« AnteriorContinuar »
A SABBATH WITH MY FRIEND.
HAVING purposed to make a journey of considerable length, which, for a lover of home, is a great undertaking, I thought it a favorable opportunity to renew my acquaintance with my old schoolmate, Cornelius Benson. school and college we were familiar friends; but it was now twenty years since we had met. Our fortunes in life had cast us far from each other, and the circles in which we moved never crossed. I had heard occasionally of his progress in life, and knew that he had been fortunate in his calling, was possessed of a comfortable property, and had the respect and confidence of his neighbors and friends. Indeed, we had never ceased to take an interest in each other's welfare; and I, without hesitation, availed myself of the opportunity to pass a little time at his house. As I must, of necessity, pass a Sunday away from home, I felt that it could not be done more pleasantly than in the family of a friend. Sunday is peculiarly a home day with me. The quiet of the day, and the quiet of the family, seem to belong together. Domestic peace and religious peace are twin sisters, and both the Sabbath and the fireside seem to have lost a main charm when they are separated from one another. It was making a sacrifice of feeling to be absent from home on that day; but as it was un
avoidable, where could the sacrifice be so light as in the family of an old friend?
It was just at the setting of the sun on Saturday evening that I reached my friend's dwelling, and received the hearty welcome of himself and his family. The fine manliness of countenance which had distinguished him in youth was still to be remarked, a little affected by the passage of time, and by the thoughtfulness which had settled upon it. His wife was neither beautiful nor otherwise, but had that serene and cheerful expression which indicate happiness around and peace within. Three children, the oldest of eleven years, had nothing uncommonly prepossessing in their appearance; but their good manners and intelligent faces augured well of the government which had been exercised over them, and led me to expect, from the first moment, a well-managed and happy family.
When the bustle of my arrival was over, I perceived that I was not to be treated, in any degree, as a stranger, nor to interfere with the usual domestic arrangements of the house. This is a genuine hospitality, not understood by many, which puts the visitor at his ease, and proves to him both that there is a system in the family, and that his presence is no burden. Instead of laborious efforts to make me feel at home, and the pains-taking confusion which arises from striving to enforce regulations which are put in practice at no other time, every thing went on with a quiet order, which proved that order was habitual. The youngest child was put to bed immediately after tea; the elder were placed at the table with their books for the morrow's lesson; and the mother sat by them industriously at work, freely joining in the conversation between her husband and myself. It all spoke so much for the usual order of the house, and caused the first impression to be so favorable, that I could