페이지 이미지

fier chair pushed close against the wall, where it had arrived by successive jerks backward, at every fresh ebullition of passion, while Mr. Wilson was cutting his nails to the quick, seated at the utmost opposite side of the apartment, each casting at the other an occasional glance of vengeance or contempt.

"My dear daughter," the old gentleman began, with an air of deep concern, " what has happened?"

"Ask him," said Mrs. W., pointing to her husband with spiteful looks.

The old gentleman turned to Mr W.

"Your daughter threatens to leave me, sir," was the reply.

"But what for?" demanded the father; "where lies the offence?"

Each now began simultaneously to repeat the aggravating expressions which had been u.*ed on both sides. "He had said so and so." "She said so and so."

"Stay, my children, stay," said the father; " set aside all that has been elicited in anger during your quarrel—I do not want to hear that—and allow me to ask you again, what, is the offeree, and which of you is the aggressor?"

Both were silent.

"This is strange," said the father; "surely you can tell me now this disgraceful scene commenced. There must have oeen some great fault committed."

Silence still prevailed. The simple process of common sense, which the old gentleman had set to work, carried the infatuated couple back to the frivolous origin of their quarrel. Nothing could appear more ridiculously absurd than the reply which was at last elicited ; "We quarrelled about i hole in the carpet."

"A what?" said the old gentleman, lifting his hands, shrugging his shoulders, as with staring eyes, he looked aghast, and turned on his heels. "What a pair of simpletons," said he : "I am ashamed of you both; go to school again and learn to put off childish things. Truly as said the wisest of men,' The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water; therefore leave off contention, before it be med<lled with.'"

We are glad to add, that Mr. and Mrs. W. did take the old gentleman's advice; and heartily ashamed were they when they came to a calm reflection, that they had allowed so small a matter to kindle so large a lire. It should be remembered that it always takes two to quarrel; therefore, whenever there is an unhappy disposition evinced by one partner to be querulous or irritable, the other should always be either silent or soothing. Such forbearance, exercised in the spirit of prayer and Divine trust, will seldom fail to avert all domestic storms and household breezes. I often think of Cowper's beautiful lines on " Mutual Forbearance/ and wish they were engraven on the memories and hearts of every wedded pair:

"Alas! and is domestic strife,

That sorest ill of human life,

A plague so little to be feared,

As to be wantonly incurred

To gratify a fretful passion

On every trivial provocation?
♦ < » »

The kindest and the happiest pair
Will find occasions to forbear,
And something, every day they live,
To city and perhaps forgive."


Old Birch, who taught the village school,

Wedded a maid of homespun habit;
He was stubborn as a mule,

And she was playful as a rabbit.
Poor Kate had scarce become a wife

Before her husband sought to make her
The pink of country polished life,

And prim and formal as a Quaker.

One day the tutor went abroad,

And simple Katie sadly missed him;
When he returned, behind her lord

She slvly stole, and fondly kissed him.
The husband's anger rose, and red

And white his face alternate grew:
"Less freedom, ma'am!" Kate sighed and said

"O, dear! I didn't know 'twas you."


For the wealth of pathless forests,

Whereon no axe may fall; For the winds that haunt the branches;

The young bird's timid call; For the red leaves dropped like rubiea

Upon the dark green sod; For the waving of the forests

I thank thee, O my Godl

For the sound of water gushing

In bubbling beads of light;
For the fleets of snow-white lilies

Firm anchored out of sight;
For the reeds among the eddies;

The crystal on the clod; For the flowing of the rivers,

I thank thee, O my God!

For the rosebud's break of beauty

Along the toiler's way;
For the violet's eye that opens

To bless the new-born day;
For the bare twigs that in summer

Bloom like the prophet's rod;
For the blossoming of flowers,

I thank thee, O my God I

For the lifting up of mountains,

In brightness and in dread; For the peaks where snow and sunshine

Alone have dared to tread; For the dark of silent gorges,

Whence mighty cedars nod; For the majesty of mountains,

I thank thee, O my Godl

For the splendor of the sunsets,

Vast mirrored on the sea;
For the gold-fringed clouds that curtain

Heaven's inner mystery;
For the molten bars of twilight,

Where thought leans glad yet awed; For the glory of the sunsets,

I thank thee, O my God J

For the earth and all its beauty;

The skv and all its light;
For the dim and soothing shadows,

That rest the dazzled sight;
For unfading iields and prairies,

Where sense in vain has trod;
For the world's exhaustless beauty,

I thank thee, O my God!

For an eye of inward seeing;

A soul to know and love;
For these common aspirations,

That our high heirship prove;
For the hearts that bless each other

Beneath thy smile, thy rod;
For the amaranth saved from Eden,

I thank thee, O my God!

For the hidden scroll, o'erwritten

With one dear name adored;
For the Heavenly in the human,—

The spirit in the Word;
For the tokens of thy presence

Within, above, abroad;
For thine own great gift of Being

I thank thee, O my God!

THE MAESTRO'S Confession.—maroaret J. Preston


Threescore and ten!
I wish it were all to live again.
Doesn't the Scripture somewhere say,
By reason of strength men oft-times may

Even reach fourscore? Alack! who knows?
Ten sweet, long years of life! I would paint
Our Ladv and many and many a saint,

And tfiereby win my soul's repose.
Yet, Fra Bernardo, you shake your head:
Has the leech once said
I must die? But he
Is only a fallible man, you see:
Now, if it had been our father the pope,
I should know there was then no hope.
Were only I sure of a few kind years
More to be merry in, then my fears

I'd slip for awhile, and turn and smile

At their hated reckoning*: whence the need

Of squaring accounts for word and deed

Till the lease is up? How? hear I right?

No, no! You could not have said, To-nig)U I

Ah, well! ah, well!
"Confess "—you tell me—" and be forgiven."
Is there no easier path to heaven?

Santa Maria! how can I tell
What, now for a score of years and more

I've buried away in my heart so deep
That, howso tired I've been, I've kept
Eyes waking when near me another slept,

Lest I might mutter it in my sleep?

And now at the last to blab it clear I How the women will shrink from my pictures! And worse

Will the men do—spit on my name, and curse;
But then up in heaven I shall not hear.

I faint! I faint!
Quick, Fra Bernardo! The figure stands
There in the niche—my patron saint;
Put it within my trembling hands
Till they are steadier. So I
My brain

Whirled and grew dizzy with sudden pain,
Trying to span that gulf of years,
Fronting again those long-laid fears.

Confess t Why, yes, if I must, I must.
Now good Sant Andrea be my trust!
But fill me first, from that crystal flask,
Strong wine to strengthen me for my task.
(That thing is a gem of craftsmanship:
Just mark how its curvings fit the lip.)

Ah, you in your dreamy, tranquil life,
How can you fathom the rage and strife,
The blinding envy, the burning smart,
That worm-like, gnaws the Maestro's heart
When he sees another snatch the prize
Out from under his very eyes.

For which hi' would barter his soul? You see, I taught him his art from first to last;

Whatever he was he owed to me.
And then to be browbeat, overpassed,
Stealthily jeered behind the hand!
Why, that was more than a saint could stand •.


« 이전계속 »