Juliet had, as she told her story, risen to her knees. Dorothy was on hers too, and as she spoke she opened wide her arms, and clasped the despised wife to her bosom. None but the arms of her husband, Juliet believed, could make her alive with forgiveness, yet she felt a strange comfort in that embrace. It wrought upon her as if she had heard a far-off whisper of the words: Thy sins be forgiven thee. And no wonder: there was the bosom of one of the Lord’s clean ones for her to rest upon! It was her first lesson in the mighty truth that sin of all things is mortal, and purity alone can live for evermore.
TWO MORE MINDS.
Nothing makes a man strong like a call upon him for help—a fact which points at a unity more delicate and close and profound than heart has yet perceived. It is but “a modern instance” how a mother, if she be but a hen, becomes bold as a tigress for her periled offspring. A stranger will fight for the stranger who puts his trust in him. The most foolish of men will search his musty brain to find wise saws for his boy. An anxious man, going to his friend to borrow, may return having lent him instead. The man who has found nothing yet in the world save food for the hard, sharp, clear intellect, will yet cast an eye around the universe to see if perchance there may not be a God somewhere for the hungering heart of his friend. The poor, but lovely, the doubting, yet living faith of Dorothy arose, stretched out its crippled wings, and began to arrange and straighten their disordered feathers. It is a fair sight, any creature, be it but a fly, dressing its wings! Dorothy’s were feeble, ruffled, their pen-feathers bent and a little crushed; but Juliet’s were full of mud, paralyzed with disuse, and grievously singed in the smoldering fire of her secret. A butterfly that has burned its wings is not very unlike a caterpillar again.
“Look here, Juliet,” said Dorothy: “there must be some way out of it, or there is no saving God in the universe.—Now don’t begin to say there isn’t, because, you see, it is your only chance. It would be a pity to make a fool of yourself by being over-wise, to lose every thing by taking it for granted there is no God. If after all there should be one, it would be the saddest thing to perish for want of Him. I won’t say I am as miserable as you, for I haven’t a husband to trample on my heart; but I am miserable enough, and want dreadfully to be saved. I don’t call this life worth living. Nothing is right, nothing goes well—there is no harmony in me. I don’t call it life at all. I want music and light in me. I want a God to save me out of this wretchedness. I want health.”
“I thought you were never ill, Dorothy,” murmured Juliet listlessly.
“Is it possible you do not know what I mean?” returned Dorothy. “Do you never feel wretched and sick in your very soul?—disgusted with yourself, and longing to be lifted up out of yourself into a region of higher conditions altogether?”