A widow woman with a band of children wishes
to leave the city of L for a distant town where her relatives
reside. Her landlord attaches her clothes for a paltry remainder
of four dollars. The fact comes to the knowledge of a couple of
active masons. One of them, an enterprising man with a full stock
of what phrenologists would call vitality, stands in his store
door and begs from every passer by "A quarter dollar for
a distressed widow and her family Captain Colonel Squire-Doctor
Parson, a quarter for a poor widow and her family!" Being
known to every body, and universally popular, his appeal in every
instance was successful, and in a very short time he makes up
fifteen dollars, (none being called on for more than a moderate
donation,) and the distressed ones went on their way rejoicing.
Wasn't that active charity? CAN IT BE SO? "I called on him,"
said a widow lady, "again and again for my money."
It was only twenty five dollars, a small matter to a man. Were I one, I would go out and earn it directly. But a widow woman cannot go out to earn money as a man, and I was really in want of that twenty five dollars. I told him so; I plead with him. You can borrow this money, said I, for you have friends and they have advanced you money in your business. I told him that my husband was a mason, buried masonically, resting under a tombstone covered with Masonic emblems, and I showed him the diploma, the apron, and all the evidences. I told him that my father was a mason, that he had reared me up to love and reverence masonry, and to believe that masons were good men and true, and I showed him my father's well worn medal. And I, a widow with a large family, a mason's daughter and a mason's widow, I plead with him, a young man with no one but himself to support, and he, a freemason, refused to pay me the money!"
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