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The figure, on hearing this, was silent. The Justice, in his dream, began to hope that these unwelcome visitors would retire ; but he was disappointed, for presently the serious voice began again.
“ Into your house," it said, "by night or day, I shall freely and constantly come; and whomsoever I choose I shall always bring with me. I came here to-night to know from you the history of this woman."
“ You may tell it yourself, if it is to be told to-night," said the Justice hardily. “I dare say you know it as well as I do."
“I will," was the answer.
“ And you may tell her first to move aside," continued the Justice, in his dream, “ for she kneels between me and the light and warmth."
“She does,” replied the figure, "and so from henceforth she will."
Never before had he heard a voice so steady and stern ; but he did not fear it 80.much as the silence which followed.
“Whoever you may be," he said at length, speak out and tell me your errand."
“This woman," the voice began, born into the world on the same day that you were. Sixty-three years of prosperity, comfort, ease, and abundance, find you hale and hearty at the end of them. Sixty-three years of pining poverty, care, sickness, and toil, have made her a broken-down woman, bent with the infirmities of an early old age. She has lived within sight of your doors— she has seen your abundance and you have seen her poverty; have you sent her food from your overloaded table, or fuel from your woods? or have you repaired the brokendown hotel in which she dwells ? "
The Justice was silent for awhile; then he answered, in a low voice, “I have paid her her wages."
“She has laboured all her life on your lands, and you have paid ber her wages ? Were those wages sufficient to supply her moderate wants ? Did she never complain ?"
“Not very often," said the Justice, in bis dream; "the last time was more than three years ago.”
“And what did she say then?”
“ She said she lived very hard, and her wages could scarcely keep soul and body together.”
« And your answer ?"
“My answer was, that if I raised one, I must raise all; and my wages were the same as my neighbours'.".
The Justice was constrained to proceed, for the questioner stooped towards him and listened for his answer.
“She said my neighbour's lady was charitable, and gave away coals and clothing to the labourers, especially the old. I replied, that I had no wish that she should continue to work for me; she was welcome to go to my neighbour."
“ And what then?"
“She answered that she hoped I was not offended; she would not have spoken, if she had not been getting lame and past her best daye."
“ To which you replied ?"
“That I should be deeply offended if it ever happened again, especially if she ever dared to stop me with ber complaints at the church door.”
“And what did she say to that ? ” “ Nothing."
“Then, have you never spoken with her since ?"
“Yes, I committed her last winter, for stealing fagots from my wood.”
“Did you investigate the matter with care ? Did you fully weigh the evidence?"
“I-I-gave it the usual amount of atten. tion,” said the Judge, uneasily.
“Did she plead guilty ?"
"No; she made protestations of innocence.
“Her neighbours came to petition yoti, did they not ? that as this was the first accusation against her, you would be pleased to overlook it? And you replied, that many fagots had been stolen lately, and you were resolved to make an example of the very first thief that was detected. They replied that they did not believe she was the thief. Were you fully convinced of it yourself ?"
“I thought it possible she might not be guilty," replied the Justice, trembling;
“But what?" said the voice. "Speak out!”
“But I had been worried by their im. portunities; and the pilfering I was resolved to stop.”
“ Has anything happened since she came out of prison to make you think her sentence was unjust ? Have you received the confession of any other person, or heard anyo thing which makes you doubt?"
The Justice was silent.
“If you have, then, without question, you have endeavoured to make reparation, and you have proclaimed her innocence to the world ?".
"No," said the Justice, in his dream ; "I could not humble myself to a beggar: I kept my knowledge to myself.” By this time, as it seemed to Justice Wilvermore
, the last glow of his wood fire had died away, and the figure of the old woman had disappeared in the gloom. He, however, continued to dream on: he thought the figure by bis side drew nearer still; and, through the darkness these words fell upon his ears in a voice indescribably stern, distinct, and cold :
" Into these doors," it said, " which you have closed against the poor, this woman from benceforth shall always come. However bright may be your fire, this woman shall stand between you and its light and warmth. The remembrance of her hunger shall make your richest meals unpalatable. In your dreams alone you shall make reparation; and waking you shall never forget.”
"What is your name ?” cried the Justice. “Tell me by what right you sentence me thus ?"
"It is well that you should know my name,“ replied the figure, “since you and I in future must dwell together : I am among
mankind as Remorse.” Upon hearing this, the Justice cried out,
The dying embers still cast a ruddy glow over the
walls and ceiling: he glanced around-all was quiet, and he was indeed alone. “I have had á fearful dream," he said, “a nightmare terror; but I will take warning by it. Remorse shall never dwell with me, for I will make full reparation : I will be just I will be charitable I will make amends
and woke in affright.
her still poring over its pages. She folded her hands upon it, and sat like one lost in a waking dream, so deep that neither hunger nor cold could disturb it.
Let us draw near and consider her more attentively. Her features are sharp and thin; two or three tears have dropped down her hollow cheeks ; a narrow drift of pure white snow lies along the floor, and reaches nearly to her chair ; you may see the moonlight glittering down the chink in the door, through which it drifted! O! east wind; 0! white snow, and blue, cold moonlight! What different things you are to us and to her! “Let us draw near the fire,” we say, "and close the curtains, that we may enjoy this cheerful season. Nothing is pleasanter than this brisk, cold weather ; it gives us an appetite, and makes exercise delightful!”
What does she say? Nothing. What does she think about ? Her empty cupboard ? No: she is familiar with want and hunger; she seldom has more bread than will last to the end of each day. What then-does she think of the cold ? No: she feels it and trembles ; she has felt it often and long.
Does she think what a sad thing it is to live all one's life in the want of all comforts and luxuries ? No. Her thoughts are not very distinct, but she does not consciously think of any of these things. She folds her hands over the book; she gradually falls away into a faint sleep, and begins to dream.
What a strange, delightful dream! She thinks that the sun begins to shine ; it shines upon the pages of her Bible; it shines into her cottage, and it is all light and warm.
She turns her head towards her casement, and what a wonderful sight! The trees are covered with leaves, and the snow has all melted away! Yet in her dream she knows it is winter, and she takes up her Bible, kneels down, and begins to pray:
She remembers that country where there is no winter, no cold, no hunger ; but her longing is not so much to escape from this sorrowful world, as to go to that beloved Redeemer who opened the
She dreams that in her prayer she still repeats, “Oh! come Lord Jesus, come quickly!” and that far, far away, she hears à sound like distant footsteps, and they draw gradually near her door.
Yes! they draw near and yet more near. A joy that is indescribable, and never let
THIS WAS THE FIRST DREAM.
The cottage stood near the edge of a long, rozen sheet of water. The piercing wind book its frail casements, and drove snow nd sleet through the chinks of its ill-fiting door. A candle had been burning, but it had died out in the socket; the kanty fire had gone
out also, and the pate was getting cold. An old woman sat close to the embers prem her only chair. It was the dead of NehtThrough the clear, cold sky, a Moonbeam fell along her floor; she had no stain to keep it out. She trembled with holds yet she did not go to her comfortless bea; she rocked herself slowly backward and forward, and thought and thought.
was lying on her lap; it was a book. Her candle, when it went out, left
before, steals into her heart while she listens what! asleep so early? He shakes her to these welcome footsteps. She is afraid ; by the sleeve, but she does not wake; then full of wonder and awe, yet joyful: she he lays his hand upon hers, and it is cold ! strains her attention, and still listens ; she
home. His would not lose one of them.
face is more grave and his voice more com. Hush! they are very near: they stop. passionate from that day forward. He has Some one calls to her by her name, and repaired the cottages of his labourers ; he knocks at her door.
has liberally given to the poor, he has Then she starts up, and opens her door. made many of the old happy and at ease. She falls down upon her knees, and covers But ease and happiness are over for him. her face with her hands. “I am not He has repented, and he humbly hopes that worthy,” she says, in her dream, “that his sin bas been forgiven : but in this world hou shouldst come under my roof; but he can never be happy, for night after night, I beseech thee, Lord, since thou hast deigned both waking and asleep, he must dwell to visit me, go away from me no more.' with that visitor who came to him in his
Oh! wonderful voice; so sweet, that the dream. remembrance of poverty and sorrow fade away before it. It speaks again to her in her dream ;-" To-morrow," it says, “thou THE STORY OF LITTLE PATCHY. shalt be with me in paradise."
FOR BOYS TO READ AND PROFIT BY. THIS WAS THE SECOND DREAM.
“ How are you, little Patchy ?" .ex: It was morning—a cold, keen winter's claimed William Brooks, a tall, well-dressed morning. Justice Wilvermore was coming boy, as one of his schoolmates, with large down-stairs. “ Bring me my cloak,” he patches on the knees of his trousers, came says to his man.
into the yard. “Cloth is cheap down your “Before breakfast, sirp” inquires the way, isn't it? Your mother seems very man, surprised.
liberal in the quantity she has stuck ou “Yes, bring it now,” eays the Justice. your knees. Come Tim," he continued, “ It is very strange," he thinks to himself, turning toward another well-dressed boy, os that a mere dream should have such an “ let us see if Patchy's mother hasn't used effect on my spirits, but so it is. I really glue on his pants, for I don't believe she can neither eat nor rest till I have made can sew as nicely as that." reparation. I will give the old woman The two boys started toward the tremmoney and clothing. I will repair the bling child. “You shan't tear
my clotbes!” cottages of my other labourers, and im- he cried, as William caught his fingers unprove their condition. It is a fearful der the edge of one of the patches, “for thing to be visited by Remorse, even in a mother sat up half the night to mend them, dream. Never will I subject myself to and I'll tell the teacher if
don't let me such a visit again."
alone.” He walks quickly across the frozen field, “ Tell the teacher, will you? I should and along the side of the water. The like to see you telling of me. My father reeds are stiff with frost; they whistle would tip you and your mother out of his cheerlessly in the wind. He sees the shanty before you could say Jack Robinson, cottage ; no smoke rises from its chimney. if you did such a thing as that. Now, go “In future,” he says, “the woman shall and tell,” he continued, as he ripped one have leave to gather as much wood as she of the patches nearly off, leaving Samuel wants. I will make reparation. Yes, I Ward's bare knee exposed. will make full reparation.'
Samuel, instead of telling the teacher as He draws near. The door stands ajar, he had threatened, turned toward home, and there is snow upon the floor ; he with the tears running down his rosy knocks; there is 30 answer.
“ She is not cheeks. at home," he says, and then he looks in. “Here, Sam Patch, why don't
tell ?" Yes, she is at home ; she sits before her William added, as he followed behind empty grate, with a book upon her knee; Samuel. “ Ah! I knew you wouldn't her head is bowed down. Strange that she dare do it. You'd find that shanty a more should sleep so early! His foot is on the comfortable place to sleep in to-night than floor, be soon crosses it. “Goody,” he the street, so you'd better trot home and says, in a kinder voice than usual, “Goody, get your mother to mend your clothes; or,
if you like it better, you can call at our kitchen door and ask Bridget to go to the rag-bag and get you one of my old suits, and then it won't cost your mother so much for patches."
Samuel was naturally an amiable boy, but this was too much for his good nature to bear; he turned suddenly toward William, with his face flushed with anger, and exclaimed, “You're an ugly, wicked boy, Bill, and when I'm big enough, I'll give you a good whipping for this ! Yes, I'll do it, if I live to be a man!"
'Why, Patchy, dear, you're really getting smart,” he returned, in a sneering tone; “I think we must put you in captain of our company. Boys," he continued, turning towards those who had followed him, “let us give three cheers for Patchy.'
The air rang with the shouts of half a dozen boys while Samuel was hastening toward home, holding up the patch so that he might hide his naked knee.
Samuel Ward was the only child of his widowed mother. She lived in a little cottage, owned by William Brooks's father, and situated on the outskirts of his farm, and supported herself and her child by doing washing and ironing for the villagers. She could earn but little, and was accordingly obliged to economize closely, in order to supply herself and child with the common necessaries of life. Samuel at this time was eleven years of age, and his mother worked on, hoping that in a few years he would partially support himself, and eventually be able to render her some assistance. He was a sensitive boy, and it often required all the courage he could summon to go to school with his threadbare clothes and naked feet; but his mother used to tell him, if he got his lessons well and obeyed his teacher, it was more to his credit than to be dressed in the finest broadcloth. He felt the truth of this, when he was by his mother's side, but found it hard to realize when his playfellows were making sport of his appearance. He had on this morning felt reluctant to wear the garments his mother had mended, but he resolved to be a remarkably good boy, and then the teacher's praises would make him forget how he looked. When he reached home he found his mother had gone out to work, but he succeeded in entering the house through a window, and then he sat down and cried as if his heart would break. He could see no use in trying to learn, and he resolved he wouldn't go to school any
more, and wouldn't try to be anybody. Then he wished he could die, and his mother too, and go home to heaven and live with his father, where he wouldn't have to wear patches, and where they would all love him and be kin:) to him. Thus he sat thinking hour after hour, when the bell rang twelve o'clock and his mother came home. She was very sorry for him, but all the consolation she could offer was to mend his clothes, and to advise him to go to school in the afternoon, and perhaps William would not be so unkind again.
He obeyed his mother, but he started to school with not half the courage he had in the morning. On his way, when his eye fell upon the great patches, the tears would begin to chase each other rapidly down his cheeks. He wondered, as he went along, why God let his mother be so poor, when she was the best woman in the whole world, and why he took his father to heaven when they wanted him so much here. Then he thought he ought to love God very much. for letting him stay with his mother, because he afforded her so much comfort, she said, and there would be nothing in the world for her to live for, if it was not for him; and he resolved he would treat every one kindly, let them be as unkind to him as they might.
He succeeded in reaching the school-yard without being observed by the boys, and during the recess, William Brooks was so busy training his company that he did not find time to tease Patchy as usual. When school closed, Samuel hastened home, feeling unusually happy, and his patches looked not more than half as big as when he started for school. The next day, however, William began vexing him by calling him all kinds of comical names to make the boys laugh. Samuel bore his troubles remarkably well
, and he tried for his mother's sake to control his temper, though at times it was rather hard work. The only retaliation he ever offered was a threat of what he would do when he grew to be a big boy. For this William called him a coward, and dared him to strike a blow then. Samuel never raised his hand to strike, though he was strongly tempted to do so, and he lived to rejoice that he so manfully resisted this temptation.
Ten years passed away, and Samuel, during the time, by industry and perseverance, had gradually risen, step by step, until he was a clerk, with a salary sufficient
to support himself and his mother comfort- asked, as he came towards the desk were ably, and able to make a respectable appear- William eat. ance in the world.
“It is," he replied, looking up, expecting William Brooks, during the time, had to see one of his creditors. been admitted as a partner in his father's “ William Brooks ? " large mercantile establishment, and the “ That is my name.” firm of Brooks & Co. did the largest whole- "You stopped payment, I saw by yestersale dry-goods business of any house in the day's papers," the stranger continued, as he city. William, however, was of but little took an offered seat. consequence in the firm ; he merely had “Yes," he sadly replied, “all my prothe name of doing business, while his perty must be sacrificed to meet a note of father and his clerks did the work. He only a few thousand.” had no inducement to work, for his father “How much do you need to meet your supplied all his wants, and he consequently present payment ? » valued money but little more than the air “Six thousand dollars to-day would save he breathed. While Samuel, early and late, was poring over long pages of accounts, “What security can you give ? happy in the thought that he was able to A ray of hope lighted up William's support his mother, and stimulated to still countenance as he replied, “Security on the further exertion by the hope that eventually best real estate in the city-worth four times he should have the means to purchase her that amount. Have you any idea where a home, William was riding about the the money can be raised ?" country, neglecting his business, driving "I think I can accommodate you. Seefast horses, and wasting his money by bet- ing a notice of your suspension, and having ting on their speed. Thus the two young money I wished to invest, I have travelled men started on their journey of life. over fifty miles this morning, in order to
help you out of your troubles." Ten years more passed away. During - To whom am I indebted for this act of this time, William's father died, and the kindness ?” he exclaimed, as he passionately care of the business fell upon the son, and grasped the stranger's hand. with the help of the well-trained and faith- “You do not remember me; but we ful clerks his father left behind, his business were schoolfellows twenty years ago; my went on apparently successful for some name is Ward-Samuel Ward." years. But when the great financial crisis Samuel Ward,” he repeated, s the of 1857 came upon the commercial world, name has gone from me. 'Tis strange I with scarcely a day's warning, William should forget 80
true and faithful a found he must sink with the rest. The friend." banks refused to discount his notes, and he You have not forgotten Little Patchy, could raise no money on either his real have you, who used to go to the academy estate or personal property. It fell like a at Brookdale, and how the boys used to terrible blow upon him, when he realized tease him and laugh at the great patches on that the property his father had spent a his clothes, and he used to run home crying lifetime in accumulating must all be sacri. to his poor mother? At any rate, Patchy ficed to meet a note of only a few thousand remembers you. I used to think, if I lived dollars.
to be a man, I would have my revenge ; The morning after the papers had an- but manhood has changed my feelings; and nounced his failure, he sat in his office a when I saw the notice of your failure, I completely subdued man. He looked back concluded the best punishment I could give upon his past life and plainly saw wherein you, and the one you would be most likely he had erred. He had wasted his time and to remember, and at the same time afford money, and had lived to no purpose what- me most satisfaction, would be to lend you ever but pleasure, when he might at least a helping hand in the midst of your mishave secured a knowledge of business dur- fortunes. ing these mis-spent years. Now he had “This is too much for me," William nothing to fall back upon, and bitterly did returned, his eyes filling with tears ; " it is he regret his folly. As he sat there with truly heaping coals of fire upon my head; a pale, anxious countenance, the door but I trust,” he continued in a tremulous opened, and a stranger entered.
voice, “that I never shall forget the lesson “This is Mr. Brooks, is it not p" he this noble act teaches me, that the most