Cylchgronau Cymru

Chwiliwch trwy dros 450 o deitlau a 1.2 miliwn o dudalennau

THE AND GESESAL TEMPEÜABCE MONTHLY. No ii. BRISTOL, JULY i, 1872. ONE PENNY. k\tû %út. THE MINIATURE. A TEMPERANCE TALE. fOME years ago, when the temper- ance movement was agitating the minds of many—my own among others—I had been spending the even- ing with a friend, who urged me with the warmth of true friendship to take the pledge. Now, I had never been a tippler, and it seemed unmanly (so I thought) to do so, as it implied a want of confidence in my own powers of resistance (alas, I did not like to remember how oíten they had been tested and found wanting,) and I had left him in an undecided and un- satisfied frame of mind. It was under these circumstances that, while making my way up ------ street, my attentión was arrested by seeing a delicate lady- like woman peering timorously but ear- nestly in at the door of a great glaring rum palace. I was the more surprised, because it was a bitter cold March even- ing, one of those when everyone you meet looks blue and withered; and the gentle sex crowd around their comfort- able fires at home ; and she was clearly no frequenter of such places. Feeling curious to ascertain her object, I went in and sat down in the parlour, where there were some dozen persons assembled. I was at once struck by the appearance of a young man, probably about eight-and-twenty or thirty, who was carrying on an animated argument with a gentleinan near him, on the rival merits of Burns and Tom Moore. The aptness of his quotations, and points of his anecdote, showed him thoroughly master of his subject, while the grace and beauty of his language bespoke the scholar and accomplished gentleman. The broad high forehead, and the rest- less, dark grey eye, told of talent if not of genius, and a small white hand and ex- quisitely modulated voice indicated gentle birth and breeding, all strangely out of keeping with his dress, (which was shabby and slovenly in the extreme,) the place, and his companions. As the argu- ment became more and more animated, he tossed off glass after glass with a rapidity that was astonishing, and appar- ently almost unconsciously ; but the fiery alcohol was beginning to tell, and abruptly breaking off the argument, he poured forth a beautiful melody. His auditors plied him with glass after glass of his favourite rum, and song followed song in rapid succession; but, alas ! the fire of genius was fast fading from the eye, and giving place to the unmeaning vacant stare of semi-idiotcy, and therich, mellow voice was becoming thick and un- certain. Conscious that he was now as much beneath his hearers as he was be- fore above them, he rose and staggered to the door, but the fatal craving for stimulants was too strong for him to resist, and he stopped at the bar to add one more drop to the liquid íire that was coursing madly through his veins. And now again I noticed the anxious, timid, peering glance of the delicate lady I had first observed outside, but this time she had a little child in herarms, alovely little girl, of about five or six. She had her father's rich brown hair, which fell in clustering curls round her open forehead, and over her fair rounded shoulders, her I eyesbeaming withtendernessand affection.