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The Lights and Shadows of Real Life
by T.S. Arthur
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"Eleven, are there not?"

"Eleven!" ejaculated Mrs. Wade, looking towards the man in unfeigned surprise.

"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 exclaimed—

"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 farmer's shoulder.

"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 somewhere else?"

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 journey.

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 arm.

"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 comfortable here."

"But you are in the pulpit! You are in the pulpit, sir!"

"Oh, never mind. It is very comfortable here." And the man remained immovable.

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 stood.

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?"

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 one asked—

"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 daughter.

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 appearance.

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 emphasis.

"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 my words."

"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 Crawford."

"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 another boarding-house."

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 town."

"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 moments, read:

"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 passage out."

Logan sat thoughtful a moment, and than said, as he arose to his feet.

"Agreed. It'll be the best thing for us, as well as for our families."

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 the world.

"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 you."

"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 work."

"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 body.

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 place?"

"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 away.

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 his friend.

"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 particularly winning.

"It is Henry, is it?"

"Yes, sir,"

"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 wall.

"Do you know who I am, dear?" repeated Mr. Crawford.

"No, sir," replied the child; and then again turned to gaze upon the picture.

"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 all."

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 out."

"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 door."

"Won't you go with me?"

"I would with pleasure—but I cannot leave home. I have so much to do."

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 encouraging words.

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 daughter.

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 overshadowed me.

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 this.

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 slightest interest.

"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 ill."

"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, I believe."

"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 mind.

"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 present circumstances."

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 husband's solicitude.

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?"

"No ma'am,"

"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 ears!

"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, awakened.

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 widow.

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.

THE CALL.



"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. Carroll.

"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 flame."

"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 plain dictate?"

"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 steps."

"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 much."

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 the subject."

"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 bear?"

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 troubled."

"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 believing."

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.



THE CHANGE.



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 arms.

"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 morning.

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 Mr. Carroll found himself, with his wife still unable to leave her room—in fact, scarcely able to sit up—penniless and almost hopeless.—His faith had grown weak—his confidence was gone—his spirits were broken. Daily he prayed for strength to bear up; for a higher trust in Providence; for light upon his dark pathway.—But no strength came, no confidence was created, no light shone upon his way. And for this we need not wonder. It was no day of miracles, as his wife had forewarned him. He had, as too many do, hoped for sustenance in a field of labor where reason could find no well-grounded hope. He knew that he could not live on three hundred a year; yet he had accepted the offer, in the vain hope that all would come out well!

The last shilling left the hand of the unhappy minister, and at least six weeks remained before another quarter's salary became due. He could not let his family starve; so, after much thought, he finally determined to call the vestry together, frankly state his case, and tell his brethren that it was impossible for him to live on the small sum they allowed.

A graver meeting of the vestry of Y—parish had not for a long time taken place. As for an increase of salary, that was declared to be out of the question entirely. They had never paid any one over three hundred dollars, which, with the parsonage, had always been considered a very liberal compensation. They were very sorry for Mr. Carroll, and would advance him a quarter's salary. But all increase was out of the question. They knew the people would not hear to it. The meeting then broke up, and the official members of the church walked gravely away, while Mr. Carroll went home, feeling so sad and dispirited, that he almost wished that he could die.

The Parish of Y—was not rich; though six hundred dollars could have been paid to a minister with as little inconvenience to the members as three hundred. But the latter sum was considered ample; and much surprise was manifested when it was found that the new minister asked for an increase, even before the first year of his engagement had expired.

The face of his wife had never looked so pale, her cheeks so thin, nor her eyes so sunken, to the minister, as when he came home from this mortifying and disheartening meeting of the vestry. One of those present was the very person he had gone a mile to visit on the night of the snow-storm; and he had more to say that hurt him than any of the rest.

"Edith," said Mr. Carroll, taking the thin hand of his wife, as he sat down by her and looked sadly into her face, "we must leave here."

"Must we? Why?" she asked, without evincing very marked surprise.

"We cannot live on three hundred a year."

"Where will we go?"

"Heaven only knows! But we cannot remain here!"

And as the minister said this, he bowed his head until his face rested upon the arm of his wife. He tried to hide his emotion, but Edith knew that tears were upon the cheeks of her husband.



THE SEQUEL.



JUST one year has elapsed, since Mr. Carroll accepted the call from Y—. It has been a year of trouble, ending in deep affliction. When the health of Mrs. Carroll yielded under her too heavy burdens, it did not come back again. Steadily she continued to sink, after the first brief rallying of her system, until it became hopelessly apparent that the time of her departure was near at hand. She was too fragile a creature to be thrown into the position she occupied. Inheriting a delicate constitution, and raised with even an unwise tenderness, she was no more fitted to be a pastor's wife, with only three hundred a year to live upon, than a summer flower is to take the place of a hardy autumn plant. This her husband should have known and taken into the account, before he decided to accept the call from Y—.

When it was found that Mrs. Carroll, after partially recovering from her first severe attack, began, gradually to sink; a strong interest in her favor was awakened among the ladies of the congregation, and they showed her many kind attentions. But all these attentions, and all this kindness, did not touch the radical disability under which she was suffering. They did not remove her too heavy weight of care and labor. All the help in her family that she felt justified in employing, was a girl between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and this left so much for her to do in the care of her children, and in necessary household duties that she suffered all the time from extreme physical exhaustion.

In the just conviction of the error he had committed, and while he felt the hopelessness of his condition, Mr. Carroll, as has been seen, resolved to leave Y—immediately. This design he hinted to one of the members of his church.

"You engaged with us for a year, did you not?" enquired the member.

That settled the question in the mind of the unhappy minister. He said no more to any one on the subject of his income, or about leaving the parish. But his mind was made up not to remain a single day, after his contract had expired. If in debt at the time, as he knew he must be, he would free himself from the incumbrances by selling a part of his household furniture. Meantime his liveliest fears were aroused for his wife, as symptom after symptom of a rapid decline, showed themselves. That he did not preach as good sermons, nor visit as freely among his parishioners during the last three months of the time he remained at Y—, is no matter of surprise. Some, more considerate than the rest, excused him; but others complained, even to the minister himself. No matter. Mr. Carroll had too much at home to fill his heart to leave room for a troubled pulsation on this account. He was conscience-clear on the score of obligation to his parishioners.

At last, and this before the year had come to its close, the drooping wife and mother took to her bed, never again to leave it until carried forth by the mourners. We will not pain the reader by any details of the affecting scenes attendant upon the last few weeks of her mortal life; nor take him to the bed-side of the dying one, in the hour that she passed away. To state the fact that she died, is enough—and painful enough.

For all this, it did not occur to the people of Y—that, in anything they had been lacking. They had never given but three hundred a year to a minister, and, as a matter of course, considered the sum as much as a reasonable man could expect. As for keeping a clergyman in luxury, and permitting him to get rich; they did not think it consistent with the office he held, which required self-denial and a renouncing of the world. As to how he could live on so small a sum, that was a question rarely asked; and when presented, was put to rest by some backhanded kind of an answer, that left the matter as much in the dark as ever.

Notwithstanding the deep waters of affliction through which Mr. Carroll was required to pass, his Sabbath duties were but once omitted, and that on the day after he had looked for the last time upon the face of his lost one. Four Sabbaths more he preached, and then, in accordance with notice a short time previously given, resigned his pastoral charge. There were many to urge him with great earnestness not to leave them; but a year's experience enabled him to see clearer than he did before, and to act with greater decision. In the hope of retaining him, the vestry strained a point, and offered to make the salary three hundred and fifty dollars. But much to their surprise, the liberal offer was refused.

It happened that the Bishop of the Diocese came to visit Y—a week before Mr. Carroll intended taking his departure with his motherless children, for his old home, where a church had been offered him in connexion with a school. To him, three or four prominent members of the church complained that the minister was mercenary, and looked more to the loaves and fishes than to the duty of saving souls.

"Mercenary!" said the Bishop, with a strong expression of surprise.

"Yes, mercenary," repeated his accusers.

"So far from it," said the Bishop, warmly, "he has paid more during the year, for supporting the Gospel in Y—, than any five men in the parish put together."

"Mr. Carroll has!"

"How much do you give?" addressing one.

"I pay ten dollars pew rent, and give ten extra, besides," was the answer.

"And you," speaking to another.

"The same."

"And you?"

"Thirty dollars, in all."

"While," said the Bishop, speaking with increased warmth, "your minister gave two hundred dollars."

This, of course, took them greatly by surprise, and they asked for an explanation. "It is given in a few words," returned the Bishop. "It cost him, though living in the most frugal manner, five hundred dollars for the year. Of this, you paid three hundred, and he two hundred dollars."

"I don't understand you, Bishop," said one.

"Plainly, then; he was in debt at the end of the year, two hundred dollars, for articles necessary for the health and comfort of his family, to pay which he has sold a large part of his furniture. He was not working for himself, but for you, and, therefore, actually paid two hundred dollars for the support of the Gospel in Y—, while you paid but twenty or thirty dollars apiece. Under these circumstances, my friends, be assured that the charge of being mercenary, comes with an exceeding bad grace. Nor is this all that he has sacrificed. An insufficient income threw upon his wife, duties beyond her strength to bear; and she sunk under them. Had you stepped forward in time, and lightened these duties by a simple act of justice, she night still be living to bless her husband and children!—Three hundred a year for a man with a wife and three children, is not enough; and you know it, my brethren! Not one of you could live on less than double the sum."

This rebuke came with a stunning force upon the ears of men who had expected the Bishop to agree with them in their complaint, and had its effect. On the day Mr. Carroll left the village, he received a kind and sympathetic letter from the official members of the church enclosing the sum of two hundred dollars. The first impulse of his natural feelings was to return the enclosure, but reflection showed him that such an act would be wrong; and so he retained it, after such acknowledgments as he deemed the occasion required.

Back to his old home the minister went, but with feelings, how different, alas! from those he had experienced on leaving for Y—. The people among whom he had labored for a year, felt as if they had amply paid him for all the service he had rendered; in fact had overpaid him, as if money, doled out grudgingly, could compensate for all he had sacrificed and suffered, in his effort to break for them the Bread of Life.

Here is one of the phases of ministerial life, presented with little ornament or attractiveness. There are many other phases, more pleasant to look upon, and far more flattering to the good opinion we are all inclined to entertain of ourselves. But it is not always best to look upon the fairest side. The cold reality of things, it is needful that we should sometimes see. The parish of Y—, does not, by any means, stand alone. And Mr. Carroll is not, the only man who has suffered wrong from the hands of those who called him to minister in spiritual things, yet neglected duly to provide for the natural and necessary wants of the body.



I'LL SEE ABOUT IT.



MR. EASY sat alone in his counting room, one afternoon, in a most comfortable frame, both as regards mind and body. A profitable speculation in the morning had brought the former into a state of great complacency, and a good dinner had done all that was required for the repose of the latter. He was in that delicious, half asleep, half awake condition, which, occurring after dinner, is so very pleasant. The newspaper, whose pages at first possessed a charm for his eye, had fallen, with the hand that held—it, upon his knee. His head was gently reclined backwards against the top of a high, leather cushioned chair; while his eyes, half opened, saw all things around him but imperfectly. Just at this time the door was quietly opened, and a lad of some fifteen or sixteen years, with a pale, thin face, high forehead, and large dark eyes, entered. He approached the merchant with a hesitating step, and soon stood directly before him.

Mr. Easy felt disturbed at this intrusion, for so he felt it. He knew the lad to be the son of a poor widow, who had once seen better circumstances than those that now surrounded her. Her husband had, while living, been his intimate friend, and he had promised him, at his dying hour, to be the protector and adviser of his wife and children. He had meant to do all he promised, but, not being very fond of trouble, except where stimulated to activity by the hope of gaining some good for himself, he had not been as thoughtful in regard to Mrs. Mayberry as he ought to have been. She was a modest, shrinking, sensitive woman, and had, notwithstanding her need of a friend and adviser, never called upon Mr. Easy, or even sent to request him to act for her in any thing, except once. Her husband had left her poor. She knew little of the world. She had three quite young children, and one, the oldest, about sixteen. Had Mr. Easy been true to his pledge, he might have thrown many a ray upon her dark path, and lightened her burdened heart of many a doubt and fear. But he had permitted more than a year to pass since the death of her husband, without having once called upon her. This neglect had not been intentional. His will was good but never active at the present moment. "To-morrow," or "next week," or "very soon," he would call upon Mrs. Mayberry; but to-morrow, or next week, or very soon, had never yet come.

As for the widow, soon after her husband's death, she found that poverty was to be added to affliction. A few hundred dollars made up the sum of all that she received after the settlement of his business, which had never been in a very prosperous condition. On this, under the exercise of extreme frugality, she had been enabled to live for nearly a year. Then the paucity of her little store made it apparent to her mind that individual exertion was required directed towards procuring the means of support for her little family. Ignorant of the way in which this was to be done, and having no one to advise her, nearly two months more passed before she could determine what to do. By that time she had but a few dollars left, and was in a state of great mental distress and uncertainty. She then applied for work at some of the shops, and obtained common sewing, but at prices that could not yield her any thing like a support.

Hiram, her oldest son, had been kept at school up to this period. But now she had to withdraw him. It was impossible any longer to pay his tuition fees. He was an intelligent lad—active in mind, and pure in his moral principles. But like his mother; sensitive, and inclined to avoid observation. Like her, too, he had a proud independence of feeling, that made him shrink from asking or accepting a favor, putting himself under an obligation to any one. He first became aware of his mother's true condition, when she took him from school, and explained the reason for so doing. At once his mind rose into the determination to do something to aid his mother. He felt a glowing confidence, arising from the consciousness of strength within. He felt that he had both the will and the power to act, and to act efficiently.

"Don't be disheartened, mother," he said, with animation. "I can and will do something. I can help you. You have worked for me a great many years. Now I will work for you."

Where there is a will, there is a way. But it is often the case, that the will lacks the kind of intelligence that enables it to find the right way at once. So it proved in the case of Hiram Mayberry. He had a strong enough will, but did not know how to bring it into activity. Good, without its appropriate truth, is impotent. Of this the poor lad soon became conscious. To the question of his mother—

"What can you do, child!" an answer came not so readily.

"Oh, I can do a great many things," was easily said; but, even in saying so, a sense of inability followed the first thought of what he should do, that the declaration awakened.

The will impels, and then the understanding seeks for the means of affecting the purposes of the will. In the case of young Hiram, thought followed affection. He pondered for many days over the means by which he was to aid his mother. But, the more he thought, the more conscious did he become, that, in the world, he was a weak boy. That however strong might be his purpose, his means of action were limited. His mother could aid him but little. She had but one suggestion to make, and that was, that he should endeavor, to get a situation in some store, or counting room. This he attempted to do. Following her direction, he called upon Mr. Easy, who promised to see about looking him up a situation. It happened, the day after, that a neighbor spoke to him about a lad for his store—(Mr. Easy had already forgotten his promise)—Hiram was recommended, and the man called to see his mother.

"How much salary can you afford to give him?" asked Mrs. Mayberry, after learning all about the situation, and feeling satisfied that her son should accept of it.

"Salary, ma'am?" returned the storekeeper, in a tone of surprise. "We never give a boy any salary for the first year. The knowledge that is acquired of business is always considered a full compensation. After the first year, if he likes us, and we like him, we may give him seventy-five or a hundred dollars."

Poor Mrs. Mayberry's countenance fell immediately.

"I wouldn't think of his going out now, if it were not in the hope of his earning something," she said in a disappointed voice.

"How much did you expect him to earn?" was asked by the storekeeper.

"I didn't know exactly what to expect. But I supposed that he might earn four or five dollars a week."

"Five dollars a week is all we pay our porter, an able bodied, industrious man," was returned. "If you wish your son to become acquainted with mercantile business, you must not expect him to earn much for three or four years. At a trade you may receive for him barely a sufficiency to board and clothe him, but nothing more."

This declaration so dampened the feelings of the mother that she could not reply for some moments. At length she said—

"If you will take my boy with the understanding, that, in case I am not able to support him, or hear of a situation where a salary can be obtained, you will let him leave your employment without hard feelings, he shall go into your store at once."

To this the man consented, and Hiram Mayberry went with him according to agreement. A few weeks passed, and the lad, liking both the business and his employer, his mother felt exceedingly anxious for him to remain. But she sadly feared that this could not be. Her little store was just about exhausted, and the most she had yet been able to earn by working for the shops, was a dollar and a half a week. This was not more than sufficient to buy the plainest food for her little flock. It would not pay rent, nor get clothing. To meet the former, recourse was had to the sale of her husband's small, select library. Careful mending kept the younger children tolerably decent, and by altering for him the clothes left by his father, she was able to keep Hiram in a suitable condition, to appear at the store of his employer.

Thus matters went on for several months. Mrs. Mayberry working late and early. The natural result was, a gradual failure of strength. In the morning, when she awoke, she would feel so languid and heavy, that to rise required a strong effort, and even after she was up, and attempted to resume her labors, her trembling frame almost refused to obey the dictates of her will. At length, nature gave way. One morning she was so sick that she could not rise. Her head throbbed with a dizzy, blinding pain—her whole body ached, and her skin burned with fever. Hiram got something for the children to eat, and then taking the youngest, a little girl about two years old, into the house of a neighbor who had showed them some good will, asked her if she would take care of his sister until he returned home at dinner time. This the neighbor readily consented to do—promising, also, to call in frequently to see his mother.

At dinner time Hiram found his mother quite ill. She was no better at night. For three days the fever raged violently. Then, under the careful treatment of their old family physician, it was subdued. After that she gradually recovered, but very slowly. The physician said she must not attempt again to work as she had done. This injunction was scarcely necessary. She had not the strength to do so.

"I don't see what you will do, Mrs. Mayberry," a neighbor who had often aided her by kind advice, said, in reply to the widows statement of her unhappy condition. "You cannot maintain these children, certainly. And I don't see how, in your present feeble state, you are going to maintain yourself. There is but one thing that I can advise, and that advice I give with reluctance. It is to endeavor to get two of your children into some orphan asylum. The youngest you may be able to keep with you. The oldest can support himself at something or other."

The pale cheek of Mrs. Mayberry grew paler at this proposition. She half sobbed, caught her breath, and looked her adviser with a strange, bewildered stare in the face.

"O, no! I cannot do that! I cannot be separated from my dear little children. Who will care for them like a mother?"

"It is hard, I know, Mrs. Mayberry. But necessity is a stern ruler. You cannot keep them with you—that is certain. You have not the strength to provide them with even the coarsest food. In an asylum, with a kind matron, they will be better off than under any other circumstances."

But Mrs. Mayberry shook her head.

"No—no—no," she replied—"I cannot think of such a thing. I cannot be separated from them. I shall soon be able to work again—better able than before."

The neighbor who felt deeply for her, did not urge the matter. When Hiram returned at dinner time, his face had in it a more animated expression than usual.

"Mother," he said, as soon as he came in, "I heard today that a boy was wanted at the Gazette office, who could write a good hand. The wages were to be four dollars a week."

"You did!" Mrs. Mayberry said, quickly, her weak frame trembling, although she struggled hard to be composed.

"Yes. And Mr. Easy is well acquainted with the publisher, and could get me the place, I am sure."

"Then go and see him at once, Hiram. If you can secure it, all will be well, if not, your little brothers and sisters will have to be separated, perhaps sent to an orphan asylum."

Mrs. Mayberry covered her face with her hands and sobbed bitterly for some moments.

Hiram eat his frugal meal quickly, and returned to the store, where he had to remain until his employer went home and dined. On his return he asked liberty to be absent for half an hour, which was granted. He then went direct to the counting room of Mr. Easy, and disturbed him as has been seen. Approaching with a timid step, and a flushed brow, he said in a confused and hurried manner—

"Mr Easy there is a lad wanted at the Gazette office."

"Well?" returned Mr. Easy in no very cordial tone.

"Mother thought you would be kind enough to speak to Mr. G—for me."

"Havn't you a place in a store?"

"Yes sir. But I don't get any wages. And at the Gazette office they will pay four dollars a week."

"But the knowledge of business to be gained where you are, will be worth a great deal more than four dollars a week."

"I know that, sir. But mother is not able to board and clothe me. I must earn something."

"Oh, aye, that's it. Very well, I'll see about it for you."

"When shall I call, sir?" asked Hiram.

"When? Oh, almost any time. Say to-morrow or next day."

The lad departed, and Mr. Easy's head fell back upon the chair, the impression which had been made upon his mind passing away almost as quickly as writing upon water.

With anxious trembling hearts did Mrs. Mayberry and her son wait for the afternoon of the succeeding day. On the success of Mr. Easy's application, rested all their hopes. Neither she nor Hiram eat over a few mouthfuls at dinner time. The latter hurried away, and returned to the store, there to wait with trembling eagerness until his employer should return from dinner, and he again be free to go and see Mr. Easy.

To Mrs. Mayberry, the afternoon passed slowly. She had forgotten to tell her son to return home immediately, if the application should be successful. He did not come back, and she had, consequently, to remain in a state of anxious suspense until dark. He came in at the usual hour. His dejected countenance told of disappointment.

"Did you see Mr. Easy?" Mrs. Mayberry asked, in a low troubled voice.

"Yes. But he hadn't been to the Gazette office. He said he had been very busy. But that he would see about it soon."

Nothing more was said. The mother and son, after sitting silent and pensive during the evening, retired early to bed. On the next day, urged on by his anxious desire to get the situation of which he had heard, Hiram again called at the counting room of Mr. Easy, his heart trembling with hope and fear. There were two or three men present. Mr. Easy cast upon him rather an impatient look as he entered. His appearance had evidently annoyed the merchant. Had he consulted his feelings, he would have retired at once. But that was too much at stake. Gliding to a corner of the room, he stood, with his hat in his hand, and a look of anxiety upon his face, until Mr. Easy was disengaged. At length the gentlemen with whom he was occupied went away, and Mr. Easy turned towards the boy. Hiram looked up earnestly in his face.

"I have really been so much occupied my lad," the merchant said, in a kind of apologetic tone, "as to have entirely forgotten my promise to you. But I will see about it. Come in again, to-morrow."

Hiram made no answer, but turned with a sigh towards the door. The keen disappointment expressed in the boy's face, and the touching quietness of his manner, reached the feelings of Mr. Easy. He was not a hard hearted man, but selfishly indifferent to others. He could feel deeply enough if he would permit himself to do so. But of this latter failing he was not often guilty.

"Stop a minute," he said. And then stood in a musing attitude for a moment or two. "As you seem so anxious about this matter," he added, "if you will wait here a little while, I will step down to see Mr. G—at once."

The boy's face brightened instantly. Mr. Easy saw the effect of what he said, and it made the task he was about entering upon reluctantly, an easy one. The boy waited for nearly a quarter of an hour, so eager to know the result that he could not compose himself to sit down. The sound of Mr. Easy's step at the door at length made his heart bound. The merchant entered. Hiram looked into his face. One glance was sufficient to dash every dearly cherished hope to the ground.

"I am sorry," Mr. Easy said, "but the place was filled this morning. I was a little too late."

The boy was unable to control his feelings. The disappointment was too great. Tears gushed from his eyes, as he turned away and left the counting-room without speaking.

"I'm afraid I've done wrong," said Mr. Easy to himself, as he stood, in a musing attitude, by his desk, about five minutes after Hiram had left. "If I had seen about the situation when he first called upon me, I might have secured it for him. But it's too late now."

After saying this the merchant placed his thumbs in the arm-holes of his waistcoat, and commenced walking the floor of his counting room backwards and forwards. He could not get out of his mind the image of the boy as he turned from him in tears, nor drive away thoughts of the friend's widow whom he had neglected. This state of mind continued all the afternoon. Its natural effect was to cause him to cast about in his mind for some way of getting employment for Hiram that would yield immediate returns. But nothing presented itself.

"I wonder if I couldn't make room for him here?" he at length said—"He looks like a bright boy. I know Mr.—is highly pleased with him. He spoke of getting four dollars a week. That's a good deal to give to a mere lad. But, I suppose I might make him worth that to me. And now I begin to think seriously about the matter, I believe I cannot keep a clear conscience and any longer remain indifferent to the welfare of my old friend's widow and children. I must look after them a little more closely than I have heretofore done."

This resolution relieved the mind of Mr. Easy a good deal.

When Hiram left the counting room of the merchant, his spirits were crushed to the very earth. He found his way back, how he hardly knew, to his place of business, and mechanically performed the tasks allotted him, until evening.

Then he returned home, reluctant to meet his mother, and yet anxious to relieve her state of suspense, even, if in doing so, he should dash a last hope from her heart. When he came in Mrs. Mayberry lifted her eyes to his, inquiringly; but dropped them instantly—she needed no words to tell her that he had suffered a bitter disappointment.

"You did not get the place?" she at length said, with forced composure.

"No—It was taken this morning. Mr. Easy promised to see about it. But he didn't do so. When he went this afternoon, it was too late."

Hiram said this with a trembling voice and lips that quivered.

"Thy will be done!" murmured the widow, lifting her eyes upwards. "If these tender ones are to be taken from their mother's fold, oh, do thou temper for them the piercing blast, and be their shelter amid the raging tempests."

A tap at the door brought back the thoughts of Mrs. Mayberry. A brief struggle with her feelings enabled her to overcome them in time to receive a visitor with composure. It was the merchant.

"Mr. Easy!" she said in surprise.

"Mrs. Mayberry, how do you do!" There was some restraint and embarrassment in his manner. He was conscious of having neglected the widow of his friend, before he came. The humble condition in which he found her, quickened that consciousness into a sting.

"I am sorry, madam," he said after he had become seated and made a few inquiries, "that I did not get the place for your son. In fact, I am to blame in the matter. But, I have been thinking since that he would suit me exactly, and if you have no objections, I will take him and pay him a salary of two hundred dollars for the first year."

Mrs. Mayberry tried to reply, but her feelings were too much excited by this sudden and unlooked for proposal, to allow her to speak for some moments. Even then her assent was made with tears glistening on her cheeks.

Arrangements were quickly made for the transfer of Hiram from the store where he had been engaged, to the counting room of Mr. Easy. The salary he received was just enough to enable Mrs. Mayberry, with what she herself earned, to keep her little together, until Hiram, who proved a valuable assistant in Mr. Easy's business, could command a larger salary, and render her more important hid.



THE FIERY TRIAL.



"THE amount of that bill, if you please, sir."

The man thus unceremoniously addressed, lifted his eyes from the ledger, over which he had been bending for the last six hours, with scarcely the relaxation of a moment, and exhibited a pale, care-worn countenance—and, though still young, a head over which were thickly scattered the silver tokens of age. A sad smile played over his intelligent features, a smile meant to shake the sternness of the man who was troubling his peace, as he replied in a low, calm voice—

"To-day, it will be impossible, sir."

"And how many times have you given me the same answer. I cannot waste my time by calling day after day, for so paltry a sum."

A flush passed over the fine countenance of the man thus rudely addressed. But he replied in the same low tone, which now slightly trembled:

"I would not ask you to call, sir, if I had the money But what I have not, I cannot give."

"And pray when will you have the money?" The man paused for some time, evidently calculating the future, and after a long-drawn sigh, as if disappointed with the result, said:—

"It will be two or three months, before I can pay it and even then, it will depend on a contingency."

"Two or three months?—a contingency? It must come quicker and surer than that, sir."

"That is the best I can say."

"But not the best I can do, I hope.—Good-morning." After the collector had gone, the man bent his head down, until his face rested even upon the ponderous volume over which he had been poring for hours. He thought, and thought, but thought brought no relief. The most he could earn was ten dollars a week, and for his children, two sweet babes, and for the comfort of a sick wife, he had to expend the full sum of his wages. The debt for which he was now troubled, was a rent-bill of forty dollars, held against him by a man whose annual income was twenty thousand dollars. Finally, he concluded to go and see Mr. Moneylove, and try to prevail upon him to stop any proceedings that the collector might institute against him. In the evening, he sought the dwelling of his rich creditor, and after being ushered into his splendid parlour, waited with a troubled heart for his appearance. Mr. Moneylove entered.

"How do you do, sir?"

"How do you do?" replied the debtor, in a low, troubled voice. The manner of Mr. Moneylove changed, the moment he heard the peculiar tone of his voice, although he did not know him. There was an appealing language in its cadence that whispered a warning to his ear, and he closed his heart on the instant.

"Well, sir," were his next words, "what is your will?"

"You hold a bill against me for rent."

"Well, sir, go to my agent."

"I have seen Mr.—."

"That will do, sir. He knows all about my business, and will arrange to my entire satisfaction."

"But, sir, I cannot pay it now, and he threatens harsh measures."

"I have entire confidence in his judgment, sir, and am willing to leave all such matters to his discretion."

"I am in trouble, sir, and in poverty beside, for the demands on me are greater than I can meet."

"Your own fault, I suppose," retorted the landlord, with a sneer. "That, any one might know, who took half a glance at you."

This remark caused the blood to mount suddenly to the face of the man.

"Let me be judged by what I am, not by what I have been," was the meek reply, after the troubled pause of a few moments. Then in a more decided tone of voice, he said:—

"Will you not interfere?"

"Will I? No! I never interfere with my agent. He gives me entire satisfaction, and while he does so, I shall not interfere." And Mr. Moneylove smiled with self-satisfaction at the idea of his careful and thrifty agent, and his own worldly policy.

The petitioner slowly left the house—murmuring to himself: "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." It was more than an hour before he could compose his mind sufficiently to be able to meet his wife with a countenance that was not too deeply shadowed with care.

She was ill, and besides, under the pressure of many causes, was suffering from a nervous lowness of spirits. Against this depression, her husband saw that she was striving with all the mental energy she possessed, but striving almost in vain. To know that she even had cause for the exercise of such an internal power, was, to him, painful in the extreme; and he was bitter in his self-reproaches for being the cause of suffering to one he loved with a pure and fervent love.

Turning, at last, resolutely towards his dwelling, and striving with a strong effort to keep down the troubles that were sweeping in rough waves over his spirit; it was not long before he set his foot upon his own doorstone.

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