« AnteriorContinuar »
dispose of at a large profit to his numerous customers. At this time James Radford had been married to Affie De Van about fifteen years. Mrs. Radford had four interesting sons, whom she was endeavoring to teach, as she had been taught, to remember their Creator in the days of their youth.” The training of her sons devolved principally upon herself. Her husband was kind, but was indeed a man of the world; his mind was fully set upon becoming the richest man in town, and he was fast attaining his object. He was adding farm to farm, each in a state of high cultivation; so that his numerous flocks and abundant harvests, together with the property of his store, one less avaricious than himself might have been satisfied with. He had reached further-he had now in full blast the largest distillery in the state. There were a few
that mourned when they saw the smoke of that pit, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, sending up its dark columns, mingling its impure vapors with the pure air of that pleasant village.
About this time Mrs. Radford was called to pay the last tribute of respect to her aged father, who died with a broken heart. William De Van, the only brother of Mrs. Radford, first became the clerk and then the partner of his brother-in-law. The temptation being constantly before him, he became the victim of intemperance and while under the influence of alcohol, he was induced by a wicked companion that he had met in a distant city while on business, to pass counterfeit money to the amount of several thousand dollars. He was obliged to flee his country
to escape the penalty of the laws. When, the nows was brought to his father, he sank back in his chair and died in. stantly.
William De Van was a child of many prayers.
With such an example and such teaching, we might have expected better things of him, but he had looked upon the wine when it was red, and its delusive charms had allured him from the paths of virtue. If he had boldly withstood the tempter in his first assault, he would not have become his victim, or a disgraced outlaw.
Mrs. Morse was like an elder sister or mother to Mrs. Radford, who had known but little of what the world calls adversity till now. ated the sympathy of her friends, who saw in the distant horizon of the future a dark cloud arising. She knew that the husband of her friend was daily increasing in wealth. He had just laid the foundation for a splendid mansion, and now his whole soul seem
ed absorbed in its completion, so he had but little time to sympathize with his wife. He would have been indignant if any one had told him that he did not love her-he designed to, and thought he did, devotedly. He romped with his children when in the house or yard, and praised his tea and coffee, and declared that she was the best cook in New England. Sometimes, when he thought of it, he would ask about her meetings.
“ When I get our new house done,” he would say,
" and other business arranged, I shall attend church with you occasionally. I suppose you have forgotten the problem you gave me to solve, long, long ago."
Mrs. Radford looked inquiringly. “Why, when we were watching with friend Morse's child."
"One promise," said she, "I made you that night, which I have always kept.”
“Yes, yes," he answered hurriedly, "I know that the prayer of the righteous availeth much. My good old mother used to pray a great deal for me, and I
suppose that is what makes me such à pious man.”
Mrs. Radford was about to answer, but wishing to change the subject he asked, “Did you know, Affia that Lieutenant Morse returned yester
“I have not heard of it, but how is his health, and what is the decision of the council ?"
“ He is no better, and the physicians did not agree as to the cause of his disease.”
“ If it were I, I should be more discouraged than he is. He is spending all his loose property in travelling and paying physicians; this little village would sustain a greater loss than it ever has yet, should