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LESSONS ON A JOURNEY.
By the Rev. G. W. M'CREE. I have been on a tour. Railways, gigs, horses, steamers, and rolling rivers have done me service. Loving words and children's kisses have been my welcome. Ah! but the contrasts I have met with-let me tell about them.
Travelling in a third-class carriage--I see life there~ I found myself seated beside a round, jolly, florid-faced man who told me that he was a sub-contractor, under Mr. Brassey, the eminent railway engineer, and was then returning from France to see his family.
“Do you employ Englishmen only on your work ?" I asked.
“Oh! the English. Some of them get three times as much money as any of the others.”
“Do they save much ?"
“Not a penny, sir. They drink it all. Brandy is cheap, and they are always getting drunk. Some of the men spend most of their money by the middle of the week. Now the Belgians don't do that. They are sober men, and take care of their money. They work hard, save all they can during summer, go home in the winter, build a house, put their old parents or their wives into it, come back in the summer, make some more money, go home and build another house, and so on for a few years; and then we see no more of them."
“ Because they have got a house, a garden, a few fields, and can do without working for me.”
“ And how about the English workmen ?" I enquired.
“Lord bless you, sir, they drink all their money, and after working hard for years, and getting high wages too, they land at Dover without a shilling."
What a contrast! The Belgian going home to a new house, a smiling wife, a garden full of fruits and flowers, green pastures and fields of corn, and the Briton landing at Dover with nothing but a bundle of clothes in a blue cotton handkerchief, a pack of cards, and an old pipe. Glorious Briton!
During a visit to a famous market-town in the north, I spent a short time in the house of a tradesman. Looking around me I saw elegant furniture, a table spread with books, a comely wife, smiling children, and a blazing fire casting a ruddy glow upon the soft carpet. Before me sat my host—a frank, prosperous, intelligent man. Observing my eyes fixed upon a beautiful painting--a study of cattle-hung over the fireplace, he said:
“That's a specimen of my work, and if you will come with me I will shew you some more.”
I followed him into another room, and had the pleasure of feasting my eyes on twenty admirable productions of his pencil.
I did so.
“ How do you manage,” I said, “ to attend to your business, your family, and your philanthropic pursuits, and paint all these fine pictures?"
“ Oh!" said he, “ I do them in my spare time!"
It is needless to remark that my host does not drink wine. Ilis genius can be brilliant without such aid.
Here is a contrast ! “ Look at that man coming across the market-place," said a friend to He was a pale, worn, tottering young man.
Dressed in dirty linen, an old pilot coat, greasy trousers, and shabby shoes, he shumbled along leaning upon a stick.
“That young man,” said my friend,“ is the son of one of our richest merchants. He was in the firm, but having become a drunkard, and wasted his money, he is now what you see-a ruined man!”
Ah! thought I, as he crawled past, what a difference there is between spending spare time in painting pictures, and spending it in drinking
Who does not know that wine is the bane of artist-life? Standing in the Court-house of a large town, I saw a man who was charged with having indulged in the twin luxuries of the British brute, namely, drunkenness and wife-beating.
“I have been his wife for twenty years, gentlemen," said his wife to the magistrates, “and during that time he has given himself to drinking. When he is drunk he calls me infamous names, beats me, and threatens
“What do you say to the charge?” asked a venerable magistrate. “I was in liquor," replied the British brute.
“Gentlemen !" said the wife, “ something should be done to debar him from getting liquor."
Aye! said I to myself, that woman has hit upon the Maine Law. She never heard of moral suasion, legislative enactments, and the liberty of the subject. Poor thing! twenty years of sorrow have kept her in darkness, but she has felt enough to know that it is wrong that men should be allowed to grow rich and great by selling drinks which make her husband a Brilish brute. And is she not right?
“How much a week do you make?” said the presiding magistrate. “Twenty-six shillings.” “How much of that do you allow your wife as a separate maintenance?" “Three!” said the British brute.
“You are a selfish fellow! You must pay her six shillings weekly, and promise not to molest her. And besides this, you must pay eleven shillings and costs."
“Allt got no money." “ Then you must go to prison," and 10 prison the British brute went.
In the saine town and on the evening of the same day a working man reverenily entered the house of God. A friend of his-that person sitting beside him--told me his history :6. That
," said he, “ can make thirty shillings per week. He has been a great drunkard. His life was of such a shocking character that his wife could not live with him, and went to reside at G-, when she
got work at a mill. Soon after she left him, her daughter-a mere giriforsook ber father's house and became an abandoned prostitute. She actually decoyed her sister—a child and no more--away from home, took her to N-, and offered her to a woman who keeps a brothel. Happily the woman would not have the child, and she was sent back to her father. Well, he grew so wicked that he got a knife, sharpened it, and said be would go to G-, find his wife, and do a deed the world would hear of. I,” said the speaker, “ heard of this, went to him, got him to sign the pledge, and persuaded him to attend a place of worship. Well, in two weeks' time, he spent twenty shillings in the purchase of a Bible, and feeling anxious to have his wife home again she has been written to, and there,” said he, placing a document in my hand, “is her answer. She is coming !”
“Well,” thought I,“ if total abstinence were only judged by its fruits' instead of by the caricatures of its foes, what would be the verdict ?"
The final contrast which came before me was a sad one. I got amongst some wild bills, and in a plain building saw some colliers listening 10 a temperance lecturer-he was a minister. Near him were another minister
drunkard. Many were signing the pledge. Young and oldrough colliers and pleasant maidens—did so.
“Come, sir," said the poor drunkard to the minister who sat beside him, “Come! If you will sign the pledge, I will."
The minister rose, took his hat, and — walked out!
“Never mind that, my good fellow," said the minister who was enrolling the names in the pledge book," take care of your own soul. Come and sign.”
Kind words have power. Example has force. The drunkard walked up to the table and signed the pledge. Which of those ministers acied most worthily?
Poets sing of “a good time coming.' Ancient seers have predicted the reign of righteousness. I believe in their visions. We shall have a sober, wise, and holy world. The sins that are shall pass away. Blessed contrast---come!
and a poor
A JUDGE'S TESTIMONY. Lord Chief Justice Hale once remarked, “ The places of judication, which I have long held in this kingdom, have given me an opportunity to observe the original cause of most of the enormities that have been committed for the space of nearly twenty years; and by a due observation, I have found that, if the murders and manslaughters, the burglaries and robberies, the riots and tumults, the adulteries and other great enormities that have happened in that time, were divided into five parts, four of them have been the issues and product of excessive drinking, or of tavern and ale-house meetings.” The proportion is little less at the present time.
ILLUSTRATIONS FOR SPEAKERS. THE DRUNKARD AND THE MONKEYS.-A rich drunkard kept two monkeys for his sport. One day he looked into his dining-room, where he and his guests had left some wine, and the two had mounted the table, and were helping themselves generously to the wine-jabbering and gesturing, as they had seen their master and his guests. In a little time they exhibited all the appearance of drunken 'men. First they were merry, and jumped about, but soon they got to fighting on the floor, and tearing out one another's hair. The drunkard stood in amazement. 66 What!” said he, “is this a picture of myself? Do the brutes rebuke me?” It so affected his mind, that he resolved he would never drink another drop. And from that day he was never known to be any other than a sober and a happy man.
Good REASON FOR SOBRIETY.—A gentleman on entering a stage coach, rubbing his head, with a yawn said, “ My head aches dreadfully; I was very drunk last night.”. A person affecting surprise, replied, “ Drunk, sir! what! do you get drunk?” “ Yes,” said he," and so does every one at times, I believe. I have no doubt but you do.” ** No, sir!” he replied, “I do not." 66 What! never ?” “No, never; and amongst other reasons I have for it, one is, I never find, being sober, that I have too much sense; and I am loath to lose what little I have." This remark put an end to the conversation.
Law of PITTACUS.—By one of the laws of Pittacus, one of the seven wise men of Greece, every fault committed by a person when intoxicated, was deemed worthy of a double punishment.
“ THERE Goes A TEETOTALER!”-A Drunkard assailed a Washingtonian, but could only say, “There goes a teetotaler !” The gentleman waited until the crowd had collected, and then turning upon the drunkard said, “ There stands a drunkard !--Three years ago he had a sum of 800 dollars, now he cannot produce a penny. I know he cannot. I challenge him to do it, for if he had a penny he would be at a public-house. There stands a drunkard, and here stands a teetotaler, with a purse full of money, honestly earned and carefully kept. There stands a drunkard ! --Three years ago he had a watch, a coat, shoes, and decent clothes ; now he has nothing but rags upon him, his watch is gone, and his shoes afford free passage to the water. There stands a drunkard, and here stands a teetotaler, with a good hat, good shoes, good clothes, and a good waich, all paid for. Yes, here stands a teetotaler! And now, my friends, which has the best of it?” The bystanders testified their approval of the teetotaler by loud shouts, while the crest-fallen drunkard slunk away, happy to escape further castigation.
THE LITTLE BOY THAT DIED.
Are the only sounds I hear.
And over my soul, in its solitude,
Sweet feelings of sadness glide ;
Of the little boy that died.
Went home to the dear ones all-
And softly the door of the hall.
She kissed me, and then she sighed,
For the little boy that died.
In the garden where he played ;
When the flowers have all decayed.
And the horse he used to ride ;
Of the little boy that died.
With her playmates about the door ;
As I never did before ;
That's dimpled and laughing-eyed,
The little boy that died.
To our father's house in the skies,
Our love no broken ties;
The little boy that died.
GLEANINGS. A Novel CURE.—A rich man sent to call a physician for a slight disorder. The physican felt his pulse, and said, “ Do you eat well ?" “ Yes," said the patient. “Do you sleep well?"
“ I do.”
" Then." said the physician, “I shall give you something to take away all that!"