“And he deserted me in this my time of need! Can it be true that he has gone? For him I would willingly have endured any privation. Did he not know that my love was strong? Could he not believe me when I said, that, as I joyed with him in his prosperity, I would mourn with him in its reverse?-that I could ever be near to comfort and console,—one with him at all times, under all circumstances?”
“Comfort yourself, dear mother!” said a calm voice, “Remember that these trials are for our good, and that the sorrows of earth are but to prepare us for the joys of heaven. Cheer up, mother! let those thoughts rejoice thy heart! Despair not, but take courage!”
With such words did the daughter administer consolation to the afflicted, when hearing that her husband had forsaken her and sailed for a foreign port. It was indeed a heavy blow, and she felt it severely. She could have endured the thought of having all her earthly possessions taken from her,—but to be deserted, to be left at such a time dependent upon the charities of the world for a subsistence, such a thought she was not prepared to withstand.
The few words of Julia having been said, a deep silence for some moments pervaded the room. She sat and gazed up into the face of her mother, whose tears bore witness to the deep anguish of her soul. The silence was interrupted by the rising of the latter, who for a few moments paced the room, and then sank helplessly into a chair. The attentive child sprang to her relief, a few neighbors were called in, she was laid upon her bed. That night a severe attack of fever came upon her; for many days her life was despaired of; but at length a ray of hope cheered the solitude of the chamber of the sick, and at the close of six weeks her health was in a great degree restored.
“Time heals all wounds,” is a common saying, true in some cases, but not in all. Some wounds there are that sink deep in the heart,—their pain even time cannot remedy, but stretch far into eternity, and find their solace there. Others there are which by time are partially healed;—such was that of Mrs. Lang. During her sickness, many of the little incidents that before had troubled her passed from her mind. She now yielded submissively to her sad allotment, believing, as during her sickness she had often been told, that afflictions come but for our own good, however paradoxical such a statement might seem to be.
The kindness of a neighbor enabled her, with her daughter, to remove their place of residence. This neighbor-a lady of moderate pecuniary circumstances-furnished them with needle-work, the compensation for which enabled them to obtain supplies necessary for a comfortable living.
For some time Mr. Henry Lang sat with his head resting upon his hands, and with them upon the table. Deep silence prevailed, broken only, at lengthy intervals, by the loud laugh following the merry jest of some passer-by, or the dismal creaking of the swing-sign of an adjacent tavern.