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A Cure For Low Spirits
by [?]


FROM some cause, real or imaginary, I felt low spirited. There was a cloud upon my feelings, and I could not smile as usual, nor speak in a tone of cheerfulness. As a natural result, the light of my countenance being gone, all things around me were in shadow. My husband was sober, and had little to say; the children would look strangely at me when I answered, their questions, or spoke to them for any purpose, and my domestics moved about in a quiet manner, and when they addressed me, did so in a tone more subdued than usual.

This re-action upon my state, only made darker the clouds that veiled my spirits. I was conscious of this, and was conscious that the original cause of my depression was entirely inadequate, in itself, to produce the result which had followed. Under this feeling, I made an effort to rally myself, but in vain; and sank lower from the very struggle to rise above the gloom that overshadowed me.

When my husband came home at dinner time, I tried to meet him with a smile; but I felt that the light upon my countenance was feeble, and of brief duration. He looked at me earnestly, and, in his kind and gentle way, inquired if I felt no better, affecting to believe that my ailment was one of the body instead of the mind. But I scarcely answered him, and I could see that he felt hurt. How much more wretched did I become at this. Could I have then retired to my chamber, and, alone, give my full heart vent in a passion of tears, I might have obtained relief to my feelings. But, I could not do this.

While I sat at the table, forcing a little food into my mouth for appearance sake, my husband said–

“You remember the fine lad who has been for some time in our store?”

I nodded my head, but the question did not awaken in my mind the slightest interest.

“He has not made his appearance for several days; and I learned this morning, on sending to the house of his mother, that he was very ill.”

“Ah!” was my indifferent response. Had I spoken what was in my mind, I would have said–“I’m sorry, but I can’t help it.” I did not, at the moment, feel the smallest interest in the lad.

“Yes,” added my husband, “and the person who called to let me know about it, expressed his fears that Edward would not get up again.”

“What ails him?” I inquired.

“I did not clearly understand. But he has fever of some kind. You remember his mother very well?”

“Oh, yes. You know she has worked for me. Edward is her only child, I believe.”

“Yes. And his loss to her will be almost every thing.”

“Is he so dangerous?” I inquired, a feeling of interest beginning to stir in my heart.

“He is not expected to live.”

“Poor woman! How distressed she must be? I wonder what her circumstances are just at this time. She seemed very poor when she worked for me.”

“And she is very poor still, I doubt not. She has herself been sick, and during the time it is more than probable, that Edward’s wages were all her income. I am afraid she has suffered, and that she has not, now, the means of procuring for her sick boy things necessary for his comfort. Could you not go around there this afternoon, and see how they are?”

I shook my head instantly, at this proposition, for sympathy for others was not yet strong enough to expel my selfish despondency of mind.

“Then I must step around,” replied my husband, “before I go back to the store, although we are very busy today, and I am much wanted there. It would not be right to neglect the lad and his mother under present circumstances.”