Failing To Do

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failure to do train crashSome years ago a man became insane, from the accusations of his conscience, for having neglected his duty. He had been a watchman on a railroad bridge in Connecticut. When at his post, the duty expected of him was to throw up a signal light, when the draw in the bridge was open, so that trains coming along, might see it in time to stop, before reaching the opening in the bridge. One dark night, he allowed himself to fall asleep, instead of going out, and hoisting the signal, in time to give warning to any train that might be coming along.

Presently an express train came rushing by. No signal light was seen. That train did not stop; but on it pushed, till it plunged into that opening in the bridge. There was an awful wreck. A great number of unfortunate persons were crushed to death; and many more were fearfully wounded.

When the guilty watchman was searched for the next day, it was found that the thought of the terrible evil he had done, had made him crazy, and all that he could say was, “Oh! that I had only done my duty!” With a frightful look he muttered these words over and over again. After this, the remaining years of his life were spent in an insane asylum; but every day, till the day of his death, he was heard repeating the same sad words, “Oh! that I had only done my duty!” Surely that poor man found the way of transgressors a hard way.

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