concernincr her from the sliorht circumstances of that
night. I found her always kind and considerate for
the comfort and happiness of others, ever avoiding,
with delicacy and tact, trespassing on the rights, or
wounding the feelings of any one by word or act. Mary,
on the contrary, was one of those persons with whom,
without really designing any unkindness, self is so pre-
dominant, as to be the centre of all their thoughts and
38 THE HAPPY LOT.
actions, but to whom the slight sacrifices they make
seem so great, that they imagine, no one steps aside so
much for others as themselves.
THE HAPPY LOT.
Blest is the hearth where daughters gird the fire,
And sons that shall be happier than their sire,
Who sees them crowd around his evening chair,
While love and hope inspire his wordless prayer.
0, from their home paternal may they go,
With little to unlearn, though much to know I
Them may no poisoned tongue, no evil eye,
Curse for the virtues that refuse to die ;
The generous heart, the independent mind,
Till truth like falsehood leaves a sting behind !
May temperance crown their feast, and friendship share I
May pity come, love's sister spirit, there !
May they shun baseness as they shun the grave !
May they be frugal, pious, humble, brave !
Sweet peace be theirs — the moonlight of the breast —
And occupation, and alternate rest ;
And dear to care and thought the usual walk ;
Theirs be no flower that withers on the stalk.
But roses cropped, that shall not bloom in vain ;
And Hope's blest sun, that sets to rise again.
Be chaste their nuptial bed, their home be sweet,
Their floor resound the tread of little feet ;
Blest beyond fear and fate, if blest by thee
And heirs, Love I of thine eternity 1
£ U Di-iJ-^
Lf^m ':'j) y \^
It is part of the arrangements of Providence that
every man should labour in some way or other; that
either with his brain, or by means of his bone and mus-
cle, he should bring out all the capabilities that are in
him ; that, in short, he should prove himself a man.
If we needed proof of this, we might find it in the
fact that man, when he first comes into the world, is the
most helpless of all animals. Nothing is done for him ;
while for other creatures everything is done. They are
more or less fitted to enter at once on their life. The
bird finds himself clothed with feathers, the sheep with
wool, the dog with hair, without any thought or exertion
on their part. Man, on the contrary, must provide him-
self with clothing; he must, by hunting, fishing, or
labour of some sort, procure food for himself. Whether
or no, we see that he is compelled to labour, if he is to
stay upon the earth at all.
Thus there is no escape from it : we must work, or
accept the alternative — die ! To many people this ap-
pears to be a grievance, or injustice. Have they ever
asked themselves the question, whether it is really so?
— whether their opinion is sound or unsound ? Until
they have done that, they have no right to complain.
But what is the fact ? The answer is, that labour is
not a curse, but a blessing ; that the necessity under
.vhich we all lie to exert ourselves is a something for
vhich we have to be thankful. Consider only: what
should we be without labour ? Look at those countries
which produce the fruits of the earth with scarcely any
toil or trouble ; the people are not only indolent, but
they are incapable of exertion. Their faculties are, as
it were, benumbed. They want manhood ; and not un-
frequently have no spirit of greatness or generosity. The
more nature does for them, the less will they do for them-
selves. Like the boys who bribe their more diligent
schoolmates to help them with their tasks, they are
always at the bottom of the class. Nothing short of an
earthquake will rouse them ; and then they will rush out
into the streets and pray to the saints, instead of trying
to prop the falling walls. If they would work as well
as pray, it would be all the better for them. Constant
summer is very pleasant ; but if constant summer makes
people lazy, they might do well to try the effect of a
On the contrary, look at countries where it is not
always summer; where frost and snow, and fog and
cloud, come at times to alter the face of nature or the
state of the atmosphere. What a manly, vigorous race
the natives are ! Everything is not done to their hands,
and they have to bestir themselves stoutly if they wish
to live with ease or comfort. To what do we owe our
roads, canals, bridges, railways, telegraphs, and other
great constructions ? To labour. Labour provided the
means ; and hand-labour, directed by brain-labour,
wrought the work. Had labour not been going on for
hundreds of years within our borders, it is very certain
we should not be in the position that we now are. Labour
has been brought to such a pitch that, though we cannot
have perpetual summer, we can have, of course, a« it
pleases Proridence, perpetual comfort. And \vliat 13
more, our faculties are developed, our abilities are made
the most of. and there is no enterprise too great for us
Labour being a good on a great scale, it follows that
it is a good on a small scale. If a whole people is bene-
fited, so is each individual of the whole benefited also.
What polishing is to the diamond, such is labour to the
man. Labour leads on from thought to thought, from
endeavour to endeavour, each advance being but the step
towards another. Perfection is the object aimed at;
and, as far as is permitted to human skill and ingenuity,
many of the results of our labour are perfect.
It is not to be denied that, in certain cases and condi-
tions of society, men may have to labour too much ; but
this fact does not disprove the other fact, that a man
cannot labour without being the better for it. Occupa-
tion, whether of body or mind, is, far more than many
of us are willing to believe, a prime means of happiness.
Do you doubt the fact ? Look well at the first person
you see wno has really nothing to do ; the chances are
a thousand to one that you will find him to be in some
way or other a very miserable being. Many who read
these lines will remember times when they have risen in
the morning weary and dispirited, when life seemed to
have no relish. But, being obliged to work, they have
found as the work went on that the cloud which hung
about their minds disappeared, that cheerfulness and
hope came back again ; and still as they continued, so
did their contentment increase. There is great virtue
in labour ; it is a noble means of exercise ; and Plato,
42 THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS.
the philosopher, said that exercise would almost cure a
'' In all labour there is profit," says the wise man.
Of course, he meant honest labour ; and the man who
does his duty honestly and diligently in his vocation,
steadily following up the duty that lies immediately before
him, such an one adds worth to his character and dignity
to his manhood, and, while promoting his own interests,
subserves the welfare of others.
THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS.
On a low couch in an apartment which plainly evinced
the wealth and luxury of its occupant, sat, or rather re-
clined, a maiden of apparently about eighteen summers,
absorbed in deep and somewhat anxious thought.
Few who gazed upon the exceeding beauty of her
countenance, and marked its usually joyous expression,
would have dreamed that a cloud ever passed over her
young heart. Indeed, there was nought to mar her
earthly happiness. The only and idolized child of
wealthy parents, her slightest wishes were regarded or
even anticipated. All around her was beautiful as a dream
of fairy land, in her own dear home, and when she mingled
in the gay crowd, her wealth and loveliness gave her that
precedence which, in spite of her better judgment, was
gratifying to her heart.
And yet the fair Eveline was not always happy. There
THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS. 4B
were moments when her soul yearned for an indefinable
something which she felt that neither rank nor beauty
could bestow. A desire to fulfil more perfectly the ob-
ject of her being, to sufier her thoughts and afi'ections
to expand beyond the routine of selfish pleasures in which
her daily life was passed, had taken possession of her
mind, and in the solitude of her own room she often
passed sad hours of reflection, unsuspected by her gay
companions, or by the fond parents who so tenderly
watched over her.
" Happiness !" she would sometimes exclaim. "What
is it ? The shadow men do indeed possess, but not the
reality. That is beyond our ken. It belongeth not to
mortals. Wherefore then am I thus dissatisfied ? Where-
fore this continual striving for what I may not hope to
With her mind oppressed with these reflections, Eve-
line slept upon the couch where she had thrown herself
that she might indulge them undisturbed. We say she
slept, but can that state be called sleep, where the soul,
freed for a brief season from its earthly fetters, gains
new strength and vigour while holding close communion
with those heavenly friends whom it can then meet face
to face in its home in the spirit-land !
While Eveline was thus apparently sleeping in her own
apartment, she found herself in a garden, the surpass-
ing beauty of which far exceeded aught that she had
ever seen on earth. Flowers of the most varied and
brilliant hues were breathing forth the most delightful
perfumes; birds of the richest plumage filled the air
with their melody as they sported among the foliage of
44 THE SEARCH TOR HAPPINESS.
the trees ; fruits of delicious flavour hung temptingly
within her reach ; the very air that she breathed seemed
to sparkle in the brilliant light, like a thousand diamonds ;
while the sound of the waters falling from the numerous
fountains, came upon the ear with a refreshing coolness.
For a moment Eveline gazed with astonishment and
delight upon the lovely scene before her, but again a feel-
ing of sadness stole over her, and she murmured aloud,
'' And yet all this beauty does not constitute happiness.
It is but the shadow. Where is the substance ?"
As she said this, a voice gently replied,
" The substance produces the shadow, fair maiden.
The lovely objects around you do not, indeed, give hap-
piness, but those interior principles, those thoughts and
affections, those active endeavours, of which all these
things are but as types or representatives, they consti-
tute happiness ; they are the substance, the reality for
which you seek."
"Explain this still farther," cried Eveline, as she
turned in the direction of the voice, and saw standing
by her side a shining one clad in garments of the most
Again the angel replied,
" There is a certain latent vein in the affection of the
will of every angel which draws his mind to the doing
of something, and by this the mind is tranquillized and
made satisfied with itself; this tranquillity and satisfac-
tion form a state of mind capable of receiving the love
of uses from the Lord ; from the reception of this love
is heavenly happiness. This is the origin of all our
joys ; from this, as from a fountain, various delights a)'e
THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS. 45
perpetually gushing forth, and in their final ultimation
surround us with what is externally beautiful and lovely.
" In the world in which you dwell, the internal and
external are, alas, but too seldom in unison. Mortals
are often surrounded by all the luxuries which earthly
riches can procure, while the interiors are closed against
the heavenly joys which their Creator and Father is con-
tinually striving to impart ; and those who possess hea-
yenly riches are often found among the naturally poor
and lowly ; but true happiness in the natural world as
well as in the spiritual, must proceed from the internal
love which I have described. The love of use can alone
fill that void which you have so painfully felt. Without
this, the external delights around you are cold and
With deep humility and attention Eveline listened to
the words of her heavenly instructor, and in thoughtful
accents she repeated,
" The love of use. What is its nature, and how may
I obtain this one essential of true happiness?"
" By living no longer for yourself alone. Learn to
regard the rich gifts which God hath seen fit to bestow
upon thee, personal loveliness, uncommon talents, wealth
in abundance, as instruments in yom* hands for minis-
tering to the welfare of others. Even in the cultivation
of your own mind, the love of use may still be your
ruling end, for the knowledge which you acquire ren-
ders you a more fitting medium for imparting good to
your fellow-beings. Go forth among the sad ones of
the earth. Clothe the naked, feed the hungry, whisper
consolation to the afflicted, lead the sinner to repent-
4G THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS.
ance. This is the blessed mission which hath been
assigned to me, and intense is the joy which I derive from
its fulfilmeAt. Even now I am summoned to the world
of mortals. Accompany me, and I will show thee at
least one form of use."
With delight Eveline yielded herself to his guidance,
and in a moment the scene changed from heavenly bliss
to earthly wretchedness. In a miserable hovel an almost
heart-broken mother was weeping over her suifering
babes. The father had, some months since, been re-
moved to the world of spirits, and her utmost exertions
were insufficient to maintain herself and the four little
ones dependent upon her. The winter's wind was whis-
tling loud and shrill around her dwelling ; the snow lay
piled at her door ; but there was no glowing fire upon
the hearth around which the widow and the orphans
could cluster, unheeding the storm without. All was
dark and desolate. The last stick had been burned,
the last cinders scraped together, and now nothing re-
mained but to draw close to each other, and, sheltered
by the scanty covering which the poor mother had thrown
around them, to look to death as a release from their
sufferings. Many hours had elapsed since a morsel of
food had passed their lips, and when at length the de-
spairing woman had resolved to beg rather than to allow
her children to perish, she had been harshly repulsed by
the first person to whom she applied, and, sick at heart,
had crept back to die with her loved ones.
Tears fell fast from Eveline's eyes as she gazed upon
this scene of misery.
"Oh, give them instant relief," she cried. "Little
THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS. 47
did I imagine that such destitution existed. Delay not
a moment, or it will be too late."
" Earthly mediums are necessary," replied her hea-
venly guide. " It is not granted to us to give material
aid. Spiritual comfort I have already imparted. Look
now at the sufferers."
The mother kneeled beside her babes and prayed
earnestly to the God of the widow and the fatlierless,
and she received into her soul that peace which no
earthly suffering can take away.
" Our Heavenly Father hath heard us," she exclaimed
joyfully. *' I feel that we shall yet be saved. Have
courage, my children; help draweth near."
Even as she spoke, Eveline found herself still hand in
hand with her spirit friend in a cheerful, pleasant little
parlour, where, in a social circle around their bright fire,
sat a father, mother, and five lovely children. All was
joy among this little group, and, though not surrounded
by the luxuries of wealth, they were evidently in pos-
session of every comfort. The youngest cliild sat upon
his father's knee ; the elder ones clung around him,
begging for one more pleasant story, while the mother
looked upon her treasures with a happy, loving glance,
which told the gladness within.
"Wherefore are we here?" asked Eveline, reproach-
fully. " The widow and her orphans are left to die."
"Not 80," was the reply. "I came but to seek an
instrument of good."
The angel bent toward the father, and, unseen by all
but Eveline, breathed a few words in his ear. A shade
of thought passed over his brow, and, for a few moments,
4^ THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS
he remained silent, unnoticing the caresses of his child-
ren. At length he arose, and gently placed the babe in
its mother's arms, saying,
'• This is a hard night for the poor, dear Mary. I
think I will seek out some of the sufferers."
"•Not to-night, Edward," urged the wife. ** It is so
cold and stormy. Wait till morning."
-' I may then be too late. There is great misery even
in our own neiorhbourhood. I noticed a wretched hovel
to-day which I am told contains a widow and four little
ones. I was prevented from visiting them before I re-
turned home, but I feel strongly impelled to see them
ere I sleep. Fill a small basket with nourishing food,
and seek not to detain me. It is good to be mindful of
'•My mission here is ended," whispered the angel.
'• The sufferers have found a friend. Come forth again.
We wiU stand by the bed of sickness and death. I have
there a labour of love to perform."
In an instant they stood in a darkened room, where a
young maiden lay extended on that bed from which she
was to rise no more. One glance at her countenance
showed that death had marked her, and ere many hours
had passed, would claim her for his own. In silent
anguish the fond parents bent over the idol of their
affections. Eagerly they listened to the broken words
which escaped her lips. There was sadness in the tones
of her voice as she murmured some expressions of en-
dearment to those around her. Life was to her bright
and beautiful — the passage to the world of immortality
dark and gloomy — and she looked not beyond. Was
THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS. 49
there no kind friend to raise her thoughts to those realms
of bliss, of which the beautiful in this world is but as a
dim outline or shadow ? Was there none to speak of
the infinite love of her Heavenly Father, who saw fit thus
early to call her to Himself ? Alas ! no. All were too
much absorbed in their own grief. They sought not to
rise with the departing spirit to her new and glorious
home ; but, by their overpowering sorrow, rather strove
to draw her back to earth.
" Here there is indeed a great work to be done," said
the angel. " To the sick girl I may myself draw near,
for the veil which obscured her mortal vision, is partially
removed. See. she sleeps. I wiQ approach and minister
to her wants. Remain where you are. You, too, are
invisible to mortal eyes. Listen to the instructions of
him who through my agency will speak consolation to
the hearts of the bereaved parents. Already he draweth
As the spirit spake, Eveline looked and beheld a
venerable old man entering the apartment. His benevo-
lent countenance wore an expression of the tenderest
pity and commiseration as in soothing accents he ad-
dressed the afflicted ones. He entered fully into their
grief, and descended with them into the dark valley.
But gradually he led them to look beyond — to rise above
the clouds which had gathered around them — to look
upon death as the messenger of life, immortal life. The
frail and perishable body was indeed to be laid aside, but
the freed spirit would rejoice in its new birth.
The sufferer awoke, but all was changed around her.
The mother bent over her. whispering words of faith
50 THE SEARCH FOR HAPriNESS.
and hope ; the father clasped her hand in his, and
breathed an earnest prayer ; her own thoughts and feel-
ings were no longer sad and earth-bound. She looked
upward to her heavenly home ; perfect peace was in her
heart, a radiant smile played upon her lips. She
breathed a few words of happiness and love, and calmly
sunk to rest, like a wearied infant upon its mother's
With intense interest Eveline stood gazing upon this
scene, when a light touch aroused her.
" Come forth," whispered her guide. ^' Other minis-
tering spirits will now fill my place. My duty calls me
They stood together in a quiet churchyard. Around
them were the monuments which afi*ection rears to the
memory of departed friends. It was the twilight hour,
and the most profound stillness reigned. At length
Eveline heard a low moan ; and, seated on a new-made
grave at a short distance from her, she saw a lady, some-
what past the prime of life. At first she bowed her
head in silent agony, and her powerful emotion seemed
almost to rend her feeble frame. Then raising her eyes
to heaven, she exclaimed in the most piercing accents
of bitter grief : —
"All gone! husband and children, father, mother,
and friends. Not one link left to bind me to earth!
Nothing left to love ! Why, then, am I permitted to
remain ? Why may not my struggling spirit burst its
bonds, and join the loved ones who have gone from me ?
Oh God ! look upon me in my affliction. Leave me not
THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS. 51
"Poor woman!" murmured Eveline; " how great is
her affliction ! Gladly would I draw near to her, and
endeavour to console her, or at least mingle my tears
with hers; even sympathy is sometimes consolation."
"It is, indeed," replied the angel, with an approving
smile ; " but a medium is already provided. Look to
the right of the lady, near the white stone. What see
"A lovely child," answered Eveline, "quietly sleeping
with her head upon the turf which covers another grave
of recent date."
"She slumbers not," returned the angel. "She is
listening intently to the words of her whose sorrows have
so strongly excited your pity. She, too, has suffered.
That grave contains the mortal remains of her late only
surviving parent ; and the little one also feels friendless
and alone in the wide world. See, she rises and draws
nearer to the lady."
As she spoke, the child quietly approached the still
weeping mourner. Tears, not for her own sorrows, but
for those of another, were on her cheeks ; and, placing
her little hand within that of her companion in affliction,
she said, endearingly,
"You need not be alone. I will love you, and stay
with you always."
" Who are you, my child ?" was the astonished reply ;
for the step of the little one had been unheard upon the
soft grass, and the lady knew not of her presence, until
she felt the gentle pressure of her hand.
"I am an orphan. My name is Ellen. My dear
father died many months ago, and now my mother has
52 THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS.
gone too. They laid her body in that grave where you
see the white stone, and I love to sit upon it and think
of her. She lives in heaven now. She used to bid mo
not to weep, but to think of her and love her, and try
to be a good child until my Heavenly Father should take
me home ; and I do try, but there is no one to speak
kindly tc me now, and teach me to be good. They give
me food and clothes, but they do not kiss me and love
me, and call me their own darling child, as my poor
mother used to do. You have nothing to love. Will
you not love me ?"
" I will, indeed, sweet one," replied the lady, clasping
the little girl in her arms. " Our Heavenly Father hath
sent you to me to comfort me in my grief. I will watch
over your tender years, and be a mother to you. My
life will no longer be without an object. Another bud
of immortality is intrusted to my care."
Eveline still lingered, but the angel whispered,
^' It is enough ; my task is ended. New duties await
The night was dark and fearful on the tempestuous
sea, and high on the mountain waves a pirate vessel rode
proudly on its course. Eveline shrunk closer to the
side of her heavenly protector, as she stood with him
among that fierce crew ; but his gentle words soon reas-
''Recollect that we are invisible to mortal eyes," he
Baid. " Nought can harm thee. Even here there is a
work of love to be performed."
" Surely,, not to these wicked men !" exclaimed Eve-
THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS. 53
line. *' Nothing of heaven could find admission into
their hardened hearts."
" There is one among their number who may yet
be saved," replied the angel. " True, his deeds have
been bloody and fearful, but a glimmer of light still
remains. A pious mother watched over his infant
years, and the remembrance of her gentle teachings
still steals over his mind like some long-forgotten
dream, awakening tender emotions, checking for the
moment his evil course, calling upon the sinner to re-
pent and return once more to the path of virtue. Be-
hold him just before us. Mark well his countenance.
Even in its fierce lineaments, you may discern an expres-