For five years I have preserved the following miracle of pointless imbecility and bathos, waiting to see if I could find anything in literature that was worse. But in vain. I have read it forty or fifty times, altogether, and with a steadily-increasing pleasurable disgust. I now offer it for competition as the sickliest specimen of sham sentimentality that exists. I almost always get it out and read it when I am low-spirited, and it has cheered many and many a sad hour for me- I will remark in the way of general information, that in California, that land of felicitous nomenclature, the literary name of this sort of stuff is "hogwash":
[From the "California Farmer.'']
A TOUCHING INCIDENT.
MR. EDITOR -- I hand you the following for insertion, if you think it worthy of publication; it is a picture, though brief, of a living reality which the writer witnessed, within a little time since, in a luxurious city:
A beautiful lady sat beneath a verandah overshadowed by clustering vines; in her lap was a young infant, apparently asleep; the mother sat, as she supposed, unobserved, and lost in deep meditation. Richly-robed and surrounded with all the outward appearances of wealth and station, wife and mistress of a splendid mansion and garden around it, it would have seemed as if the heart that could claim to be queen here should be a happy one. Alas! appearances are not always the true guide, for --
That mother sat there like a statue awhile,
When over her face beamed a sad, sad smile;
Then she started and shudder'd as if terrible fears
Were crushing her spirit -- then came the hot tears
And the wife and mother, with all that was seemingly joyous around her, gave herself up to the full sweep of agonizing sorrow. I gazed upon this picture for a little while only, for my own tears fell freely and without any control; the lady was so truthful and innocent, to all outward appearances, that my own deepest sympathies went out instantly to her and her sorrows.
This is no fancy sketch, but a sad, sad reality. It occurred in the very heart of our city, and witnessing it with deep sorrow, I asked myself, how can these things be? But I remember that this small incident may only be a foreshadowing of some great sorrow deeply hidden in that mother's aching heart. The Bard of Avon says:
"When sorrows come, they come not single spies,
But in battalions."
I had turned away for a moment to look at some object that attracted my attention, when looking again, this child of sorrow was drying her eyes carefully and preparing to leave and go within --
"And there will canker sorrow eat her bud,
And chase the native beauty from her cheek."
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