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who are those that wait on their footsteps with muffled faces and sable garments ? That is a father, and that is a mother, whose gray hairs are coming with sorrow to the grave. That is a sister, weeping over evils which she cannot arrest; and there is the broken-hearted wife ; and there are the children hapless innocents - - for whom their father has provided the inheritance only of dishonor, and nakedness, and woe. · And is this, beloved young men, the history of your course? In this scene of desolation do you behold the image of your future selves ? Is this the poverty and disease, which as an armed man shall take hold on you? And are your fathers, and mothers, and sisters, and wives, and children, to succeed to those who now move on in this mournful procession, weeping as they go ? Yes: bright as your morning now opens, and high as your hopes beat, this is your noon, and your night, unless you shun those habits of intemperance which have thus early made theirs a day of clouds and of thick darkness. If you frequent places of evening resort for social drinking, - if you set out with drinking daily a little, temperately, prudently, - it is yourselves which, as in a glass, you behold.
Might I select specific objects of address, - to the young husbandman or mechanic I would say, Happy man! your employment is useful and honorable, and with temperance and industry you rise to competence, and rear up around you a happy family, and transmit to them, as a precious legacy, your own fair fame. But look around you : are there none who were once in your condition, whose health, and reputation, and substance, are gone? What would tempt you to exchange conditions? And yet, sure as seed-time and harvest, if you drink daily, at stated times, and visit from evening to evening the resorts of social drinking, or stop to take refreshment as you enter or retire from the city, town, or village, yours will become the condition of those ruined farmers and artisans around you.
To another I would say, You are a man of wealth, and may drink to the extinction of life without the risk of impoverishment: but look at your neighbor, his bloated face, and inflamed eye, and blistered lip, and trembling hand : he too is a man of wealth, and may die of intemperance without the fear of poverty.
Do you demand, " What have I to do with such examples ?” Nothing - if you take warning by them. But if you too should cleave to the morning bitter, and the noon-tide dram, and the evening beverage, you have in these signals of ruin the memorials of your own miserable end; for the same causes, in the same circumstances, will produce the same effects.
To the affectionate husband I would say, Behold the wife of thy bosom, young and beautiful as the morning ; and yet her day may be overcast with clouds, and all thy early hopes be blasted. Upon her the fell destroyer may lay his hand, and plant in that healthful frame the seeds of disease, and transmit to successive generations the inheritance of crime and woe. Will you not watch over her with everwakeful affection, and keep far from your abode the occasions of temptation and ruin? Call around you the circle of your healthful and beautiful children. Will you bring contagion into such a circle as this ? Shall those sparkling eyes become inflamed, those rosy cheeks purpled and bloated, that sweet breath be tainted, those ruby lips blistered, and that vital tone of unceasing cheerfulness be turned into tremor and melancholy? Shall those joints, so compact, be unstrung, that dawning intellect be clouded, those affectionate sensibilities benumbed, and those capacities for holiness and heaven be filled with sin, and “fitted for destruction"? O thou father, was it for this that the Son of God shed his blood for thy precious offspring — that, abandoned and even tempted by thee, they should destroy themselves, and pierce thy heart with many sorrows ? Wouldst thou let the wolf into thy sheep-fold among the tender lambs? Wouldst thou send thy flock to graze about a den of lions ? Close, then, thy doors against a more ferocious destroyer, and withhold the footsteps of thy immortal progeny from places of resort more dangerous than the lion's den. Should a serpent of vast dimensions surprise, in the field, one of your little group, and wreath about his body his cold, elastic folds, — tightening with every yielding breath his deadly gripe, - how would his cries pierce your soul, and his strained eyeballs, and convulsive agonies, and imploring hands, add wings to your feet, and supernatural strength to your arms! But in this case you could approach with hope to his resciie. The keen edge of steel might sunder the elastic fold, and rescue the victim, who, the moment he is released, breathes freely, and is well again. But the serpent Intemperance twines about the body of your child a deadlier gripe, and extorts a keener cry of distress, and mocks your effort to relieve him by a fibre which no steel can sänder. Like Laocoon, you can only look on while bone after bone of your child is crushed, till his agonies are over, and his cries are hushed in death.
The Life of a Looking-Glass.
My earliest recollection is that of a carver and gilder's workshop, where I remained for many months, leaning with my face to the wall; and, having never known any livelier scene, I was very well contented with my quiet condition. The first object that I remember to have arrested my attention, was what I now believe must have been a large spider, which, after a vast deal of scampering about, began, very deliberately, to weave a curious web all over my face. This afforded me great amusement; and not then knowing what far lovelier objects were destined to my gaze, I did not resent the indignity.
At length, when little dreaming of any change of fortune, I felt myself suddenly removed from my station, and immediately afterwards underwent a curious operation, which at the time gave me considerable apprehensions for my safety; but these were succeeded by pleasure, upon finding myself arrayed in a broad, black frame, handsomely carved and gilt ; for you will please to observe, that the period of which I am now speaking was upwards of fourscore years ago. This process being finished, I was presently placed, very carefully, in a large packing-case, and sent by wagon to a distant part of the kingdom.
· I was very curious, you may suppose, upon arriving at my new quarters, to see what kind of life I was likely to lead. I remained, however, some time unmolested in my packingcase, and very flat I felt there. Upon being, at last, unpacked, I found myself in the stone hall of a large, lone house in the country. My master and mistress, I soon learned, were new-married people, just setting up housekeeping; and I was intended to decorate their best parlor, to which I was presently conveyed, and, after some little discussion between them in fixing my longitude and latitude, I was hung up opposite the fireplace, in an angle of ten degrees from the wall, according to the fashion of those times. I felt, at first, very well pleased with my new situation, and looked with complacency upon the various objects before me, which, like myself, were then new and handsome; but perhaps I should have experienced some dismay, if I could have known that I was destined to spend fifty years in that spot without undergoing any change myself, or witnessing any in the things that surrounded me, except, indeed, that imperceptibly produced by time.
Yes, there I hung, year after year, almost in perpetual solitude. My master and mistress were sober, regular, oldfashioned people; they saw no company except at fair time and Christmas day ; on which occasions only they occupied the best parlor. My countenance used to brighten up, when I saw the annual fire kindled in that ample grate, and when a cheerful circle of country cousins assembled. round it. At those times, I always got a little notice from the young
folks ; but those festivities over, and I was condemned to another half year of complete loneliness.
How familiar to my recollection, at this hour, is that large, old-fashioned parlor! I can remember, as well as if I had seen them but yesterday, the foble flowers on the crimson damask chair-covers and window-curtains; and those curiously-carved tables and chairs. I could describe every one of the stories on the Dutch tiles that surrounded the grate; the rich china ornaments on the wide mantel-piece; and the pattern of the paper-hangings, which consisted alternately of a parrot, a poppy, and a shepherdess — a parrot, a poppy, and a shepherdess. The room being so little used, the windowshutters were rarely opened; but there were three holes cut in each, in the shape of a heart, through which, day after day, and year after year, I used to watch the long, dim, , dusty sunbeams, streaming across the dark parlor.
I should mention, however, that I seldom missed a short visit from my master and mistress on a Sunday morning, when they came down stairs, ready dressed for church. I can remember how my mistress used to trot in upon her highheeled shoes, unfold a leaf of one of the shutters, then come and stand straight before me; then turn half round to the right and left; never failing to see if the corner of her wellstarched handkerchief was pinned exactly in the middle. I think I can see her now, in her favorite dove-colored lustring, (which she wore every Sunday in every summer for seven years at the least,) and her long, full ruffles and worked apron. Then followed my good master, who, though his visit was somewhat shorter, never failed to come and settle his Sunday wig before me.
Time rolled away; and my master and mistress, with all