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ing loudly over the chimney-tops in Stepney, Mrs. Marvel lay awake, with all a mother's fears tugging at her heart-strings, praying silently for Joshua's safety, and clasping her hands more tightly in her agony of love at every lightningflash that darted past the window. She hoped that her husband was asleep, oblivious of the storm; but he was as wide awake as she was, and was following Joshua's ship through the fearful storm. At one time, the house shook in the wild blustering of the wind, and they heard a crash as of the blowing down of some chimneys.
Maggie,' whispered Mr. Marvel, wondering if his wife were awake.
* Yes, father,' answered Mrs. Marvel, under her breath.
• It is an awful storm.' Then, after a pause, ‘Have you been awake long, mother ?'
'I have been listening to it for ever so long, dear,' said Mrs. Marvel ; adding, with a cunning attempt to comfort him, “And praying that it might spend out all its force over our heads, and not travel away to Joshua's ship. We ought to be thankful that Joshua is on the open sea.
Mr. Meddler says there's no danger for a ship in a storm when it isn't near land.'
And he knows better than us, mother.'
Yes, dear. All we can do is to pray for Joshua. God will bring him back to us, father.'
'I hope so; I pray so. Good-night, Maggie. Go to sleep.'
• Yes, George. Good-night.'
But they lay awake for a long time after that, until the storm, sobbing like a child worn out with passion, sighed and moaned itself away.
As for Dan, for many days after Joshua was gone he felt as if a dear friend had died; not Joshua, but some unknown friend almost as dear. He had reason enough for feeling lonely and miserable. His dear friend's companionship had been inestimably precious to him ; Joshua's very footfall had made his heart glad. The hours they had spent together were the summer of his life, and now that he and Joshua were parted he recognised that a great void had been made in his life, and that it behoved him to fill it up. That void was want of occupation. What was he to do now that Joshua was gone? When Joshua was at home, there had been every day something to do, something to talk about something to argue upon. Then, time did not hang heavily upon his hands; now, when there was no Joshua to look forward to, he found himself falling into a state of listlessness which he knew was not good for him. He wanted something for his hands to do.
. What? He thought a great deal about it, and had not settled the difficulty when a domestic calamity occurred.
The drinking proclivities of Mr. Taylor have been incidentally referred to. These proclivities had unfortunately grown upon him to such an extent, that he was now an ardent and faithful slave of that demon to so many English homes among the poor-Gin. It has been spoken of often enough and truthfully enough, God knows ! But it cannot, until it lie vanquished in the dust, be too often struck at. If there is a curse in this our mighty England which degrades it to a level so low that it is shame to think of, that curse is Gin! If vice, domestic misery, and prostitution have an English teacher, that teacher is Gin ! And in this England, which we so glorify, so sing about and mouth about, no direct attempt has ever yet been made by Statesmen who work as Jobbers to root this teacher out of our wretched courts and alleys, and replace it by something better. Perhaps one day, when a lull takes place in the Jangle of Politics-amid the din of which
so many strange sounds are heard ; such as the wrangle of religious creeds, whose various exponents split worthless straws in Church-andState bills for heaven knows what purpose, unless it be for the triumph of their particular creeds; such as the wrangle of private members whose hearts and souls (literally) are wrapt up in private bills for the good of the people—perhaps one day amid the lull, a wise and beneficent statesman may turn his attention to the abominable curse, and earn for himself a statue, the design of which shall be--after the manner of St. George and the Dragon-Gin writhing on the ground in all its true deformity, pierced through by the spear of a wise legislation, which in this instance at least shall have legislated for the good of the many.
Mr. Taylor, one of the Gin Patriots, having enrolled himself as a soldier in the cause, was necessitated by the magnanimity of his nature to become a soldier leal and true. So he bowed himself down before Gin, and worshipped it morning, noon, and night. Even in his dreams he was faithful to the cause, mumbling out entreaties to his god. His devotion causing him to neglect all lesser worldly matters, he fell into a bad state of poverty, and his family fell with him. The worst form of Mr. Taylor's devotion did not appear until Joshua left home; hitherto he had been working up to his ambition's height. Having reached it, he rested on his oars, which, being composed of the frailest of timber, gave way and sent him rolling into the mud. As he declined to provide for his family, that duty devolved upon Mrs. Taylor, and she patiently and unmurmuringly performed her duty, and worked her fingers to the bone, until her strength gave way. She was one of those quiet souls who always do their best, and never complain ; and having done her best, she closed her eyes upon the world, and passed without a murmur out of the hive of busy bees.
There was much sadness in the house when the event occurred, and there was much helpful sympathy among the neighbours. Not for Mr. Taylor-although they remembered the time when he was a respectable member of society, before he had fallen under the fatal influence of Gin-but for the children. During Mrs. Taylor's illness, which lasted but a very short time, Susan came to the house and helped Ellen in her household work and in nursing their mother. It was an anxious time for the poor little maid ; but she did her work willingly, and with the patient spirit her mo