The Lights and Shadows of Real Life
Part 8 out of 11
responded. "I set my heart on making him drink wine with me on our
wedding-night, and I have succeeded."
"Are you sure he hasn't poured it slyly upon the floor?"
"O, yes! I saw him take every drop. And what is more; he smacked his
lips, and said it was exquisitely flavoured."
"Here comes the servant again," George said, at this moment. "Come,
James! let me fill your glass again. You must drink with me
to-night. You've never given me that pleasure yet. Come!--As well be
hung for a sheep as a lamb." Thus importuned, Haley held up his
glass which George Manley filled to the brim.
"Health and happiness!" the young man said, bowing.
Haley bowed in return, placed the glass to his lips, and took its
contents at a draught.
"Bravely done! Why, it seems to go down quite naturally. You were
not always a total-abstinence man?"
"No, I was not."--While a slight shadow flitted over his face.
"Welcome back again, then, to a truly social, and convivial spirit!
After this, don't let me ever see you refuse a generous glass."
"What! An empty wine-glass in the hand of young Mr. Incorrigible!
Upon my word!" ejaculated old Mr. Manley, coming up at this moment.
"O, yes, pa! I've conquered him to-night! He couldn't refuse to take
a glass of wine with me on this occasion!" the daughter said, in
"He must take one with me, too, then."
"You must excuse me, indeed, sir," Haley replied--rallying himself,
and bracing up into firmness his broken and still wavering
"Indeed, then, and I won't."
"O, no. Don't excuse him at all, pa! He drank with me, and then with
brother, and now to refuse to drink with you would be a downright
"He has taken a glass with George, too, has he? And now wants to be
excused when I ask him. Upon my word! Here, George, tell the servant
to come over this way."
The servant came, of course, in a moment or two, with the wine.
"Fill up his glass, George," the father said.
Haley's glass was, of course, filled again.
"Now, my boy!--Here's a health to my children! May this night's
happiness be but as a drop to the ocean of delight in reserve for
"And here's to our father! May his children never love him less than
they do now." Drinking in turn.
"Thank you, my boy!"
"And thank you in return, for your kind wishes."
"That wine didn't seem to taste unpleasantly, James?"
"O, no, sir. It is rich and generous."
"How long is it since you tasted wine?"
"About three years."
"Are you not fond of it?"
"O, yes. I like a good glass of wine."
"Then what in the world has made you act so singularly about it?"
"A mere whim of mine, I suppose you will call it. And perhaps it
was. I thought I was just as well without it."
"Nonsense! Don't let me ever again hear of this foolishness."
And then the old man mingled with the happy company.
"Come, James, you must drink with me, too," the mother said, a
little while afterward.
Haley did not seem unwilling, but turned off a glass of wine with an
air of real pleasure.
"You must drink with me, too," went through the room. Every little
while some one, with whom the young man had on former occasions
refused to drink, finding out that he had been driven from his
cold-water resolutions, insisted upon taking a glass with him. Such
being the case, it is not to be wondered at that a remark like this
should be made before the passage of an hour.
"See! As I live, Haley's getting lively!"
"I think that 'rich and generous wine' is beginning to brighten you
up a little," Mr. Manley said, about this time, slapping his
son-in-law familiarly upon the shoulder?
"I feel very happy, sir," was Haley's reply.
"That's right. This is a happy occasion."
"I never was so happy in my life! I hardly know what to do with
myself. Come! Won't you take some wine with me. I drank with you a
little while ago."
"Certainly! Certainly! My boy! Or, perhaps you would try a little
"No objection," said the young man. And then the two went to the
side-board, and each took a stiff glass of brandy.
"That's capital! It makes me feel good!" ejaculated Haley, as he set
his empty glass down.
Cotillions were now formed, and the bride and groom took the floor
in the first set. Clara felt very proud of her husband as she leaned
upon his arm, waiting for the music to begin, and glanced around
upon her maiden companions with a look of triumph. But she soon had
cause to abate her exultation, for when the music struck up, and the
dancers commenced their intricate movements, she found that her
husband blundered so as to throw all into confusion. The reason of
this instantly flashed upon her mind, for she knew him to be a
correct and graceful dancer. _He was too much intoxicated to dance!
_ Her woman's pride caused her to make the effort to guide him
through the figures. But it was of no use. The second attempt failed
signally by his breaking the figures, and reeling with a loud,
drunken laugh, through and through, and round and round the
astonished group of dancers, thrown thus suddenly into confusion.
Poor Clara, overwhelmed with mortification, retired to a seat, while
her husband continued his antics, ending them finally with an Indian
whoop, such as may often be heard late at night in the streets, from
a company of drunken revellers,--when he sought her out, and came
and took a seat by her side.
"Aint you happy to-night, Clara! Aint you, old girl!" he said, in a
loud voice, striking her with his open hand upon the shoulder. "I'm
so happy that I feel just ready to jump out of my skin! Whoop!--Now
see how beautifully I can cut a pigeon's-wing."
And he sprang from his seat, and commenced describing the elegant
figure he had named, with industrious energy, much to the amusement
of one portion of the company, but to the painful mortification of
another. A circle was soon formed around him, to witness his
graceful movements, which strongly reminded those present who had
witnessed the performances, of a corn-field negro's Juba, or the
"Come," old Mr. Manley said, interrupting the young man in his
evolutions, by laying his hand upon his arm.
"Come! I want you a moment."
"Hel-lel-lel-lo, o-o, there! What's wanting? ha!" he said, pausing,
and then staggering forwards against Mr Manley. "Who are you, sir?"
"For shame, sir!" the old man replied in a stern voice. "Come with
me, I wish to speak to you."
"Speak here, then, will you? I've no se-se-secrets. I'm open and
above board! Jim Haley's the boy that knows what he's about!
Who-o-o-oop! Clear the track there!"
And starting away from the old man, he ran two or three paces, and
then sprang clear over the head of a young lady, frightening her
almost out of her wits.
"There! Who'll match me that? Jim Haley's the boy what's hard to
beat! Whoo-oo-oop, hurrah! But where's Clara? Where's my dear little
wifie? Ah! there--No, that isn't her, neither. Wh-wh-where is the
The whole of this passed in a few moments, with all the drunken
gestures required to give it the fullest effect.
Poor Clara, at first mortified, when she saw what a perfect madman
her husband had become, was so shocked that her feelings overcame
her, and she was carried fainting from the room. O, how bitter was
her momentary repentance of her blind folly, ere her bewildered
senses forsook her.
As for Haley, he grew worse and worse, until the brandy which he
continued to pour down, had completely stupified him, when he was
carried off to bed in a state of drunken insensibility; after which,
the company retired in oppressive and embarrassed silence.
Sad and lonely was the bridal chamber that night, and the couch of
the young bride was wet with bitter, but unavailing tears.
On the next morning, those who first entered the room where Haley
had slept, found it empty. Towards the middle of the day, a letter
was left for Clara by an unknown hand. It ran thus:
"DEAR CLARA--For you are still dear to me, although you have robbed
me of happiness for ever, and crushed your own hopes with mine. For
years before I came to this place, I had been a slave to
intoxication--a slave held in a fearful bondage. At last, I resolved
to break loose from my thraldom. One vigorous effort, and I was
free. There yet remained to me a small remnant of a wrecked fortune.
With this I abandoned my early home, and fixed my residence here,
determined once more to be a man. Temptations beset me on every
hand; but while I touched not, tasted not, handled not, I knew that
I was safe. But alas for the hour when you became my tempter! O,
that the remembrance of it could be blotted from my memory for ever!
When, for your sake, I raised that fatal glass to my lips, and the
single drop of wine that touched them thrilled wildly through every
nerve, I felt that I was lost. Horrible were my sensations, but your
tempting voice lured me to sip the scarcely tasted poison; I did so,
and my resolution was gone! All that occurred after that is only
dimly written on my memory. But I was a madman. That I can realize.
When drunk, I have always acted the madman. And now we part for
ever! I am a proud man, and cannot remain in the scene of my
disgrace. My property I leave for you, and go I know not, and care
not, whither--perhaps to die, unlamented, and unknown, and sink into
a drunkard's grave. Farewell!"
This letter bore neither name nor date. But they were not needed.
Five years from that sorrowful morning Clara sat by a window in her
father's house, near the close of day, looking dreamily up into the
serene and cloudless sky. Her face was pale, and had a look of
hopeless suffering. Five years!--It seemed as if twenty must have
passed over her head, each burdening her with a heavy weight of
affliction. O, what a wreck did she present! Five years of such a
life! Who can tell their history? She was alone; and sat with her
head upon her hand, and her eyes fixed, as if upon some object. But,
evidently, no image touched the nerve of vision. Presently her lips
moved, and a few mournful words were uttered aloud, almost
"O, that I knew where he was! O, that I could but find him, if
A slight noise startled her, and she turned quickly. Was it a
vision? Or did her long-lost husband stand before her, the shadow of
what he had been?
"Clara! Dear Clara!"
In a moment she was clinging to him with a trembling, eager,
convulsive grasp. Tenderly did he fold her in his arms, and press
his lips to hers fervently.
"Clara! Dear Clara!"
"My own dear husband!" was all she could utter, as she sank like a
helpless child on his bosom.
For four years from the night of his wedding, Haley had been a
common drunkard, with no power over himself. On the brink of the
grave, he was rescued, signed a pledge of total abstinence, and set
himself eagerly to work to elevate his condition. One year had
sufficed to efface many sad tokens of his degradation, but time
could not restore the freshness to his cheek, nor the light to his
eye. Then he returned and sought his bride, who still mourned him
with an inconsolable grief. A few months produced a happy change in
both. But they cannot look back. Over the past they throw a
veil,--the future is theirs, and it is growing brighter and
brighter. May its clear sky never be darkened!
THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT.
"Is there a good fire in the little spare room Jane?" said Mr. Wade,
a plain country farmer, coming into the kitchen where his good wife
was busy preparing for supper.
"Oh, yes, I've made the room as comfortable as can be," replied Mrs.
Wade; "but I wish you would take up a good armful of wood now, so
that we wont have to disturb Mr. N--, by going into the room after
he gets here."
"If he should come this evening," remarked the husband. "But it is
getting late, and I am afraid he won't be here Before the morning."
"Oh, I guess he will be along soon. I have felt all day as if he
"They say he is a good man, and preaches most powerfully. Mr. Jones
heard him preach in New York at the last conference, and tells me he
never heard such a sermon as he gave them. It cut right and left,
and his words went home to every heart like arrows of conviction."
"I hope he will be here this evening," remarked the wife as she put
some cakes in the oven.
"And so do I." remarked Mr. Wade, as he turned away, and went out to
the wood pile for an armfull of wood for the expected minister's
It was Saturday afternoon, and nearly sundown. Mr. N--, who was
expected to arrive, and for whose comfort every preparation in their
power to make, had been completed by the family at whose house he
was to stay, was the new Presiding Elder of B--District, in the
New Jersey Conference. Quarterly meeting was to be held on the next
day, which was Sunday, when Mr. N--was to preach, and administer
the ordinances of the church. Being his first visit to that part of
the District, the preacher was known to but few, if any, of the
members, and they all looked forward to his arrival with interest,
and were prepared to welcome him with respect and affection.
The house of Mr. Wade was known as the 'minister's home.' For years,
in their movements through the circuit, the preachers, as they came
round to this part in the field of their appointed labor, were
welcomed by Brother and Sister Wade, and the little spare chamber
made comfort. able for their reception. It was felt by these
honest-hearted people, more a privilege than a duty, thus to share
their temporal blessings with the men of God who ministered to them
in holy things. They had their weaknesses, as we all have. One of
their weaknesses consisted in a firm belief that they were deeply
imbued with the genuine religion, and regarded things spiritual
above all worldly considerations. They were kind, good people,
certainly, but not as deeply read in the lore of their own hearts,
not as familiar with the secret springs of their own actions, as all
of us should desire to be. But this was hardly to be wondered at,
seeing that their position in the church was rather elevated as
compared with those around them, and they were the subjects of
little distinguishing marks flattering to the natural man.
While Mr. Wade was splitting a log at the wood-pile, his thoughts on
the new Presiding Elder, and his feelings warm with the anticipated
pleasure of meeting and entertaining him, a man of common appearance
approached along the road, and when he came to where the farmer was,
stood still and looked at him until he had finished cutting the log,
and was preparing to lift the cleft pieces in his arms.
"Rather a cold day this," said the man.
"Yes, rather," returned Mr. Wade, a little indifferently, and in a
voice meant to repulse the stranger, whose appearance did not
impress him very favorably.
"How far is it to D--?" inquired the man.
"Three miles," replied Mr. Wade, who having filled his arms with
wood, was beginning to move off towards the house.
"So far!" said the man in a tone that was slightly marked with
hesitation. "I thought it was but a little way from this." Then with
an air of hesitation, and speaking in a respectful voice, he added,
"I would feel obliged if you would let me go in and warm myself. I
have walked for two miles in the cold, an--as D--is still three
miles off, I shall be chilled through before I get there."
So modest and natural a request as this, Mr. Wade could not refuse,
and yet, in the way he said--"Oh, certainly"--there was a manner
that clearly betrayed his wish that the man had passed on and
preferred his request somewhere else. Whether this was noticed or
not, is of no consequence; the wayfarer on this assent to his
request, followed Mr. Wade into the house.
"Jane," said the farmer as he entered the house with the stranger,
and his voice was not as cordial as it might have been; "let this
man warm himself by the kitchen fire. He has to go all the way to
D--this evening and says he is cold."
There is a kind of magnetic intelligence in the tones of the voice.
Mrs. Wade understood perfectly, by the way in which this was said,
that the husband did not feel much sympathy for the stranger, and
only yielded the favor asked because he could not well refuse to
grant it. Her own observation did not correct the impression her
husband's manner had produced. The man's dress, though neither dirty
nor ragged, was not calculated to impress any one very favorably.
His hat was much worn, and the old gray coat in which he was
buttoned up to the chin, had seen so much service that it was
literally threadbare from collar to skirt, and showed numerous
patches, darns, and other evidences of needlework, applied long
since to its original manufacture. His cow-hide boots, though whole,
had a coarse look; and his long dark beard gave his face, not a very
prepossessing one at best, a no very attractive aspect.
"You can sit down there," said Mrs. Wade, a little ungraciously, for
she felt the presence of the man, just at that particular juncture,
as an intrusion; and she pointed to an old chair that stood. near
the fire-place, in front of which was a large Dutch oven containing
some of her best cream short cakes, prepared especially for Mr.
N--, the new Presiding Elder now momently expected.
"Thank you, Ma'am," returned the stranger, as he took the chair, and
drew close up to the blazing hearth, and removing his thick woolen
gloves, spread his hands to receive the genial warmth.
Nothing more was said by either the stranger or Mr. Wade, for the
space of three or four minutes. During this time, the good
house-wife passed in and out, once or twice, busy as could be in
looking after supper affairs. The lid of the ample Dutch oven had
been raised once or twice, and both the eyes and nose of the
traveller greeted with a pleasant token of the good fare soon to be
served up in the family. He was no longer cold; but the sight and
smell of the cakes and other good things in preparation by the lady,
awakened a sense of hunger, and made it keenly felt. But, as the
comfort of a little warmth had been bestowed so reluctantly, he
could not think of trespassing on the farmer and his wife for a bite
of supper, and so commenced drawing on his heavy woolen gloves, and
buttoning up his old gray coat. While occupied in doing this, Mr.
Wade came into the kitchen, and said--
"I'm afraid Jane, that the minister won't be along this evening.
It's after sun-down, and begins to grow duskish."
"He ought to have been here an hour ago," returned Mrs. W., in a
tone of disappointment.
"It's getting late, my friend, and D--'s a good distance ahead,"
remarked the farmer, after standing with his back to the fire, and
regarding for some moments the stranger, who had taken off his
gloves, and was slowly unbuttoning his coat again.
"It's three miles you say?"
"Yes, good three miles, if not more; and it will be dark in half an
"What direction must I take?" required the stranger.
"You keep along the road until you come to the meeting house on the
top of the hill, half a mile beyond this, and then you strike off to
the right, and keep straight on."
"What meeting house is it?"
"The D--Methodist Meeting House."
"You are expecting the minister, I think you just now said?"
"Yes. Mr. N--, our new Presiding Elder, is to preach to-morrow,
and he was to have been here this afternoon."
"He is to stay with you?"
"Certainly he is. The ministers all stay at my house."
The man got up, and went to the door and looked out.
"Couldn't you give me a little something to eat before I go," he
said, returning. "I havn't tasted food since this morning, and feel
a little faint."
"Jane, can't you give him some cold meat and bread?" Mr. Wade turned
to his wife, and she answered, just a little fretfully, "Oh, yes, I
suppose so;" and going to the cupboard, brought out a dish
containing a piece of cold fat bacon that had been boiled with
cabbage for dinner, and half a loaf of bread, which she placed on
the kitchen table and told the man to help himself. The stranger did
not wait for another invitation; but set to work in good earnest
upon the bread and bacon, while the farmer stood with his hands
behind him, and his back to the fire, whistling the air of "Auld
Lang Syne," while he mentally repeated the words of the hymn of
"When I can read my title clear," and wished that his visitor would
make haste and get through with his supper. The latter, after eating
for a short time with the air of a man whose appetite was keen,
began to discuss the meat and bread with more deliberation, and
occasionally to ask a question, or make a remark, the replies to
which were not very gracious, although Mr. Wade forced himself to be
as polite as he could be.
The homely meal at length concluded, the man buttoned up his old
coat and drew on his coarse woolen gloves again, and thanking Mr.
and Mrs. Wade for their hospitality, opened the door and looked out.
It was quite dark, for there was no moon, and the sky was veiled in
clouds. The wind rushed into his face, cold and piercing. For a
moment or two, he stood with his hand upon the door, and then
closing it he turned back into the house, and said to the farmer
"You say it is still three miles to D--?"
"I do," said Mr. Wade coldly.
"I said so to you when you first stopped, and you ought to have
pushed on like a prudent man. You could have reached there before it
was quite dark."
"But I was cold and hungry, and might have fainted by the way."
The manner of saying this touched the farmer's feelings a little,
and caused him to look more narrowly into the stranger's face than
he had yet done. But he saw nothing more than he had already seen.
"You have warmed and fed me, for which I am thankful. Will you not
bestow another act of kindness upon one who is in a strange place,
and if he goes out in the darkness may lose himself and perish in
The peculiar form in which this request was made, and the tone in
which it was uttered, put it almost out of the power of the farmer
to say no.
"Go in there and sit down," he (sic) answed, pointing to the
kitchen, "and I will see my wife, and hear what she has to say."
And Mr. Wade went into the parlor where the supper table stood,
covered with a snow-white cloth, and displaying his wife's set of
bluesprigged china, that was only brought out on special occasions.
Two tall mould candles were burning thereon, and on the hearth
blazed a cheerful hickory fire.
"Hasn't that old fellow gone yet?" asked Mrs. Wade. She had heard
his voice as he returned from the door.
"No. And what do you suppose? He wants us to let him stay all
"Indeed, and we'll do no such thing! We can't have the likes of him
in the house, no how. Where could he sleep?"
"Not in the best room, even if Mr. N--shouldn't come."
"But I really don't see, Jane how we can turn him out of doors. He
doesn't look like a very strong man, and it's dark and cold, and
full three miles to D--."
"It's too much! He ought to have gone on while he had daylight, and
not lingered here as he did until it got dark."
"We can't turn him out of doors, Jane; and it's no use to think of
it. He'll have to stay now."
"But what can we do with him?"
"He seems like a decent man, at least; and don't look as if he had
anything bad about him. We might make him a bed on the floor
"I wish he had been to Guinea before he came here," said Mrs. Wade,
fretfully. The disappointment, the conviction that Mr. N--would
not arrive, and the intrusion of so unwelcome a visitor as the
stranger, completely unhinged her mind.
"Oh, well, Jane," replied her husband in a soothing voice, "never
mind. We must make the best of it. Poor man! He came to us tired and
hungry, and we have warmed him and fed him. He now asks shelter for
the night, and we must not refuse him, nor grant his request in a
complaining reluctant spirit. You know what the Bible says about
entertaining angels unawares."
"Angels! Did you ever see an angel look like him?"
"Having never seen an angel," said the husband smiling, "I am unable
to speak as to their appearance."
This had the effect to call an answering smile to the face of Mrs.
Wade, and a better feeling to her heart. And it was finally agreed
between them, that the man, as he seemed like a decent kind of a
person, should be permitted to occupy the minister's room, if that
individual did not arrive, an event to which they both now looked
with but small expectancy. If he did come, why the man would have
put up with poorer accommodations.
When Mr. Wade returned to the kitchen where the stranger had seated
himself before the fire, he informed him, that they had decided to
let him stay all night. The man expressed in a few words his
grateful sense of their kindness, and then became silent and
thoughtful. Soon after, the farmer's wife, giving up all hopes of
Mr. N--'s arrival, had supper taken up, which consisted of coffee,
warm cream short cakes, and sweet cakes, broiled ham, and broiled
chicken. After all was on the table, a short conference was held, as
to whether it would do not to invite the stranger to take supper. It
was true, they had given him as much bread and bacon as he could
eat; but then, as long as he was going to stay all night, it looked
too inhospitable to sit down to the table and not ask him to join
them. So, making a virtue of necessity, he was kindly asked to come
in to supper, an invitation which he did not decline. Grace was said
over the meal by Mr. Wade, and then the coffee was poured out, the
bread helped, and the meat served.
There was a fine little boy of some five or six years old at the
table, who had been brightened up, and dressed in his best, in order
to grace the minister's reception. Charley was full of talk, and the
parents felt a natural pride in showing him off, even before their
humble guest, who noticed him particularly, although he had not much
"Come, Charley," said Mr. Wade, after the meal was over, and he sat
leaning back in his chair, "can't you repeat the pretty hymn mamma
learned you last Sunday?"
Charley started off, without further invitation, and repeated, very
accurately, two or three verses of a new camp-meeting hymn, that was
just then very popular.
"Now let us hear you say the Commandments, Charley," spoke up the
mother, well pleased at her child's performance. And Charley
repeated them with only the aid of a little prompting.
"How many commandments are there?" asked the father.
The child hesitated, and then looking up at the stranger, near whom
he sat, said, innocently,--
"How many are there?"
The man thought for some moments, and said, as if in doubt--
"Eleven, are there not?"
"Eleven!" ejaculated Mrs. Wade, looking towards the man in unfeigned
"Eleven!" said her husband, with more of rebuke than astonishment in
his voice. "Is it possible, sir, that you do not know how many
Commandments there are? How many are there, Charley? Come! Tell me;
you know, of course."
"Ten," said the child.
"Right, my son," returned Mr. Wade, with a smile of approval.
"Right. Why, there isn't a child of his age within ten miles who
can't tell you that there are ten Commandments. "Did you never read
the Bible, sir?" addressing the stranger.
"When I was a little boy, I used to read in it sometimes. But I'm
sure I thought there were eleven Commandments. Are you not mistaken
about there being only ten?"
Sister Wade lifted her hands in unfeigned astonishment, and
"Could any one believe it? Such ignorance of the Bible!"
Mr. Wade did not reply, but he arose, and going to one corner of the
room, where the Good Book lay upon a small mahogany stand, brought
it to the table, and pushing away his plate, cup and saucer, laid
the volume before him, and opened that portion in which the
Commandments are recorded.
"There!" he said, placing his finger upon a proof of the man's
error. "There! Look for yourself!"
The man came round from his side of the table, and looked over the
"There! Ten;--d'ye see!"
"Yes, it does say ten," replied the man. "And yet it seems to me
there are eleven. I'm sure I have always thought so."
"Doesn't it say ten, here?" inquired Mr. Wade, with marked
impatience in his voice.
"It does certainly."
"Well, what more do you want? Can't you believe the Bible?"
"Oh, yes I believe in the Bible, and yet, somehow, it strikes me
that there must be eleven Commandments. Hasn't one been added
Now this was too much for Brother and Sister Wade to bear. Such
ignorance on sacred matters they felt to be unpardonable. A long
lecture followed, in which the man was scolded, admonished and
threatened with Divine indignation. At its close, he modestly asked
if he might have the Bible to read for an hour or two, before
retiring to rest. This request was granted with more pleasure than
any of the preceding ones. Shortly after supper the man was
conducted to the little spare room accompanied by the Bible. Before
leaving him alone, Mr. Wade felt it his duty to exhort him on
spiritual things, and he did so most earnestly for ten or fifteen
minutes. But he could not see that his words made much impression,
and he finally left his guest, lamenting his ignorance and obduracy.
In the morning, the man came down, and meeting Mr. Wade, asked him
if he would be so kind as to lend him a razor, that he might remove
his beard, which did not give his face a very attractive aspect. His
request was complied with.
"We will have family prayer in about ten minutes," said Mr. Wade, as
he handed him a razor and a shaving-box.
In ten minutes the man appeared and behaved himself with due
propriety at family worship. After breakfast he thanked the farmer
and his wife for their hospitality, and departing, went on his
Ten o'clock came, and Mr. N--had not yet arrived. So Mr. and Mrs.
Wade started off for the meeting house, not doubting that they would
find him there. But they were disappointed. A goodly number of
people were inside the meeting house, and a goodly number outside,
but the minister had not yet arrived.
"Where is Mr. N--?" inquired a dozen voices, as a little crowd
gathered around the farmer.
"He hasn't come yet. Something has detained him. But I still look
for him; indeed, I fully expected to find him here."
The day was cold, and Mr. Wade, after becoming thoroughly chilled,
concluded to go in, and keep a look-out for the minister from the
window near which he usually sat. Others, from the same cause,
followed his example, and the little meeting house was soon filled,
and still one after another came dropping in. The farmer, who turned
towards the door each time it opened, was a little surprised to see
his guest of the previous night enter, and come slowly along the
aisle, looking from side to side as if in search of a vacant seat,
very few of which were now left. Still advancing, he finally passed
within the little enclosed altar, and ascending to the pulpit, took
off his old gray overcoat and sat down.
By this time Mr. Wade was by his side, and with his hand upon his
"You mustn't sit here. Come down, and I'll show you a seat," he said
in an excited tone.
"Thank you," returned the man, in a composed tone. "It is very
"But you are in the pulpit! You are in the pulpit, sir!"
"Oh, never mind. It is very comfortable here." And the man remained
Mr. Wade, feeling much embarrassed, turned away, and went down,
intending to get a brother official in the church to assist him in
making a forcible ejection of the man from the place he was
desecrating. Immediately upon his doing so, however, the man arose,
and standing up at the desk, opened the hymn book. His voice
thrilled to the very finger ends of Brother Wade, as, in a distinct
and impressive manner, he gave out the hymn beginning--
"Help us to help each other, Lord,
Each other's cross to bear;
Let each his friendly aid afford,
And feel a brother's care."
The congregation arose after the stranger had read the entire hymn,
and he then repeated the two first lines for them to sing. Brother
Wade usually started the tune. He tried it this time, but went off
on a long metre tune. Discovering his mistake at the second word, he
balked, and tried it again, but now he stumbled on short metre. A
musical brother here came to his aid, and let off with an air that
suited the measure in which the hymn was written. After the singing,
the congregation kneeled, and the minister, for no one now doubted
his real character, addressed the Throne of Grace with much fervor
and eloquence. The reading of a chapter from the Bible succeeded to
these exercises. Then there was a deep pause throughout the room in
anticipation of the text, which the preacher prepared to announce.
Brother Wade looked pale, and his hands and knees trembled;--Sister
Wade's face was like crimson, and her heart was beating so loud that
she wondered whether the sound was not heard by the sister who sat
beside her. There was a breathless silence. The dropping of a pin
might almost have been heard. Then the fine, emphatic tones of the
preacher filled the crowded room.
"_A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another_."
Brother Wade had bent to listen, but he now sank back in his seat.
This was the ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT!
The sermon was deeply searching, yet affectionate and impressive.
The preacher uttered nothing that could in the least wound, the
brother and sister of whose hospitality he had partaken, but he said
much that smote upon their hearts, and made them painfully conscious
that they had not shown as much kindness to the stranger as he had
been entitled to receive on the broad principles of humanity. But
they suffered most from mortification of feeling. To think that they
should have treated the Presiding Elder of the District after such a
fashion, was deeply humiliating; and the idea of the whole affair
getting abroad, interfered sadly with their devotional feelings
throughout the whole period of the service.
At last the sermon was over, the ordinance administered, and the
benediction pronounced. Brother Wade did not know what it was best
for him now to-do. He never was more at a loss in his life. Mr.
N--descended from the pulpit, but he did not step forward to meet
him. How could he do that? Others gathered around and shook hands
with him, but he still lingered and held back.
"Where is Brother Wade?" he at length heard asked. It was in the
voice of the minister.
"Here he is," said two or three, opening the way to where the farmer
The preacher advanced, and extending his hand, said--
"How do you do, Brother Wade? I am glad to see you. And where is
Sister Wade was brought forward, and the preacher shook hands with
them heartily, while his face was lit up with smiles.
"I believe I am to find my home with you?" he said, as if that were
a matter understood and settled.
Before the still embarrassed brother and sister could reply, some
"How came you to be detained so late? You were expected last night.
And where is Brother R--?"
"Brother R--is sick," replied Mr. N--, "and so I had to come
alone. Five miles from this my horse gave out, and I had to come the
rest of the way on foot. But I became so cold and weary that I found
it necessary to ask a farmer not far away from here to give me a
night's lodging, which he was kind enough to do. I thought I was
still three miles off, but it happened that I was much nearer my
journey's end than I had supposed."
This explanation was satisfactory to all parties, and in due time
the congregation dispersed; and the Presiding Elder went home with
Brother and Sister Wade. How the matter was settled between them, we
do not know. One thing is certain, however,--the story which we have
related did not get out for some years after the worthy brother and
sister had rested from their labors, and it was then related by Mr.
N--himself, who was rather (sic) excentric in his character, and,
like numbers of his ministerial brethren, fond of a good joke, and
given to relating good stories.
THE IRON WILL.
"FANNY! I've but one word more to say on the subject. If you marry
that fellow, I'll have nothing to do with you. I've said it; and you
may be assured that I'll adhere to my determination."
Thus spoke, with a frowning brow and a stern voice, the father of
Fanny Crawford, while the maiden sat with eyes bent upon the floor.
"He's a worthless, good-for-nothing fellow," resumed the father;
"And if you marry him, you wed a life of misery. Don't come back to
me, for I will disown you the day you take his name. I've said it,
and my decision is unalterable."
Still Fanny made no answer, but sat like a statue.
"Lay to heart what I have said, and make your election, girl." And
with these words, Mr. Crawford retired from the presence of his
On that evening Fanny Crawford left her father's house, and was
secretly married to a young man named Logan, whom, spite of all his
faults, she tenderly loved.
When this fact became known to Mr. Crawford, he angrily repeated his
threat of utterly disowning his child; and he meant what he
said--for he was a man of stern purpose and unbending will. When
trusting to the love she believed him to bear for her, Fanny
ventured home, she was rudely repulsed, and told that she no longer
had a father. These cruel words fell upon her heart and ever after
rested there, an oppressive weight.
Logan was a young mechanic, with a good trade and the ability to
earn a comfortable living. But Mr. Crawford's objection to him was
well founded, and it would have been better for Fanny if she had
permitted it to influence her; for the young man was idle in his
habits, and Mr. Crawford too clearly saw that idleness would lead to
dissipation. The father had hoped that his threat to disown his
child would have deterred her from taking the step he so strongly
disapproved. He had, in fact, made this threat as a last effort to
save her from a union that would, inevitably, lead to unhappiness.
But having made it, his stubborn and offended pride caused him to
adhere with stern inflexibility to his word.
When Fanny went from under her father's roof, the old man was left
alone. The mother of his only child had been many years dead. For
her father's sake, as well as for her own, did Fanny wish to return.
She loved her parents with a most earnest affection, and thought of
him as sitting gloomy and companionless in that home so long made
light and cheerful by her voice and smile. Hours and hours would she
lie awake at night, thinking of her father, and weeping for the
estrangement of his heart from her. Still there was in her bosom an
ever living hope that he would relent. And to this she clung, though
he passed her in the street without looking at her, and steadily
denied her admission, when, in the hope of some change in his stern
purpose, she would go to his house and seek to gain an entrance.
As the father had predicted, Logan added, in the course of a year or
two, dissipation to idle habits and neglect of his wife to both.
They had gone to housekeeping in a small way, when first married,
and had lived comfortably enough for some time. But Logan did not
like work, and made every excuse he could find to take a holiday, or
be absent from the shop. The effect of this was, an insufficient
income. Debt came with its mortifying and (sic) harrassing
accompaniments, and furniture had to be sold to pay those who were
not disposed to wait. With two little children, Fanny was removed by
her husband into a cheap boarding-house, after their things were
taken and sold. The company into which she was here thrown, was far
from being agreeable; but this would have been no source of
unhappiness in itself. Cheerfully would she have breathed the
uncongenial atmosphere, if there had been nothing in the conduct of
her husband to awaken feelings of anxiety. But, alas! there was much
to create unhappiness here. Idle days were more frequent; and the
consequences of idle days more and more serious. From his work, he
would come home sober and cheerful; but after spending a day in idle
company, or in the woods gunning, a sport of which he was fond, he
would meet his wife with a sullen, dissatisfied aspect, and, too
often, in a state little above intoxication.
"I'm afraid thy son-in-law is not doing very well, friend Crawford,"
said a plain-spoken Quaker to the father of Mrs. Logan, after the
young man's habits began to show themselves too plainly in his
Mr. Crawford knit his brows, and drew his lips closely together.
"Has thee seen young Logan lately?"
"I don't know the young man," replied Mr. Crawford, with an
impatient motion of his head.
"Don't know thy own son-in-law! The husband of thy daughter!"
"I have no son-in-law! No daughter!" said Crawford, with stern
"Frances was the daughter of thy wedded wife, friend Crawford."
"But I have disowned her. I forewarned her of the consequences if
she married that young man. I told her that I would cast her off for
ever; and I have done it."
"But, friend Crawford, thee has done wrong."
"I've said it, and I'll stick to it."
"But thee has done wrong, friend Crawford," repeated the Quaker.
"Right or wrong, it is done, and I will not recall the act. I gave
her fair warning; but she took her own course, and now she must
abide the consequences. When I say a thing, I mean it; I never eat
"Friend Crawford," said the Quaker, in a steady voice and with his
calm eyes fixed upon the face of the man he addressed. "Thee was
wrong to say what thee did. Thee had no right to cast off thy child.
I saw her to-day, passing slowly along the street. Her dress was
thin and faded; but not so thin and faded as her pale, young face.
Ah! if thee could have seen the sadness of that countenance. Friend
Crawford! she is thy child still. Thee cannot disown her."
"I never change," replied the resolute father.
"She is the child of thy beloved wife, now in heaven, friend
"Good morning!" and Crawford turned and walked away.
"Rash words are bad enough," said the Quaker to himself, "but how
much worse is it to abide by rash words, after there has been time
for reflection and repentance!"
Crawford was troubled by what the Quaker said; but more troubled by
what he saw a few minutes afterwards, as he walked along the street,
in the person of his daughter's husband. He met the young man,
supported by two others--so much intoxicated that he could not stand
alone. And in this state he was going home to his wife--to Fanny!
The father clenched his hands, set his teeth firmly together,
muttered an imprecation upon the head of Logan, and quickened his
pace homeward. Try as he would, he could not shut out from his mind
the pale, faded countenance of his child, as described by the
Quaker, nor help feeling an inward shudder at the thought of what
she must suffer on meeting her husband in such a state.
"She has only herself to blame," he said, as he struggled with his
feelings. "I forewarned her; I gave her to understand clearly what
she had to expect. My word is passed. I have said it; and that ends
the matter. I am no childish trifler. What I say, I mean."
Logan had been from home all day, and, what was worse, had not been,
as his wife was well aware, at the shop for a week. The woman with
whom they were boarding, came into her room during the afternoon,
and, after some hesitation and embarrassment, said--
"I am sorry to tell you, Mrs. Logan that I shall want you to give up
your room, after this week. You know I have had no money from you
for nearly a month, and, from the way your husband goes on, I see
little prospect of being paid any thing more. If I was able, for
your sake, I would not say a word. But I am not, Mrs. Logan, and
therefore must, in justice to myself and family, require you to get
Mrs. Logan answered only with tears. The woman tried to soften what
she had said, and then went away.
Not long after this, Logan came stumbling up the stairs, and opening
the door of his room, staggered in and threw himself heavily upon
the bed. Fanny looked at him a few moments, and then crouching down,
and covering her face with her hands, wept long and bitterly. She
felt crushed and powerless. Cast off by her father, wronged by her
husband, destitute and about to be thrust from the poor home into
which she had shrunk: faint and weary, it seemed as if hope were
gone forever. While she suffered thus, Logan lay in a drunken sleep.
Arousing herself at last, she removed his boots and coat, drew a
pillow under his head, and threw a coverlet over him. She then sat
down and wept again. The tea bell rung, but she did not go to the
table. Half an hour afterwards, the landlady came to the door and
kindly inquired if she would not have some food sent up to her room.
"Only a little bread and milk for Henry," was replied.
"Let me send you a cup of tea," urged the woman.
"No, thank you. I don't wish any thing to night."
The woman went away, feeling troubled. From her heart she pitied the
suffering young creature, and it had cost her a painful struggle to
do what she had done. But the pressing nature of her own
circumstances required her to be rigidly just. Notwithstanding Mrs.
Logan had declined having any thing, she sent her a cup of tea and
something to eat. But they remained untasted.
On the next morning Logan was sober, and his wife informed him of
the notice which their landlady had given. He was angry, and used
harsh language towards the woman. Fanny defended her, and had the
harsh language transferred to her own head.
The young man appeared as usual at the breakfast table, but Fanny
had no appetite for food, and did not go down. After breakfast,
Logan went to the shop, intending to go to work; but found his place
supplied by another journeyman, and himself thrown out of
employment, with but a single dollar in his pocket, a months
boarding due, and his family in need of almost every comfort. From
the shop he went to a tavern, took a glass of liquor, and sat down
to look over the newspapers, and think what he should do. There he
met an idle journeyman, who, like himself, had lost his situation. A
fellow feeling made them communicative and confidential.
"If I was only a single man," said Logan, "I wouldn't care, I could
easily shift for myself."
"Wife and children! Yes, there's the rub," returned the companion.
"A journeyman mechanic is a fool to get married."
"Then you and I are both fools," said Logan.
"No doubt of it. I came to that conclusion, in regard to myself,
long and long ago. Sick wife, hungry children, and four or five
backs to cover; no wonder a poor man's nose is ever on the
grindstone. For my part, I am sick of it. When I was a single man, I
could go where I pleased, and do what I pleased; and I always had
money in my pocket. Now I am tied down to one place, and grumbled at
eternally; and if you were to shake me from here to the Navy Yard,
you wouldn't get a sixpence out of me. The fact is, I'm sick of it."
"So am I. But what is to be done? I don't believe I can get work in
"I know you can't. But there is plenty of work and good wages to be
had in Charleston or New Orleans."
Logan did not reply; but looked intently into his companion's face.
"I'm sure my wife would be a great deal better off if I were to
clear out and leave her. She has plenty of friends, and they'll not
see her want."
Logan still looked at his fellow journeyman.
"And your wife would be taken back under her father's roof, where
there is enough and to spare. Of course she would be happier than
she is now."
"No doubt of that. The old rascal has treated her shabbily enough.
But I am well satisfied that if I were out of the way he would
gladly receive her back again."
"Of this there can be no question. So, it is clear, that with our
insufficient incomes, our presence is a curse rather than a blessing
to our families."
Logan readily admitted this to be true. His companion then drew a
newspaper towards him, and after running his eyes over it for a few
"This day, at twelve o'clock, the copper fastened brig Emily, for
Charleston. For freight or passage, apply on board."
"There's a chance for us," he said, as he finished reading the
advertisement. "Let us go down and see if they won't let us work our
Logan sat thoughtful a moment, and than said, as he arose to his
"Agreed. It'll be the best thing for us, as well as for our
When the Emily sailed, at twelve o'clock, the two men were on board.
Days came and passed, until the heart of Mrs. Logan grew sick with
anxiety, fear and suspense. No word was received from her absent
husband. She went to his old employer, and learned that he had been
discharged; but she could find no one who had heard of him since
that time. Left thus alone, with two little children, and no
apparent means of support, Mrs. Logan, when she became at length
clearly satisfied that he for whom she had given up every thing, had
heartlessly abandoned her, felt as if there was no hope for her in
"Go to your father by all means," urged the woman with whom she was
still boarding. "Now that your husband has gone, he will receive
"I cannot," was Fanny's reply.
"But what will you do?" asked the woman.
"Work for my children," she replied, arousing herself and speaking
with some resolution. "I have hands to work, and I am willing to
"Much better go home to your father," said the woman.
"That is impossible. He has disowned me. Has ceased to love me or
care for me. I cannot go to him again; for I could not bear, as I am
now, another harsh repulse. No--no--I will work with my own hands.
God will help me to provide for my children."
In this spirit the almost heart-broken young woman for whom the
boarding-house keeper felt more than a common interest--an interest
that would not let her thrust her out from the only place she could
call her home--sought for work and was fortunate enough to obtain
sewing from two or three families, and was thus enabled to pay a
light board for herself and children. But incessant toil with her
needle, continued late at night and resumed early in the morning,
gradually undermined her health, which had become delicate, and
weariness and pain became the constant companions of her labor.
Sometimes in carrying her work home, the forsaken wife would have to
pass the old home of her girlhood, and twice she saw her father at
the window. But either she was changed so that he did not know his
child; or he would not bend from his stern resolution to disown her.
On these two occasions she was unable, on returning, to resume her
work. Her fingers could not hold or guide the needle; nor could she,
from the blinding tears that; filled her eyes have seen to sew, even
if her hands had lost the tremor that ran through every nerve of her
A year had rolled wearily by since Logan went off, and still no word
had come from the absent husband. Labor beyond her bodily strength,
and trouble and grief that were too severe for her spirit to bear,
had done sad work upon the forsaken wife and disowned child. She was
but a shadow of her former self.
Mr. Crawford had been very shy of the old Quaker, who had spoken so
plainly to him; but his words made some impression on him, though no
one would have supposed so, as there was no change in his conduct
towards his daughter. He had forewarned her of the consequences, if
she acted in opposition to his wishes. He had told her that he would
disown her forever. She had taken her own way, and, painful as it
was to him, he had to keep his word--his word that had ever been
inviolate. He might forgive her; he might pity her; but she must
remain a stranger. Such a direct and flagrant act of disobedience to
his wishes was not to be forgotten nor forgiven. Thus, in stubborn
pride, did his hard heart confirm itself in its cold and cruel
estrangement. Was he happy? No! Did he forget his child? No. He
thought of her and dreamed of her, day after day, and night after
night. But-he had said it, and he would stick to it! His pride was
unbending as iron.
Of the fact that the husband of Fanny had gone off and left her with
two children to provide for with the labor of her hands, he had been
made fully aware, but it did not bend him from his stern purpose.
"She is nothing to me," was his impatient reply to the one who
informed him of the fact. This was all that could be seen. But his
heart trembled at the intelligence. (sic) Neverthless, he stood
coldly aloof month after month, and even repulsed, angrily, the kind
landlady with whom Fanny boarded, who had attempted, all unknown to
the daughter, to awaken sympathy for her in her father's heart.
One day the old Friend, whose plain words had not pleased Mr.
Crawford, met that gentleman near his own door. The Quaker was
leading a little boy by the hand. Mr. Crawford bowed, and evidently
wished to pass on; but the Quaker paused, and said--
"I should like to have a few words with thee, friend Crawford."
"Well, say on."
"Thee is known as a benevolent man, friend Crawford. Thee never
refuses, it is said, to do a deed of charity."
"I always give something when I am sure the object is deserving."
"So I am aware. Do you see this little boy?"
Mr. Crawford glanced down at the child the Quaker held by the hand.
As he did so, the child lifted to him a gentle face, with mild
earnest loving eyes.
"It is a sweet little fellow," said Mr. Crawford, reaching his hand
to the child. He spoke with some feeling, for there was a look about
the boy that went to his heart.
"He is, indeed, a sweet child--and the image of his poor, sick,
almost heart-broken mother, for whom I am trying to awaken an
interest. She has two children, and this one is the oldest. Her
husband is dead, or what may be as bad, perhaps worse, as far as she
is concerned, dead to her; and she does not seem to have a relative
in the world, at least none who thinks about or cares for her. In
trying to provide for her children, she has overtasked her delicate
frame, and made herself sick. Unless something is done for her, a
worse thing must follow. She must go to the Alms-house, and be
separated from her children. Look into the sweet, innocent face of
this dear child, and let your heart say whether he ought to be taken
from his mother. If she have a woman's feelings, must she not love
this child tenderly; and can any one supply to him his mother's
"I will do something for her, certainly," Mr. Crawford said.
"I wish thee would go with me to see her."
"There is no use in that. My seeing her can do no good. Get all you
can for her, and then come to me. I will help in the good work
cheerfully," replied Mr. Crawford.
"That is thy dwelling, I believe," said the Quaker, looking around
at a house adjoining the one before which they stood.
"Yes, that is my house," returned Crawford.
"Will thee take this little boy in with thee, and keep him for a few
minutes, while I go to see a friend some squares off?"
"Oh, certainly. Come with me, dear!" And Mr. Crawford held out his
hand to the child, who took it without hesitation.
"I will see thee in a little while," said the Quaker, as he turned
The boy, who was plainly, but very neatly dressed, was about four
years old. He had a more than usually attractive face; and an
earnest look out of his mild eyes, that made every one who saw him
"What is your name, my dear?" asked Mr. Crawford, as he sat down in
his parlor, and took the little fellow upon his knee.
"Henry," replied the child. He spoke with distinctness; and, as he
spoke, there was a sweet expression of the lips and eyes, that was
"It is Henry, is it?"
"What else besides Henry?"
The boy did not reply, for he had fixed his eyes upon a picture that
hung over the mantle, and was looking at it intently. The eyes of
Mr. Crawford followed those of the child, that rested, he found, on
the portrait of his daughter.
"What else besides, Henry?" he repeated.
"Henry Logan," replied the child, looking for a moment into the face
of Mr. Crawford, and then turning to gaze at the picture on the
wall. Every nerve quivered in the frame of that man of iron will.
The falling of a bolt from a sunny sky could not have startled and
surprised him more. He saw in the face of the child, the moment be
looked at him, something strangely familiar and attractive. What it
was, he did not, until this instant, comprehend. But it was no
longer a mystery.
"Do you know who I am?" he asked, in a subdued voice, after he had
recovered, to some extent, his feelings.
The child looked again into his face, but longer and more earnestly.
Then, without answering, he turned and looked at the portrait on the
"Do you know who I am, dear?" repeated Mr. Crawford.
"No, sir," replied the child; and then again turned to gaze upon the
"Who is that?" and Mr. Crawford pointed to the object that so fixed
the little boy's attention.
"My mother." And as he said these words, he laid his head down upon
the bosom of his unknown relative, and shrunk close to him, as if
half afraid because of the mystery that, in his infantile mind, hung
around the picture on the wall.
Moved by an impulse that he could not restrain, Mr. Crawford drew
his arms around the child and hugged him to his bosom. Pride gave
way; the iron will was bent; the sternly uttered vow was forgotten.
There is power for good in the presence of a little child. Its
sphere of innocence subdues and renders impotent the evil spirits
that rule in the hearts of selfish men. It was so in this case. Mr.
Crawford might have withstood the moving appeal of even his
daughter's presence, changed by grief, labor, and suffering, as she
was. But his anger, upon which he had suffered the sun to go down,
fled before her artless, confiding, innocent child. He thought not
of Fanny--as the wilful woman, acting from the dictate of her own
passions or feelings; but as a little child, lying upon his
bosom--as a little child, singing and dancing around him--as a
little child, with, to him, the face of a cherub; and the sainted
mother of that innocent one by her side.
When the Friend came for the little boy; Mr. Crawford said to him,
in a low voice--made low to hide his emotion--
"I will keep the child."
"From its mother?"
"No. Bring the mother, and the other child. I have room for them
A sunny smile passed over the benevolent countenance of the Friend
as he hastily left the room.
Mrs. Logan, worn down by exhausting labor, had at last been forced
to give up. When she did give up, every long strained nerve of mind
and body instantly relaxed; and she became almost as weak and
helpless as an infant. While in this state, she was accidentally
discovered by the kind-hearted old Friend, who, without her being
aware of what he was going to do, made his successful attack upon
her father's feelings. He trusted to nature and a good cause, and
did not trust in vain.
"Come, Mrs. Logan," said the kind woman, with whom Fariny was still
boarding, an hour or so after little Henry had been dressed up to
take a walk--where, (sic) the the mother did not know or
think,--"the good Friend, who was here this morning, says you must
ride out. He has brought a carriage for you, It will do you good, I
know. He is very kind. Come, get yourself ready."
Mrs. Logan was lying upon her bed.
"I do not feel able to get up," she replied. "I do not wish to ride
"Oh, yes, you must go. The pure, fresh air, and the change, will do
you more good than medicine. Come, Mrs. Logan; I will dress little
Julia for you. She needs the change as much as you do."
"Where is Henry?" asked the mother.
"He has not returned yet. But, come! The carriage is waiting at the
"Won't you go with me?"
"I would with pleasure--but I cannot leave home. I have so much to
After a good deal of persuasion, Fanny at length made the effort to
get herself ready to go out. She was so weak, that she tottered
about the floor like one intoxicated. But the woman with whom she
lived, assisted and encouraged her, until she was at length ready to
go. Then the Quaker came up to her room, and with the tenderness and
care of a father, supported her down stairs, and when she had taken
her place in the vehicle, entered, with her youngest child in his
arms, and sat by her side, speaking to her, as he did so, kind and
The carriage was driven slowly, for a few squares, and then stopped.
Scarcely had the motion ceased, when the door was suddenly opened,
and Mr. Crawford stood before his daughter.
"My poor child!" he said, in a tender, broken voice, as Fanny,
overcome by his unexpected appearance, sunk forward into his arms.
When the suffering young creature opened her eyes again, she was
upon her own bed, in her own room, in her old home. Her father sat
by her side, and held one of her hands tightly. There were tears in
his eyes, and he tried to speak; but, though his lips moved, there
came from them no articulate sound.
"Do you forgive me, father? Do you love me, father?" said Fanny, in
a tremulous whisper, half rising from her pillow, and looking
eagerly, almost agonizingly, into her father's face.
"I have nothing to forgive," murmured the father, as he drew his
daughter towards him, so that her head could lie against his bosom.
"But do you love me, father? Do you love me as of old?" said the
He bent down and kissed her; and now the tears fell from his eyes
and lay warm and glistening upon her face.
"As of old," he murmured, laying his cheek down upon that of his
child, and clasping her more tightly in his arms. The long pent up
waters of affection were rushing over his soul and obliterating the
marks of pride, anger, and the iron will that sustained them in
their cruel dominion. He was no longer a strong man, stern and rigid
in his purpose; but a child, with a loving and tender heart.
There was light again in his dwelling; not the bright light of other
times; for now the rays were mellowed. But it was light. And there
was music again; not so joyful; but it was music, and its spell over
his heart was deeper and its influence more elevating.
The man with the iron will and stern purpose was subdued, and the
power that subdued him, was the presence of a little child.
A CURE FOR LOW SPIRITS.
A HOUSEHOLD SKETCH.
FROM some cause, real or imaginary, I felt low spirited. There was a
cloud upon my feelings, and I could not smile as usual, nor speak in
a tone of cheerfulness. As a natural result, the light of my
countenance being gone, all things around me were in shadow. My
husband was sober, and had little to say; the children would look
strangely at me when I answered, their questions, or spoke to them
for any purpose, and my domestics moved about in a quiet manner, and
when they addressed me, did so in a tone more subdued than usual.
This re-action upon my state, only made darker the clouds that
veiled my spirits. I was conscious of this, and was conscious that
the original cause of my depression was entirely inadequate, in
itself, to produce the result which had followed. Under this
feeling, I made an effort to rally myself, but in vain; and sank
lower from the very struggle to rise above the gloom that
When my husband came home at dinner time, I tried to meet him with a
smile; but I felt that the light upon my countenance was feeble, and
of brief duration. He looked at me earnestly, and, in his kind and
gentle way, inquired if I felt no better, affecting to believe that
my ailment was one of the body instead of the mind. But I scarcely
answered him, and I could see that he felt hurt. How much more
wretched did I become at this. Could I have then retired to my
chamber, and, alone, give my full heart vent in a passion of tears,
I might have obtained relief to my feelings. But, I could not do
While I sat at the table, forcing a little food into my mouth for
appearance sake, my husband said--
"You remember the fine lad who has been for some time in our store?"
I nodded my head, but the question did not awaken in my mind the
"He has not made his appearance for several days; and I learned this
morning, on sending to the house of his mother, that he was very
"Ah!" was my indifferent response. Had I spoken what was in my mind,
I would have said--"I'm sorry, but I can't help it." I did not, at
the moment, feel the smallest interest in the lad.
"Yes," added my husband, "and the person who called to let me know
about it, expressed his fears that Edward would not get up again."
"What ails him?" I inquired.
"I did not clearly understand. But he has fever of some kind. You
remember his mother very well?"
"Oh, yes. You know she has worked for me. Edward is her only child,
"Yes. And his loss to her will be almost every thing."
"Is he so dangerous?" I inquired, a feeling of interest beginning to
stir in my heart.
"He is not expected to live."
"Poor woman! How distressed she must be? I wonder what her
circumstances are just at this time. She seemed very poor when she
worked for me."
"And she is very poor still, I doubt not. She has herself been sick,
and during the time it is more than probable, that Edward's wages
were all her income. I am afraid she has suffered, and that she has
not, now, the means of procuring for her sick boy things necessary
for his comfort. Could you not go around there this afternoon, and
see how they are?"
I shook my head instantly, at this proposition, for sympathy for
others was not yet strong enough to expel my selfish despondency of
"Then I must step around," replied my husband, "before I go back to
the store, although we are very busy today, and I am much wanted
there. It would not be right to neglect the lad and his mother under
I felt rebuked at these words; and, with a forced effort, said--
"I will go."
"It will be much better for you to see them than for me," returned
my husband, "for you can understand their wants better, and minister
to them more effectually. If they need any comforts, I would like
you to see them supplied."
It still cost me an effort to get ready; but as I had promised that
I would do as my husband wished, the effort. had to be made. By the
time I was prepared to go out, I felt something better. The exertion
I was required to make, tended to disperse slightly the clouds that
hung over me, and, as they began gradually to move, my thoughts
turned, with an awakening interest, toward the object of my
All was silent within the humble abode to which my errand led me. I
knocked lightly, and in a few moments the mother of Edward opened
the door. She looked pale and anxious.
"How is your son, Mrs. Ellis?" I inquired, as I stepped in.
"He is very low, ma'am," she replied.
"Not dangerous, I hope?"
"The fever has left him, but he is as weak as an infant. All his
strength is gone."
"But proper nourishment will restore him, if the disease is broken."
"So the doctor says. But I'm afraid it is too late. He seems to be
sinking every hour. Will you walk up and see him, ma'am?"
I followed Mrs. Ellis up stairs, and into the chamber where the sick
boy lay. I was not surprised at the fear she had expressed, when I
saw Edward's pale, sunken face, and hollow, almost expressionless
eyes. He scarcely noticed my entrance.
"Poor boy!" sighed his mother. "He has had a very sick spell." My
liveliest interest was at once awakened.
"He has been sick indeed!" I replied, as I laid my hand upon his
white forehead. I found that his skin was, cold and damp. The fever
had nearly burned out the vital energies of his system. "Do you give
him much nourishment?"
"He takes a little barley water."
"Has not the doctor ordered wine?"
"Yes, ma'am," replied Mr. Ellis, but she spoke with an air of
hesitation. "He says a spoonful of good wine, three or four times a
day, would be very good for him."
"And you have not given him any?"
"We have some very pure wine, that we always keep for sickness. If
you will step over to our house, and tell Alice to give you a bottle
of it, I will stay with Edward until you return."
How brightly glowed that woman's face, as my words fell upon her
"Oh, ma'am you are very kind!" said she. "But it will be asking too
much of you to stay here!"
"You did'nt ask it, Mrs. Ellis," I smilingly replied. "I have
offered to stay; so do you go for the wine as quickly as you can,
for Edward needs it very much."
I was not required to say more. In a few minutes I was alone with
the sick boy, who lay almost as still as if death were resting upon
his half closed eye-lids. To some extent, in the half hour I
remained thus in that hushed chamber, did I realize the condition
and feelings of the poor mother whose only son lay gasping at the
very door of death, and all my sympathies were, in consequence,
As soon as Mrs. Ellis returned with the wine, about a tea spoonful
of it was diluted, and the glass containing it placed to the sick
lad's lips. The moment its flavor touched his palate, a thrill
seemed to pass through his frame, and he swallowed eagerly.
"It does him good!" said I, speaking warmly, and from an impulse of
pleasure that made my heart glow.
We sat, and looked with silent interest upon the boy's face, and we
did not look in vain, for something like warmth came upon his wan
cheeks, and when I placed my hand again upon his forehead, the
coldness and dampness was gone. The wine had quickened his languid
pulses. I staid an hour longer, and then another spoonful of the
generous wine was given. Its effect was as marked as at first. I
then withdrew from the humble home of the widow and her only child,
promising to see them again in the morning.
When I regained the street and my thoughts, for a moment, reverted
to myself, how did I find all changed. The clouds had been
dispersed--the heavy hand raised from my bosom, I walked with a
freer step. Sympathy for others, and active efforts to do others
good, had expelled the evil spirits from my heart; and now serene
peace had there again her quiet habitation. There was light in every
part of my dwelling when I re-entered it, and I sung cheerfully, as
I prepared, with my own hands, a basket of provisions for the poor
When my husband returned in the evening, he found me at work,
cheerfully, in my family, and all bright and smiling again. The
effort to do good to others had driven away the darkness from my
spirit, and the sunshine was again upon my countenance, and
reflected from every member of my household.--_Lady's Wreath._
THREE HUNDRED A YEAR.
"HOW much salary do they offer?" asked Mrs. Carroll of her husband,
who was sitting near her with a letter in his hand. He had just
communicated the fact that a Parish was tendered him in the Village
of Y--, distant a little over a hundred and fifty miles.
"The money is your first thought, Edith," said Mr. Carroll, half
chidingly, yet with an affectionate smile.
This remark caused a slight flush to pass over the face of Mrs.
Carroll. She replied, glancing, as she did so, towards a bed on
which lay three children.
"Is it wrong to think of the little ones whom God has given to us?"
"Oh, no! But we must believe that God who calls us to labor in his
vineyard, will feed both us and our children."
"How are we to know that HE calls us, Edward?" inquired Mrs.
"I hold the evidence in my hand. This letter from the vestry of
Y--Parish contains the call."
"It may be only the call of man."
"Edith!--Edith!--Your faith is weak; weak almost as the expiring
"What do they say in that letter? Will you read it to me."
"Oh, yes." And Mr. Carroll read--
"REV. AND DEAR SIR:--Our Parish has been for some months without a
minister. On the recommendation of Bishop--, we have been led to
make you an offer of the vacant place. The members of the church,
generally, are in moderate circumstances, and we cannot, therefore,
offer anything more than a moderate living. There is a neat little
parsonage, to which is attached a small garden, for the use of the
minister. The salary is three hundred dollars. You will find the
people kind and intelligent, and likewise prepossessed in your
favor. The Bishop has spoken of you warmly. We should like to hear
from you as early as convenient.
"Very affectionately, &c. &c."
"Three hundred dollars!" said Mrs. Carroll in a disappointed tone.
"And the parsonage," added Mr. Carroll, quickly.
"Equivalent to sixty or seventy more."
"Equivalent to a hundred dollars more, at least."
"We are doing much better here, Edward."
"True! But are we to look to worldly advantage alone?"
"We have a duty to discharge to our children, which, it seems to me,
comes before all other duties."
"God will take care of these tender lambs, Edith, do not fear. He
has called me to preach his everlasting Gospel, and I have heard and
answered. Now He points to the field of labor, and shall I hold back
because the wages seem small? I have not so learned my duty. Though
lions stood in the way, I would walk in it with a fearless heart. Be
not afraid. The salvation of souls is a precious work, and they who
are called to the labor will not lack for bread."
"But Edward," said the wife, in a serious voice, "will it be right
for us to enter any path of life blindfold, as it were? God has
given us reason for a guide; and should we not be governed by its
"We must walk by faith, Edith, and not by sight," replied Mr.
Carroll, in a tone that indicated some small measure of impatience.
"A true faith, dear husband!" said Mrs. Carroll tenderly, while a
slight suffusion appeared about her eyes.
"A true faith is ever enlightened and guided by reason. When reason
plainly points the way, faith bids us walk on with unfaltering
"And does not reason now point the way?" asked Mr. Carroll."
"I think not. From our school we receive nearly seven hundred
dollars; and we have not found that sum too large for our support. I
know that I work very hard, and that I find it as much as I can do
to keep all things comfortable."
"But remember that we have rent to pay."
"I know. Still a little over five hundred dollars remain. And the
present offer is only three hundred. Edward, we cannot live upon
this sum. Think of our three children. And my health, you know, is
not good. I am not so strong as I was, and cannot go through as
The wife's voice trembled.
"Poor, weak doubter!" said Mr. Carroll, in a tender, yet reproving
voice. "Does not He who calls us to this labor know our wants? And
is not He able to supply them? Have you forgotten that the earth is
the Lord's and the fullness thereof? Whose are the cattle upon a
thousand hills? Did not God feed Elijah by ravens? Did the widow's
oil fail? Be not doubtful but believing, Edith! And what if we do
have to meet a few hardships, and endure many privations? Are these
to be counted against the salvation of even one precious soul? The
harvest is great, hut the laborers are few."
Mrs. Carroll knew her husband well enough to be assured that if he
believed it to be his duty to accept a call from Lapland or the
Indian Ocean, he would go. Yet, so strongly did both reason and
feeling oppose the contemplated change, that she could not help
speaking out what was in her mind.
"The day of miracles is past," she replied.
"We must not expect God to send us bread from heaven if we go into a
wilderness, nor water from the rock, if we wander away to some
barren desert. This Parish of Y--cannot afford living to any but a
single man, and, therefore, it seems to me that none but a single
man should accept their call. Wait longer, Edward. We have every
comfort for our children, and you are engaged in a highly useful
employment. When the right field for ministerial labor offers, God
will call you in a manner so clear that you need not feel a doubt on
"I feel no doubt now," said Mr. Carroll. "I recognise the voice of
my Master, and must obey. And I will obey without fear. Our bread
will be given and our water sure. Ah! Edith. If you could only see
with me, eye to eye. If you could only take up your cross hopefully,
and walk I by my side, how light would seem all the burden I have to
Mrs. Carroll felt the words of her husband, as a rebuke. This
silenced all opposition.
"I know that I am weak and fearful," she murmured, leaning her head
upon her husband, and concealing her face. "But I will try to have
courage. If you feel it to be your duty to accept this call, I will
go with you; and, come what may, will not vex your ears by a
complaining word. It was only for our little ones that I felt
"The Lord will provide, Edith. He never sends any one upon a journey
at his own cost. Fear not: we have the God of harvest on our side."
The will of Mr. Carroll decided in this, as in almost every thing
else. He saw reason to accept the call, and did not therefore,
perceive any force in his wife's objections.
The school, from which a comfortable living had been obtained, was
given up; an old home and old friends abandoned. Prompt as Mr.
Carroll had been to accept the call to Y--, the process of
breaking up did not take place without some natural feelings coming
in to disturb him. How he was to support his wife and children on
three hundred dollars, did not exactly appear. It had cost him,
annually, the sum of five hundred, exclusive of rent; and no one
could affirm that he had lived extravagantly. But he dismissed such
unpleasant thoughts by saying, mentally--
"Away with these sinful doubts! I will not be faithless, but
As for Mrs. Carroll, who felt, in view of the coming trials and
labor, that she had but little strength; the parting from the old
place where she had known so many happy hours, gave her deeper pain
than she had ever experienced. Strive as she would, she could not
keep up her spirits. She could not feel any assurance for the
future,--could not put her entire trust in Heaven. To her the
hopeful spirit of her husband seemed a blind confidence, and not a
rational faith. But, even while she felt thus, she condemned herself
for the feeling; and strove--with how little effect!--to walk
sustainingly by the side of her husband.
Six months have elapsed since Mr Carroll accepted the call to Y--.
He has preached faithfully and labored diligently. That was his
part. And he has received, quarterly, on the day it became due, his
salary. That was according to the contract on the other side. His
conscience is clear on the score of duty; and his parishioners are
quite as well satisfied that they have done all that is required of
them. They offered him three hundred a year and the parsonage. He
accepted the offer; and, by that act, declared the living to be
adequate to his wants. If he was satisfied they were.
"I don't know how he gets along on three hundred dollars," some one,
more thoughtful about such matters, would occasionally say. "It
costs me double that sum, and my family is no larger than his."
"They get a great many presents," would, in all probability, be
replied to this. "Mr. A--, I know, sent them a load of wood some
time ago; a Mr. B--told me that he had sent them a quarter of lamb
and a bushel of apples. And I have, two or three times, furnished
one little matter and another. I'm sure what is given to them will
amount to half as much as Mr. Carroll's salary."
"This makes a difference, of course," is the satisfied answer. And
yet, all told, the presents received by the whole family, in useful
articles, has not reached the value of twenty-five dollars during
six months. And this has been more than abstracted from them by the
kind ladies of the parish, who must needs visit and take tea with
the minister as often as convenient.
Six months had passed since the Rev. Mr. Carroll removed to Y--.
It was mid-winter; and a stormy day closed in with as stormy a
night. The rays which came through the minister's little
study-window grew faint in the pervading shadows, and he could no
longer see with sufficient clearness to continue writing. So he went
down stairs to the room in which were his wife and children. The
oldest child was a daughter, six years of age, named Edith from her
mother. Edward, between three and four years old, and Aggy the baby,
made up the number of Mr. Carroll's household treasures. They were
all just of an age to require their mother's attention in every
thing. As her husband entered the room, Mrs. Carroll said--
"I'm glad you've come down, dear. I can't get Aggy out of my arms a
minute. It's nearly supper time, and I havn't been able even to put
the kettle on the fire. She's very fretful."
Mr. Carroll took the baby. His wife threw a shawl over her head, and
taking an empty bucket from the dresser, was passing to the door,
when her husband said--
"Stop, stop, Edith! You musn't go for water in this storm. Here,
take the baby."
"I can go well enough," replied Mrs. Carroll, and before her husband
could prevent her, she was out in the blustering air, with the
snowflakes driving in her face.
"Oh, Edith! Edith! Why will you do so?" said her husband, as soon as
she came back.
"It's as easy for me to go as for you," she replied.
"No it isn't, Edith. I am strong to what you are. If you expose
yourself in this way, it will be the death of you."
Mrs. Carroll shook the snow from her shawl and dress, and brushed it
from her shoes, saying as she did so--
"Oh no! a little matter like this won't hurt me."
She then filled the tea-kettle and placed it over the fire. After
which she set out the table, and busied herself in getting ready
their evening meal. Meanwhile, Mr. Carroll walked the floor with
Aggy in his arms, both looking and feeling serious; while the two
older children amused themselves with a picture book.
As the reader has probably anticipated, the "living" (?) at
Y--proved altogether inadequate to the wants of Mr. Carroll's
family; and faith, confidence, and an abstract trust in Providence
by no means sufficed for its increase.
At first, Mrs. Carroll had a servant girl to help her in her
household duties, as usual. But she soon found that this would not
do. A dollar and a quarter a week, and the cost of boarding the
girl, took just about one-third of their entire income. So, after
the first three months, "help" was dispensed with. The washing had
to be put out; which cost half a dollar, weekly. To get some one in
the house to iron, would cost as much more. So Mrs. Carroll took
upon herself the task of ironing all the clothes, in addition to the
entire work of the house and care of her three children.
For three months this hard labor was performed; but not without a
visible effect. The face of Mrs. Carroll grew thinner; her step lost
its lightness; and her voice its cheerful tone. All this her husband
saw, and saw with intense pain. But, there was no remedy. His income
was but three hundred dollars a year; and out of that small sum it
was impossible to pay one hundred for the wages and board of a girl,
and have enough left for the plainest food and clothing. There was,
therefore, no alternative. All that it was in his power to do, was
done by Mr. Carroll to lighten the heavy burdens under which his
wife was sinking; but it was only a little, in reality, that he
could do; and he was doomed to see her daily wasting away, and her
strength departing from her.
At the time we have introduced them, Mrs. Carroll had begun to show
some symptoms of failing health, that alarmed her husband seriously.
She had taken cold, which was followed by a dry, fatiguing cough,
and a more than usual prostration of strength. On coming in with her
bucket of water from the well, as just mentioned, she did not take
off her shoes, and brush away the snow that had been pressed in
around the tops against her stockings, but suffered it to lie there
and melt, thus wetting her feet. It was nearly an hour from the time
Mr. Carroll came down from his room, before supper was ready. Aggy
was, by this time, asleep; so that the mother could pour out the tea
without having, as was usually the case, to hold the baby in her
"Ain't you going to eat anything?" asked Mr. Carroll, seeing that
his wife, whose face looked flushed, only sipped a little tea.
"I don't feel any appetite," replied Mrs. Carroll.
"But you'd better try to eat something, dear."
Just then there was a knock at the door. On opening it, Mr. Carroll
found a messenger with a request for him to go and see a parishioner
who was ill.
"You can't go away there in this storm," said his wife, as soon as
the messenger had retired.
"It's full a mile off."
"I must go, Edith," replied the minister. "If the distance were many
miles instead of one, it would be all the same. Duty calls."
And out into the driving storm the minister went, and toiled on his
lonely way through the deep snow to reach the bedside of a suffering
fellow man, who sought spiritual consolation in the hour of
sickness, from one whose temporal wants he had, while in health,
shown but little inclination to supply. That consolation offered, he
turned his face homeward again, and again breasted the unabated
storm. He found his wife in bed--something unusual for her at ten
o'clock--and, on laying his hand upon her face, discovered that she
was in a high fever. In alarm, he went for the doctor, who declined
going out, but sent medicine, and promised to come over in the
In the morning Mrs. Carroll was much worse, and unable to rise. To
dress the children and get breakfast, Mr. Carroll found to be tasks
of no very easy performance for him; and as soon as they were
completed, he called in a neighbor to stay with his wife while he
went in search of some one to come and take her place in the family
until she was able to go about again as usual.
That time, however, did not soon come. Weeks passed before she could
even sit up, and then she was so susceptible of cold, that even the
slightest draft of air into the room affected her; and so weak,
that, in attempting to mend a garment for one of her children, the
exertion caused her to faint away.
When Mrs. Carroll was taken sick, they had only fifteen dollars of
their quarter's salary left. It was but two weeks since they had
received it, yet nearly all was gone, for twenty-five dollars,
borrowed to meet expenses during the last month of the quarter, had
to be paid according to promise: shoes for nearly every member of
the family had to be purchased, besides warmer clothing for
themselves and children; and several little bills unavoidably
contracted, had to be settled. The extra expense of sickness, added
to the regular demand, soon melted away the trifling balance, and
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