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“Why are they sent here hungry through the scum of the city that the heat of the cold streets? They should be kept the financial panic had thrown to the surhome," she asked.
face. “At home," Ruth said, “ there is need For the first time in her life, Galena of fire as well as food; they come here Redway stood face to face with her own mostly for warmth."
soul. I do not say it of her complainCan it be possible, in such a city as ingly; this girl was not yet twenty-one, this? What is the reason ?- is it drunk- yet bore on her shoulders the weight of enness? is it slothfulness ? — what can it the sorrow of a lifetime; but it was a be that occasions such poverty ?”
self-sorrow. “God knows! I never think to ask Some people passing through such, and such questions until I have done some- living until the frosts of years have whitthing for the evident and incontestable ened their hair, have never stood and seen result. I think, however, there is more clearly the true light of their lives as suffering this winter than ever before be- this girl now; therefore I thank God the cause of the scarcity of work since the more that she should so early see the sel. failure of so many manufacturing estab- fishness and uselessness of the life she had lishments. My Cousin John says that, in begun. the branch of iron-manufacture alone, he She had buried herself, in her personal knows of five hundred hands thrown out loss, out of the world in which others were of employment, each one, of course, having toiling and suffering and lamenting, some one dependent upon his labor.” where mothers were forced to hear the “How do they live now?”
cries of starving children, — where wives "I can't tell; by not exactly starving, suffered the taunts and blows of brutal I think."
husbands, — where pure souls lay among It was time for afternoon session, and festering corruption. Ruth called her ragged school together, This was a tithe of what others sufferwhile Galena went to her classes, silently ed. Should she-dare she— bury her. questioning whether it were really stupid - self out of this world, nor heed the cries ity or the craving of hunger that made issuing from the overburdened heart of her hours of teaching so unproductive to humanity?
She looked up from her walk. The That night she went home alone; Ruth sun was setting ; amber light flooded the had gone another way with one of her streets and houses. A carriage came scholars, with some charitable intent. down the cross-street as she attempted to
It was growing dusky. The short day, cross ; she looked up hastily full in the hedged in by houses, numbered fewer face and eyes of Edward Benton, who hours than in the country where its last half raised his hat and passed out of rays met no obstruction. Her way lay sight. before her a mile yet, one-half that It was the first time she had seen him through the most squalid portion of the since her father's death ; his duties at the city. On each side the street rose dingy capital had kept him from the city; brown tenements, tall and bare, built as perhaps something beside, we Americans build our houses to let, was her first look at him; and the full shackly and illy,— of badly-seasoned tim- breath of all the lost sensations came
A RECORD FOR FRIENDS.
all of us, that night, expecting to leave
in a couple of hours, whereas no passenThe winter was over and gone,
train left till the next day, at four, winter to which in the early autumn I P. M. Patience! Well, we took the anhad looked forward with so much dread, gel to our heart, and lived through the wondering how I should spend the cold intervening hours. and cheerless days, and how live through The snow had changed to rain, and in the long and dreary nights. Gone, and the drizzle, damp and shivering, and with how differently from what I had feared, - a sinking heart, I went to the cars. How gone quickly,—gone even cheerfully, leav. I dreaded reaching Davenport! A straning behind it memories which I shall cher- ger in a strange city, and late in the evenish through life. I sat at my window on ing! What would become of me? I the night before I left Albany, and re- almost, for the moment, wished I had traced them all.
heeded the advice of friends, and deferred First, that afternoon ride over the my sad errand till the spring-time. Should snow-clad prairie, on the 1st of Decem- I play the coward, and
“ Never! ber, in a crowded stage, my heart sad. I shall get along some way,” I said ; and a dened at the parting with children and very good way it proved to be, the Burtis friends, those dear ones who had been so House being but a step from the train, true in all those weary months of bitter, where I found a gentlemanly host, a bitter woe, --saddened, and yet lightened pleasant room, and epicurean supper and of a slavish chain — a fear that had ground breakfast. out of us all hope of peace and comfort. The clerk ordered me a carriage, and If we could not leave all our trouble in before ten the next morning I was drivthe rear, we could, at least, the exponent ing along the banks of the Mississippi towof the biggest and worst portion ; for the ard Camp McClellan. sorrows that God sends down are as noth- The
upon the ing, after all, to those which man flings the hospital, and seemed as if by intuiafter us; the one lifts us to heaven; the tion to know me; and his cordial, brothother drags us to hell.
erly greeting went deep into my heart, A quiet night in Nevada, the shire- and in a few moments I was quite at town of our next county, twenty-five home with his lovely wife and bright litmiles from home, and we retake the stage tle boy. Let me pass over briefly the and at noon find ourself at the railroad. ten days spent there, though the kindnessEarly in the afternoon, we leave “State es showered upon me by all the officials Centre," and after a ride of fifty-five of the hospital will never be forgotten. miles, reach Blairstown, whence we cross Fortunate is he who, while in camp, is over in a chartered team to Marengo, the necessitated by sickness to go into any of nearest point on the parallel railroad. A those wards, so commodious, neat, airy, chill creeps over me as I think of that and light, with such skilful medical ateight-mile ride in the dreary December tendance, and such an efficient and symtwilight, across the “ Iona bottom,” the pathizing corps of nurses. wind howling dismally through the naked If my soul was heavy with its weight trees, the keen air penetrating to my very of woe while there, it was yet a sweet remarrow, the damp snow-flakes whitening lief to know and feel that the boy who
steps of only the mother for the first time bereft because we had a childish longing to hang of one of her idols, -only she can guess. up our stockings in our native city. The heart knoweth its own bitterness. A weary ride from Chicago there, -- 80 Thanks to the generous kindness of my weary that it seemed as if our life would young son's uncle, I was enabled to mark all be spent before we reached there; but his grave with a neat, white stone; and oh, the welcome we received! One would before I turned away, I fastened in the have thought the Queen of Sheba had mould two handfuls of choice flowers, come on, instead of a poor, heart-broken, crimson amaranths from his sister's gar. homeless, and penniless sister !
Oh, it den, and white and yellow immortelles paid for many a weary, saddened hour, from my own,
and also sowed over it for many a cruel word, for many a poisome seeds of the snowy moss, - sowed soned pang! Thank God! there are yet them, and watered them with my tears, -- true hearts in this world of ours, - hearts a mother's tears ; surely, so moistened, whose love nor space, nor time, nor any. they will spring up and grow and keep thing can waste. Not only in idle words out the weeds that were straggling over either did this love show itself
. It took those earlier graves.
the wanderer in and gave her the best A dreary ride from Davenport to Chi- and pleasantest chamber in the house, cago, sick in body and sad in heart, seem- some windows looking down Broadway, ing a second time to have parted with and others over the frozen Hudson on to the child. Snow lay heavy on the road, the white hills far beyond, while from eithe air was piercing cold, and as a climax, ther I could see every train that came the last car ran off the track, giving us and went on the Northern & Central for an instant the acute pang which pre- road. For eyes that then could neither cedes a sudden death. But it was all see to read, or write, or sew, such views lived through, and evening found us at a helped while away many and many an hour pleasant home on Michigan Avenue, with that else would have hung heavy on my such a welcome as friends give after ten idle hands. years of absence. A week in Chicago - Nor was this all. The Christmas stock. a stormy week that kept us prisoners in ings were both full, and bundles hung bethe house, and yet a week of quiet, sweet sides upon the door-knobs; and what was content! Perhaps we should have seen given at Christmas was all made up
bemore if the pastor of St. Paul's had been fore the New Year's. And then both in his usual health, but we doubt if we stockings were filled again, and other should have enjoyed ourself the better, a bundles fastened to the knobs, — bonnets convalescent's room being just the place and gaiters and slippers and shoes and for holy confidence. Three Carries and hose, dresses and collars and gloves and one William ! A quartette of lively everything the emigrant lacked; and in tongues, — of tongues which hardly the two weeks they, too, were all ready to wear, midnight bells could silence. But when and then "dressed up" I was taken away folks meet only twice in twenty years, to other scenes,
- away to the Green they have a deal to say and hear. Mountains.
Three times we did get out, though, That week in Montpelier, where all eyes — the town, the streets, the lanes, my heart stands still even now as I rethe frozen river, the burying-ground, the member how it looked and sounded ! long road in the country, the towering Holmes has immortalized it in the Atlanpiles of earth and stone and evergreens, tic; yet, from reading, one can scarcely with their drapings of frost and snow; form any idea of its size; at least, one the beautiful and the grand blended as in cannot realize it, - colossal, magnificent, a painting which the artist would not beautiful, strange, weird. I sat in one have too wild, nor yet too homelike of the balconies the first evening, and recall it all, and can hardly believe it is could look right down upon the stage and a vision until, as I look out again, I see with the opera-glass examine one side of the ten-mile stretch of prairie flushed the organ closely. They played the with the green of May-time.
“Dead March ” from Saul then; and that The scene was quickly changed though. “ great instrument,” as Holmes calls it, A day's ride in the cars, and I was in thundered as audibly as do the heavens, Boston, once a home and now a Mecca, when a wild storm dashes the clouds pello toward which my pilgrim feet turn fond- mell in the misty air. I heard, too, at ly
. Those two weeks there, how crowd that time, the “ Miserere" sung by two ed with sight-seeing and pleasant inci- choirs alternately; one in the distance, so dents! Forbidden absolutely to read a far off it seemed that their voices soundline
, we dared only dally with the bind- ed like vesper hymns stealing over still ings of the books that filled the shelves waters; the other close at hand, — so close and counters of the stores in which we that every syllable touched the ear disloved to linger. Oh, it was tantalizing! tinctly. For three years forbidden by hard for- The second time, they played a pastune to read one of the hundred issues of toral, and such sweet, faintly sweet sounds, the press,
and then when in the midst of such delicate intonations! They lifted them daring not, lest total blindress come! my soul to the very gates of heaven; But friends kept the time from hanging they seemed like the refrain of angel heavily, each day and evening finding us voices. I cannot speak about them; they at some place of recreation or amuse- seem too sacred to be talked of; they are inent. Our conscience would have smit- like the memories of my mother's kisses ten us for so much dissipation; but it was and my father's blessings. the doctor's orders, and we were only After the last concert, we went on to the obeying his prescriptions. We took long stage; and not till then-till I stood beside rides into the pleasant towns around; we the organ and stretched my neck to look lingered in the picture-galleries ; we spent up to its summit – did I realize how imhours walking up and down the streets mense it was.
It is worth a journey from and looking, childlike, into the windows, Iowa to Boston only to see it. They wishing sometimes we were rich enough called me organ mad. But how could I to buy some of the pretty things that help going into ecstasies as I stood beside made them so attractive; we went to the it and heard its varied tones, its thunPublic Library, and longed a new for eyes; ders and its whispers ? Oh, the genius of we went to vocal concerts; we went to man to conceive such an instrument; to lectures; we went to hear the “Ticket-of- build out of wood and metal such a catheLeave Man,” and to hear Forrest in dral of music; to vitalize in so many ways