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A Steamboat Incident

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A clcrgyinan, giving in the Zadüï 'leposilonj án account of Ftime ni his experience a n trip from tía own ' cotnfortabk personage" ío New York ity, refreahes hls readers vvjth tho folowing exhibition of practical Chris anity wbieh catee, under his ebfcervaiüti : My jouroey to Boston was as rnoootonous as posaible, and tho tyo íours' detention there was not partícularly exhiliratipg. There was no to o vjsit places oí interest, and I felt oo raisonthrofic and glooniy for social ntcrcourse, althovgh ofher "enilemen veré waiting lik mywlf. Mure tlian mee I nc:.rly determinad to go home n the return train, luit I m ashwmed o do that alter Mary'a generóofl selt acrifice. We wero mil ay to StonDgton boíore I begao lo roaM up and ouk nbout me. Iwtl áwukened by he crien of a child, and I eaw that ihe eat in froot of me wiis oceupicd by a oung wornun, plainly, but ilecenily tremed, but w'ub an exp ession of anxety apon her face Ibat iostantly atracted me. Sho had a baby in lier inns, and another just big unough to valk, on thuscat by her. Ile was a )rigbt littlefellowj with gr?a, flasbing lack eyes, and tliick coüh of chestnut ui -Is clustering all over his head ; but e did not beum to be well, and freted uontinualiy for the aoothing atienion '.hut he aw bestowed upon the more belpless bitbe in hi mother'iarras. here vvere several bundl' and a car et-agb piled one aboveanothër on ihe eotncxt to the window, and tl. e little ov,in his restlessness, often displaced hém, and they came rolling down npnithefloor. I would like to ee the nan who would not have BUCfumbed and hnuled down his flaií befor such a oniplication oí miseries. The y oung mother bore np bravely. While hushing the baby and lulling it vith a sweet luilaby to temporary quiet, sho contnved also to ooax the ittle boy's curly head to a pillos on ler knee, and tbtw doubly burdened, bund means to divert his attention with a cheap y,icture-book. But the wenther outside grew dark and unpleasant. Thick clouds were closely gatherïng their fofce?, aud the vail of the wind was ofien heard abov he noise of the engine. The niíKioue expeesaion of the mother'g face deepened as ;he watched tl. o omihous uigns hat foretold a stormy r.ight upon the sound. There as a quick, tremuous motion oí her lip at times, as ifsbe were representing the nclination lo ïave a " hearty opy" over her tronb'es. I bad just thought of hat ahoutd ïave occurred lo me a time betbre, that it was possible for ma to reievo her of a part of her burden, :;nd was trying to drive inyself nut of my selfish" isolation by calling up all the good Samaritan thoughts that I liad ever used in my sermona en practical benevoleiiee, when nn accession of paseengeis at a way-station obligad me to resign my seat to a lfldy, who actually thanked mo for tho eivHity. Left again to nayuelf, leaning ngainst the door ot tbe aar, I reaumed my thread ot conternplation that luid oí late beeoine habitan], and was ibón ( lost in the oíd, weary labynntli of ' jeetures in regard to the state of my pamb, "rts spiritu! deadness, and the meosurefl to be used to awaken any ' terest in religious tilines. Igruvv more and more ead, and desponding as I ' meditnteil, and tny cogitutions weio as fruitless as ever. I did notagain t'kink of the babies and their mother till vva were about leaving the cars ai Stonington. Happening ihen to glance down the car before gettin out, I saw bc-r looking about ber in evident perplexity. The heavy rain was already ponring down, and the darkuesa outeido was not vury íittracüve even to an unincumbered traveler. I ara asharned to own that I did not offer my assistance. Mary saya she wiil never beiieve it - that it is iir.possible for human nature tobe so bourieb, bnt the humiliating truth must be told. My own wretchedneHs and my sense of utter ueelessness in my profession made me almost indifferent for tho timo to the claims of humanity. Still I was sensible of a iceling of burpriae, which gradually became indignation as I saw one lady alter anotber unconcerncd pass by, and other gentlemen as heartless as tnyself, ignoring her silent appeal to our eyiripatliy. The car was ernpticd at last, though I still stood in the door, boping to soo another do the Christian duty that I w'aa so rehictant to perform. I could not loave hor to her f'ate as the rest liad done. Just then some one entered the door at the other end and I saw the young Wotnan look eagerly around. ]io had ngain iaüed to arrango babies and bundlcs for transportation to the boat. Tb new-comcr was u etoutlooking, elderly man plain and almost shabbily dressed, with a great stock of red hair nearly uiting the hat off his head, and a round, fat faco deeply marked with srniill-pox. Ho was whistling a lively air, which reemed to breáthe a whinisicul sort of defia'iJM to the dicomforts of the bleak night, bnt ho stnpped at onoe vfhen ho saw the helploss group befpre him. " Going aboai'd, ma'am ?' " Yus, gir, is Boon as I can." " Good ; w) am I. Lot me oarry this youngster tor yon. I've gct one homejusthis sizo. Jehosaphatl hou nat'rn] it soems I" said the man as lie lifted tho boy to bis should-jr. The obild stopped cfying utid luughed leofully. " And those batidles; are thcv yours, ma'am ?" " Yes, sir. Thanfc you, I can carry thosevery wel!. I can, indeed." " That depends." Ho luid already gatherod them in hia arms, and urapped her thin shawl more closely around her baby. " Now we're ready. ELeep close bohind me, ma'am, It ia but a few steps." istiioy passed mo in the door I seen:ed to awake frorn a horid dream. My anxiety and inorbid raelanoholy vanished. I snppose they conld not stay in the almosphere of tbat man'a blaat, cordial tindnee. I enviad him the luxury in d nr what I ought to have done. A f ter ill, I said to myself, thera is real good ii) the world- -real Christian chartty, liviog pty, and active benevolence. 1 followed close at the man's beels. We were jostled a little as we passed through thethrong, Init were soon safely on board jnat in time to ivoid beiDg left bebind, "Here we are. A nice ride you've had, my littie man." Ti.'ire w;ia ome thing absolutely inspiring in that rough mau's voico. "No-w nia'am, I'll just talie you, bag and b.iggago, down to the ladies" cabin, for it rains as if it meant to free its mind. Yon bad better got those damp wrappings off as soon as you can. Come, it is but a step furthcr." tíhe besitated. "No, ir. I tbank you. You havo been very kind, but my ticket is only for a deck passage, and I have no money. I - I ghould oot have attempted such a journoy, sir, without more means, but I havo just beard frora my busband, who is returning from California and is stok in JSrew York. He did liOt send for me. but I could not teave him to bd nursed by strangers." "üf course you couldu't. But j-ou must not stay here. Ynu'll catcli your death if you do. Wait t ill I see tbe captain, l'il ñx matten for vou, never fear." He truclged off to tbe captam's offioo, I still following. ïlie captain glanced ! at the rough man and bis roughcr attire I carelcssly, aud listencd without much i interest to bis story till lie begged that I tbe poor woinnn migbt bo allowed to take ber babies into the cabin Then he i assumed a very knowing look indeed. "Is the lady a very particular friend i of yours?" lie askod, "We are i tuned cvery trip for especial I datiou for delicate ladiea with gentlemen Frier.ds on board, all as poor as Job's keys. We serve thein all alike, and eacb person geta what bc pays i'or.'Jj "Look here, sir, thero's no cali to insult anybody. You've bad a fair chanco to act like a gentleman aud a Cbristian, but I ncvor quarrel with a man if be prefers acting like a beatben. How inuch do yon charge for a cabiu passage?" "Oae dollar," "There's the money. I'vo just got seventy cents left. It will buy tho;n a little suppcr, and I can go without mine." The captain lonked a little ashamed. He handcd back half a dollar. "Pvc no doubt i t 's ;:11 elieat and burnbug," be said; ''but if you aro not telling the trutb, you lie so naturally that it is worth fifty cents to hear you." "Tbank you all the same," was the rep]y, as the coin so ungracioaslj oífured was p.cceptod. I oever saw a more grateful creature than the poor young woman whon sho fiiund that lier friend had secured a shelter for her. She cried with pleasure, and kiased hisgreat fréekled hsuds in a transport of tharikfulncss. He belped her to a comfortable scat, waited till a tray of refreshments was brought to her, then giving tbc .-tewnrdess a triíle t o secure all necessary attention, be left hor to enjoy tbe comforts he bad provided. II is bcrtii in the cabin was just aboe mine, and, tbough he kopt me awake half the night wbi. ■tling softly to himself, or nuinming tunes whenevcr be was not snoring, I forgaveliim with all my hoart. I wrote to Mary in the morning that I bad found a curiosity - a mau with a soul as big as a cathcdral.


Old News
Michigan Argus