Recently I called at the home of a friend and found his wife reading a Masonic Paper. Since she and her people had long been a bitter anti-Masonic family, I asked her the reason for her change in reading material. She replied she had discovered the grand secret of Masonry; and related to me as follows:-
"Soon after you were here last, I learned to my mortification, my husband had become a Mason. I felt it was because of you and I need not say how I felt toward either of you. I at once decided that my domestic happiness had come to an end. Some time later a circumstance occurred that for the first time gave me reason to doubt his integrity. Late on one of the coldest nights last winter my husband came in and asked, "Margaret, can you do without your blanket shawl?" I answered yes and he asked me to get it, also a bed comforter. I handed them to him and he left the house to join a friend who was waiting for him with a very large basket. My husband returned shortly with no explanation, either then or later for his actions. I decided to watch for my shawl, for if I once caught sight of it I could unravel this whole mystery. Soon afterward a female whisked past me on the street wearing my shawl.
"The good for nothing huzzy, I thought; and excitedly started in pursuit. I followed closely from street to street and into the fourth story of a bindery. As she sat down to work I immediately set about locating her residence to get a clue to my husband's perfidy. On arriving at her home I saw that I was not mistaken for I found my comforter there.
"The who secret flashed on my mind at once, as clearly as if it had been written with a sunbeam from heaven. There I found a widowed mother in the last stages of consumption, and three children dependent upon the scanty pittance earned by the elder sister, whom I had followed. I learned from the dying woman a lesson, that in all my philosophy I had never dreamed of—such a tale of sorrow as I had never before listened to—and when she had related the deed of charity that had been the cause of all my unhappiness, I felt there was not room in my bosom to appreciate the disinterested benevolence of my husband. She said, "I do not know how we should have lived, but for the kindness of two persons who came here late one night, and left a basket filled with provisions, some bedclothes, a shawl and five dollars. They just opened the door and set in the basket, saying, "Accept this and ask no questions"; and left before I had time to inquire their names. I do not know who they were, and I have some doubts from where these things came. But I never forget in earnest prayers to Him, Who opened His hand and filleth the poor with bread, to ask, if these were men, He will keep them and theirs from the sorrows and afflictions with which I am visited. I left the house a better woman than when I entered it."
"But the grand secret of Masonry," said I, "I thought you were to tell me what it is."
She replied, "It is this—to do good and not tell of it."