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When the morning of Saturday arrived, oured to console myself by saying it would no change for the better had taken place, have been of no use even if I had endeavand it was with evident satisfaction that my oured to detain him. Beneath the all-seeing husband informed me of an engagement he eye of Omnipotence, how futile is this plea, had made for that day, to dine with a neigh- when no attempt has been made, not a finger bouring gentleman, who was more cele- stirred, not a word spoken, at the very mobrated for his wine than his wisdom. Now ment when a still small voice, was whisperwas the time for me to exert my influence, if ing “Now is the appointed time." I had any, to lay aside all putulant airs, and Oh! that we would be satisfied to fulfil our to show by the sacrifice of my own wounded simple part, and to leave the event in His pride, how sincere was my desire to promote hands “ with whom are the issues of life !" the interest of that cause, for which I had Had I, in the hour of trial, submitted to the once been so solicitous, that the day before dictates of duty, I might even on this most the Sabbath should be devoted to the ser- miserable evening of my life, have found vices of religion. But no. I could not, at some drops of sweetness in my cup: for then least, I would not, bring down my spirit to I could have lifted up my heart in prayer remind my husband of his duty; for it was with the consciousness of having done my impossible to do this without at the same best; and I too might have uttered the touchtime recalling the past days when I had ing and impressive language " though he been humble enough to make a favour of his slay me yet will I trust in him.” But now, concessions; and in the present state of my with a smitten and writhing spirit, I applied temper nothing could have been more gall myself to the painful task of preparing a sering than to make the acknowledgment, that mon for the next day's service. such a being, so lost to common sense, and Hour after hour passed on, and the Sabcommon decency, so prone to grovel in his bath came apace; but he who was to spread own egregious folly, could possibly confer a forth the tidings of the gospel to a listening favour upon me.

people was still at his unhallowed revels. I saw him linger even beyond his usual | At deep midnight I opened my window and time of trifling, I saw him come back into listened, and again, and again, until the grey the house before he mounted his horse, and dawn appeared in the east, and the birds even turn again as he passed the window; stretched forth their buoyant wings, and all but I made no answer either by look or nature awoke in freshness, and beauty, and sign to his evident desire to be recalled, and peace. At last I heard the sound of a horse, casting off the last weak longing after better right welcome as it came before the domesthings, he gave himself up to one desperate tics were abroad. I opened the door as resolution, and set spurs into his high-met- gently as I could, and the brisk morning air tled steed, the sound of whose galloping brought a touch of gladness on its wings. hoofs died away upon my ear, as I sat in si- The worst confirmation of our fears is a lent self-condemnation, musing upon the op- relief to the agony of suspense, the torture portunity I had thus perversely thrown of apprehension; and yet, when I saw my away. In spite of the many times I told my- husband staggering home with all that disself during the day that I had only done order of look and manner which remains af what every other woman of spirit would do, ter such a day, or rather such a night as he ii my heart was ill at ease; and when I sat had spent, and when I thought that in a few down to my solitary tea, I thought of the hours he must appear in public as a minister riotous board, where, at that very hour, my of a pure and holy religion, my beart sunk husband was drowning all recollection of within me, and oh! what bitter self-upbraid- | the past, and what was still worse, all anti- ings were mine, that I had done nothing, atcipation of the future. In vain I endeav- tempted nothing, to rescue him from such an

exposure, to spare that church which I pro- home, leaning on the arm of Mr. Ormorand. fessed to venerate, the stain of such a dis- | I could not meet them at the door, but stood grace.

up to receive them in the room, where I had If it be true that a man when intoxicated spent the last tedious and comfortless hour, always exhibits his natural disposition, my like a culprit who awaits his final sentence. husband must have been gifted with an un- “ Tell me the worst,” said I, seizing the common share of obstinacy: for when in this hand of Mr. Ormorand, who told me nothing, state it was impossible to divert him, still less but shook his head and answered gravely to force him, from any absurd determination and evidently with great distress, “This will he might take up. It was consequently vain not do." for me to attempt to convince him that he “Do not leave me," said I, for I felt utterly would be unable to go through with the helpless, and destitute of all comfort; and, usual service of the day, and when I pro- bursting into an agony of tears, I entreated posed to send over to a neighbouring cler- him to tell me all the fearful truth, for nogyman and ask him to take his duty for the thing could be worse than my apprehenmorning, he replied with indignation that he sions. wanted no interference with his duties.

The case was indeed bad enough, yet not What could be done in such a case! Once so glaring, but that many of the congregaI thought of sending for Mr. Ormorand, but tion were left to believe that my husband knowing my husband's antipathy to him and had been taken ill. What added peculiar his family I dared not even pronounce his poignancy to my distress, was to discover name, lest it should occasion some terrible that, from a kind and delicate regard to my explosion of rage.

feelings, and the shock they must have reWith that sickness of soul which makes the ceived on the evening of the terrible rupture hand tremble, and the knees grow weak, and with Lady St. Lewis, Mr. and Mrs. Ormothe brain reel with giddiness, I prepared to rand, had left their usual place of worship, accompany my husband to church. But it and attended our church that morning, with was in vain. My resolution failed me, and the generous intention of convincing me that while he was adjusting the reins, I stepped they, at least, could look charitably upon my back into the house saying that I did not feel husband's conduct. But this was a breach well enough to go.

of propriety, a violation of all moral and reHad the prayers of my heart that morning ligious feeling, for which they could find no been offered up in the spirit of true humility, palliation; and it was evident, that the calm I have little doubt but they would have been and well-regulated mind of Mr. Ormorand heard and accepted. Most assuredly they had been deeply shocked and wounded. were wrung out from a broken, if not from a “This must never be repeated,” said he, contrite spirit: but even in the agony of my as we walked together in the garden. “ It feelings I can well remember that I drew is worth any sacrifice of private peace to many conclusions about what certain indi- prevent”-he did not say what, but went on. viduals would think, and had much to com- “You must labour diligently and faithfully, bat with in my own mind, besides the over- and if your best endeavours cannot overcome whelming idea of the mockery which might, this dreadful propensity, I entreat you then at that very time, be offered to the throne of to apply all your energies, all your zeal, to mercy.

induce your husband voluntarily to resign a Absorbed in these gloomy reflections, I situation, from which he must in time be exwas seated with my eyes wandering over pelled.” And thus, with many strict charges the garden, the fields, and the fair prospect respecting my own vigilance and care, he before me; when, long before the usual time left me; and I turned into my own habitafor leaving church, I saw my husband led | tion on the noon of a smiling sabbath, when

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the cottager goes home from the house of speak fairly of his character, I desire to treat prayer; and all who value the privileges of my own with the same candour, and to a Christian community, acknowledge with prove that whatever his undisguised errors, thankfulness and joy the welcome influence or even sins might be, they were more than of a day of bodily rest, and spiritual refresh- balanced by those which I endeavoured to ment. I turned in to my own habitation, to conceal within my own heart; by the unsit down with a husband, whose senses, half pardonable presumption which led me on to drowned by recent intoxication, were still undertake his conversion, having never made dense and brutalized, and whose very coun- my own “calling and election eure;" by the tenance, retaining the mark of the beast, was rebellious and unsubdued pride in which I flushed, and distorted with fever, and burn- refused to fulfil the only conditions which ing thirst.

could produce a favourable change; and by Now, my friend, I believe you have had the contempt with which I looked down from experience enough in the deceitfulness of the my own fancied elevation upon his lost and world, more especially have seen enough of fallen state. that worst kind of deception by which we Severely, deeply, as my feelings were har endeavour to impose upon ourselves, to lead rowed by this last exposure, I still adopted you to join with me in deprecating the false no conciliatory measures, nor condescended delicacy by which women are accustomed to to enter upon an impartial examination of blind themselves to the true nature of vice. the root of the evil. Thus we speak of a gentleman, being gay, The next morning, I will venture to say, being under the excitement of wine, being did not rise upon any creature more wretchgood-hearted, but a little dissipated, an enemy ed than myself. I awoke with an indistinct to no one but himself; and thus we marry the sense of something impending over me, creatures whom we pity for such gentle something dreadful, that would happen, or errors, when we think we would not for the had already happened, and scarcely could world unite ourselves to a vicious, a drunken, the severest calamity that words might desor a bad man. Not that I would in any way cribe have been so intolerable in its oppresimply that, because of our own exemption siveness as that universal yet indefinite kind from glaring vices, we should look with un- of desolation which was made sufficiently charitable eye upon those whose temptations evident to my fully awakened thoughts. may have been incalculably more powerful “What am I, where am I, and what do I than ours; but oh! what weight, what dig- possess ?” are three appalling questions nity would be added to the character of which we not unfrequently ask ourselves on woman, if, when speaking of mankind, she first awaking from a long and heavy sleep. would raise her mind above that network of I had no answer by which to allay the annonsense which is used in polished society, guish of my heart, and when I arose, it was to throw a veil over those vices which cry but to take up again the weary burden of aloud for our deepest, our most fervent, most | the past day. persevering reprobation. I could draw a Under the pressure of affliction in which picture of what a gay man is in private life, no one can partake, and which we imagine but which of my fair sisters would not turn nothing can alleviate, we do not beguile the away her eyes, and say it was impossible time by tracing our accustomed walks in that her Lothario should ever resemble that grounds or gardens, but seek either the city

But enough of this. I wish not to expose or the solitude, the crowd or the wilderness ; my poor husband's transgressions more than because in both situations we feel ourselves is necessary for warning others from risking equally unobserved. In this state of mind I the same rash experiment, which plunged chose out for myself a melancholy retreat, me into the deepest despair; and while I where neither my husband nor my domestics

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were likely to find me. It was in a wild and change; and I insisted upon carrying the untrimmed plantation, where the grounds of pitcher, if her home was not far distant. the parsonage were bounded by a brook that “Oh! no," said she, with many apologies, murmured perpetually over a gravelly bed. “it is close by. Just at the skirt of the wood. There was no beauty in this scene except You may see the smoke beside that old tree. what the little brook and the wild weeds But still it is too far for you to carry such a gave it; yet here I used to sit on the moss- weight, and the way is not the cleanest.” covered stem of a fallen tree, envying the Here she hesitated; for there was evidently very birds, and the insects that winged their some other reason why she did not wish me flight around and above me. Even winter to go with her, and this exciting my curiosity, could not keep me from this spot, for I loved I persevered with my burden, which, had it its withered grass, and bright green moss, been imposed upon me, and not of my own and silvery lichen; but most of all, I loved choosing I should have thought intolerably

; to listen to the blast that roared amongst its heavy. leafless boughs.

The cottage to which our path led, was Here I was one day indulging the full beautifully situated, and at first I thought it bent of my distempered fancy, until at last presented a perfect picture ; so apt are we my thoughts broke forth in words.

to imagine that the cares and troubles, and “ Everything in nature,” said I, “ has some perplexities of life must necessarily be shut purpose to fulfil, some power to exercise, out from such picturesque and secluded resome impulse to obey, but me. I alone, of treats. On a nearer inspection, however, I all creation, live on from day to day, in a found an air of great poverty spread over perpetual imprisonment of soul.—Why, why the whole, and a slovenly appearance about was I ever animated with human life, when the door, that might soon have been done the very worm has an existence more envia- away by a strong and willing hand. ble than mine? The simplest denizen of air At the entrance of a little plot of garden, may 'flee away and be at rest;' the birds the old woman stopped and took the pitcher have their unwearied wings to bear them to from my hands, with many hearty thanks for a distant land: and the stream that murmurs

the service I had done her. idly at my feet, after meandering through a “May I not go in with you ?” said I. thousand meadows, finds a welcome in the “Oh! yes, ma'am if you please,” but she bosom of the ocean at last."

stopped again, and looked distressed. “I I had scarcely uttered these words when have a poor lassie,” said she (for they were my ear caught a rustling sound amongst the north country people) “who is just now in dead grass and fallen branches on the oppo- some trouble, and will not be much pleased site side of the brook, and I saw the figure to see the face of a stranger, but I am sure of an aged woman stooping down to fill a you are a kind-hearted lady, and you may pitcher with water. The bank was so damp be able to say something that will comfort and slippery that it would have been diffi- her.” cult to find safe footing even for one more We were standing but a few paces from light and agile. After many fruitless at- the door, though screened from the small tempts, she looked up, as if to see whether window, and while we hesitated about enany one was near of whom she might ask tering, I heard the following words sung in assistance, and half ashamed of my tardy of a sweet and plaintive voice by some one fer, I crossed the stream and stooped down within, who appeared to be unconscious of myself for the water.

a listener. There was to me a strange novelty in do

SONG. ing even this act of common kindness, which

“Listen! oh! listen! is Ronald returning? pleased me for the moment, as it brought a Hear ye the soun

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his step

th

lea ?

Come again, lost one, the bright fire is burning,

will bring us all to ruin !" and she, too, wept, The hearth is swept clean in thy cottage for thee.

without any attempt al concealment. “ Sad is the night, and the morning how dreary;

“And yet," continued she, “it is not so Dark is the sun-rise when Ronald's a way;

much the loss of worldly comfort, though that Come again lov'd one, my bosom is weary, Pining to welcome thee through the long day.

is going fast; but there's his own soul to think “Where is my joy if thy smiie is not near me?

about, poor fellow, and the bairns that should Where is my hope if thou wilt not return?

be looking up to him, and Jenny's health, Vainly my bonny bairn's lisping would cheer me,

she’s pining away daily, and the more I talk Vuinly my mother's bright ingle would burn.

to her of heaven, the more she frets about " Where are the sunbeams that danced on the mountain ?

her husband and her children. You should Where is the moonlight that slept in the vale?

have seen her when she married. The Where is the sparkling foam of the fountain ? The music that sigh'd in the whispering gale ?

sweetest face—the lightest foot-you never

heard the lark carol on a May morning with “Where are the songs I have heard the birds singing? When all was melody tun’d to mine ear?

a gayer heart than hers.” Now every note a sad burden is bringing,

“Oh! my dear Lady, it needs faith," and Warbling of spring-time, while winter is near.

she fixed her eyes intently on my face,-“ it “Where, bonny babe, is thy wandering father ? needs faith to bear these things day after Close thy sweet eye-lids, and hush thee to rest,

day, and yet to say in our nightly prayers, Ask me no more, hapless thing; I would rather Lull thee to sleep on this comfortless breast.

'thy will be done.'» " Come again Ronald, the bright fire is burning,

“I have lived to the age of threescore Thy wise and thy mother are watching for thee; years, and my life has been none of the Come again loved on thy joyful returning

smoothest. Sometimes I have known poverBrings beauty to nature, and gladness to me."

ty, and sometimes comfort, but I have always “Oh! that's her way,” said the old wo- had need enough to lean upon the only arn

“When she's left alone it lightens that was able to support me; yet, I can truher poor heart to sing these dismal ditties, ly say, without any wish to complain more if she thinks no one can hear her. But come than is necessary, that to console my poor in, my good lady, you must not stand here daughter, and to keep her thoughts steady in the cold."

to the true point, is the hardest task I have The sound of our steps at the door brought ever had yet. Perhaps you have never the young woman in an instant from the fire- known trouble, ma'am. Perhaps you have side, where she had been sitting with her never been disappointed, nor found yourself baby in her arms. There was at first a bound up as it were with the tares, when bright flash of expectation in her looks, which you thought you should have stood among faded away on seeing who we were, and the wheat. If so, you will be tired of hearthough she welcomed us in with civility and ing me talk about what you do not (and I kindness, I saw her often turn away to wipe pray you never may) understand. But off the tears that were continually gathering sometimes it is a relief to tell our troubles

At last she retired into an in- to a stranger, for it seems almost as if a ner room, and I was left at liberty to ask new face would bring some new consolaher mother what was the cause of her dis- tion. tress.

"I am not tired of hearing you, indeed," “It's a long story,” said the old woman, said I, “go on, and tell me all about your "and one that is too common for you to lis

man.

in her eyes.

ten to ; but the shortest and the worst part There's little to be said of her, poor thing,

of it is, that my poor Jenny has a drunken husband. He was a bonny Scotch lad when we first knew him, and even now he has the kindest heart; but oh! these sad ways of his

more than may be said of many who have no one to speak for them. She was brought up in a careful way, and yet married just for love, without, as she often says now, so much

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