A long time must elapse before a man can know the heart of his fellow-man, if, indeed, it can ever be known; and it was not until Edward had become addicted to habits of intemperance that he discovered the professed friendship of Mr. Treves to be insincere. Words of warning seldom came from his lips. What cared he if Edward did fall? Such being the case, the business would come into his own hands; and such “a consummation devoutly to be wished” it was very evident that if Edward did not soon reform was not far distant.
Now Emily Dayton began to experience anxious days and sleepless nights, and Mrs. Brandon begged of Edward to reform. Often he would do so. He would sign that pledge; but it was like an attempt to stay a torrent with a straw. That pledge! ’twas nothing! yea, worse than nothing!
Six months of sorrowing passed, and what a change we behold! Experience has shown to Edward that the use of brandy is dangerous, and good dame Brandon has been led to believe that there are temptations in the city which she little thought of.
Edward, driven from his business, revels in bar-rooms, and riots at midnight; whilst the patient, uncomplaining, enduring Emily, forced by creditors from her former home, finds shelter from the storm in a small tenement; where, by the aid of her needle, she is enabled to support herself and aged aunt, whilst a prattling infant plays at her side, and, laughing in its childish sports, thinks not of the sorrows it was born to encounter, and knows not the sad feelings of its mother’s wounded heart.
In a low, damp, dark cellar, behold a man washing the glasses of a groggery. His ragged dress and uncombed hair, his shabby and dirty appearance, do not prevent us from seeing indications of his once having been in better circumstances, and that nature never designed that he should be where he now is.
Having rinsed a few cracked tumblers, he sat down beside a red-hot cylinder stove, and, bending over till his head rested upon his hands, he, in a half-audible voice, talked to himself.
“Here ’t is, eighteen forty-some years since I saw that Dayton cove; eh, gone by the board? The daily papers say he was up for a common drunkard; but, being first time, was lectured and sent home. Plaguy poor home his, I reckon! Wonder if the lecture did him as much good as Old Batter’s did me. Ah! he liked that brandy, and said I should bear the blame if he was ruined; but he an’t that yet. Here I am, ten times worse off than he is, and I an’t ruined. No! Mr. Dago Pump is a man yet. Well, well! what shall I say?-business awful dull, and it’s damp and dark here; I feel cold ’side of this red-faced stove.”
Mr. Onendago Pump poked the fire, and continued to do so till a ragged little boy, without shoes, stockings or cap, came down the slippery steps, and asked for “two cents’ worth of rum, and one cent’s worth of crackers.”