Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

be deprived of the sight of both her sons. 10,' she often said, with emphasis, it cannot be that God will forbid me ever again to behold those dear objects of my love, and yet continue them on earth, while I know not where they are! O, for support under so heavy a chastisement.'

When she saw friends who enjoyed the society of sons at home, she was often tempted to repine at the allotment of heaven in regard to herself, while she envied the happiness of those whom it pleased a just God to favor with the blessings of which she had been deprived. Her will was not yet subdued. She would not, could not, as she then thought, feel reconciled.

From Loraine she heard frequently, and as often learned that he was happy and prosperous. The effect made upon his mind by what occurrud after he was wounded in battle, was permanent; and, ever after those events, he gladly acknowledged the interposing hand of his merciful Creator. His letters were a source of great comfort to Mrs. Nelson ; as was also the society of Salina and her younger children. Perhaps one reason of this was, that she had avoided some of the errors into which she had fallen in the training of her elder children. Though she understood not the spirituality of the Bible, at this period, she admired its precepts, and strove to make her children acquainted with its interesting pages.

The reader may have inferred, ere now, that Mrs. Nel. son had already suffered as much or more than generally falls to the lot of one of the children of men. The inference is in accordance with the experience of the multitude ; still, it is true, that this lady was, after this time, called to taste afresh the bitter, bitter cup.

Trials she passed through, which, though intensely severe, she always, after they were past, regarded as the means of her highest good.

CHAPTER X.

Unfortunate Occurrence - Death of Loraine Shays' Rebellion -

Humorous Letter.

The last marriage of Mrs. Nelson was entered into from motives of personal convenience on her part, consequently there was little happiness experienced in this unfortunate union.

Year after year glided by, and each revolving season only increased the want of sympathy between the parties. The disparity in their ages became more and more conspicuous as they grew older, and not unfrequently was the pride of the husband wounded by an ill-bred expression of surprise at the manifest difference in the appearance of this couple, made by unthinking yet observing individuals.

Mr. Nelson, by degrees, became less solicitous to please his companion, and less careful in respect to wounding her feelings ; and not unfrequently would he repeat to her some coarse remark which he had heard made in regard to her, that would greatly irritate his wife, and give rise to many unpleasant words between them.

Mrs. Nelson, when too late, realized the fact that in forming this connection she had overlooked the most important of all considerations -- that of sustaining her dignity in the eyes of those over whom she was called to

exert an influence. She wept in secret, yet was too proud to admit that she had been the means of her own unhappi

ness.

One day, as her husband and herself were seated at the tea-table with the rest of the family, some slight remark was carelessly dropped by Mr. Nelson, which his companion interpreted into a reproach upon herself. Her feelings were irritated, and in presence of the whole family she accused him of unkindness and want of regard for her. He replied by saying, “I never shall be less unkind than I have heretofore been.'

After this exposure of their feelings, they seemed not at all anxious to conceal the fact that there was a want of harmony between them, and they lived along, from month to month, in each other's society, only to cultivate a feeling of aversion to each other. There was not one point upon which their feelings were congenial, except that they were both weary of each other's company, and wished, by some means, to rid themselves of any obligation to preserve inviolate the marriage contract.

Mrs. Nelson affirmed that it was harder to live with an unpleasant man who was sober, than with one who was pleasant, even if he might be called a drunkard.

Doubtless, in this unhappy affair, blame rested upon both parties ; for they were alike destitute of high-toned moral principle.

It is needless to enter into a detailed account of all that took place relative to these unfortunate persons. They parted, not with feelings of anger, but with those of mutual distaste for each other's society; and often, in after life, when they met at the homes of her children, a stranger would not even suspect that they had ever been more to each other than formal acquaintances.

Soon after the separation of Mr. and Mrs. Nelson, this lady was called to mourn over the early and unexpected death of Loraine. When she received the letter that contained the sad intelligence, and gazed a moment upon the black seal, her heart sank within her.

Her grief was deep, when, upon perusing it, she learned that Loraine had been removed suddenly by death. Ever after this young gentleman suffered the loss of his arm, he had applied himself assiduously to such business as he could attend to with the greatest ease.

He taught school, and was very successful. His scholars regarded him with a feeling of reverential affection that gave him an influence over them which he did not fail to improve, in endeavoring to impress upon their minds a sense of their duties and responsibilities.

Loraine never appeared to lose sight of the unpleasant truth that his waywardness in youth, evinced in his disregard of the feelings of a parent, had been made the means of depriving him of a valuable limb; and he desired much that his example might be made the means of great good to others.

It is rare to see a person possessed of an ardent temperament like Loraine, whose spirit, in the meridian of life, is so sweetly subdued as was his. He felt the need of vigorous personal effort, to overcome his natural propensities to evil, and this fact led him constantly to energetic resistance of what was wrong in his character.

When overtaken by his last sickness, he was not surprised at, or unprepared for the solemn event. Although he was not considered immediately dangerous until the

« ÎnapoiContinuați »