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likened them to the bright hopes which then clustered around us, and fondly bade me believe they should be succeeded by a long, long summer of domestic felicity. But, Henry, our summer is past! alas, how quickly--and winter, cold and desolate" Overcome with emotion, she could say no
Nor was there need; enough of the past had been recalled to fill with anguish and remorse the bosom of him whom, even in his degradation, she loved as her own soul. He hated himself, his cups, his boon-companions -everything but his true-hearted wife. And what could he say to her ? Could hes have fallen at her feet and poured into her ear vows of purity, innocence, and truth, as in days of yore, how gladly would he have done it. But what had he now to offer but a drunkard's promise, which had been broken as often as made ? Taking her hand he drew it almost to his lips, then quickly but gently replacing it, hastily left the house. Entering an adjoining piece of woods, he seated himself upon the stump of a tree, and there ruminated on the present, the past, and the future. Many and bitter were his reflections. But the angel of hope revealed a bow of promise in the future, as rising from his seat he exclaimed, “ Never, never again shall the intoxicating cup touch my lips. I will not add to the power of temptation by spending the day in idleness, but will step over to neighbor S. and seek employment, that I may take something home to my suffering family, to my angel wife.” A short walk brought him there.
“ Mr. S., can you furnish me employment to-day ?" he inquired.
No," was the short reply. “But surely you have work to be done ?"
Plenty of work, but none for such as you."
But I am sober now, Mr. S., and more than that, I mean to keep so. I intend to reform!”
“ You reform! Who ever heard of a drunkard's reforming? I suppose you left off when you had dispatched your morning dram, and won't drink any more until eleven o'clock, or the next time you can get it,” was the biting reply.
Wilton left the house in silence. The iron had entered his soul. Again he sought the retirement of the woods, and seating himself upon the same stump muttered,
“ It's of no use. Who helps the fallen to rise ? I can never again be a man! Never ! never! Who believes ? who trusts me ?”
Long did he yield to these bitter refiections. But at length, as if some pitying angel passing by, and beholding his utier wretchedness, had paused to whisper consolation, a beam of hope lighted up his countenance. Long did he dwell on the new-born thought, till rising from his seat, he exclaimed,
“ I have it! By all that is sacred I swear to perform my vow. But that cruel taunt! never will I expose myself to a second."
He rapidly paced the woods as if to still the tumult of excited thought, and thus engaged we will leave him and return to the cottage. The bounty of a kind neighbor had enabled Mary Wilton to spread the dinner table with fare more inviting than was wont to be placed upon it; but the dinner hour passed and no husband came. The hour of the evening meal went by, and the shades of night drew on, yet he came not. She kept her weary vigils till twelve-one o'clock, yet he came not. Overcome with fatigue, she slept until the morning sun awoke her. But still he was not there. He had often left her for days together; but days passed and weeks also, but brought no tidings of Henry Wilton. Months passed, and the cold winds of winter whistled around her humble dwelling, ere she could be persuaded to leave it, and accept a home for herself and little ones, beneath the paternal roof. But what supported her in the hour of untold sorrow ? Her heart's holiest affections liad not been bestowed upon erring mortal. In early youth she had listened to the voice of One who claimed them as His right, and cheerfully had they been yielded. And now in the hour of need the arms of that Friend who never forsakes, were underneath her. She lived too, and wore the smile of cheerfulness for her children's sake-for the sake of her noble little Henry, the living image of him who had won her heart in the sunny days of youth. And fair was the promise he gave of repaying her love and care. But inight not the same insidious tempter cross his path? Would he be safe when he should enter the scenes where his father fell? Yes! he was safe. The instincts of a mother's heart had revealed to her the talisman which could guard her son from danger.
• Never, my Henry,” she would say, you love your moiher—as you hope for happiness, or heaven-never raise to your lip the cup which contains the intoxicating draught."
But when he asked the reason why, tears
were his only reply. Oh! the eloquence of those tears. Into his very soul was inwrought a loathing of the fatal poison, in all its forms, and the promise he gave as he wiped from his mother's cheeks the fast flowing tears, was indeed a sacred pledze, never to be broken.
More than two years from the time that Mary Wilton had found a home beneath the paternal roof, a stranger approached the residence of George Staunton, a gentleman who resided in Mrs. Wilton's native town, and who had been an intimate friend of her husband in his better days. It was evening. The gentleman rang the bell, and the call was answered by a domestic.
“ Is Mr. Staunton in ?” he inquired.
“Will you say to him that a stranger wishes to speak with him ?. Can I have the privilege of a private interview with you ?” he inquired, as Mr. Staunton approached.
Mr. Staunton led the way to his library, and requesting him to be seated, closed the door, saying, “I am at your service, sir;" at the same time directing an inquiring glance at the stranger, who was enveloped in a cloak, with a cap drawn over his face so as effectually to conceal his features.
“ What I have to communicate is strictly confidential; may I rely upon your honor ?” said the stranger in a deep, rich voice, which startled Staunton as being strangely familiar, though he in vain endeavored to recollect when or where he had heard it.
“I am not wont to betray confidence," he replied, “and will keep any secret which may be kept consistently with honor.”
“ Well! I believe I may trust you,” said the stranger, at the same time laying aside his cap and cloak.
Staunton sprang to his feet exclaiming, “ Is it possible! Henry Wilton-or am I dreaming ? It is the Henry Wilton of former days that stands before me--not as I last beheld him."
“I believe I am no apparition," said Wilton, smiling, and at the same time extending his hand, which was warmly grasped.
“ From whence came you ?” said Staunton. “ But, without troubling you with questions, most cordially do I congratulate you on your return, for every look and tone is an assurance that
you return to us the friend of former days. But still more do I congratulate your lovely wife.”
At the mention of his wife Wilton's brow
was clouded. “ Not yet, Staunton ; Heaven grant the bour may come when he who has caused her to drink so deep of the cup of sorrow, may bring gladness to her heart. But the time is not yet. But can you tell me aught of her ? Does she live? Did she find friends in the hour when he who should have cherished and protected, forsook her ? Tell me all—everything,” said Wilton, as he buried his face in his hands to conceal his emotion.
Staunton proceeded to relate the history of his family from the hour he had left them. “ But you know, Wilton, her father's residence is but a few steps from here. Surely you will hasten to her and fill her heart with joy by your return."
“ I cannot do it, Staunton. But listen to my story before you call me a heartless wretch.” He then proceeded to detail the events of the day on which he left his home—the cruel taunt which had fixed his resolution to cast himself among strangers, and there struggle to free himself from the chains that bound him. From that morning the intoxicating cup had never been raised to his lips. Under an assumed name he had taken up bis residence at the South, where fortunately he had obtained a situation as clerk in a flourishing mercantile house. His business talent and fidelity to the interests of his employers soon won their confidence, and he was rapidly promoted. He had now come north as their confidential agent, and in the spring expected to become a partner.
“ Two or three years, Staunton,” he added, “ with the continued blessing of Heaven, will enable me to return with wealth equal to what I possessed in my prosperous days. Then will I restore my loved wife to the station she once adorned ; for I covet the wealth, character, and esteem I then enjoyed, not for myself, but for her."
“ But why not return now ?” said Staunton. “We are all ready to welcome you back to our esteem and confidence, and you might soon even here regain wealth and station.”
“No doubt you would,” said Wilton. “But how many, think you, would believe my reform to be sincere and permanent were I now to return? Who believes the victim of the cup can reform ? No! I will not return to my Mary till I can restore her to her former position. She shall meet her husband unstained by dishonor when again she meets him."
“I would not urge you,” replied his friend, “ but for the sake of your lovely wife. You
“ HEAR LIES.”-Free Translation.
The Psalmist said in his haste, “ All men are liars !” It was a hasty speech, doubtless, and recalled, I believe, in a cooler moment; but however it may have been in King David's time, and among his not over-scrupulous countrymen, I happen to know some men, and some women too, who would not lie for "a house full of silver and gold.” Neither is this a great merit in them, for the fact is, they don't know how to lie; and should they attempt it, their faltering tongues and crimson cheeks would betray them immediately. One must begin young, and have considerable practice, to be able to do it adroitly. The muscles and nerves of the face were made to tell the truth, and need considerable schooling before they learn to conceal it; and even after long years of training, how a sudden surprise will make them do their natural office !
Still nothing has astonished me more than to see at how early an age children will acquire some skill in deception. I have one in my eye now, a white-pated rogue, with great round black eyes that never wink, and a skin so begrimed that a blush would be no more visible through it than flame through a stovepipe—“ six years old last hop-picking,” as he one day told me—that will “ look you right in the eye,” and give you an answer to a question which shall have no more relation to truth than “ I to Hercules." His baby mind constantly revolves its small notions of self-interest, and his replies to your questions are in accordance with them. Dick, have your folks got any apples ?" Dick has spied a barrel of apples in your cellar; he infers, therefore, that you cannot wish to buy any; you must be thinking of making “his folks "
a present of some, and he answers with as round and prompt a “ No, sir,” as if he had not cogitated an atom. “Because, Dick, I would like to buy a few sweet ones.” “Well, I don't know but we have a few,” says the young gentleman; “I'll go and ask 'em.” “Oh yes, they've plenty of them,” he says on his return. “How came you to say you had
" Because I thought mother
had made 'em all into turn-overs for we boys,” says he with a grin. Dick's shift is a lame one, but it serves his turn by making you smile, and he will grow more expert every day.
But I was saying that I have known some men and women who tell the truth. There is Mary R-, with that transparent, large blue eye, which she fixes on you when she speaks or listens to you, so that it would be almost as hard to tell a lie to her as for her to tell one herself. For Mary is very shrewd and somewhat suspicious withal, as some truthful people
I have seen a practised beggar, who had put off a sick husband, nine sinall children and a house burned down, on half a parish, comipletely dumb-founded by Mary's quiet, searching interrogatories. And the withering look with which she regards a self-convicted culprit ! It is enough to make his hair turn white, even if he wears a wig.
Very different from her, though equally truthful, is my friend Joe Ruggles. Joe is not only transparent himself, but thinks every one else so, and goes through the world letting everybody look through him, while he in return sees only a reflection of his own pure heart in every man he meets. Joe has been fooled and humbugged in every way fifty times, and will be just as easily fooled and humbugged to-morrow as ever. But he is as happy as a child. He lives in a world of his own creation, peopled with pure and guileless beings, but it is all real to him, and let no one undeceive him.
Then, again, there is Dr. D. I wonder what bribe you could offer that would make him lie. In telling a story, he is so fearful of convey. ing to you an idea different from his own impression of the fact, that he tires you to death with endless circumlocutions and explanations, and for fear of the least embellishment, he gives you a narrative as hard, and angular, and marrowless as the skeleton in his own shop. Woe to a big story that he tries to repeat! If as large as the “sea-sarpent” when he heard it, ten to one it will dwindle into a little mud eel.
none, Dick ?"
It must be confessed, however, that his fault is not very common; and now that I am upon confessions, I may as well own that, though more fortunate than the Psalmist, for I have know some truthtellers, still I do know a vast many more who answer to his description. " Little Dicks" are sprinkled all through society-nay, it is the Dr. D.'s that are sprinkled through it, like salt, to preserve it from utter corruption; little Dicks form the mass, I fear, in every community. There is the N. family, proud as Lucifer, poor as church mice, toiling like ditchers; their whole lives are spent in trying to make the world believe them wealthy, and easy, and happy. The genus is so common, and has been so often described, that I will not trouble you with a sketch of them. One incident, however, is so fresh in my recollection that I will relate it. Calling there recently, one of the young ladies seemed much troubled with a hacking cough. Perceiving that I noticed it, she presently remarked that one of the pips in the pineapple they had for dessert, had gone the wrong way and nearly strangled her. “Oh, Emmeline," said a redheaded brother who had entered the room just in time to hear this genteel explanation, "you know what choked you was a hull in the brown brea--" We heard no more, for the gentle Emmeline had her brother from the room before he had finished his “ bread,” while the mother murmured, that " poor Em's health was so delicate she was obliged to use the Graham flour altogether.”
The Z. family, too, are worthy of notice, whose heads seem to have but one organ, that of marvellousness, and who never tire of trying to see how large a story you will swallow. With them, incidents that happen to others but once in a lifetime, are weekly occurrences; and they have more odd scenes, strange adventures, horrible frights and narrow escapes in a month, than others meet with in years. You never need tell them a wonderful story-you will be sure to hear one so much more incredible that your own was scarcely worth relating. Mention the birth of an infant with an odd mark on its hands or face; one of them once saw a babe, though she forgets where, which had the figures 1863 distinctly visible in one of
its eyes; and she will add that many were superstitious enough to believe the world will end in that year. They purchase goods at such surprisingly low rates that those who believe their stories bewail their own folly in having paid twice as much for similar articles. They rarely relate the same story twice alike, for having short memories, and ready imaginations, as well as unscrupulous tongues, they rattle away, forgetting that their different hearers may compare notes; or perhaps quite unaware that their different assertions disagree as much with each other as with fact. What ciphers such people are in a society where they are known. We constantly hear such remarks as these : “I confess I had this news from the Z.'s;” or “ Mr. Z. told my husband this, but I can't say how the fact is.” Now what is the influence of such persons in society? They have no influence. If rich, or of high standing, they may be treated with external respect, but after all, a truthful, high-principled woman, even in the humbler walks of life, is of far more weight in a community than twenty Z.'s What involuntary respect is called forth when we hear, “ Mary R. said so, and of course it is so;” or “Dr. D. never would have reported that had he not known it to be a fact."
The liars I have mentioned are not malicious. They do not intend mischief, they are merely careless of truth. Yet the mischief they do is incalculable. It is a mistaken idea that such people injure none but themselves. Were their intercourse confined to those who know them, this might be true; but they constantly come in contact with strangers, who, unsuspicious that such glib stories can be “ made of whole cloth,” greedily swallow and retail them, often causing mischievous results.
I will end my article (as I commenced it) in the words of the Psalmist, called forth, I presume, by the lies, white and black, with which his righteous soul was vexed from day to day: “What shall be given unto thee, or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongued? Sharp arrows of the mighty, and coals of juniper.” Sure I am that such justice done in our community, would cause smarting anguish to many an “ unruly member," that now “walketh through the earth.”
A GLIMPSE AT MONTREAL.
The first thing that strikes a traveller from the United States, as he enters Montreal, is the foreign aspect of the city. We asked Madame Feller, of the Mission at Grand Ligne, in whose company we entered the city, when we visited it for the first time, if Montreal very nearly resembled the cities in France. She said she hardly knew how to answer the question. She thought that, perhaps, in the style of the buildings, and the width of the steeets, the city more nearly resembled those of England. The truth is, there is an admixture of English and French in everything you see about Canada, though in the country, and among the peasantry, there is more of the latter than the former. The buildings in the heart of the city are almost exclusively of stone, quarried, as we suppose, in the mountain a mile or two distant. This stone is of a dark, dull color; and this feature gives an air of heaviness and melancholy to the whole city. The style of building, however, has its advantages. The citizens are much more secure from the ravages of fires, and, during their long, severe winters, they are more comfortable.
We have noticed this difference between England and America frequently. When Brother Jonathan invents anything, or constructs anything, be it a steam boat, a dwelling, a railroad, or a coat, he studies beauty, rather than utility and comfort John Bull, on the other hand, goes for good substantial comfort. He cares not so much for elegance, as he does for strength and durability. Brother Jonathan is for going ahead, too. That, in fact, is his motto. And go ahead he mustsafely, if he can; but anyhow, he must go ahead. Johnny Bull is content to wait a little. He would not be disturbed, by any means, while he is eating his dinner. He relishes his roast beef and mushroom catsup mightily, and when he visits the “States," and stops in the cars at one of our restorateurs and hears the conductor bawl out
Eight minutes for dinner, ladies and gentlemen!" he is utterly amazed. Eight minutes for dinner! But he soon finds that we do everything on the same scale. We are always in a hurry, while he takes it easy, or is inclined to do so; for where everybody else is running the gauntlet, if you do not run too, you will very likely be run over.
One needs to be in Canada but a short time to perceive that the country is cursed by a false and stupid religion. In the city of Montreal there are several nunneries. We visited two of them—the nunnery of the “Hotel Dieu,” and the “Gray Nunnery,” so called from the habit of the nuns, which is principally of that color. We were very politely treated in each of these institutions, and were escorted through all the rooms accessible to strangers ; and though there were probably deptl.s of iniquity which we were not permitted to see, we saw enough of their superstitions to satisfy
The sacrifices, the images of saints, the rosaries, the madonnas, the beads, the holy water, and we know not what other silly things of that genus, told too plainly how perfectly these poor creatures were under the power of the man of sin. They are very charitable. They open their arms wide, so as to embrace all the sons and daughters of want and wretchedness. No matter how depraved they are, or what are their religious preferences, if they have any, they find a home here. Many are the foundlings which are left at their gates. But they are all welcome —they are all provided for—and it is no fault of theirs if they do not receive the germ of Romanism.
One of the wonders of Montreal, which all strangers are expected to visit, is the French Cathedral. It is a large edifice, constructed of stone, with two lofty towers on either side of the front. It is situated on Notre Dame street, by far the pleasantest part of the city. In front of the church is the Place d'Armes, a large public square, appropriated to the military. The cathedral is a splendid building. But we were disappointed in one thing. The paintings which abound in it, and which we had flattered ourselves were in keeping with the magnificence of the edifice itself, were absolutely intolerable. They are mere daubs. The artist has tried, for instance, to represent the twelve apostles; but we should be sorry, if we had a child who had taken a dozen lessons in drawing and painting that could not do better with red chalk and charcoal. Peter, of course, is a prominent figure in this
group He is standing, or sitting, or reclining, one hardly knows which, with a bunch of keys in his hand, and a lusty rooster within a few feet of him, with his mouth open, looking for all the world like the roosters we used to draw on our