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it, the more I felt inclined to believe that what they said might be true. And in looking to see how my appearance differed from others, the first thing I noticed was the extreme straightness of my dress; it was made, as I thought, with ample folds, but still seemed almost to cling to my person. Here, thought I, is a chance for improvement; if I can get this robe to stand out a little from me, I shall certainly be situated to advance at a more rapid rate. I was not long in finding means to accomplish this object. This being done, I sat down, as was my custom daily, to look over my scrolls; and the first I put my hands upon was the one containing the words, “Be not conformed to the world,” &c. I was somewhat startled at seeing this, for I felt guilty; but this soon wore off, and on the whole I was pleased with the improvement. The next thing proposed, and which I fell in with more readily than the first, was a something around the lower part of my dress. I think it was called a flounce, at first a rather modest affair, but ere long increased to two or three of very immoderate width and fulness; and strange as it may seem, I selected them, as I dreamed, of the very color of my former sins, namely, scarlet. Much pleased with my improved appearance, I wandered forth to see and be seen new business, to be sure, for me. I came to a place where I had spent many happy hours in perusing my scrolls, and asking wisdom of God; and was reminded by what I saw, that I had not of late
studied my papers much, and to quiet conscience, I thought I would then spend a little time in these duties. I took from my pocket the scroll which had formerly cast so much light on my path; but O, how changed! Its radiance seemed to be dimmed with the lustre of my flounces, and the light it did cast was indistinct. I recollected now, for the first time, that my feet for a time had occasionally tripped, and now, in endeavoring to get sight at them, I found my robe so full and flowing that it was impossible to see them; but one thing I did discover, which was, that my robe was entirely gone up to my flounces. I thought this somewhat singular; but the dazzling appearance of my trimmings soon divested me of my anxiety, and as for the scroll, I made up my mind it would be of no further use to me, and I cast it away. Soon I perceived the remainder of my robe had become somewhat spotted and soiled, and besides did not become me so well, I thought, as would one of a greater variety and more fanciful colors. Not willing as yet to lose sight of the whole of it, I obtained a covering for a part, and left the upper part as it originally was made. To my astonishment I perceived that so fast as I added any thing by way of improvement, just so fast the original vanished. Determined to save what little remained, I purchased the most beautiful and costly gold pin I could obtain, thinking to secure what remained of my robe by pinning it closely witḥ this article ; and more, my eyes had
been somewhat dazzled with seeing these same things worn to advantage in the bosoms of others. But no sooner did I attempt to insert it, than, to my perfect surprise, the little which remained of my robe vanished entirely; and there I was, my scrolls gone, and my dress completely metamorphosed.
I immediately sat about finding some article to make up the loss; and looking out for a place where I might purchase something appropriate, I observed a flaming handbill, on which was printed, in large letters, “Clothing for the Million." I soon suc. ceeded in supplying myself with what I thought I needed, and among others I was shown some splendid gold rings, with which I thought I filled my fingers. After surveying myself, at full length, in a large mirror suspended for that purpose, not a little pleased with my improved appearance, I started for my shop. Every person I met seemed to admire my uniform. Among them I noticed the nobility, and those of all ranks and stations.
Here I met a lawyer, there a doctor, there a minister, and there a merchant, and found my appearance corresponded with theirs most perfectly, except that my cravat was tied in a double knot, and I noticed that that of my beloved pastor was tied with a single
so much had he been in advance of me in getting the latest fashion. Delighted, I engaged afresh in the business of life. I was prospered in basket and in store. It seemed now as if meetings for the worship of God multiplied, while I had less
time to attend them. The calls upon my benevolence were more frequent, and although I had abundant means, I felt disposed to hold on upon them. The prison seemed never so full of occupants. The list of sick seemed swollen almost to embrace a good part of the population. Wars and rumors of wars were rife ; but what cared I how many were made widows and orphans by this most inhuman butchery, if it but increased my gains ?
As this state of things progressed, I found myself more and more anxious to obtain riches and pleasures; and in proportion as I succeeded did my anxiety increase, lest in some way I should lose. My former peace of mind was gone. I was harassed by day and by night. My situation at length became more insupportable than when, in bitterness of spirit, I formerly cried for relief. In awful agitation, while fumbling in my pockets for I know not what, something I encountered seemed familiar to my touch. I drew it forth, and judge my surprise when I beheld a scroll like unto those I had formerly perused with so much delight. How it came there, I never knew. It was like the countenance of an old and tried friend. I opened it, and in it were these words: “ Return to the Lord, who will have mercy, and to our God, who will abundantly pardon." Return! I exclaimed, without waiting to finish the sentence. Yes! that is the word ; and thus I continued to shout until I aroused myself from my slumbers, and behold was it all a dream ?
CLINGING TO EARTH.
CLINGING TO EARTH.
O, do not let me die! The earth is bright,
And I am earthly, so I love it well ;
Yet I am frail, and with frail things would dwell.
I cannot die! The flowers of earthly love
Shed their rich fragrance on a kindred heart;
Yet with these ones 'twould be too hard to part.
I dream of heaven, and well I love these dreams;
They scatter sunlight on my varying way ;
Of brightness, and on earth O let me stay.
It is not that my lot is void of gloom,
heart, Nor that I fear the darkness of the tomb,
That I would never from the earth depart.
'Tis that I love the world
its sorrows, Its bounding hopes, its feelings fresh and warm, Each cloud it wears, and every light it borrows,
Loves, wishes, fears, the sunshine and the storm.