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The Old Lady's Leading Strings

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[Qulver tor April. We Mnlle at tlie quaint nppearnnc oi on r ;reat grandmothers apparalud in hujfe l'niüicis, needtng and possessinsr liiii.'i' striiirs; bonneta whlch made Balling ayainst the wind. or meeting i neirhbor In a nanow lane, alikea perious business. We ainile ilso at that caprlcloua fashiOD wliich, a few yeats agi, unpomd upon oor sisters a bonnet wliich tbe wexrer mlght lose without missing, and wlilcli :iiiy person miglit find without becoming enriclied - bonnet iuite innocent of N striii;;. We miiüi1, tmt have we not also osiniciscd string.-? Xot bonnet.-iri'iys, iicihaps, bilt Iculiiiü-strinirs. A yoimií mm descríes upon liis upper lip nn ivdumbratioD, sympcematlc of a mougtache, and Imagine nlmeelf smiiclioily. He must issertliis nmnhood, and repudíate all chlldlih tMnygln general, and le.idiiiu-ítiini;s In particular. The old folk are to (ojr-a-trot for lihn. Ilis inotid is ¦l'roj;ress," and na lether mntt restrüin lus pace, of elreumaorlbt the spherH of his eiiterprldf, Soqm poor uoodlet niny n([iiiie lo-ikiiijr after, but is (or iiini, lie is (iiite eapalile of taklng care of himxelf. He is n full-blown mm, has eut uil his wisdom teeth. and so can tl",;t-r iln witli "n,i." Tiio old folk (ore-ffMrn bimofynung mnn's dangers, but he ridlcales tbe bare idea of his belng caujriil napping. "Saylnji piayerr, cbnrcli-trolng, and goody-jfood t Ik aboul angcl-t, are all very will for 'kiiN,' or old woinen in Unir dot.ige, i 11 1 not for n y.oong man with a mniMtiiclie." 8n lie aryiii-s, and votes all pa-eiltn] of anxiety in a religiius dlreotlon hs mistakeD kimlnesses, than Wliloa a Cliristmis liamper would be mnch more HOcptrtbla. Yon remember the day you left home? It was liaul work for the old lady to g iv 'goodbye," w if n't it? Tears trickled lown her face aa slie pres9ed you to her bosom, gave you a true mot Ui-s, and trietl to say, "Qrod bleS9 you my boy!' but eouldn't. As the first step outaide the oh) home lias often proved the tirst Btep to ruin. that nifrht she, with i live stcond only to the Great Father's oomiuended yon to the eire of the Almlghry; and each returning night saw lier iilnndintr at Ihe Throne of (ïract: on bi'ljalf of her iibseut boy. How liupatiemly lie awiiitc.1 Míe arrival of yonr ti rst lutter ! Wbat a tlmll ol Joy alie experifDceíi wben she heard the portman1 knovk! How eagerly she tore open tlie etter, and devoured ils contents ! Tlial ira come conapeiiMitlon lor yonr absence; lint liy-.ind-liy (Mrre-oiideiice l)ei:ame iitcrniiiieni. Yon write In a formal and tert'unclory mnimer, jnst to keep up Hpeaitiiifes, or perliapH ceused wiitiug Utofjetlier. midiii'v geni fnnn lióme was ilways welcomu; tDl Um oíd lady's letu-rs! rcdioiis, uiii-opliisticited ii slylc, and 8O ull o(' anxious iiiquiíies and eutreatlet, tliat v"u stnck tliem in tlie fue n disgust. Oh, 'tis theiwme oíd story ! Whvdid yon BOt wiite to the pooiMJOlf Siircly your experience of musicirIIb, thentreí, dancln saloons, and ginmÍmcoOi in oompany witli your flash cmlanions, would llave fnrnished ampie natcrials for a letter? Uut yon dkl uot rile. Tliat silence meant for her totture day and iiisrht, brooiling over apirebenslont, :ihis : too well gronnded. D.m'ttell me of your pollshed relinement nnd pentlemanly rteportment Ín female society. Yon vnll QQ allow your soalled 1 idy friend to caiiy a liglit parcel, nor will you knowingly tr.miple on her lress; hut you will take good care that your poor mother símil carry a very, very lieavy hcail, and yon will trample in her tenderest feellng wiihout compunction. 1 am heartily aslinmed of you ! Fie on the creatOM who can wantonly jfrieve a inolliei's liearl ! He whn can play ducks and drake with a love stronger thao ufe, the mos sacred tlilng ander henven, who can pil up sorrow for mother's oíd age - such wretch is on tlie hh road to rascaldou If a man can deípise tlie woman wh (íave liim blrtli, and make hla natur proof axalnst all right and tender feeling Hiere Is no brutality of wuicli he will do ultiniately become capable. Oive liin just a litile time, and one of these line raorninga tlie uewspapers will annoiiiic a successfull experiment performed by the coinmon hangman upon an aband oned and leather-hearted villain, who went to his doom at'ter sleeping soundl. and eatlng a hearty breakfast. Look at your hands ! you prideyour=el on Iheir delicate whiteness. Bur. re meinber, if -yon breuk your mot her' heart, they will be stained with lier blood. In the natural order of things she cnn't be hete longto be a nulsanee toyou Let lier end be peace; prize her whils you Imve her. Hon slie will write lier last olmoxious letter, utter her last prayei for her poor boy, speak her last word ot love; and then you will be usliered Into her room, and you will kiss her poor wrinkled face, to liad it cold I Olí ! those pricelesa leadlng-strings ] never knew their valué when in actna popsession. Deprivatlon has been my tutor. When quite i child I ptood ba side a dylnr mnthert bed, and, In mj simpliciiy, ofmkled wilh glee at tny lirst riele In a (arriare, altlioujrh it bore me to her funeral. I remeinber the last ki8 she gave me; I see lier her poor (hiii face; I hear her last "Goodbye," wliispered, alas! how faintly ! She was a pr.-tying mother, and, altliough I ain a matter of-faet man of rough exterior, aecustomed to the stern realities of everylay lite, I here, in justlce to the blMMd memory, record my testimony (liat, amiil niany and varied experiences, I have Ibiind iny life consciously inllaenced by that bedside scene, and the little priceless tokens left behind, testifylng, as they do most eloqueiilly, of her concern for my hignest Thank God for a praylng mother! Now, dou't despise leading strings. We can't keep on our legs without thein Some time since a young spark underlook to demónstrate to the world the possibility of walking alone; and a pretty liiioh he made of itl lie tortdled away f rom home, sanr a kind of "Britons never shall be slave.j," but soon becarae giddy, lost his equil!b riam and his cash, añil fell. Mwiinfra farmer, tbis young bopeful obsequiougfe touebed bis luir, and said, "Begyoui pardon, sir, but can you give me a job f " after whlch he took to studylnjf pork, and dieted on haski to keep his hiain clear. Wcll, it dearly terved hlrn rlghti lie ihoútd have known when he was wcll ott'. Sucb upstarts genurally furnisli roda for Uicir own backs. IIaiplv, lie liad a grain of couunon st'iisc left. He was a fool, but he knew it. ror me seconü tune on record an animil preached a sermón. Tlie grunt of a hog brought lnm up; and then those blessed leading-strings ! He feit drawings hoineward. Ile recalled the tenr-bedewed faces of the old folksat pirting ; and when he caine to htmself t appeared to hhn very evident that walking alone uidn't pay H b ie tire mine adieu, turned homewards, and a good thing it was for him Itutt wlien he reached it the old gentleman did not give hlm tit for tat and say, "Lookhere, ynung scapegrace! you went away for your owu pleasure, now you can keep away for mine." lint nu, nothing of the kind ; then wiis love at home. My good triend, if In the circle In which you revolve it is considered the correct tliing to despise home inlluence, don'i foilow such a m'iim li'ss fashion, but Ket out of the society wliicli eyes it with favor. We rannot walk alone yet. Upiightnecs of charaeter is, by Divine arrangement, contingent upon m.iny auxiliarles; the labric issuppoited by butlress, pilláis and ftavs, and no ítnysstrnnger than paternal inftiience. Don't osiracise that. l'erchance you may not make old bones. Dlleaae and death are pretty busy. They will give you a look some day - perhups soouer than you imagine. You will then whimper for snme kind hand to sinnoth yonr pillow; to wipe the beadeil isweat o lï your brow. You will want to hear something of a Betler Land. You wil be glad of your inottier tlien. Will she turn lier back on you? Never! A man may deliberately tuke the high road to ruin ; be may squauder bis fortune; he may sell his soul; he may become the vcriest loathsomest beggar aüve; he may be emaciated in body, and so repu Isive physically and inorally - so foiil a rag of huuianity - that few would care to piek him from the glitter wlth a pair of tongs - tlie whole world sball have turned its back upou hun; and then - then, when he, a squeezed oranjre, betakes hiniself to liis wretched bed to die, an outcast, a tropky of the devil, a good angel comes to claim him as lier dading - her precioua treasure! She mounts guard at his bedside; anticipates bis every wish; keeps sleepless vigll through the solcmn midnliibt watches, and, ever and anon, when the dylng oue shows signs of consciousnegB, disoourses music sweet and soft on Heavenly mercy, and love beyond a mother's. That angel is Ut mother. And when all ia over, and tlie poor body, for decency's sake, hides its shanie beneath the sod, a sorrowing woman in black will, inall weather,tend hte grave, and strew it with for-get-me-nots. The world abounds with himlrancesfor thatyoung man whois animated by high aims and noble purposes. Welcome, then, the help wbicb comes from Home. Eartbly voices mystlfy; to heed them isrisky.oftentimesruinous; but mes9afres from home are wlnjtsd by love. Letters thence are written in the golden Ink of dlsinterested alTectiou. Never let it be said that you have dishonored your parents. Do not play so cowardly a part as to strike a woman, and that woman, forsootli, your inotliur; not with the clumsy list, perchance, but with weapons of keen ede, forged illicitly upon the nnvil of your heartless ueglect and recklessness llather, the while she stays, seize every opportunity todo her homage. Beoome her vallant and loyal boay-Jtuard, to ward off every care-forged dart, and account it privilege indeed. So ihall she pass by, her eacred head enslnined wilhin its'own aureole, her nnllve srlory as üueen of (iod's creation ; her pi acid face (unmarred by wrinkle ot your tixing) bctokeulng botli mind and heart at rest. Thus, undiffigured and undiíhonored, let lier pass. Back, then, to the bonnet argument. If your character is wort h protecting, take every precautlon to secure it. Let those who sneer atleading-strings asantiquated nnd beliind the times purgue their tolly. For your pnrt, be wite; leave it to others wbo can walk alone to be rlever.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News