When, at the end of the lecture, it was asked who would sign the pledge, the whole assembly started to respond to the call, and each one that night became pledged to total abstinence.
The next day a great excitement existed relative to the groggeries in town; a meeting was called, and a committee appointed to act in a manner they thought best calculated to promote the interests of the people at large.
This committee determined to present the facts to the keepers of the places in question, and request them to renounce the traffic.
The facts were presented. They saw that their customers had all left them, and why should they continue? It would be a losing business.
The effect of the moral suasion had been powerful; it labored with the very soul of the traffic, with those who put the pence in the dealers’ coffers. It was more powerful than all laws that could have been enacted. Forbidding them to sell while customers crowded their doors would have had no effect, unless to create riot; inducing their customers to leave them soon induced them to leave the business, for where there are none to buy there will be none to sell.
In view of all this, the rumsellers of Tapville gave up; and, strange to say, joined with the people that night in their rejoicing, and made a bonfire of their stock in trade.
By the light of that fire my friend and I left the town; and when far away we could see its glare, and hear the shouts of a disenthralled people.
After a few months’ travel in the south and west, I revisited Tapville, or rather the place where it once stood; but no Tapville was there. The town had regained its former sobriety and quiet, and became “Springvale.”
I called at the widow’s cottage; Tommy ran out to meet me, and I received a welcome I shall never forget. But Jenny was no more; with her last breath she had blessed the temperance cause, and then her pure spirit winged its way to that home where sorrows never come, and where the troubles of earth are forgotten amid the joys of heaven.
’T was cold, bleak winter,
on a rock-bound coast,
When bands of exiles trod its frozen shore.
Who then stood forth to greet the coming host
And shelter freely give when storms did pour?
Old Samoset-peace to his memory still!-
them welcome, welcome, with good will.
Then was the red man’s nation broad and strong-
O’er field and forest he held firm control;
Then power was his to stay the coming throng,
And back the wave of usurpation roll.
He might have crushed them on old Plymouth’s rock,
to this day have felt the shock.
Not so he willed it; he would have them sit
In peace and amity around his door;
The pipe of peace in friendship would have lit,
And, as its white cloud up towards heaven did soar,