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About The illustrated west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1891-1891 | View Entire Issue (April 4, 1891)
THE WEST SHORE.
Kftrtl l l J. .J.'. --,...UIIT1-'J-L-1-J1.J"1!WI1U RWWlWt,,, S,
" WHO THINKKTH HE STANDS."
A tune rock stood beside a sunlit sca
lane, silent, grim nnd gray;
And every summer evening, bold nnd free, '
The waves run up to play.
With soft, wet lips they chided nnd they kissed,
Or leaned n dimpling cheek,
Hut he stood firm, wrapiwd in his cold, white mist,
Nor deigned to yield or speak.
Hut ah I they clasped uliout him arms of snow ,
And pleaded night and day,
Until he listened, trembled, smiled nnd so
They wore his strength away.
Let him who lliinkelh that he stands take heed,
Nor heus whnt false li say;
To litlm Is the first step toward the deed
Dear, better run nwuy.
I went to sec her on Monday. Site came to the door with a silk hand
kerchief and a bag of hot salt fastened about her face. " Neuralgia," she be
gan, breathlessly ; " Such a night as I spent ! Not a wink of sleep, and such
pains shooting through my face the whole time. I suppose I look dreadful,
but anyone would who had suffered so." I pitied her, so 1 remained awhile,
and bathed her tortured face. She was very grateful, and wept when she
thanked me, begging me to come again soon. I went the following day.
She came to meet me, limping, and moaning with pain. It " was the rheu
matism, now, and she did believe it had settled in her back permanently.
Her poor mother had been such a sufferer, and lately she had had present
iments "Of course I put a plaster on her back, and soothed her, and went
away, promising to come again soon. The next morning her rheumatism had
vanished, but she had " symptoms of a felon on her thumb ; her right hand,
too, and what was she to do, with all her work undone and the children un
combed, and she such a sufferer? Such a ijuie as she had, anyway! She
never could be well, like other folks, and she never got any sympathy." The
work was done, and the children were combed, and home looked sweet to me
when I finally reached it. The next day 1 found that the felon had proved to
be a false alarm, but she had caught a severe cold, and was "just burning
with fever one minute and shaking with chills the next, and such a pain in the
back of her neck ! And she was just sure" here she began to cry piteous
ly " that she was in fur a long siege of la grippe i and what was to become
of the house and the children would likely have it, too j and il she should
have It ' severe 1 and and die, what would the children do without a m-moth-er
? " I went into the kitchen and 1 put some sugar, some spirits frumenti
and some hot water in a glass, and gave it her. The hot water or some-
thins; was so strong that she just gave me one look of dumb reproach, and
closed her eyes and laid her head on the pillow and I thought this my
dunce to go home, and went. Next day, Friday, her cold had settled on her
lungs. There " had been weak lungs in her family "her look was ominous
" and her great-aunt had died of consumption. Just caught a simple cold like
this, and it settled on her lungs like this and she went out like the snuff of
a candle. Then, there was Aunt Lucy I The doctors said she died of bron
chitis, but she had always thought "I put a mustard plaster, that I knew
would burn, on her chest, and went home. Saturday, she couldn't walk
" absolutely couldn't step for chilblains on her feet. She had frown her
fret six yes, seven winters ago, and every winter since then, when the weath
er changed and she had heard ol cole losing their feet, loo, just from such
simple" When I went home, I joyfully reflected that she had now had a
u!n everywhere, and must 1 ashamed to have them all over again. So I
(elt quite cheerful when I went in Sunday morning. She was silting by the
lire with a shawl ovrr her shoulders, and the bible on her knee. She began
to weep immediately. " Such a dream as she liad List night I She knew
trouble was coming you needn't tell her she felt it. And she had not
heard from her mother for a month, and she knew some of 'em must be sick.
And what would become of the house and the children, if her mother was
tick, ami she had to go to her? Was there ever such an unfortunate per
son" Monday I stayed at home.
The hogs have come. That means that there is a scent ol violets across
the air great hilUides green with daisies and dandelions i old slumps and
tree roots running suddenly green with mossj little, glad brooks leap.ng out
of unexpected places, whisking around curves, springing over rocks, chatter
ing over pebbled beds, pausing to dally with the willows in shady places, but
singing-singing always. And it means, too, that along the nver, in the deep,
broad rushes, in the low places in the meadows, where the velvet tules climb
upward, about every pool and pond, under every doorstep, and under every
broad leaf that shadows a handful of water, those little, ugly frogs put up their
heads and murmur all the sweet hours away-the voices loud, soft, harsh,
musical, rasping, mellow, all blending into one swelling, melodious chorus.
Ah ! Of a sudden there is a silence among them more vast than the silence
of death. Was it a rose leaf fell upon the surface of the pool ? Was it a lost
soul flitted too near them on its way to another existence? Was it that a rest
less human foot and a rebellious human heart came too near for a moment?
But they, at least, are too glad in their peace and good will to be silent long j
and presently one little timid voice calls. Far off, in another pond, a firmer,
stronger voice replies i then, another and another ; and in a moment, the
whole twilight world is one long, thrilling chorus again. Listen I In the
golden dawns, in the languid noons, in the scented dusks, ay, through the
lonely nights ; with wide, dreamy eyes, with voices growing softer and more
lulling with every note, with blow n throats listen ! How they chant the spring
hours away !
A business man who employs many women says that he pays them sal
aries equal to those paid men, and that he greatly prefers them to male clerks.
Indeed, he praises them highly, seeming to find not one fault in their services.
Hut, alas ! In the fairest mind there is always a blot j and in this man's mind
which in all other respects is so fair the blot is an abnormally large one.
lie adds that the only condition of importance that he exacts from his women
employes is that those acting as cashiers and handling large sums of money,
shall live at home with their own relatives, for the extraordinary reason that
women boarding away from home at different places are exposed to too many
temptations i the rule is an iron one in his establishment, and never has been
broken. A woman may be competent, business-like, desirable in every way,
virtuous, and of unblemished reputation, but should she be so unfortunate as
to not have a home with relatives, this broad-minded man will have none of
her or her services. This is not injustice alone it is an insult to women It
is usually the homeless woman who has the hardest struggle to earn an honor
able livelihood, and here is another barrier reared in her tortuous way. Her
hitherto noble character and spotless reputation count for nothing, and a man
looks her kindly in the face and refuses her the coveted situation, giving as an
only reason one that is an insult to her intimating that her virtue is merely
the result ol not having been exposed to temptation. Gentlemen, try to im
agine, through some unfortunate turn in fortune's wheel, your own wife, daugh
ter or sister going out into the working world, and having to face such a bitter
barrier as that.
The home of George Bancroft, the historian, was a plain, imitation brown
stone, with no ornamentations to relieve its unpicturesqueness ; but in early
spring snow-drops and crocuses put up their little heads beneath his windows,
and, later on, the modest garden plat blossomed with pink, white and purple
hyacinths, tulips, pansies, and choice roses. It is said that more varieties of
roses were cultivated in his Newport rose gardens than in any private garden
in the country.
And now, my dear poet, write no more tender rhymes to the " rustle of
your ladye's gown;" write them, if you must, to her gown maker, for she it is
who now fastens, with artful design, a strip of very stiff silk about the lower
edge of your "ladye's" underskirt, csecially that she shall "make music
wherever she goes." Fondest delusions thus, like rose leaves, fade away.
If your little child has wandered away and become lost no matter
whether it be a boy or a girl and you hear a child's cry for help out in the
darkness, you rush out to rescue it, to save it, to forgive it. So, I think, it is
with God. When He hears a despairing cry for help, He reaches out a
strong, lorgiving hand to bring back the lost one, regardless of sex.
Do not talk about your friends until their backs are turned ; it is not
fashionable, and besides it is not safe.
When you get into a cavern of echoes, always laugh and never sigh.