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.
conduct which to me seemed inconsistent with a profession of religion.  He certainly excelled his wife in one thing, and that was christian charity; for he was seldom if ever heard to speak of the short-comings of others.  It is quite possible that he thought his wife said enough upon the subject to suffice for both.  Mrs. Talbot made a point of visiting her neighbors, if she chanced to hear of their meeting with any trouble or misfortune.  The reason she gave for so doing was that she might sympathize with them; and if sickness invaded a household Mrs. Talbot was sure to be there; but I used often to think that her friends must look upon her as one of “Job’s comforters,” for no sickness was so severe, no misfortune so great, that she did not prophesy something worse still.  According to her own ideas she was often favored with warnings of sickness and misfortune both to her own family and others.  She was also a famous believer in dreams; and often entertained her friends at the breakfast table by relating her dreams of the previous night.  I remember meeting with her upon one occasion, when it struck me that her countenance wore a look of unusual solemnity, even for her, so much so, that I enquired the cause.  “Ah!” said she, “we are to have sickness, perhaps death, in our family very soon; for only last night I dreamed I saw a white horse coming toward the house upon the full galop; and to dream of a white horse is a sure sign of sickness, and the faster the horse seems in our dream to be approaching us the sooner the sickness will come.”  Her husband often remonstrated with her upon the folly of indulging in these idle fancies.  I remember a reply he once made to some of her gloomy forebodings:  “I think the best way is for each one to discharge their duty in the different relations of life; and leave the future in the hands of an All-wise Providence.”  “That is always the way with you,” was her reply, “You have grown heedless and careless with your love of the world; but you will perhaps think of my warnings when too late.”  Before meeting with Mrs. Talbot I had often heard the remark that none were so cheerful as the true christian; but I soon saw that her views must be widely different.  A hearty laugh she seemed to regard as almost a crime.  A cheerful laugh upon any occasion would cause her to shake her head in a rueful manner, and denounce it as untimely mirth.  Upon one occasion she went to hear a preacher that had lately arrived in the neighboring village.  This same preacher was remarkable for drawing dismal pictures, and was very severe in his denunciations, while he quite forgot to offer a word of encouragement to the humble seeker after good.  Upon the Sabbath in question Mrs. Talbot returned from church, and seated herself at the dinner table with a countenance of most woeful solemnity.  Her husband at length enquired, how she had enjoyed the sermon.  “Oh!” replied she, “he is a preacher after my own heart, and his sermon explained
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The Path of Duty, and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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