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8. That night he invented a charm
So potent that folks who employ it,
Don't suffer, but rather enjoy it!
As good as the best of his brothers',
Is patron of cripples and mothers.
9. There's many an excellent Saint:
St. George with his dragon and lance;
St. Vitus, the saint of the dance;
St. Andrew, the saint of the Scot;
JOHN GODFREY SAXE.
XCIII.--"SHE HAS OUTLIVED HER USE
1. Not long since a man in middle life came to our door asking for the minister. When informed that he was out of town, he seemed disappointed and anxious. On being questioned as to his business, he replied: "I have lost my mother; and as this place used to be her home, and as my father lies here, we have come to lay her beside him."
2. My heart rose in sympathy, and I said: “You have met with a great loss."
“Well, yes,” he replied, with hesitancy; "a mother is a great loss in general, but our mother had outlived her usefulness. She was in her second childhood, and her
mind had grown as weak as her body, so that she was no comfort to herself, and was a burden to everybody.
3. “There were seven of us, sons and daughters; and we agreed to keep her among us a year about. But I have had more than my share of her, for she was too feeble to be moved when my time was out, and that was more than three months before her death. But then she was a good mother in her day, and toiled very hard to bring us up."
4. Without looking at the face of the heartless man, I directed him to the house of a neighboring pastor, and returned to my nursery. I gazed on the merry little faces which smiled or grew sad in imitation of mine, - those little ones to whose ear no word in our language is half so sweet as “mother,” — and I wondered if the day would ever come when they would say of me, “She has outlived her usefulness - she is no comfort to herself, and a burden to every body else !”
5. Rather than that such a day should dawn on me, let me be taken to my rest. God forbid that I should outlive the love of my children! Rather let me die while my heart is a part of theirs, that my grave may be watered with their tears and my love linked with their hopes of heaven.
6. When the bell tolled for the mother's burial I went to the sanctuary to pay respect to the aged stranger; for I felt that I could give her memory a tear, even though her own children had none to shed.
7. “She was a good mother in her day, and toiled hard to bring us all up;" “She was no comfort to herself, and a burden to every body else!” These cruel, heartless words
in my ears as I saw the coffin borne up the aisle. The bell tolled long and loud, until its iron tongue had chronicled the years of the toil-worn mother.
8. One, two, three, four, five. How clearly and almost merrily each stroke told of her once peaceful slumber in her mother's bosom, and of her seat at night-fall on her weary father's knee. Six, seven, eight, nine, ten, rang out the tale of her sports upon the greensward in the meadow and beside the brook. Eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, spoke more gravely of school-days, and little household joys and cares.
9. Sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, sounded out the enraptured visions of maidenhood and the dream of early love. Nineteen brought before us the happy bride. Twenty spoke of the young mother, whose heart was full to bursting with the new, strong love which God had awakened in her bosom.
10. And then stroke after stroke told of her early womanhood - of the loves, and cares, and hopes, and fears, and toils through which she passed during those long years, till fifty rang out harsh and lond. From that to sixty, each stroke told of the warm-hearted mother and grandmother, living over again her own joys and sorrows in those of her children and children's children.'
11. Every family of all the group wanted grandmother then, and the only strife was who should secure the prize. But, hark, the bell tolls on !- seventy, seventy-one, two, three, four. She begins to grow feeble, requires some care, is not always perfectly patient or satisfied; she goes from one child's house to another, so that no place seems like home.
12. She murmurs in plaintive tones, that after all her toil and weariness, it is hard she can not be allowed a home to die in; that she must be sent rather than invited from house to house. Eighty, eighty-one, two, three, four. Ah! she is a second child
" she has outlived her usefulness, she has now ceased to be a comfort to herself or anybody”— that is, she has ceased to be
profitable to her earth-craving and money-grasping children.
13. Now sounds out, reverberating through our lovely forest, and echoing back from our “hill of the dead," eighty-nine! There she lies now in the coffin, cold and still; she makes no trouble now, demands no love, no soft words, no tender little offices. A look of patient endurance,– we fancied, also, an expression of grief for unrequited love,- sat on her marble features. Her children were there clad in weeds of woe, and in irony we remembered the strong man's words, “She was a good mother in her day."
14. When the bell ceased tolling, the minister rose in the pulpit. His form was very erect and his voice was strong, but his hair was silvery white. He read several passages of Scripture expressive of God's compassion to feeble man, and especially of his tenderness when gray hairs are on him and his strength faileth. He then made some touching remarks on human frailty, and of dependence on God, urging all present to make their peace with Him while in health, that they might claim His promises and receive His comforting presence when heart and flesh failed them.
15. Then leaning over the desk, and gazing intently on the coffined form before him, he said reverently: “From a little child I have honored the aged; but never till gray hairs covered my own head did I know truly how much love and sympathy this class have a right to demand of their fellow-creatures. Now I feel it. Our mother," he added most tenderly, “who now lies in death before us, was a stranger to me, as are all of these her descendants.
16. “All I know of her is what her son has told me to-day,— that she was brought to this town from afar, sixty-nine years ago, a happy bride; that here she had
past most of her life, toiling as only mothers ever have strength to toil, until she had reared a large family of sons and daughters; that she left her home here, clad in the weeds of widowhood, to dwell among her children." And, turning to the children, he added: “God forbid that conscience should accuse any of you of ingratitude or murmuring on account of the care she has been to you of late.
17. “When you go back to your homes, be careful of your example before your own children; for the fruit of your own doings you will surely reap from them when you yourselves totter on the brink of the grave. I entreat you as a friend, as one who has himself entered the evening of life, that you may never say in the presence of your families nor of Heaven, Our mother had outlived her usefulness — she was a burden to us.' Never, never ! a mother can never live so long as that!
18. “No; when she can no longer labor for her children, nor yet care for herself, she can fall like a precious weight on their bosoms, and call forth by her helplessness all the noble, generous feelings of their hearts. Adieu, then, poor toil-worn mother; there are no more days of pain for thee. Undying vigor and everlasting usefulness are thy inheritance."
XCIV.—THE MONEY PANIC. MR. AUBREY, a London banker. MR. FREELAND, a merchant.
Scene.—A back-room in the banking-house. MR. AUBREY enters, much agitated.
1. Aubrey. It is a perfect panic! There has been nothing like it since eighteen twenty-six. The run on the bank was fearful yesterday, and I was glad when the hour of closing arrived. But it was only postponing the crash. Things look worse still to-day. Every man who