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THE GOOD SAMARITAN AGE.

me to unite myself with one, however estimable in other respects, who uses intoxicating drinks.”

The young man sprung from his seat as if pierced with an arrow. His black eye flashed, as he passionately said, “ And is this all ? Am I treated as though I were a sot? I take a glass of wine occasionally with a friend, and now you scorn me and drive me away as though you thought me a reeling drunkard !”

There was indignation in his emphasis, such as one feels under unjust accusation. He did not know himself. It is passing strange that all beside are aware of the ruin consequent on drinking, before the one most interested. All perceive the danger, and yet he who is to be ruined is the only one unconscious. It is to be noticed, indeed, that the man already bloated and blossomed with intemperance, feels that no one can see his situation, and he is always vexed when even a friend has courage to warn him. The prayer of Burns was never more a propos than in the case of one habitually using intoxicating drinks.

“Oh wad some power the giftie gi' us,

To see ourself as ithers see us."

As he met her now, and read in her face the honest desire for the advice of gray-haired wisdom, at the risk of offending her, and making an enemy of William, he said feelingly, as he pressed her hand

Beware, my dear girl, of intrusting your happiness to any man, be his talents and station what they may, who sips wine, and occasionally drinks too much. However estimable in other respects, that habit will be the destroyer of him, and of you also if you become his wife.”

An expression of anguish shot across her countenance, as the old man spoke so plainly concerning one in whom her heart was deeply interested already, and yet one whose only bad habit her good judgment bade her beware.

“ Father -," she said, conquering her feelings, “ I approve your words, and will follow them."

It was after this conversation that William had made the offer of his hand to her. Long since, in anticipation of this, she had resolved to reject his offer. And yet, when the otherwise noble man came to plead his own cause, she found it required no ordinary courage to abide by her previous determination. It was this which made her cheek pale, and wrung tears from her. At last she nerved herself to say, finally

“ Do not urge me any more. Do not ask me why I say it, only let us now separate, and henceforth be to each other only as friends."

"Only as friends!" impatiently exclaimed her lover. It is unkind and disingenuous thus to tantalize my feelings. You have confessed that my attentions have been pleasant to you, and yet now you reject me without assigning

Have I been deceived in finding you, whom I adored as a woman with a heart, to be a coquette without a heart ?"

In a moment the tears started afresh, and some indignation was mingled in the varying expressions of her face. But like a noble woman, as she was, she determined to unbar her inmost heart, and let him see the conviction which drove her to a course so painful.

William,” said she, with faltering utterance,“ you might have spared me the harsh necessity of saying what I am now compelled to. You demand my reason; and, however frivolous it may seem to you, to me it is sufficient, and I will abide by it. Duty to God, my parents, myself, and to you, imperatively forbids

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a reason.

It was thus with this gifted young man. He knew that he had been quite drunk several times. To be sure, he had been overtaken suddenly when with some companions, and yet the long and short of it in plain English was, he had been drunk. And now he felt himself wronged by the noble-hearted woman, who had gone so far as twice to tell him what she would have preferred to bury in her own heart, and had thus infringed on that good advice, which says

" But still keep something to yoursel,

Ye'll scarcely tell to ony!" She had told him as much as that she loved him, and then why she dared not consent to become his wife.

To this sudden outbreak of anger her dignified reply was : “ William, I can bear your indignation and your groundless imputations, but cannot change my resolution.”

A sudden thought flashed across his mind, which was uttered as soon as conceived.

“If I will promise, and set my name to it in writing, that I will now and forever abstain from all that can intoxicate, will you consent to be mine?

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A bright glow lighted up Emily's face as she instantly pronounced the simple word,

“ Yes."

Forthwith the pledge was given, and the covenant, one of the most interesting into which mortals can enter, was ratified. Two loving hearts had plighted their mutual vows.

But a few weeks passed before that mansion was the scene of glad festivities, as the gifted William and the beautiful Emily were united in marriage. The gray-haired pastor was there. He knew all that had transpired and rejoiced in it, but with trembling, for his acquaintance with human nature warned him against a too implicit reliance on any sudden impulse, even for good. He feared this change would be evanescent as an impulse, rather than permanent as a principle. The old man's voice trembled as he said solemnly, “ What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."

Several years have elapsed, and now come with me, indulgent reader, to one of those flourishing towns, which spring up like magic in the Great Valley of the West. Those grand old forests are leafless, and the winter winds sigh dolefully through them. That new town has a rum-hole in it, to which I would introduce you for one moment. The whole building is filled with the stench of rum and tobacco, and when by chance the door opens, there issues forth a volley of oaths and obscenities. It is a bitter cold day, and one draws his coat close about him, as the wind whistles by. And what shall poverty, with her poor tatters, do now? Ah friends, let us remember the poor, when it is cold, nor give them that cheap charity which merely says, “ be ye warmed and clothed,” yet gives not the things which are needful.

Sudderly the door of that tavern opens, and a stout, red-faced man, whom we take to be the landlord, rudely thrusts a pour wretch into the street, and then closes the door against him. It is a hard case, and yet the like has occurred.

Go up and examine this poor creature, and see whether or no you can detect the face of an old acquaintance. Say whether you can recognize the haggard face under that slouched hat? How wretched he looks, with his thin, ragged clothes, and “clouted shoes !" He stands a moment, as though stupefied, and then staggers along the street from sheer

weakness. He is not drunk. The kind publican who put him forth from his doors, would not give him a drop, because he had not a cent. Indeed, had we been there, we might have beard the red-faced landlord shouting brutally, “Bill, what are you here for again ?" and when the poor fellow asked for “ a drink,” he was insultingly asked for the pay first. But he had no pay, and instead of “a drink,” he got a curse; and when he lingered, shivering around the fire, he was ordered, like a meniai, to go out and get some wood. And when the weak man came in with a little, for he could carry no more, I fancied I saw him kicked by that large man's foot, and that then the same brutal man dragged him out as we saw! It is a hard case, we repeat, and yet such degradation, and such brutality, are to be found even in these days!

For once, at least, thank God for penniless poverty, which has sent, nay dragged, a drunkard sober from the stench of a rum-hole into pure air, though it is cold. Yes, he is sober, and sobriety has hope. But let us look a moment into the drunkard's home before he reaches it. It is a crazy old building, and the piercing cold rushes into it through a thousand holes. An old table, a bed, and two or three chairs, are the furniture. Drunkenness in that land of forests cannot deprive the poorest of a little fire, and yet that which cheers this room is utterly insufficient for such a day. And yet everything is neat. The room and everything in it, constituted poverty cleanly dressed.

And then the drunkard's wife! is it possible that this sorrowing creature, so thinly clad, can be the beautiful bride whom we saw a few years ago, the idol of all her friends, and especially of her husband's heart? Can this be she, on whom that aged man of God invoked a blessing? Those large eyes, red with weeping, and beautiful still, and, when we look into them, all brimming full of sorrow, we know they are Emily's. Yes, here we have William and Emily, whose history is short. The old pastor was right. The change in William was not the result of fixed principle, and not many months passed, before he returned to his wine. At first he was popular in his profession, and rapidly was acquiring fortune. “Waxing worse and worse," was the history of his progress in drinking, and this took from

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him all confidence. He started for the West, hoping there to regain his character. He wept to break his heart at times, and yet was weak as an infant to resist his besetinent. And thus had he gone down deeper into his degradation, until the gifted William was so low, that a rum-seller, the liberal patron of his own liquids, having got his last cent, dares to turn him into the street !

But we are tarrying too long. The wretched husband has entered the wretched dwelling. He yet loves his wife, and he loves the boy God has given them. Their misery is the bitterest drop in his own cup. The wife saw, that though wretched, he was not drunk, and flew to his arms. A true woman's love is the sun. light of sorrow. The husband felt that he deserved no such meeting and greeting as this.

Oh, Emily, my injured wife,” he uttered, as he wept, “ God forgive me for reducing you to this! Leave me, and go back to your father, who has enough to keep you from this beggary, and let me go to ruin alone !"

It was true, her father was rich, but she would not forsake her husband, and now he could not learn where she was. She knew that she would be welcomed back home, but not the sot she called her husband. She never even balanced the thing in her mind. She would cleave to him, though it rent her heart in twain. To his despairing words she replied, as none but a woman can

“Do not say so, William ; all is not lost. Only give up this one bad habit, and we shall see years of happiness. You are young, and your talents will lift you high in your profession, and give us all the comforts of life. Cut away this millstone from your neck now, and see whether my words do not all prove true.”

He was subdued by her kindness, and wept like a child. But past resolutions, as often broken as made, discouraged him, as he replied

“ Thank you, dearest wife, thank you, and God bless you for your goodness. But before we were married, and a hundred times since, I have vowed to abandon this vice, and yet here I ain, an outcast drunkard, so worthless, that even-the tavern keeper has driven me from his door! Yes, I am 'a castaway' of all but you.“And what of that? The wretch drove

you away because you had no money. Come now,

assert your manhood, and cast off your chain. If not for my sake, then do it for our boy!"

The little fellow, by this time, with quick intuition, seeing his father was gentle to his mother, had climbed up on his knees, and presented his lips for the fond kiss which he always received when the father was sober. This was more than he could bear, and again he sobbed like a child.

In the life of a vicious man, as in some diseases, there is a crisis, and woe betide him if the change is not for the better. The whole man is subdued and crushed, and you may cast him on any flood-tide, to be borne whither you will. As when the crisis in a fever comes on, if the patient is neglected, death soon ensues, so in reformation, when Divine Providence produces a crisis, we should " watch and pray,” that the result be life. Such was the precise state of William's mind. A rum publican had driven him ignominiously from his door; a wife, heartbroken only on his account, had forgiven him and blessed him with holy words of hope; and to crown all, his little son had come and nestled once more in his father's heart, as he was wont in better days. The drunkard was now ready for any favoring flood-tide to bear him back to virtue, to society, and to God. In his case it came, and that at the right moment.

Scarcely had the little boy received that fervent kiss from his weeping father, when a knock at the door startled them; and a very respectable man walked in, scarcely waiting for permission, with the question, “ Does William reside here?

“ Yes, sir,” said William, “ that is my name; have you any business with me ?"

In an instant the stranger had seized the hand of the drunken lawyer, and was examining his countenance with a mournful scrutiny.

" Is it possible," at last he exclaimed ; " is it possible that this is William and Emily — ? and looking thus, and living so miserably? But come; say whether you know me or not, for I have business with you, and very important business too."

William and Emily looked puzzled, and at last the former said, “ You really seem to have an undue advantage over us in the matter of recognition. I cannot detect a familiar line in your face, except you recall James of our native town, who, when we left it, was the most hopeless sot there. Excepting that habit,

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the world could not produce a more noble fellow." “ Thank God, I am James

but no longer a sot. A merciful God rescued me, and I am a miracle to myself and those who knew me. And now I am itinerating the country to tell drunkards, even the most hopeless, to look at me, and take courage.”

“ We can hardly believe our own eyes. Is it possible ?” were the expressions of William and his wife. And then succeeded a hearty welcome ; such as old friends alone can give when they meet unexpectedly, far from home, among strangers.

“ James - ? I am dreaming, or a miracle indeed has taken place," said William.

Ay, ay," was the answer; “ look at me well, and remember what I was six years ago. When you left our place, I became much worse than you ever saw me, and seemed abandoned of God and men. I barely lived through an attack of delirium tremens. I was on the very verge of the drunkard's grave, the treacherous brink of which was giving way under me. One day, beastly drunk, I had fallen in the street, and all looking on me passed by on the other side, save one little boy. You know him well enough, William; he is your brother's oldest son. He stood by me, and spoke to me so respectfully and kindly that it touched my heart. Says he to me,

6 · Mr. - come, get up, and I will get you something to eat; and to-night you shall go to the meeting, and sign the pledge, and then you will be happy again!'

“It seemed just as if heaven had drawn aside the darkness from my heart one moment, and let in one blessed beam of hope. I got up, with his assistance, signed the pledge, and God has thus far kept me.”

As the reformed man thus talked with the eloquence of experience, his very appearance inspired courage.

“But,” said William, “how did you find us out? I thought our residence was concealed from all our friends."

“ That is easily explained," replied his friend. “As I got out of the stage-coach at the tavern, a short time since, I found the bar-room in a perfect uproar of excitement because the miscreant there had turned you out of doors, and

your name was repeated in the course of the talk. Without delay, my mind all excited to meet an old friend, I inquired the way, and hurried here to see you. And now, come; your little nephew saved me ; let me discharge part of debt to bim by rescuing his uncle. Come, William, in the fear of God sign this pledge.”

“Oh husband, there is yet hope! Only sign the pledge and we shall yet be happy!"

Another moment and the pledge was signed, and the generous James called on them, in that mean house, to bow with him in gratitude before the Great Author of this mercy. The scene was an impressive one. Husband, wife, child, and deliverer, all united in the hearty thanksgiving of the occasion.

We need not enter more into details. The moment his habit was given up, William began to recover the confidence of his fellow-men. Emily's father heard of the change, and showed his interest in giving them a generous pecu. niary benefit, placing them in easy circumstances. In two years William had a lucrative practice in his profession. His heart had been touched, so that a new principle was therein implanted, and now he lives in a humble sense of his constant need of God's aid to keep him from again falling. Emily, now so happy in her family, looks beautiful as she did on the night she plighted her vows to William. And their little son talks of no one in the world so much as of “good uncle James, who got pa to sign.” Even the aged pastor, who married them, has been heard to say

“We have entered on a new dispensation. When I was young, the drunkard's case was considered hopeless. But now, that James

and William — have reformed, who shall say that any case is hopeless ?

“Thirty years ago” and the present day, are very different for vicious men. Thirty years ago even good men looked on the poor inebriate, robbed as he was almost of manhood, and

passed by on the other side.” But in our day “the good Samaritan” is seen in every hovel, penetrating every haunt of infamy; and, taking the vicious by the hand, he points to the cross and says, “ Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world !"

THE SNOW-STORM-A SKETCH.

BY AN AMERICAN ARTIST.

I Love snow. I have loved it from childhood. And where is the child that does not love snow? But my fondness for snow was not one of those fancies which vanish with our early years ; with me it is a passion which years have served rather to strengthen than otherwise. The feeling may be somewhat changed in character, but not in intenseness. Yes, I love snow, and snow-storms are of all others my especial favorites. I love, too, to look upon the forests of winter, when the snow, as if out of pure benevolence, covers the naked branches of the trees with a robe of dazzling whiteness, making them seem the creations of another, I had almost said a purer

world. Snow does not fall upon you with the saddening, depressing influence of rain, drenching you to the skin, and chilling you to the bone; on me, at least, its effect is of a cheering and exhilarating nature.

I love to watch the flakes dancing and whirling about in the air, before they reluctantly fall to the earth. And their touch, when they chance to find their way to your neck, is like that of the fingers of some tiny elf, tickling you out of sheer playfulness. But would you see a snow-storm in perfection, you must not spend a winter here in the city, but take a trip to the northern part of the state, where Jack Frost for six months reigns undisputed, monarch of the waste.

Here it was the occurrence look place which I am about to relate. I had spent part of the summer and most of the autumn in rambling about the country, making sketches, and towards the commencement of winter went into St. Lawrence County, for the purpose of executing some commissions for some friends I had residing there. My stopping-place was the village of G I had finished my last engagement, and was preparing to return home, when I accepted the invitation of an acquaintance, a Mr. Hunt, to spend a few days

with him at his farm, distant about ten miles. It was at a time when the temperance movement was agitating the whole country, and the little village of G— felt its full share of the commotion. There was to be a temperance meeting during the evening, and as my friend was not only an enthusiast in the good cause, but one of the speakers engaged for the occasion, our departure was of necessity delayed until after the close of the meeting.

There was in the village, at the same time, a neighbor of my friend, by the name of Clark, a violent opposer of the temperance cause, and who delayed his journey only, as he said, in order that he might see what fools the coldwater men would make of themselves. In the mean time, at the bar of the public house, he was unremitting in his devotions. It was late when the meeting broke up; the snow-storm, which had commenced in the afternoon, had been all the evening increasing in violence, so that when I contrasted the powerful animals and strong double sleigh of farmer Clark, with the light jumper and small horse of my friend Hunt, I was half inclined to accept the invitation of the former to ride with him, saying, as he made it, that if I went with that cold-water man and his little pony, we would all freeze to death upon the road.

But when, on looking into the speaker's face, I beheld the effect his deep potations were having upon him, I judged it most prudent to adhere to my first engagement, and ride with my friend Hunt.

The night, notwithstanding the snow, was one of almost pitchy darkness, and our road, none of the smoothest at the best, was by no means improved by the snow-drifts. Add to this, the wind was high, and blew as if out of very spite directly in our faces. I have said that I liked snow-storms, but this was an exception to the general rule, for this one I must admit was not exactly to my liking. Be

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