« ForrigeFortsæt »
eat but Indian meal for three weeks, as mother has had no work nor money to buy any thing else.”
"Indian meal! Why, Mary, you should have mentioned this before !"
“I was ashamed, ma'am, and the scholars would have laughed at me."
“Well, go, child, and say nothing to them," and as the poor girl disappeared through the doorway, the teacher was seen to wipe her eyes, and for a while hold her handkerchief to them. Did she weep? Were those tears shed for that poor delicate child ?
Mr. Street was told of this little incident; it affected him, as it would any feeling heart; he obtained the direction of the house, visited it, and found a widow with three small children living in the third story, and had, as the daughter said, lived three weeks on nothing but Indian meal ! Her story was told; it was one of sorrow, of grief, and of suffering. How did the missionary act? The sequel will tell. The widow now keeps a little trimming store; her children are well clothed, and are, like their mother, happy and cheerful. And have they forgotten Heaven's agent? Can they forget the source from whence so much blessing came? Follow them into their neat chamber-see the widow on her knees, surrounded by her children-hark ! listen to her prayer—is she grateful? How can she, human as she is, be otherwise?
It has been said, and justly, too, that the rich man seldom thinks of the poor; and if, for a moment, their necessities are brought before him, his heart yields to its dictates, and furnishes the means of relief; but, alas ! the very next instant the whole scene passes away like a dream, and he thinks no more of them. This arises from the fact of the mind being immersed in the subject of money and its accumulation, and always bent on the one object, "increase and multiply,” that it can scarcely be expected a worldly man will let any other subject beside that engage his attention.
Let us relate a little incident of a rich man and a poor one.
The night was a stormy one: it had been raining hard all day, and toward evening, as the atmosphere became chilled, it turned to snow and sleet. The streets were desertedthe wind stormed and whistled fiercely around the corners of the streets, and seemed angry because the brick walls and the fastened doors kept it out of the dwellings. The rich man sat alone in his gorgeous chamber; a cushioned chair received his form, and his feet rested on velvet-covered stools; a bottle of choice wine stood beside him on a marble-top centre-table, near and around which were strewed costlybound books. His eyes were fixed on the sparkling fire, as it blazed and cracked on the hearth-a smile passed over his features, for the rich man was happy. Wealth had made him so, and he was not the worst of those who are looked upon as gold worshippers. At that moment, the clock just struck nine, there came a knock at the front door—a soft, quiet knock-one that sounded like doubt and hesitancy.
Presently the servant's footsteps were heard—the door opened—the rich man heard merely the sound of a child's voice; it was feeble, and struggled as it were with cold or
; fear; then he heard the voice of the servant, sharp, quick, and angry; then he thought he heard a sigh; then the slamming of the door, and the footsteps of the servant. What was all this to the rich man? Much. The whole circumstance struck upon his heart as if by a supernatural touch. He became restless—he took a glass of wine-still that small plaintive voice floated on his ear, and again seemed to touch the heart. He reached out his hand, took up a colored glass bell-reader, beautiful, sweet sounding bells are made out of thick glass—he rang it. 66 Send John to me,” were the orders given to a boy who obeyed the sum
• Well, John,” as a bold, insolent black entered, “ who was that at the door a few moments ago
?" - Little Nancy, Master.” “ And who is little Nancy ?”
66 Little Nancy, 0, she be the daughter of our Mary.” “Our Mary, what Mary?" · Why, our charnbermaid 'fore dis last one.”
“I remember, she had a fine little girl with her, and, if I mistake not, she married a second time and left us."
Yes, massa, she married Jacobs.” “ So she did. Jacobs was a good, honest fellow, and I have often wondered what had become of him." “ Massa know now; dat little gal come to say, that he has been sick for months, and has been out of work months 'fore dat, and his wife sick, and their infant child ; and da hab no bread, no wood, no noting, in de house." “ And she came here to-night to tell this?" 56 Yes, massa." “ You rascal; and how dare you come here and tell me this now, when the girl is gone?” “I did not come, massa, you call me." Why did you not send her in ?" "Ah! massa, me know better den dat. I would not wake you up from de dose, but I tell you in de morning."
“Well, well ; now, John, do you know where they live.' “ Yes, massa, in
St." “ John, get me my hat, my boots, and cloak, I am going out."
6. Yes, massa."
The sick man lay on a straw bed. Beside him, worn out with watching and nursing, sat his wife, and their infant lay restless in the cradle. The wind whistled on—the snow and the sleet battled together, and the last stick was burning to ashes on the hearth. “ Mary, dear Mary, you are sick; I know you are. Do lay down and try to sleep." “No, Jacob, I could not sleep. Let us wait a moment; Nancy will come, and with her hope, for master was always a good hearted one, and he will not refuse my request. Hark! she comes !” The door opened, and the half-frozen, halfclad form of the child entered. The mother arose, took off a portion of her garments, rubbed her feet with a towel, and held them to the fire. “ Now, dear, speak; did you see Mr. B-?" “ No, mother; the black man said he was asleep, and bid me go about my business. He is a bad man, mother.”
66 Merciful Father! and have we no friend left !"
“Do not repine, Mary; God is all merciful, he is all just. Hark! some one is at the door.” So there was, and it was Mr. B
Did he enter this poor hovel as the pompous man of wealth ? No. He came as the man- the Christian–their friend. He shook the hands of Mary and those of her husband, he kissed the little messenger in her rags, looked down at the cradle, and wiped away a tear for those whose poverty, of which he had never dreamt, but which he now came to relieve.
Mary,” he said, “I have this night been taught a secret, and that is, the rich man has a heart, and he knows it not. Let me be
You shall be wellyou shall be happy, if money and influence can make
That night the rich man slept not. Wood, provisions, clothing, with the attendance (that very night) of a good doctor for the sick man, refreshed him more in mind and body than if he had dozed away, and slept the sleep of the rich and the healthy man on his bed of down. How was it with the poor family! Ask them now in their prosperity.
The following sketch, slightly altered, is almost word for word from the note book of a Home Missionary. I have added nothing to the fact--but merely thrown around it a slight shade of romance to contrast with the still darker one of truth which rests upon it. The seducer lives, lives in affluence, and is esteemed a good citizen!
A SKETCH FROM REAL LIFE.
« The stain that on thy virtue lies,
Wash'd by thy tears, may yet decay;
May all be swept in showers away.”
The village bell had long tolled, and the peasants, with their clean Sunday clothes, were seen in their respective