THE MISER'S DIAMOND NECKLACE.
In the year 1740 there lived m the Latin quarter m Paris, a famous miser named Jean Ave're. The wealth con cealed m the obscure rookery where he resided was believed to be fabulous, and was no doubt really very great. Among hiH treasures was a celebrated diamond necklace, of immense value. This he eoncea ed so carefully that he ultimately forgot its hiding-place himself. He sought diligently for weeks, and, failing to find it, became almost insane. This rendered him even less capable of remembrance, and he took to his bed broken m body as m mind. A few weeks later a doctor and an old woman, who had sometimes done odd jobbs about his house, were both at his bedside, seeing that the end was near. As the clock m the neighboring toAver tolled one, he ceased his low nattering and sat up and shrieked, " I remember where it is now. 1 can put my hand on the necklace. For God's sake let me go for it before I forget it again !" Here his weakness and excitement over* came him, and he sank back among his rags, stone dead. Physicians and students are familiar with these sudden outflash- i ngs of memory at the great prisis of human fatp. Let the reader consider this while we relate an episode m the humble career of #. (Signalman, Andrew Agge, who may b found <.;j duty m his box at Culgaith, a little station on Mj<i TMjdland, twenty-three miles south of Carlisle. Jtfr Agge is on duty nearly every day, and. must" break his fast without leaving his post, The confinement and mental strain tell on the f-ystpm. The strongest men cannot stand it long without fgeling its effects. It makes one think of the passionate exclamation m Tom Hood's "Song of the Shirt," "Oh, God! that bread should be so dear, And flesh and blojod so cheap." Our friend had been at the same work for many years, although lie was only thirty-fiys «t} rhen these lines were written. In 1884 he began to fee} that he was about to break down. '' I don't know what ails me," he would say, " but i can't eat." What he forced down produced no sense of saiisfaction op strength. Sometimes he was alarmed a|b finding he could scarcely walk on account of giddiness. He saidto himself, " What if I should be seized with this at some moment when there is trouble on the line, and I need »U my wits about me ¥' Other features of this ailment wert pains m the chest itnd sid&s, oosfciveness, yellow skin and eyes, bad taste m the mouth, rising of foul r^'is m the thro.it, ptc The doctor sa^ «% fe must give up
!his confining work or risk utter disability. He could not. Wife and children were m the way. So he remained at his post and grew worse. But his work was always right, telegrams were properly received and sent, and no train got into trouble through any neglect or fault of his. His disease—indigestion und dyspepsia—'took a step further, and brought on kidney and bladder trouble. The 'doctor at _ Appleby said, "Mr Agge, you are poisoned with the foul stuff m your stomach and blood." His doom seemed to fee sealed. It was like a death warrant. Six months more rolled by. On duly one morning he. was attacked with ;s> great and so sharp a distress he could neither sit nor stand. He says: ' I tumbled down on that locker and lay there all the forenoon. Signals might be given, the telegraph needle might click, but I heeded them no more than a man m the grave heeds the beating of the rain against his own tombstone." He was alone at first, but help arrived, and the poor signalman was carried home. Physicians labored on his case without avail. Around his bed were his five little children, the mother being absent m an institution, to be treated for a serious ailment. Here he lay for weeks, part of the time I tatoonscious. Nothing was to be done but to wait for the end. Then the torpid faculties awakened for a moment. Memory Hashed up, and he recal'ed the, fact that a medicine lohich he had nscd ivith benefit years before, and then thrown aside and fnrgotfen, teas concealed m a secret place at the strjnal box. He. sent for it, and took a'dose. Soon his bowels moved, the kidneys acted, the pain was ceased, he felt better With brightened, hope he sent to Carlisle for more. Itarrived. He used it, and m a few days the doctors were astonished to find their patient out of doors, and on the road to recovery. He regained his health com pletely, and, m speaking of his experience said to the writer, "What a wonderful thing it Was that, on what promised to be my death-bed, I suddenly remembered where I had put that half-used bottle of Mother Seigel's Curative Syrup. That flash of memory probably saved me from death.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2524, 22 September 1890
THE MISER'S DIAMOND NECKLACE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2524, 22 September 1890
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