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´╗┐Title: Sowing and Reaping
Author: Harper, Frances Ellen Watkins, 1825-1911
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Sowing and Reaping" ***

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                    Any bracketed notations such as [Text missing],
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                    are from the original text.


A Temperance Story

A Rediscovered Novel by

Frances E.W. Harper

Edited by Frances Smith Foster

Chapter I

"I hear that John Andrews has given up his saloon; and a foolish thing
it was. He was doing a splendid business. What could have induced him?"

"They say that his wife was bitterly opposed to the business. I don't
know, but I think it quite likely. She has never seemed happy since John
has kept saloon."

"Well, I would never let any woman lead me by the nose. I would let her
know that as the living comes by me, the way of getting it is my affair,
not hers, as long as she is well provided for."

"All men are not alike, and I confess that I value the peace and
happiness of my home more than anything else; and I would not like to
engage in any business which I knew was a source of constant pain to my

"But, what right has a woman to complain, if she has every thing she
wants. I would let her know pretty soon who holds the reins, if I had
such an unreasonable creature to deal with. I think as much of my wife
as any man, but I want her to know her place, and I know mine."

"What do you call her place?"

"I call her place staying at home and attending to her own affairs. Were
I a laboring man I would never want my wife to take in work. When a
woman has too much on hand, something has to be neglected. Now I always
furnish my wife with sufficient help and supply every want but how I get
the living, and where I go, and what company I keep, is my own business,
and I would not allow the best woman in the world to interfere. I have
often heard women say that they did not care what their husbands did, so
that they provided for them; and I think such conclusions are very

"Well, John, I do not think so. I think a woman must be very selfish, if
all she cares for her husband is, to have a good provider. I think her
husband's honor and welfare should be as dear to her as her own; and no
true woman and wife can be indifferent to the moral welfare of her
husband. Neither man nor woman can live by bread alone in the highest
and best sense of the term."

"Now Paul, don't go to preaching. You have always got some moon struck
theories, some wild, visionary and impracticable ideas, which would work
first rate, if men were angels and earth a paradise. Now don't be so
serious, old fellow; but you know on this religion business, you and I
always part company. You are always up in the clouds, while I am trying
to invest in a few acres, or town lots of solid _terra firma_."

"And would your hold on earthly possessions, be less firm because you
looked beyond the seen to the unseen?"

"I think it would, if I let conscience interfere constantly, with every
business transaction I undertook. Now last week you lost $500 fair and
square, because you would not foreclose that mortgage on Smith's
property. I told you that 'business is business,' and that while I
pitied the poor man, I would not have risked my money that way, but you
said that conscience would not let you; that while other creditors were
gathering like hungry vultures around the poor man, you would not join
with them, and that you did not believe in striking a man when he is
down. Now Paul, as a business man, if you want to succeed, you have got
to look at business in a practical, common sense way. Smith is dead, and
where is your money now?"

"Apparently lost; but the time may come when I shall feel that it was
one of the best investments I ever made. Stranger things than that have
happened. I confess that I felt the loss and it has somewhat cramped my
business. Yet if it was to do over again, I don't think that I would act
differently, and when I believe that Smith's death was hurried on by
anxiety and business troubles, while I regret the loss of my money, I am
thankful that I did not press my claim."

"Sour grapes, but you are right to put the best face on matters."

"No, if it were to do over again, I never would push a struggling man to
the wall when he was making a desperate fight for his wife and little

"Well! Paul, we are both young men just commencing life, and my motto is
to look out for Number 1, and you--"

"Oh! I believe in lending a helping hand."

"So do I, when I can make every corner out to my advantage. I believe in
every man looking out for himself."

You will see by the dialogue, that the characters I here introduce are
the antipodes of each other. They had both been pupils in the same
school, and in after life, being engaged as grocers, they frequently met
and renewed their acquaintance. They were both established in business,
having passed the threshold of that important event, "Setting out in
life." As far as their outward life was concerned, they were
acquaintances; but to each other's inner life they were strangers. John
Anderson has a fine robust constitution, good intellectual abilities,
and superior business faculties. He is eager, keen and alert, and if
there is one article of faith that moulds and colors all his life more
than anything else, it is a firm and unfaltering belief in the "main
chance." He has made up his mind to be rich, and his highest ideal of
existence may be expressed in four words--_getting on in life_. To this
object, he is ready to sacrifice time, talent, energy and every faculty,
which he possesses. Nay, he will go farther; he will spend honor,
conscience and manhood, in an eager search for gold. He will change his
heart into a ledger on which he will write _tare_ and _tret_, loss and
gain, exchange and barter, and he will succeed, as worldly men count
success. He will add house to house; he will encompass the means of
luxury; his purse will be plethoric but, oh, how poverty stricken his
soul will be. Costly viands will please his taste, but unappeased hunger
will gnaw at his soul. Amid the blasts of winter he will have the warmth
of Calcutta in his home; and the health of the ocean and the breezes of
the mountains shall fan his brow, amid the heats of summer, but there
will be a coolness in his soul that no breath of summer can ever dispel;
a fever in his spirit that no frozen confection can ever allay; he shall
be rich in lands and houses, but fear of loss and a sense of poverty
will poison the fountains of his life; and unless he repent, he shall go
out into the eternities a pauper and a bankrupt.

Paul Clifford, whom we have also introduced to you, was the only son of
a widow, whose young life had been overshadowed by the curse of
intemperance. Her husband, a man of splendid abilities and magnificent
culture, had fallen a victim to the wine cup. With true womanly devotion
she had clung to him in the darkest hours, until death had broken his
hold in life, and he was laid away the wreck of his former self in a
drunkard's grave. Gathering up the remains of what had been an ample
fortune, she installed herself in an humble and unpretending home in the
suburbs of the city of B., and there with loving solicitude she had
watched over and superintended the education of her only son. He was a
promising boy, full [of?] life and vivacity, having inherited much of
the careless joyousness of his father's temperament; and although he
was the light and joy of his home, yet his mother sometimes felt as if
her heart was contracting with a spasm of agony, when she remembered
that it was through that same geniality of disposition and wonderful
fascination of manner, the tempter had woven his meshes for her husband,
and that the qualities that made him so desirable at home, made him
equally so to his jovial, careless, inexperienced companions. Fearful
that the appetite for strong drink might have been transmitted to her
child as a fatal legacy of sin, she sedulously endeavored to develop
within him self control, feeling that the lack of it is a prolific cause
of misery and crime, and she spared no pains to create within his mind a
horror of intemperance, and when he was old enough to understand the
nature of a vow, she knelt with him in earnest prayer, and pledging him
to eternal enmity against everything that would intoxicate, whether
fermented or distilled. In the morning she sowed the seed which she
hoped would blossom in time, and bear fruit throughout eternity.

Chapter II

The Decision[1]

"I hear Belle," said Jeanette Roland[2] addressing her cousin Belle
Gordon, "that you have refused an excellent offer of marriage."

"Who said so?"

"Aunt Emma."

"I am very sorry that Ma told you, I think such things should be kept
sacred from comment, and I think the woman is wanting in refinement and
delicacy of feeling who makes the rejection of a lover a theme for

"Now you dear little prude I had no idea that you would take it so
seriously but Aunt Emma was so disappointed and spoke of the rejected
suitor in such glowing terms, and said that you had sacrificed a
splendid opportunity because of some squeamish notions on the subject of
temperance, and so of course, my dear cousin, it was just like me to let
my curiosity overstep the bounds of prudence, and inquire why you
rejected Mr. Romaine."[3]

"Because I could not trust him."

"Couldn't trust him? Why Belle you are a greater enigma than ever. Why

"Because I feel that the hands of a moderate drinker are not steady
enough to hold my future happiness."

"Was that all? Why I breathe again, we girls would have to refuse almost
every young man in our set, were we to take that stand."

"And suppose you were, would that be any greater misfortune than to be
the wives of drunkards."

"I don't see the least danger. Ma has wine at her entertainments, and I
have often handed it to young gentlemen, and I don't see the least harm
in it. On last New Year's day we had more than fifty callers. Ma and I
handed wine, to every one of them." "Oh I do wish people would abandon
that pernicious custom of handing around wine on New Year's day. I do
think it is a dangerous and reprehensible thing."

"Wherein lies the danger? Of course I do not approve of young men
drinking in bar rooms and saloons, but I cannot see any harm in handing
round wine at social gatherings. Not to do so would seem so odd."

"It is said Jeanette[,?] 'He is a slave who does not be, in the right
with two or three.' It is better, wiser far to stand alone in our
integrity than to join with the multitude in doing wrong. You say while
you do not approve of young men drinking in bar rooms and saloons, that
you have no objection to their drinking beneath the shadow of their
homes, why do you object to their drinking in saloons, and bar rooms?"

"Because it is vulgar. Oh! I think these bar rooms are horrid places. I
would walk squares out of my way to keep from passing them." "And I
object to intemperance not simply because I think it is vulgar but
because I know it is wicked; and Jeanette I have a young brother for
whose welfare I am constantly trembling; but I am not afraid that he
will take his first glass of wine in a fashionable saloon, or flashy gin
palace, but I do dread his entrance into what you call 'our set.' I fear
that my brother has received as an inheritance a temperament which will
be easily excited by stimulants, that an appetite for liquor once a
awakened will be hard to subdue, and I am so fearful, that at some
social gathering, a thoughtless girl will hand him a glass of wine, and
that the first glass will be like adding fuel to a smouldering fire."

"Oh Belle do stop, what a train of horrors you can conjure out of an
innocent glass of wine."

"Anything can be innocent that sparkles to betray, that charms at first,
but later will bite like an adder and sting like a serpent."

"Really! Belle, if you keep on at this rate you will be a monomaniac on
the temperance question. However I do not think Mr. Romaine will feel
highly complimented to know that you refused him because you dreaded he
might become a drunkard. You surely did not tell him so."

"Yes I did, and I do not think that I would have been a true friend to
him, had I not done so."

"Oh! Belle, I never could have had the courage to have told him so."

"Why not?"

"I would have dreaded hurting his feelings. Were you not afraid of
offending him?"

"I certainly shrank from the pain which I knew I must inflict, but
because I valued his welfare more than my own feelings, I was
constrained to be faithful to him. I told him that he was drifting where
he ought steer, that instead of holding the helm and rudder of his
young life, he was floating down the stream, and unless he stood firmly
on the side of temperance, that I never would clasp hands will him for

"But Belle, perhaps you have done him more harm than good; may be you
could have effected his reformation by consenting to marrying him."

"Jeanette, were I the wife of a drunken man I do not think there is any
depth of degradation that I would not fathom with my love and pity in
trying to save him. I believe I would cling to him, if even his own
mother shrank from him. But I never would consent to [marry any man?],
whom I knew to be un[?]steady in his principles and a moderate drinker.
If his love for me and respect for himself were not strong enough to
reform him before marriage, I should despair of effecting it afterwards,
and with me in such a case discretion would be the better part of

"And so you have given Mr. Romaine a release?"

"Yes, he is free."

"And I think you have thrown away a splendid opportunity."

"I don't think so, the risk was too perilous. Oh Jeanette, I know by
mournful and bitter experience what it means to dwell beneath the shadow
of a home cursed by intemperance. I know what it is to see that shadow
deepen into the darkness of a drunkard's grave, and I dare not run the
fearful risk."

"And yet Belle this has cost you a great deal, I can see it in the
wanness of your face, in your eyes which in spite of yourself, are
filled with sudden tears, I know from the intonations of your voice that
you are suffering intensely."

"Yes Jeanette, I confess, it was like tearing up the roots of my life to
look at this question fairly and squarely in the face, and to say, no;
but I must learn to suffer and be strong, I am deeply pained, it is
true, but I do not regret the steps I have taken. The man who claims my
love and allegiance, must be a victor and not a slave. The reeling
brain of a drunkard is not a safe foundation on which to build up a new

"Well Belle, you may be right, but I think I would have risked it. I
don't think because Mr. Romaine drinks occasionally that I would have
given him up. Oh young men will sow their wild oats."

"And as we sow, so must we reap, and as to saying about young men sowing
their wild oats, I think it is full of pernicious license. A young man
has no more right to sow his wild oats than a young woman. God never
made one code of ethics for a man and another for a woman. And it is the
duty of all true women to demand of men the same standard of morality
that they do of woman."

"Ah Belle that is very fine in theory, but you would find it rather
difficult, if you tried to reduce your theory to practice."

"All that may be true, but the difficulty of a duty is not a valid
excuse for its non performance."

"My dear cousin it is not my role to be a reformer. I take things as I
find them and drift along the tide of circumstances."

"And is that your highest ideal of life? Why Jeanette such a life is not
worth living."

"Whether it is or not, I am living it and I rather enjoy it. Your vexing
problems of life never disturb me. I do not think I am called to turn
this great world 'right side up with care,' and so I float along singing
as I go,

  "I'd be a butterfly born in a bower
  Kissing every rose that is pleasant and sweet,
  I'd never languish for wealth or for power
  I'd never sigh to have slaves at my feet."

"Such a life would never suit me, life must mean to me more than ease,
luxury and indulgence, it must mean aspiration and consecration,
endeavor and achievement."

"Well, Belle, should we live twenty years longer, I would like to meet
you and see by comparing notes which of us shall have gathered the most
sunshine or shadow from life."

"Yes Jeanette we will meet in less than twenty years, but before then
your glad light eyes will be dim with tears, and the easy path you have
striven to walk will be thickly strewn with thorn; and whether you
deserve it or not, life will have for you a mournful earnestness, but
notwithstanding all your frivolity and flippancy there is fine gold in
your character, which the fire of affliction only will reveal."

Chapter III

[Text missing.]

Chapter IV

"How is business?"

"Very dull, I am losing terribly."

"Any prospect of times brightening?"

"I don't see my way out clear; but I hope there will be a change for the
better. Confidence has been greatly shaken, men of[?] business have
grown exceedingly timid about investing and there is a general
depression in every department of trade and business."

"Now Paul will you listen to reason and common sense? I have a
proposition to make. I am about to embark in a profitable business, and
I know that it will pay better than anything else I could undertake in
these times. Men will buy liquor if they have not got money for other
things. I am going to open a first class saloon, and club-house, on M.
Street, and if you will join with me we can make a splendid thing of it.
Why just see how well off Joe Harden is since he set up in the business;
and what airs he does put on! I know when he was not worth fifty
dollars, and kept a little low groggery on the corner of L. and S.
Streets, but he is out of that now--keeps a first class _Cafe_, and owns
a block of houses. Now Paul, here is a splendid chance for you; business
is dull, and now accept this opening. Of course I mean to keep a first
class saloon. I don't intend to tolerate loafing, or disorderly conduct,
or to sell to drunken men. In fact, I shall put up my scale of prices so
that you need fear no annoyance from rough, low, boisterous men who
don't know how to behave themselves. What say you, Paul?"

"I say, no! I wouldn't engage in such a business, not if it paid me a
hundred thousand dollars a year. I think these first class saloons are
just as great a curse to the community as the low groggeries, and I look
upon them as the fountain heads of the low groggeries. The man who
begins to drink in the well lighted and splendidly furnished saloon is
in danger of finishing in the lowest dens of vice and shame."

"As you please," said John Anderson stiffly, "I thought that as business
is dull that I would show you a chance, that would yield you a handsome
profit; but if you refuse, there is no harm done. I know young men who
would jump at the chance."

You may think it strange that knowing Paul Clifford as John Anderson
did, that he should propose to him an interest in a drinking saloon;
but John Anderson was a man who was almost destitute of faith in human
goodness. His motto was that "every man has his price," and as business
was fairly dull, and Paul was somewhat cramped for want of capital,
he thought a good business investment would be the price for Paul
Clifford's conscientious scruples.

"Anderson," said Paul looking him calmly in the face, "you may call me
visionary and impracticable; but I am determined however poor I may be,
never to engage in any business on which I cannot ask God's blessing.
And John I am sorry from the bottom of my heart, that you have concluded
to give up your grocery and keep a saloon. You cannot keep that saloon
without sending a flood of demoralizing influence over the community.
Your profit will be the loss of others. Young men will form in that
saloon habits which will curse and overshadow all their lives. Husbands
and fathers will waste their time and money, and confirm themselves in
habits which will bring misery, crime, and degradation; and the fearful
outcome of your business will be broken hearted wives, neglected
children, outcast men, blighted characters and worse than wasted lives.
No not for the wealth of the Indies, would I engage in such a ruinous
business, and I am thankful today that I had a dear sainted mother who
taught me that it was better to have my hands clear than to have them
full. How often would she lay her dear hands upon my head, and clasp my
hands in hers and say, 'Paul, I want you to live so that you can always
feel that there is no eye before whose glance you will shrink, no voice
from whose tones your heart will quail, because your hands are not
clean, or your record not pure,' and I feel glad to-day that the
precepts and example of that dear mother have given tone and coloring to
my life; and though she has been in her grave for many years, her memory
and her words are still to me an ever present inspiration."

"Yes Paul; I remember your mother. I wish! Oh well there is no use
wishing. But if all Christians were like her, I would have more faith in
their religion."

"But John the failure of others is no excuse for our own derelictions."

"Well, I suppose not. It is said, the way Jerusalem was kept clean,
every man swept before his own door. And so you will not engage in the

"No John, no money I would earn would be the least inducement."

"How foolish," said John Anderson to himself as they parted. "There is a
young man who might succeed splendidly if he would only give up some of
his old fashioned notions, and launch out into life as if he had some
common sense. If business remains as it is, I think he will find out
before long that he has got to shut his eyes and swallow down a great
many things he don't like."

After the refusal of Paul Clifford, John soon found a young man of
facile conscience who was willing to join with him in a conspiracy of
sin against the peace, happiness and welfare of the community. And he
spared neither pains nor expense to make his saloon attractive to what
he called, "the young bloods of the city," and by these he meant young
men whose parents were wealthy, and whose sons had more leisure and
spending money than was good for them. He succeeded in fitting up a
magnificent palace of sin. Night after night till morning flashed the
orient, eager and anxious men sat over the gaming table watching the
turn of a card, or the throw of a dice. Sparkling champaign, or
ruby-tinted wine were served in beautiful and costly glasses. Rich
divans and easy chairs invited weary men to seek repose from unnatural
excitement. Occasionally women entered that saloon, but they were women
not as God had made them, but as sin had debased them. Women whose
costly jewels and magnificent robes were the livery of sin, the outside
garnishing of moral death; the flush upon whose cheek, was not the flush
of happiness, and the light in their eyes was not the sparkle of
innocent joy,--women whose laughter was sadder than their tears, and who
were dead while they lived. In that house were wine, and mirth, and
revelry, "but the dead were there," men dead to virtue, true honor and
rectitude, who walked the streets as other men, laughed, chatted,
bought, sold, exchanged and bartered, but whose souls were encased in
living tombs, bodies that were dead to righteousness but alive to sin.
Like a spider weaving its meshes around the unwary fly, John Anderson
wove his network of sin around the young men that entered his saloon.
Before they entered there, it was pleasant to see the supple vigor and
radiant health that were manifested in the poise of their bodies, the
lightness of their eyes, the freshness of their lips and the bloom upon
their cheeks. But Oh! it was so sad to see how soon the manly gait would
change to the drunkard's stagger. To see eyes once bright with
intelligence growing vacant and confused and giving place to the
drunkard's leer. In many cases lassitude supplanted vigor, and sickness
overmastered health. But the saddest thing was the fearful power that
appetite had gained over its victims, and though nature lifted her
signals of distress, and sent her warnings through weakened nerves and
disturbed functions, and although they were wasting money, time,
talents, and health, ruining their characters, and alienating their
friends, and bringing untold agony to hearts that loved them and yearned
over their defections, yet the fascination grew stronger and ever and
anon the grave opened at their feet; and disguise it as loving friends
might, the seeds of death had been nourished by the fiery waters of

Chapter V

[Text missing.]

Chapter VI

For a few days the most engrossing topic in A.P. was what shall I wear,
and what will you wear. There was an amount of shopping to be done, and
dressmakers to be consulted and employed before the great event of the
season came off. At length the important evening arrived and in the home
of Mr. Glossop, a wealthy and retired whiskey dealer, there was a
brilliant array of wealth and fashion. Could all the misery his liquor
had caused been turned into blood, there would have been enough to have
oozed in great drops from every marble ornament or beautiful piece of
frescoe that adorned his home, for that home with its beautiful
surroundings and costly furniture was the price of blood, but the glamor
of his wealth was in the eyes of his guests; and they came to be amused
and entertained and not to moralize on his ill-gotten wealth.

The wine flowed out in unstinted measures and some of the women so
forgot themselves as to attempt to rival the men in drinking. The
barrier being thrown down Charles drank freely, till his tones began to
thicken, and his eye to grow muddled, and he sat down near Jeanette and
tried to converse; but he was too much under the influence of liquor to
hold a sensible and coherent conversation.

"Oh! Charley you naughty boy, that wine has got into your head and you
don't know what you are talking about."

"Well, Miss Jenny, I b'lieve you're 'bout half-right, my head does feel

"I shouldn't wonder; mine feels rather dizzy, and Miss Thomas has gone
home with a sick headache, and I know what her headaches mean," said
Jeanette significantly.

"My head," said Mary Gladstone, "really feels as big as a bucket."

"And I feel real dizzy," said another.

"And so do I," said another, "I feel as if I could hardly stand, I feel
awful weak."

"Why girls, you! are all, all, tipsy, now just own right up, and be done
with it," said Charles Romaine.

"Why Charlie you are as good as a wizard, I believe we have all got too
much wine aboard: but we are not as bad as the girls of B.S., for they
succeeded in out drinking the men. I heard the men drank eight bottles
of wine, and that they drank sixteen."

Alas for these young people they were sporting upon the verge of a
precipice, but its slippery edge was concealed by flowers. They were
playing with the firebrands of death and thought they were Roman-candles
and harmless rockets.

"Good morning Belle," said Jeanette Roland to her cousin Belle as she
entered her cousin's sitting-room the morning after the party and found
Jeanette lounging languidly upon the sofa.

"Good morning. It is a lovely day, why are you not out enjoying the
fresh air? Can't you put on your things and go shopping with me? I think
you have excellent taste and I often want to consult it."

"Well after all then I am of some account in your eyes."

"Of course you are; who said you were not[?]"

"Oh! nobody only I had an idea that you thought that I was as useless as
a canary bird."

"I don't think that a canary bird is at all a useless thing. It charms
our ears with its song, and pleases our eye with its beauty, and I am a
firm believer in the utility of beauty--but can you, or rather will you
not go with me?"

"Oh Belle I would, but I am as sleepy as a cat."

"What's the matter?"

"I was up so late last night at Mrs. Glossop's party; but really it was
a splendid affair, everything was in the richest profusion, and their
house is magnificently furnished. Oh Belle I wish you could have been

"I don't; there are two classes of people with whom I never wish to
associate, or number as my especial friends, and they are rum sellers
and slave holders."

"Oh! well, Mr. Glossop is not in the business now and what is the use of
talking about the past; don't be always remembering a man's sins against

"Would you say the same of a successful pirate who could fare
sumptuously from the effects of his piracy?"

"No I would not; but Belle the cases is not at all parallel."

"Not entirely. One commits his crime against society within the pale of
the law, the other commits his outside. They are both criminals against
the welfare of humanity. One murders the body, and the other stabs the
soul. If I knew that Mr. Glossop was sorry for having been a liquor
dealer and was bringing forth fruits meet for repentance, I would be
among the first to hail his reformation with heartfelt satisfaction; but
when I hear that while he no longer sells liquor, that he constantly
offers it to his guests, I feel that he should rather sit down in
sackcloth and ashes than fireside at sumptuous feasts, obtained by
liquor selling. When crime is sanctioned by law, and upheld by custom
and fashion, it assumes its most dangerous phase; and there is often a
fearful fascination in the sin that is environed by success."

"Oh! Belle do stop. I really think that you will go crazy on the subject
of temperance. I think you must have written these lines that I have
picked up somewhere; let me see what they are,----

  "Tell me not that I hate the bowl,
   Hate is a feeble word."

"No Jeanette, I did not write them, but I have felt all the writer has
so nervously expressed. In my own sorrow-darkened home, and over my poor
father's grave, I learned to hate liquor in any form with all the
intensity of my nature."

"Well, it was a good thing you were not at Mrs. Glossop's last night,
for some of our heads were rather dizzy, and I know that Mr. Romaine was
out of gear. Now Belle! don't look so shocked and pained; I am sorry I
told you."

"Yes, I am very sorry. I had great hopes that Mr. Romaine had entirely
given up drinking, and I was greatly pained when I saw him take a glass
of wine at your solicitation. Jeanette I think Mr. Romaine feels a newly
awakened interest in you, and I know that you possess great influence
over him. I saw it that night when he hesitated, when you first asked
him to drink, and I was so sorry to see that influence. Oh Jeanette
instead of being his temptress, try and be the angel that keeps his
steps. If Mr. Romaine ever becomes a drunkard and goes down to a
drunkard's grave, I cannot help feeling that a large measure of the
guilt will cling to your shirts."

"Oh Belle, do stop, or you will give me the horrors. Pa takes wine every
day at his dinner and I don't see that he is any worse off for it. If
Charles Romaine can't govern himself, I can't see how I am to blame for

"I think you are to blame for this Jeanette: (and pardon me if I speak
plainly). When Charles Romaine was trying to abstain, you tempted him to
break his resolution, and he drank to please you. I wouldn't have done
so for my right hand."

"They say old coals are easily kindled, and I shall be somewhat chary
about receiving attention from him, if you feel so deeply upon the

"Jeanette you entirely misapprehend me. Because I have ceased to regard
Mr. Romaine as a lover, does not hinder me from feeling for him as a
friend. And because I am his friend and yours also, I take the liberty
to remonstrate against your offering him wine at your entertainments."

"Well Belle, I can't see the harm in it, I don't believe there was
another soul who refused except you and Mr. Freeman, and you are so
straightlaced, and he is rather green, just fresh from the country, it
won't take him long to get citified."

"Citified or countrified, I couldn't help admiring his strength of
principle which stood firm in the midst of temptation and would not
yield to the blandishments of the hour. And so you will not go out with
me this morning?"

"Oh! No Belle, I am too tired. Won't you excuse me?"

"Certainly, but I must go. Good morning."

"What a strange creature my cousin Belle is," said Jeanette, to herself
as Miss Gordon left the room. "She will never be like any one else. I
don't think she will ever get over my offering Mr. Romaine that glass
of wine, I wish she hadn't seen it, but I'll try and forget her and go
to sleep."

But Jeanette was not destined to have the whole morning for an unbroken
sleep. Soon after Bell's departure the bell rang and Charles Romaine was
announced, and weary as Jeanette was, she was too much interested in his
society to refuse him; and arraying herself in a very tasteful and
becoming manner, she went down to receive him in the parlor.

Chapter VII

Very pleasant was the reception Jeanette Roland gave Mr. Romaine. There
was no reproof upon her lips nor implied censure in her manner. True he
had been disguised by liquor or to use a softer phrase, had taken too
much wine. But others had done the same and treated it as a merry
escapade, and why should she be so particular? Belle Gordon would have
acted very differently but then she was not Belle, and in this instance
she did not wish to imitate her. Belle was so odd, and had become very
unpopular, and besides she wished to be very very pleasant to Mr.
Romaine. He was handsome, agreeable and wealthy, and she found it more
congenial to her taste to clasp hands with him and float down stream
together, than help him breast the current of his wrong tendencies, and
stand firmly on the rock of principle.

"You are looking very sweet, but rather pensive this morning," said Mr.
Romaine, noticing a shadow on the bright and beautiful face of Jeanette,
whose color had deepened by the plain remarks of her cousin Belle. "What
is the matter?"

"Oh nothing much, only my cousin Belle has been here this morning, and
she has been putting me on the stool of repentance."

"Why! what have you been doing that was naughty?"

"Oh! she was perfectly horror-stricken when I told her about the wine we
drank and Mrs. Glossop's party. I wish I had not said a word to her
about it."

"What did she say?"

"Oh she thought it was awful, the way we were going on. She made me feel
that I died [_sic_] something dreadful when I offered you a glass of
wine at Ma's silver wedding. I don't believe Belle ever sees a glass of
wine, without thinking of murder, suicide and a drunkard's grave."

"But we are not afraid of those dreadful things, are we Jeanette?"

"Of course not, but somehow Belle always makes me feel uncomfortable,
when she begins to talk on temperance. She says she is terribly in
earnest, and I think she is."

"Miss Gordon and I were great friends once," said Charles Romaine, as a
shadow flitted over his face, and a slight sigh escaped his lips.

"Were you? Why didn't you remain so?"

"Because she was too good for me."

"That is a very sorry reason."

"But it is true. I think Miss Gordon is an excellent young lady, but she
and I wouldn't agree on the temperance question. The man who marries her
has got to toe the mark. She ought to be a minister's wife."

"I expect she will be an old maid."

"I don't know, but if I were to marry her, I should prepare myself to go
to Church every Sunday morning and to stay home in the afternoon and
repeat my catechism."

"I would like to see you under her discipline."

"It would come hard on a fellow, but I might go farther and fare worse."

"And so you and Belle were great friends, once?"

"Yes, but as we could not agree on the total abstinence question, we
parted company."

"How so? Did you part as lovers part?"

  She with a wronged and broken heart?
  And you, rejoicing you were free,
  Glad to regain you liberty?

"Not at all. She gave me the mitten and I had to take it."

"Were you very sorry?"

"Yes, till I met you."

"Oh! Mr. Romaine," said Jeanette blushing and dropping her eyes.

"Why not? I think I have found in your society an ample compensation for
the loss of Miss Gordon."

"But I think Belle is better than I am. I sometimes wish I was half so

"You are good enough for me; Belle is very good, but somehow her
goodness makes a fellow uncomfortable. She is what I call distressingly
good; one doesn't want to be treated like a wild beast in a menagerie,
and to be every now and then stirred up with a long stick."

"What a comparison!"

"Well it is a fact; when a fellow's been busy all day pouring over Coke
and Blackstone, or casting up wearisome rows of figures, and seeks a
young lady's society in the evening, he wants to enjoy himself, to bathe
in the sunshine of her smiles, and not to be lectured about his
shortcomings. I tell you, Jeanette, it comes hard on a fellow."

"You want some one to smooth the wrinkles out of the brow of care, and
not to add fresh ones."

"Yes, and I hope it will be my fortune to have a fair soft hand like
his," said Mr. Romaine, slightly pressing Jeanette's hand to perform the
welcome and agreeable task.

"Belle's hand would be firmer than mine for the talk."

"It is not the strong hand, but the tender hand I want in a woman."

"But Belle is very kind; she did it all for your own good."

"Of course she did; my father used to say so when I was a boy, and he
corrected me; but it didn't make me enjoy the correction."

"It is said our best friends are those who show us our faults, and teach
us how to correct them."

"My best friend is a dear, sweet girl who sits by my side, who always
welcomes me with a smile, and beguiles me so with her conversation, that
I take no note of the hours until the striking of the clock warns me it
is time to leave; and I should ask no higher happiness than to be
permitted to pass all the remaining hours of my life at her side. Can I
dare to hope for such a happy fortune?"

A bright flush overspread the cheek of Jeanette Roland; there was a
sparkle of joy in her eyes as she seemed intently examining the flowers
on her mother's carpet, and she gently referred him to Papa for an
answer. In due time Mr. Roland was interviewed, his consent obtained,
and Jeanette Roland and Charles Romaine were affianced lovers.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Girls, have you heard the news?" said Miss Tabitha Jones, a pleasant
and wealthy spinster, to a number of young girls who were seated at her
tea table.

"No! what is it?"

"I hear Mr. Romaine is to be married next spring."

"To whom?"

"Jeanette Roland."

"Well! I do declare; I thought he was engaged to Belle Gordon."

"I thought so too, but it is said that she refused him, but I don't
believe it; I don't believe that she had a chance."

"Well I do."

"Why did she refuse him?"

"Because he would occasionally take too much wine."

"But he is not a drunkard."

"But she dreads that he will be."

"Well! I think it is perfectly ridiculous. I gave Belle credit for more
common sense. I think he was one of the most eligible gentlemen in our
set. Wealthy, handsome and agreeable. What could have possessed Belle? I
think he is perfectly splendid."

"Yes said another girl, I think Belle stood very much in her own light.
She is not rich, and if she would marry him she could have everything
heart could wish. What a silly girl! You wouldn't catch me throwing away
such a chance."

"I think," said Miss Tabitha, "that instead of Miss Gordon's being a
silly girl, that she has acted both sensibly and honorably in refusing
to marry a man she could not love. No woman should give her hand where
she cannot yield her heart."

"But Miss Tabitha, the strangest thing to me is, that I really believe
that Belle Gordon cares more for Mr. Romaine than she does for any one
else; her face was a perfect study that night at Mrs. Roland's party."

"How so?"

"They say that after Miss Gordon requested Mr. Romaine, that for a while
he scrupulously abstained from taking even a glass of wine. At several
entertainments, he adhered to this purpose but on the evening of Mrs.
Roland's silver wedding Jeanette succeeded in persuading him to take a
glass, in honor of the occasion. I watched Belle's face and it was a
perfect study, every nerve seemed quivering with intense anxiety. Once I
think she reached out her hand unconsciously as if to snatch away the
glass, and when at last he yielded I saw the light fade from her eyes, a
deadly pallor overspread her cheek, and I thought at one time she was
about to faint, but she did not, and only laid her head upon her side as
if to allay a sudden spasm of agony."

Chapter VIII

Paul Clifford sat at his ledger with a perplexed and anxious look. It
was near two o'clock and his note was in bank. If he could not raise
five hundred dollars by three o'clock, that note would be protested.
Money was exceedingly hard to raise, and he was about despairing. Once
he thought of applying to John Anderson, but he said to himself, "No, I
will not touch his money, for it is the price of blood," for he did not
wish to owe gratitude where he did not feel respect. It was now five
minutes past two o'clock and in less than an hour his note would be
protested unless relief came from some unexpected quarter.

"Is Mr. Clifford in?" said a full manly voice. Paul, suddenly roused
from his painful reflections, answered, "Yes, come in. Good morning sir,
what can I do for you this morning?"

"I have come to see you on business."

"I am at your service," said Paul.

"Do you remember," said the young man, "of having aided an unfortunate
friend more than a dozen years since by lending him five hundred

"Yes, I remember he was an old friend of mine, a school-mate of my
father's, Charles Smith."

"Well I am his son, and I have come to liquidate my father's debt. Here
is the money with interest for twelve years."

Paul's heart gave a sudden bound of joy. Strong man as he was a mist
gathered in his eyes as he reached out his hand to receive the thrice
welcome sum. He looked at the clock, it was just fifteen minutes to

"Will you walk with me to the bank or wait till I return?"

"I will wait," said James Smith, taking up the morning paper.

       *       *       *       *       *

"You are just in time, Mr. Clifford," said the banker smiling and
bowing as Paul entered, "I was afraid your note would be protested; but
it is all right."

"Yes," said Paul, "the money market is very tight, but I think I shall
weather the storm."

"I hope so, you may have to struggle hard for awhile to keep your head
above the water; but you must take it for your motto that there is no
such word as 'fail.'"

"Thank you, good morning."

"Well Mr. Smith," said Paul when he returned, "your father and mine were
boys together. He was several years younger than my father, and a great
favorite in our family among the young folks. About twelve years since
when I had just commenced business, I lent him five hundred dollars, and
when his business troubles became complicated I refused to foreclose a
mortgage which I had on his home. An acquaintance of mine sneered at my
lack of business keenness, and predicted that my money would be totally
lost, when I told him perhaps it was the best investment I ever made."
He smiled incredulously and said, "I would rather see it than hear of
it: but I will say that in all my business career I never received any
money that came so opportune as this. It reminds me of the stories that
I have read in fairy books. People so often fail in paying their own
debts, it seems almost a mystery to me that you should pay a debt
contracted by your father when you were but a boy."

"The clue to this mystery has been the blessed influence of my sainted
mother;" and a flush of satisfaction mantled his cheek as he referred to

"After my father's death my mother was very poor. When she looked into
the drawer there were only sixty cents in money. Of course, he had some
personal property, but it was not immediately available like money, but
through the help of kind friends she was enabled to give him a
respectable funeral. Like many other women in her condition of life,
she had been brought up in entire ignorance of managing any other
business, than that which belonged to her household. For years she had
been shielded in the warm clasp of loving arms, but now she had to bare
her breast to the storm and be father and mother both to her little
ones. My father as you know died in debt, and he was hardly in his grave
when his creditors were upon her track. I have often heard her speak in
the most grateful manner of your forbearance and kindness to her in her
hour of trouble. My mother went to see my father's principal creditor
and asked him only to give her a little time to straighten out the
tangled threads of her business, but he was inexorable, and said that he
had waited and lost by it. Very soon he had an administrator appointed
by the court, who in about two months took the business in his hands;
and my mother was left to struggle along with her little ones, and face
an uncertain future. These were dark days but we managed to live through
them. I have often heard her say that she lived by faith and not sight,
that poverty had its compensations, that there was something very sweet
in a life of simple trust, to her, God was not some far off and
unapproachable force in the universe, the unconscious Creator of all
consciousness, the unperceiving author of all perception, but a Friend
and a Father coming near to her in sorrows, taking cognizance of her
grief, and gently smoothing her path in life. But it was not only by
precept that she taught us; her life was a living epistle. One morning
as the winter was advancing I heard her say she hoped she would be able
to get a nice woolen shawl, as hers was getting worse for wear. Shortly
after I went out into the street and found a roll of money lying at my
feet. Oh I remember it as well as if it had just occurred. How my heart
bounded with joy. 'Here,' I said to myself, 'is money enough to buy
mother a shawl and bonnet. Oh I am so glad,' and hurrying home I laid it
in her lap and said with boyish glee, 'Hurrah for your new shawl; look
what I found in the street.'"

"What is it my son?" she said.

"Why here is money enough to buy you a new shawl and bonnet too." It
seems as if I see her now, as she looked, when she laid it aside, and

"But James, it is not ours?"

"Not ours, mother, why I found it in the street!"

"Still it is not ours."

"Why mother ain`t you going to keep it?"

"No my son, I shall go down to the _Clarion_ office and advertise it."

"But mother why not wait till it is advertised?"

"And what then?"

"If there is no owner for it, then we can keep it."

"James" she said calmly and sadly, "I am very sorry to see you so ready
to use what is not your own. I should not feel that I was dealing
justly, if I kept this money without endeavoring to find the owner."

"I confess that I was rather chopfallen at her decision, but in a few
days after advertising we found the rightful owner. She was a very poor
woman who had saved by dint of hard labor the sum of twenty dollars, and
was on her way to pay the doctor who had attended her during a spell of
rheumatic fever, when she lost the money and had not one dollar left to
pay for advertising and being disheartened, she had given up all hope of
finding it, when she happened to see it advertised in the paper. She was
very grateful to my mother for restoring the money and offered her some
compensation, but she refused to take it, saying she had only done her
duty, and would have been ashamed of herself had she not done so. Her
conduct on this occasion made an impression on my mind that has never
been erased. When I grew older she explained to me about my father's
affairs, and uncancelled debts, and I resolved that I would liquidate
every just claim against him, and take from his memory even the shadow
of a reproach. To this end I have labored late and early; to-day I have
paid the last claim against him, and I am a free man."

"But how came you to find me and pay me to-day?" "I was purchasing in
Jones & Brother's store, when you came in to borrow money, and I heard
Jones tell his younger brother that he was so sorry that he could not
help you, and feared that you would be ruined."

"Who is he?" said I, "for out West I had lost track of you."

"He is Paul Clifford, a friend of your father's. Can you help him? He is
perfectly reliable. We would trust him with ten thousand dollars if we
had it. Can you do anything for him? we will go his security, he is a
fine fellow and we hate to see him go under."

"Yes" said I, "he was one of my father's creditors and I have often
heard my mother speak of his generosity to her little ones, and I am
glad that I have the privilege of helping him. I immediately went to the
bank had a note cashed and I am very glad if I have been of any special
service to you."

"You certainly have been, and I feel that a heavy load had been lifted
from my heart."

Years ago Paul Clifford sowed the seeds of kindness and they were
yielding him a harvest of satisfaction.

Chapter IX

Belle Gordon

Belle Gordon was a Christian; she had learned or tried to realize what
is meant by the apostle Paul when he said, "Ye are bought with a price."
To her those words meant the obligation she was under to her heavenly
Father, for the goodness and mercy that had surrounded her life, for the
patience that had borne with her errors and sins, and above all for the
gift of his dear Son, the ever blessed Christ. Faith to her was not a
rich traditional inheritance, a set of formulated opinions, received
without investigation, and adopted without reflection. She could not
believe because others did, and however plausible or popular a thing
might be she was too conscientious to say she believed it if she did
not, and when she became serious on the subject of religion it was like
entering into a wilderness of doubt and distress. She had been taught to
look upon God, more as the great and dreadful God, than as the tender
loving Father of his human children, and so strong was the power of
association, that she found it hard to believe that God is good, and yet
until she could believe this there seemed to be no resting place for her
soul; but in course of time the shadows were lifted from her life. Faith
took the place of doubting, and in the precious promises of the Bible
she felt that her soul had found a safe and sure anchorage. If others
believed because they had never doubted, she believed because she had
doubted and her doubts had been dispelled by the rays of heaven, and
believing, she had entered into rest. Feeling that she was bought with a
price, she realized that she was not her own, but the captive of Divine
Love, and that her talents were not given her to hide beneath a bushel
or to use for merely selfish enjoyments. That her time was not her own
to be frittered away by the demands of fashion or to be spent in
unavailing regrets. Every reform which had for its object the lessening
of human misery, or the increase of human happiness, found in her an
earnest ally. On the subject of temperance she was terribly in earnest.
Every fiber of her heart responded to its onward movement. There was no
hut or den where human beings congregated that she felt was too vile or
too repulsive to enter, if by so doing she could help lift some fallen
soul out of the depths of sin and degradation. While some doubted the
soundness of her religious opinions, none doubted the orthodoxy of her
life. Little children in darkened homes smiled as the sunlight of her
presence came over their paths; reformed men looked upon her as a loving
counsellor and faithful friend and sister; women wretched and sorrowful,
dragged down from love and light, by the intemperance of their husbands,
brought to her their heavy burdens, and by her sympathy and tender
consideration she helped them bear them. She was not rich in this
world's goods, but she was affluent in tenderness, sympathy, and love,
and out of the fullness of her heart, she was a real minister of mercy
among the poor and degraded. Believing that the inner life developed the
outer, she considered the poor, and strove to awaken within them
self-reliance, and self-control, feeling that one of the surest ways to
render people helpless or dangerous is to crush out their self-respect
and self-reliance. She thought it one of the greatest privileges of her
life to be permitted to scatter flowers by the wayside of life. Other
women might write beautiful poems; she did more. She made her life a
thing of brightness and beauty.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Do you think she will die?" said Belle Gordon, bending tenderly over a
pale and fainting woman, whose face in spite of its attenuation showed
traces of great beauty.

"Not if she is properly cared for; she has fainted from exhaustion
brought on by overwork and want of proper food." Tears gathered in the
eyes of Belle Gordon as she lifted the beautiful head upon her lap and
chafed the pale hands to bring back warmth and circulation.

"Let her be removed to her home as soon as possible," said the doctor.
"The air is too heavy and damp for her."

"I wonder where she lives," said Belle thoughtfully, scanning her face,
as the features began to show[4] returning animation.

"Round the corner," said an urchin, "she's Joe Cough's wife. I seed her
going down the street with a great big bundle, and Mam said, she looked
like she was going to topple over."

"Where is her husband?"

"I don't know, I 'spec he's down to Jim Green's saloon."

"What does he do?"

"He don't do nothing, but Mam says she works awful hard. Come this way,"
said he with a quickness gathered by his constant contact with street

Up two flights of rickety stairs they carried the wasted form of Mary
Gough, and laid her tenderly upon a clean but very poor bed. In spite of
her extreme poverty there was an air of neatness in the desolate room.
Belle looked around and found an old tea pot in which there were a few
leaves. There were some dry crusts in the cupboard, while two little
children crouched by the embers in the grate, and cried for the mother.
Belle soon found a few coals in an old basin with which she replenished
the fire, and covering up the sick woman as carefully as she could,
stepped into the nearest grocery and replenished her basket with some of
good the things of life.

"Is it not too heavy for you[r] might?" said Paul Clifford from whose
grocery Belle had bought her supplies.

"Can I not send them home for you?"

"No I don't want them sent home. They are for a poor woman and her
suffering children, who live about a square from here in Lear's Court."
Paul stood thoughtfully a moment before handing her the basket, and
said--"That court has a very bad reputation; had I not better accompany
you? I hope you will not consider my offer as an intrusion, but I do not
think it is safe for you to venture there alone."

"If you think it is not safe I will accept of your company; but I never
thought of danger for myself in the presence of that fainting woman and
her hungry children. Do you know her? Her name is Mrs. Gough." "I think
I do. If it is the person I mean, I remember her when she was as
lighthearted and happy a girl as I ever saw, but she married against her
parents' consent, a worthless fellow named Joe Gough, and in a short
time she disappeared from the village and I suppose she has come home,
broken in health and broken in spirit."

"And I am afraid she has come home to die. Are her parents still alive?"

"Yes, but her father never forgave her. Her mother I believe would take
her to her heart as readily as she ever did, but her husband has an iron
will and she has got to submit to him."

"Where do they live?"

"At No 200 Rouen St. but here we are at the door." Paul carried the
basket up stairs, and sat down quietly, while Belle prepared some
refreshing tea and toast for the feeble mother; and some bread and milk
for the hungry children.

"What shall I do?" said Belle looking tenderly upon the wan face, "I
hate to leave her alone and yet I confess I do not prefer spending the
night here."

"Of course not," said Paul looking thoughtfully into the flickering fire
of the grate.

"Oh! I have it now; I know a very respectable woman who occasionally
cleans out my store. Just wait a few moments, and I think I can find
her," said Paul Clifford turning to the door. In a short time he
returned bringing with him a pleasant looking woman whose face in spite
of the poverty of her dress had a look of genuine refinement which comes
not so much from mingling with people of culture as from the culture of
her own moral and spiritual nature. She had learned to "look up and not
to look down." To lend a helping hand wherever she felt it was needed.
Her life was spent in humble usefulness. She was poor in this world's
goods, but rich in faith and good works. No poor person who asked her
for bread ever went away empty. Sometimes people would say, "I wouldn't
give him a mouthful; he is not worthy," and then she would say in the
tenderest and sweetest manner:

"Suppose our heavenly Father only gave to us because we are worthy; what
would any of us have?" I know she once said of a miserable sot with whom
she shared her scanty food, that he is a wretched creature, but I wanted
to get at his heart, and the best way to it was through his stomach. I
never like to preach religion to hungry people. There is something very
beautiful about the charity of the poor, they give not as the rich of
their abundance, but of their limited earnings, gifts which when given
in a right spirit bring a blessing with them.

Chapter X

Mary Gough

"I think," said Paul Clifford to Miss Gordon, "that I have found just
the person that will suit you, and if you accept I will be pleased to
see you safe home." Belle thanked the young grocer, and gratefully
accepted his company.

Belle returned the next day to see her protege and found her getting
along comfortably although she could not help seeing it was sorrow more
than disease that was sapping her life, and drying up the feeble streams
of existence.

"How do you feel this morning?" said Belle laying her hand tenderly upon
her forehead.

"Better, much better," she replied with an attempt at cheerfulness in
her voice. "I am so glad, that Mother Graham is here. It is like letting
the sunshine into these gloomy rooms to have her around. It all seems
like a dream to me, I remember carrying a large bundle of work to the
store, that my employer spoke harshly to me and talked of cutting down
my wages. I also remember turning into the street, my eyes almost
blinded with tears, and that I felt a dizziness in my head. The next I
remember was seeing a lady feeding my children, and a gentleman coming
in with Aunty Graham."

"Yes," said Belle, "fortunately after I had seen you, I met with Mr.
Clifford who rendered me every necessary assistance. His presence was
very opportune," just then Belle turned her eyes toward the door and saw
Mr. Clifford standing on the threshold.

"Ah," said he smiling and advancing "this time the old adage has
failed, which says that listeners never hear any good of themselves; for
without intending to act the part of an eavesdropper, I heard myself
pleasantly complimented."

"No more than you deserve," said Belle smiling and blushing, as she gave
him her hand in a very frank and pleasant manner. "Mrs. Gough is much
better this morning and is very grateful to you for your kindness."

"Mine," said Mr. Clifford "if you, will call it so, was only the result
of an accident. Still I am very glad if I have been of any service, and
you are perfectly welcome to make demands upon me that will add to Mrs.
Cough's comfort."

"Thank you, I am very glad she has found a friend in you. It is such a
blessed privilege to be able to help others less fortunate than

"It certainly is."

"Just a moment," said Belle, as the voice of Mrs. Gough fell faintly on
her ear.

"What is it, dear?" said Belle bending down to catch her words. "Who is
that gentleman? His face and voice seem familiar."

"It is Mr. Clifford."

"Paul Clifford?"

"Yes. Do you know him?"

"Yes, I knew him years ago when I was young and happy; but it seems an
age since. Oh, isn't it a dreadful thing, to be a drunkard's wife?"

"Yes it is, but would you like to speak to Mr. Clifford?"

"Yes! Mam, I would."

"Mr. Clifford," said Belle, "Mrs. Gough would like to speak with you."

"Do you not know me?" said Mary, looking anxiously into his face.

"I recognized you as soon as you moved into the neighborhood."

"I am very glad. I feared that I was so changed that my own dear mother
would hardly recognize me. Don't you think she would pity and forgive
me, if she saw what a mournful wretch I am?"

"Yes, I think she has long forgiven you and longs to take you to her
heart as warmly as she ever did."

"And my father?"

"I believe he would receive you, but I don't think he would be willing
to recognize your husband. You know he is very set in his ways."

"Mr. Clifford, I feel that my days are numbered and that my span of life
will soon be done; but while I live I feel it my duty to cling to my
demented husband, and to do all I can to turn him from the error of his
ways. But I do so wish that my poor children could have my mother's
care, when I am gone. If I were satisfied on that score, I would die

"Do not talk of dying," said Belle taking the pale thin hand in hers.
"You must try and live for your children's sake. When you get strong I
think I can find you some work among my friends. There is Mrs. Roberts,
she often gives out work and I think I will apply to her."

"Mrs. James Roberts on St. James St. near 16th?"

"Yes! do you know her?"

"Yes," said Mrs. Gough closing her eyes wearily, "I know her and have
worked for her."

"I think she is an excellent woman, I remember one morning we were
talking together on religious experience, and about women speaking in
class and conference meetings. I said I did not think I should like to
constantly relate my experience in public, there was often such a lack
of assurance of faith about me that I shrank from holding up my inner
life to inspection; and she replied that she would always say that she
loved Jesus, and I thought Oh, how I would like to have her experience.
What rest and peace I would have if I could feel that I was always in
harmony with Him."

"Miss Belle I hope you will not be offended with me, for I am very
ignorant about these matters; but there was something about Mrs. Roberts
dealings with us poor working people, that did seem to me not to be just
what I think religion calls for. I found her a very hard person to deal
with; she wanted so much work for so little money."

"But, Mrs. Gough, the times are very hard; and the rich feel it as well
as the poor."

"But not so much. It curtails them in their luxuries, and us in our
necessities; perhaps I shouldn't mention, but after my husband had
become a confirmed drunkard, and all hope had died out of my heart, I
hadn't time to sit down and brood helplessly over my misery. I had to
struggle for my children and if possible keep the wolf from the door;
and besides food and clothing, I wanted to keep my children in a
respectable neighborhood, and my whole soul rose up in revolt against
the idea of bringing them up where their eyes and ears would be
constantly smitten by improper sights and sounds. While I was worrying
over my situation and feeling that my health was failing under the
terrible pressure of care and overwork, Mrs. Roberts brought me work;
'What will you do this for,' she said, displaying one of the articles
she wanted made. I replied,'One dollar and twenty-five cents,' and I
knew the work well worth it. 'I can get it done for one dollar,' she
replied, 'and I am not willing to give any more.' What could I do? I was
out of work, my health was poor, and my children clutching at my heart
strings for bread; and so I took it at her price. It was very
unprofitable, but it was better than nothing."

"Why that is very strange. I know she pays her dressmaker handsomely."

"That is because her dressmaker is in a situation to dictate her own
terms; but while she would pay her a large sum for dressmaking, she
would screw and pinch a five-cent piece from one who hadn't power to
resist her demands. I have seen people save twenty-five or fifty cents
in dealing with poor people, who would squander ten times as much on
some luxury of the table or wardrobe. I[?] often find that meanness and
extravagance go hand in hand."

"Yes, that is true, still Mrs. Gough, I think people often act like Mrs.
Roberts more from want of thought than want of heart. It was an old
charge brought against the Israelite, 'My people doth not consider.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

"What is the matter, my dear?" said Belle a few mornings after this
conversation as she approached the bedside of Mary Gough, "I thought you
were getting along so nicely, and that with proper care you would be on
your feet in a few days, but this morning you look so feeble, and seem
so nervous and depressed. Do tell me what has happened and what has
become of your beautiful hair; oh you had such a wealth of tresses, I
really loved to toy with them. Was your head so painful that the doctor
ordered them to be cut?"

"Oh, no," she said burying her face in the pillow and breaking into a
paroxysm of tears. "Oh, Miss Belle, how can I tell you," she replied
recovering from her sudden outburst of sorrow.

"Why, what is it darling? I am at a loss to know what has become of your
beautiful hair."

With gentle womanly tact Belle saw that the loss of her hair was a
subject replete with bitter anguish, and turning to the children she
took them in her lap and interested and amused them by telling beautiful
fairy stories. In a short time Mary's composure returned, and she said,
"Miss Belle, I can now tell you how I lost my hair. Last night my
husband, or the wreck of what was once my husband, came home. His eyes
were wild and bloodshot; his face was pale and haggard, his gait uneven,
and his hand trembling. I have seen him suffering from _Manipaotu_ and
dreaded lest he should have a returning of it. Mrs. Graham had just
stepped out, and there was no one here but myself and children. He held
in his hand a pair of shears, and approached my bedside. I was ready to
faint with terror, when he exclaimed, 'Mary I must have liquor or I
shall go wild,' he caught my hair in his hand; I was too feeble to
resist, and in a few minutes he had cut every lock from my head, and
left it just as you see it."

"Oh, what a pity, and what a shame."

"Oh, Miss Gordon do you think the men who make our laws ever stop to
consider the misery, crime and destruction that flow out of the liquor
traffic? I have done all I could to induce him to abstain, and he has
abstained several months at a time and then suddenly like a flash of
lightning the temptation returns and all his resolutions are scattered
like chaff before the wind. I have been blamed for living with him, but
Miss Belle were you to see him in his moments of remorse, and hear his
bitter self reproach, and his earnest resolutions to reform, you would
as soon leave a drowning man to struggle alone in the water as to
forsake him in his weakness when every one else has turned against him,
and if I can be the means of saving him, the joy for his redemption will
counterbalance all that I have suffered as a drunkard's wife."

Chapter XI

[Text missing.]

Chapter XII

[Text missing.]

Chapter XIII

John Anderson's Saloon

  _"The end of these things is death."_

"Why do you mix that liquor with such care and give it to that child?
You know he is not going to pay you for it?"

"I am making an investment."

"How so?"

"Why you see that boy's parents are very rich, and in course of time he
will be one of my customers."

"Well! John Anderson as old a sinner as I am, I wouldn't do such a thing
for my right hand."

"What's the harm? You are one of my best customers, did liquor ever harm

"Yes it does harm me, and when I see young men beginning to drink, I
feel like crying out, 'Young man you are in danger, don't put your feet
in the terrible flood, for ten to one you will be swamped.'"

"Well! this is the best joke of the season: Tom Cary preaching
temperance. When do you expect to join the Crusade? But, Oh! talk is

"Cheap or dear, John Anderson, when I saw you giving liquor to that
innocent boy, I couldn't help thinking of my poor Charley. He was just
such a bright child as that, with beautiful brown eyes, and a fine
forehead. Ah that boy had a mind; he was always ahead in his studies.
But once when he was about twelve years old, I let him go on a
travelling tour with his uncle. He was so agreeable and wide awake, his
uncle liked to have him for company; but it was a dear trip to my poor
Charley. During this journey they stopped at a hotel, and my brother
gave him a glass of wine. Better for my dear boy had he given him a
glass of strychnine. That one glass awakened within him a dreadful
craving. It raged like a hungry fire. I talked to him, his mother pled
with him, but it was no use, liquor was his master, and when he couldn't
get liquor I've known him to break into his pantry to get our burning
fluid to assuage his thirst. Sometimes he would be sober for several
weeks at a time, and then our hopes would brighten that Charley would be
himself again, and then in an hour all our hopes would be dashed to the
ground. It seemed as if a spell was upon him. He married a dear good
girl, who was as true as steel, but all her entreaties for him to give
up drinking were like beating the air. He drank, and drank, until he
drank himself into the grave."

By this time two or three loungers had gathered around John Anderson and
Thomas Gary, and one of them said, "Mr. Gary you have had sad
experience, why don't you give up drinking yourself?"

"Give it up! because I can't. To-day I would give one half of my farm if
I could pass by this saloon and not feel that I wanted to come in. No, I
feel that I am a slave. There was a time when I could have broken my
chain, but it is too late now, and I say young men take warning by me
and don't make slaves and fools of yourselves."

"Now, Tom Cary," said John Anderson, "it is time for you to dry up, we
have had enough of this foolishness, if you can't govern yourself, the
more's the pity for you."

Just then the newsboy came along crying: _"Evening Mail. All about the
dreadful murder! John Coots and James Loraine. Last edition. Buy a
paper, Sir! Here's your last edition, all 'bout the dreadful murder"._

"John Coots," said several voices all at once, "Why he's been here a
half dozen times today."

"I've drank with him," said one, "at that bar twice since noon. He had a
strange look out of his eyes; and I heard him mutter something to

"Yes," said another, "I heard him say he was going to kill somebody,
'one or the other's got to die,' what does the paper say?"


"The old story," said Anderson, looking somewhat relieved, "A woman's at
the bottom of it."

"And liquor," said Tom Cary, "is at the top of it."

"I wish you would keep a civil tongue in your head," said Anderson,
scowling at Cary.

"Oh! never mind; Tom, will have his say. He's got a knack of speaking
out in meeting."

"And a very disagreeable knack it is."

"Oh never mind about Tom, read about the murder, and tend to Tom some
other time."

Eagerly and excitedly they read the dreadful news. A woman, frail and
vicious, was at the bottom; a woman that neither of those men would have
married as a gracious gift, was the guilty cause of one murder, and when
the law would take its course, two deaths would lie at her door. Oh, the
folly of some men, who, instead of striving to make home a thing of
beauty, strength and grace, wander into forbidden pastures, and reap for
themselves harvests of misery and disgrace. And all for what? Because of
the allurements of some idle, vain and sinful woman who has armed
herself against the peace, the purity and the progress of the fireside.
Such women are the dry rot in the social fabric; they dig in the dark
beneath the foundation stones of the home. Young men enter their houses,
and over the mirror of their lives, comes the shadow of pollution.
Companionship with them unprepares them for the pure, simple joys of a
happy and virtuous home; a place which should be the best school for the
affections; one of the fairest spots on earth and one of the brightest
types of heaven. Such a home as this, may exist without wealth, luxury
or display; but it cannot exist without the essential elements of
purity, love and truth.

The story was read, and then came the various comments.

"Oh, it was dreadful," said one. "Mr. Loraine belongs to one of the
first families in the town; and what a cut it will be to them, not
simply that he has been murdered, but murdered where he was--in the
house of Lizzie Wilson. I knew her before she left husband and took to
evil courses."

"Oh, what a pity, I expect it will almost kill his wife, poor thing, I
pity her from the bottom of my heart."

"Why what's the matter Harry Richards? You look as white as a sheet, and
you are all of a tremor."

"I've just come from the coroner's inquest, had to be one of the
witnesses. I am afraid it will go hard with Coots."

"Why? What was the verdict of the jury?"

"They brought in a verdict of death by killing at the hands of John

"Were you present at the murder?"


"How did it happen?"

"Why you see John had been spending his money very freely on Lizzie
Wilson, and he took it into his head because Loraine had made her some
costly presents, that she had treated him rather coolly and wanted to
ship him, and so he got dreadfully put out with Loraine and made some
bitter threats against him. But I don't believe he would have done the
deed if he had been sober, but he's been on a spree for several days and
he was half crazy when he did it. Oh it was heartrending to see
Loraine's wife when they brought him home a corpse. She gave an awful
shriek and fell to the floor, stiff as a poker; and his poor little
children, it made my heart bleed to look at them; and his poor old
mother. I am afraid it will be the death of her."

In a large city with its varied interests, one event rapidly chases the
other. Life-boats are stranded on the shores of time, pitiful wrecks of
humanity are dashed amid the rocks and reefs of existence. Old faces
disappear and new ones take their places and the stream of life ever
hurries on to empty where death's waters meet.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the next sitting of the Court John Coots was arraigned, tried, and
convicted of murder in the first degree. His lawyer tried to bring in a
plea of emotional insanity but failed. If insane he was insane through
the influence of strong drink. It was proven that he had made fierce
threats against the life of Loraine, and the liquor in which he had so
freely indulged had served to fire his brain and nerve his hand to carry
out his wicked intent; and so the jury brought in its verdict, and he
was sentenced to be executed, which sentence was duly performed and that
closed another act of the sad drama. Intemperance and Sensuality had
clasped hands together, and beneath their cruel fostering the gallows
had borne its dreadful fruit of death. The light of one home had been
quenched in gloom and guilt. A husband had broken over the barriers that
God placed around the path of marital love, and his sun had gone down at
mid-day. The sun which should have gilded the horizon of life and lent
it additional charms, had gone down in darkness, yes, set behind the
shadow of a thousand clouds. Innocent and unoffending childhood was
robbed of a father's care, and a once happy wife, and joyful mother sat
down in her widow's weeds with the mantle of a gloomier sorrow around
her heart. And all for what? Oh who will justify the ways of God to man?
Who will impress upon the mind of youth with its impulsiveness that it
is a privilege as well as a duty to present the body to God, as a living
sacrifice holy and acceptable in his sight. That God gives man no law
that is not for his best advantage, and that the interests of humanity,
and the laws of purity and self-denial all lie in the same direction,
and the man who does not take care of his body must fail to take the
best care of his soul; for the body should be temple for God's holy
spirit and the instrument to do his work, and we have no right to defile
the one or blunt the other and thus render ourselves unfit for the
Master's service.

Chapter XIV

Belle Gordon's indignation was thoroughly aroused by hearing Mary
Gough's story about the loss of her hair, and she made up her mind that
when she saw Joe Gough she would give him a very plain talking.

"I would like to see your husband; I would just like to tell him what I
think about his conduct."

"Oh," said Mary, her pale cheek growing whiter with apprehension;
"That's his footsteps now, Miss Belle don't say anything to him, Joe's
as good and kind a man as I ever saw when he is sober, but sometimes he
is really ugly when he has been drinking."

Just then the door was opened, and Joe Gough entered, or rather all that
remained of the once witty, talented and handsome Josiah Gough. His face
was pale and haggard, and growing premature by age, his wealth of raven
hair was unkempt and hung in tangled locks over his forehead, his hand
was unsteady and trembling from extreme nervousness, but he was sober
enough to comprehend the situation, and to feel a deep sense of remorse
and shame, when he gazed upon the weary head from whence he had bereft
its magnificent covering.

"Here Mary," said he approaching the bed, "I've brought you a present; I
only had four cents, and I thought this would please you, I know you
women are so fond of jew-gaws," and he handed [her] a pair of sleeve

"Thank you," said she, as a faint smile illuminated her pallid cheek.
"This," she said turning to Miss Gordon, "is my husband, Josiah Gough."

"Good morning, Mr. Gough," said Belle bowing politely and extending her
hand. Joe returned the salutation very courteously and very quietly,
sitting down by the bedside, made some remarks about the dampness of the
weather. Mary lay very quiet, looking pitifully upon the mour[n]ful
wretch at her side, who seemed to regard her and her friend with intense
interest. It seemed from his countenance that remorse and shame were
rousing up his better nature. Once he rose as if to go--stood
irresolutely for a moment, and then sitting down by the bedside, clasped
her thin pale hand in his with a caressing motion, and said, "Mary
you've had a hard time, but I hope there are better days in store for
us, don't get out of heart," and there was a moisture in his eyes in
which for a moment beamed a tender, loving light. Belle immediately felt
her indignation changing to pity. Surely she thought within herself,
this man is worth saving--There is still love and tenderness within him,
notwithstanding all his self-ruin, he reminds me of an expression I have
picked up somewhere about "Old Oak," holding the young fibres at its
heart, I will appeal to that better nature, I will use it as a lever to
lift him from the depths into which he has fallen. While she was
thinking of the best way to approach him, and how to reach that heart
into whose hidden depths she had so unexpectedly glanced, he arose and
bending over his wife imprinted upon her lips a kiss in which remorse
and shame seemed struggling for expression, and left the room.

"Mother Graham," said Belle, "a happy thought has just struck me,
Couldn't we induce Mr. Gough to attend the meeting of the Reform Club?
Mr. R.N. speaks tonight and he has been meeting with glorious success as
a Temperance Reformer, hundreds of men, many of them confirmed
drunkards, have joined, and he is doing a remarkable work, he does not
wait for the drunkards to come to him, he goes to them, and wins them by
his personal sympathy, and it is wonderful the good he has done, I do
wish he would go."

"I wish so too," said Martha Graham.

"If he should not return while I am here will you invite him to attend?
Perhaps Mrs. Gough can spare you an hour or two this evening to
accompany him."

"That I would gladly do, I think it would do me more good than all the
medicines you could give me, to see my poor husband himself once more.
Before he took to drinking, I was so happy, but it seems as if since
then I have suffered sorrow by the spoonful. Oh the misery that this
drink causes. I do hope these reform clubs will be the means of shutting
up every saloon in the place, for just as long as one of them is open he
is in danger."

"Yes," said Belle, "what we need is not simply to stop the men from
drinking, but to keep the temptation out of their way."

"Joe," said Mary, "belongs to a good family, he has a first-rate
education, is a fine penman, and a good bookkeeper, but this dreadful
drink has thrown him out of some of the best situations in the town
where we were living."

"Oh what a pity, I heard Mr. Clifford say that his business was
increasing so that he wanted a good clerk and salesman to help him, that
he was overworked and crippled for want of sufficient help. Maybe if
your husband would sign the pledge, Mr. Clifford would give him a trial,
but it is growing late and I must go. I would liked to have seen your
husband before I left, and have given him a personal invitation, but you
and Mother Graham can invite him for me, so good bye, keep up a good
heart, you know where to cast your burden."

Just as Miss Gordon reached the landing, she saw Joe Gough standing at
the outer door and laying her hand gently upon his shoulder, exclaimed,
"Oh Mr. Gough, I am so glad to see you again, I wanted to invite you to
attend a temperance meeting tonight at Amory Hall. Will you go?"

"Well I don't like to promise," he replied, looking down upon his seedy
coat and dilapidated shoes.

"Never mind your wardrobe," said Miss Gordon divining his thoughts.
"The soul is more than raiment, 'the world has room for another man and
I want you to fill the place.'"

"Well," said he, "I'll come."

"Very well, I expect to be there and will look for you. Come early and
bring Mother Graham."

"Mrs. Gough can spare her an hour or two this evening, I think your wife
is suffering more from exhaustion and debility than anything else."

"Yes poor Mary has had a hard time, but it shan't be always so. As soon
as I get work I mean to take her out of this," said he looking
disdainfully at the wretched tenement house, with its broken shutters
and look of general decay.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Why Mother Graham is [the] meeting over? You must have had a fine time,
you just look delighted. Did Joe go in with you, and where is he now?"

"Yes, he went with me, listened to the speeches, and joined the club, I
saw him do it with my own eyes, Oh, we had a glorious time!"

"Oh I am so glad," said Mary, her eyes filling with sudden tears. "I do
hope he will keep his pledge!"

"I hope so too, and I hope he will get something to do. Mr. Clifford was
there when he signed, and Miss Belle was saying today that he wanted a
clerk that would be a first r[at]e place for Joe, if he will only keep
his pledge. Mr. Clifford is an active temperance man, and I believe
would help to keep Joe straight."

"I hope he'll get the place, but Mother Graham, tell me all about the
meeting, you don't know how happy I am."

"Don't I deary? Have I been through it all, but it seems as if I had
passed through suffering into peace, but never mind Mother Graham's past
troubles, let me tell you about the meeting."

"At these meetings quite a number of people speak, just as we went in
one of the speakers was telling his experience, and what a terrible
struggle he had to overcome the power of appetite. Now when he felt the
fearful craving coming over him he would walk the carpet till he had
actually worn it threadbare; but that he had been converted and found
grace to help him in time of need, and how he had gone out and tried to
reform others and had seen the work prosper in his hand. I watched Joe's
face, it seemed lit up with earnestness and hope, as if that man had
brought him a message of deliverance; then after the meeting came the
signing of the pledge and joining the reform club, and it would have
done you good to see the men that joined."

"Do you remember Thomas Allison?"

"Yes, poor fellow, and I think if any man ever inherited drunkenness, he
did, for his father and his mother were drunkards before him."

"Well, he joined and they have made him president of the club."

"Well did I ever! But tell me all about Joe."

"When the speaking was over, Joe sat still and thoughtful as if making
up his mind, when Miss Gordon came to him and asked him to join, he
stopped a minute to button his coat and went right straight up and had
his name put down, but oh how the people did clap and shout. Well as Joe
was one of the last to sign, the red ribbons they use for badges was all
gone and Joe looked so sorry, he said he wanted to take a piece of
ribbon home to let his wife know that he belonged to the Reform Club,
Miss Gordon heard him, and she had a piece of black lace and red ribbon
twisted together around her throat and she separated the lace from the
ribbon and tied it in his button-hole, so his Mary would see it. Oh Miss
Belle did look so sweet and Mr. Clifford never took his eyes off her. I
think he admires her very much."

"I don't see how he can help it, she is one of the dearest--sweetest,
ladies I ever saw, she never seemed to say by her actions, 'I am doing
so much for you poor people' and you can't be too thankful."

"Not she, and between you and I, and the gate-post, I think that will be
a match."

"I think it would make a splendid one, but hush, I hear some persons

The door opened and Paul Clifford, Joe Gough, and Belle Gordon entered.

"Here Mrs. Gough," said Paul Clifford, "as we children used to say.
Here's your husband safe and sound, and I will add, a member of our
reformed club and we have come to congratulate you upon the event."

"My dear friends, I am very thankful to you for your great kindness, I
don't think I shall ever be able to repay you."

"Don't be uneasy darling," said Belle, "we are getting our pay as we go
along, we don't think the cause of humanity owes us anything." "Yes,"
said Joe seating himself by the bed side with an air of intense
gratification. "Here is my badge, I did not want to leave the meeting
without having this to show you."

"This evening," said Mrs. Gough smiling through her tears, "reminds me
of a little temperance song I learned when a child, I think it commenced
with these words:

 "And are you sure the news is true?
  Are you sure my John has joined?
  I can't believe the happy news,
  And leave my fears behind,
  If John has joined and drinks no more,
  The happiest wife am I
  That ever swept a cabin floor,
  Or sung a lullaby.

"That's just the way I feel to-night, I haven't been so happy before for

"And I hope," said Mr. Clifford, "that you will have many happy days
and nights in the future."

"And I hope so too," said Joe, shaking hands with Paul and Belle as they
rose to go.

Mr. Clifford accompanied Belle to her door, and as they parted she said,
"This is a glorious work in which it is our privilege to clasp hands."

"It is and I hope," but as the words rose to his lips, he looked into
the face of Belle, and it was so radiant with intelligent tenderness and
joy, that she seemed to him almost like a glorified saint, a being too
precious high and good for common household uses, and so the remainder
of the sentence died upon his lips and he held his peace.

Chapter XV

"I have resolved to dissolve partnership with Charles," said Augustine
Romaine to his wife, the next morning after his son's return from the
Champaign supper at John Anderson's.

"Oh! no you are not in earnest, are you? You seem suddenly to have lost
all patience with Charlie."

"Yes I have, and I have made up my mind that I am not going to let him
hang like a millstone on our business. No, if he will go down, I am
determined he shall not drag me down with him. See what a hurt it would
be to us, to have it said, 'Don't trust your case with the Romaine's for
the Junior member of that firm is a confirmed drunkard.'"

"Well, Augustine you ought to know best, but it seems like casting him
off, to dissolve partnership with him."

"I can't help it, if he persists in his downward course he must take the
consequences. Charles has had every advantage; when other young lawyers
have had to battle year after year with obscurity and poverty, he
entered into a business that was already established and flourishing.
What other men were struggling for, he found ready made to his hand, and
if he chooses to throw away every advantage and make a complete wreck of
himself, I can't help it."

"Oh! it does seem so dreadful, I wonder what will become of my poor

"Now, mother I want you to look at this thing in the light of reason and
common sense. I am not turning Charles out of the house. He is not poor,
though the way he is going on he will be. You know his grandfather has
left him a large estate out West, which is constantly increasing in
value. Now what I mean to do is to give Charles a chance to set up for
himself as attorney, wherever he pleases. Throwing him on his own
resources, with a sense of responsibility, may be the best thing for
him; but in the present state of things I do not think it advisable to
continue our business relations together. For more than twenty-five
years our firm has stood foremost at the bar. Ever since my brother and
I commenced business together our reputation has been unspotted and I
mean to keep it so, if I have to cut off my right hand."

Mrs. Romaine gazed upon the stern sad face of her husband, and felt by
the determination of his manner that it was useless to entreat or reason
with him to change his purpose; and so with a heavy heart, and eyes
drooping with unshed tears, she left the room.

"John," said Mr. Romaine to the waiter, "tell Charles I wish to see him
before I go down to the office." Just then Charles entered the room and
bade good morning to his father.

"Good morning," replied his father, rather coldly, and for a moment
there was an awkward silence.

"Charles," said Mr. Romaine, "after having witnessed the scene of last
night, I have come to the conclusion to dissolve the partnership between

"Just as you please," said Charles in a tone of cold indifference that
irritated his father; but he maintained his self-control.

"I am sorry that you will persist in your downward course; but if you
are determined to throw yourself away I have made up my mind to cut
loose from you. I noticed last week when you were getting out the briefs
in that Sumpter case, you were not yourself, and several times lately
you have made me hang my head in the court room. I am sorry, very
sorry," and a touch of deep emotion gave a tone of tenderness to the
closing sentence. There was a slight huskiness in Charles' voice, as he
replied, "Whenever the articles of dissolution are made out I am ready
to sign."

"They shall be ready by to-morrow."

"All right, I will sign them."

"And what then?"

"Set up for myself, the world is wide enough for us both."

After Mr. Romaine had left the room, Charles sat, burying his head in
his hands and indulging bitter thoughts toward his father. "To-day," he
said to himself, "he resolved to cut loose from me apparently forgetting
that it was from his hands, and at his table I received my first glass
of wine. He prides himself on his power of self-control, and after all
what does it amount to? It simply means this, that he has an iron
constitution, and can drink five times as much as I can without showing
its effects, and to-day if Mr. R.N. would ask him to sign the
total-abstinence pledge, he wouldn't hear to it. Yes I am ready to sign
any articles he will bring, even if it is to sign never to enter this
house, or see his face; but my mother--poor mother, I am sorry for her

Just then his mother entered the room.

"My son."


"Just what I feared has come to pass. I have dreaded more than anything
else this collision with your father."

"Now mother don't be so serious about this matter. Father's law office
does not take in the whole world. I shall either set up for myself in
A.P., or go West."

"Oh! don't talk of going away, I think I should die of anxiety if you
were away."

"Well, as I passed down the street yesterday I saw there was an office
to let in Frazier's new block, and I think I will engage it and put out
my sign. How will that suit you?"

"Anything, or anywhere, Charlie, so you are near me. And Charlie don't
be too stout with your father, he was very much out of temper when you
came home last night, but be calm; it will blow over in a few days,
don't add fuel to the fire. And you know that you and Miss Roland are to
be married in two weeks, and I do wish that things might remain as they
are, at least till after the wedding. Separation just now might give
rise to some very unpleasant talk, and I would rather if you and your
father can put off this dissolution, that you will consent to let things
remain as they are for a few weeks longer. When your father comes home I
will put the case to him, and have the thing delayed. Just now Charles I
dread the consequences of a separation."

"Well, Mother, just as you please; perhaps the publication of the
articles of dissolution in the paper might complicate matters."

When Mr. Romaine returned home, his wrath was somewhat mollified, and
Mrs. Romaine having taken care to prepare his favorite dishes for
dinner, took the opportunity when he had dined to entreat him to delay
the intended separation till after the wedding, to which he very
graciously consented.

       *       *       *       *       *

Again there was a merry gathering at the home of Jeanette Roland. It was
her wedding night, and she was about to clasp hands for life with
Charles Romaine. True to her idea of taking things as she found them,
she had consented to be his wife without demanding of him any
reformation from the habit which was growing so fearfully upon him. His
wealth and position in society like charity covered a multitude of
sins. At times Jeanette felt misgivings about the step she was about to
take, but she put back the thoughts like unwelcome intruders, and like
the Ostrich, hiding her head in the sand, instead of avoiding the
danger, she shut her eyes to its fearful reality. That night the wine
flowed out like a purple flood; but the men and women who drank were
people of culture, wealth and position, and did not seem to think it was
just as disgraceful or more so to drink in excess in magnificently
furnished parlors, as it was in low Barrooms or miserable dens where
vice and poverty are huddled together. And if the weary children of
hunger and hard toil instead of seeking sleep as nature's sweet
restorer, sought to stimulate their flagging energies in the enticing
cup, they with the advantages of wealth, culture and refinement could
not plead the excuses of extreme wretchedness, or hard and unremitting

"How beautiful, very beautiful," fell like a pleasant ripple upon the
ear of Jeanette Roland, as she approached the altar, beneath her wreath
of orange blossoms, while her bridal veil floated like a cloud of lovely
mist from her fair young head. The vows were spoken, the bridal ring
placed upon her finger, and amid a train of congratulating friends, she
returned home where a sumptuous feast awaited them.

"Don't talk so loud, but I think Belle Gordon acted wisely when she
refused Mr. Romaine," said Mrs. Gladstone, one of the guests.

"Do you, indeed? Why Charles Romaine, is the only son of Mr. Romaine,
and besides being the heir he has lately received a large legacy from
his grandfather's estate. I think Jeanette has made a splendid match. I
hope my girls will do as well."

"I hope on the other hand that my girls will never marry unless they do

"Why how you talk! What's the matter with Mr. Romaine?"

"Look at him now," said Mrs. Fallard joining in the conversation. "This
is his wedding night and yet you can plainly see he is under the
influence of wine. Look at those eyes, don't you know how beautiful and
clear they are when he is sober, and how very interesting he is in
conversation. Now look at him, see how muddled his eye is--but he is
approaching--listen to his utterance, don't you notice how thick it is?
Now if on his wedding night, he can not abstain, I have very grave fears
for Jeanette's future."

"Perhaps you are both right, but I never looked at things in that light
before, and I know that a magnificent fortune can melt like snow in the
hands of a drunken man."

"I wish you much joy," rang out a dozen voices, as Jeanette approached
them. "Oh Jeanette, you just look splendid! and Mr. Romaine, oh he is so
handsome." "Oh Jeanette what's to hinder you from being so happy?" "But
where is Mr. Romaine? we have missed him for some time." "I don't know,
let me seek my husband." "Isn't that a mouthful?" said Jeanette
laughingly disengaging herself from the merry group, as an undefined
sense of apprehension swept over her. Was it a presentiment of coming
danger? An unspoken prophecy to be verified by bitter tears, and lonely
fear that seemed for a moment to turn life's sweetness into bitterness
and gall. In the midst of a noisy group, in the dining room, she found
Charles drinking the wine as it gave its color aright in the cup. She
saw the deep flush upon his cheek, and the cloudiness of his eye, and
for the first time upon that bridal night she felt a shiver of fear as
the veil was suddenly lifted before her unwilling eye; and half
reluctantly she said to herself, "Suppose after all my cousin Belle was

Chapter XVI

"Good morning! Mr. Clifford," said Joe Gough, entering the store of Paul
Clifford, the next day after he joined the Reform Club. "I have heard
that you wanted some one to help you, and I am ready to do anything to
make an honest living."

"I am very sorry," said Paul, "but I have just engaged a young man
belonging to our Club to come this morning."

Joe looked sad, but not discouraged, and said, "Mr. Clifford, I want to
turn over a new leaf in my life, but everyone does not know that. Do you
know of any situation I can get? I have been a book-keeper and a
salesman in the town of C., where I once lived, but I am willing to
begin almost anywhere on the ladder of life, and make it a
stepping-stone to something better."

There was a tone of earnestness in his voice, and an air of
determination, in his manner that favorably impressed Paul Clifford and
he replied,----

"I was thinking of a friend of mine who wants a helping hand; but it may
not be, after all, the kind of work you prefer. He wants a porter, but
as you say you want to make your position a stepping-stone to something
better, if you make up your mind to do your level best, the way may open
before you in some more congenial and unexpected quarter. Wait a few
minutes, and I will give you a line to him. No! I can do better than
that; he is a member of our Club, and I will see him myself; but before
you do, had we better not go to the barber's?"

"I would like to," said Joe, "but I haven't--"

"Haven't the money?"

"Yes, Mr. Clifford, that's the fact, I am not able to pay even for a
shave. Oh! what a fool I have been."

"Oh! well never mind, let the dead past, bury its dead. The future is
before you, try and redeem that. If you accept it, I will lend you a few
dollars. I believe in lending a helping hand. So come with me to the
barber's and I'll make it all right, you can pay me when you are able,
but here we are at the door, let us go in."

They entered, and in a few moments Joe's face was under the manipulating
care of the barber.

"Fix this so," said Joe to the barber, giving him directions how to cut
his mustache.

Paul was somewhat amused, and yet in that simple act, he saw a return of
self-respect, and was glad to see its slightest manifestations, and it
was pleasant to witness the satisfaction with which Joe beheld himself
in the glass, as he exclaimed, "Why Mary would hardly know me!"

"Suppose now, we go to the tailor's and get some new rigging?"

"Mr. Clifford," said Joe hesitatingly, "you are very kind, but I don't
know when I shall be able to pay you, and--"

"Oh! never mind, when you are able I will send my bill. It will help you
in looking for a place to go decently dressed. So let us go into the
store and get a new suit."

They entered a clothing store and in a few moments Joe was dressed in a
new suit which made him look almost like another person.

"Now, we are ready," said Paul, "appearances are not so much against

"Good morning Mr. Tennant," said Paul to the proprietor of a large
store. "I heard last night that you wanted help in your store and I have
brought you Mr. Gough, who is willing to take any situation you will
give him, and I will add, he is a member of our Reform Club."

Mr. Tennant looked thoughtfully a moment, and replied, "I have only one
vacancy, and I do not think it would suit your friend. My porter died
yesterday and that is the only situation which I can offer him at

"I will accept it," said Joe, "if you will give it to me, I am willing
to do anything to make an honest living for my family."

"Well you can come to-morrow, or stop now and begin."

"All right," said Joe with a promptness that pleased his employer, and
Joe was installed in the first day's regular work he had had for months.

"What! sitting up sewing?" said Belle Gordon entering the neat room
where Mrs. Gough was rejuvenating a dress for her older daughter. "Why
you look like another woman, your cheeks are getting plump, your eyes
are brightening, and you look so happy."

"I feel just like I look, Miss Gordon. Joe has grown so steady, he gets
constant work, and he is providing so well for us all, and he won't hear
to me taking again that slop-shop work. He says all he wants me to do,
is to get well, and take care of the home and children. But you look
rather pale, have you been sick?"

"Yes, I have been rather unwell for several weeks, and the doctor has
ordered among other things that I should have a plentiful supply of
fresh air, so to-morrow as there is to be a free excursion, and I am on
the Committee, I think if nothing prevents, I shall go. Perhaps you
would like to go?"

"Yes, if Joe will consent, but--"

"But, what?"

"Well Joe has pretty high notions, and I think he may object, because it
is receiving charity. I can't blame him for it, but Joe has a right
smart of pride that way."

"No! I don't blame him, I rather admire his spirit of self-reliance, and
I wouldn't lay the weight of my smallest finger upon his self-respect to
repress it; still I would like to see your Mamy, and Hatty, have a
chance to get out into the woods, and have what I call a good time. I
think I can have it so arranged that you can go with me, and serve as
one of the Committee on refreshments, and your services would be an
ample compensation for your entertainment."

"Well if you put it in that light, I think Joe would be willing for me
to go."

"I will leave the matter there, and when your husband comes home you can
consult him and send me word. And so you are getting along nicely?"

"Oh! yes indeed, splendidly. Just look here, this is Joe's present,"
and Mary held up with both hands a beautifully embossed and illustrated
Bible. "This was my birth-day present. Oh! Miss Belle, Joe seems to me
like another man. Last night we went to a conference and prayer-meeting,
and Joe spoke. Did you know he had joined the church?"

"No! when did that happen?"

"Last week."

"Has he become religious?"

"Well I think Joe's trying to do the best he can. He said last night in
meeting that he felt like a new man, and if they didn't believe he had
religion to ask his wife."

"And suppose they had asked you, what would you have said?"

"I would have said I believe Joe's a changed man, and I hope he will
hold out faithful. And Miss Belle I want to be a Christian, but there
are some things about religion I can't understand. People often used to
talk to me about getting religion, and getting ready to die. Religion
somehow got associated in my mind with sorrow and death, but it seems to
me since I have known you and Mr. Clifford the thing looks different. I
got it associated with something else besides the pall, the hearse, and
weeping mourners. You have made me feel that it is as beautiful and
valuable for life as it is necessary for death. And yet there are some
things I can't understand. Miss Belle will you be shocked if I tell you
something which has often puzzled me?"

"I don't know, I hope you have nothing very shocking to tell me."

"Well perhaps it is, and maybe I had better not say it."

"But you have raised my curiosity, and woman like I want to hear it."

"Now don't be shocked, but let me ask you, if you really believe that
God is good?"

"Yes I do, and to doubt it would be to unmoor my soul from love, from
peace, and rest. It seems to me to believe that must be the first
resting place for my soul, and I feel that with me

 "To doubt would be disloyalty
  To falter would be sin.

"But my dear I have been puzzled just as you have, and can say,----

 "I have wandered in mazes dark and distressing
  I've had not a cheering ray my spirit to bless,
  Cheerless unbelief held my laboring soul in grief."

"And what then?"

 "I then turned to the Gospel that taught me to pray
  And trust in the living word from folly away.

"And it was here my spirit found a resting place, and I feel that in
believing I have entered into rest."

"Ah!" said Mary to herself when Belle was gone, "there is something so
restful and yet inspiring in her words. I wish I had her faith."

Chapter XVII

"I am sorry, very sorry," said Belle Gordon, as a shadow of deep
distress flitted over her pale sad face. She was usually cheerful and
serene in her manner; but now it seemed as if the very depths of her
soul had been stirred by some mournful and bitter memory. "Your question
was so unexpected and--"

"And what!" said Paul in a tone of sad expectancy, "so unwelcome?"

"It was so sudden, I was not prepared for it."

"I do not," said Paul, "ask an immediate reply. Give yourself ample time
for consideration."

"Mr. Clifford," said Belle, her voice gathering firmness as she
proceeded, "while all the relations of life demand that there should be
entire truthfulness between us and our fellow creatures, I think we
should be especially sincere and candid in our dealings with each other
on this question of marriage, a question not only as affecting our own
welfare but that of[5] others, a relation which may throw its sunshine
or shadow over the track of unborn ages. Permit me now to say to you,
that there is no gentleman of my acquaintance whom I esteem more highly
than yourself; but when you ask me for my heart and hand, I almost feel
as if I had no heart to give; and you know it would be wrong to give my
hand where I could not place my heart."

"But would it be impossible for you to return my affection?" "I don't
know, but I am only living out my [vow] of truthfulness when I say to
you, I feel as if I had been undone for love. You tell that in offering
your hand that you bring me a heart unhackneyed in the arts of love,
that my heart is the first and only shrine on which you have ever laid
the wealth of your affections. I cannot say the same in reply. I have
had my bright and beautiful day dream, but it has faded, and I have
learned what is the hardest of all lessons for a woman to learn. I have
learned to live without love."

"Oh no," said Paul, "not to live without love. In darkened homes how
many grateful hearts rejoice to hear your footsteps on the threshold. I
have seen the eyes of young Arabs of the street grow brighter as you
approached and say, 'That's my lady, she comes to see my mam when she's
sick.' And I have seen little girls in the street quicken their face to
catch a loving smile from their dear Sunday school teacher. Oh Miss
Belle instead of living without love, I think you are surrounded with a
cordon of loving hearts."

"Yes, and I appreciate them--but this is not the love to which I refer.
I mean a love which is mine, as anything else on earth is mine, a love
precious, enduring and strong, which brings hope and joy and sunshine
over one's path in life. A love which commands my allegiance and demands
my respect. This is the love I have learned to do without, and perhaps
the poor and needy had learned to love me less, had this love surrounded
me more."

"Miss Belle, perhaps I was presumptuous, to have asked a return of the
earnest affection I have for you; but I had hoped that you would give
the question some consideration; and may I not hope that you will think
kindly of my proposal? Oh Miss Gordon, ever since the death of my
sainted mother, I have had in my mind's eye the ideal of a woman nobly
planned, beautiful, intellectual, true and affectionate, and you have
filled out that ideal in all its loveliest proportions, and I hope that
my desire will not be like reaching out to some bright particular star
and wishing to win it. It seems to me," he said with increasing
earnestness, "whatever obstacle may be in the way, I would go through
fire and water to remove it."

"I am sorry," said Belle as if speaking to herself, and her face had an
absent look about it, as if instead of being interested in the living
present she was grouping amid the ashes of the dead past. At length she
said, "Mr. Clifford, permit me to say in the first place, let there be
truth between us. If my heart seems callous and indifferent to your
love, believe me it is warm to esteem and value you as a friend, I might
almost say as a brother, for in sympathy of feeling and congeniality of
disposition you are nearer to me than my own brother; but I do not think
were I so inclined that it would be advisable for me to accept your hand
without letting you know something of my past history. I told you a few
moments since that I had my day dream. Permit me to tell you, for I
think you are entitled to my confidence. The object of that day dream
was Charles Romaine."

"Charles Romaine!" and there was a tone of wonder in the voice, and a
puzzled look on the face of Paul Clifford.

"Yes! Charles Romaine, not as you know him now, with the marks of
dissipation on his once handsome face, but Charles Romaine, as I knew
him when he stood upon the threshold of early manhood, the very
incarnation of beauty, strength and grace. Not Charles Romaine with the
blurred and bloated countenance, the staggering gait, the confused and
vacant eye; but Charles Romaine as a young, handsome and talented
lawyer, the pride of our village, the hope of his father and the joy of
his mother; before whom the future was opening full of rich and rare
promises. Need I tell you that when he sought my hand in preference to
all the other girls in our village, that I gave him what I never can
give to another, the first, deep love of my girlish heart. For nearly a
whole year I wore his betrothal ring upon my finger, when I saw to my
utter anguish and dismay that he was fast becoming a drunkard. Oh! Mr.
Clifford if I could have saved him I would have taken blood from every
vein and strength from every nerve. We met frequently at entertainments.
I noticed time after time, the effects of the wine he had imbibed, upon
his manner and conversation. At first I shrank from remonstrating with
him, until the burden lay so heavy on my heart that I felt I must speak
out, let the consequences be what they might. And so one evening I told
him plainly and seriously my fears about his future. He laughed lightly
and said my fears were unfounded; that I was nervous and giving away to
idle fancies; that his father always had wine at the table, and that he
had never seen him under the influence of liquor. Silenced, but not
convinced, I watched his course with painful solicitude. All
remonstrances on my part seemed thrown away; he always had the precedent
of his father to plead in reply to my earnest entreaties. At last when
remonstrances and entreaties seemed to be all in vain, I resolved to
break the engagement. It may have been a harsh and hard alternative, but
I would not give my hand where my respect could not follow. It may be
that I thought too much of my own happiness, but I felt that marriage
must be for me positive misery or positive happiness, and I feared that
if I married a man so lacking in self-control as to become a common
drunkard, that when I ceased to love and respect him, I should be
constantly tempted to hate and despise him. I think one of the saddest
fates that can befall a woman is to be tied for life to a miserable
bloated wreck of humanity. There may be some women with broad generous
hearts, and great charity, strong enough to lift such men out of the
depths, but I had no such faith in my strength and so I gave him back
his ring. He accepted it, but we parted as friends. For awhile after our
engagement was broken, we occasionally met at the houses of our mutual
friends in social gatherings and I noticed with intense satisfaction
that whenever wine was offered he scrupulously abstained from ever
tasting a drop, though I think at times his self-control was severely
tested. Oh! what hope revived in my heart. Here I said to myself is
compensation for all I have suffered, if by it he shall be restored to
manhood usefulness and society, and learn to make his life not a thing
of careless ease and sensuous indulgence, but of noble struggle and high
and holy endeavor. But while I was picturing out for him a magnificent
future, imagining the lofty triumphs of his intellect--an intellect
grand in its achievements and glorious in its possibilities, my
beautiful daydream was rudely broken up, and vanished away like the rays
of sunset mingling with the shadows of night. My Aunt Mrs. Roland,
celebrated her silver-wedding and my cousin's birth-day by giving a
large entertainment; and among other things she had a plentiful supply
of wine. Mr. Romaine had lately made the acquaintance of my cousin
Jeanette Roland. She was both beautiful in person and fascinating in her
manners, and thoughtlessly she held a glass of wine in her hand and
asked Mr. Romaine if he would not honor the occasion, by drinking her
mother's health. For a moment he hesitated, his cheek paled and flushed
alternately, he looked irresolute. While I watched him in silent anguish
it seemed as if the agony of years was compressed in a few moments. I
tried to catch his eye but failed, and with a slight tremor in his hand
he lifted the glass to his lips and drank. I do not think I would have
felt greater anguish had I seen him suddenly drowned in sight of land.
Oh! Mr. Clifford that night comes before me so vividly, it seems as if I
am living it all over again. I do not think Mr. Romaine has ever
recovered from the reawakening of his appetite. He has since married
Jeanette. I meet her occasionally. She has a beautiful home, dresses
magnificently, and has a retinue of servants; and yet I fancy she is not
happy. That somewhere hidden out of sight there is a worm eating at the
core of her life. She has a way of dropping her eyes and an absent look
about her that I do not fully understand, but it seems to me that I miss
the old elasticity of her spirits, the merry ring of her voice, the
pleasant thrills of girlish laughter, and though she never confesses it
to me I doubt that Jeanette is happy. And with this sad experience in
the past can you blame me if I am slow, very slow to let the broken
tendrils of my heart entwine again?"

"Miss Belle," said Paul Clifford catching eagerly at the smallest straw
of hope, "if you can not give me the first love of a fresh young life, I
am content with the rich [aftermath?] of your maturer years, and ask
from life no higher prize; may I not hope for that?"

"I will think on it but for the present let us change the subject."

       *       *       *       *       *

"Do you think Jeanette is happy? She seems so different from what she
used to be," said Miss Tabitha Jones to several friends who were
spending the evening with her.

"Happy!" replied Mary Gladstone, "don't see what's to hinder her from
being happy. She has everything that heart can wish. I was down to her
house yesterday, and she has just moved in her new home. It has all the
modern improvements, and everything is in excellent taste. Her furniture
is of the latest style, and I think it is really superb."

"Yes," said her sister, "and she dresses magnificently. Last week she
showed me a most beautiful set of jewelry, and a camel's hair shawl, and
I believe it is real camel's hair. I think you could almost run it
through a ring. If I had all she has, I think I should be as happy as
the days are long. I don't believe I would let a wave of trouble roll
across my peaceful breast."

"Oh! Annette," said Mrs. Gladstone, "don't speak so extravagantly, and I
don't like to hear you quote those lines for such an occasion."

"Why not mother? Where's the harm?"

"That hymn has been associated in my mind with my earliest religious
impressions and experience, and I don't like to see you lift it out of
its sacred associations, for such a trifling occasion."

"Oh mother you are so strict. I shall never be able to keep time with
you, but I do think, if I was off as Jeanette, that I would be as blithe
and happy as a lark, and instead of that she seems to be constantly
drooping and fading."

"Annette," said Mrs. Gladstone, "I knew a woman who possesses more than
Jeanette does, and yet she died of starvation."

"Died of starvation! Why, when, and where did that happen? and what
became of her husband?"

"He is in society, caressed and [ ed?] on by the young girls of his set
and I have seen a number of managing mammas to whom I have imagined he
would not be an objectionable son-in-law."

"Do I know him mother?"

"No! and I hope you never will."

"Well mother I would like to know how he starved his wife to death and
yet escaped the law."

"The law helped him."

"Oh mother!" said both girls opening their eyes in genuine astonishment.

"I thought," said Mary Gladstone, "it was the province of the law to
protect women, I was just telling Miss Basanquet yesterday, when she
was talking about woman's suffrage that I had as many rights as I wanted
and that I was willing to let my father and brothers do all the voting
for me."

"Forgetting my dear, that there are millions of women who haven't such
fathers and brothers as you have. No my dear, when you examine the
matter, a little more closely, you will find there are some painful
inequalities in the law for women."

"But mother, I do think it would be a dreadful thing for women to vote
Oh! just think of women being hustled and crowded at the polls by rude
men, their breaths reeking with whiskey and tobacco, the very air heavy
with their oaths. And then they have the polls at public houses. Oh
mother, I never want to see the day when women vote."

"Well I do, because we have one of the kindest and best fathers and
husbands and good brothers, who would not permit the winds of heaven to
visit us too roughly, there is no reason we should throw ourselves
between the sunshine and our less fortunate sisters who shiver in the

"But mother, I don't see how voting would help us, I am sure we have
influence I have often heard papa say that you were the first to awaken
him to a sense of the enormity of slavery. Now mother if we women would
use our influence with our fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons, could
we not have everything we want."

"No, my dear we could not, with all our influence we never could have
the same sense of responsibility which flows from the possession of
power. I want women to possess power as well as influence, I want every
Christian woman as she passes by a grogshop or liquor saloon, to feel
that she has on her heart a burden of responsibility for its existence,
I hold my dear that a nation as well as an individual should have a
conscience, and on this liquor question there is room for woman's
conscience not merely as a persuasive influence but as an enlightened
and aggressive power."

"Well Ma I think you would make a first class stump speaker. I expect
when women vote we shall be constantly having calls, for the gifted, and
talented Mrs. Gladstone to speak on the duties and perils of the hour."

"And I would do it, I would go among my sister women and try to persuade
them to use their vote as a moral lever, not to make home less happy,
but society more holy. I would have good and sensible women, grave in
manner, and cultured in intellect, attend the primary meetings and bring
their moral influence and political power to frown down corruption,
chicanery, and low cunning."

"But mother just think if women went to the polls how many vicious ones
would go?"

"I hope and believe for the honor of our sex that the vicious women of
the community are never in the majority, that for one woman whose feet
turn aside from the paths of rectitude that there are thousands of feet
that never stray into forbidden paths, and today I believe there is
virtue enough in society to confront its vice, and intelligence enough
to grapple with its ignorance."[6]

Chapter XVIII

"Why Mrs. Gladstone," said Miss Tabitha, "you are as zealous as a new
convert to the cause of woman suffrage. We single women who are
constantly taxed without being represented, know what it is to see
ignorance and corruption striking hands together and voting away our
money for whatever purposes they choose. I pay as large a tax as many of
the men in A.P., and yet cannot say who shall assess my property for a
single year."

"And there is another thing," said Mrs. Gladstone, "ought to be brought
to the consideration of the men, and it is this. They refuse to let us
vote and yet fail to protect our homes from the ravages of rum. My
young friend, whom I said died of starvation; foolishly married a
dissipated man who happened to be rich and handsome. She was gentle,
loving, sensitive to a fault. He was querulous, fault-finding and
irritable, because his nervous system was constantly unstrung by liquor.
She lacked tenderness, sympathy and heart support, and at last faded and
died, not starvation of the body, but a trophy of the soul, and when I
say the law helped, I mean it licensed the places that kept the
temptation ever in his way. And I fear, that is the secret of Jeanette's
faded looks, and unhappy bearing."

No Jeanette was not happy. Night after night would she pace the floor of
her splendidly furnished chamber waiting and watching for her husband's
footsteps. She and his friends had hoped that her influence would be
strong enough to win him away from his boon companions, that his home
and beautiful bride would present superior attractions to Anderson's
saloon, his gambling pool, and champaign suppers, and for a while they
did, but soon the novelty wore off, and Jeanette found out to her great
grief that her power to bind him to the simple attractions of home were
as futile as a role of cobwebs to moor a ship to the shore, when it has
drifted out and is dashing among the breakers. He had learned to live an
element of excitement, and to depend upon artificial stimulation, until
it seemed as if the very blood in his veins grew sluggish fictitious
excitement was removed. His father, hopeless of his future, had
dissolved partnership with him, and for months there had been no
communication between them; and Jeanette saw with agony and dismay that
his life was being wrecked upon the broad sea of sin and shame.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Where is his father? The child can't live. It is one of the worst cases
of croup I have had this year, why didn't you send for me sooner? Where
is his father? It is now just twelve o'clock, time for all respectable
men to be in the house," said the bluff but kind hearted family doctor
looking tenderly upon Jeanette's little boy who lay gasping for breath
in the last stages of croup.

"Oh! I don't know," said Jeanette her face crimsoning beneath the
doctor's searching glance. "I suppose he is down to Anderson's."

"Anderson's!" said the doctor in a tone of hearty indignation, "what
business has he there, and his child dying here?"

"But doctor, he didn't know, the child had fever when he went out, but
neither of us thought much of it till I was awakened by his strange and
unnatural breathing. I sent for you as soon as I could rouse the
servants." "Well rouse them again, and tell them to go down to
Anderson's and tell your husband that his child is dying."

"Oh! no not dying doctor, you surely don't mean it." "Yes Jeanette,"
said the old family doctor, tenderly and sadly, "I can do nothing for
him, let me take him in my arms and rest you. Dear little darling, he
will be saved from the evils to come."

Just as his life was trembling on its frailest chords, and its delicate
machinery almost wound up, Charles Romaine returned, sober enough to
take in the situation. He strode up to the dying child, took the clammy
hands in his, and said in a tone of bitter anguish, "Charlie, don't you
know papa? Wouldn't you speak one little word to papa?" But it was too
late, the shadows that never deceive flitted over the pale beauty of the
marble brow, the waxen lid closed over the once bright and laughing eye,
and the cold grave for its rest had won the child.

Chapter XIX

[Text missing.]

Chapter XX

If riches could bring happiness, John Anderson should be a happy man;
and yet he is far from being happy. He has succeeded in making money,
but failed in every thing else. But let us enter his home. As you open
the parlor door your feet sink in the rich and beautiful carpet.
Exquisite statuary, and superbly framed pictures greet your eye and you
are ready to exclaim, "Oh! how lovely." Here are the beautiful
conceptions of painters' art and sculptors' skill. It is a home of
wealth, luxury and display, but not of love, refinement and culture.
Years since, before John Anderson came to live in the city of A.P. he
had formed an attachment for an excellent young lady who taught school
in his native village, and they were engaged to be married; but after
coming to the city and forming new associations, visions of wealth
dazzled his brain, and unsettled his mind, till the idea of love in a
cottage grew distasteful to him. He had seen men with no more ability
than himself who had come to the city almost pennyless, and who had
grown rich in a few years, and he made up his mind that if possible he
would do two things, acquire wealth and live an easy life, and he
thought the easiest way to accomplish both ends was to open up a
gorgeous palace of sin and entice into his meshes the unwary, the
inexperienced, and the misguided slaves of appetite. For awhile after he
left his native village, he wrote almost constantly to his betrothed;
but as new objects and interests engaged his attention, his letters
became colder and less frequent, until they finally ceased and the
engagement was broken. At first the blow fell heavily upon the heart of
his affianced, but she was too sensible to fade away and die the victim
of unrequited love, and in after years when she had thrown her whole
soul into the temperance cause, and consecrated her life to the work of
uplifting fallen humanity, she learned to be thankful that it was not
her lot to be united to a man who stood as a barrier across the path of
human progress and would have been a weight to her instead of wings.
Released from his engagement, he entered into an alliance (for that is
the better name for a marriage) which was not a union of hearts, or
intercommunion of kindred souls; but only an affair of convenience; in a
word he married for money a woman, who was no longer young in years, nor
beautiful in person, nor amiable in temper. But she was rich, and her
money like charity covered a multitude of faults, and as soon as he saw
the golden bait he caught at it, and they were married, for he was
willing to do almost any thing for money, except work hard for it. It
was a marriage however that brought no happiness to either party. Mrs.
Anderson was an illy educated, self willed, narrow minded [woman], full
of airs and pretensions, the only daughter of a man who had laid the
foundation of his wealth by keeping a low groggery, and dying had left
her his only heir. John Anderson was selfish and grasping. He loved
money, and she loved display, and their home was often the scene of the
most pitiful contentions about money matters. Harsh words and bitter
recriminations were almost common household usages. The children brought
up in this unhealthy atmosphere naturally took sides with their mother
and their home was literally a house divided against itself. The foolish
conduct of the mother inspired the children with disrespect for their
father, who failed to support the authority of his wife as the mother
and mistress of the home. As her sons grew older they often sought
attractions in questionable places, away from the sombre influences of
their fireside, and the daughters as soon as they stood upon the verge
of early womanhood learned to look upon marriage as an escape valve from
domestic discomforts; and in that beautiful home with all its costly
surroundings, and sumptuous furniture, there was always something
wanting, there was always a lack of tenderness, sympathy and mutual

"I can't afford it," said John Anderson, to his wife who had been asking
for money for a trip to a fashionable watering place. "You will have to
spend the summer elsewhere."

"Can't afford it! What nonsense; is not it as much to your interest as
mine to carry the girls around and give them a chance?"

"A chance for what?"

"Why to see something of the world. You don't know what may happen. That
English Earl was very attentive last night to Sophronia at Mrs. Jessap's

"An English Count? who is he? and where did he spring from?"

"Why he's from England, and is said to be the only son and heir of a
very rich nobleman."

"I don't believe it, I don't believe he is an Earl any more than I am."

"That's just like you, always throw cold water on every thing I say"

"It is no such thing, but I don't believe in picking up strangers and
putting them into my bosom; it is not all gold that glitters."

"I know that, but how soon can you let me have some money? I want to go
out this afternoon and do some shopping and engage the semptress."

"I tell you, Annette, I have not the money to spare; the money market is
very tight, and I have very heavy bills to meet this month."

"The money market tight! why it has been tight ever since I have been

"Well you may believe it or not, just as you choose, but I tell you this
crusading has made quite a hole in my business."

"Now John Anderson, tell that to somebody that don't know. I don't
believe this crusading has laid a finger's weight upon your business."

"Yes it has, and if you read the papers you would find that it has even
affected the revenue of the state and you will have to retrench

"Well, I'll retrench somewhere. I think we are paying our servants too
high wages any how. Mrs. Shenflint gets twice as much work done for the
same money. I'll retrench, John Anderson, but I want you to remember
that I did not marry you empty handed."

"I don't think I shall be apt to forget it in a hurry while I have such
a gentle reminder at hand," he replied sarcastically.

"And I suppose you would not have married me if I had had no money."

"No, I would not," said John Anderson thoroughly exasperated, "and I
would have been a fool if I had."

These bitter words spoken in a heat of passion were calculated to work
disastrously in that sin darkened home.

For some time she had been suspecting that her money had been the chief
inducement which led him to seek her hand, and now her worse suspicions
were confirmed, and the last thread of confidence was severed.

"I should not have said it," said Anderson to himself, "but the woman is
so provoking and unreasonable. I suppose she will have a fit of sulks
for a month and never be done brooding over those foolish words"; and
Anderson sighed as if he were an ill used man. He had married for money,
and he had got what he bargained for; love, confidence, and mutual
esteem were not sought in the contract and these do not necessarily come
of themselves.

"Well, the best I can do is to give her what money she wants and be done
with it."

       *       *       *       *       *

"Is not in her room?"

"No sir and her bed has not been rumpled."

"Where in the world can she be?"

"I don't know, but here is a note she left."

"What does she say? read it Annette."

"She says she feels that you were unjust to the Earl and that she hopes
you will forgive her the steps she has taken, but by the time the letter
reaches you she expects to be the Countess of Clarendon."

"Poor foolish girl, you see what comes of taking a stranger to your
bosom and making so much of him."

"That's just like you, John Anderson, every thing that goes wrong is
blamed on me. I almost wish I was dead."

"I wish so too," thought Anderson but he concluded it was prudent to
keep the wish to himself.

John Anderson had no faith whatever in the pretensions of his new
son-in-law, but his vain and foolish wife on the other hand was elated
at the dazzling prospects of her daughter, and often in her imagination
visited the palatial residence of "My Son, the Earl," and was graciously
received in society as the mother of the Countess of Clarendon. She was
also highly gratified at the supposed effect of Sophronia's marriage
upon a certain clique who had been too exclusive to admit her in their
set. Should not those Gladstone girls be ready to snag themselves? and
there was that Mary Talbot, did every thing she could to attract his
attention but it was no go. My little Sophronia came along and took the
rag off the bush. I guess they will almost die with envy. If he had
waited for her father's consent we might have waited till the end of the
chapter; but I took the responsibility on my shoulders and the thing is
done. My daughter, the Countess of Clarendon. I like the ring of the
words; but dear me here's the morning mail, and a letter from the
Countess, but what does it mean?"

"Come to me, I am in great trouble."

In quick response to the appeal Mrs. Anderson took the first train to
New York and found her daughter in great distress. The "Earl" had been
arrested for forgery and stealing, and darker suspicions were hinted
against him. He had been a body servant to a nobleman who had been
travelling for his health and who had died by a lonely farmhouse where
he had gone for fresh air and quiet, and his servant had seized upon his
effects and letters of introduction, and passed himself off as the
original Earl, and imitating his handwriting had obtained large
remittances, for which he was arrested, tried and sent to prison, and
thus ended the enchanting dream of "My daughter the Countess of

Chapter XXI

"I cannot ensure your life a single hour, unless you quit business. You
are liable to be stricken with paralysis at any moment, if [once?]
subject to the [least] excitement.[7] Can't you trust your business in
the hands of your sons?"

"Doctor," said John Anderson, "I have only two boys. My oldest went West
several years ago, and never writes to us unless he wants something, and
as to Frank, if I would put the concern into his hands, he would drink
himself into the grave in less than a month. The whole fact is this, my
children are the curse of my life," and there was bitterness in the tone
of John Anderson[8] as he uttered these words of fearful sorrow.

"Well," said the doctor, "you must have rest and quiet or I will not
answer for the consequences."

"Rest and quiet!" said John Anderson to himself, "I don't see how I am
to get it, with such a wife as I have always worrying and bothering me
about something." "Mr. Anderson," said one of the servants, "Mrs.
Anderson says please come, as quick as possible into Mr. Frank's room."

"What's the matter now!"

"I don't know, but Mr. Frank's acting mightily queer; he thinks there
are snakes and lizards crawling over him."

"He's got the horrors, just what I expected. Tell me about rest and
quiet! I'll be there in a minute. Oh what's the matter? I feel strange,"
said Anderson falling back on the bed suddenly stricken with paralysis.
While in another room lay his younger son a victim to delirium tremens,
and dying in fearful agony. The curse that John Anderson had sent to
other homes had come back darkened with the shadow of death to brood
over his own habitation. His son is dying, but he has no word of hope to
cheer the parting spirit as it passed out into the eternity, for him the
darkness of the tomb, is not gilded with the glory of the resurrection.

The best medical skill has been summoned to the aid of John Anderson,
but neither art, nor skill can bind anew the broken threads of life. The
chamber in which he is confined is a marvel of decoration, light streams
into his home through panes of beautifully stained glass. Pillows of the
softest down are placed beneath his head, beautiful cushions lie at his
feet that will never take another step on the errands of sin, but no
appliances of wealth can give peace to his guilty conscience. He looks
back upon the past and the retrospect is a worse than wasted life; and
when the future looms up before him he shrinks back from the
contemplation, for the sins of the past throw their shadow over the
future. He has houses, money and land, but he is a pauper in his soul,
and a bankrupt in his character. In his eager selfish grasp for gold, he
has shriveled his intellect and hardened and dried up his heart, and in
so doing he has cut himself off from the richest sources of human
enjoyment. He has wasted life's best opportunities, and there never was
an angel, however bright, terrible and strong, that ever had power to
roll away the stone from the grave of a dead opportunity, and what John
Anderson has lost in time, he can never make up in eternity. He has
formed no taste for reading, and thus has cut himself off from the
glorious companionship of the good, the great, and the wise of all ages.
He has been selfish, mean and grasping, and the blessing of the poor and
needy never fall as benedictions on his weary head; and in that
beautiful home with disease and death clutching at his heartstrings, he
has wealth that he cannot enjoy, luxuries that pall upon his taste, and
magnificence that can never satisfy the restless craving of his soul.
His life has been a wretched failure. He neglected his children to amass
the ways of iniquity, and their coldness and indifference pierce him
like poisoned arrows. Marriage has brought him money, but not the
sweet, tender ministrations of loving wifely care, and so he lives on
starving in the midst of plenty; dying of thirst, with life's sweetest
fountains eluding his grasp.

Charles Romaine is sleeping in a drunkard's grave. After the death of
his boy there was a decided change in him. Night after night he tore
himself away from John Anderson's saloon, and struggled with the monster
that had enslaved him, and for awhile victory seemed to be perching on
the banner of his resolution. Another child took the place of the first
born, and the dead, and hope and joy began to blossom around Jeanette's
path. His mother who had never ceased to visit the house marked the
change with great satisfaction and prevailed upon his father to invite
Charles and Jeanette to a New Year's dinner (only a family gathering).
Jeanette being unwell excused herself from going, and Charles went
alone. Jeanette felt a fearful foreboding when she saw him leaving the
door, and said to herself, "I hope his father will not offer him wine. I
am so afraid that something will happen to him, and yet I hated to
persuade him not to go. His mother might think I was averse to his
reconciliation with his father."

"It looks very natural to have Charles with us again," said Mrs.
Ro[maine] looking fondly on her son.

"Yes, it seems like old times, when I always had my seat next to yours."

"And I hope," said his father, "it will never be vacant so long again."

The dinner hour passed on enlivened by social chat and pleasant
reminiscences, and there was nothing to mar the harmony of the occasion.
Mrs. Romaine had been careful to keep everything from the table that
would be apt to awaken the old appetite for liquor, but after dinner Mr.
Romaine invited Charles into the library to smoke. "Here," said he,
handing him a cigar, "is one of the finest brands I have smoked lately,
and by the way here is some rare old wine, more than 25 years old,
which was sent to me yesterday by an old friend and college class mate
of mine.[9] Let me pour you out a glass." Charles suddenly became
agitated, but as his father's back was turned to him, pouring out the
wine, he did not notice the sudden paling of his cheek, and the
hesitation of his manner. And Charles checking back his scruples took
the glass and drained it, to the bottom.

There is a fable, that a certain king once permitted the devil to kiss
his shoulder, and out of those shoulders sprang[10] two serpents that in
the fury of their hunger aimed at his head and tried to get at his
brain. He tried to extricate himself from their terrible power. He tore
at them with his fingers and found that it was his own flesh that he was
lacerating. Dormant but not dead was the appetite for strong drink in
Charles Romaine, and that one glass awakened the serpent coiled up in
his flesh. He went out from his father's house with a newly awakened
appetite clamoring and raging for strong drink. Every saloon he passed
adding intensity to his craving. At last his appetite overmastered him
and he almost rushed into a saloon, and waited impatiently till he was
served. Every nerve seemed to be quivering with excitement,
restlessness; and there was a look of wild despairing anguish on his
face, as he clutched the glass to allay the terrible craving of his
system. He drank till his head was giddy, and his gait was staggering,
and then started for home. He entered the gate and slipped on the ice,
and being too intoxicated to rise or comprehend his situation, he lay
helpless in the dark and cold, until there crept over him that sleep
from which there is no awakening, and when morning had broken in all its
glory, Charles Romaine had drifted out of life, slain by the wine which
at [last] had "bitten like an adder and stung like a serpent." Jeanette
had waited and watched through the small hours of the night, till nature
o'erwearied had sought repose in sleep and rising very early in the
morning, she had gone to the front door to look down the street for his
coming when the first object that met her gaze was the lifeless form of
her husband. One wild and bitter shriek rent the air, and she fell
fainting on the frozen corpse. Her friends gathered round her, all that
love and tenderness could do was done for the wretched wife, but nothing
could erase from her mind one agonizing sorrow, it was the memory of her
fatal triumph over his good resolution years ago at her mother's silver
wedding. Carelessly she had sowed the seeds of transgression whose
fearful yield was a harvest of bitter misery. Mrs. Clifford came to her
in her hour of trial, and tried to comfort and sustain the
heart-stricken woman; who had tried to take life easy, but found it
terribly hard, and she has measurably succeeded. In the home of her
cousin she is trying to bear the burden of her life as well as she can.
Her eye never lights up with joy. The bloom and flush have left her
careworn face. Tears from her eyes long used to weeping have blenched
the coloring of her life existence, and she is passing through life with
the shadow of the grave upon her desolate heart.

Joe Gough has been true to his pledge, plenty and comfort have taken the
place of poverty and pain. He continued his membership with the church
of his choice and Mary is also striving to live a new life, and to be
the ministering angel that keeps his steps, and he feels that in answer
to prayer, his appetite for strong drink has been taken away.

Life with Mrs. Clifford has become a thing of brightness and beauty, and
when children sprang up in her path making gladness and sunshine around
her home, she was a wife and tender mother, fond but not foolish; firm
in her household government, but not stern and unsympathising in her
manner. The faithful friend and companion of her daughters, she won
their confidence by her loving care and tender caution. She taught them
to come to her in their hours of perplexity and trial and to keep no
secrets from her sympathising heart. She taught her sons to be as
upright in their lives and as pure in their conversation as she would
have her daughters, recognizing for each only one code of morals and one
law of spiritual life, and in course of time she saw her daughters
ripening into such a beautiful womanhood, and her sons entering the
arena of life not with the simplicity which is ignorant of danger and
evil, but with the sterling integrity which baffles the darts of
temptation with the panoply of principle and the armor of uprightness.
Unconsciously she elevated the tone of society in which she moved by a
life which was a beautiful and earnest expression of patient continuance
in well doing. Paul Clifford's life has been a grand success, not in the
mere accumulation of wealth, but in the enrichment of his moral and
spiritual nature. He is still ever ready to lend a helping hand. He has
not lived merely for wealth and enjoyment, but happiness, lasting and
true springs up in his soul as naturally as a flower leaps into
blossoms, and whether he is loved or hated, honored or forgotten, he
constantly endeavors to make the world better by his example and
gladdened by his presence feeling that if every one would be faithful to
duty that even here, Eden would spring up in our path, and Paradise be
around our way.


1. This installment is numbered as a second Chapter I in the original.

2. The original reads "Jeanette Romaine."

3. The original reads "Mr. Roland."

4. The original reads "to showing."

5. The phrase "that of" is repeated in the original.

6. A note from the _Christian Recorder_ follows this paragraph: "[The
rest of this chapter was crowded out. It will appear next week.]"

7. The original reads: "if once [or possibly "one"] subject to the lest

8. The original reads "and there was a tone of bitterness in the tone
of John Anderson."

9. The original reads "by an old friend and college and class mate of

10. The original reads "out of those shoulders spring two serpents."

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