Home Lights and Shadows

Home Lights and Shadows

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PREFACE.

HOME! How at the word, a crowd of pleasant thoughts awaken. What sun-bright images are pictured to the imagination. Yet, there is no home without its shadows as well as sunshine. Love makes the home-lights and selfishness the shadows. Ah! how dark the shadow at times—how faint and fleeting the sunshine. How often selfishness towers up to a giant height, barring out from our dwellings every golden ray. There are few of us, who do not, at times, darken with our presence the homes that should grow bright at our coming. It is sad to acknowledge this; yet, in the very acknowledgement is a promise of better things, for, it is rarely that we confess, without a resolution to overcome the evil that mars our own and others' happiness. Need we say, that the book now presented to the reader is designed to aid in the work of overcoming what is evil and selfish, that home-lights may dispel home-shadows, and keep them forever from our dwellings.

RIGHTS AND WRONGS.

IT is a little singular—yet certainly true—that people who are very tenacious of their own rights, and prompt in maintaining them, usually have rather vague notions touching the rights of others. Like the too eager merchant, in securing their own, they are very apt to get a little more than belongs to them.

Mrs. Barbara Uhler presented a notable instance of this. We cannot exactly class her with the "strong-minded" women of the day. But she had quite a leaning in that direction; and if not very strong-minded herself, was so unfortunate as to number among her intimate friends two or three ladies who had a fair title to the distinction.

Mrs. Barbara Uhler was a wife and a mother. She was also a woman; and her consciousness of this last named fact was never indistinct, nor ever unmingled with a belligerent appreciation of the rights appertaining to her sex and position.

As for Mr. Herman Uhler, he was looked upon, abroad, as a mild, reasonable, good sort of a man. At home, however, he was held in a very different estimation. The "wife of his bosom" regarded him as an exacting domestic tyrant; and, in opposing his will, she only fell back, as she conceived, upon the first and most sacred law of her nature. As to "obeying" him, she had scouted that idea from the beginning. The words, "honor and obey," in the marriage service, she had always declared, would have to be omitted when she stood at the altar. But as she had, in her maidenhood, a very strong liking for the handsome young Mr. Uhler, and, as she could not obtain so material a change in the church ritual, as the one needed to meet her case, she wisely made a virtue of necessity, and went to the altar with her lover. The difficulty was reconciled to her own conscience by a mental reservation.

It is worthy of remark that above all other of the obligations here solemnly entered into, this one, not to honor and obey her husband, ever after remained prominent in the mind of Mrs. Barbara Uhler. And it was no fruitless sentiment, as Mr. Herman Uhler could feelingly testify....