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soon think of believing Satan himself as Bent. She knew one thing—the people who were members were a good deal more decent than those who were not, and she would join that week, if she borrowed the shilling, and he might say what he liked.”
On the following Friday Clarke was induced by his wife to give Catlin a shilling to pay the entrance fee, and at the committee meeting following he was duly admitteda member. His wife at once entered into the thing with spirit, and through her attendance at the store made some new acquaintances, and soon found herself in a higher and purer moral atmosphere, in which her importance and self-respect soon felt a cherishing influence. Finding that the Co-operative world, like the great world outside, always in a great measure gave its respect to those having the largest balance to their credit at the bank, she was always studying how to increase hers by every shilling that could be spared from meeting her household wants. In this way she rapidly paid up two out of her five shares before the dividend was declared; when at that time seventeen and sixpence more was placed to her credit.
Clarke had never troubled himself about the matter: he was what is called a steady casy-going fellow, and when his wife showed him the passbook he was rather stunned. He sat for some minutes with his mind in rather a curious state. He could not be said to be thinking, it was rather astonishment at such a result, almost unknown to himself, of his wife's saving qualities, and a few misgivings as to his own shortcoming, in not seconding her efforts. The easiness with which it had been done surprised him most; and it was this which was likely to make the greatest impression upon his future course. If any demands had been made upon his own comforts, it is questionable how far he would have agreed to the sacrifice; but there had been none. He sat silently for some moments, and then got up to go out. He did not know why he desired to go out, or where he was going ; but he wanted to be alone, under the struggle which was taking place within.
His wife felt rather disappointed he did not acknowledge the good result of joining the store; but accustomed to his undemonstrative nature she did not feel it so acutely as she otherwise
might have done, so she allowed him to depart;—not but she saw something unusual was the matter with him. When he got into the open air, he felt more at ease, and wandered on, thinking more deeply than he had ever done before of the qualities of his wife's disposition,
The light gradually dawned upon his mind, that if he was as careful as his wife they might soon be in a very comfortable position. He knew she was putting what he called a trifle by, but he had no idea of such trifles growing into pounds. His own spending he only termed trifles: now, might it not accumulate in a similar way until it made a total of pounds ? He always kept half-a-crown from his wages as pocket money. This, since they had joined the store, was at least sixteen half-crowns. Why, he had been spending as fast as his wife was saving ! The thought startled him; he quickened his pace, and felt quite uneasy-to some extent a criminal. This feeling continued for some time, when he suddenly turned and walked back towards home, crestfallen and miserable. His wife was sewing, and was rather surprised to see him back so soon, as she expected he was having a game of cards as usual at the “Bird in Hand.”
He sat down and looked somewhat dejected : she, a little surprised, asked what was the matter? Was he not well ? He said he felt “rather out of sorts." She looked at him to see if he was ill, and showed some anxiety to know how best to bring him round to his usual state; but he seemed quite dull. Thinking he might be slightly unwell, she made him a nice basin of gruel, and got him off to bed. In the morning at breakfast time he fell in with Catlin, and began to ask “how was the store getting on ?" Catlin said they had just finished the quarter, and were in a good state.
“I am sorry I didn't join sooner than I did,” said Clarke. “I should have done, only for Bent."
“It would be well for Bent if he was a member now, I think, and had a pound or two in,” replied Catlin ; “for he has his wife ill and one of the children with the fover, and they are in a miserable state. He will have to get them into the fever ward, and if the master gets to know the state they are in, he will perhaps turn him off. He's a curious man in these
things, and will not permit him to work amongst us if there is any fever in his house. Then they will have to go to the workhouse." *
On the Saturday following, Clarke, for the first time for two years, gave the whole of his wages to his wife, and told her to make up her three pounds at the store, and that he intended to save all he could for the future. He said “he would go with her for a look at it after tea, and was glad she had made him join when she did.”
There was a slight sparkle in the eye, and a quicker breath, as she proceeded to make the tea that afternoon, and not a little extra glow of pleasure in her face during the meal..
A few days more, and there is a collection in the shop to assist Bent to bury his child ; the poor little thing had escaped at last from the ignorance, squalor, and want of a home where none of its sufferings could influence a brutalized parent to sacrifice an indulgence to ease one pang of its miserable woes. He is still going on in his old course ; sinking lower in the slough of vice, and going beyond any power or aid that his fellows can use for his salvation. All human feeling dead, he thinks all are as evil as himself in motive and thought, only they show it in another form. Catlin and Clarke are rising, while he is going down ! down !! down !!!
TO AN INFANT.
CANST thou tell us, 0 thou little stranger,
So late arriving from the soul's first homeCanst thou inform us of the great All-Father,
Ere yet thy memory begins to roam ? We often wonder if thou dost remember
Aught of the inner land we deem so fairAught of thy dwelling in that home of angels,
Ere thou didst come into this world of care. The mystery of life to us increases
With every moment that we live and move ;
And question thee about the land of love.
With some fond message from the summer clime; We cannot think they'd send thee empty-handed,
All amongst strangers, to these shores of time. And oh! we wait as in an audience chamber,
Wait for the teachings of the truth by thee,
For the unveiling of the mystery.
And watch the smiles that flit across thy brow; Then see thee calmly rest awhile, as listening
To the Great Spirit, as I see thee now.
Look in our faces, as if thou wouldst say“Did you not see them who to me were speaking ?
“Did you not hear them ere they went away?" Yes, we have seen all this, dear child, and wonder'd;
And thy fond mother's love, so big with joy, Has treasured these things in her heart, and ponder'd
Who could be talking to her darling boy. Aye, there are mysteries of deep affection
Spoken by infants through their loving eyes;
And if we were but more like little children,
Our hearts would understand these mysteries.
That the deep meanings had been all concealed
And that to infants they had been reveald.
Make us like children while we yet are men.
And would, O Saviour! we were “born again;"
Calling Thee Father by a right divine,
Nestling so near to that dear heart of Thine,
More love than e'en the universe can hold;
That Thy great love must have a larger fold.
All infant language we shall know so well,
We shall interpret as by magic spell.
R. R. B.
LOOK UP! the morning dawns, the night is past,
Her clouds disperse, and darkness flees away ;
Behold the dawning of that brighter day
The golden age! that always was to be,
The only passports 'mong the good and free
Teeming with plenty, crown'd with every bliss