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repose. It is true we have enough to induce us to it then. The day could not but present us with something either worthy our thanks, or that needed our begging and pardon, for removing or continuing something; and though we be immured with walls and darkness, yet we are not exempted so from perils, but that, without our God's assistance, we are left a prey to all that is at enmity with man. Besides, sleep is the image or shadow of death; whe« the shadow is so near, the substance cannot be far remote. The dying Gorgias being in a slumber, and asked by a friend how he did, he answered, "Pretty well; only sleep is recommending me up to his brother." Some, we know, in health have gone to rest eternal; and without thinking of the other world, have taken their leave of this, not knowing themselves that they were on their way, till they had fully despatched their journey.
But notwithstanding all this, a man at rest in his chamber, like a sheep impenned in the fold, is subject only to unusual events, and such as rarely happen; to the emissions of) the more immediate and unavoidable hand of. God. Danger seems shut out of doors; we are secured from the injury of the elements, and guarded with a fence of iron against the force of such as would invade. We are removed from the world's bustle and the crowd of occasions that jostle against us as we walk abroad. He that is barred up in his house, is in his garrison, with his guard about him, and not so soon attacked by his enemy as he that roves in the open and unsheltered field. Who knows not the ship to be safer in the bay or harbor, than tossed and beaten in the boiling ocean? Retiredness is more safe than business. We are withdrawn when the veil of night and rest inwraps us in their dark and silent cabinet.
But with the sun we do disclose and are discovered to our prying enemies. We go abroad to meet what at home does not look after us. He that walks through a fair of beasts, is in hazard to be gored or kicked, or bruised, or beaten. We pass through briars and thorns and nettles, that will prick and scratch and sting. We are in the day as travelling through a wilderness, where wild and savage creatures are, as well as tamer animals. All the world is Africa, where heat and drought, venom, or something new, does still disturb us. The air, the fire, the earth, and water, are apter all to wound us. The frays, the trains, the incitements, the opportunity, the occasions of offence, the lures and temptirigs from abroad, and the businesses and accidents of life, deny us any Safety but what we have from the favor ofj protective Providence.
Besides, prayer does sacre all our actions.
It is the priming of the soul, that, laymg us in the oil of grace, preserves us from the worm and weather. When the mind in the morning opens to God, as the eye to the sun's clear light, by the radiance of the divine beams, we become enlightened inwardly all the day. He is lifted in God's service and protection, that makes it his first work to be enrolled by prayer under the standard of the Almighty. It was from hence, sure, that devotion sprung of Christians crossing themselves at their entering upon business. AH thriving states have ever sought the gods in their first infancy. The morning in the day, is as youth to the life of a man. If that be well seasoned, it is likely that his age may answer it, and be progressive in the path of virtue. To live well every day is the greatest and most important business of man; and heing unable for it of himself alone, he needs the more to gain divine assistance. In works of moment, even heathens never ventured without their seeking first such deities as they believed might help them.
'Nothing's well done
But what at first is with the gods begun."'
He carries an assistant angel with him for his help, that begs his benediction from above; and without it he is lame and unarmed. We do not find that Saul's devotion ever was superlative; yet he was troubled tor fear the Philistines should catch him before he said his prayers. (1 Sam. xiii. 12.) And because he had neglected this, he stumbled up an offering, thinking in that way to supply it.
The brightest part of love is its confidence. It is that perfect, that unhesitating reliance, that interchange of every idea and every feeling, that perfect community of the heart's secrets and the mind's thoughts, which binds two beings together more closely, more dearly than the dearest of human ties, more than the vow of passion, or the oath of the altar. It is that confidence which, did we not deny its sway, would give to earthly love a permanence that we find but very seldom in this world.
The sun shall cease to shed his gonial light,
AN AFFECTING PICTURE.
The following affecting picture is from "The Country Doctor" an entertaining autobiography of real life, published in the Knickerbocker. The Doctor goes to see a young gentleman, ill of consumption, who was staying with a hard-hearted hostess in the country:
One day I went into his room at the usual time to visit him, and found it empty. His bed and furniture had been removed, the window was thrown up, and no trace of him could I find. 'He is dead,' said I; 'really, I had not anticipated his departure so soon. Poor fellow! He has perished far from his parents and his home, and all the endearments which soften the pillow of death.'
In the midst of such reflections I turned upon my heel and went out . The woman of the house met me on the stair case.
'So, William is gone V said I.
'Yes, he's gone, doctor, and for the matter o' that, he ought to have been sent long ago, for his money's all spent, and it's too great a tax on us to take care on him, when it's pretty nigh as much as we can do to take care of ourselves.'
'Is it possible!' said I, angrily;' and why did you not make the case known?' I instantly perceived from the words of the woman that the youth had been sent to that den of filth and abomination, the County Poor House. He had been removed, it appears, in spite of tears and entreaties; the hands of man had anticipated the hand of death, and dealt more cruelly with its victim.
'William begged hard not to be sent,' said the woman, 'and 1 am sure I was wonderful sorry to part with him, for he was a nice young man, and always paid his board regular while he had his strength. But charity is charity; and, as my husband says, it's a great wirtue, and it ought always to begin at home. But you see Tompkins, he was eoing right past the poor house with a load of hay, and he said he would take William on top of the load. So, thinks I, that's very kind of him and providential. So, says I, Don't cry, yoUng man, for you'll be much better purvided for than you are now, and you'll have plenty to sympathize with you. And that warn't no more than the truth, doctor, for there's some desput sick creatures there, I assure you.'
'I do not doubt it, madam, and I can only hope that those who are now blessed with health and plenty may never be sick, and stand in need of such sympathies, and that those who have a home may never be thrust into such a shelter.'
As I shall never have occasion to recur to
her again, I will here mention that this woman died in that very poor house.
It was the morning after this event that I went out to visit the county poor-house, determined to bring the young man away at all hazards, that he might breathe his last in a pure atmosphere, with some show of decency around him, and some tenderness to mitigate the pangs of death. After driving for some distance over a desolate moor, I drew near the place of destination. A ^mall house of one story, painted of a dusky red, stood alone, without fences, or trees, or garden, or any thing to alleviate its dreary solitude. There was no object on which the eye could rest, or the senses receive pleasure; but a dead flat extended on all sides, as far as the eye could reach. Every blade of grass in the vicinity was dead, and the pools of stagnant water were dried up by the summer and exhibited their bottoms of baked clay, and myriads of flies and wasps were buzzing around, and inflicting their poisonous stings on all living titings. How emblematic was this external cheerlessness and drought, of the hearts of that miserable brotherhood, to w hom the public charity doles out its morsels with a pitiful hand, and will bestow on them nothing with pleasure but a grave! Here was indeed a fitting abode for poverty to eke out the penalty of its misdemeanor in an affectionate fellowship with crime : for crime and penury, forgetful of caste, seemed to stand upon equal ground, and to jibe and chatter on the brink of the grave. Here in this hidden place, where the foot of the world never intruded; where charity never came with her open palm; where the light of smiles and cheerfulness was never known to break, and where the voice of lamentation, of bickering and complaint, never penetrated beyond the walls of the little Pandemonium.
'The County Poor-House!' What horrible associations are connected with the name! How do all, save those who are hardened and insensible, shrink back from those walls, and tremble at the humiliation of such a home! I had some curiosity to examine a place of which report did not speak favorably : and truly can I say that its actual terrors deserve to be held up as a warning to those who have entered on the career of poverty and crime: and may God pity those who, without any fault of their own, have arrived at a place to which the grave itself is preferable.
I entered the walls, and soon saw enough to disgust and sicken. The miserable inmates who were able to keep out of their beds and to eat, were assembled in the refectory; and there a sanctimonious mqn, whether chaplain or superintendent, or what not, with uplifted hands was imploring Heaven's blessings—shall I be believed when. I state the fact?—upon a dinner of Boiled Horse Feet.* This species of shell-fish is used in maratime districts to enrich the soil, and vast quantities arc brought out of the sea for that purpose, and are scattered over the fields, tainting the air for miles around. Swine are fattened on this fish, which renders the flesh so strong and disagreeable that it is scarce eatable. But it is only in the County Poor House that this noxious food is administered to men. The paupers started from the table in disorder when they beheld a stranger; and some of them coming towards me stretched out their hands for alms. PoorTimmy Timmone, who had known much better times, and had lived on a good farm all his life, but being a simpleton, had lost his all in times of speculation, came to me with his mouth full of horse feet and complaint. He had no peace by night or day. He couldn't get enough to eat, and his fellow pensioners kicked him, and bit him, and knocked the hat oS his head. Joe Haywood, classically educated in England, and a drunkard and a vagabond by his own fault, stretched out his hand and said, 'Salve Domine!—give me sixpence to have my beard taken off.'
'Fie, fie, Joe! a gentleman commoner asking for alms V
'Tempora mutantur,'' replied he, 'et nos mulamur cum Mis.'
Phcebe Thompson, a miserable hag, likewise wanted a sixpence to replenish her gin bottle; and these sort of requests were thickening, when the superintendent, who had said grace, started from his seat in a fury, and told the poor wretches to finish their 'meal of wittles;' and to stop their beggarly mouths. 'The most of those who come here,' reasoned I, as I turned from the tables, 'pay the penalty of their own crimes, and therefore to feed them would be holding out an inducement to vice; but is that an apology for putting up the county paupers yearly, and selling them to the most reasonable bidder! Is that an apology for subjecting them to the avarice of contractors, and for importing large quantities of horse feet from the sea, and surfeiting them with dainties which the very svvrhe reject?'
I passed into the room (there were only two rooms in the house) where I expected to find the patient on whose account 1 had come; but I recoiled instinctively the moment I entered. It was small, black, begrimed with dirt, and the air insupportable. And there on their low pallets, which covered the floor in all directions crowded together and unable to stir by reason of loathsome diseases, black and white, male and female, lay the most wretched part of the county paupers! The palsied, the leprous, the paralytic, on whose
* Otherwise known by the name of "King Crabs."
countenances suffering and hellish passions had ploughed their deep furrows, had there laid down to die, with their filthy rags about them. What a foul and revolting spectacle was this, to behold human beings herded together like the beasts that perish; without care, without comfort, without hope! I cast my eyes around the room for an instant, and then, like him who looked into a dungeon and saw the poor prisoner computing his calendar, I 'felt the iron enter into my soul.' Here were a few who had 'seen better days,' and, among the rest, lying as far apart as possible from his companions in misery, in one corner, on a little straw, I found the poor boy. He did not notice my approach. A white film was over his eyes, which were onl y half closed. His countenance was much changed, and looked very death-like. I feared he was in the arms of death, and too far gone to be removed. 'William,' said I.
He opened his eyes gradually, looked wildly around, and then, seeing me, he rose suddenly up and a gleam of hope seemed to dart over his countenance.
'William,' said I, 'I have come to take you away.'
The gleam of hope brightened into a smile of inexpressible pleasure and gratitude.
'Thank you!' said he, clasping his hands. 'Death! death !—any thing but this horrible abode!'
'Are you strong enough to endure the journey, William? It is a long ride.'
'Oh ! yes, yes! I shall be better. I shall die here. Do take me away! My parents would weep to know that I was here.'
'Very well,' said I; 'are you ready to go at once? I am come expressly to take you. I have an easy carriage, and we will accomplish the journey at our leisure.'
He rose at once, with more strength and energy than I thought him possessed of, and walked out of that horrible den. With a little assistance, he ascended the carriage. Timmy Timmons, whose misfortunes had destroyed his mind, came to me as I was about to depart.
'Doctor,' said he, with an idiotic smile, 'won't you take me tool Why didn't you come and take dinner with us? Ah! did you hear Toney say grace? Wasn't it a pretty grace?'
No sooner had we turned our backs upon the place, and commenced our journey homeward, than the young man buried his face in his hands, and wept. They were grateful tears, springing from a pure well spring, and with them a load of grief was removed from the heart, and hope revived; and the fresh breeze and the boundless fields, and the blue 1 sky, spoke again of life, happiness and love.
A HOMESPUN YARN:
The "Experience" of the Blacksmith of the Mountain Pass.
Chapter I. At the entrance to one of those gorges or gaps in the great Apalachian chain of mountains, in their passage across the northern portion of Georgia, a blacksmith had erected his forge, in the early settlement of that region by the American race, and drove a thrifty trade in the way of facing axes and pointmg ploughs for the settlers, and shoeing horses for wayfaring people in their transit through the country, to examine gold mines and land.
As he was no ordinary personage in the affairs of his neighborhood, and will make a conspicuous figure in this narrative, some account of his peculiarities will not be uninteresting. Having acted through life on a homely maxim of his own—" pay up as you! go up," he had acquired some money and was out of debt, and consequently enjoyed "the glorious privilege of being independent," in a degree that is unknown to many who occupy a larger portion of this world's attention than himself. He was a burly, well-looking man, of thirty-five, just young enough to feel that all his faculties, mental and physical, had reached their greatest development, and just old enough to have amassed sufficient experience of men and things, to make the past serve as a finger post to his future journey through life. With a shrewd, but boldi and honest look, there was a gleeful expres- ] sion in the corner of his eyes, that spoke ofI fun. The " laughing devil in his eye" was not a malicious spirit, however. His pbysi-j cal conformation was that which combined strength with agility, and if he had been fated to have been a contemporary of his great prototype, Vulcan, there can be no doubt hut the Lemnian blacksmith would have allotted to him a front forge in his establishment, to act as a pattern card, and to divert the public gaze from his own game leg to the fair proportions of his foreman.
Now, although Ned Porgeron, for such was the name he had inherited from some Gallic ancestor, was a good-natured man, yet [ the possession of great musci/lar strength and courage, and the admiration which a successful exercise of this power never fails to command, had somewhat spoiled him. Without meaning to injure any mortal, he had managed, nevertheless, to try his prowess on sundry of his neighbors, and from the success which always crowned his honest efforts in j that way, had unconsciously acquired the I character of a bully. \
With very few advantages of elementary education, he had, nevertheless, at different periods, collected a mass of heterogeneous information which he was very fond of displaying on occasions. He was a sort of political antiquary, and could tell the opinion of Mr. Jefferson or Mr. Madison, on any subject, and was referred to on all disputed points of the theory and history of the government, that arose among the candidates for the legislature, and country politicians. This he studied on account of the consequence it invested him with. But why he had treasured up an old and well-thumbed copy of Paine's "Age of Reason," and affected skepticism as to the story of Jonah and the whale, and Baalam and the ass, would be hard accounting for, unless it proceeded from the desire of a character for singularity and erudition. When vanity once gets the mastery of a man's reason, there is jno telling the absurdities it will lead him into. He was fond of speaking of Volney, and being found with a copy of Taylor's " Diegesis" in his hand, although few of his neighbors had heard of the author of the "Ruins," or knew what Diegesis meant.
This peculiarity, together with the pertinacity of the missionaries, Worcester and Butler, which carried them to the penitentiary, may account for the great aversion of Mr. Edward Forgeron to all preachers of the Gospel. His dislike for them was so excessive, that he could not speak of the " hypocritical scoundrels," as he called them, without flying into a passion, and using indecorous language.
But a circumstance occurred which gave his zeal a distinct and sectarian direction. A Methodist preacher over in Tennessee, who was fond of spicing his sermons with anecdotes, once made the blacksmith the principal character in a long sermon. His peculiarities were dilated on, and his heresies dealt with in becoming severity. He was ridiculed bv the preacher. All this came to the ears of Forgeron, with such additions and embellishments as stories usually receive in passing to a third person. It would be as useless to describe a mountain storm, as to attempt to picture the wrath of this mountaineer. But if we cannot portray the storm, the consequences may be easily told. The blacksmith swore in his wrath that he would whip every Methodist preacher that passed the (rap, in revenge of the insult.
Forgeron was a man of his word, as the bruised features of many of John Wesley's disciples could testify. His character soon went abroad, and the good old matrons of the surrounding counties, on each side of the mountain, trembled at his name.
In short, the mountain pass, which was really as romantic a place as a landscape painter would seek for a picture, and was just the spot to remind a youth fresh from his classic studies, of the place where Leonidas and his three hundred Spartans fell, in attempting to defend Greece against the army of Xerxes; in despite of the grandeur of its beetling cliffs, and the beauty of its verdure, it was associated, in the minds of many pious persons, with the broad gale that leads to destruction. And Ned Forgeron, the handsome blacksmith, Was invested with the attributes and aspect of his Satanic majesty, by many a mountain girl, who would doubtless have fallen in " love at first sight" with him, under any other name.
The preacher, whose circuit lay on either side of the mountain, at the time Ned's direful edict was promulgated to the world, was a meek and lowly man, who approached nearly in his natural disposition to willing obedience to the mandate relative to turning the cheek to the smiter. The poor soul passed many sleepless nights in view of the fate that awaited him at the mountain pass. In his dreams he saw Forgeron with a huge sledge hammer in his hand, ready to dash out his brains, and would start with such violence as to wake himself. He inquired if there was no other place at which the mountain could be passed, only to learn his doom more certainly. • Being a timid man, but withal devoutly impressed with a sense of duty, he resolved to discharge his duties faithfully, be the consequences what they might. Like a lamb going to the slaughter did he wend his way toward the gap; as lie came in front of the shop, the blacksmith was singing, to the tune of "Clear the kitchen,"—
"Old Georgia is a noble State,
On catching a glimpse of the poor parson, who had flattered himself that he was about to pass with impunity, Ned sung out—
"Stop there, you eternal plain-coat, and pay the penalty of my injured reputation."
The holy man protested innocence of having ever intentionally injured him, by word or deed.
The man's subdued looks and earnest voice had half dissuaded Ned from his stern purpose, when the giggling of his striker, and the cheering of two or three idlers, nerved him to do what he felt was mean. Let any one pause a moment, and reflect if he has never been urged on to acts his conscience smote him for, by the opinion of others, before Mr. Forgeron is sentenced as a devil. The preacher received several boxes on his ears, and heard many denunciations against his sect before he was allowed to depart; and
when that permission was Teceived, he was not slow to avail himself of the privilege.
At the next annual conference, when circuits were assigned to the different preachers, this one made his appearance punctually, but by some process of casuistry, convinced himself that duty did not call for a revelation of his sufferings. Whether he was too sensitive of the blacksmith's character to expose it to rude remark, or whether he had a preference that some worthier brother should occupy that healthy station among the mountains, is difficult to conjecture. But Forgeron's reputation had extended beyond the circuit, and was done ample justice to by others, who had heard of his fame. It soon became the subject of animated conversation, and there was no little wincing, each one fearing it would be his cruel fate to -be sent a victim to appease the wrath of this human monster against the Methodist church.
After a time it was decreed that the Rev. Mr. Stubbleworth was the doomed individual, and when the annunciation came, many an eye of mingled pity and curiosity was turned ou his ruddy good-natured face, to see how the dispensation was borre, but not a muscle moved. With a quiet smile, he professed a perfect willingness to go where he was sent. He was "clay in the hands of the potter," he said. Whether he piqued himself on a stolid indifference to the blacksmith's pummelings, or whether he relied on his ample dimensions to protect himself, he never disclosed, but appeared as self-satisfied and content as ever. His predecessor looked for all the world like a mouse just escaped from the fangs of some terrible grimalkin.
Mr. Stubbleworth arranged his few sublunary affairs, and bidding his friends adieu, mounted his old roan and departed for his new home of trials, with a song of praise on his lips. Let us hope the best for him.
The Rev. Mr. Stubbleworth was very much pleased with his new situation. Having been transformed from a level pine woods country, near the confines of Florida, the novelty of a mountain scenery and a pure bracinrr atmosphere seemed to inspire him with new life. Complimenting all the mothers on the singular beauty and intelligence of their children, with a delicate allusion to their own personal appearance, he soon became a general favorite. Mr. Stubbleworth " knew which side of his bread the butter was on."
The time>arriving for his departure to visit the tramontane portion of his pastoral care, he was warned of the dangers he was about to encounter, but they were heard with the