THE TEMPERANCE HOME.
CHAPTER I. HOME
Wine, wine they power and praise
"HOME sweet Home!" there is not place
like it, be it ever so humble so long as it is a Temperance Home. Of
course there are all sorts of homes, and there is a vast difference
between their merits, as we are too painfully made aware by
contrast—Look on this picture, then on
that! Fortunately it is the more favored of
the two we are called upon to describe, and we repeat there is no
place like the Temperance Home. We are almost sure to find health,
happiness, prosperity, order and intelligence in a home, whose inmates
have "taken the
Pledge." Behold how good and pleasant it is to see them dwell together in unity. The Angel of Good sheds the incense dew of Heaven from his fanning pinions over the charmed circle of kindred, who united in the social bands of reciprocal love, are found moving harmoniously in their sphere of delighted duty. All gentle offices, and useful charities are practiced here. Here in the quiet temple of Home is the exclusive shrine of the affections; and here are the household gods worshiped with a true devotion. Thrice blessed is the home, over which the pure genius of Temperance presides.
CHAPTER II. A RHAPSODY.
And here's to Thee! thou bright eyed and
blooming Daughters of Health, fair Temperance. Not in richly cut
crystal—in golden and silver-chased goblets, of ruby, red and amber
colored wine, do we pledge thee; that were
profanation indeed! But in the purer, more delicious element that
sparkles in the depth of streams, and shady springs, in the valley
broklet, the meadow rill, and forest fountain. In such cooling
nectar, as filled the perfumed urn of the white water Lily—and the
Iris-hued vase of the Tulip—in the crystal bowl of the Lotus, and the
pretty globe of the Amaranth—in the fairy cup of the Bluebell—and
the honey sweet chalice of the rich Rose Balm—in such consecrated
draughts only, is it meet that we pledge thee, O, loveliest of Water
Nymphs! And we challenge ye too, O beautiful Creations of the Elder
Time, whose birth was amid the fresh-
ness of the World! Ye Fauns and Fays—bright dwellers by sylvan streams—Oreades and Dryades of the Dorian Valley—Maid of the glossy fountain—Nymph of the waterfall—Come, one and all, ye long forgotten children of the Green Solitudes!—Thou fountain lover of fair Arethusa! and thou bright haired, and wayward Undine! come from your Ocean caves, all ye bright lingerers, and join us in a cup of the life giving element, to our chosen friend Temperance!
CHAPTER III. THE TRIBUTE.
ALL stainless in the holy white of thy pure appareling, thou goest forth, the meekly earnest messenger of Truth and Goodness,—omnipotent in the cause of Virtue. Surely there was joy in Heaven, when thou wentest forth on thy great and Godlike mission, and the rapturous chant of Angels followed thee, as encircled by thine own beaming and beautiful light, thou earnest (like the blessed bearer of glad tidings on the mountain tops,) with healing on they wings for the nations of the earth.
O! firm and faithful Temperance on thy head
CHAPTER IV. FATHER MATTHEW.
WE were oblivious indeed to pass thee by unnamed, thou Savior and regenerator of hundreds and thousands of poor unfortunates of both sexes; victims to that cursed "drink." Deep, and pure, and living, is the fountain thou hast stirred, and mighty are the gushings of its waters. Threading thy way to the sons and daughters of fallen humanity—how faithfully does thou warn, how earnestly entreat,—how tenderly dost thou plead with those erring ones, who on the broad ocean of intemperance—have wrecked every prospect that brightened their better days. How eloquently thou persuaded those who tarry long at the wine, that it is a mocker: that strong drink is raging—that who so is deceived thereby is not wise. And in the solemn darkness and despair, that broods over the mental anguish of the stricken family, thou standest like an Angel of Mercy, administering the Pledge of peace, comfort and hope. Here in this Eden picture before us—we behold traces of thy foot-prints, they have listened to they words of "Truth and Soberness, and laid they lessons to their hearts. Long be it thy peculiar mission to elevate the down-trodden spirituality of man's inbruted nature—to waken his blunted sensibility—to repair the beautiful moral edifice, that sin has made a ruin—and to restore unsullied to the altar, the Divine Image of the Creator. Truly the blessings of all who were ready to perish be on thee:—thou who, hast so nobly combatted with the great destroyer, the hydra headed monster, Drunkenness.
CHAPTER V. THE TEMPERANCE HOME WITHOUT.
THIS, thank Heaven! is no Drunkard's Home. No miserable falling hut, with its weed grown patch of ground—its broken walls,—and rag stuffed windows. No idle inebriate of a husband whose reeling step, strikes sorrow and dismay to the hearts of his family:—no pale, grief-worn despairing wife—with a squalid brood of half starved, half clad children! Thank Heaven I say—this Book has but one such Picture!
Let us pause awhile, and contemplate the scene that is spread without the Temperance Home. This is a pleasant enough looking place half hid in a grove of elm, maple and flowering ash; with a richly-fruited orchard in the rear, and a gay flower garden in front. The surroundings betoken a family not rich, but possessing a competency, and everything wears the appearance that a well ordered temperance home should present.
Climbing plants and creeping vines (for which the poets has no name) twine and twist in graceful profusion around the rustic pillars of the pretty porch, running over the long roof in every direction, and weaving above the attic windows, a green and fragrant curtain of leaves and blossoms. Roses and honey-suckles—the white clematis, and purple morning-glory, are tastefully trained along the front windows; and the bright flower-beds beneath send up a "wilderness of sweets."
Yonder is an arbor, built between two graceful weeping willows, whose slender boughs with their silver-fringed tassels, meet over the arching roof. The purple and white fruited grapevine clusters along the trellised sides of the arbor, and within are disposed romantic seats of green and golden mosses.
Farther on in a sunny spot among the sweet clover, is ranged a row of bee hives—whose golden belted inmates, like their owners, "improve each shining hour." Mark how tastefully the little dove cotes are painted and perched among the tress: and those two milk-white lambs (pet ones, are they?) frisking and frolicking through the scented grass. To make the picture complete,—off there in the shade of the poplars, is a well—a real old fashioned well, with the "moss covered iron-bound bucket" and all. Is it not the very poetry of rural life?
CHAPTER VI. FAMILY DEVOTION.
YES, one can very well see that this is a Temperance Home, but anxious as we are to make nearer acquaintance with its inmates, we could not think of disturbing the sanctity of their present position—
For there serene in happy age
Surely if happiness is to be found on earth it is in a home like this, when the morning and evening thanksgiving ascends to heaven—and where the bliss of its members is cemented by the renovating influences of piety, temperance and virtue. What a perfect picture of domestic bliss has the artist's pencil portrayed in this interesting group. Through the open window of this pretty family room, we can distinctly count them—ten in number. A large family indeed—but all well fed and cared for, as we can see. Those two little prattlers, each on a parent's knee, are held for the better sake of quiet I dare say, while the two at the father's feet seem meek and devout listeners of the word. That tall slender boy beside his mother is her summer child—her darling he! is
Faithful and fond with sense beyond his years
Then there are the parents, and grand parents—and Mabel too, ah!—We must enter this privileged abode; we have a particular, and we hope a pardonable curiosity, to see the inside of this Temperance Home.
CHAPTER VII. THE TEMPERANCE HOME WITHIN.
HERE we are then, in their very midst, and welcomed with the simple but sincere cordiality of people unfettered by the shackles of artificial society—who never wear company faces, and set manners for reception days. If we were enchanted with the scene without, how is our admiration brightened by a closer survey within.
It is true no costly luxuries adorn this room of the household; no
splendid paintings—no superb cases of gold and crimson bound books,
decorate the smooth white walls; no expensive bijouterie—no
magnificent modern furniture of any kind is here—only a few rare old
prints, snug pictures and choice gems of literature, some rare shells
and curious corals, that father brought from sea; these with three or
four simple pearl colored vases filled with fresh wood flowers,
indicated the refined tastes of the occupants. Specimens of the
industrial habits of the Temperance Home are to be seen in the
tasteful chintz-covered settees, and the soft backed easy chairs,
stuffed expressly for the elders—meantime these bright cushioned
seats of mosaic patchwork, claim our especial regard, because they are
not too fine for use—and great is our relief that we can tread on the
pretty green, home-made carpet without the fear of Wilton, or Brussels
before our eyes! That society basket of "work cut out," must be for
the Daughters of Temperance, and this box of delicate embroidering
must be Mabel's, cousin Mabel of whom we would know more.—What a
paradise of pure delight, is such a home; where infancy, youth,
manhood, and age are linked in one connecting chain of mutual
affection. Surrounded by
dutious and affectionate children, whose reverential care supplies every want and wish, of the aged patriarch, and his half century companion, they are waiting patiently till their change come. They have set a bright example of good works, through a long life of truth and soberness.
Their work has well been done,
Their only surviving son, once a wild sailor youth (and something
more) returned to his home—took the pledge, and after on year's
probation, a wife. He is proud of his position as a great temperance
advocate abroad, and total abstinence at home. The neatness, order,
harmony and prosperity that surrounds him are the fruits of his
perseverance in well doing—his wife—ah, her price is far above
rubies! She opens her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law
of kindness—her children rise up and call her blessed, her husband
also, he praiseth her!—Sixteen years have they been man and wife, and
years as happy for them as the most complete uprightness, and sobriety
on his part, and the most perfect confidence, and loving submission on
hers she could make them. Those cherry-cheeked urchins are one and
all bright, intelligent, industrious, well-mannered children; just
such as one might expect to find in a well ordered home, and as had
the happiness to be taught by a cousin Mabel. Yes,
she is the children's good fairy! Cousin
Mabel is always doing something for their pleasure and profit—she sympathizes in all their little joys and
sorrows—and is their refuge in times of trouble. She not only
dresses the girls' dolls, and cuts paper figures for them, covers
balls for the boys, and decorates their kites, but she takes part in
their play out of doors. She is a dear good cousin Mabel, she is—and
tells them such stories, not only in prose
but poetry too: and above all
there is one beautiful ballad that they never weary of hearing, it is called "Mabel's song," and have we "ever heard it," "No,"—then they will ask her presently, but now will we look at
CHAPTER VIII. COUSIN MABEL.
O, YES! to please the children we will look. That young girl there is Mabel, raven-haired Mabel! with eyes "darker than the ash-buds," with the clear olive complexion; the broad intellectual forehead; the sculptured cheek and classic mouth. Mable, with the still grace of a statue or the perfect form, and pensive face, and with such exquisite simplicity of attire, as well as demeanor, that one might deem the freshness and beauty of the early time had returned. Though there is, as one can see, nothing rustic about cousin Mabel; on the contrary, she has that indescribable air of elegance and ease, which is the result of early intercourse with the most refined society. She is young too, not more than seventeen; and, there is an expression not wholly sad, but touchingly subdued, on her clear calm face, as for some remembered sorrow, some former trial, passed away. We hope cousin Mabel is happy, as she ought to be, in her Temperance Home.
We have made neither mystery nor romance of our simple theme, and
have availed ourselves or none of the attractions of fiction, to
embellish our picture; for it has been our intention more to point a
moral than adorn a tale; and while we would fain linger forever, were
it possible, in a scene that has
awakened our highest sense of pure and rational enjoyment, it is only left us to add our entreaties to these little coaxers—that cousin Mabel will, as a parting favor, gratify us by a recital of that "One beautiful Ballad."
A SHORT and simple tale, dear friends, yet I will tell it you;