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“ But,” you say,
think if I could make you see how cowardly it is to fight, you would be ashamed to do it ever again.
“Cowardly to fight !" you say, “ that is all stuff, 'tis just the other way; that little Bill Smith is the coward, who won't never fight-little sneak he is—us brave boys always fight out our rows." Oh! but little sneak will have the best of it hye and bye ; did you ever hear of a boy that was glad he had fought, when he had hy accident killed the boy he was fighting with ? I never did.
Did you ever hear of a boy that gloried in the number of battles he had been engaged in when he came to die? I don't think so. ever know a boy, or did you ever yourself like to think that God was looking at you all the time you fought, and knew of all those blows you gave to George? “Oh! but that is not fair," you say,
we don't think much about God any time, why should we when we were fighting ?
Do you know, boys, that the happiest lads that ever lived upon the face of the earth are those who do think about God, and who are not afraid to think about him.
“I am afraid I shouldn't be happy if I thought about all that sort of thing, God, and heaven and hell."
Why not? There is no reason in the world why you shouldn't all love Jesus, love God through him, and be blessed and forgiven, and then you won't be afraid to die, because you will feel that heaven is your home, and you would not fight then, because you would feel that Jesus doesn't want you to, and you love him too much to displease him.
There is an thing—it looks bad, doesn't it? to see brothers fighting; you cry out “ for shame !" most of you, when that happens, don't you? But I suppose you never thought of this, that whoever fights, they
I are brothers—How do I make that out? Isn't God the Father of us all? When you go to the Sunday-school don't you say together, “Our Father," and you wouldn't think, if another boy came to your home, and called your parents, father and mother, that he ought to, unless he were your brother; so when you call God your l'ather, it shows that you all consider him your Father, and, oh! what could any of us do without so dear, so kind, so loving a Father ?
The next thing I want to speak about is tobacco. The other day I saw two or three very little boys—of course, it couldn't be you, Willie, nor you, Charlie,-going into a tobacco shop; they were very little fellows, certainly not more than seven or eight years of age, (and you are more, are you ?) and they brought out some small clay pipes, and a little paper of tobacco-poor silly liule creatures, wasting their money in that fashion; I could have laughed at the funny sight of one of these youngsters with a pipe in his mouth, had it not been too sad: poor little fellows! and I see lads of all ages, smoking, smoking, smoking, as if they were chimneys on fire, they puff out such volumes of smoke, and in that smoke goes away their health, their strength, their money and their character. I daresay you see, as I do, some of those very young men, looking as white as a tablecloth, and their eyes heavy and sunken ; 'tis
smoking makes them look so. If you would be hapdsome men, (and I know you all want to be that,) with a cheerful happy temper, and clear complexions and bright eyes, don't smoke! buy books, or apples, or nuts, or toys, or presents, or anything you like with your money, (on week days though, not on Sundays, Harry,) but don't buy tobucco or strong drink. That is my next subject. You know that when people take a good deal-a bad deal, I mean-of beer, or cider, or wine, or spirit, it makes them unable to walk straight, and very often they fall flat on the pavement, or in the street, and there lie 'till sometimes policemen fetch a stretcher and take them home: how disgraceful it is! I am sure you boys don't want to look like that: you laugh at the drunkard and mimic his queer step, but you don't wish to look so foolish and so disgusting when you are men: kind boys will feel too sorry to laugh, and wise boys will think to themselves,“ how can I prevent myself from ever being like that man ?"
I will tell you: never touch what has made him so: keep your mouth tightly shut against beer, or anything that can make you tipsy; it is quite easy to do so: if all the people you know tried to make you eat a lot of poor nuts, you wouldn't do it; or if they tried to make you eat stale fish, or any disagreeable thing of that kind, you would shake your head, and declare you couldn't, very quickly. The drink is as bad for you as either of those; it will injure you because it contains a poisonous matter that only excites you, and neither nourishes you, nor quenches your thirst. It is so much better never to begin to do anything wrong, than to leave off when you have begun : just speak kindly to one of the poor drunkards you know, and ask him why he doesn't leave off getting drunk, and become a sober man? and he will say, “it's easy to talk, but I can't give up the drink.” Don't become like that, the slaves of beer and ale and rum, but remain free-hearted and happy-hearted boys and men as long as you live. We want you not only to keep from drink and tobacco yourselves, but to ask others to do the same, and form yourselves into a society, lo show on which side you are, whether you mean to be sober or drunken men when you grow up. Now, I expect you know what I wish to advise you, for you are fine hands at guessing : “ Bands of Hope !" is that what you are saying ? you are right then, I
: want you all to be Band of Hope boys, to keep from drinking and smoking yourselves, and to persuade others to do so too, so that if I live 'till you are all young men, I may find teetotalism on every hand; teetotal judges, and doctors, and lawyers, and ministers, and grocers, and drapers, and butchers and bakers, and teetotal carpenters and masons, and shoemakers, boatmen, soldiers and sailors; no more drunken men falling about the pathway, no more public houses to tempt the fathers to spend what they ought to carry home, and a great deal happier faces to be seen almost everywhere, that is what your becoming Band of Hope boys will help to do.
Now I think I am tiring you with this long letter, but I am going to say a few words more; don't gamble : I was so surprised and so ashamed to see some nice boys who help our boatmen, gambling the other day
whilst they waited to be hired; and some boys play marbles, not for fun, but in order to get them away from those who don't know the game so well, and that kind of thing often leads them to what I spoke about first of all,-fighting.
What nice boys you will be if you neither fight, gamble, drink, nor smoke. I hope then, you will keep a very strict watch over your mouths, and never let a bad word come out of them. I have heard of a lady who always sponged her little child's tongue with pure cold water, when she had spoken falsely or rudely, to make it clean again“I am afraid some of you boys would need soap as well.
If you are all that I wish you to be, you will be gentlemanly boys, no matter whether you wear fine cloth clothes, or smock frocks, and I hope you will remember that gentlemanly boys are polite to ladies, and also polite to girls; they don't push them rudely aside to get the best place, and leave them the worst; they treat them as if it was their duty to take care of them, and give them the greatest pleasure, and show them the greatest kindness possible.
Now this is not a letter to the girls, so I have not said what they ought to be and to do; I have only told you your side of the question; perhaps I shall write to them another time.
Now good-bye, my dear boys! May God bless you, and help you! 6 whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, to do all to the glory of God.”
Your affectionate Friend,
M. A. PAULL Plymouth.
THE GREENGROCER'S STORY. “Well, my Jessie, you're not like yourself to-night. What makes you so dull, I would say sad ?”
“Oh! James, I do feel very sad; my poor sister Mary, whose sorrowful end you've heard about, was brought back to my thoughts this afternoon very painfully, and ever since I have been in deep distress, from fear that you might carry out what you were proposing about the Burnside cottage. Promise me that you'll have nothing to do with it?"
“What's come over you now, wee wifie? I thought you were as fond of the proposal as I was ?"
'Ay! but I had not thought about'it further than of the profits. I have other feelings now. What if our little Jeannie should become like my sister Mary, or like her I heard of to-day ?"
“I don't wish to hurt you, dear; but you know that Mary was—I've beard you say yourself—soft, as one would say, a little giddy and weak. But what have you been hearing, that's put you in such a state as this?"
Maybe, poor Mary was weak, but all who go the same road are not
It's a pity you're only to get the story at second hand; for I'm sure you would have felt sad too, if you had heard himself telling it, though you had no sister Mary and her misery to think about."
“ But who's himself!" Come away Jessie mine, I'll trust your second hand account."
“Dun't treat it so lightly, and I'll tell you as well as I can. I daresay you may remember the green-grocer's shop at yon corner of Sauchiehall street
“Oh! it was in Glasgow, was it? Glasgow's wicked enough no doubt, quite different from G-"
“Stop a little. It was in Glasgow I heard the story, but it had to do with G, and nearer us than you imagine. I went into that little shop on my way to the train coming home, to buy some nice grapes I saw in the window, for Jeannie; aud I bade the old man,--what a fine looking person he must have been in his younger days, but so cheerless and weary-like now, I bade him wrap them carefully up, for they were to be carried all the way to GM. When I mentioned G-, he asked if I lived there, and said it would be greatly altered since he saw it. Forty odd years it was since he had-left it, and he could never bear the thought of coming again to visit it. The east end, where he had lived, just ayont the brig,' that's where we are now James, was but a straggling row of house», newly named “ Main street.” In his time there were but few shops, he said; and when I mentioned that the place had so much extended that in the line of Main street there were some twelve or fourteen spirit shops, he shook his head, and after a little, murmured, almost sobbing, “the first of the twelve has been the cloud and curse of my life. I could not help feeling interested in the old man, and when he asked me if I had time to hear his short story, saying that to tell it would perhaps lighten his spirits, I very willingly consented.”
By the time Jessie had reached this point in her narration, James also had begun to show signs of strony interest; and presuming that others may now also be willing to lend an ear, we shall take the liberty of introducing the old green-grocer himself to tell his own tale. It was a tale of love and joy, of ambition, temptation, sin, heart-breaking, disgrace, disease, and death. There was nothing in it uncommon, nay, even yet the records of bumanity can show but too many bearing the same miserable family resemblance ; but it had created one enemy, staunch and stern, to the drinking system and the drink traffic alike, and its recital may create others still, therefore it is now repeated. The old man proceeds:
I am melancholy now, shirivelled too, and bent, but the time has been when the lasses pointed to me as the braw gardener from D and when I could join wi' the merriest in laughing away the hours. Till I was five and iwenty years of age, I never knew a care, and, but for one thing, I might have led another life than the miserable, purposeless existence I have spent. My father had taught me his own trade, and when I got the place at D -, I set myself at once to show what I could do. My Aower-garden and green-house, then not so common as now, were the admiration of the whole district, and many were the visitors that came to see my plants while the family were on their yearly visit to London. Among the rest a brother of the gamekeeper's came up from G-with his wife and only daughter, very often on a Saturday night, staying over
the Sabbath, and going to church with us to the now famous KLiza Gordon, the daughter, was the best looking woman in G-. It was the opinion of others beside me. No doubt many of the older residenters about the Main Street will remember her, and they 'll tell you, it wasn't merely an old man's past fancy. For me, at any rate, I've never seen one that could compare with her then nor since. She was like a queen. And she was, when I first knew her, as good as she was bonny. After a year or two, during which we haci become lovers, and had vowed everlasting love, I got a situation as gardener to a nobleman, whose place was some distance from G- It was arranged that we should be married as soon as I could get a house put in order to receive my bride. Alas for the hope! Doomed it was to the hiiterest disappointment. In spite of all that happened, Liza, I still to this hour believe, loved me with her whole heart; but she was unhappily entangled in the meshes of a net, that she could not break through; and hence the misery. Shortly after I left D-, Mrs. Gordon, her mother, seized with a lingering illness, that made her so helpless that her husband could no longer be out of the house. He had to give up his work.
But without some source of income, it was impossible the family could be supported. Gordon's house, which went by the name of Burnside Cottage, he had built himself. There was a little debt on it, which he had gradually been paying off while he continued at work.
Anxious to keep his own comfortable home, for the sake of his invalid wife, to avoid selling it, he was persuaded to embark in the spirit business as being a profitable one, and one that could be decently conducted in the cottage, where there was plenty of accommodation without either taking him from home, or causing any undue stir about Mrs. Gordon's sick-bed. Gordon's determination to open a public-house in the cottage had been formed during my absence at Lord -'s, my marriage to Liza having been postponed indefinitely on account of her mother's illne ss.
“The first public-house that was opened in the district, Burnside soon became extensively patronized. So' busy often did Gordon find himself that he was compelled to call in the assistance of Liza to meet the calls of his visitors. This had an unanticipated effect. Liza's beauty and good humour became a great attraction. Trade pressed in upon
coitage, and soon Gordon not only paid off the bond on his house, but added considerable extra accommodation to his premises. Mrs. Gordon, after a while, got well, and was able to lend a helping hand now and again. This I learned through my correspondence with Liza, which had hitherto been kept up with undiminished ardour on both sides; and I made it a plea for the speedy celebration of our marriage. Objections, however, were lodged in bar of such a proceeding. Gordon pleaded his wife's still feeble health as a reason for delay; but it appeared to me, from the tone of his cominunication, that he was less cordial towards me than I had reason to expect; so, getting leave of absence, I hastened to G- to learn exactly what were our prospects. A cool reception by her father prepared me for what I afterwards learned particularly from Liza berself. Increasing means had created the desire for yet more, and familiarity with drink and