The longer I live and the more I see
Of the struggles of souls towards heights above,
The stronger this truth comes home to me,
That the universe rests on the shoulders of love—
A love so limitless, deep and broad
That men have renamed it, and called it God.
IN SHADOW LAND.
I had cherished the delusive hope that my university diploma would be the open sesame to any exalted position to which I might aspire; but I found there was a multitude of competitors for every professional emolument, and that a “pull” with the powers that be was essential to secure any prize. My change in religious sentiments debarred me from the pulpit, and I had no friends influential enough to give me a profitable position as a teacher in New England.
After making many applications, and enduring many hopes deferred which make the heart sick, I struck out for New York one dark, rainy night, with only $10 in my pocket to seek my fortune in that so-called “Modern Sodom and Gomorrah.” I knew no one in that great city, and on my arrival before daylight in a dismal drenching storm, I entered the nearest hotel to obtain some much needed sleep.
A villainous looking servitor showed me to a cold barn-like room where I found no way of locking the door, so I barricaded the entrance with the bureau, placing the chair on top as a burglar alarm. The scant bedclothes were so short that one extremity or the other must freeze, so I compromised by protecting the “midway plaisance,” and in my cramped quarters, thought with envy of Dr. Root of Byfield, who was said to stretch his long legs out the window to secure plenty of room for himself, and a roost on his pedal extremities for his favorite turkeys.
I was on the point of falling into the arms of Morpheus in the land of Nod, when a stealthy attempt to open the door sent the chair with a crash to the floor. Yelling at the top of my voice, “Get out of that, or I’ll put a bullet through you!” I heard a form tumble down the steep stairs, and muffled curses which reminded me of the lines in the Hohenlinden poem: “It is Iser (I sir) rolling rapidly.”
At the first dawn of a dismal day I crept down the dirty stairs, and out of the door of what I learned to be one of the most dangerous houses in that sin-cursed city.
The days immediately following while seeking for employment were forlorn and miserable; I was the fifth wheel of a coach which no one wanted. Finally, when I had spent my last cent for a beggarly meal, I saw an advertisement for a teacher in the reform school, and called on a Mr. Atterbury, the trustee. He regarded me with a pitying eye; told me two teachers had recently been driven from the prison by the kicks and cuffs of the toughest boys that ever went unhung; but if I wished to try it, he would pass me to that “den of thieves.” I grasped at the