صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

sighted as he who is lighted by Christ, the true and only light. (See Isaiah xlii. 19; John i. 9.—A LAYMAN.

A SOFT ANSWER TURNETH AWAY WRATH.” AN INFALLIBLE RECEIPT FOR THE CURE OF A SCOLDING TONGUE. In front of the two houses where lived the Quinlans and the Sheahys was a low wall, which separated the little yards of the two neighbours' houses. The shoemaker had sodded this at top, and nothing vexed him so much as to have anything put on the sods. Unfortunately, Mrs. Quinlan had laid down a tub of dirty water there on this very morning, and in her hurry to get breakfast ready, she had quite forgotten to take it off. They were eating their breakfast, when the loud voice of Nancy Sheahy was heard scolding away outside. She became very abusive, and coming close to the wall, began to say the most provoking things she could think of about the Quinlans; raking up old grievances and seeming bent on annoying them. Quinlan's wife laid down the mug of milk she was raising to her lips, and grew

red in the face with anger. She was getting up to go out and defend herself, when Kate laid her hand on her arm.

“ Finish your breakfast, mother,” she cried, jumping up, “ I'll run out and see what's the matter.” Kate went out, and Nancy, pointing to the tub, opened a volley of abuse upon the young girl; adding, that only she wouldn't soil her fingers with such a thing, she had a great mind to throw the contents in her face.“ Indeed," interrupted Kate, very mildly, while she lifted the tub off the wall; “ I'm very sorry it was put there, Mrs. Sheahy; and it won't be so again.” The shoemaker's wife had not a word to say to this; she muttered something between her teeth, and went into her house.

- Well done, my girl!” cried Daniel Gleeson to Kate, when she sat down again to her breakfast; and the fine benevolent face of the good schoolmaster beamed with pleasure as he smiled on his niece ; " I see you are of the same opinion as the wisest man in the world, King Solomon.” “What was that, uncle?" asked Kate. “A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.' There is what King Solomon declared," said her uncle, "and truer words were never spoken. See how you turned away the passion of your poor neighbour in a moment by your soft answer, Kate. How many a quarrel would be avoided if people would only attend more to the wise king's advice !" “ It is very good advice indeed,” said Kate. "Did he say any thing more about it, uncle ?” “Oh yes, there are many wise sayings of his on the same subject, which you will find if you open your Bible and look at Proverbs xvi. 32; xiij. 3; xv. 17; xvii. 4; xxvi. 20, 21; xvii. 14; xxi. 19; xxv. 24.

“ Speaking of an angry woman,” added Gleeson, smiling, " did I ever tell you the story of the woman who got an infallible receipt to cure a scolding tongue?" " Oh, no; do tell it to us,” exclaimed several voices. Well, then, there was once upon a time a woman who had so shocking a temper that she could not agree with any body. She quarrelled with her neighbours, her friends, and even her husband and children ; the slightest thing that went contrary to her wishes put her in a passion, and then the way in which she scolded was dreadful. Never was there such a tongue. The consquence of this was, that she was hated and shunned by every one. No person would expose himself to the anger of such a termagant; her husband grew surly and morose, and seldom gave her a kind word. Even the house-dog put his tail between his legs, and got out of the way whenever she appeared. At last, our ill-tempered friend perceived that all the world avoided her. She was greatly mortified, and complained of it to a woman who came one day to bargain with her husband about a pig. I don't know how it is,' said she, but none of the neighbours come to see me now, as they used to do. They keep away from me as if I had some taking complaint. If I am spreading my clothes to dry at one part of the hedge, they'll be sure to go off with theirs to another place; or if a neighbour wants a sod of red-turf to light his fire with, he'll pass me by and go to another cabin ever so far off to get it. I'm sure I can't tell why. I never did a bad turn to one of them.' 'No,' said the woman, 'you didn't; but shall I speak out the truth plain at once, and tell you the reason? It's your tongue they're all afraid of.' The scold could not deny that this might be the case; indeed, she had suspected it herself already. She even confessed to the woman that her passionate temper gave her a great deal of trouble, and that she was most anxious to get rid of it, and to gain the goodwill of her husband and friends, as formerly. Well,' said the woman, ' I'll tell you what to do. There is an old man lives about ten miles from this, who has a great name through the whole country for his knowledge. He can cure almost everything, and he understands all the herbs that ever grew. If e'er a one can do anything for you it is he. I advise you to go to him at once.' I'll go to-morrow, with the blessing of God, at the first peep of dawn!' cried the other. And accordingly, after making some inquiries as to the road she was to take, she set off next morning. The old man heard her story, and when she had done, he told her that he thought he could cure her of her passion, if she would follow his directions exactly. She promised that she would, and he desired her to sit down and rest herself after her long walk, while he went to prepare a bottle for her. When the bottle was ready, the old man, putting it into her hands, said, ' Now, my good woman, here is what I have prepared for you; and if you use it properly, your cure is certain. Keep this constantly by you. As soon as ever any thing happens to vex you, and you find your anger rising, take a sup of the mixture, and hold it in your mouth for five minutes. It must be taken at once, when the passion is coming. Mind that; if you say one word, the charm is lost, and I won't answer for your cure.' The woman went home as pleased as possible, and laid the precious bottle on the dresser. It was Saturday evening, and she had her husband's shirt, and some things for herself and the children to iron for Sunday, so she set to work. As she finished the clothes, she laid them on a chair near the table, and was ironing the last cap, when her husband, followed by the dog, came in. The poor dog, as I said before, dreaded his mistress, and generally tried to get out of her sight as fast as he could; and he was now making for a dark corner under the table, when, in squeezing past his master, he upset the chair with the clean linen. Down fell the chair, bringing with it a bowl of milk that was near the edge of the table. The bowl was smashed in pieces, and all the milk spilt over the clothes, which were tumbled about the dirty floor. 'You'll get it now, boy, as sure as you have four legs upon you,' exclaimed the man to the poor animal, who fled under the table, trembling all over. But to his great surprise, his wife, instead of bursting out into the rage he expected, darted to the dresser; and there was a dead silence for some minutes. From this time, wonders never ceased. Not an angry word, not a scold, or a fit of passion was to be heard or seen. The poor husband felt as if he was in heaven, and all his old good humour and love for his wife returned. The neighbours began to come back and forward, as they used, and the dog left his dark hole under the table and wagged his tail

whenever he saw his mistress. As for her, she felt as light and happy as a lark; her face that used to be wrinkled and disfigured by angry passions, grew quite plump and smiling, and every one remarked she was getting handsome as well as good. As soon as ever the bottle was empty, she went off to the old man for another, declaring that it was the most wonderful stuff she ever knew, and that she would not be without it for the world. Ah,' said he, smiling, ‘I knew if you followed my directions exactly, that you'd soon be a changed woman. See now,' added he, as soon as you've finished this second bottle, you may fill it up with clear spring water, without coming to me again. And when that's out too, why then indeed I think the cure will be complete. However, at any future time, if you should find the fits of passion coming on again, be sure you immediately have recourse to the bottle. “ That's a curious story,” said Kate, when her uncle had finished it : How foolish this woman must have been to think it was the stuff in the bottle that cured her!” “It stopped her scolding for all that,” observed Quinlan. Yes, and shows what habit will do,” added Tom,“ for I suppose at last she got so much the habit of keeping down her temper, that it came quite natural and easy to her.” “I believe it is best to be quiet, after all,” said Quinlan's wife, with a sigh. “I'll try and think of the


woman and her bottle the next time anything provokes

“ You may be quite sure it is best to be quiet,” said the schoolmaster. 66 Our Saviour has told us so himself: Blessed are the meek,' says He, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called the children of God. Women especially, are directed to adorn themselves with the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. In another part of Scripture we find it written, 'Recompense to no man evil for evil.' If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.' 'Put on, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.' These declarations leave no doubt as to the question. Lawrence,' added his uncle, “ If you have done breakfast, will you read out for us those passages where St. James speaks of the tongue ?” Lawrence soon found out what his uncle meant, and read the following verses, St. James i. 26; iii.2, to the end. Daniel Gleeson made no observation when Lawrence finished reading these passages. Indeed, there was no occasion for him to do so. The words of God do not require the words of man to confirm them; and those who heard these strong declarations as to the absolute duty of a meek and quiet temper could have no doubt on the subject.-From A Visit to Clarina, an Irish story." (Sent by a Correspondent.)

[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

The following is a summary of the report of the Poor Law Commissioners on the above important subject:

After as careful an examination of the evidence collected as I have been enabled to make, I beg leave to state the chief conclusions which that evidence appears to me to establish. First, as to the extent and operation of the evils which are the subject of the inquiry :- That the various forms of epidemic, endemic, and other disease,

« السابقةمتابعة »