw crops in a finer condition. And how is your
"Pretty good," was replied, though not with much heartiness of
Mr. Green now observed her more closely, and saw that her cheeks
were thinner and paler than at her last visit. He did not remark on
it, however, and, after a few words more of conversation, Mary arose
It was, perhaps, an hour afterwards, that Henry said to his father,
"Mary Bacon doesn't look as well as when I last saw her."
"So it struck me," returned Mr. Green.
"I'm afraid she has taken upon her more than she has the strength to
accomplish. She is certainly paler and thinner than she was, and is
far from looking as cheerful and happy as when I saw her six months
Mr. Green did not reply to this, but his countenance assumed a
"Mary is a good daughter," he at length said, as if speaking to
"There is not one in a thousand like her," replied Henry, with a
warmth of manner that caused Mr. Green to lift his eyes to his son's
"I fully agree with you in that," he answered.
"Then, father," said Henry, "why hold her any longer to her
contract, thus far so honorably fulfilled. The trial has proved her.
You see the pure gold of her character."
"I have long seen it," returned Mr. Green.
"Her father is thoroughly reformed."
"So I have reason to believe."'
"Then act from your own heart's generous impulses, father, and
forgive the balance of the debt."
"Are you certain that she will accept what you ask me to give? Will
her own sense of justice permit her to stop until the whole claim is
satisfied?" asked Mr. Green.
"I cannot answer for that father," returned Henry. "But, let me beg
of you to at least make the generous offer of a release."
Mr. Green went to his secretary, and, taking a small piece of paper
from a drawer, held it up, and said--
"This, Henry, is her acknowledgment of the debt to me. If I write
upon it 'satisfied,' will you take it to her and say, that I hold
the obligation no farther."
"Gladly!" was the instant reply of Henry. "You could not ask me to
do a thing from which I would derive greater pleasure."
Mr. Green took up his pen and wrote across the face of the paper, in
large letters, "satisfied," and then, handing it to his son, said--
"Take it to her, Henry, and say to her, that if I had given way to
my feelings, I would have done this a year ago. And now, let me
speak a word for your ear. Never again, in this life, may a young
woman cross your path, whose character is so deeply grounded in
virtue, who is so pure, so unselfish, so devoted in her love, so
strong in her good purposes. Her position is humble, but, in a
life-companion, we want personal excellences, not extraneous social
adjuncts. You have my full consent to win, if you can, this sweet
flower, blooming by the way-side. A proud day will it be for me,
when I can call her my daughter. I have long loved her as such."
More welcome words than these Mr. Green could not have spoken to his
son. They were like a response to his own feelings. He did not,
however, make any answer, but took the contract in silence and
quickly left the room.
The reader can easily anticipate what followed. Mary did not go back
to Lowell. A year afterwards she was introduced to a select circle
of friends in Boston as the wife of Henry Green, and she is now the
warmly esteemed friend and companion of some of the most
intelligent, refined, right-thinking, and right-feeling people in
that city. Her husband has seen no reason to repent of his choice.
As for old Mr. Bacon, his farm has continued to improve in
appearance and value ever since his daughter paid off the mortgage;
and as he, once for all, banished liquor from his house, he is in no
danger of having his little property burdened with a new
encumbrance. His cheerfulness has returned, and he bears as of old,
the reputation of being the best tempered, best hearted man in the
Two beautiful children, a boy and a girl, the oldest but six years
of age, came in from school one evening, later than usual by half an
hour. Both their eyes were red with weeping, and their cheeks wet
with tears. Their father, Mr. Warren, who had come home from his
business earlier than usual, had been waiting some time for their
return, and wondering why they stayed so late. They were his only
children, and he loved them most tenderly. They had, a few weeks
before, been entered at a school kept by a lady in the
neighborhood--not so much for what they would learn, as to give
occupation to their active minds.
"Why, Anna! Willy!" exclaimed Mr. Warren, as the children came in,
"what's the matter? Why have you stayed so late?"
Anna lifted her tearful eyes to her father's face, and her lip
curled and quivered. But she could not answer his question.
Mr. Warren took the grieving child in his arms, and as he drew her
to his bosom, said to Willy, who was the oldest--
"What has made you so late, dear?"
"Miss Roberts kept us in," sobbed Willy.
"Kept you in!" returned Mr. Warren, in surprise. "How came that?"
"Because we laughed," answered the child, still sobbing and weeping.
"What made you laugh?"
"One of the boys made funny faces."
"And did you laugh too, dear?" asked the father of Anna.
"Yes, papa. But I couldn't help it. And Miss Roberts scolded so, and
said she was going to whip us."
"And was that all you did?"
"Yes, indeed, papa," said Willy.
"I'll see Miss Roberts about it," fell angrily from the lips of Mr.
Warren. "It's the last time you appear in her school. A cruel-minded
And then the father soothed his grieving little ones with
affectionate words and caresses.
"Dear little angels!" said Mr. Warren to his wife, shortly
afterwards, "that any one could have the heart to punish them for a
sudden outburst of joyous feelings! And Anna in particular, a mere
babe as she is, I can't get over it. To think of her being kept in
for a long half hour, under punishment, after all the other children
had gone home. It was cruel. Miss Roberts shall hear from me on the
"I don't know, dear, that I would say any thing about it," remarked
the mother, who was less excited about the matter, "I don't think
she meant to be severe. She, doubtless, forgot that they were so
"She'd no business to forget it. I've no idea of my children being
used after this fashion. The boy that made them laugh should have
been kept in, if any punishment had to be inflicted. But it's the
way with cruel-minded people. The weakest are always chosen as
objects of their dislike."
"I am sure you take this little matter too much to heart," urged the
mother. "Miss Roberts must have order in her school, and even the
youngest must conform to this order. I do not think the punishment
so severe. She had to do something to make them remember their
fault, and restrain their feelings in future; and she could hardly
have done less. It is not too young for them to learn obedience in
any position where they are introduced."
But the over fond and tender father could see no reason for the
punishment his little ones had received; and would not consent to
let them go again to the school of Miss Roberts. To him they were
earth's most precious things. They were tender flowers; and he was
troubled if ever the winds blew roughly upon them.
Seven years have passed. Let us visit the home of Mr. Warren and
look at him among his children. No; we will not enter this pleasant
house--he moved away long ago. Can this be the home of Mr. Warren!
Yes. Small, poor, and comfortless as it is! Ah! there have been sad
Let us enter. Can that be Warren? That wretched looking
creature--with swollen, disfigured face and soiled garments--who
sits, half stupid, near the window? A little flaxen-haired child is
playing on the floor. It is not Anna. No; seven years have changed
her from the fairylike little creature she was when her father
became outraged at her punishment in Miss Roberts' school! Poor
Anna! That was light as the thistle down to what she has since
received from the hands of her father. The child on the floor is
beautiful, even in her tattered clothes. She has been playing for
some time. Now her father calls to her in a rough, grumbling voice.
"Kate! You, Kate, I say!"
Little Kate, not five years old, leaves her play and goes up to
where her parent is sitting.
"Go and get me a drink of water," said he in a harsh tone of
Kate takes a tin cup from a table and goes to the hydrant in the
yard. So pleased is she in seeing the water run, that she forgets
her errand. Three or four times she fills the cup, and then pours
forth its contents, dipping her tiny feet in the stream that is
made. In the midst of her sport, she hears an angry call, and
remembering the errand upon which she has been sent, hurriedly fills
her cup again and bears it to her father. She is frightened as she
comes in and sees his face; this confuses her; her foot catches in
something as she approaches, and she falls over, spilling the cup of
water on his clothes. Angrily he catches her up, and, cruel in his
passion, strikes her three or four heavy blows.
"Now take that cup and get me some water!" he cries, in a loud
voice, "and if you are not here with it in a minute, I'll beat the
life half out of you! I'll teach you to mind when your spoken to, I
will! There! Off with you!"
Little Kate, smarting from pain, and trembling with fear, lifts the
cup and hurries away to perform her errand. She drops it twice from
her unsteady hands ere she is able to convey it, filled with water,
to her parent, who takes it with such a threatening look from his
eyes, that the child shrinks away from him, and goes from the room
An hour passes, and the light of day begins to fade.
Evening comes slowly on, and at length the darkness closes in. But
twice since morning has Warren been from the house, and then it was
to get something to drink. The door at length opens quietly, and a,
little girl enters. Her face is thin and drooping, and wears a look
of patient suffering.
"You're late, Anna," says the mother, kindly.
"Yes, ma'am. We had to stay later for our money. Mr. Davis was away
from the store, and I was afraid I would have to come home without
it. Here it is."
Mrs. Warren took the money.
"Only a dollar!" There was disappointment in her tones as she said
"Yes, ma'am, that is all," replied Anna, in a troubled voice. "I
spoiled some work, and Mr. Davis said I should pay for it, and so he
took half a dollar from my wages."
"Spoiled your work!" spoke up the father, who had been listening.
"That's more of your abominable carelessness!"
"Indeed, father; I couldn't help it," said Anna, "one of the
"Hush up, will you! I want none of your lying excuses. I know you!
It was done on purpose, I have not the least doubt."
Anna caught her breath, like one suddenly deprived of air. Tears
rushed to her eyes and commenced falling over her cheeks, while her
bosom rose and fell convulsively.
"Come, now! None of that!" said the cruel father sternly. "Stop your
crying instantly, or I will give you something to cry for! A pretty
state of things, indeed, when every word must be answered by a fit
The poor child choked down her feelings as best she could, turning
as she did so from her father; that he might not see the still
remaining traces of her grief which it was impossible at once to
Not a single dollar had the idle, drunken father earned during the
week, that he had not expended in self-indulgence; and yet, in his
brutality, he could roughly chide this little girl, yet too young
for the taskmaster, because she had lost half a dollar of her week's
earnings through an accident, the very nature of which he would not
hear explained. So grieved was the poor child at this unkindness,
that when supper was on the table she shrunk away from the room.
"Come, Anna, to your supper," called the mother.
"I don't wish any thing to eat," replied the child, in a faint
"Oh, yes; come and get something."
"Let her alone!" growls the father. "I never humor sulky children.
She doesn't deserve any supper."
The mother sighs. While the husband eats greedily, consuming,
himself, more than half that is on the table, she takes but a few
mouthfuls, and swallows them with difficulty.
After supper, Willy, who is just thirteen, and who has already been
bound out as an apprentice to a trade, comes home. He has a tale of
suffering to tell. For some fault his master has beaten him until
the large purple welts lie in meshes across his back from his
shoulders to his hips.
"How comes all this?" asks Mr. Warren. There is not the smallest
sign of sympathy in his voice.
Willy relates the cause, and tells it truly. He was something to
blame, but his fault needed not the correction of stripes even
"Served you right!" said the father, when the story was ended. "No
business to have acted so. Do as you are told, and mind your work,
and you'll escape flogging. Otherwise, I don't care how often you
get it. You've been spoiled at home, and it'll do you good to toe
the mark. Did your master know you were coming home to-night?"
"No, sir," replied the boy, with trembling lips, and a choking
"Then what did you come for? To get pitied? Do right and you'll need
"Oh, James, don't speak so to the child!" said Mrs. Warren, unable
to keep silence.
This was answered by an angry look.
"You must go back to your master, boy," said the father, after a
pause. "When you wish to come home, ask his consent."
"He doesn't object to my coming home," said Willy, his voice still
"Go back, I tell you! Take your hat, there, and go back. Don't come
here any more with your tales!"
The boy glanced towards his mother, and read pity and sympathy in
her countenance, but she did not countermand the order; for she knew
that if she did so, a scene of violence would follow.
"Ask to come home in the morning," said she to her boy, as she held
his hand tightly in hers at the door. He gave her a look of tender
thankfulness, and then went forth into the darkness, feeling so sad
and wretched that he could not repress his tears.
Seven years. And was only this time required to effect such a
change! Ah! rum is a demon! How quickly does it transform the tender
husband and parent into a cruel beast! Look upon these two pictures,
ye who tarry long at the wine! Look at them, but do not say they are
overdrawn! They have in them only the sober hues and subdued colors
BRANDY AS A PREVENTIVE.
THE cholera had made its appearance in New York, and many deaths
were occurring daily. Among those who weakly permitted themselves to
feel an alarm amounting almost to terror, was a Mr. Hobart, who,
from the moment the disease manifested itself, became infested with
the idea that he would be one of its victims.
"Doctor," said he to his family physician, meeting him one day in
the street, "is there nothing which a man can take that will act as
a preventive to cholera?"
"I'll tell you what I do," replied the doctor.
"Well, what is it?"
"I take a glass of good brandy twice a day. One in the morning and
the other after dinner."
"Indeed! And do you think brandy useful in preventing the disease?"
"I think it a protection," said the doctor. "It keeps the system
slightly stimulated; and is, besides, a good astringent."
"A very simple agent," remarked Mr. Hobart.
"Yes, the most simple that we can adopt. And what is better, the use
of it leaves no after bad consequences, as is too often the case
with medicines, which act upon the system as poisons."
"Sometimes very bad consequences arise from the use of brandy,"
remarked Mr. Hobart. "I have seen them in my time."
"Drunkenness, you mean."
"People who are likely to make beasts of themselves had better let
it alone," said the doctor, contemptuously. "If they should take the
cholera and die, it will be no great loss to the world."
"And you really think a little good brandy, taken daily, fortifies
the system against the cholera?"
"Seriously I do," replied the doctor. "I have adopted this course
from the first, and have not been troubled with a symptom of the
"I feel very nervous on the subject. From the first I have been
impressed with the idea that I would get the disease and die."
"That is a weakness, Mr. Hobart."
"I know it is, still I cannot help it. And you would advise me to
take a little good brandy?"
"Yes, every day."
"I am a Son of Temperance."
"No matter; you can take it as medicine under my prescription. I
know a dozen Sons of Temperance who have used brandy every day since
the disease appeared in New York. It will be no violation of your
contract. Life is of too much value to be put in jeopardy on a mere
"I agree with you there. I'd drink any thing if I thought it would
give me an immunity against this dreadful disease."
"You'll be safer with the brandy than without it."
"Very well. If you think so, I will use it."
On parting with the doctor, Mr. Hobart went to a liquor store and
ordered half a gallon of brandy sent home. He did not feel
altogether right in doing so, for it must be understood, that, in
years gone by, Mr. Hobart had fallen into the evil habit of
intemperance, which clung to him until he run through a handsome
estate and beggared his family. In this low condition he was found
by the Sons of Temperance, who induced him to abandon a course whose
end was death and destruction, and to come into their Order. From
that time all was changed. Sobriety and industry were returned to
him in many of the good things of this world which he had lost, and
he was still in the upward movement at the time when the fatal
On going home at dinner time, Hobart's wife said to him, with a
"A demijohn, with some kind of liquor in it, was sent here to-day."
"Oh, yes," he replied, it is brandy that Doctor L--ordered me to
take as a cholera preventive."
"Brandy!" ejaculated Mrs. Hobart, with an expression of painful
surprise in her voice and on her countenance, that rather annoyed
"Yes. He says that he takes it every day as a preventive, and
directed me to do the same."
"I wouldn't touch it if I were you. Indeed I wouldn't," said Mrs.
"Why wouldn't you?"
"You will violate your contract with the Sons of Temperance."
"Not at all. Brandy may be used as a medicine under the prescription
of a physician. I wouldn't have thought of touching it had not
Doctor L--ordered me to do so."
"You are not sick, Edward."
"But there is death in the very air I breathe. At any moment I am
liable to be struck down by an arrow sent from an unseen bow, unless
a shield be interposed. Such a shield has been placed in my hands.
Shall I not use it?"
Mrs. Hobart knew her husband well enough to be satisfied that
remonstrance and argument would be of no avail, now that his mind
was m de up to use the brandy; and yet so distressed did she feel,
that she couldn't help saying, with tears in her eyes--
"Eaward,(sic) let me beg of you not to touch it."
"Would you rather see me in my coffin?" replied Mr. Hobart, with
some bitterness. "Death may seem a light thing to you, but it is not
so to me."
"You are not sick," still urged the wife.
"But I am liable, as I said just now, to take the disease every
"You will be more liable, with your system stimulated and disturbed
by brandy. Let well enough alone. Be thankful for the health you
have, and do not invite disease."
"The doctor ought to know. He understands the matter better than you
or I. He recommends brandy as a preventive. He takes it himself."
"Because he likes it, no doubt."
"It is silly for you to talk in that way," replied the husband, with
much impatience. "He isn't rendered more liable to the disease by
taking a little pure brandy, for he says that it keeps him perfectly
"A glass of brandy every day may have been his usual custom," urged
Mrs. Hobart. "In that case, in its continuance, no change was
produced. But your system has been untouched by the fiery liquid for
nearly five years, and its sudden introduction must create
disturbance. It is reasonable."
"The doctor ought to know best," was replied to this. "He has
prescribed it, and I must take it. Life is too serious a matter to
be trifled with. 'An ounce of preventive is worth a pound of cure,'
"I am in equal danger with yourself," said Mrs. Hobart; "and so are
"Undoubtedly. And I wish you all to use a little brandy."
"Not a drop of the poison shall pass either my lips or those of the
children," replied Mrs. Hobart, with emphasis.
"As you please," said the husband, coldly, and turned away.
"Edward!" Mrs. Hobart laid her hand upon his arm. "Edward! Let me
beg of you not to follow this advice."
"Why will you act so foolishly? Has not the doctor ordered the
brandy? I look to him as the earthly agent for the preservation of
my health and the saving of my life. If I do not regard his advice,
in what am I to trust?"
"Remember the past, Edward," said the wife, solemnly.
"I do remember it. But I fear no danger."
Mrs. Hobart turned away sadly, and went up to her chamber to give
vent to her feelings alone in tears. Firm to his purpose of using
the preventive recommended by the doctor, Mr. Hobart, after dinner,
took a draught of brandy and water. Nearly five years, as his wife
remarked, had elapsed since a drop of the burning fluid had passed
his lips. The taste was not particularly agreeable. Indeed, his
stomach rather revolted as the flavor reached his palate.
"It's vile stuff at best," he remarked to himself, making a wry
face. "Fit only for medicine. Not much danger of my ever loving it
again. I wish Anna was not so foolish. A flattering opinion she has
of her husband!"
The sober countenance of his wife troubled Mr. Hobart, as he left
home for his place of business earlier by half an hour than usual.
Neither in mind nor body were his sensations as pleasant as on the
day before. The brandy did something more than produce an agreeable
warmth in his stomach. A burning sensation soon followed its
introduction, accompanied by a feeling of uneasiness that he did not
like. In the course of half an hour, this unnatural heat was felt in
every part of his body, but more particularly about his head and
face; and it was accompanied by a certain confusion of mind that
prevented his usual close application to business during the
Towards evening, these disagreeable consequences of the glass of
cholera-preventive he had taken in a great measure subsided; but
there followed a dryness of the palate, and a desire for some drink
more pleasant to the taste than water. In his store was a large
pitcher of ice-water; but, though thirsty, he felt no inclination to
taste the pure beverage; but, instead, went out and obtained a glass
of soda water. This only made the matter worse. The half gill of
syrup with which the water was sweetened, created, in a little
while, a more uneasy feeling. Still, there was no inclination for
the water that stood just at hand, and which he had daily found so
refreshing during the hot weather. In fact, when he thought of it,
it was with a sense of repulsion.
In this state, the idea of a cool glass of brandy punch, or a mint
julep, came up in his mind, and he felt the draught, in imagination,
at his lips.
"A little brandy twice a day; so the doctor said." This was uttered
Just at the moment a slight pain crossed his stomach. It was the
first sensation of the kind he had experienced since the epidemic he
so much dreaded had appeared in the city; and it caused a slight
shudder to go through his frame, for he was nervous in his fear of
"A little mint with the brandy would make it better still. I don't
like this feeling. I'll try a glass of brandy and mint." Thus spoke
Mr. Hobart to himself.
Putting on his hat, he went forth for the purpose of getting some
brandy and mint. As he stepped into the street the pain was felt
again, and more distinctly. The effect was to cause a slight
perspiration to manifest itself on the face and forehead of Mr.
Hobart, and to make, in his mind, the necessity for the brandy and
mint more imperative. He did not just like to be seen going boldly
in at the door of a refectory or drinking-house in a public place,
for he was a Son of Temperance, and any one who knew this and
happened to see him going in, could not, at the same time, know that
he was acting under his physician's advice. So he went off several
blocks from the neighborhood in which his store was located, and
after winding his way along a narrow, unfrequented street, came to
the back entrance of a tavern, where he went in, as he desired,
Years before, Hobart had often stood at the bar where he now found
himself. Old, familiar objects and associations brought back old
feelings, and he was affected by an inward glow of pleasure.
"What! you here?" said a man who stood at the bar, with a glass in
his hand. He was also a member of the Order.
"And you here!" replied Mr. Hobart.
"It isn't for the love of it, I can assure you," remarked the man,
as he looked meaningly at his glass. "These are not ordinary times."
"You are right there," said Hobart. "A little brandy sustains and
fortifies the system. That all admit."
"My physician has ordered it for me. He takes a glass or two every
day himself, and tells me that, so far, he has not been troubled
with the first symptom."
"Indeed. That is testimony to the point."
"So I think."
"Who is your physician?"
"He stands high. I would at any time trust my life in his hands."
"I am willing to do so." Then turning to the bar-keeper, Mr. Hobart
said--"I'll take a glass of brandy and water, and you may add some
"Perhaps you'll have a mint julep?" suggested the barkeeper, winking
aside to a man who stood near, listening to what passed between the
two members of the Order.
"Yes--I don't care--yes. Make it a julep," returned Hobart. "It's
the brandy and mint I want. I've had a disagreeable sensation," he
added, speaking to the friend he had met, and drawing his hand
across his stomach as he spoke, "that I don't altogether like. Here
it is again!"
"A little brandy will help it."
"I hope so."
When the mint julep was ready, Hobart took it in his hand and
retired to a table in the corner of the room, and the man he had met
went with him.
"Ain't you afraid to tamper with liquor?" asked this person, a
little seriously, as he observed the relish with which Hobart sipped
the brandy. Some thoughts had occurred to himself that were not very
"Oh, no. Not in the least," replied Mr. Hobart. "I only take it as a
medicine, under my physician's order; and I can assure you that the
taste is quite as disagreeable as rhubarb would be. I believe the
old fondness has altogether died out."
"I'm afraid it never dies out," said the man, whose eyes told him
plainly enough, that it had not died out in the case of the
individual before him, notwithstanding his averment on the subject.
"I feel much better now," said Mr. Hobart, after he had nearly
exhausted his glass. "I had such a cold sensation in my stomach,
accompanied by a very disagreeable pain. But both are now gone. This
brandy and mint have acted like a charm. Dr. L--understands the
matter clearly. It is fortunate that I saw him this morning. I would
not have dared to touch brandy, unless under medical advice; and,
but for the timely use of it, I might have been dangerously ill with
this fatal epidemic."
After sitting a little while longer, the two men retired through the
back entrance to escape observation.
"How quickly these temperance men seize hold of any excuse to get a
glass of brandy," said the bar-keeper to a customer, as soon as
Hobart had retired, laughing in a half sneer as he spoke. "They come
creeping in through our back way, and all of them have a pain! Ha!
"I've taken a glass of brandy and water, every day for the last five
years," replied the man to whom this was addressed, "and I continue
it now. But I can tell you what, if I'd been an abstainer, you
wouldn't catch me pouring it into my stomach now. Not I! All who do
so are more liable to the disease."
"So I think," said the bar-tender. "But every one to his liking. It
puts money in our till. We've done a better business since the
cholera broke out, than we've done these three years. If it were to
continue for a twelve month we would make a fortune."
This was concluded with a coarse laugh, and then he went to attend
to a new customer for drink.
For all Mr. Hobart had expressed himself so warmly in favor of
brandy, and had avowed his freedom from the old appetite, he did not
feel altogether right about the matter. There was a certain pressure
upon his feelings that he could not well throw off. When he went
home in the evening, he perceived a shadow on the brow of his wife;
and the expression of her eyes, when she looked at him, annoyed and
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