SPEAKING OF LONG AGO.
New Zealand Tablet, Volume XXIV, Issue 5, 28 May 1897, Page 29
SPEAKING OF LONG AGO.
To-day, as I pen these lines, one picture from the long-vanished past rises in my memory as clearly as though it hung on a wall before my very eyes. It is of a boy about fourteen years old, propped up in a great arm-chair with pillows and bed-clothes, and gazing through a window. He is just convalescing after a long and dangerous illness, and is still thin, pale, and weak. The strong arms of his loving father have taken him from the bed and placed him snugly by the window in order that he may see his playmates at their games in the snow ; for the time is mid-winter. They wave their hands to him and he waves his hand feebly to them. The scene is from my own boyhood, forty years ago. What magio has conjured it up now ? Only a sentence from a letter.
This : " I was so weak that for years I had to be carried upstairs to bed." A lady speaks thus of her girlhood. What a pitiable thing. It is not what nature meant ; but alas 1 too often what really happens in this perverted world. Children should never suffer pain, for pain is punishment. For whose offence, then — surely not their own — do the little ones sicken and die by uncounted millions ?
" From childhood," so runs the letter, " I was always delicate. When fourteen years old I got a chill on the lungs which left me in a weak state. Indeed, I was always tired and weary, and never knew what it was to feel strong."
Now, tell me, if you can, what sadder reading one is apt to come upon than this ? Fancy a young girl being always tired, weary, and weak ! — too weak to climb the stairs to her own bed J so feeble and lifeless as to require to be carried over the house through which she .should have skipped and danced like a fawn. What had so crushed her / Disease ? What disease and how caused ?
'• I was very pale," continues the letter ; '* My feet were cold and clammy, and hot sweats now and again burst over me. My appetite was poor ; and, after eating, I suffered such pain at the chest and sides that it often amounted to agony ; and the palpitation of the heart was so bad that many times I got no sleep at night on account of it."
And this at an age when the heart should beat quickly only with feelings of joy and hope ; and girlish forms in their beds should be as quiet as recumbent statues.
" After a time," says the writer, " I could take liquid nourishment only, my stomach being too weak to retain anything solid. Thus, 1 gradually wasted away until I was nothing but skin and bone. I had not even strength to walk across the floor ; and all who saw me said it was impossible that I should ever get well.
" From time to time I saw doctor after doctor, and twice went to the Sherborne Hospital, but received no benefit from the treatment there. -It last the doctors' said that both viy chest aud bowels were ulcerated and that there was no hope of viy recovery. I was now so bad that I could take nothing but weak brandy and water — and that only occasionally.
" In this hopeless condition I lingered on until March, 1890, when I heard of Mother Seigel's Curative Syrup. Although I had given up all hope of deriving any benefit from any medicine, I nevertheless, sent for a bottle of the Syrup, and after having taken it for a few days I found myself a little better. This led me to continue using it, and shortly I was able to take solid food, and the sickness gradually left me. Holding to this medicine — the only one that had ever helped me — I grew stronger and stronger until I was in good health. Without Mother Seigel's Curative Syrup I should never have recovered ; and you must try to imagine how grateful 1 feel. I can never put my thankfulness in words. Yours truly f Signed) (Mrs.) Mary Jane Hilliar, Rimpton, near Sherborne, Dorset, March 9th, 1893."
We rest at this. Here is a life history. How can we comment on it adequately ? What a pity that this woman should have so suffered 1 What a satisfaction to know that she suffers no more 1 And yet — the lost time, the lost happiness ! Ah, yes 1 Mother Seigel had reason enough to induce her to labour as she did to relieve her sifter women. Thank Heaven for her success.
Mrs. Hilliar's real diease was of the stomach — indigestion and dyspepsia ; inherited, probably, and made chronic by circumstances. The remedy she finally used cured this, and so freed her from all the symptoms and rosults. How kindly are the arms that carry us in our weakness. How glorious not to need them !