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amount of bread transformed into poison, the shame, the anavailing sorrow, the crime, the poverty, the pauperism, the brutality, the wild waste of vital and financial resources, make an aggregate so vast-so incalculably vast,--that the only wonder is that the American people do not rise as one m.in and declare that this great curse shall exist no longer.
hue-and-cry is raised about woman-suffrage, as if any Vrony which may be involved in woman's lack of the suffrage could be compared to the wrongs attached to the liquor interest.
Does any sane woman doubt that women are suffering a thousand times more from rum than from any political disability?
The truth that there is no question before the American people to-day that begins to match in importance the temperance question. The question of American slavery was never anything but a baby by the side of this; and we prophesy that within ten years, if not within five, the whole country will be awake to it, and divided upon it. The organizations of the liquor interest, the vast funds at its command, the universal feeling among those whose business is pitted against the national prosperity and the public morals—these are enough to show that, upon one side of this matter, at least, the present condition of things and the social and political questions that lie in the immediate future are apprehended. The liquor interest knows there is to be a great struggle, and is preparing to meet it. People both in this country and in Great Britain are beginning to see the enor. mity of this business—are beginning to realize that Christian civilization is actually poisoned at its fountain, and that there can be no purification of it until the source of the poison is dried up.
Temperance laws are being passed by the various Legislatures, which they must sustain, or go over, soul and body, to the liquor interest and influence. Steps are being taken on behalf of the public health, morals, and prosperity, which they must approve by voice and act, or they must consent to be left behind and left out. There can be no concession and no compromise on the part of temperance men, and no quarter to the foe. The great curse of our country and our race must be destroyed.
Meantime, the tramp, tramp, tramp, sounds on,--the tramp of sixty thousand yearly victims. Some are besotted and stupid, some are wild with hilarity and dance along the dusty way, some reel along in pitiful weakness, some wreak their mad and murderous impulses on one another, or on the helpless women and children whose destinies are united to theirs, some stop in wayside debaucheries and infamies for a moment, some go bound in chains from which they seek in vain to wrench their bleeding wrists, and all are poisoned in body and soul, and all are doomed to death.
IKE AFTER THE OPERA.
Since the night when Ike went to the opera, he has been, as Mrs. Partington said, crazy, and the kind old dame has been fearful lest he should become non pompous mentus, through his attempt at imitating the operations.” The morning after the opera, at the breakfast table, Ike handed aver his
and in a soft tongue sang:
“Will you, will you, Mrs. P.,
Help me to a cup of tea ?” The old lady looked at him with surprise, his conduct was so unusual, and for a moment she hesitated. He continued ivo a far more impassioned strain:
"Do not, do not keep me waiting,
So pour out as quick as winking.” She gave him the tea with a sigh, as she saw the excitement in his face. He stirred it in silence, and in his abstraction took three spoonfuls of sugar. At last he sang again: " Table cloths, and cups
and saucers, Good white bread, and active jaws, sirs, Tea-gunpowder, and souchong
Sweet enough, but not too strong." “What do you mean, my boy?” said Mrs. Partington tenderly.
"All right, steady, never clearer,
“ But Isaac
persisted the dame. Ike struck his left head upon the table, and swung his knife aloft in his right, looking at a plate upon the table, singing:
“What form is that to me appearing ?
Charge upon them, Isaac, charge !" Before he had a chance to make a dash upon the fish, Mrs. Partington had dashed a tumbler of water into his face to restore him to “conscientiousness." It made him catch his breath for a moment, but he didn't sing any more at the table, though the opera fever still follows him elsewhere.
Oh, that word Regret!
They are poor
But which is gone and I must do without,
Even in cowslip time when hedges sprout;
It makes me sigh to think on it,,but yet
Biit which I never had, nor can have now,
In countries that accord with mortal vow;
THE DEATH OF THE OLD SQUIRE.
"Twas a wild, mad kind of night, as black as the bottomless
pit; The wind was howling away, like a Bedlamite in a fit, Tearing the ash boughs off, and mowing the poplars down, In the meadows beyond the old flour mill, where you turn
off to the town. And the rain (well, it did rain) dashing against the window
glass, And deluging on the roof, as the Devil were come to pass; The gutters were running in floods outside the stable-door, And the shouts splashed from the tiles, as they would never
give o'er. Lor', how the winders rattled! you'd almost ha' thought that
thieves Were wrenching at the shutters; while a ceaseless pelt of
leaves Flew to the doors in gusts; and I could hear the beck Falling so loud I knew at once it was up to a tall man's neck. We was huddling in the harness-room, by a little scrap of
fire, And Tom, the coachman, he was there, a-practicing for the
choir; But it sounded dismal, anthem did, for squire was dying fast, And the doctor said, Do what he would, Squire's breaking
up at last.
The death-watch, sure enough, ticked loud just over th' owd
mare's head; Though he had never once been heard up there since mas
ter's boy lay dead; And the only sound, beside Tom's toon, was the stirring in
the stalls, And the gnawing and the scratching of the rats in the owd
We couldn't hear Death's foot pass by, but we knew that he
was near; And the chill rain and the wind and cold made us all shake
with fear; We listened to the clock up-stairs, 'twas breathing soft and
low, For the nurse said, At the turn of night the old Squire's
soul would go. Master had been a wildish man, and led a roughish life; Didn't he shoot the Bowton squire, who dared write to his
wife? He beat the Rads at Hindon Town, I heard, in twenty-nine, When every pail in market-place was brimmed with red
port wine. And as for hunting, bless your soul, why for forty year or He'd kept the Marley hounds, man, as his fayther did afore; And now to die, and in his bed-the season just begun-"It made him fret,” the doctor said, “ as it might do any one." And when the young sharp lawyer came to see him sign his
will, Squire made me blow my horn outside as we were going to And we turned the hounds out in the court--that seemed
to do him good; For he swore, and sent us off to seek a fox in Thornhill
Wood. But then the fever it rose high, and he would go see the Where mistress died ten years ago when Lammastide shall
come; I mind the year, because our mare at Salisbury broke down; Moreover the town-hall was burnt at Steeple Dinton Town. It might be two, or half-past two, the wind seemed quite
asleep; Tom, he was off, but I, awake, sat watch and ward to keep; The moon was up, quite glorious like, the rain no longer fell, When all at once out clashed and clanged the rusty turret
bell. That hadn't been heard for twenty year, not since the Lud
dite days. Tom he leaped up, and I leaped up, for all the house a-blaze Had sure not scared us half as much, and out we ran like
mad, I, Tom, and Joe, the whipper-in, and t’ little stable lad.