The Path of Duty, and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 310 pages of information about The Path of Duty, and Other Stories.

“To a few and tried friends only did we make known the real truth of the circumstances attending the departure of Mr. Almont from Littleton.  Time passed on.  Those who knew my sorrows respected them, and the name of George Almont ceased to be mentioned among our acquaintances.  But it was something which I could never cease to remember.  I had loved George Almont as one of my nature can love but once in her life, and, when I learned that I had been deceived in regard to his true character, the knowledge was very bitter to me.  I loved him still—­not as he really was, but I still loved the memory of what I had supposed him to be, when I gave him my affection.  There are few lessons in life more bitter to either man or woman than to find themselves deceived by one to whom they have given their best affections.  For a time I yielded to a bitter and desponding spirit.  I excluded myself from all society, and brooded in solitude over my sorrow.  I so far yielded to this unhealthy tone of mind that I gave up attending church, and I caused my parents much grief and anxiety by the sullen and apathetic state of mind in which I indulged.

“During the winter which succeeded the events of which I have spoken, there was a series of special meetings held in the Congregational Church in this village.  A general interest was manifested in the subjects of religion by both old and young.  Many of those who had been my former companions were hopefully converted.  I had formerly been of a gay and lively disposition, fond of dress and amusement.  The subject of religion was one to which I had scarcely ever given a thought.  The world and its pleasures occupied my whole heart, and, when the world disappointed me, I knew not where to turn for comfort.  True, I had, from a child, attended to the outward forms of religion, but my heart was untouched and I now see that it required a great earthly sorrow to turn my thoughts heavenward.  I at first refused to attend the meetings of which I have spoken, though often strongly urged to do so, but, one evening, my parents so strongly urged me to accompany them to hear an aged minister from another State that I at length consented to go.  It is a matter of thankfulness to me this day that I attended that meeting.  As I have said, the minister was an old man, his hair was white as snow.  There was something remarkably pleasant and venerable in his appearance.  No one who heard his voice and gazed upon his mild countenance, could doubt that they listened to a good man.  During the first prayer, on that evening, my heart became softened and subdued, and when he gave out his text, from Matthew xi. chap., 28, and two following verses, I listened to him with rapt attention.  It seemed almost that he understood my individual case.  In the course of his sermon, he said:—­’I presume there are few in this congregation who have not some burden of sorrow which they would gladly have removed.  Shall I tell you how you may be released from this burden?  Kneel humbly at the

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The Path of Duty, and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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