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A FEW BITING TRUTHS FOR HUSBANDS.
Master, thus saying, thou reproachest us also.” I never knew a man who studied his wife's comfort—in truth, I never knew any amiable or domestic man, fond of frequenting clubs or taverns; and however a wife may conceal her displeasure, it must always be a matter of pain to her. It is an useless expense, (not to say a word of its sinfulness,) such a worthless waste of time, such a sottish, gluttonous thing! A man leaves his comfortable fireside, an amiable wife, and smiling children, perhaps neglects business of consequence, he does what is contrary to the Word of God and annoying to his wife, throws himself into the way of drinking, gambling, and a variety of temptations, squanders away money which most probably is wanted at home—and all for what? Just to pass an hour or two with a set of bon-vivants; and then, with his head inebriated, his pockets lightened, and his heart certainly not benefitted by the company he has been in, he comes home: the foundation for discord, at all events for coldness, is laid; for however his wife may have gentleness and good sense enough to avoid clamor and scolding, she certainly cannot feel much love or estimation for a man who seems to care so very little what she likes or dislikes.
Much to be condemned, is a married man, constantly rambling and wandering from his home for the purpose of passing away time. I really cannot understand what a husband, a father, and master of a house, can mean by the words “passing away time.” Surely if he wants employment, his house and grounds will amply furnish him with it; and if he wishes for society, he will find in his wife, children, and books, the best society in the world. Such a man may be at a loss for company, but certainly not for society.
There are some men who will sit an entire day with their wives, and a word scarcely escape their lips. Their social cup of tea comes on; and instead of enlivening the hour by kind and familiar chat, a pompous “Yes,” or “No,” is perhaps uttered by the grand and sullen lord. Is this a mode of treating the companion of your bosom!-a companion with whom you might fearlessly “think aloud;" into whose faithful breast you might pour forth your thoughts, your plans, your intentions, your opinions of every thing and every one? And is this companion, (perhaps the only one in the world who would not betray you,) is she to be treated with sullen silence and cold reserve? T'he heart of her husband may safely trust in her, (Prov. xxxi. 11,) says the inspired writer; and yet this safe and faithful confidant is slighted, and her proud lord turns from her to bestow his frankness and loquacity on some one or other, who just hearkens to him, and then hies away, perhaps to betray him to the next listener.
I own I love to see man and wife enjoying the pleasure of a little social walk; and when the tete-a-tete is sweetened by confidential and affectionate conversation, it is, as the wise man observes, a sight beautiful before God and man. But, in general, how reversed is the picture! He saunters out with her, careless, cold, and uninterested; scarcely, during the walk, uttering a word, or, when he does speak, so cold, so inanimate are his brief remarks! And if her health is too delicate (as is often the case to admit her to walk, instead of actively preparing the horses and vehicle to drive her out each day, "she may sit, and sigh, and fade away;' and her once sparkling eyes may look languid, and her once brilliant cheek may grow pale for want of exercise; still he makes no exertion; something is the matter with the horses, or the carriage, or the jaunting-car!—and thus day after day is allowed to pass over.
Sometimes, if husband and wife happen to spend the day or evening from home, scarcely does his lordship address a word to her during the time; scarcely does he go near her; and at night, when a little attention would be really necessary in muffling and preparing her to go out, he do such an unfashionable thing! No, truly. She may wrap round her mantle or tie down her bonnet herself; and coughs and colds, with all their train of rheumatic ills,” may await her; but he will pay no such attention. Admirable character!
Other men there are all cheerfulness, gaiety, and good-humor while in the houses of their neighbors; who, as they return home and knock at their own hall door, appear to turn round and say to their harmonious attendants, “My good friends, I am now about entering my own doors, where I shall probably remain for a few days totally destitute of all society but that of my wife and family. Of course it will be quite unnecessary for me to trouble you again till Monday next, when I am to dire at my friend Mr. B.'s, with a large party; I know I may be certain of your attendance on that day; till then, good-bye—shake hands-good-bye, my two worthy friends; good-bye!" Then, entering the hall, he hangs up his violin (as some one or other remarks) behind the door, and proceeding, he arrives in the parlor. “O dear, such a fire! Just two o'clock and no sign of dinner! Well! what an irregular house!" His wife then pulls the bell, and up comes dinner. “Why, I thought this beef was to have been roasted? You know I detest boiled beef! Oh, really those fowls are quite underdone! ”
Why, surely you might yourself have given some directions!' “Oh! ay, an excuse! Excuses never fail when there is occasion for them!” Such is the language of this fine manly man; his illhumor and loud speaking rising in proportion to the silence and gentleness of his wife.
Admirable character, again say I! a mausoleum should be erected to your memory!
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
Or let me die?
MONTHLY BOOK TABLE.
THE LIFE AND LABORS OF ST. AUGUSTINE, translated from the German of Dr.
Philip Schaff, by the Rev. T. C. Porter. “Thou, God, hast created us for Thyself, and our hearts are without rest, until they rest in Thee.” Aug. conf. New York: J. C. Ricker, 129 Fulton street. , 1864.
This life of Augustine by Dr, Schaff combines in a remarkable manner the correctness of science, the demonstration of history, and the warm lite of piety; it is, therefore, instructive, impressive, and devotional. It will do good. The young man will see in the youthful dissipations of Augustine how much danger lies in the transition period between youth and manhood; he will see how the profligacy of a son brings sorrow to parents. It will be seen, also, in this life how the early instructions and unceasing prayers of a pious mother are not in vain. The sceptic will see, in the struggles and victories of an earnest man, and in his triumph over his evil nature by grace, a powerful evidence that Christianity is what the human heart needs to satisfy its wants and to heal its woe.
The translation is excellent. Prof. Porter has reproduced the work in his own mind and heart, and it has, in its English dress, all the life of the original. There are few good translations—the most of those we have from the German are about as much like the original works as the serpents of th: Egyptian magicians were like real serpents. We hope the Professor will continue to use his talent in this department.
The publisher has done his work in the best style.
It is surprising to what a degree of perfection the art of engraving has been brought. It is scarcely necessary to go to New York to see the Crystal Palace; here we have any variety of beautiful articles exhibited there pictured and described true as the reality. This work has been gotten up with great care and at much expense. It will be sought after by lovers of the perfect in Fine Art. HISTORY OF THE CEDAR GROVE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH AND CONGREGATION, of
East Earl township, Lancaster county, Pa. By the Rev. John Leaman, M. D.
The practice now coming into fashion of getting up the history of individual churches and publishing them cannot be too highly commended. Much valuable history is thus rescued from oblivion. Ministers who serve old congregations ought not to neglect this duty to the past; but seize upon old records and traditions and give them a “ local habitation." Mr. Leaman has evidently done his work with much care. His congregation owe him something more substantial than thanks for this devoted and laborious service.
VOL. V.-APRIL, 1854.–No. IV.
THE OLD SCHOOL-HOUSE.
BY THE FDITOR.
Here, as I take my solitary rounds,
Swells at my breast, and turns the past to pain. THERE were some objects familiar to us in our childhood which we never forget. They have so deeply laid the transcript of their images in our hearts, that they become part of ourselves and remain with us forever. Go where we will become what we may, their forms present themselves in our imaginings, while memory calls up a thousand associations that are linked with them. Such is the room in which we slept in childhood—the yard, the garden, the meadow, the play-ground, the church and the graveyard. Not least among these ever-remembered spots is the old school-house.
Shall I describe it? Ah, yes, it is necessary. In the rush for change, which characterizes our time, that which is but just past is already far behind, if not forgotten. It takes but a short time now for anything to grow old. We, who are but in middle life, find that what we knew in our childhood is already ranked among the venerable objects of the past; and, so far as we recollect it, it associates itself with the gray, hoary, moss-covered and venerable relics and remains of years gone by. That with which we were familiar in our childhood is antiquity to our children; and the relation of it is a mystic tale, to which they listen with silent reverence.
Yes, even the school-house is not now what it used to be. We must attempt a description. First of all, however, and before we begin, we must declare most earnestly that the school-house which we describe is not fully and exactly that which lives in our memory. It is not so natural, not so true, not so just as it was. The little things will be wanting—the peculiar things—those things in which it was different from everything else, and which made it so precisely what it was.
As to its location, it was built amid rocks and stones and stumps, near where a small stream murmured by, and at the edge of a half cleared woods. Between it and the road lay the commons, which, not by right and title, but by custom and use had, from time immemorial, been the play-ground of the school children. It was so near the house and barn of Mr. Farmer that, looking over from the
would take it at first glance to be one of the out-houses belonging to the farm. Indeed, the cider-press building joined roofs at one end with the school-house. The fact is, it was once used, indeed was originally built, as a still-house; and previous to its conversion there might have been seen dozens of hogsheads, filled with apple and peach pumice, occupying the narrow space between the gable-end of the house and the creek. Hard burnt brick, which had been in the chimney stack, and heaps of ashes, that had been cast out, are still to be found around the house. Especially do things of this kind come to light when the boys are “digging wells." On the upper part, or garret, the marks of the old still-house are still more visible; for there stands a portion of the chimney as in days of yore; and some staves, hoops, pieces of castings, and half burnt copper-kettles are still stored away on the sides. If there were no other marks of its former character and use, there is the vast wide door which has plainly no need of its present width to permit the ingress and egress of children, but which could spare nothing when a hogshead passed. It was not, therefore, for the poetry of the matter, nor that the children might have drink convenient, that the school-house is so near the stream; but its location was determined by considerations connected with the objave, si view when it was first built.
At one corner of the old school-house stood a large white-oak tree, along whose sides grew up a very large grape-vine, which extended itself all over the lower limbs of the tree, and, in the summer, they hung down upon the roof. Happily, if not for the intellectual benefit of the children, yet happily for the interests of the farmer who owned the tree, there was school only in the winter, except a small summer school for little ones, who could not climb; and, consequently, there never was any opportunity for trying the strength of prohibitions, or the virtue of those whose mouths would water in sight of forbidden fruit. No doubt, had there been school in the summer, that tree, with its grapes, would have become the occasion of law, transgression and stripes.
That grape tree-permit one more paragraph to be devoted to it-even while I was yet at school it was plain that the grape-vine was fading-dying. One side of it, all along up, became dry, and soon there was quite a groove rotted out, while the life still continued to flow up through the remaining part. As I grew older its life grew feebler; and though some branches of youthful vigor still honored its aged brow every year, as long as I knew it, yet at