"I say, Jerry," said the Governor, "you are treading pretty hard on my toes, you know; I'm not so good as you are, more shame for me, I wish I was."
"Well," said Jerry, "why don't you cut with it, Governor? you are too good a man to be the slave of such a thing."
"I'm a great fool, Jerry, but I tried once for two days, and I thought I should have died: how did you do?"
"I had hard work at it for several weeks; you see, I never did get drunk, but I found that I was not my own master, and that when the craving came on, it was hard work to say 'no.' I saw that one of us must knock under—the drink devil, or Jerry Barker, and I said that it should not be Jerry Barker, God helping me: but it was a struggle, and I wanted all the help I could get, for till I tried to break the habit, I did not know how strong it was; but then Polly took such pains that I should have good food, and when the craving came on, I used to get a cup of coffee, or some peppermint, or read a bit in my book, and that was a help to me: sometimes I had to say over and over to myself, 'Give up the drink or lose your soul? give up the drink or break Polly's heart?' But thanks be to God, and my dear wife, my chains were broken, and now for ten years I have not tasted a drop, and never wish for it."
"I've a great mind to try at it," said Grant, "for 'tis a poor thing not to be one's own master."
"Do Governor, do, you'll never repent it, and