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The Lights and Shadows of Real Life by T.S. Arthur

Part 2 out of 11

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troubled him.

After supper, the uneasiness he had felt during the afternoon,
returned, and worried his mind considerably. The fact was, the
brandy had already disturbed the well balanced action of the lower
viscera. The mucous membrane of the whole (sic) alementry canal had
been stimulated beyond health, and its secretions were increased and
slightly vitiated. This was the cause of the uneasiness he felt, and
the slight pains which had alarmed him. By ten o'clock his feelings
had become so disagreeable, that he felt constrained to meet them
with another "mouthful," of brandy. Thus, in less than ten hours,
Mr. Hobart had wronged his stomach by pouring into it three glasses
of brandy; entirely disturbing its healthy action.

The morning found Mr. Hobart far from feeling well. His skin was dry
and feverish and his mouth parched. There was an uneasy sensation of
pain in his head. Immediately upon rising he took a strong glass of
brandy. That, to use his own words, "brought him up," and made him
feel "a hundred per cent better." During the forenoon, however, a
slight diarrhoea manifested itself. A thrill of alarm was the

"I must check this!" said he, anxiously. And, in order to do so,
another and stronger glass of brandy was taken.

In the afternoon, the diarrhoea appeared again. It was still slight,
and unaccompanied by pain. But, it was a symptom not to be
disregarded. So brandy was applied as before. In the evening, it
showed itself again.

"I wish you would give me a little of that brandy," said he to his
wife. "I'm afraid of this, it must be stopped."

"Hadn't you better see the doctor?"

"I don't think it necessary. The brandy will answer every purpose."

"I have no faith in brandy," said Mrs. Hobart. Poor woman! she had
cause for her want of faith!

"I have then," replied her husband. "It's the doctor's
recommendation. And he ought to know."

"You were perfectly well before you commenced acting on his advice."

"I was well, apparently. But, it is plain that the seeds of disease
were in me. There is no telling how much worse I would have been."

"Nor how much better. For my part I charge it all on the brandy."

"That's a silly prejudice," said Mr. Hobart, with a good deal of
impatience. "Every one knows that brandy is a remedy in diseases of
this kind; not a producing cause."

Mrs. Hobart was silent. But she did not get the brandy. That was
more than she could do. So her husband got it himself. But, in order
to make the medicinal purpose more apparent, he poured the liquor
into a deep plate, added some sugar, and set it on fire.

"You will not object to burnt brandy at least," said he. "That you
know to be good."

Mrs. Hobart did not reply. She felt that it would be useless. Only a
disturbance of harmony could arise, and that would produce greater
unhappiness. The brandy, after having parted with its more volatile
qualities, was introduced into Mr. Hobart's stomach, and fretted
that delicate organ for more than an hour.

"I thought the burnt brandy would be effective," said Mr. Hobart on
the next morning. "And it has proved so." In order not to lose this
good effect, he fortified himself before going out with some of the
same article, unburnt. But, alas! By ten o'clock the diarrhoea showed
itself again, and in a more decided form.

Oh dear!" said he in increased alarm. "This won't do. I must see the
doctor." And off he started for Doctor L--'s office. But, on the
way he could not resist the temptation to stop at a tavern for
another glass of brandy, notwithstanding he began to entertain a
suspicion as to the true cause of the disturbance. The doctor
happened to be in. "I think I'd better have a little medicine,
doctor," said he, on seeing his medical adviser. A stitch in time,
you know."

"Ain't you well?"

"No," and Mr. Hobart gave his symptoms.

"An opium pill will do all that is required," said the doctor.

"Shall I continue the brandy?" asked the patient.

"Have you taken brandy every day since I saw you?" inquired the

"Yes; twice, and sometimes three times."

"Ah!" The doctor looked thoughtful.

"Shall I continue to do so?"

"Perhaps you had better omit it for the present. You're not in the
habit of drinking any thing?"

"No. I haven't tasted brandy before for five years."

"Indeed! Yes, now, I remember you said so. You'd better omit it
until we see the effect of the opium. Sudden changes are not always
good in times like these."

"I don't think the brandy has hurt me," said Mr. Hobart.

"Perhaps not. Still, as a matter of prudence, I would avoid it. Let
the opium have a full chance, and all will be right again."

An opium pill was swallowed, and Mr. Hobart went back to his place
of business. It had the intended effect. That is, it cured one
disease by producing another--suspended action took the place of
over-action. He was, therefore, far from being in a state of health,
or free from danger in a cholera atmosphere. There was one part of
the doctor's order that Mr. Hobart did not comply with. The free use
of brandy for a few days rekindled the old appetite, and made his
desire for liquor so intense, that he had not, or, if he possessed
it, did not exercise the power of resistance.

Sad beyond expression was the heart of Mrs. Hobart, when evening
came, and her husband returned home so much under the influence of
drink as to show it plainly. She said nothing to him, then, for that
she knew would be of no avail. But next morning, as he was rising,
she said to him earnestly and almost tearfully.

"Edward, let me beg of you to reflect before you go further in the
way you have entered. You may not be aware of it, but last night you
showed so plainly that you had been drinking that I was distressed
beyond measure. You know as well as I do, where this will end, if
continued. Stop, then, at once, while you have the power to stop. As
to preventing disease, it is plain that the use of brandy has not
done so in your case; but, rather, acted as a predisposing cause.
You were perfectly well before you touched it; you have not been
well since. Look at this fact, and, as a wise man, regard its

Truth was so strong in the words of his wife, that Mr. Hobart did
not attempt to gainsay them.

"I believe you are right," he replied with a good deal of depression
apparent in his manner. "I wish the doctor had kept his brandy
advice to himself. It has done me no good."

"It has done you harm," said his wife.

"Perhaps it has. Ah, me! I wish the cholera would subside."

"I think your fear is too great," returned Mrs. Hobart. "Go on in
your usual way; keep your mind calm; be as careful in regard to
diet, and you need fear no danger."

"I wish I'd let the brandy alone!" sighed Mr. Hobart, who felt as he
spoke, the desire for another draught.

"So do I. Doctor L--must have been mad when he advised it."

"So I now think. I heard yesterday of two or three members of our
Order who have been sick, and every one of them used a little brandy
as a preventive."

"It is bad--bad. Common sense teaches this. No great change of habit
is good in a tainted atmosphere. But you see this now, happily, and
all will yet be well I trust."

"Yes; I hope so. I shall touch no more of this brandy preventive. To
that my mind is fully made up."

Mrs. Hobart felt hopeful when she parted with her husband. But she
knew nothing of the real conflict going on in his mind between
reason and awakened appetite--else had she trembled and grown faint
in spirit. This conflict went on for some hours, when, alas!
appetite conquered.

At dinner time Mrs. Hobart saw at a glance how it was. The whole
manner of her husband had changed. His state of depression was gone,
and he exhibited an unnatural exhilaration of spirits. She needed
not the sickening odor of his breath to tell the fatal secret that
he had been unable to control himself.

It was worse at night. He came home so much beside himself that he
could with difficulty walk erectly. Half conscious of his condition,
he did not attempt to join the family, but went up stairs and groped
his way to bed. Mrs. Hobart did not follow him to his chamber.
Heartsick, she retired to another room, and there wept bitterly for
more than an hour. She was hopeless. Up from the melancholy past
arose images of degradation and suffering too dreadful to
contemplate. She felt that she had not strength to suffer again as
she had suffered through many, many years. From this state she was
aroused by groans from the room where her husband lay. Alarmed by
the sounds, she instantly went to him.

"What is the matter?" she asked, anxiously.

"Oh! oh! I am in so much pain!" was groaned half inarticulately.

"In pain, where?"

"Oh! oh!" was repeated, in a tone of suffering; and then he
commenced vomiting.

Mrs. Hobart placed her hand upon his forehead and found it cold and
clammy. Other and more painful symptoms followed. Before the doctor,
who was immediately summoned, arrived, his whole system had become
prostrate, and was fast sinking into a state of collapse. It was a
decided case of cholera.

"Has he been eating any thing improper?" asked Doctor L--, after
administering such remedies, and ordering such treatment as he
deemed the case required.

"Has he eaten no green fruit?"


"Nothing, to my knowledge, replied Mrs. Hobart. "We have been very
careful in regard to food."

"Nor unripe vegetables?"

Mrs. Hobart shook her head.

"Nor fish?"

"Nothing of the kind."

"That is strange. He was well a few days ago."

"Yes, perfectly, until he began to take a little brandy every day as
a preventive."

"Ah!" The doctor looked thoughtful. "But it couldn't have been that.
I take a little pure brandy every day, and find it good. I recommend
it to all my patients."

Mrs. Hobart sighed. Then she asked--"Do you think him dangerous?"

"I hope not. The attack is sudden and severe. But much worse cases
recover. I will call round again before bed time."

The doctor went away feeling far from comfortable. Only a few hours
before he, had left a man sick with cholera beyond recovery, who
had, to his certain knowledge, adopted the
brandy-drinking-preventive-system but a week before; and that at his
recommendation. And here was another case.

At eleven o'clock Dr. L--called to see Mr. Hobart again, and found
him rapidly sinking. Not a single symptom had been reached by his
treatment. The poor man was in great pain. Every muscle in his body
seemed affected by cramps and spasms. His mind, however, was
perfectly clear. As the doctor sat feeling his pulse, Hobart said to

"Doctor L--, it is too late!"

"Oh, no. It is never too late," replied the doctor. "Don't think of
death; think of life, and that will help to sustain you. You are
not, by any means, at the last point. Hundreds, worse than you now
are, come safely through. I don't intend to let you slip through my

"Doctor," said the sick man, speaking in a solemn voice, "I feel
that I am beyond the reach of medicine. I shall die. What I now say
I do not mean as a reproach. I speak it only as a truth right for
you to know. Do you see my poor wife?"

The doctor turned his eyes upon Mrs. Hobart, who stood weeping by
the bedside.

"When she is left a widow, and my children orphans," continued the
patient, "remember that you have made them such!"

"Me! Why do you say that, Mr. Hobart?" The doctor looked startled.

"Because it is the truth. I was a well man, when you, as my medical
adviser, recommended me to drink brandy as a protection against
disease. I was in fear of the infection, and followed your
prescription. From the moment I took the first draught my body lost
its healthy equilibrium; and not only my body, but my mind. I was a
reformed man, and the taste inflamed the old appetite. From that
time until now I have not been really sober."

The doctor was distressed and confounded by this declaration. He had
feared that such was the case; but now it was charged unequivocally.

"I am pained at all this," he replied, "In sinning I sinned

But, ere he could finish his reply, the sick man became suddenly
worse, and sunk into a state of insensibility.

"If it be in human power to save his life," murmured the doctor--"I
will save it."

Through the whole night he remained at the bed-side, giving, with
his own hands, all the remedies, and applying every curative means
within reach. But, when the day broke, there was little, if any
change for the better. He then went home, but returned in a couple
of hours.

"How is your husband?" he asked of the pale-faced wife as he
entered. She did not reply, and they went up to the chamber
together. A deep silence reigned in the room as they entered.

"Is he asleep?" whispered the doctor.

"See!" The wife threw back the sheet.

"O!" was the only sound that escaped the doctor's lips. It was a
prolonged sound, and uttered in a tone of exquisite distress. The
white and ghastly face of death was before him.

"It is your work!" murmured the unhappy woman, half beside herself
in her affliction.

"Madam! do not say that!" ejaculated the physician. "Do not say

"It is the truth! Did he not charge it upon you with his dying

"I did all for the best, madam! all for the best! It was an error in
his case. But I meant him no harm."

"You put poison to his lips, and destroyed him. You have made his
wife a widow and his children orphans!"

"Madam!--"The doctor knit his brows and spoke in a stern voice. But,
ere he had uttered a word more, the stricken-hearted woman gave a
wild scream and fell upon the floor. Nature had been tried beyond
the point of endurance, and reason was saved at the expense of
physical prostration.

A few weeks later, and Doctor L--, in driving past the former
residence of Mr. Hobart, saw furniture cars at the door. The family
were removing. Death had taken the husband and father, and the poor
widow was going forth with her little ones from the old and pleasant
home, to gather them around her in a smaller and poorer place. His
feelings at the moment none need envy.

How many, like Mr. Hobart, have died through the insane prescription
of brandy as a preventive to cholera! and how many more have fallen
back into old habits, and become hopeless drunkards! Brandy is not
good for health at any time; how much less so, when the very air we
breathe is filled with a subtle poison, awaiting the least
disturbance in the human economy to affect it with disease.


"I WANT a quarter of a dollar, Jane."

This was addressed by a miserable creature, bloated and disfigured
by intemperance, to a woman, whose thin, pale face, and heart-broken
look, told but too plainly that she was the drunkard's wife.

"Not a quarter of a dollar, John? Surely you will not waste a
quarter of a dollar of my hard earnings, when you know that I can
scarcely get food and decent clothes for the children?"

As the wife said this, she looked up into her husband's face with a
sad appealing expression.

"I must have a quarter, Jane," said the man firmly.

"O, John! remember our little ones. The cold-weather will soon be
here, and I have not yet been able to get them shoes. If you will
not earn any thing yourself, do not waste the little my hard labor
can procure. Will not a sixpence do? Surely that is enough for you
to spend for--"

"Nothing will do but a quarter, Jane, and that I must have, if I
steal it!" was the prompt and somewhat earnest reply.

Mrs. Jarvis laid aside her work mechanically and, rising, went to a
drawer, and from a cup containing a single dollar in small pieces,
her little all, took out a quarter of a dollar, and turning to her
husband, said, as she handed it to him--

"Remember, that you are taking the bread out of your children's

"Not so bad as that, I hope, Jane," said the drunkard, as he
clutched the money eagerly; something like a feeble smile flitting
across his disfigured and distorted countenance.

"Yes, and worse!" was the response, made in a sadder tone than that
in which the wife had at first spoken.

"How worse, Jane?"

"John!" and the wife spoke with a sudden energy, while her
countenance lighted up with a strange gleam. "John, I cannot bear
this much longer! I feel myself sinking every day. And you--you who
pledged yourself--"

Here the voice of the poor woman gave way, and covering her face
with her hands, she bent her head upon her bosom, and sobbed and
wept hysterically.

The drunkard looked at her for a moment, and then turning hurriedly,
passed from the room. For some moments after the door had closed
upon her husband, did Mrs. Jarvis stand, sobbing and weeping. Then
slowly returning to her chair near the window, she resumed her,
work, with an expression of countenance that was sad and hopeless.

In the mean time, the poor wretch who had thus reduced his family to
a state of painful destitution, after turning away from his door,
walked slowly along the street with his head bowed down, as if
engaged in, to him, altogether a new employment, that of
self-communion. All at once a hand was laid familiarly upon his
shoulders, and a well-known voice said--

"Come, John, let's have a drink."

"Jarvis looked up with a bewildered air, and the first thing that
caught his eye, after it glanced away from the face of one of his
drinking cronies, was a sign with bright gold letters, bearing the
words, "EAGLE COFFEE-HOUSE." That sign was as familiar to him as the
face of one of his children. At the same moment that his eyes rested
upon this, creating an involuntary impulse to move towards the
tavern-door, his old crony caught hold of his coat-collar and gave
him a pull in the same direction. But much to the surprise of the
latter, Jarvis resisted this attempt to give his steps a direction
that would lead him into his old, accustomed haunt.

"Won't you drink this morning, Jarvis?" asked the other, with a look
of surprise.

There was evidently a powerful struggle going on in the mind of the
drunkard. This lasted only for a moment or two, when he said,
loudly, and emphatically--


And instantly broke from his old boon companion, and hurried on his

A loud laugh followed him, but he heeded it not. Ten minutes' walk
brought him to the store of a respectable tradesman.

"Is Mr. R--in?" he asked, as he entered.

"Back at the desk," was the answer of a clerk.

And Jarvis walked back with a resolute air.

"Mr. R--, I want to sign the pledge!"

"You, Jarvis?" Mr. R--said, in tones of gratified surprise.

"Yes, me, Mr. R--. It's almost a hopeless case; but here goes to
do my best."

"Are you fully sensible of what you are about doing, Jarvis?"

"I think I am, Mr. R--. I've drunk nothing since yesterday
morning, and with the help of Him above, I am determined never to
drink another drop as long as I live! So read me the pledge and let
me sign it."

Mr. R--turned at once to the constitution of the Washington
Temperance Society, and read the pledge thereunto annexed:

"'We, the undersigned, do pledge ourselves to each other, as
gentlemen, that we will not, hereafter, drink any spiritous liquors,
wine, malt, or cider, unless in sickness, and under the prescription
of a physician.'"

Jarvis took the pen in his hand, that trembled so he. could scarcely
make a straight mark on paper, and enrolled his name among the
hundreds of those, who, like him, had resolved to be men once more.
This done, he laid down the quarter of a dollar which he had
obtained from his wife, the admission fee required of all who joined
the society. As he turned from the tradesman's store, his step was
firmer and his head more erect, than, in a sober state, he had
carried it for many a day.

From thence he proceeded to a hatter's-shop.

"Well, Jarvis," was uttered in rather a cool, repulsive tone, as he

"Are you not in want of a journeyman, Mr. Warren?"

"I don't want you, Jarvis."

"If you will give me work, I'll never get drunk again, Mr. Warren."

"You've said that too many times, Jarvis. The last time you went off
when I was hurried with work, and caused me to disappoint a
customer, I determined never to have any thing more to do with you."

"But I'll never disappoint you again," urged the poor man earnestly.

"It's no use for you to talk to me, Jarvis. You and I are done with
each other. I have made up my mind never again to have a man in my
shop who drinks rum."

"But I've joined the temperance society, Mr. Warren."

"I don't care if you have: in two weeks you'll be lying in the

"I'll never drink liquor again if I die!" said Jarvis, solemnly.

"Look here, you drunken vagabond!" returned the master hatter in
angry tones, coming from behind the counter, and standing in front
of the individual he was addressing--"if you are not out of this
shop in two minutes by the watch, I'll kick you into the street! So
there now--take your choice to go out, or be kicked out."

Jarvis turned sadly away without a reply, and passed out of the door
through which he had entered with a heart full of hope, now pained,
and almost ready to recede from his earnest resolution and pledge to
become a sober man and a better husband and father. He felt utterly
discouraged. As he walked slowly along the street, the fumes of a
coffee-house which he was passing, unconsciously, struck upon his
sense, and immediately came an almost overpowering desire for his
accustomed potation. He paused--

"Now that I try to reform, they turn against me," he sighed
bitterly. "It is no use; I am gone past hope!"

One step was taken towards the tavern-door, when it seemed as if a
strong hand held him back.

"No--no!" he murmured, "I have taken the pledge, and I will stand by
it, if I die!" Then moving resolutely onward, he soon found himself
near the door of another hatter's-shop. Hope again kindled up in his
bosom, and he entered.

"Don't you want a hand, Mr. Mason?" he asked, in a hesitating tone.

"Not a drunken one, Jarvis," was the repulsive answer.

"But I've reformed, Mr. Mason."

"So I should think from your looks."

"But, indeed, Mr. Mason I have quit drinking, and taken the pledge."

"To break it in three days. Perhaps three hours."

"Won't you give me work, Mr. Mason, if I promise to be sober?"

"No! For I would not give a copper for your promises."

Poor Jarvis, turned away. When he had placed his hand to the pledge,
he dreamed not of these repulses and difficulties. He was a good
workman, and he thought that any one of his old employers would be
glad to get him back again, so soon as they learned of his having
signed the total-abstinence pledge. But he had so often promised
amendment, and so often broken his promise and disappointed them,
that they had lost all confidence in him; at least, the two to whom
he had, thus far, made application.

After leaving the shop of Mr. Mason, Jarvis seemed altogether
irresolute. He would walk on a few steps, and then pause to commune
with his troubled and bewildered thoughts.

"I will try Lankford," said he, at length, half-aloud; "he will give
me work, surely."

A brisk walk of some ten minutes brought him to the door of a small
hatter's-shop in a retired street. Behind the counter of this shop
stood an old man, busily employed in ironing a hat. There was
something benevolent in his countenance and manner. As Jarvis
entered, he looked up, and a shade passed quickly over his face.

"Good morning, Mr. Lankford," said Jarvis, bowing, with something
like timidity and shame in his manner.

"Are you not afraid to come here, John?" replied the old man,

"I am ashamed to come, but not afraid. You will not harm me, I

"Don't trust to that, John. Did you not steal, ay, that is the
word--did you not steal from me the last time I employed you?" The
old man was stern and energetic in his manner.

"I was so wicked as to take a couple of skins, Mr. Lankford, but I
did very wrong, and am willing to repay you for them, if you will
give me work. I was in liquor when I did it, and, when in liquor, I
have no distinct consciousness of the evil of any action."

"Give you work, indeed! O, no! John; I cannot give you another
chance to rob me."

"But I will not get drunk any more. And you know, Mr. Lankford, that
while I was a sober man, and worked for you, I never wronged you out
of a sixpence worth."

"Won't get drunk any more! Ah! John, I have lived too long in. the
world, and have seen too much, to heed such promises."

"But I am in earnest, Mr. Lankford. I signed the pledge this

"You!" in a tone of surprise.

"Yes, _I_ signed it."

"Ah, John," after a pause, and shaking his head. incredulously, "I
cannot credit your word, and I am sorry for it."

"If I have signed the pledge, and if I am really determined to be a
reformed man, will you give me work, Mr. Lankford!"

The old man thought for a few moments, and then said,

"I am afraid of you, John. You are such an old offender on the score
of drunkenness, that I have no confidence in your power to keep the

"Then what _shall_ I do!" the poor wretch exclaimed, in tones that
made the heart of the old man thrill--for nature and pathos were in
them. "Now that I am trying in earnest to do better, no one will
give me a word of encouragement, nor a helping hand. Heaven help
me!--for I am forsaken of man."

Mr. Lankford stood thoughtful and irresolute for some moments. At
length, he said--

"John, if you will bring me a certificate from Mr. R--, that you
have signed the total-abstinence pledge, I will give you another
trial. But if you disappoint me again, you and I are done for ever."

The countenance of Jarvis brightened up instantly. He turned quickly
away, without reply, and hurried off to the store of Mr. R--, the
secretary of the society he had joined. The certificate was, of
course, obtained.

"And you have joined, sure enough, John," Mr. Lankford said, in a
changed tone, as he glanced over the certificate.

"Indeed I have, Mr. Lankford."

"And you seem in earnest."

"If I was ever in earnest about any thing in my life, I am in
earnest now."

"Keep to your pledge, then, John, and all will be well. While you
were a sober man, I preferred you to any journeyman in my shop. Keep
sober, and you shall never want a day's work while I am in

The poor man was now shown his place in the shop, and once again he
resumed his work, though under a far different impulse than had, for
years, nerved him to action.

Two hours brought his regular dinner-time, when Jarvis, who began to
feel the want of food, returned home, with new and strange feelings
about his heart. One impulse was to tell his wife what he had done,
and what he was doing. But then he remembered how often he had
mocked her new springing hopes--how often he had promised amendment,
and once even joined a temperance society, only to relapse into a
lower and more degraded condition.

"No, no," he said to himself, after debating the question in his
mind, as he walked towards home; "I will not tell her now. I will
first present some fruit of my repentance. I will give such an
assurance as will create confidence and hope."

Mrs. Jarvis did not raise her eyes to the face of her husband, as he
entered. The sight of that once loved countenance, distorted and
disfigured, ever made her heart sick when she looked upon it. Jarvis
seated himself quietly in a chair, and held out his hands for his
youngest child, not over two years old, who had no consciousness of
his father's degradation. In a moment the happy little creature was
on his knee. But the other children showed no inclination to

The frugal meal passed in silence and restraint. Mrs. Jarvis felt
troubled and oppressed--for the prospect before her seemed to grow
more and more gloomy. All the morning she had suffered from a steady
pain in her breast, and from a lassitude that she could not
overcome. Her pale, thin, care-worn face, told a sad tale of
suffering, privation, confinement, and want of exercise. What was to
become of her children she knew not. Under such feelings of
hopelessness, to have one sitting by her side, who could take much
of her burdens from her, were he but to will it--who could call back
the light to her heart, if only true to his promise, made in earlier
and happier years--soured in some degree her feelings, and obscured
her perceptions. She did not note that some change had passed upon
him; a change that if marked, would have caused her heart to leap in
her bosom.

As soon as Jarvis had risen from the table, he took his hat, and
kissing his youngest child, the only one there who seemed to regard
him, passed quickly from the house. As the door closed after him,
his wife heaved a long sigh, and then rising, mechanically,
proceeded to clear up the table. Of how many crushed affections and
disappointed hopes, did that one deep, tremulous sigh, speak!

Jarvis returned to his work, and applied himself steadily during the
whole afternoon. Whenever a desire for liquor returned upon him, he
quenched it in a copious draught of water, and thus kept himself as
free from temptation as possible. At night he returned, when the
same troubled and uneasy silence pervaded the little family at the
supper-table. The meal was scanty, for Mrs. Jarvis's incessant labor
could procure but a poor supply of food. After the children had been
put to bed, Mrs. Jarvis sat down, as usual, to spend the evening,
tired as she was, and much as her breast pained her, in sewing. A
deep sigh heaved involuntarily her bosom as she did so. It caught
the ear of her husband, and smote upon his heart. He knew that her
health was feeble, and that constant labor fatigued her excessively.

"I wouldn't sew to-night, Jane," he said. "You look tired. Rest for
one evening."

Mrs Jarvis neither looked up nor replied. There was something in the
tone of her husband's voice that stirred her feelings;--something
that softened her heart towards him. But she dared not trust herself
to speak, nor to let her eye meet his. She did not wish to utter a
harsh nor repulsive word, nor was she willing to speak kindly to
him, for she did not feel kindly,--and kind words and affected
cheerfulness, she had already found but encouraged him in his evil
ways. And so she continued to ply her needle, without appearing to
regard his presence. Her husband did not make another effort to
induce her to suspend her labors; for, under existing circumstances,
he was particularly desirous of not provoking her to use towards him
the language of rebuke and censure. After sitting silent, for,
perhaps half an hour, he rose from his chair, and walked three or
four times backwards and forwards across the room, preparatory to
going out to seek a coffee-house, and there spend his evening, as
his wife supposed. But much to her surprise, he retired to their
chamber, in the adjoining room. While still under the expectation of
seeing him return, his loud breathing caught her quick ear. He was

Catching up the light, as she arose suddenly to her feet, she
passed, with a hasty step, into the chamber. He had undressed
himself, was in bed, and sound asleep. She held the candle close to
his face; it was calmer than usual, and somewhat paler. As she bent
over him, his breath came full in her face. It was not loaded with
the disgusting fumes that had so often sickened her. Her heart beat
quicker--the moisture dimmed her eye--her whole frame trembled. Then
looking upwards, she uttered a single prayer for her husband, and,
gliding quietly from the room, sat down by her little table and
again bent over her work. Now she remembered that he had said, with
something unusual in his tones--"I would not sew to-night, Jane; you
look tired; rest for one evening"--and her heart was agitated with a
new hope; but that hope, like the dove from the ark, found nothing
upon which to rest, and trembled back again into a feeling of

On the next morning, the unsteady hand of Jarvis, as he lifted his
saucer to his lips at the breakfast-table, made his wife's heart
sink again in her bosom. She had felt a hope, almost unconsciously.
She remembered that at supper-time his hand was firm--now it was
unnerved. This was conclusive to her mind, that, notwithstanding his
appearance, he had been drinking. But few words passed during the
meal, for neither felt much inclined to converse.

After breakfast, Jarvis returned to the shop and worked steadily
until dinner-time, and then again until evening. As on the night
before, he did not go out, but retired early to bed. And this was
continued all the week. But the whole was a mystery to his poor
wife, who dared not even to hope for any real change for the better.
On Saturday, towards night, he laid by his work, put on his coat and
hat, and went into the front shop.

"So you have really worked a week, a sober man, John?" Mr. Lankford

"Indeed, I have. Since last Sunday morning, no kind of intoxicating
liquor has passed my lips."

"How much have you earned this week, John?"

"Here is the foreman's account of my work, sir. It comes to twelve

"Still a fast workman. You will yet recover yourself, and your
family will again be happy, if you persevere."

"O, sir, they shall be happy! I _will_ persevere!"

Another pause ensued, and then Jarvis said, while the color mounted
to his cheek--

"If you are willing, Mr. Lankford, I should like you to deduct only
one-half of what I owe you for those furs I took from you, from this
week's wages. My family are in want of a good many things; and I am
particularly desirous of buying a barrel of flour to-night."

"Say nothing of that, John. Let it be forgotten with your past
misdeeds. Here are your wages--twelve dollars--and if it gives you
as much pleasure to receive, as it does me to pay them, then you
feel no ordinary degree of satisfaction."

Mr. Jarvis received the large sum for him to possess, and hurried
away to a grocery. Here he bought, for six dollars, a barrel of
flour, and expended two dollars more of his wages in sugar, coffee,
tea, molasses, &c. Near to the store was the market-house. Thence he
repaired, and bought meat and various kinds of vegetables, with
butter, &c. These he carried to the store, and gave directions to
have all sent home to him. He had now two dollars left out of the
twelve he had earned since Monday morning, and with these in his
pocket, he returned home. As he drew near the house, his heart
fluttered in anticipation of the delightful change that would pass
upon all beneath its humble roof. He had never in his life,
experienced feelings of such real joy.

A few moments brought him to the door, and he went in with the quick
step that had marked his entrance for several days. It was not quite
dark, and his wife sat sewing by the window. She was finishing a
pair of pantaloons that had to go home that very evening, and with
the money she was to get for them she expected to buy the Sunday
dinner. There was barely enough food in the house for supper; and
unless she received her pay for this piece of work, she had no means
of getting the required sustenance for herself and children--or
rather, for her husband, herself and children. The individual for
whom it was intended was not a prompt pay-master, and usually
grumbled whenever Mrs. Jarvis asked him for money. To add to the
circumstances of concern and trouble of mind, she felt almost ready
to give up, from the excessive pain in her breast, and the weakness
of her whole frame. As her husband came in, she turned upon him an
anxious and troubled countenance; and then bent down over her work
and plied her needle hurriedly. As the twilight fell dimly around,
she drew nearer and nearer to the window, and at last stood up, and
leaned close up to the panes of glass, so that her hand almost
touched them, in order to catch the few feeble rays of light that
were still visible. But she could not finish the garment upon which
she wrought, by the light of day. A candle was now lit, and she took
her place by the table, not so much as glancing towards her husband,
who had seated himself in a chair, with his youngest child on his
knee. Half an hour passed in silence, and then Mrs. Jarvis rose up,
having taken the last stitch in the garment she was making, and
passed into the adjoining chamber. In a few minutes she came out,
with her bonnet and shawl on, and the pair of pantaloons that she
had just finished on her arm.

"Where are you going, Jane?" her husband asked, in a tone of
surprise, that seemed mingled with disappointment.

"I am going to carry home my work."

"But I wouldn't go now, Jane. Wait until after supper."

"No, John. I cannot wait until after supper. The work will be
wanted. It should have been home two hours ago."

And she glided from the room.

A walk of a few minutes brought her to the door of a tailor's-shop,
around the front of which hung sundry garments exposed for sale.
This shop she entered, and presented the pair of pantaloons to a man
who stood behind the counter. His face relaxed not a muscle as he
took them and made a careful examination of the work.

"They'll do," he at length said, tossing them aside, and resuming
his employment of cutting out a garment.

Poor Mrs. Jarvis paused, dreading to utter her request. But
necessity conquered the painful reluctance, and she said--

"Can you pay me for this pair to-night, Mr. Willets?"

"No. I've got more money to pay on Monday than I know where to get,
and cannot let a cent go out."

"But, Mr. Willets, I--"

"I don't want to hear any of your reasons, Mrs. Jarvis. You can't
have the money to-night."

Mrs. Jarvis moved slowly away, and had nearly reached the door, when
a thought of her children caused her to pause.

"I cannot go, Mr. Willets, without the money," she said, suddenly
turning, and speaking in an excited tone.

"You _will_ go, I'm thinking, madam," was the cool reply.

"O, sir," changing her tone, "pay me what you owe me; I want it very

"O, yes. So you all say. But I am used to such make-believes. You
get no money out of me to-night, madam. That's a settled point. I'm
angry now--so you had better go home at once; if you don't, I'll
never give you a stitch of work, so help--"

Mrs. Jarvis did not pause to hear the concluding words of the

"What _shall_ I do?" was the almost despairing question that she
asked of herself, as she hurried towards her home. On entering the
house she made no remark, for there was no one to whom she could
tell her troubles and disappointment, with even the most feeble hope
of a word of comfort.

"Does Mr. Jarvis live here?" asked a rough voice at the door.

"Yes, sir," was the reply.

"Well, here is a barrel of flour and some groceries for him."

"There must be some mistake, sir."

"Is not this Mr. Jarvis's?"


"And number 40?"


"Then this is the place, for that was the direction given me."

"Yes, this is the place--bring them in," spoke up Jarvis, in an
animated tone.

The drayman, of course, obeyed. First he rolled in the barrel of
flour; then came a number of packages, evidently containing
groceries; and, finally, one or two pieces of meat, and sundry lots
of vegetables.

"How much is to pay?" asked Jarvis.

"Twenty-five cents, sir," responded the drayman, bowing.

The twenty-five cent piece was taken from his pocket with quite an
air, and handed over. Then the drayman went out and that little
family were alone again. During the passage of the scene just
described, the wife stood looking on with a stupid and bewildered
air. When the drayman had departed, she turned to her husband, and

"'John, where did these things come from?"

"I bought them, Jane."

"You bought them?"

"Yes, I bought them."

"And pray, John, what did you buy them with?"

"With the quarter of a dollar you gave me on Monday."


"It is true, Jane. With that quarter I went and joined the
Washington Total-Abstinence Society, and then went to work at Mr.
Lankford's. Here is the result of one week's work, besides this
silver," handing her all that remained, after making the purchases.

"O, John, John," the wife exclaimed, bursting into tears, "do not
again mock my hopes. I cannot bear much more."

"In the strength of Him, Jane, who has promised to help us when we
call upon Him, 'I will not disappoint the hopes I now revive,'" said
Jarvis, slowly and solemnly.

The almost heart-broken wife and mother leaned her head upon the
shoulder of her husband, and clung to his side with a newly-revived
confidence, that she felt would not be disappointed, while the tears
poured from her eyes like rain. But her true feelings we cannot
attempt to describe--nor dare we venture to sketch further the scene
we have introduced. The reader's imagination can do it more justice,
and to him we leave that pleasing task, with only the remark, that
Mrs. Jarvis's newly-awakened joys and hopes have not again been


"I DON'T see that I am so much better off," said Mr. Gordon, a man
who had recently given up drinking. "I lost my situation on the very
day I signed the pledge, and have had no regular employment since."

"But you would have lost your situation if you hadn't signed the
pledge, I presume," said the individual to whom he was complaining.

"Yes. I lost it because I got drunk and spoiled my job. But to hear
some temperance people talk, one who didn't know would be led to
believe that, the very moment the pledge was signed, gold could be
picked up in the streets. I must confess that I haven't found it so.
Money is scarcer with me than it ever was; and though I don't spend
a cent for myself, my family haven't a single comfort more than they
had before."

"Though there's no disputing the fact that they would have many less
comforts if you hadn't signed the pledge?"

"No, I suppose not. But I cannot help feeling discouraged at the way
things go. If I had the same wages I received before I signed the
pledge, I could be laying up money. But, as it is, it requires the
utmost economy to keep from getting in debt."

"Still, you do manage to keep even?"


"On about half your former income?"

"A little over half. I used to get ten dollars a week. Now I manage,
by picking up odd jobs here and there, to make about six."

"Then you are better off than you were before."

"I hardly see how you can make that out."

"Your family have enough to live upon--all they had before--and you
have a healthier body, a calmer mind, and a clearer conscience.
Isn't here something gained?"

"I rather think there is," replied Gordon, smiling.

"And I rather think you are a good deal better off than you were
before. Isn't your wife happier?"

"O! yes. She's as cheerful as a lark all the day."

"And doesn't murmur because of your light wages?"

"No, indeed! not she. I believe if I didn't earn more than three
dollars a week, and kept sober, she would make it do, somehow or
other, and keep a good heart. It's wonderful how much she is

"And yet you are no better off? Ain't you better off in having a
happy wife and a pleasant home, what I am sure you hadn't before?"

"You are right in that. I certainly had neither of them before. Oh!
yes. I am much better off all around. I only felt a little
despondent, because I can't get regular employment as I used to, and
good wages; for now, if I had these, I could do so well."

"Be patient, friend Gordon; time will make all right. There are
three words that every reformed man should write on the walls of his
chamber, that he may see them every morning. They are 'Time, Faith,
Energy.' No matter how low he may have fallen; no matter how
discouraging all things around him may appear; let him have energy,
and faith in time, and all will come out well at last."

Gordon went home, feeling in better heart than when he met the
temperance friend who had spoken to him these encouraging words.

Henry Gordon, when he married, had just commenced business for
himself, and went on for several years doing very well. He laid by
enough money to purchase himself a snug little house, and was in a
good way for accumulating a comfortable property, when the habit of
dram-drinking, which he had indulged for years, became an
over-mastering passion. From that period he neglected his business,
which steadily declined. In half the time it took to accumulate the
property he possessed, all disappeared--his business was broken up,
and he compelled to work at his trade as a journeyman to support his
family. From a third to a half of the sum he earned weekly, he spent
in gratifying the debasing appetite that had almost beggared his
family and reduced him to a state of degradation little above that
of the brute. The balance was given to his sad-hearted wife, to get
food for the hungry, half-clothed children.

Nor was this all. Debts were contracted which Gordon was unable to
pay. One or two of his creditors, more exacting than the rest,
seized upon his furniture and sold it to satisfy their claims,
leaving to the distressed family only the few articles exempt by

Things had reached this low condition, when Gordon came home from
the shop, one day, some hours earlier than usual. Surprised at
seeing him, his wife said--

"What's the matter, Henry? Are you sick?"

"No!" he replied, sullenly, "I'm discharged."

"Discharged! For what, Henry?"

"For spoiling a job."

"How did that happen?" Mrs. Gordon spoke kindly, although she felt
anxious and distressed.

"How has all my trouble happened?" asked Gordon, with unusual
bitterness of tone. "I took a glass too much, and--and--"

"It made you spoil your job," said his wife, her voice still kind.

"Yes. Curse the day I ever saw a drop of liquor! It has been the
cause of all my misfortunes."

"Why not abandon its use at once and for ever, Henry?"

"That is not so easily done."

"Hundreds have done it, and are doing it daily, and so may you. Only
make the resolution, Henry. Only determine to break these fetters,
and you are free. Let the time past, wherein you have wrought folly,
and your family suffered more than words can express, suffice. Only
will it, and there will be a bright future for all of us."

Tears came into the eyes of Mrs. Gordon while she made this appeal,
although she strove hard to appear calm. Her husband felt a better
spirit awaking within him. There was a brief struggle between
appetite and the good resolution that was forming in his mind, and
then the latter conquered.

"I will be free!" he said, turning towards the door through which he
had a little while before entered, and hurriedly leaving the house.

The hour that passed from the time her husband went out until he
returned, was one of most anxious suspense to Mrs. Gordon. Her hand
trembled so that she could not hold her needle, and was obliged to
lay aside the sewing upon which she was engaged, and go about some
household employments.

"Mary, I have signed the pledge, if that will do any good," said
Gordon, opening the door and coming in upon his wife with his pledge
in his hand. "There," and he unrolled the paper and pointed to his
name; "there is my signature, and here is the document."

He did not speak very cheerfully; but his wife's face was lit up
with a sudden brightness, followed by a gush of tears.

"Do any good!" she replied, leaning her head upon his shoulder, and
grasping one of his hands tightly in both of hers. "It will do all

"But I have no work, Mary. I was discharged to-day, and it is the
only shop in town. What are we to do?"

"Mr. Evenly will take you back, now that you have signed the

"Perhaps he will!" Gordon spoke more cheerfully. "I will go and see
him to-morrow."

Mrs. Gordon prepared her husband a strong cup of coffee, and baked
some nice hot cakes for his supper. She combed her hair, and made
herself as tidy as possible. The children, too, were much improved
in their looks by a little attention, which their mother felt
encouraged to give. There was an air of comfort about the
ill-furnished dwelling of Henry Gordon that it had not known for a
long time, and he felt it.

On the next morning, after breakfast, Gordon went back to the shop
from which he had been discharged only the day previous. Evenly, the
owner of it, was a rough, unfeeling man, and had kept Gordon on,
month after month, because he could not well do without him. But, on
the very day he discharged him, a man from another town had applied
for work, and the spoiled job was made an excuse for discharging a
journeyman, whose habits of intoxication had always been offensive
to the master-workman.

When Gordon entered the shop for the purpose of asking to be taken
back, he met Evenly near the door, who said to him, in a rough

"And what do you want, pray?"

"I want you to take me back again," replied Gordon. "I have signed
the pledge, and intend leading a sober life hereafter."

"The devil you have!"

"Yes sir. I signed it yesterday, after you discharged me."

"How long do you expect to keep it?" asked Evenly, with a sneer.
"Long enough to reach the next grogshop?"

"I have taken the pledge for life, I trust," returned the workman,
seriously. He was hurt at the contemptuous manner of his old
employer, but his dependent condition made him conceal his feelings.
"You will have no more trouble with me."

"No, I am aware of that. I will have no more trouble with you, for I
never intend to let you come ten feet inside the front door of my

"But I have reformed my bad habit, Mr. Evenly. I will give you no
more trouble with my drinking," said the poor man, alarmed at this

"It's no use for you to talk to me, Gordon," replied Evenly, in a
rough manner. "I've long wanted to get rid of you, and I have
finally succeeded. Your place is filled. So there is no more to say
on that subject. Good morning."

And the man turned on his heel and left Gordon standing half
stupified at what he had heard.

"Rum's done the business for you at last, my lark! I told you it
would come to this!" said an old fellow workman, who heard what
passed between Gordon and the employer. He spoke in a light,
insulting voice.

Without replying, the unhappy man left the shop, feeling more
wretched than he had ever felt in his life.

"And thus I am met at my first effort to reform!" he murmured,

"Hallo, Gordon! Where are you going?" cried a voice as these words
fell from his lips.

He looked up and found himself opposite to the door of one of his
old haunts. It was the keeper of it who had called him.

"Come! Walk in and let us see your pleasant face this morning. Where
were you last night? My company all complained about your absence.
We were as dull as a funeral."

"Curse you and your company too!" ejaculated Gordon between his
teeth, and moved on, letting his eyes fall again to the pavement.

"Hey-day! What's the matter?"

But Gordon did not stop to bandy words with one of the men who had
helped to ruin him.

"It's all over with us, Mary. Evenly's got a man in my place," said
Gordon, as he entered his house and threw himself despairingly into
a chair. "But won't he give you work, too?" asked Mrs. Gordon, in a
husky voice.

"No! He insulted me, and said I should never come ten feet inside of
his shop."

"Did you tell him that you had signed the pledge?"

"Yes. But it was no use. He did not seem to care for me any more
than he did for a dog."

The poor man's distress was so great that he covered his face with
his hands, and sat swinging his body to and fro, and uttering
half-suppressed moans.

"What are we to do, Mary? There is no other shop in town," he said,
looking up, after growing a little calm. "Doesn't it seem hard, just
as I am trying to do right?"

"Don't despair, Henry. Let us trust in Providence. It is only a dark
moment; yet, dark as it is, it is brighter to me than any period has
been for years. A clear head and ready hands will not go long
unemployed. I do not despond, dear husband, neither should you. Keep
fast anchored to your pledge, and we will outride the storm."

"But we shall starve, Mary. We cannot live upon air."

"No," replied Mrs. Gordon; "but we can live upon half what you have
been earning at your trade, and quite as comfortably as we have been
living. And it will be an extreme case, I think, if you can't get
employment at five dollars a week, doing something or other. Don't

"It appears so. Certainly I ought to be able to earn five dollars a
week, if it is at sawing wood. I'll do that--I'll do any thing."

"Then we needn't be alarmed. I'll try and get some sewing at any
rate, to help out. So brighten up, Henry. All will be well. It will
take a little time to get things going right again; but time and
industry will do all for us that we could ask."

Thus encouraged, Gordon started out to see if he could find
something to do. It was a new thing for him to go in search of work;
and rather hard, he felt, to be obliged almost to beg for it. Where
to go, or to whom to apply, he did not know. After wandering about
for several hours, and making several applications at out of the way
places with no success, he turned his steps homeward, feeling
utterly cast down. In this state, he was assailed by the temptation
to drown all his trouble in the cup of confusion, and nearly drawn
aside; but a thought of his wife, and the bright hope that had
sprung up in her heart in the midst of darkness, held him back.

"It's no use to try, Mary," he said, despondingly, as he entered his
poorly-furnished abode, and found his wife busy with her needle. "I
can't get any work."

"I have been more successful than you have, Henry," Mrs. Gordon
returned, speaking cheerfully. "I went to see if Mrs. Hewitt hadn't
some sewing to give out, and she gave me a dozen shirts to make. So
don't be discouraged. You can afford to wait for work even for two
or three weeks, if it doesn't come sooner. Let us be thankful for
what we have to-day, and trust in God for to-morrow. Depend upon it,
we shall not want. Providence never forsakes the man who is trying
to do right."

Thus Mrs. Gordon strove to keep up the spirits of her husband. After
dinner, he went out again and called to see a well-known temperance
man. After relating to him what he had done, and how unhappily he
was situated in regard to work, the man said--

"It won't do to be idle, Gordon; that's clear. An idle man is
tempted ten times to another's once. You will never be able to keep
the pledge unless you get something to do. We must assist you in
this matter. What can you do besides your trade?"

"I have little skill beyond my regular calling; but then, I have
health, strength, and willingness; and I think these might be made
useful in something."

"So do I. Now to start with, I'll tell you what I'll do. If you will
come and open my store for me every morning, make the fire and sweep
out, and come and stay an hour for me every day while I go to
dinner, I will give you three dollars a week. Two hours a day is all
your time I shall want."

"Thank you from my heart! Of course I accept your offer. So far so
good," said Gordon, brightening up.

"Very well. You may begin with to-morrow morning. No doubt you can
make an equal sum by acting as a light porter for the various stores
about. I can throw a little in your way; and I will speak to my
neighbors to do the same." There was not a happier home in the whole
town than was the home of Henry Gordon that night, poor as it was.

"I knew it would all come out right," said Mrs. Gordon. "I knew a
better day was coming. We can live quite comfortably upon five or
six dollars a week, and be happier than we have been for years."

When Gordon thought of the past, he did not wonder that tears fell
over the face of his wife, even while her lips and eyes were bright
with smiles. As the friend had supposed, Gordon was employed to do
many errands by the storekeepers in the neighborhood. Some weeks he
made five dollars and sometimes six or seven. This went on for a few
months, when he began to feel discouraged. The recollection of other
and brighter days returned frequently to his mind, and he began
ardently to desire an improved external condition, as well for his
wife and children as for himself. He wished to restore what had been
lost; but saw no immediate prospect of being able to do so. Six
dollars a week was the average of his earnings, and it took all
this, besides what little his wife earned, to make things tolerably
comfortable at home.

Gordon was in a more desponding mood than usual, when he indulged in
the complaint with which our story opens. What was said to him
changed the tone of his feelings, and inspired him with a spirit of
cheerfulness and hope.

"Time, Faith, Energy!" he said to himself, as he walked with a more
elastic step. "Yes, these must bring out all right in the end. I
will not be so weak as to despond. All is much improved as it is. We
are happier and better. Time, Faith, Energy! I will trust in these."

When Gordon opened the door of his humble abode, he found a lad
waiting to see him, who arose, and presenting a small piece of
paper, said--

"Mr. Blake wishes to know when you can settle this?"

Mr. Blake was a grocer, to whom ten dollars had been owing for a
year. He had dunned the poor drunkard for the money until he got
tired of so profitless a business, and gave up the account for lost.
By some means, it had recently come to his ears that Gordon had
signed the pledge.

"Some chance for me yet," he said, and immediately had the bill made
out anew, and sent in; not thinking or caring whether it might not
be premature for him to do so, and have the effect to discourage the
poor man and drive him back to his old habits. What he wanted was
his money. It was his due; and he meant to have it if he could get

"Tell Mr. Blake that I will pay him as soon as possible. At present
it is out of my power," said Gordon, in answer to the demand.

The lad, in the spirit of his master, turned away with a sulky air,
and left the house.

Poor Gordon's feelings went down to zero in a moment.

"It's hopeless, Mary! I see it all as plain as day," he said. "The
moment I get upon my feet, there will be a dozen to knock me down.
While I was a drunkard, no one thought of dunning me for money; but
now that I am trying to do right, every one to whom I am indebted a
dollar will come pouncing down upon me."

"It's a just debt, Henry, you know, and we ought to pay it."

"I don't dispute that. But we can't pay it now."

"Then Blake can't get it now; so there the matter will have to rest.
A little dunning won't kill us. We have had harder trials than that
to bear. So don't get discouraged so easily."

The words "Time, Faith, Energy!" came into the mind of Gordon and
rebuked him.

"There is sense in what you say, Mary," he replied. "I know I am too
easily discouraged. We owe Blake, that is clear; and I suppose he is
right in trying to get his money. We can't pay him now; and
therefore he can't get it now, do what he will. So we will be no
worse for his dunning, if he duns every day. But I hate so to be
asked for money."

"I'll tell you what might be done," said Mrs. Gordon.

"Well?" inquired the husband.

"Mr. Blake has a large family, and no doubt his wife gives out a
good deal of sewing. I could work it out."

Gordon thought a few moments, and then said--

"Or, better than that; perhaps Blake would let me work it out in his
store. I have a good deal of time on my hands unemployed."

"Yes, that would be better," replied Mrs. Gordon; "for I have as
much sewing as I can do, and get paid for it all."

This thought brightened the spirits of Gordon. As soon as he had
eaten his dinner he started for the store of Mr. Blake.

"I've come to talk to you about that bill of mine," said Mr. Gordon.

"Well, what of it?" returned the grocer. "I wish to pay it, but have
not the present ability. I lost my situation on the very day I
signed the pledge, and have had no regular employment since. So far,
I have only been able to pick up five or six dollars a week, and it
takes all that to live upon. But I have time to spare, Mr. Blake, if
I have no money; and if I can pay you in labor, I will be glad to do

"I don't know that I could ask more than that," replied the grocer.
"If I did, I would be unreasonable. Let me see: I reckon I could
find a day's work for you about the store at least once a week, for
which I would allow you a credit of one dollar and a quarter. How
would that do?"

"It would be exactly what I would like. I can spare you a day
easily. And it is much better to work out an old debt than to be

"Very well, Gordon. Come to-morrow and work for me, and I will pass
a dollar and a quarter to your account. I like this. It shows you
are an honest man. Never fear but what you'll get along."

The approving words of the grocer encouraged Gordon very much. On
the next day he went as he had agreed and worked for Mr. Blake. When
he was about leaving the store at night, Blake called to him and

"Here, Gordon; stop a moment. I want you to put up a pound of this
white crushed sugar; and a quarter of young hyson tea."

Gordon did as he was directed. Blake took the two packages from the
counter, and handing them to Gordon, said--

"Take them to your wife with my compliments, and tell her that I
wish her joy of an honest husband."

Gordon took the unexpected favor, and without speaking, turned
hastily from the grocer and walked away.

"Behind _that_ frowning Providence
He hid a smiling face,"

said Mrs. Gordon, with tearful eyes, when her husband presented her
the sugar and tea, and repeated what the grocer had said.

"Yes. It was a blessing sent to us in disguise," returned Gordon.
"How little do we know of the good or ill that lies in our immediate

"Do not say ill, dear husband--only seeming ill; if we think right
and do right. When God makes our future, all is good; the ill is of
our own procuring."

"Right, Mary. I see that truth as clear as if a sunbeam shone upon

"Time, Faith, Energy!" murmured Gordon to himself, as he lay awake
that night, thinking of the future. Before losing himself in sleep,
he had made up his mind to go to another creditor for a small
amount, and see if he could not make a similar arrangement with him
to the one entered into with the grocer. The man demurred a little,
and then said he would take time to think about it. When Gordon
called again, he declined the proposition, and said he had sold his
goods for money, not for work.

"But I have no money," replied Gordon.

"I'll wait awhile and see," returned the man, in a way and with a
significance that fretted the mind of Gordon.

"He'll wait until he sees me getting a little ahead, and then pounce
down upon me like a hawk upon his prey."

Over this idea the reformed man worried himself, and went home to
his wife unhappy and dispirited.

"I owe at least a hundred and fifty or two hundred dollars," he
said; "and there is no hope of inducing all of those to whom money
is due to wait until we can pay them with comfort to ourselves. I
shall be tormented to death, I see that plain enough."

"Don't you look at the dark side, Henry?" replied his wife to this.
"I think you do. You owe some eight or ten persons, and one of them
has asked you for what was due. You offered to work out the debt,
and he accepted your offer. To another who has not asked you, you go
and make the same offer, which he declines, preferring to wait for
the money. There is nothing so really discouraging in all this, I am
sure. If he prefers waiting, let him wait. No doubt it will be the
same to us in the end. As to our getting much ahead or many comforts
around us until our debts are settled off, we might as well not
think of that. We will feel better to pay what we owe as fast as we
earn it; and, more than that, it will put the temptation to distress
us in nobody's way. If one man won't let you work out your debt, why
another will. I've no doubt that two-thirds of your creditors will
be glad to avail themselves of the offer."

Thus re-assured, Gordon felt better. On the next day he tried a
third party to whom he owed fifteen dollars. This man happened to
keep a retail grocery and liquor store. That is, he had a bar at one
counter, and sold groceries at the other. Two-thirds of the debt was
for liquor. "I want to wipe off that old score of mine, if I can,
Mr. King," said Gordon, as he met the storekeeper at his own door.

"That's clever," replied Mr. King. "Walk in. What will you take?
Some brandy?"

And Mr. King stepped behind the counter and laid his hand upon a

"Nothing at all, I thank you," replied Gordon quickly.

"Why how's that? Have you sworn off?"

"Yes. I've joined the temperance society."

The storekeeper shrugged his shoulders. "I didn't expect that of
you, Gordon. I thought you were too fond of a little creature

"I ruined myself and beggared my family by drink, if that is what
you mean by creature comfort. Poor comfort it was for my wife and
children, to say nothing of my own case, which was, Heaven knows,
bad enough. But I have come to talk to you about paying off that old
score. Now that I've given up drinking, I want to try and be honest
if I can."

"That's right. I like to see a man, when he sets out to be decent,
go the whole figure. Have you got the money?"

"No. I wish I had. I have no money and not half work; but I have
time on my hands, Mr. King."

"Time? That is what some people call money. You want to pay me in
time, instead of money, I presume? Rather rich, that, Gordon! But
time don't pass current, like money, in these diggins, my friend.
There are a plenty who come here--and throw it away for nothing. I
can get more than I want."

"I have no wish to throw my time away, nor to pass it upon you for
money, Mr. King. What I want is, to render you some service--in
other words, to work for you, if you can give me something to do. I
have time on my hands unemployed, and I wish to turn it to some good

"O, yes. I understand now. Very well, Gordon; I rather think I can
meet your views. Yesterday my barkeeper was sent to prison for
getting into a scrape while drunk, and I want his place supplied
until he gets out. Come and tend bar for me a couple of weeks, and I
will give you a receipt in full of all demands."

Gordon shook his head and looked grave.

"What's the matter? Won't you do it?"

"No, sir. I can't do that."


"Because I have sworn neither to taste, touch, nor handle the
accursed thing. Neither to drink it myself, nor put it to the lips
of another. No, no, Mr. King, I can't do that. But I will sell your
groceries for you three days in the week, for four weeks. Part of my
time is already regularly engaged."

"Go off about your business!" said the store-keeper, his face red
with anger at the language of the reformed man, which he was pleased
to consider highly insulting. "I'll see to collecting that bill in a
different way from that."

By this time Gordon was learning not to be frightened and
discouraged at every thing. His wife had so often showed him its
folly, that he felt ashamed to go to her again in a desponding mood,
and therefore cheered himself up before going home.

In other quarters he found rather better success. Not all of those
he owed were of the stamp of the two to whom application had last
been made. In less than six months he had worked out nearly a
hundred dollars of what he owed, and had regular employment that
brought him in six dollars every week, besides earning, by odd jobs
and light porterage, from two to three dollars. His wife rarely let
a week go without producing her one or two dollars by needle-work.
Little comforts gradually crept in, notwithstanding all their debts
were not yet paid off. This was inevitable.

By the end of twelve months Gordon found himself clear of debt, and
in a good situation in a store at five hundred dollars a year.

"So much for 'Time, Faith, Energy,'" he said to himself, as he
walked backwards and forwards, in his comfortable little home, one
evening, thinking of the incidents of the year, and the results that
had followed. "I would not have believed it. Scarcely a twelvemonth
has passed, and here am I, a sober man and out of debt."

"Though still very far from the advanced position in the world you
held a few years ago, and to which you can never more attain," said
a desponding voice within him. "A man never has but one chance for
attaining ease and competence in this life. If he neglects that, he
need not waste his time in any useless struggles."

"Time, Faith, Energy!" spoke out another voice. "If one year has
done so much for you, what will not five, ten, or twenty years do?
Redouble your energies, have confidence in the future, and time will
make all right."

"I will have faith in time; I will have energy!" responded the man
in Gordon, speaking aloud.

From that time Gordon and his wife lived with even stricter economy
than before, in order to lay by a little money with which he
could,--at some future time, re-commence his own business, which was
profitable. There was still only a single shop in town, and that was
the one owned by his old employer, who had, in fact, built himself
up on his downfall, when he took to drinking and neglecting his
business. On less than a thousand dollars Gordon did not think of
commencing business. Less than that he knew would make the effort a
doubtful one. This amount he expected to save in about five years.

Two years of this time had elapsed, and Gordon had four hundred
dollars invested and bearing interest. He still held his situation
at five hundred dollars per annum. The only shop yet established in
the town for doing the work for which he was qualified both as a
journeyman and master workman, was that owned and still carried on
by his old employer, who had made a good deal of money; but who had,
of late, fallen into habits of dissipation and neglected his

One evening, while Gordon was reading at home in his comfortable
little sitting-room, with his wife beside him engaged with her
needle, and both feeling very contented, there was a rap at the
door. On opening it Gordon recognized Mr. Evenly, and politely
invited him to come in. After being seated, his old employer, who
showed too plainly the debasing signs of frequent intoxication,

"Gordon what are you doing now?"

The reformed man stated the nature of his occupation.

"What salary do you receive?" asked Evenly.

"Five hundred dollars a year."

"Do you like your present employment?"

"Yes, very well. It is lighter than my old business, and much

"Would you be willing to come to work for me again?" further
inquired Evenly.

"I don't know that I would. My present situation is permanent, my
employer a very pleasant man, and my work easy."

"Three things that are very desirable, certainly. But I'll tell you
what I want, and what I will give you. Perhaps we can make a
bargain. There is no man in town who understands our business better
than you do. That I am free to admit. Heretofore I have been my own
manager; but I am satisfied that it will be for my interest to have
a competent foreman in my establishment. If I can find one to suit
me I will give him liberal wages. You will do exactly; and if you
will take charge of my shop, I will make your wages fifteen dollars
a week. What do you say to that?"

"I rather think," replied Gordon, "that I will accept your offer.
Five dollars a week advance in wages for a poor man is a
consideration not lightly to be passed by."

"It is not, certainly," remarked Evenly. "Then I may consider it
settled that you will take charge of my shop."

"Yes. I believe I needn't hesitate about the matter."

So the arrangement was made, and Gordon went back to the shop as
foreman, from which he had been discharged as a journeyman three
years before.

Firmly bent upon commencing the business for himself, whenever he
should feel himself able to do so, Gordon continued his frugal mode
of living for two years longer, when the amount of his savings,
interest and all added, was very nearly fifteen hundred dollars. The
time had now come for him to take the step he had contemplated for
four years. Evenly received the announcement with undisguised
astonishment. After committing to such competent hands the entire
manufacturing part of his business, he had given himself up more and
more to dissipation. Had it not been for the active and energetic
manner in which the affairs of the shop were conducted by Gordon,
every thing would have fallen into disorder. But in a fair ratio
with the neglect of his principal was he efficient as his agent.

"I can't let you go," said Evenly, when Gordon informed him of his
intention to go into business for himself. "If fifteen dollars a
week doesn't satisfy you, you shall have twenty."

"It is not the wages," replied Gordon. "I wish to go into business
for myself. From the first this has been my intention."

"But you haven't the capital."

"Yes. I have fifteen hundred dollars."

"You have!"

"Yes. I have saved it in four years. That will give me a fair start.
I am not afraid for the rest."'

Evenly felt well satisfied that if Gordon went into business for
himself, his own would be ruined, and therefore, finding all efforts
to dissuade him from his purpose of no avail, he offered to take him
in as a partner. But to this came an unexpected objection. Gordon
was averse to such a connection. Being pressed to state the reason
why, he frankly said--

"My unwillingness to enter into business with you arises from the
fact that you are, as I was four years ago, a slave to strong drink.
You are not yourself one half of the time, and hardly ever in a fit
condition to attend to business. Pardon me for saying this. But you
asked for my reason, and I have given it."

Evenly, at first, was angry. But reflection soon came, and then he
felt humiliated as he had never felt before. There was no intention
on the part of Gordon to insult him, nor to triumph over him, but
rather a feeling of sorrow; and this Evenly saw.

"And this is your only objection?" he at length said.

"I have none other," replied Gordon.

"If it did not exist you would meet my proposals?"


"Then it shall no longer exist. From this hour I will be as free
from the vice you have named as you are."

"Will you sign the pledge?"

"Yes, this very hour."

And he did so.

A year afterwards an old friend, who had joined the temperance ranks
about the time Gordon did, and who had only got along moderately
well, passed the establishment of EVENLY & GORDON, and saw the
latter standing in the door.

"Are you in this concern?" he asked, in some surprise.


"And making money fast?"

"We are doing very well."

"Gordon, I don't understand this altogether. I tried to recover
myself, but soon got discouraged, and have ever since plodded along
in a poor way I live, it is true; but you are doing much better than
that. What is your secret?"

"It lies in three words," replied Gordon.

"Name them."

"Time, Faith, Energy!"

The man looked startled for a moment, and then walked away wiser
than when he asked the question. Whether he will profit by the
answer we cannot tell. Others may, if they will.


"WASN'T that Ernestine Lee that we passed this moment?" asked Harvey
Lane, a young M.D., of his friend James Everett, in a tone of

"Yes, I believe it was--"Everett returned, rather coldly.

"You believe it was! Surely, James, nothing has occurred to destroy
the intimacy that has for some time existed between you."

"You saw that we did not speak."

"I did."

"And, probably, shall never be on terms of friendship again."

"What you say pains me very much, James. Of course there is a reason
for so great a change. May I ask what it is?"

"It is, no doubt, a good deal my own fault. But still, I cannot help
thinking that she has taken offence too suddenly, where no offence
was intended. You know that I have been long paying attentions to


"If I remember rightly, I told you last week, that my intentions
towards her were of a serious character. In a word, that I had fully
made up my mind to ask her hand in marriage."

"O, yes,--I remember it very well. And that is the reason why I felt
so much surprised at seeing you pass each other, without speaking."

"Well, a few evenings ago, I called, as usual, intending, if a good
opportunity offered, to make known my true feelings towards her.
Unfortunately, I had dined out that day with some young friends. We
sat late at table, and when I left, I was a _little flushed with
wine_. It was a very little, for you know that I can drink pretty
freely without its being seen. But, somehow, or other, I was more
elated than is usual with me on such occasions, and when I called on
Ernestine, felt as free and easy as if everything was settled, and
we were to be married in a week. For a time, we chatted together
very pleasantly; then I asked her to play and sing for me. She went
to the piano, at my request, and played and sung two or three very
sweet airs. I don't know which it was that elated my feelings so
much--the wine, or the delightful music. Certain it is, that at the
conclusion of a piece, I was in such rapture, that I threw my arms
around her neck, drew back her head, and kissed her with emphatic

"Why, James!"

"You may well be surprised at the commission of so rude and
ungentlemanly an act. But, as I have said, I was flushed with wine."

"How did Ernestine act?"

"She was, of course, deeply indignant at the unwarrantable liberty.
Springing from the piano-stool, her face crimsoned over, she drew
herself up with a dignified air, and ordered me instantly to leave
her presence. I attempted to make an apology, but she would not hear
a word. I have since written to her, but my letter has been returned

"Really, that is unfortunate," the friend of Everett said, with
concern. "Ernestine is a girl whom any man might be proud to gain as
a wife. And, besides her personal qualifications, a handsome fortune
will go with her hand."

"I know all that too well, Harvey. Fool that I have been, to mar
such prospects as were mine! But she must have known that I was not
myself--and ought to have charged the fault upon the wine, and not
upon me."

"Such a discrimination is not usually made."

"I know that it is not. And for not making it in my case, I
certainly cannot help blaming Ernestine a little. She must have
known, that, had I not been flushed with wine, I never would have
taken the liberty with her that I did. As it is, however, I am not
only pained at the consequences of my foolishness, but deeply
mortified at my conduct."

"Is there no hope of a reconciliation?"

"I do not think there is any. If she had accepted my written apology
for the act, there would have been some hope. But the fact of her
returning my letter unopened, is conclusive as to the permanency of
the breach. I can now make no further advances."

"Truly, it is mortifying!" the friend remarked. Then, after a pause,
he added, with emphasis--

"What fools this wine does make of us, sometimes!"

"Doesn't it? Another such a circumstance as this, would almost drive
me to join a temperance society."

"O, no, hardly that, James."

"Well, perhaps not. But, at least, to eschew wine for ever."

"Wine is good enough in its place; but, like fire, is rather a bad
master. Like you, I have injured my prospects in life by an
over-indulgence in the pleasures of the cup."



"When did that happen?"

"Since I last saw you."

"Indeed! I am sorry to hear you say so. But how was it?--tell me."

"You know, that as a young physician, I shall have to struggle on in
this city for years before I can rise to any degree of distinction,
unless aided by some fortunate circumstance, that shall be as a
stepping-stone upon which to elevate me, and enable me to gain the
public eye. I am conscious that I have mastered thoroughly the
principles of my profession--and that, in regard to surgery,
particularly, I possess a skill not surpassed by many who have
handled the knife for years. Of this fact, my surgical teacher, who
is my warm friend, is fully aware. At every important case that he
has, I am desired to be present, and assist in the operation, and
once or twice, where there were no friends of the patient to object,
I have been permitted to perform the operation myself, and always
with success. In this department of my profession, I feel great
confidence in myself--and it is that part of it, in which I take the
most interest."

"And in which, I doubt not, you will one day be distinguished."

"I trust so; and yet, things look dark enough just now. But to go
on. A few days ago, I dined with some friends. After dinner, the
bottle was circulated pretty freely, and I drank as freely as the
rest, but was not aware of having taken enough to produce upon me
any visible effects. It was about an hour after the table had been
cleared for the wine, that an unusually loud ringing of the
door-bell attracted our attention. In a few moments after, I heard a
voice asking, in hurried tones, for Doctor Lane. Going down at once
to the hall, I found old Mr. Camper there, the rich merchant, in a
state of great agitation.

"'Doctor,' said he, grasping my arm,--'a most terrible accident has
happened to my daughter!--thrown from a carriage!--My physician
cannot be found, and as I have often heard your skill warmly alluded
to by him, I desire your instant attendance. My carriage is at the
door--Come along with me, quickly.'

"Catching up my hat, I attended him at once, and during our rapid
drive to his princely residence, learned that his only daughter had
been thrown from a carriage, and dreadfully injured; but in what
way, could not ascertain. Unaccountably to myself, I found my mind
all in confusion,--and, strange, unprofessional omission! forgot to
request that I be driven first to my office for my case of
instruments. We had not proceeded half the distance to Mr. Camper's
residence, before I noticed that the old man became silent, and that
his eye was fixed upon me with a steady, scrutinizing gaze. This
added to the confusion of mind which I felt. At length the carriage
stopped, and I accompanied Mr. Camper to his daughter's chamber,
hurriedly, and in silence. As I paused by the bed upon which she
lay, I again noticed that he was regarding me with a steady
searching look, and an expression of face that I did not like, and
could not understand.

"I proceeded, however, at once, to examine the condition of my
patient, who lay in a kind of stupor. There was a deep gash on the
side of her face, from which the blood had issued profusely. By the
aid of warm-water, I soon cleared the wound from a mass of
coagulated blood that had collected around it, and was glad to find
that it was not a serious one. I then proceeded to examine if there
were any fractures. All this time my hands were unsteady, my face
burned, and my mind was confused. _I was conscious that I had taken
too much wine._

"'There is no apparent injury here,' I at length said, after
examining the arms and chest. 'She is probably only stunned by the

"'But she could not stand on her feet when first lifted after the
fall, and fainted immediately upon attempting to sustain her own
weight,' Mr. Camper replied.

"I then made further examination, and found sad indications of her
fall, in a fractured patella. The knee was, however, so swollen,
that I could not ascertain the nature, nor extent of the fracture.

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