The Story of George HallLord George had led an evil life. He had been a drunkard, a gambler, and a cheat in his business, and his face reflected the life he had led. It was an evil face.
One day he fell in love with a simple country girl to whom he proposed marriage. Jenny Mere told him that she could never marry a man whose face was so repulsive and so evil looking, and also that, when she did marry, she wanted a man with a saint-like face whhihc was the mirror of true love.
Following a custom of the day, Lord George went down to Mr. Aeneas in Bond Street, London. Aeneas mad waxen masks for people, and his skill was so perfect that the person's identity was completely hidden. As proof of his skill, it was said tha many spendthrift debtors, equipped with his masks, could pass among their creditors unrecognized. Aeneas went to his storeroom, and selected a mask, heated it over a lamp, and fixed it to Lord George's face; and when Lord George looked in the glass, he had the face of a saint who loved dearly. So altered was his appearance that Jenny Mere was soon wooed and won.
He bought a little cottage in the country, almost hidden in an arbor of roses, with a tiny garden spot. From then on his entire life changed. He became interested in nature; he found 'sermons in stone, books in brook and good in everything.' Formerly he was blase', and life had no interest for him; he was engrossed in kindliness and the world around him.
He was not content with starting life anew, but tried to make amends for the past. Through a confidential solicitor he restored his ill-gotten gains to those whom he had cheated. Each day brought new refinements to his character, more beautiful thoughts to his soul.
By accident, his former companions discovered his identity. They visited him in his garden and urged him to return to his old evil life. When he refused, he was attacked, and the mask was torn from his face.
He hung his head. Here was the end of all; here was the end of his newfound life and his love dream. As he stood with bowed head, with the mask at his feet on the grass, his wife rushed across the garden and threw herself on her knees in front of him. When she looked up at him, what do you suppose she found? Lo! Line for line, feature for feature, the face was the same as that of the mask.
** What a wonderful story! We do take on the appearance of our thoughts, our desires, our actions. Remember what Soloman said: "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." [Proverbs 23:7]
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