THE late Mr. W, one of the leading business men of Cincinnati, was strongly opposed to the use of intoxicating liquor as a beverage, and in his gentle, quaint way preached many an effective temperance sermon.

He received one day a visit from Judge C—, of St. Louis, who then held the first place among the learned jurists of the West, and who was besides a brilliant man of the world, kind-hearted, brave, and loyal to his friendships.

Mr. W showed him over his manufactory, and his admiration was 'especially excited by the intricate machinery, much of which was of brass, finely polished,—a work of art as of use.

That evening the friends dined together at Mr. W's hotel. Judge C drank to excess.

Observing his friend's grave, keen eyes upon him, he said gaily,—

"You do not take brandy, W?"


"Nor wine?"


"I do," frankly. "Too much, probably. But I began thirty years ago. I drank as a boy at my father's table. I drank as a young man, and I drink as an old one. It is a trifling fault, if you choose to call it a fault, and will hurt nobody but myself. If it has not harmed me in thirty years, I have no cause for fear."

Mr. W bowed gravely, but made no reply.

When dinner was over, he said, "We had an accident in our mills an hour after you left. Will you walk up with me?"

They reached the mills in a few minutes. There had been an explosion of the boiler. The exquisite, costly machinery was a hopeless wreck. Two or three workmen had been crushed in the ruin, and laborers were digging to find the bodies.

"Horrible!" cried C. That machinery was so fine and massive, I thought it would last an age."

"Yes," said W, slowly,

"but there was a flaw in the boiler,—a very slight flaw, which the workmen thought of no importance. I have used it many years in safety. But the flaw was there,

and has done its work at last."

Judge C's face lost its color. He was silent a moment, and then turning, caught Mr. W—'s hand.

"I understand you, old friend," he said. "I will remember."

How long he remembered, we do not know.

A habit of thirty years is not easily broken.