Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

Look At T’other Side
by [?]

“I don’t like Mr. Monto at all,” said Mr. Jones.

“Nor I,” replied Mrs. Mayberry.

“Take him for better or worse,” added Mr. Lee, “and I think he is the strangest and most inconsistent man I ever saw.”

“Inconsistent!” resumed Mr. Jones. “He is worse than inconsistent. Inconsistencies may be pardoned, as constitutional defects and peculiarities of character. But he is worse than inconsistent, as I said.”

“Yes, that he is,” chimed in Mrs. Mayberry. “What do you think I heard of him last week?”

“What?” said Mr. Jones.

“Yes, what did you hear?” asked Mrs. Lee.

“You know Mr. Barker?”

“Yes.”

“There isn’t a more gentlemanly man living than Mr. Barker.”

“Well, what of him?”

“He was in Mr. Monto’s store one day last week, and happened to say something the little man did not like, when he fired up and insulted him most grossly.”

“Indeed!”

“Yes. Mr. Barker told me himself. He said he was never more hurt in his life.”

“He left the store, of course.”

“Oh, yes. He turned on his heel and walked out, and says he will never darken the door of Monto’s store again.”

“It is too bad, this habit of insulting people which Monto has. I know several persons who are hot as fire against him.”

“If there were nothing worse about him than that,” said Mr. Jones, “I would be glad. His conduct towards the young man he raised was unpardonable.”

“What was that? I never heard about it,” remarked Mr. Lee.

“He had a young man whom he had raised from a lad, and who, it is said, was always faithful to his interests. Toward the last he became wild, having fallen into bad company. If Monto had been patient and forbearing toward him, the young man might have been reclaimed from his error; but his irascibility and impatience with every thing that did not go by square and rule, caused him to deal harshly with faults that needed a milder corrective. The young man, of course, grew worse. At last he got himself into a difficulty, and was arrested. Bail was demanded for his appearance to stand a trial for misconduct and breach of law. Monto was sent for to go his bail; but he heartlessly refused, and the poor fellow was thrown into prison, where he lay four months, and was then, after a trial, dismissed with a reprimand from the court. Feeling himself disgraced by confinement in a jail, he enlisted in the army as soon as he got free, and has gone off to the Indian country in the West. Isn’t it melancholy? The ruin of that young man lies at Monto’s door. His blood is on the skirts of his garments!”

“Dreadful to think of! Isn’t it?” said Mrs. Mayberry. “Just imagine my son or your son thus cruelly dealt by! A fiend in human shape couldn’t have done more!”

“It’ll come back upon him one of these days. I believe in retribution. No man can do such things with impunity,” added Mr. Lee. “Mark my words for it–Monto will repent of this, as well as a good many other acts of his life, before he dies.”

“He’s the meanest man I ever saw,” said Mr. Jones. “I don’t believe he ever gave a dollar for charitable purposes in his life.”

“You may possibly err, there,” remarked a fourth in the company, who had not before spoken.

“I should like to see the man, Mr. Berry, who can point to a benevolent act of Monto’s,” returned Mr. Jones in a decided voice.

“Perhaps,” said Mr. Berry, “if we were as willing to look at the other side of men’s characters, we should not entertain the poor opinion of them we do. If we were to look as closely at the good as we do at the bad, we might find, perhaps, as much to praise as we do to blame. When I was a boy, I had a penny given to me, and was about buying a large, seemingly fine apple, when my brother said in a warning voice, ‘Look at t’other side.’ I did look, and found it rotten. When I became a man, I remembered the lesson, and determined that I would not be deceived by fair appearances of character, but would be careful to look at t’other side for blemishes. I saw enough of these, even in the best, to sicken me with mankind. A few years passed, and I was glad to change my habit of observation. I began to look at the other and brighter side. The result surprised and pleased me. I found more good in men than I had supposed. Even in the worst there were some redeeming qualities.”