Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

ness : few men will bear to be reprimanded by those whom they think they have a right to govern: however, MART, said the lady, it is too late to talk to you of what you ought to have done so many years ago; but pray tell me what measures you pursue with your husband now. She replied, that she let him go on in his own way, for she might as well drive a mule as drive him. She added, that it was a rare thing indeed to see him sober; for, not contented withi. gorging beer, he had of late grown very fond of drams; but she fancied that he would soon bave drank op his drink, for he had a power of complaints of late. when

“Mrs ANDREWS, was shocked at bearing a wife talk in this unfeeling manner of her husband, and gently reproved MARY SPARKS for doing so; 'who replied, Ah! Madam, you do not know what a trial it is to have a sottish husband. It is very true that I do not know it by experience, answered the lady, but this I know, Mary, that no woman ought to wish for her husband's death, as your expression implies that you do: let me entreat of you to perform your duty by hitu; whether he does his by you or not; consider how tender and solemn the tie is that binds you together. You have vowed, in the presence of God, to love and to cherish your husband, now is your time to show that you do so, if his health is declining. Take care to bave no cause to reproach yourself when he is dead for having neglected him. MARY promised that she would do all in her power for him, and the lady left her to pursue her work ; but could not help feeling a great deal of concern at the thoughts of a poor wretch, who, according to his wife's account, was in danger of putting a speedy end to his own life, and wha was so ill prepared for the next world. As soon as she saw Mr ANDREWS, she told him of the discourse that had

passed between her and the woman, and begged he would · endeavour to bring Timothy to a sense of his wickedness,

.

that he might repent of it before he died. Mr ANDREWS promised to do what he could, and sent for TIMOTHY the next day, but he was drunk at the alehouse, and not capable of attending him, and this was the case repeatedly till Sunday came, and then he was sober, only because the landlord would sell bim no liquor, nor his wife give him any; on which, finding bimself not able to walk about much, he sat down sulky in the chimney corner, while his wife went to church. .

“Mr ANDREWS called in, and being very desirous of reclaiming a poor fellow-creature from vice and perdition, sat

himself down, and having enquired into the reason of TIMO+ THY's staying at home? was told by him that he was toc ill

to go to church. I am sorry to hear this, replied the gentle man, indeed I am surprised to hear it, after the account I

have had of you in the course of the week ! Surely, if you | were well enough to go to the alehouse, you might be well

enough to go to church ; but I fear you want the inclination: I am truly concerned, said the good gentleman, at finding you in such a condition of body and mind. I heartily wish I could be of service to either. As for your body, I am fully convinced that its present indisposition is the consequence of the excesses you have been guilty of; and I am confident, that if you do not immediately quit the way you have long been pursuing, you will soon bring yourself to the grave. You do not consider, said the gentleman, what injury you do to yourself by the shocking custom you give way to; and how ridiculous you are become by it! I am sure when I saw you some time ago at the George, you had neither the speech, the carriage, nor the civility of a man; nay, you had sunk yourself below a brute ; for BRUTES ARE WHAT GOD MADE THEM, BUT A DRUNKEN MAN IS MORE CONTEMPTI BLE THAN ANY BEAST. **

[ocr errors]

He

[graphic]

He is no longer fit for human conversation, but is a nuisance and disturbance to all about him, the grief of his family and friends, and the laughter of others : and the best that can be done for him, is to lay him somewhere out of the way, till time and sleep have recovered his senses, and then how must his conscience reproach him for the folly and sin he has been guilty of! Besides, said the gentleman, the very boys in the street make their sport of him, while all whose friendship is worth having, are ashamed to own him for an acquaintance; but above all, think how at drunken man cuts himself off from God, and makes himself unfit for the society of Christians. He is likewise continually exposed to broils and quarrels, in danger of fatal accidents, liable to be imposed upon, and unfit for every employment in life. Drunkenness, continued the gentle ? man, is a very wasteful vice; for it causes a man to neglect his business, distress himself, and starve, or, at least, injure his family: but I have not yet said the worst of drunkenness; for it deprives men of the grace of God, and unfits them for every religious action; while a man is under its influence, he is not capable of one serious thought, and is continually in danger of being cut off for his wickedness ; nay, more, of being punished to all eternity.

“ TIMOTHY had so stupified his mind by continual intoxication, that he could not clearly comprehend what Mr ANDREWS said to him, and replied, that he was no more of a brute than other men ; and he was sorry his worship thought he did not know how to take care of himself.

“The good gentleman plainly perceived that he was spending his breath in vain ; however, before he left the house, he again admonished TIMOTHY to leave off the dreadful habit he had been so long addicted to, and take to a sober course of life before it was too late, and promised te be a good friend to him if he found he followed his advice.

TIMOTHY

TIMOTHY promised that he would ; but I am sorry to say, that instead of doing so, he abused his wife for making complaints of him, as he supposed ; this provoked her to reproach him; a quarrel ensued, and the next morning he returned to his old post at the George, where he got exceedingly drunk indeed, and insulted one of his neighbours so grossly, that he employed a constable to carry him before Mr ANDREWS, who was a justice of the peace. Mr ANDREWS thought him a very proper person to make an example of, therefore ordered bim to be put in the stocks, where he sat for some hou's exposed to the derision of the whole village. He was not able however, to keep on long in his usual course, his health declined visibly every day, and at last he had not strength to get from home.

«His wife continued working occasionally at the 'squire's; and Mrs ANDREWS had given orders to her housekeeper that nourishing diet should be made for Mary to carry home to her husband ; but she and Mr ANDREWS went to London for three months, during which time the vicar of the parish, who was an excellent good man, visited the poor wretch, and, by his pious discourse, brought him at last to a sense of his sin. * When Mr and Mrs ANDREWS returned liome, they took the earliest opportunity of visiting their poor neighbours, and among the rest TIMOTHY SPARKS, of whose dangerous situation they had been apprized by their servants. Tl:eyfound him sitting by the fire, to all appearance in the last stage of a consumption. On a table, which stood by him, laya Bible. " Recollecting bis breach of promise, TIMOTHY felt such emotion at the squire's entrance' as brought on a violent fit of coughing." As soon as it was over, Mrs AnDREWS enquired for his wife and children? TIMOTHY replied, that his wife was gone out to washing, his eldest boy to live at a tavern, and the youngest he had just sent

out

out on an errand. Mr ANDREWS kindly said, that he was very sorry to find him so poorly, but from the sight of the Bible opened before him, he hoped, that though bis body was weaker, bis mind was in a better state than wben he saw him the last time. The poor creature, with tears in his eyes, replied, that he humbly hoped it was, for the good vicar had convinced bin of his sin, and had encour aged him to pray for divine grace, and to hope for pardon through the merits of his blessed Redeemer, and he trusted GOD would graciously forgive him, for his Saviour's sake; but he would now give the world, if he had it at his command, that he had passed his days in a better manner. He said it was dreadful to reflect on the ill use he had made of his time, and of all the blessings wbich it had pleased God to grant him; for he had once a strong constitution, and might have maintained his family very creditably, if he had not taken to bad courses, as he was by trade a bricklayer, and could havě had almost constant work. He added, that he was particularly grieved to think, how be had neglected the Sabbath, and that he was sure he had but a short time to live ; and when he looked forward to the great day of judgment, he could not help feeling a vast deal of shame and apprehension : on these occasions, he either read himself, if he was able, or made his little boy read the scriptures to him, and always found something to comfort him there'; but still, he said, he could not be so happy and comfortable as those who had a well-spent life to reflect on...

“Mr and Mrs ANDREWS were exceedingly pleased at · hearing TIMOTHY talk in so proper a way, and expressing

their satisfaction at his repentance, took their leave, lest they should fatigue him, but called upon him again, and continued to do so from time to time, as did the good vicar, for the short remainder of his days. His wife, who was

really

« ZurückWeiter »