Samuel J. May. This one is interesting on many levels...
"HOW TO TURN AWAY WRATH.
Mr. May had a parishioner of intemperate habits, who was such a trial to his poor wife that the soot] woman went to her pastor and asked him, in her distress, if he thought it would be wrong to put an emetic in her husband's decanter, so as to give him a disrelish for spirituous liquors. Mr. May probably thought that the experiment might be worth trying; at all events, he did not tell the woman that it would be very sinful. She tried it; but the man became so ill that, in her fear, she made a full confession, even implicating Mr. May slightly. This infuriated her husband, who seldom met "the minister" afterwards without pouring out his hatred in the strongest terms. He would not listen to one word of explanation or expostulation on the part of his imagined enemy, who waited patiently for an opportunity to reassure him of his love. Once, when Mrs. May had been quite sick, she went to ride with her husband, and they drove past the house of the intemperate man, who was working in his garden, in which he took great pride. Mrs. May coveted some of the fine melons, but thought she knew it would be a hopeless request if she should ask for one; yet Mr. May said," I will see." So he guided the horse up to the fence; but the man had noticed their approach, and turned his back, while he bent over his work more diligently than before. Very soon a voice, so free from passion that he could hardly believe it came from the lips of one whom he had so often and so shamefully abused, said to him, in the kindest tones: " I have come to ask a great favor at your hands. If you will give me a melon for my sick wife, I will thank you. She has a great craving for melons. I know you have the best in town. Will you give me one for her?" The man was silent for some time, evidently struggling with himself. He had wanted to denounce Mr. May when he saw him approaching; but he was large-hearted, after all, and this direct appeal to his magnanimity thrilled him and subdued him. At last he said, gently, " I will bring some up to your house." " Oh, don't put yourself to so much trouble. We can take them in the carriage." " I prefer to bring them." He soon appeared at the manse with the best of every thing that his garden produced, refused all compensation, was at once reconciled to Mr. May, and gratefully accepted his assistance in overcoming his bad habit; afterwards regaining much of his former good standing."
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The "putting emetic in the drink" plan was still pretty screwed-up, though.
I am with you on that! Melons over emetics any day. Thanks for writing and
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