Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Mothers.
' ' Can you help me 7 a few minutes, Marion?' ■. '<.■■•■',
:f I would like to, bufc ,-I don't see how I can.', The tone t was v not impatient, but hurried. ' I have this essay to finish !'■■;■ the society this evening. I must go to our French history class in an hour, then to a Guild meeting, and get back to my German lesson at five o'clock.'
'No you can't help me dear. You look worn out yourself. Neve>r mind. If I tie 1 up my head-perhaps : I:can;fihish this.' ' Through at last/ said Marion wearily, giving a finishing touch to the ' Development of Religious Ideas among the Greeks,' at the same time glancing quickly at the clock. Her attention was arrested by a strange sight. Her tired mother had fallen asleep over her sewing. That was not surprising, but the startled girl saw bending over her mother's pale face two angels, each looking earnestly at the sleeper.
'What made that weary look on this woman's face'?' asked thte; stern, strangelooking angel of the weaker, ■ sadder one. ' Has God given her no daughters ?' ' Yes,' replied the other, ' but they have no time to take care of their mother.'
'No time !' cried the other. ' ' What do they do with all the time I am letting them haye 1?'
'Well,' replied the Angel of Life, 'I keep their hands and hearts full. They are affectionate daughters, much admired for their good works ; but they do not know that they are letting the' one ,they love most slip from my arms.into"yours. Those grey hairs come from overwork, and anxiety to save extra money for the music and French lessons. Those pale cheeks faded while the girls were painting roses and pansies on velvet or satin.'
The dark angel frowned,
'Young ladies must be accomplished mow, 1 explained the other. ,' Those eyes grew dim sewing for the girls, to give 1 them time to study ancient history and modern languages ;. .those wrinkles came because the girls had not time to share the cares and worries of everyday life. That sigh comes because the mother feels neglected and lonely, while the girls are working for the women of India ; that tired look comes'from getting up so early, while the poor exhausted girls are trying to sleep back the late hours they gave to study or spent at the concert ; those feet are so weary because of their ceaseless walk around the house all day.' ' Surely the girls help, too,?? ; ( ; ' What they can. But their feet get weary enough going round begging for the charity hospital and church, and hunting up the poor and sick.' I
'No wonder,' said the Angel of Death 'so many mothers call me. This is indeed sad—loving, industrious girls giving their mother to my care as soon as .selfish, wicked ones !'
'Ah, the hours are so crowded,' saic'l Life, wearily. ' Girls who are cultured, or take an active part in life, have 17 0 time to take care of the mother who spent so much time in bringing them up.' ' Then I must place my seal on 1 ler brow,' said the Angel, of Death, bending over the sleeping woman. :,,''
'No ! no !' cried Marion, sprin-ging from her sent; ' I will take care of ber if you will only let her stay !'
' Daughter, you must have nightmare —wake up, dear. I fear you have missed your history class.
' Never mind, mother, I am not going to-day. I am rested now, and I will make those buttonholes while you curl up on the sofa and toko a nap. I'll send word to the guild professor that I must be excused to-day, for I am going to see to supper myself, and make some of those muffins you like.'
' But, dear, I dislike to take your time.' ' Seeing you have never given me any time ! Now, go to sleep, mother dear, as I did, and don't worry about me. You are of more consequence .than all the languages and classes in the world.'
So, after having been snugly tucked in a warm Afghan, with a tender kiss from her daughter, usually too busy for such demonstrations,; Mrs 1 Henson fell' into a sweet, restful sleep.
' I see we might have lost the best of mothers in pur mad rush to, be educated and useful in this hurrying, restless day and generation,' Marion soliloquised, as she occassionally stole a glance at the sleeping mother. ■ . ( .■ 'After this, what time she does not need I will devote to outside work and study. Until she gets well restored I will take charge of the house, and give up all the societies except one—that I'll have to myself, if the other girls won't join—a society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Mothers'.
And Marion kept her word
A few months later one of the womanrights class remarked to her : 'We miss your bright essay so much, Miss Marion. You seem to have lost all your ambition to be highly educated. You are letting your sisters get ahead of you, I fear. How young your mother looks to have grown daughters ! I never saw her looking so well.'
Then Marion felt rewarded for being a member of what she calls the S.P.C.M.
Permanent link to this item
Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Mothers., Ashburton Guardian, Volume xii, Issue 3407, 22 April 1890
Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Mothers. Ashburton Guardian, Volume xii, Issue 3407, 22 April 1890
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.