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“ Indeed, my son,” said his mother, calmly, while Sarah Jane opened her eyes wide in unmingled astonishment and alarm ; “indeed, what can have happened? You have not forfeited it by misconduct?”
No, mother,” replied William, quickly," not by what I think, or by what you have taught me to regard as misconduct.” He then related the incidents which have just been detailed, without addition or diminution, and felt that a burden was removed from his heart when his case was committed to her judgment.
A tear glistened on her faded cheek when he had finished the recital, but it was not a tear of grief or regret.
My son," she said, “ I thank God for this trial, this first trial of those principles which it has been my
ceaseless effort and joy to sow in your young bosom, inasmuch as it has shown that they have taken vigorous root in a healthful soil. You have done well, William; you have done your duty: you have honoured God by obedience to his holy laws, and he will take care of the issue, according to his promise, · Them that honour me I will honour, and those i who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.""
But, mother, what shall I do?” inquired the youth. “ We are poor and dependent, and I cannot see you toil in your feeble old age. We shall be sorely straitened if I cannot soon get employment again, and you know how difficult it is. I will go to Mr. B- and see if he will not take me back into his establishment; but then he would think me such a fool for what I have done, and call me so too, I dare say."
No, William, don't go there again ; he will only take you as a boy, and give you boy's pay, if he would consent to take you at all," advised Sarah Jane. “I will leave school, and try to get some sewing, or some sort of work, to help along; and that you know, mamma, will reduce our expenses a good deal, and I can study at home by myself what time I can afford.”
“ Wait, children,” said Mrs. Grainger," wait a little; we will not be too hasty in our plans, but after partaking the rest the Sabbath is about to offer us, with consciences void
of offence, we will then deliberate and act. In the meantime we will try to forget all our worldly affairs, and remember the Sabbath-day to keep it holy.'”
And so they did. The services of the sanctuary, the Sabbath-school, the Bible-class, were duly attended to, as well as those of the closet, and the widow's family found themselves not only happy in the present, but trustful and quiet about the future.
Monday evening came, and no change had taken place in the prospects of the widow's boy. He had cherished an idea all along that he should be reinstated at the office when the Secretary's passion had subsided, and he could perceive how valuable he really was, and how faithful he had been in the discharge of his duty there. But no tidings came to that effect, and he had made application for employment at several places without the least success. There were no vacancies in the mercantile houses, and no additional help was wanted, as it chanced not to be in the business season. Tuesday came and went in the same manner, and William began to be disheartened, notwithstanding the approving smile of his godly mother, and the castle-building of his sanguine sister. He could not feel at ease, for every day was consuming his scanty earnings, and he was adding nothing, nor knew when or how he should. Sarah Jane had cheerfully left school, as she had proposed, though she was improving every advantage of tuition to prepare herself for a teacher, which office she had hoped to assume next year, that she might help in defraying not only the expenses of her own incurring, but those of the family, which now came so heavily on her noble-minded brother.
Wednesday evening came, and found all the same. William had been diligent in his exertions to find business, but entirely unsuccessful, and his disappointment was embittered by the jocose allusions which were on the lips of his fellow-clerks as he occasionally met them, and their inquiries whether the state of a man's conscience made any ! difference with the weight of his purse, &c., which species of pleasantry he was not in a mood to relish in any degree.
After supper he had gone out again on the same errand, but had not been long away when a loud knock on the cottage door aroused the widow from a train of anxious forecastings, and Sarah Jane from a difficult problem in algebra, which she was trying to study out. The knock was hastily repeated before she had a chance to get to the door, where a stout man was standing, who immediately inquired for William Grainger. Being told that he would be in directly the stranger consented to await him within for a few minutes and make his business known to his mother.
“ I called, madam,” remarked he, “ to see your son, who, I learn, is out of employment for the present.”
“ He is, sir,” answered Mrs. Grainger, " and he would be very grateful to any one for honest employment. Do you know
“ Yes, madam,” interrupted the gentleman, “ I have no doubt he will suit us, none at all. A young man cannot have a better recommendation than your son has had this day, to fill the very responsible station in which we are desirous to place him.” He then informed the widow that he was one of the directors of the banking establishment, and the sudden death of their cashier had made it necessary to find some one at very short notice to fill that 322
that Secretary Z- had spoken to him in the highest terms of William Grainger, whom he had dismissed only a day or two before for refusing to comply with his requisition to attend to the ordinary business of the office on the Sabbath-day, adding, “ He is just the man you want; though young and inexperienced, you can rely upon him.” “ And so I thought too, madam," continued the director;
a youth like him, who does not fear to do right in the face of ridicule or contempt, and who dares set his own interest at nought to render obedience to the dictates of conscience, is indeed such an one as we wish for. I congratulate you on being mother to such a youth; and I wish the young men who are coming on the stage of business would learn that to be ashamed of acknowledging that they fear God and regard his Word and his institutions, is to be ashamed of what would raise them highest in the opinion of all
THE JUVENILE COMPANION. whose opinion is valuable or desirable. It's a mistake, madam, a great mistake in boys to think that a carelessness or contempt of these things makes a man. Pitiful ideas of manliness they have; and it makes scoundrels of them in the end, instead of men; I wish they could see it before it is too late."
Much more the director said to the widow, and much did her heart and Sarah Jane's rejoice over the bright prospects that now opened before the son and brother. The bargain was speedily made, and William Grainger was next day initiated into the duties of his new office, which he filled for years to the perfect satisfaction of his employers, to the joy and comfort of his mother and sister, and to the mortification and envy of those who would have persuaded him to do evil that good might come.
AWFUL EFFECTS OF DRUNKENNESS.
A Few days ago we saw a young woman raving with the delirium tremens. She was young, handsome, and a mother. An uncontrollable passion for intoxicating drinks soon made a hell of a once happy home, drove a kindhearted husband and father to despair and death, and brought the wretched mother and her two young boys to the degradation of public shame and street beggary Her ravings were terrible. She fancied herself a fiend of perdition, compelled by a superior power of darkness to thrust her children into fierce flames, and hold them there till their bodies were burnt to a crisp ! Her description of what she saw in her madness, and of what she fancied she was obliged to do, were awful and indescribable. Occasionally the wretched being would fly to the farthest corner of the room, uttering piercing screams of agony, and pressing the palms of her hands over her eyes in a vain attempt to shut out the horrid spectacle presented to her distorted vision. Then, as if impelled by an irresistible power, she would rush for
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ward, clutching wildly at what she thought were her children, and with loud outcries, attempt to plunge them again and again in the fire, mingling horrid curses and imprecations with the most touching and fervent prayers. This hallucination haunted the miserable being long after she was rendered powerless by the restraints of the straight-jacket, and was succeeded by others, even more terrible in character, and too shocking for detail which continued until death closed the scene.--Albany Express.
THE RATTLE-SNAKE. Thrs snake, the most venomous known in North America, subsists wholly on animal food ; it digests its food slowly, and is able to exist without any sustenance for months, or even years, in confinement: during this time it often increases in size, and the number of its rattles is augmented. In its natural state it feeds on rabbits, squirrels, rats, birds, or any other small animals that may come in the way. It captures its prey by lying in wait for it, and we have heard of an instance in which one of these snakes remained coiled up for two days before the mouth of the burrow of the Florida rat, and on its being killed, was found to have swallowed one of these quadrupeds.
As far as we have been able to ascertain, it always strikes its intended prey with its fangs, and thus kills it before swallowing it. The bite is sudden, and although the victim may run a few yards after it is struck, the serpent easily finds it when dead. Generally the common species of the rattle-snake refuses all food when in a cage, but occasionally one is found which does not refuse to eat while in captivity. When a rat is turned loose in a cage with one of these snakes, it does not immediately kill it, but often leaves it unmolested for days and weeks together. When, however, the reptile, prompted either by irritation or hunger, designs to kill the animal, it lies in wait for it, cat-like, or gently crawls up to it, and suddenly