To the wife.
Let a smile illume thy
In thy joyous hours;
Look of sympathy be thine,
When the darkness lowers.
He thou lovest movest where
Many trials meet him;
Waiting be when he returns,
Lovingly to greet him.
Though without the world be cold,
Be it thy endeavor
That within thy home is known
To the husband.
Whatsoever trials rise,
Tempting thee to falter,
Ne’er forget the solemn vows
Taken at the altar.
In thy hours of direst grief,
As in those of gladness,
Minister to her you love,
Dissipate her sadness.
Be to cheer, to bless, to love,
Always your endeavor;
Write upon your heart of hearts
“What I tell thee, captain, is sober truth. If thee wishes to prosper, thee must not allow thy sailors grog, lest, when at sea, they become tipsy, and thy ship, running upon hidden rocks, shall be lost; or else, when at the mast-head, giddiness come upon them, and, falling, thy crew shall number one less.”
Thus spake a good old Quaker, a native of the city of Penn. Captain Marlin had been for many days and nights considering whether it were best to carry a complement of wine for himself and friends, and grog for his crew. He had that morning met Simon Prim, and asked his opinion, which he gave as above; yet Captain Marlin seemed undetermined. He felt it to be an important question, and he desired to come to a right conclusion.
They had been passing up Broadway; had reached the Trinity, crossing over towards Wall-street. Simon, with his usual gravity, raised his hand, and, pointing to the towering steeple of the splendid edifice, said:
“If thou, neighbor, desired to ascend yonder spire, thinkest thou thou wouldst first drink of thy wine, or thy grog?”
“Certainly not,” replied Captain Marlin.
“Then,” continued the Quaker, “do not take it to sea with thee; for thou or thy men mayest be called to a spot as high as yonder pinnacle, when thee little thinkest of it.”
The two walked down Wall-street without a word from either, till, reaching a shipping-office, Captain Marlin remarked that he had business within. The Quaker very politely bowed, and bade him take heed to good counsel, and good-day.
The owner of the vessel was seated in an arm-chair, reading the shipping news in the Journal.
“Did you know,” said he, as his captain entered, “that Parvalance & Co. have lost their ship, ‘The Dey of Algiers,’ and none were saved but the cabin-boy, and he half dead when found?”
“Indeed not; when-where-how happened it?” inquired Captain Marlin, in some haste.