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The Ohio organ, of the temperance reform. (Cincinnati, [Ohio]) 1853-1854, October 21, 1853, Image 8

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn91069452/1853-10-21/ed-1/seq-8/

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30
fHEOIIIOdllGAN OF THE ? TEMPERANCE REFORM
The Feelingi of the Bead.
" In the winter of 1 8," said Mr.
ft ' ; there was a great deal of
typhus fever in Edinburgh. It was a
gloomy, sad winter, changing frequent
ly from hard frost to warm, rainy, op
'pressive weather; and never did my
native city better deserve the name of
Add Eeeli than during four months
of that year. The high winds, to which
we are generally subjected in winter,
seemed to have ceased altogether;
the smoke, instead of rising, beat down
upon the city, and notwithstanding its
elevated situation and fine mountain
air, the streets and houses were so
murky dark, that there was very little
difference between the short, dim day,
and the long and early night. A
sort of oppression fell upon all men's
spirits, which was increased by the
floating rumors of the awful ravages
of disease in the town, brought home
to us, every now and then, by the
death of an acquaintance, a friend or
a relative. Gradually, the fever in
creased in virulence, and extended far
and wide, till it became almost a pes
tilence. It confined itself to no class,
or age." Judges, lawyers, physicians,
were smitten, as well as the humbler
classes ; old and young alike fell be
fore it. Many good men in the min
istry were taken away. It assumed
the worst form of all, however, in the
prisons of the city, and the accounts
of its ravages within their walls was
tremendous. As the minister of the
- Kirk, I was not absolutely call
ed upon to attend the prisoners ; but
I heard that two of my brethren had
died, in consequence of their zealous
care of the poor souls within those
heavy walls. It was with difficulty
that a sufficient number of the clergy
could be found to attend to their spir
itual wants, and I volunteered to visit
the prisons, daily, myself. For near
ly a fortnight I continued in the per
formance of the functions I had un
dertaken, without suffering in the
least except mentally, from witness
ing the sufferings of others. But one
Saturday night, as I returned home
through the very gloomy streets, I
felt a lassitude upon me, an utter pros
tration of strength, which forced me
to stop twice, in order to rest, before
I reached my own door. I attributed
it to excessive fatigue ; for I -was with
out the slightest apprehension, and
never at all looked forward to the
coming calamity. When I reached
home, I could not eat ; my appetite
was gone. But that I attributed also
to fatigue, and I went quietly to bed.
During the night, however, intense
pain in the back, and in the forehead
succeeded ; a burning heat spread all
over me ; my tongue became parched
and dry ; my mind wandered slightly;
and instead of rising to preach as I
intended, ' I was obliged to lie still,
and send for a physician with the first
ray of morning light. His visit is the
last thing I recollect forseveral days.
I remember his ordering all the win
dows to be opened, notwithstanding
the coldness of the day, and causing
saucers, filled with some disinfecting
fluid, to be placed in different parts of
the room, in order to guard my wife
and children against the infection- I
then, for the first time, discovered that
I had caught the fever. I remember
little more--for violent delirium set in
oon till suddenly, after the lapse of
several days, I regained my conscious,
ness, and with it a conviction that I
was dying, My wife was kneeling,
weeping, by my bedside, two physi
cians and a nurse were present ; and
it was strange after the dull state of
perfect insensibility in which I had
lain during the last twenty-four hours,
hdw completely all my senses had re
turned, how perfect my powers of
thought and reason. In my very
healthiest days, I never remember to
have had so complete command of all
my mental faculties, as at that mo
ment. But I was reduced to infant
weakness ; and there was a sensation
of sinking faintness, not confined to
any one part or organ, but spreading
over my whole frame, which plainly
announced to me that the great event
was coming. - They gave me some
brandy in teaspoonfuls ; but it had no
other effect than to enable me to utter
a few words of affection and consola
tion to my wife, and then the power
of speech depaited altogether. . The
sensation that succeeded I cannot des
cribe. Few have felt it. But I have con
versed with one or two who have ex
perienced the same, and I never found
one who, either by a figure or by di
rect language, could convey any no
tion of it. The utmost I can say is,
that it was a feeling of extinction.
Fainting is very different. This was
dying ; and a single moment of perfect
unconsciousness succeeded.
"Every one believed me dead. My
eyes were closed, and weights put
upon them. The lower jaw, which re
mained dropped, was bound up with
a black ribbon. My wife was hurried
from the room, sobbing sadly ; and
there I lay, motionless, voiceless,
sightless ; growing colder, and more
cold, my limbs benumbed, my heart
without pulsation, dead, all but in
spirit, and with but one corporeal fac
ulty in its original acuteness. Not
only did my hearing remain perfect
and entire, but it seemed to be quick
ened, and rendered ten times more
sensitive than ever. I could hear
sounds in the house, at a distance from
my chamber, which had never reach
ed me there before. The convulsive
sobbing of my wife in a distant room :
the murmured conversation of the phy
sicians in a chamber below : the little
feet of my children treading with
timid steps as they passed the chamber
of death ; and the voice of the nurse
saying, Hush, my dear, hush,' as the
oldest wept aloud in ascending the
stairs.
" There was an old woman left with
a light, to watch with the dead body,
and I cannot tell you how painful to
me was her moving about the room,
her muttering to herself, and her heavy
snoring when she fell asleep. But
more terrible anguish was in store
On the following morning, the under
taker came to measure me for my cof
fin. Although, as I have said, I was
all benumbed, yet I had a faint rem
nant of feeling, which made me know
when anything touched me, and a
consciousness as perfect as in the
highest days of health. You can
fancy better than I can tell, what I
endured as I felt the man's measure
run over my body to take the precise
size for the awful receptacle that was
to carry me to the grave. -..Then came
the discussion of half an hour between
him and the old crone in the chamber,
in regard to black gloves and hat
bands.1 I am really ashamed of my
self,, when I remember the sensations
I experienced. I never felt so unchris
tian in my life as I did then, -when ly
ing, to all appearance, dead ; and the
worst of it all was, I could not master
those sensations. , Will seemed to be
at an end, even when consciousness
remained entire. After that, what I
most distinctly remember, was along,
dull blank. I fancy the room was left
vacant, for I had no perceptions. The
spirit was left to itself. Its only re
maining organ of communication with
the material world had nothing to act
upon, and thought was all in all. But
thought was intensely terrible. True,
thought was concentrated altogether
upon one subject. Every man has
much to repent of. Every man who
believes has much to hope and to fear,
in the presence of another world. But
repentance, hope, fear I tell you the
plain truth another world itself never
came into my mind. They seemed
to have died away from memory, with
that extinction of will of which I have
spoken. All I thought of then was,
that I was lying there living, and was
about to be buried with the dead. It
was like one of those terrible dreams,
in which we seem grasped by some
monster, or some assassin, and strug
gle to shriek or to resist, but have nei
ther power to utter a sound nor to
move a limb.
" I will not dwell much upon the
further particulars. The coffin was
brought into the room ; I was dressed
in my grave clothes ; I was moved
into that narrow bed, stiff, and rigid
as a stone, with agony of mind, which
I thought must have awakened some
power in the cold, dull mass which
bound up my spirit. One whole night
I lay there in the coffin hearing the
tick of the clock upon the stairs fill
ed with strange andSvild impressions
doubting whether I were really dead,
or whether I were living longing to
see and know if my flesh were actu
ally corrupting fancying that I felt
the worm. The morning broke ; a
dim, gray light found its way through
my closed eyelids, and about an hour
after, I heard the step of the under
taker and another man, in the room.
One of them dropped something heav
ily on the floor, and a minute after
they came close to the coffin, and the
undertaker asked his assistant for the
screw-driver. It was the last instant
of hope, and all was agony. Sudden
ly, I heard my wife's step quite at
the foot of the stairs. 'Oh God 1 she
will never let them I' I thought. ' She
who loved me so well, who was so
dearly loved 1'
" She came very slowly up the stairs,
and the step paused at the door. I
fancied I could almost see her, pale
and trembling there. The undertaker
asked in a loud voice, for the coffin
lid. But the door opened, and Isa
bella's voice exclaimed half choked
with tears, 'Oh, not 'jjet not yet I
Let me look at him once again !'
"Love and sorrow .spoke in every
tone. My spirit thanked her; and
never had I felt such ardent love for
her as then. But the idea of a living
burial was still pre-eminent., If , she
took that last look and left me, all was
over. My anguish was beyond all
description. It seemed to rouse my
spirit to some great, tremendous ef
fort., I tried to groan, to speak, to
cry, to move, even to breathe. Sud
denly, in that great agony, a single
drop of perspiration broke out on my
forehead. It felt like molten iron pour
ing through the skin.' But the deadly
spell was broken. My arms struggled
within their covering ; I partly raised
my head, and opened my eyesv wide.
" A loud, Jong shriek rang through
the room, and my wife cast herself
upon the coffin, between me and the
hateful covering the man held up in
his hand.
" I need not tell you all that follow
ed ; for here I am, alive and in per
fect health. But I have never recov
ered my original color, and have ever
remained as sallow as you see me
now. The event, however, has been
a warning to me. In many cases pre
viously, I had calmly seen people hur
ried very early to the grave ; but
ever since, wherever I had influence,
I have prevented the dead from being
hurried before some signs of corrup
tion presented themselves; for I am
perfectly convinced that those signs
are the only real tests of death."
The arbitrator! of the recent telefthapWe
ease, in which Akoi Kendall and otheri were
defendant!, hai been concluded, and the award
agreed upon, but not yet promulgated. The
termi are laid to be tatiifactorr to iba defen
dant. EVENS'
PERCUSSION PRESS.
ALL, FOB FIVE DOLLARS.
TO Hamp four business Addreas upon all Buei
naan and Important Paper, via: Receipts, Cheeks,
Note!", Letter Heads, Envelopes, 4c, to preveni
the aame from being FORGED or COUNTER.
FIBTED. Tbla proiection is obtained by a blow
of the band upon Hie Press, which elves Imtantly
to the paper a chaste, beautiful Impress of a Busi
naaa Card or Addreas in kkliivo, ihus hauling the
elforta of the moat adroit cuunteifeiter.
(EaT Price of Presa, with Seal of Fifty Letters or
lesa, five dollara. All over fifty letters, five centa
eaoh. Pres with Noiarinl Seal, five dollars. De
vice! on other than Notarial Seals cxira, aay from
flfty cento to one dollar and upward.
Arrangements are now made to eupply the whole
country, East, Wear, North and Sooth.
tOT This PEHCUS810N PRESS is now In con
stant use In Cincinnati and vlcinliy, by many f the
principal Bankers, Merohasts. Mechanica, Notaries
Public, Recorders, Loiet, Ac, for nenrly two
years, to whom all who desire information as to
IU utility, durability and value, are respectfully
referred.
Weight of Freia only two Found.
All order piomptly executed and delivered with
elesantlv engraved seule, and forwarded by Etprttt
If Laired. PIATT EVENS, JR.
Sole Proprietor, 167 Walnut St , Cincinnati.
NOTICE.
. Revocation of Agency.
I HEREBY give notice to tl pnbllc and to all
wishing to purchase Evens' Percussion gent
Pres that 1 have revoked the agency of C. F.
Hall, who ha for some lime adveniaed himself aa
mv eeneral agent.
The said C. P. Hall his no Ioniser any authority
whatsoever from me to manufacture or sell, or in
any way trnde in Evens' Percussion Seal Press, and
I shall no d all persona liable to the full extent of
mv nebt, who uudertake to deal with him In. rela
tion to aiid Press. : ,: PLA IT EVENS, JH.
October 81. ... .

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