The Lights and Shadows of Real Life
We have said that Mr. Bacon was a kind-hearted cheerful-minded man. And so he was; kind-hearted and cheerful, even though clouds were beginning to darken above him, and a sigh from the coming tempest was in the air. Yet not so uniformly cheerful as of old, though never moody nor perverse in his tempers. Of the change that was in progress, the change from prosperity to adversity, he did not seem to be painfully conscious.
Yes, there was something wrong about the affairs of old Mr. Bacon. A habit indulged through many years, had acquired a dangerous influence over him, and was gradually destroying his rational ability to act well in the ordinary concerns of life. As a young man, Mr. Bacon drank "temperately," and he drank "temperately" in the prime of life; and now, at sixty, he continued to drink "temperately," that is, in his own estimation. There were many, however, who