“Here’s a letter for Mrs. Moreland; I saw it in the post-office, and brought it over for her, as I was coming this way.”
“Come in, come in,” said Moreland, with a hearty welcome in his voice.
“No, I thank you, I can’t stop now. Good evening,” replied the neighbor.
“Good evening,” responded Moreland, turning from the door, and handing the letter to Jane.
“It must be from Ellen,” Mrs. Moreland remarked, as she broke the seal. “It is a long time since we heard from then; I wonder how they are doing.”
She soon knew; for on opening the letter she read thus:—
Savannah, September, 18—.
My dear sister Jane:—Henry has just died. I am left here without a dollar, and know not where to get bread for myself and two children. I dare not tell you all I have suffered since I parted from you. I——
My heart is too full; I cannot write. Heaven only knows what I shall do! Forgive me, sister, for troubling you; I have not done so before, because I did not wish to give you pain, and I only do so now, from an impulse that I cannot resist.
Jane handed the letter to her husband, and sat down in a chair, her senses bewildered, and her heart sick.
“We have enough for Ellen, and her children, too, Jane,” said Moreland, folding the letter after he had read it. “We must send for them at once. Poor Ellen! I fear she has suffered much.”
“You are good, kind and noble-hearted, William!” exclaimed Jane, bursting into tears.
“I don’t know that I am any better than anybody else, Jane. But I can’t bear to see others suffering, and never will, if I can afford relief. And surely, if industry brought no other reward, the power it gives us to benefit and relieve others, is enough to make us ever active.”
In one month from the time Ellen’s letter was received, she, with her children, were inmates of Moreland’s cottage. Gradually the light returned to her eye, and something of the former glow of health and contentment to her cheek. Her children in a few weeks, were as gay and happy as any. The delight that glowed in the heart of William Moreland, as he saw this pleasing change, was a double reward for the little he had sacrificed in making them happy. Nor did Ellen fall, with her children, an entire burden upon her sister and her husband;—her activity and willingness found enough to do that needed doing. Jane often used to say to her husband—
“I don’t know which is the gainer over the other, I or Ellen; for I am sure I can’t see how we could do without her.”
There are two classes in the world: one acts from impulse, and the other from reason; one consults the heart, and the other the head. Persons belonging to the former class are very much liked by the majority of those who come in contact with them: while those of the latter class make many enemies in their course through life. Still, the world owes as much to the latter as to the former—perhaps a great deal more.