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THE INEBRIATE MOTHER.
that the family I eought were before me, I went I to the little boy, pinched and shivering with cold, and stooping down, took his little cold hand in mine, as I asked him what was the matter?
"Ha's sick," said he in a whisper, "and aunty is sick too." This wae all he could say, while his eye met mine with such a look of anxiety and desire for sympathy as went to niy heart I stepped to the table, where, among the confused mass upon it, stood an empty bottle, and I learned that brandy had caused the work of rain before me.
I then went to the mother and endeavored to rouse her. A large, fleshy woman, she lay like a carcass from which life had just departed, warm and flaccid, but without the least muscular control. I shook her and called her name in vain. Leaving the room, I went up to the family above. Mrs. IS. informed me, that nearly all the morning the most dreadful sounds of contention and uproar had met her ears from below; that in the midst of it she cosdd distinguish the cries of the infant as if in pain, and the voice of the Irish girl, screaming, "You'll kill the baby I" and then, following the sudden cessation of its cries, her exclamation, "The baby is dead! the baby is dead!" Mrs. N. said that her husband being absent, and herself in delicate health, she had feared to go down to the wretched family; and befides, she was in deep affliction, having just buried a beloved infant
Returning to the miserable apartment, I found the little boy had wakened the Irish girl, who had succeeded in arousing the mother; and they were all sitting on the floor, around the stove, which the poor boy, with his tiny hands, was heaping with charcoal, doing his best to make a fire. The brutalized mother was scarcely able to sit up, while, in almost inarticulate accents, she repeated: "Oh! Mrs. L., I'm in the road to ruin, going down the drunkard's path !"—Overcome by the anguish of spirit occasioned by the melancholy scene before me, I burst into tears and wept aloud, without restraint
The poor Irish girl, I think, had not partaken of the maddening draught. She said she had only the day previous arrived on our shores; and without a relative, without money or other clothing but that she wore, had found a shelter there. This morning brandy had been procured, the mother drank it, and in her awful ravings afterwards, but for the efforta of the girl, would have destroyed her babe. Exhausted by her efforts and by the excitement of the scene, as soon as the mother had become stupefied and prostrated, she
too lay down, with the children in her arms, and slept so soundly that my entrance did not awake her.
I gave her a note to the managers of the Home for the Friendless, for which she seemed grateful, and said she would go with it as soon as it was safe to leave the children with—their mother.
March 14.—After finding Mrs. A. in the condition described above, I did not think she would ever voluntarily appear in my presence. I was therefore much surprised, a few days afterwards, on being summoned to the hall to see a poor woman, to find there this wretched being. The rain was pouring in torrents without, and the water was fast dripping from her saturated garments. Ab I approached, she turned her faoe to the wall and said: "Mrs. L., I have asked God's forgiveness, and have come to ask yours."
"You have grieved and discouraged me," I replied, "but you have not injured me, and need not ask my forgiveness. You have injured yourself and your children, and have offended God; and most deeply do you need pardon and mercy from him."
After some conversation, she said she had come to solicit a last favor at my hands, and begged me to furnish means to redeem her own and her children's clothing from pledge; saying, with impassioned earnestness, that she designed to leave the city immediately. "I can stay here no longer," she said; "my character is ruined, and here I can never reform. Temptation is all around me, and I have no power to resist Let me go where I am not known, and I will try to recover what I have lost"
"Mrs. A," I replied, "you wish \o get away from yourtelf, and this is impossible. Go where you will, you will carry this appetite for strong drink with you; and till you truly repent and seek help from God, you will be its slave and victim wherever you are.''
"But I have many bad associates, and I cannot avoid their evil influence."
"So you will have, wherever you go; you will seek and find those of like character and tastes with yourself, and will gain nothing in this respect by removal."
Finding she could not in this way induce me to aid her, she began to plead the necessities of her suffering children.
"They are cold, hungry, and almost naked," she said, " and I have neither covering, food, nor fuel for them."
"Deeply do I pity your poor innocent children," I replied; "but it is you, their own mother, who 136
THE INEBRIATE MOTHER.
have reduced them to this euffering condition. You have deceived me Bo often, I have no longer any confidence in your promises, and am sure you are only eeeking to impose on my kindness, to procure the means of gratifying your depraved appetite."
She protested to the contrary, shedding all the while such tears as only the poor inebriate can weep; and for twenty minutes she plead by every possible argument, and with all the pathos of eloquence, for relief. As a last appeal, she said: "Mrs. L., you are a Christian. Is it consistent with your religion thus to abandon me to certain ruin, and my babes to starvation and death I''
"Religion," I replied, "does not require me to aid you when I know you will convert my gifts to the means of self-destruction and the ruin of your children. But if you will yield yourself wholly to my guidance, and allow me to place you where you cannot obtain the poisonous liquor for three months, and also allow me to place your little ones in the Asylum for Sailors' Children, I will then do any thing for you the case may require."
"I cannot part with my children; they are dear as my own soul."
"And yet you voluntarily place yourself in a condition to endanger even their lives. Do you call this affection to your children V
Finding all her pleas for assistance useless, she left me. After she was gone, I seriously pondered the matter, and fearing it was not right thus to abandon her to certain destruction, I asked myself, "What would my blessed Saviour have done in similar circumstances, had he been as ignorant of her true purposes and desires as I ami" I finally determined on one more effort, provided I could induce Mrs. N., the lady in whose house she was staying, to cooperate with me. I soon called on her, and learned that her husband had determined to eject the family from his house; and she was extremely unwilling to listen to a proposal for their longer stay. After obviating some pecuniary objections in relation to the woman's rent, which they were unable to lose, I proposed to place funds in the hands of Mrs. N. for the supply of the most pressing necessities of the family till the return of the husband and father from sea, if she, on her part, would engage to watch over the mother and throw around her euch restraints as nothing but a decided and settled purpose would break thro-.igh ; while she endeavored, at the same time, to place before her mind moral and religious motives to induce her to change ber course of life. It seemed possible
that a sense of gratitude for favors, coming as she would suppose from Mrs. Jf., might operate to keep her sober when all other inducements failed.
Mr. N. warmly seconded the proposal; saying, that as it was not probable the woman would everagain be placed in circumstances so favorable for recovery, this, humanly speaking, presented the last hope of saving her ;—and, appealing to his wife, told her, that should she thus be instrumental in saving the unhappy woman from the certain destruction over which she hung, it would be to her a source of everlasting consolation.
Mrs. X. at last consented to the proposition. For two weeks she labored assiduously for the welfare of the poor woman, visiting her often, and furnishing her with food and other necessaries; and as she continued sober, and expressed the utmost gratitude, and the strongest desire to reform, we began to indulge hope of success. Alas! this hope was to be disappointed. At the end of this time she pawned her clothes, procured liquor, and became intoxicated. After her recovery, Mrs. N. expostulated with her on her folly, but the unhappy woman interrupted her, saying, "It is all in vain, Mrs. N. The appetite is so strong, and temptation at every corner, I shall drinktill I go into eternity, and I know I shall go to the drunkard's full /"
In one week from that time she was again brutally intoxicated all the afternoon and evening; but finally retired to bed with her three children. The Irish girl, who was still with her, sat up to watch, fearing the mother in her restlessness would injure the children. But she at last was overcome by sleep. When she awoke, she sprang to the bed, and found the miserable woman lying on her babe, from whose body she had extinguished the breath of life 1 Soon there rose on the stillness of the night such a sound of wailing and bitter anguish as awakened Mr. and Mrs. X., and continued till break of day, when they arose and went down to the room below. The frantic mother clasped her dead babe to her breast, and exclaimed, "I've murdered my babe! I've murdered my babe !"and continued to howl in her agony for a long time. Then, in her madness, she flew at the girl, charged her with causing the child's death, by bringing the liquor in obedience to her commands; and tearing her hair and beating her, seemed ready to sacrifice another life, when the girl escaped from her bands and left the house. Before eight o'clock that morning the mother had obtained more liquor, and become so intoxicated as to fall when she attempted to walk.
JESUS HOMINUM SALVATOE.
During the day, the Coroner held an inquest on the dead body; and, questioning no one but the mother,—who, intoxicated as she was, had sufficient sense to wish to screen herself from blame,—rendered a verdict of— "Found dead "A"" fmtr UlneuF and this too, although
one of the jury had knowledge of all the circumstances. Thus are rum't doings concealed; and thus the rumseller, on whose soul rests the death of that innocent babe, goes on unrebuked in dealing out the fiery poison to those who have no strength to resist his temptations.
The miserable mother held her dead babe in her arms all the day, till, at four in the afternoon, the pauper's hearse arrived ; when, unshrouded, and in all the filth in which it died, the child was torn from her embrace, placed in a box in which a few shavings had been scattered, and hurried to its last resting-place. Scarcely had the hearse left the house when the father came in, havirjg just landed from his voyage. He is a temperate man, and possessed of kind and f generous affections. Who can tell his anguish on learning that "the thing which he greatly feared had come upon him I"
September 18.—"Sorrow may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." I have been greatly refreshed and comforted to-day by receiving pleasant intelligence respecting Mrs. A., from whom, since the tragical occurrence recorded in these pages some months since, I had heard nothing; her husband having, immediately after bis return, removed his family to a distant part of the city, leaving no mformation as to his particular location.
A few months after her change of residence, she called on some benevolent ladies of my acquaintance, who had formerly shown her kindness; and her tidy and every way improved appearance giving token of a change of habits, she informed them, on inquiry, that since her removal to her present residence she had entirely abstained from intoxicating drinks; and as the appetite for these stimulants was wholly removed, she humbly hoped she was now a truly reformed woman. Not long after, these ladies visited her and found her in a pleasant room, neatly carpeted and comfortably furnished; while its orderly and tasteful arrangements furnished abundant evidence that its presiding genins was not, as formerly, "the demon of the still.'' After some conversation in reference to the happy change in her circumstances, she spoke of me, and earnestly inquired, "Does Mrs. L. know it? Qh! tell her that her kindness was not lost upon me. Would
that I bad sooner followed her counsel; how much sorrow thould I have spared myself!"
Though they did not obtain satisfactory evidence that her heart was truly regenerated, yet her humble, subdued, and thoughtful appearance gave promise of good things to come; and as the great obstacle is now removed, and the soil prepared, I will hope and trust that the seed of the Word will take root, spring up, and bear fruit a hundred-fold, to the praise of Divine grace. lor "he that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again witt rejoicing, bring ng his sheaves with him.''
JESUS HOMINUM SALVATOR.
BT HORA.CI 'IH, Esq.
It is night in Palestine. The sun has shed his golden beams upon the hill-tops of Judea, and hid himself beneath the waters of the Great Sea. The dwellers in the land of Zebulon and the land of Nepthalim, by the way of the sea beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, have laid themselves upon their couches, and darkness, like a curtain, is spread over all the families of men. Albeit there is a group in Bethlehem whose plumbers are broken by the visions of midnight . Joseph and Miry and the young child Jgsus rest not in peace. The angel of the Lord hath said to Joseph, "Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word; for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him."
The moon is at meridian. Her effulgence lights up the dark pathways and declivities among the hills of the Holy Land. The Carpenter obeys the Divine counsel, and takes the Virgin-Mother and the Babe of Promise, and departs into the land of the Ptolemies. Th« royal Roman waits the return of the Magi of the East to the city of David; howbeit, in the dreams of the night, they are warned of the stratagem of Herod, and go not back to his princely court. The wicked monarch is wroth, and from his throne goes forth the edict of blood. The babes of Bethlehem and in all the coasts thereof are decreed to die. The soldier of the Crosar has marched forth, and his spear is drunken with the blood of the" innocents!
A voice was heard in Rama,
Lamentation and bitier weeping;
Rachel, weeping for her children,
Refused lo be comforted for her children,
Became they are noi.
THE MARTYRDOM OF POLYCARP.
But the slaughter avails not; and the potentate of the palace restrains the infanticide fury; for he that is born King of the Jews is now an exile on the banks of the Nile—a dweller beneath the shadow of the pyramids.
But the slayer of helpless infancy himsel' must die; and the messenger of death goes forth commissioned to avenge the blood of innocence. How art thou fallen, 0 most mighty Herod 1 and wherefore dost thou put aside thy purple, vicegerent of imperial Rome 1 Thou art doomed— thou giveet up the ghost—and where art thou?
Holy seer I thou didst prophesy, "Out of Egypt have I called my son;" and therefore it is that the angel of the Lord, in the slumbers of a dream, appeareth to Joseph in Egypt, and whispers to him in tones as soft as angels use, "Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel; for they are dead who sought the young child's life." The husband of Mary is not disobedient unto thj heavenly vision; he arises from sleep and takes the babe of Bethlehem-birth, and the mysterious mother, and journeys forth into their fatherland.
Star of the East I which went before the wise men, and came and stood over where the young child was—thy pathway was glorious, and thou didst mark the princely birth-place, seen in vision by the prophet of the Lord:
But thou, Bethlehem-Ephratah!
Though thou be little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me
That is to be ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth have been from of old—
Wherefore didst thou lead, glorious star 1 the men of the East to Jerusalem, and guide them thence to the birth-place of the Son of Mary I Tell us wherefore. Was it that they might first of all pay homage to Immanuel, and presents make of gold, and frankincense, and myrrh, to Israel's great deliverer? Thou needest not tell us wherefore, star of heaven 1 The bard of Zion, in the temple song, hath uttered well the answer:
The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presenls;
The kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts;
Yea, all the kings shall fall down before Him,
All the nations shall serve Him;
For He shall deliver the needy when he crieth,
The poor also, and him that hath no helper;
He shall spare the poor and needy,
And shall save the souls of the needy.
He shall redeem their aonl from deceit and violence .
And precious shall their blood be in His sight.
His name shall endure for ever;
His name shall be continued as long as the sun,
THE MARTYRDOM OF POLYCARP.
Traniktad from the German of Zimnwrroan, by Di Witt Nooirn.
"Go, lictor, lead the bishop forth,
The prtetor bade, the lictor went,
And Polycarp appeared; Upon his staff he feebly bent,
By holy angels cheered.
His silver hair, his gentle look,
The heaven in his face, That moved to tears both man and child,
Moved not the prmtor base.
11 Renounce aloud thy Christian faith This day," the heathen cries.
"Hope all things else, but hope not that
"And if thou do not here abjure
"Thy threat, O judge, divides me not
"Misguided man, yon funeral-pile
Awaits the lictor's hand." "No funeral-pile affrights my heart
When God and right command."
"Thy insolence shalt thou attone
The lictor then without delay
The aged sufferer bound,
The cords he fiercely wound.
Again from the prator's chair is he ard,
•' Thy Jesus Christ deny." "No," cried the pious hero firm,
"Much rather would I die.''
The praetor nods, the lictor soon
The burning torch applies,
The hot flames quickly rise.
All patiently the old man stands,
All patiently, as he heavenwards looks,
I Have sometimes wondered why, in this great Museum of Character—the world—certain curiosities of a most peculiar kind are so much overlooked. Barnum could not exhibit for money greater contrasts of Prussian grenadiers and Tom Thumbs, than are shown here gratis. Some men have souls with sympathies large enough to take in a world; the generosity of others must be discovered by the aid of a microscope. But it is to the value of a scientific classification of specimens of martyrdom that my attention has been directed; and without any pretence to the skill of making it, I may yet notice some of the peculiarities of different specimens, and perhaps dilate upon them with a professional enthusiasm. I have a great respect for those who go generally by the name of martyrs; men who sacrificed life for duty, and could sooner give their bodies to the flames, than defile their conscience.. But the conspicuousness of this class should nor withdraw our attention from the fact that there are others also who justly challenge the appellation. A martyr is one whose life ordeath confirms the witness of his profession, who suffers for faithful adherence to his "creed."
It will be seen therefore that Mammon may have his martyrs, as Truth has hers, and their devotion is most exemplary. What a contrast might be drawn in their favor 1 If hell should imitate Rome in drawing up a "legend of the saints" which she may canonize with equal authority, what illustrious instances of self-denial would be presented to us to admire and wonder atl For a man in the fear of God and the hope of heaven to make a great sacrifice might be expected. He has more than an equivalent in prospect The scenes presented to his view abound with motives of infinite weight and moment. He may be sustained by prospects of a more than earthly reward; he may be moved by the hope of a "far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." But the martyr of Mammon has no such hope—no such prospects—no such motives. He is impelled by pure devotion to the "god of his idolatry." His suffering, his self-denial, his efforts, transcend oftentimes what we read of those who have been martyrs for the truth, and yet his motives are sublimely little, can be weighed in the scales, measured by the yardstick, or computed in the market Only think of what he undergoes from pure devotion to his gold I He toils night and day, gives himself up to incessant care, risks his health, or even his reputation, denies himself many a privilege and comfort, endures
anxiety and anguish, parts with treasures of peace and virtue and hope, that some men esteem infinitely precious.
His self-denial is sometimes indeed extreme. In reading his lift, we seem transported back to those scenes where men became voluntary exiles from home and friends and country for their devotion to .what some were ready to call "an abstract principle." Mammon's martyr endures more than the haircloth of the anchoret—more, often, than monkish vigils. He will fast like an ascetic, and toil like a slave. With a voluntary and prompt submission to the principles of his creed, he will make his life one long-protracted penance. A hint from Mammon sends him as an obedient vassal to California or Australia. For this hs will plunge into the trackless forest or defy the rigors of a polar winter. He will turn his back on civilization and Christian institutions, and expatriate himself for years. In all the records of human self-denial we read of no sacrifices once to be compared with those which he is ready to make. There are few things which he would not part with at Mammon's bidding. Sometimes hewill almost starve himself to fill his pocket. Hewill deny hi nisei f the luxury of an act of charity for a paltry shilling. His conscience, peace of mind and self-respect he will part with for a six^ pence. He would become all things to all men to gain something exceeding small. I once heard a man soy that he would do any thing—would" commit murder for a hundred thousand dollars; but I know his soul was already sold for a great deal less than that This wonderful devotion of Mammon's votary is the more amazing from the promptitude with which a little thing will set it in motion. It does not require the eloquence of a Demosthenes to inspire and inflame it. It does not need to be plied with motives which borrow their vastness from eternity. It does not wait for the aspirations of an Alexander's or a Napoleon's ambition to stir it to action. Its ideal of the highest and most sublime oratory is the lustre of a gold dollar. The logic of so much per cent, is infinitely conclusive. The applause of being called rich is enough to compensate for the lack of that of "good and faithful servant" Such devotion is wonderful. The annals of time may be challenged to produce any thing equal to it. The victim of persecution, breathing the vapors of a dungeon, endures much, but he looks beyond the grave, and finds mighty motives to sustain him there. The imprisoned martyr of Tuscan tyranny drinks a cup of bitter anguish, but he can remember the promises of his Bible. The mis