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The Way Of Transgressors
by [?]

“Do not go out to-night, Amanda. The pavements are damp, and the air is loaded with vapour.”

“Indeed, ma, I must go.”

“Amanda, there is no necessity for your attending this party; and very urgent reasons why you should stay at home. Your cough is still troublesome, and a little exposure might give it permanency. You know that from your father you inherit a predisposition to disease of the lungs.”

“You only say that to alarm me.”

“Not so, my child; I know your constitution, and know how fatally the exposure of a night like this may affect you.”

“But I’ll wrap up warmly, and put on my India rubbers.”

“A necessary precaution, if you will go out, Amanda. But I wish I could persuade you to be guided by me. You know that the Bible says, the way of transgressors is hard.”

“I don’t know how you will apply that to me, ma. I am transgressing no law of divine appointment.”

“Be not sure of that, Amanda.”

“I do not understand you, ma.”

“I will try and make my meaning clear. In our creation, as organized beings, we were so constituted as to bear a certain relation to every thing around us, and our bodily health was made dependent upon this relation. Here then, we have a law of health, which may be called a divine law–for there is nothing good that does not flow from the Divine Creator. If we violate this law, we become transgressors, and shall certainly prove the way we have chosen, in so doing, to be a hard one.”

“Oh, is that all?” said the daughter, looking up with a smile, and breathing more freely. “I’ll risk the consequences of breaking the law you have announced.”

“Amanda!”

“Don’t be so serious, ma. I will wrap up close and have my feet well protected. There is not the least danger of my taking cold.”

“Well, you must do as you please. Still I cannot approve of your going, for I see that there is danger. But you are fully of age, and I will not seek to control you.”

So strong was Amanda’s desire to attend a large but select party, that she went, in company with a young man who called for her, notwithstanding the atmosphere was so humid and dense with fog, that breathing became oppressive.

The rooms were crowded, and the air in them so warm as to cause the perspiration to start from the fair brows of the merry dancers, among whom none was more fair or more lively than Amanda Beaufort. At eleven, after having passed an evening of much pleasure, she started for home with her companion. She was so well wrapped up, that she did not feel the cold, and her feet were protected from the damp pavement by the impervious India rubber.

“I’m safe home, ma, after all!” she exclaimed with her merry ringing laugh, as she bounded into the chamber where her ever-watchful and interested mother sat awaiting her daughter’s return.

“I am glad to see you back, Amanda,” said Mrs. Beaufort kindly, “and hope that no ill consequences will follow what I must still call a very imprudent act.”

“Oh I’m just as well as ever, and have not taken the least cold. How could I, wrapped up so warm?”

Still, on the next morning, unaccountable as it was to Amanda, she was quite hoarse, and was much troubled by a cough occasioned by a slight but constant tickling in her throat. Accompanying these symptoms was a pale anxious face and a general feeling of lassitude.

“I feared all this, Amanda,” said her mother, with manifest concern.

“It’s only a slight cold, ma. And, anyhow, I don’t believe it was occasioned by going out last night, I was wrapped up so warm. I must have got the bed-clothes off of me in the night.”

“What to one is a slight cold, my daughter, is a very serious affair to another; and you are one of those who can never take a slight cold without shocking the whole system. Your pale face and your evident debility this morning show how much even this slight cold, as you call it, has affected you. That you have this cold is to me no subject of wonder. You were well wrapped up, it is true, and your feet protected. Still, your face was exposed, and every particle of air you inhaled was teeming with moisture. From dancing in a warm room, the pores of your skin were all opened, and the striking of moist chilly air upon your face could hardly fail of producing some degree of cold. The most susceptible parts of your body are your throat and lungs, and to these any shock which is received by the system is directly conveyed. You cannot take cold in your hand or foot or face, or any other part of your body, without your breast sympathizing;–that you are hoarse, and have a slight cough, then, is to me in no way surprising.”