T. S. Arthur

Timothy Shay Arthur (June 6, 1809 – March 6, 1885) — known as T.S. Arthur — was a popular 19th-century American author. He is most famous for his temperance novel Ten Nights in a Bar-Room and What I Saw There (1854), which helped demonize alcohol in the eyes of the American public.

He was also the author of dozens of stories for Godey’s Lady’s Book, the most popular American monthly magazine in the antebellum era, and he published and edited his own Arthur’s Home Magazine, a periodical in the Godey’s model, for many years. Virtually forgotten now, Arthur did much to articulate and disseminate the values, beliefs, and habits that defined respectable, decorous middle-class life in antebellum America.

Very Poor

"What has become of the Wightmans?" I asked of my old friend Payson. I had returned to my native place after an absence of several years. Payson looked grave. "Nothing wrong with them, I hope. Wightman was a clever man, and he had a pleasant family." My friend shook his head ominously. "He was doing very well when I left," said I. "All broken up now," was answered. "He failed several years ago."

A Good Name

Two boys, named Jacob Peters and Ralph Gilpin were passing along Chestnut Street one evening about ten years ago, when one of them, stopped, and said,-- "Come, Ralph, let us have some oysters. I've got a quarter." They were in front of an oyster-cellar. "No," replied Ralph, firmly. "I'm not going down there." "I didn't mean that we should get anything to drink," replied the other.

Hadn’t Time for Trouble

Mrs. Caldwell was so unfortunate as to have a rich husband. Not that the possession of a rich husband is to be declared a misfortune, per se, but, considering the temperament of Mrs. Caldwell, the fact was against her happiness, and therefore is to be regarded, taking the ordinary significance, of the term, as unfortunate. Wealth gave Mrs. Caldwell leisure for ease and luxurious self-indulgence, and she accepted the privileges of her condition.

A Mystery Explained

"Going to the Falls and to the White Mountains!" "Yes, I'm off next week." "How long will you be absent?" "From ten days to two weeks." "What will it cost?" "I shall take a hundred dollars in my pocket-book! That will carry me through."

The Heiress

Kate Darlington was a belle and a beauty; and had, as might be supposed, not a few admirers. Some were attracted by her person; some by her winning manners, and not a few by the wealth of her family. But though sweet Kate was both a belle and a beauty, she was a shrewd, clear-seeing girl, and had far more penetration into character than belles and beauties are generally thought to possess. For the whole tribe of American dandies, with their disfiguring moustaches and imperials, she had a most hearty contempt. Hair never made up, with her, for the lack of brains.

Which Was Most the Lady?

"Did you ever see such a queer looking figure?" exclaimed a young lady, speaking loud enough to be heard by the object of her remark. She was riding slowly along in an open carriage, a short distance from the city, accompanied by a relative. The young man, her companion, looked across the, road at a woman, whose attire was certainly not in any way very near approach to the fashion of the day. She had on a faded calico dress, short in the waist; stout leather shoes; the remains of what had once been a red merino long shawl, and a dingy old Leghorn bonnet of the style of eighteen hundred and twenty.

Romance and Reality

"I met with a most splendid girl last evening," remarked to his friend a young man, whose fine, intellectual forehead, and clear bright eye, gave indications of more than ordinary mental endowments. "Who is she?" was the friend's brief question. "Her name is Adelaide Merton. Have you ever seen her?" "No, but I have often heard of the young lady." "As a girl of more than ordinary intelligence?"

In the Way of Temptation

Martin Green was a young man of good habits and a good conceit of himself. He had listened, often and again, with as much patience as he could assume, to warning and suggestion touching the dangers that beset the feet of those who go out into this wicked world, and become subject to its legion of temptations. All these warnings and suggestions he considered as so many words wasted when offered to himself.

Other People’s Eyes

"Our parlor carpet is beginning to look real shabby," said Mrs. Cartwright. "I declare! if I don't feel right down ashamed of it, every time a visitor, who is anybody, calls in to see me." "A new one will cost--" The husband of Mrs. Cartwright, a good-natured, compliant man, who was never better pleased than when he could please his wife, paused to let her finish the sentence, which she did promptly, by saying,--