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her after her husband's decease. I went with as much promptitude as possible. Mr. Sliter had died in a fit of drunkenness, and his bloated body was laid out in all the state that extreme poverty could assume, in the small apartment, the common bedroom and parlour of the miserable pair. In an old chair, from which hung the broken rushes, sat his wife, rocking in the restlessness of unoccupied grief.
I took her hand, and was about offering her consolation; but her sorrow was not of that sort that breaks the heart in silence, and I was interrupted by her dolorous voice, preceded by a long drawn sigh.
“Death is a dreadful thing, ma'am. Mr. Sliter, poor man, that's dead and gone, and I have lived nigh twenty year together. It's hard to be left a lone voman, as it vere. nobody's enemy but his own. I shall be a lone body indeed,”—and she put her handkerchief to the corners of both
eyes. I commenced once more the usual commonplace attempts at consolation, when looking up,
she said briskly, “Miss Packard, do viders vear weils now ?"
This miserable attempt at the semblance of mourning first led me to speculate on the propriety of black apparel for the bereaved. If our friends
are virtuous, and our belief in Christianity sincere, why assume a mourning robe, when they are clothed in the white garments of immortality? Why shroud our heads, when theirs are crowned with amaranthine wreaths ? Why utter sighs of wo, when they are hymning to celestial harps, amid celestial choirs ? And when a case occurs where those who should have loved us have rent our hearts by sin, or broken them by harshness, and the weary spirit, shrinking from observation, turns on itself to commune in silence, why assume the ostentation of regret before an unsympathizing world ?
Yet let me not treat lightly or harshly a prejudice founded on the delicate impulses of na ture. Perhaps the hand that writes these strictures might be the first to mould those sombre monuments which affection raises to departed
friends, and would be the last to lay aside the time-honoured associations that cluster in the day of earthly separation.
However this may be, Mrs. Sliter, with a veil of proper dimensions, followed him to the grave who had thrice kicked her out of doors; actually, if not nominally, caused the death of her only infant by brutality; left her whom God and society demanded him to support, a miserable pauper, and gone down to the tomb, a bloated carcass, to meet the changes, for weal or wo, of an endless immortality.
A TEMPERANCE LECTURE TO MY COUSIN
She could go near the precipice, nor dread
The Borough. It seems to me a dream, that I once cleansed and replenished a gin and brandy decanter every Saturday morning. My “swords are turned into ploughshares, and my spears into pruning hooks ;" for there they stand, the pictures of innocence, converted into water-crafts and molasses bottles.
Let every housekeeper seriously look back through her past experience, and ask herself how many individuals (unintentionally of course) she has led into temptation with these polished seducers : and if she has herself escaped a pit where so many of the bright and
good have fallen, offer up a prayer of thank fulness.
I know not how others may have felt, but my soul has often been wrung with anguish at the utter hopelessness of preventing any individual, who has betrayed a tendency to intemperance, from plunging daily further and further into sin, when the means were spread out before him, leaving unchecked his vitiated taste.
Edward, like others, provided liquors for his sideboard, but only drank them as the compliment which society demanded with his guests. William Ingols, my cousin, an interesting young man, entered his office as a student, and resided with us. He was confiding and communicative, and I soon began to love him as a member of our household. At his first dinner, Edward joined him in a glass of brandy and water; on succeeding days he took it unsolicited; in a short time he drank at the sideboard before dinner; and, in a few weeks, repeated the draught at bedtime.
I asked Edward's advice on what was to be