“She fully expected,” said the mother, “to get a trifle that was due her from a young man who boards with Mrs. Corwin; and she went to see him this evening. But he put her off with some excuse. How strange that any one should be so thoughtless as to withhold from the poor their hard-earned pittance! It is but a small sum at best, that the toiling seamstress or washerwoman can gain by her wearying labour. That, at least, should be promptly paid. To withhold it an hour is to do, in many cases, a great wrong.”
For some minutes after this was said, there ensued a dead silence. I felt that the thoughts of all were turned upon me as the one who had withheld from poor Mrs. Blake the trifling sum due her for washing. What my feelings were, it is impossible for me to describe; and difficult for any one, never himself placed in so unpleasant a position, to imagine.
My relief was great when the conversation flowed on again, and in another channel; for I then perceived that suspicion did not rest upon me. You may be sure that Mrs. Blake had her money before ten o’clock on the next day, and that I never again fell into the error of neglecting, for a single week, my poor washerwoman.
THERE’S a secret in living, if folks only knew;
An Alchymy precious, and golden, and true,
More precious than “gold dust,” though pure and refined,
For its mint is the heart, and its storehouse the mind;
Do you guess what I mean—for as true as I live
That dear little secret’s—forget and forgive!
When hearts that have loved have grown cold and estranged,
And looks that beamed fondness are clouded and changed,
And words hotly spoken and grieved for with tears
Have broken the trust and the friendship of years—
Oh! think ’mid thy pride and thy secret regret,
The balm for the wound is—forgive and forget!
Yes! look in thy spirit, for love may return
And kindle the embers that still feebly burn;
And let this true whisper breathe high in thy heart,
’Tis better to love than thus suffer apart—
Let the Past teach the Future more wisely than yet,
For the friendship that’s true can forgive and forget.
And now, an adieu! if you list to my lay
May each in your thoughts bear my motto away,
’Tis a crude, simple ryhme, but its truth may impart
A joy to the gentle and loving of heart;
And an end I would claim far more practical yet
In behalf of the Rhymer—forgive and forget!
THUS says an Apostle; and if those who are able to “owe no man anything” would fully observe this divine obligation, many, very many, whom their want of punctuality now compels to live in violation of this precept, would then faithfully and promptly render to every one their just dues.