Part 2 out of 3
Carry them with you, and stand by them; then, in weakness and
temptation, by the help of God, they will stand by you.
Take your place like a man, on the side of your God and Saviour, of your
mother's God and Saviour, and of your father's God.
It is by a failure to do this, that so many boys go astray, and grow up
to be young men dishonoring their parents, without hope and without God
in the world.
* * * * *
Ashamed of Jesus! that dear friend,
On whom my hopes of heaven depend?
No; when I blush, be this my shame,
That I no more revere His name.
Ashamed of Jesus! yes, I may,
When I've no guilt to wash away,
No tears to wipe, no good to crave,
No fears to quell, no soul to save.
[Illustration: "_Herbert closed his book and began playing with some
THE USE OF LEARNING
"I am tired of going to school," said Herbert Allen to William Wheeler,
the boy who sat next to him. "I don't see any great use, for my part, in
studying geometry, and navigation, and surveying, and mensuration, and
the dozen other things that I am expected to learn. They will never do
me any good. I am not going to get my living as a surveyor, or measurer,
or sea captain."
"How are you going to get your living, Herbert?" his young friend asked,
in a quiet tone, as he looked up into his face.
"Why, I am going to learn a trade; or, at least, my father says that I
"And so am I," replied William; "and yet my father wishes me to learn
everything that I can; for he says that it will all be useful some time
or other in my life."
"I'm sure I can't see what use I am ever going to make, as a saddler, of
algebra or surveying."
"Still, if we can't see it, Herbert, perhaps our fathers can, for they
are older and wiser than we are. And we ought to try to learn, simply
because they wish us to, even if we do not see clearly the use in
everything that we are expected to study."
"I can't feel so," Herbert replied, tossing his head, "and I don't
believe that my father sees any more clearly than I do the use of all
"You are wrong to talk so," protested his friend, in a serious tone. "I
would not think as you do for the world. My father knows what is best
for me, and your father knows what is best for you; and if we do not
study and improve our time, we will surely go wrong."
"I am not afraid," responded Herbert, closing the book which he had been
reluctantly studying for half an hour, in the vain effort to fix a
lesson on his unwilling memory. Then taking some marbles from his
pocket, he began to amuse himself with them, at the same time concealing
them from the teacher.
William said no more, but turned to his lesson with an earnest
attention. The difference in the character of the two boys is plainly
indicated in this brief conversation. To their teacher it was evident in
numerous particulars--in their conduct, their habits, and their manners.
William always recited his lessons correctly, while Herbert never
learned a lesson well. One was always punctual at school, the other a
loiterer by the way. William's books were well taken care of, Herbert's
were soiled, torn, disfigured, and broken.
Thus they began life. The one obedient, industrious, attentive to the
precepts of those who were older and wiser, and willing to be guided by
them; the other indolent, and inclined to follow the leadings of his own
will. Now, at the age of thirty-five, Mr. Wheeler is an intelligent
merchant, in an active business; while Mr. Allen is a journeyman
mechanic, poor, in embarrassed circumstances, and possessing but a small
share of general information.
[Illustration: "_The contrast in their appearance was very great_."]
"How do you do, my old friend?" said the merchant to the mechanic, about
this time, as the latter entered the counting room of the former. The
contrast in their appearance was very great. The merchant was well
dressed, and had a cheerful look; while the other was poorly clad, and
seemed troubled and dejected.
"I cannot say that I do very well, Mr. Wheeler," the mechanic replied,
in a tone of despondency. "Work is very dull, and wages low; and, with
so large a family as I have, it is tough enough getting along under the
"I am really sorry to hear you say so," replied the merchant, in a kind
tone. "How much can you earn now?"
"If I had steady work, I could make twelve or fifteen dollars a week.
But our business is very bad. The consequence is, that I do not average
nine dollars a week, the year round."
"How large is your family?"
"I have five children, sir."
"Five children! And only nine dollars a week!"
"That is all, sir; but nine dollars a week will not support them, and I
am, in consequence, going behindhand."
"You ought to try to get into some other business."
"But I don't know any other."
The merchant mused awhile, and then said: "Perhaps I can aid you into
getting into something better. I am president of a newly-projected
railroad, and we are about putting on the line a company of engineers,
for the purpose of surveying and locating the route. You studied
surveying and engineering at the same time I did, and I suppose have
still a correct knowledge of both; if so, I will use my influence to
have you appointed surveyor. The engineer is already chosen, and you
shall have time to revive your early knowledge of these matters. The
salary is one hundred dollars a month."
A shadow, still darker than that which had before rested there, fell
upon the face of the mechanic.
"But," he said, "I have not the slightest knowledge of surveying. It is
true I studied it, or rather pretended to study it, at school; but it
made no permanent impression on my mind. I saw no use in it then, and am
now as ignorant of surveying as if I had never taken a lesson on the
"I am sorry, my old friend," replied the merchant. "But you are a good
accountant, I suppose, and I might, perhaps, get you into a store. What
is your capacity in this respect?"
"I ought to have been a good accountant, for I studied mathematics long
enough; but I took little interest in figures, and now, although I was
for many months, while at school, pretending to study bookkeeping, I am
utterly incapable of taking charge of a set of books."
"Such being the case, Mr. Allen, I really do not know what I can do for
you. But stay; I am about sending an assorted cargo to Buenos Ayres, and
thence to Callao, and want a man to go as supercargo, who can speak the
Spanish language. The captain will direct the sales. I remember that we
studied Spanish together. Would you be willing to leave your family and
go? The wages will be one hundred dollars a month."
"I have forgotten all my Spanish, sir. I did not see the use of it while
at school, and therefore it made no impression upon my mind."
After thinking a moment, the merchant replied:--
"I can think of but one thing that you can do, Mr. Allen, and that will
not be much better than your present employment. It is a service for
which ordinary laborers are employed, that of chain carrying for the
surveyor to the proposed railroad expedition."
"What are the wages, sir?"
"Forty dollars a month."
"I will accept it, sir, thankfully," the man said. "It will be much
better than my present employment."
"Then make yourself ready at once, for the company will start in a
"I will be ready, sir," the poor man replied, and then withdrew.
In a week the company of engineers started, and Mr. Allen with them as a
chain carrier, when, had he, as a boy, taken the advice of his parents
and friends, and stored his mind with useful knowledge, he might have
filled the surveyor's office at more than double the wages paid to him
as chain carrier. Indeed, we cannot tell how high a position of
usefulness and profit he might have held, had he improved all the
opportunities afforded him in youth. But he perceived the use and value
of learning when it was too late.
I hope that none of my young readers will make the same discovery that
Mr. Allen did, when it is too late to reap any real benefit. Children
and youth cannot possibly know as well as their parents, guardians, and
teachers, what is best for them. They should, therefore, be obedient and
willing to learn, even if they cannot see of what use learning will be
[Illustration: "_It is chain carrying for the surveyor_."]
JAMIE AND HIS TEACHER
Among the scholars in a mission Sabbath school formed in one of our
large country villages, was a little Irish boy, whose bright,
intelligent face, quickness of mind, and earnest attention to the
lessons, had awakened great interest in the mind of his teacher.
After a few Sabbaths, however, this boy was missing, and when sought by
the visiting committee during the week, was never to be found.
Sometimes he was seen from a distance, looking with apparent interest,
as the superintendent or one of the teachers passed by, but if they
attempted to approach him, he would take to his heels, and spring over
walls and fences with such agility that there was no hope of overtaking
Miss L., his teacher in the Sabbath school, was a young lady belonging
to one of the wealthiest families in the village. One cold afternoon in
December, after Jamie had been absent from his class more than a month,
he made his appearance at the back door of her father's house, asking to
"No, no," said the cook, "ye needn't be thinking the young leddy'll come
in the woodshed to see ye. If ye have any message, ye can go in the
"I don't look nice enough to go in," said Jamie, glancing ruefully at
his torn trousers and coarse, muddy boots.
But it so happened that Miss L. was passing through the hall, and she
heard and recognized the voice at once; so she came to the door to see
what was wanted.
Jamie hung his head in confusion, while the young lady kindly took his
hand in hers, and asked if he had been well, and why he had not been to
"Me father wouldn't let me come," he sobbed out at last; "he bate me
because I'd been to the Sabbath school."
"Poor child!" exclaimed Miss L. "But does your father know you came
here this afternoon?"
"No, ma'am; but he said I might have every half holiday to go skating,
if I promised never to go inside the Sabbath school again. So I brought
me Testament, and I thought mebbe you'd teach me here, ma'am."
Was it not a bold request? Did not Jamie know that with home duties and
the claims of social life, his teacher's time must be fully occupied?
Might she not think that her services on the Sabbath were all that
should be required of her?
Ah, no; what were time, and strength, and fashionable amusements, to be
compared with the value of a precious soul? Miss L. could only thank God
for so rich a privilege, and enter with joy upon the work of
So every half holiday found Jamie seated by her side in the beautiful
library, earnestly studying the words of the Master, who has said,
"Suffer little children to come unto Me."
Skating-time came and went; the last ice had melted from the pond; but
never once had Jamie gone skating. He had found a source of better,
deeper delight, than even boyish sports could afford.
But Jamie could not always hide the fact that he was spending his time
in this way.
[Illustration: "_It's me Testament, father_."]
One day, his well-worn Testament fell from his pocket in the presence of
"What's that?" demanded the father fiercely.
"It's me Testament, father," Jamie gently replied.
"And where did ye get that? Have ye been to the Sabbath school since I
told ye not?"
"No, father; but my teacher gave me this a great while ago."
"And who is your teacher?"
"What, Miss L.? The one that lives in that splendid house on the hill?"
"Well, well, what's in the book? let's hear a bit."
[Illustration: "_What's in the book? let's hear a bit_."]
Providentially, this was one of the rare occasions when Mr. Ryan was not
intoxicated, and as the boy read passage after passage from his beloved
book, the father's mind opened with a child-like interest to the truths
of the holy word.
From that day he became a sincere inquirer after the truth as it is in
Jesus. The appetite for strong drink, which had been the cause of his
degradation, was at last quenched; for a stronger thirst had taken
possession of his soul, even for that purifying stream of which
whosoever drinketh shall never thirst.
When sober, Mr. Ryan was an industrious and intelligent man, and by his
renewed energies his family was soon placed in a position of comfort
and respectability. But that was not all the good effect of Jamie's love
for the truth.
Within a few months, both father and mother had cast off the fetters of
restraint, and were receiving for themselves with meekness and
earnestness, that precious word which was able to save their souls.
Had not Jamie made the very best use of his winter holidays? and was not
his teacher richly rewarded for all her exertions?
How many of our young readers will study with equal earnestness the word
of truth, which is always open to them, that they may learn from it the
way of life? How many Christian teachers will engage with equal interest
in the work of instruction, in the hope that in so doing they may save a
soul from death?
* * * * *
Hosanna to the Son
Of David and of God,
Who brought the news of pardon down,
And bought it with His blood.
To Christ the anointed King
Be endless blessings given;
Let the whole earth His glories sing,
Who made our peace with heaven.
"WITH A WILL, JOE!"
It was a summer afternoon; the wheelbarrow stood before Mrs. Robbins'
door; the street was empty of all traffic, for the heat was intense.
I sauntered languidly along on the shady side opposite the widow's
house, and noticed her boy bringing out some linen in a basket, to put
on the wheelbarrow.
I was surprised at the size of the basket he was lugging along the
passage and lifting on to the wheelbarrow, and paused to look at him. He
pulled, and dragged, and then resting a moment began again, and in the
silence of the street, I heard him saying something to himself.
I half crossed the road. He was too busy to notice me, and then, in a
pause of his toil, I heard him gasp out:--
"With a will, Joe!" He was encouraging himself to a further effort with
these words. At last, bringing the large basket to the curbstone, he ran
in and got a piece of smooth wood as a lever; resting one end of the
basket on the wheelbarrow, he heaved up the other end, and saying a
little louder than before, "With a will, Joe," the basket was mounted
on to the wheelbarrow.
[Illustration: _"I've managed it, mother."_]
As he rested, and looked proudly at his successful effort, he saw me,
and his round, red face, covered with perspiration, became scarlet for a
moment, as I said:--
"That's a brave boy." The mother's voice sounded in the passage:--
"I'm coming, Joe!" and out she came, as the child, pointing to the
"I've managed it, mother!" It was a pretty sight,--the gratified smile
of the widowed mother, as she fondly regarded her willing boy. Though no
further word was spoken, the expression of satisfaction on their faces
was very plain, and I have no doubt in each heart there was a throb of
pleasure for which words have no language.
I went on my way, but the saying, "With a will, Joe," went with me. How
much there was in that simple phrase, "With a will!"
How different is our work according as we do it with or against our
will. This little fellow might have cried or murmured, or left his
mother to do the work, and been dissatisfied with himself, and a source
of discontent to his mother; but he had spurred himself on to toil and
duty, with his words, powerful in their simplicity--"With a will, Joe."
Often since have I recalled the scene and the saying. When some young
lady complains to me, "I have no time to give to doing good. I've visits
to make, and shopping to do, and embroidery to finish, how can I help
the poor when I'm so pressed for time?" I am apt to say mentally, "How
different it would be with her, if she had ever said to herself, 'With a
Yes, with a will we can do almost anything that ought to be done; and
without a will we can do nothing as it should be done. To all of us,
whatever our station, there come difficulties and trials. If we yield to
them, we are beaten down and conquered.
But if we, ourselves, conquer the temptation to do wrong, calling the
strength of God to aid us in our struggle with the enemy, we shall grow
stronger and more valiant with every battle, and less liable to fall
again into temptation. Our wisdom and our duty are to rouse
ourselves,--to speak to our own hearts as the child did in his simple
words, "With a will, Joe."
[Illustration: "_I shan't go to school_."]
EFFECTS OF DISOBEDIENCE
The following affecting narrative was related by a father to his son, as
a warning, from his own bitter experience of the sin of resisting a
mother's love and counsel.
What agony was on my mother's face when all that she had said and
suffered failed to move me. She rose to go home and I followed at a
distance. She spoke to me no more until she reached her own door.
"It is school time now," she said. "Go, my son, and once more let me
beseech you to think upon what I have said."
"I shan't go to school," said I.
She looked astonished at my boldness, but replied firmly:--
"Certainly you will, Alfred! I command you!"
"I will not," said I.
"One of two things you must do, Alfred--either go to school this minute,
or I will lock you up in your room, and keep you there until you promise
implicit obedience to my wishes in the future."
"I dare you to do it," I said; "you can't get me up stairs."
"Alfred, choose now," said my mother, who laid her hand upon my arm.
She trembled violently and was deadly pale.
[Illustration: _"Take this boy up stairs and lock him in his room."_]
"If you touch me, I will kick you!" said I in a fearful rage. God knows
I knew not what I said.
"Will you go, Alfred?"
"No," I replied, but I quailed beneath her eyes.
"Then follow me," said she as she grasped my arm firmly. I raised my
foot,--O, my son, hear me,--I raised my foot and kicked her--my sainted
mother! How my head reels as the torrent of memory rushes over me. I
kicked my mother, a feeble woman--my mother. She staggered back a few
steps and leaned against the wall. She did not look at me.
"O, heavenly Father," she cried, "forgive him, he knows not what he
does." The gardener, just then passing the door, and seeing my mother
pale and almost unable to support herself, came in.
"Take this boy up stairs and lock him in his room," said she, and turned
from me. She gave me a look of agony, mingled with most intense love,
from a true and tender heart that was broken.
In a moment I found myself a prisoner in my own room. I thought for a
moment I would fling myself from the open window, but I felt that I was
afraid to die. I was not penitent. At times my heart was subdued, but my
stubbornness rose in an instant, and bade me not yield yet.
[Illustration: "_It was my sister_."]
The pale face of my mother haunted me. I flung myself on my bed and fell
asleep. Just at twilight I heard a footstep approach my door. It was my
"What shall I tell mother for you?" she said.
"Nothing," I replied.
"O, Alfred, for my sake and for all our sakes, say that you are sorry.
She longs to forgive you."
I would not answer. I heard her footsteps slowly retreating, and flung
myself on the bed to pass a wretched night.
Another footstep, slower and more feeble than my sister's, disturbed me.
"Alfred, my son, shall I come in?" she asked.
I cannot tell what influence made me speak adverse to my feelings. The
gentle voice of my mother, that thrilled me, melted the ice from my
heart, and I longed to throw myself upon her neck; but I did not. My
words gave the lie to my heart when I said I was not sorry. I heard her
withdraw. I heard her groan. I longed to call her back, but I did not.
I was awakened from an uneasy slumber by hearing my name called loudly,
and my sister stood by my bedside:--
"Get up, Alfred! Don't wait a minute. Get up and come with me, mother is
I thought I was yet dreaming, but I got up mechanically, and followed my
sister. On the bed, pale as marble, lay my mother. She was not yet
undressed. She had thrown herself upon the bed to rest, and rising again
to go to me she was seized with heart failure, and borne to her room.
I cannot tell you my agony as I looked upon her,--my remorse was
tenfold more bitter from the thought that she never would know it. I
believed myself to be her murderer. I fell on the bed beside her; I
could not weep. My heart burned within me; my brain was on fire. My
sister threw her arms around me and wept in silence. Suddenly we saw a
motion of mother's hand; her eyes unclosed. She had recovered her
consciousness, but not her speech.
"Mother, mother!" I shrieked; "say only that you forgive me."
She could not speak, but her hand pressed mine. She looked upon me, and
lifting her thin, white hands, she clasped my own within them, and cast
her eyes upward. She moved her lips in prayer, and thus died. I remained
kneeling beside that dear form till my sister removed me; but the joy of
youth had left me forever.
Boys who spurn a mother's counsel, who are ashamed to own that they are
wrong, who think it manly to resist her authority, or yield to her
influence, beware. One act of disobedience may cause a blot that a
life-time can not wipe out. Wrong words and wrong actions make wounds
that leave their scars.
Be warned; subdue the first rising of temper, and give not utterance to
the bitter thought. Shun the fearful effects of disobedience. Lay not up
for yourselves sad memories for future years.
[Illustration: _The Shipwreck_]
STAND BY THE SHIP
"Do, grandmother, tell us about the little drummer boy whose motto was,
'Stand by the ship.'"
"Grandmother is not used to telling children stories; but, if you will
be quiet, she will try." And this is the story she told us:--
During one of the fiercest battles of the civil war, the colonel of a
Michigan regiment noticed a very small boy, acting as drummer.
The great coolness and self-possession of the boy, as displayed during
the engagement; his habitual reserve, so singular in one of his years;
his orderly conduct, and his fond devotion to his drum (his only
companion, except a few well-worn books),--all these things unusual in
one so young had attracted notice, both from the officers and the men.
Colonel B.'s curiosity was aroused, and he desired to know more of him.
So he ordered that the boy should be sent to his tent.
The little fellow came, his drum on his breast, and the sticks in his
hands. He paused before the colonel and made his best military salute.
He was a noble looking boy, the sunburnt tint of his face in good
keeping with his dark, crisp curls.
[Illustration: _The Drummer Boy in Battle_]
But strangely out of keeping with the rounded cheeks and dimpled chin,
was the look of gravity and thoughtfulness, in the serious, childish
eyes. He was a boy, who seemed to have been prematurely taught the
self-reliance of a man. A strange thrill went through Colonel B.'s heart
as the boy stood before him.
"Come forward, I wish to talk to you." The boy stepped forward, showing
no surprise under the novel position in which he found himself. "I was
very much pleased with your conduct yesterday," said the colonel, "from
the fact that you are so young and small for your position."
"Thank you, colonel; I only did my duty; I am big enough for that, if I
_am_ small," replied the noble little fellow.
"Were you not very much frightened when the battle began?" questioned
"I might have been, if I had let myself think of it; but I kept my mind
on my drum. I went in to play for the men; it was that I volunteered
for. So I said to myself: 'Don't trouble yourself about what doesn't
concern you, Jack, but do your duty, and stand by the ship.'"
"Why, that is sailors' talk," said the colonel.
"It is a very good saying, if it is, sir," said Jack.
"I see you understand the meaning of it. Let that rule guide you
through life, and you will gain the respect of all good men."
"Father Jack told me that, when he taught me to say, 'Stand by the
"He was your father?"
"No, sir,--I never had a father,--but he brought me up."
"Strange," said the colonel, musing, "how much I feel like befriending
this child. Tell me your story, Jack."
"I will tell it, sir, as near as I can, as Father Jack told it to me.
"My mother sailed on a merchant ship from France to Baltimore, where my
father was living. A great storm arose; the ship was driven on rocks,
where she split, and all hands had to take to the boats. They gave
themselves up for lost; but at last a ship bound for Liverpool took them
up. They had lost everything but the clothes they had on; but the
captain was very kind to them; he gave them clothes, and some money.
"My mother refused to remain at Liverpool, though she was quite sick,
for she wanted to get to this country so badly; so she took passage in
another merchant ship, just going to New York. She was the only woman on
board. She grew worse after the ship sailed; the sailors took care of
her. Father Jack was a sailor on this ship, and he pitied her very much,
and he did all he could for her. But she died and left me, an infant.
"Nobody knew what to do with me; they all said I would die--all but
Father Jack; he asked the doctor to give me to him. The doctor said:--
"'Let him try his hand, if he has a mind to; it's no use, the little one
will be sure to go overboard after it's mother;' but the doctor was
[Illustration: _"I went errands for gentlemen, and swept out offices and
"I was brought safe to New York. He tried to find my father, but did not
know how to do it, for no one knew my mother's name. At last he left me
with a family in New York, and he went to sea again; but he never could
find out anything about my mother, although he inquired in Liverpool and
elsewhere. The last time he went to sea, I was nine years old, and he
gave me a present on my birthday, the day before he sailed. It was the
last; he never came back again; he died of ship fever.
"But Father Jack did well by me; he had me placed in a free school, at
seven years of age, and always paid my board in advance for a year.
"So you see, sir, I had a fair start to help myself, which I did right
off. I went errands for gentlemen, and swept out offices and stores. No
one liked to begin with me, for they all thought me too small, but they
soon saw I got along well enough.
"I went to school just the same, for I did my jobs before nine in the
morning; and after school closed at night, I had plenty of time to work
and learn my lessons. I wouldn't give up my school, for Father Jack told
me to learn all I could, and some day I would find my father, and he
must not find me a poor, ignorant boy. He said I must look my father in
the face, and say to him without falsehood: 'Father, I may be poor and
rough, but I have always been an honest boy and stood by the ship, so
you needn't be ashamed of me.' Sir, I could never forget those words."
He dropped his cap, drum, and sticks, bared his little arm, and showed
the figure of a ship in full sail, with this motto beneath it, pricked
into the skin: "Stand by the ship."
"When I was twelve, I left New York and came to Detroit with a gentleman
in the book business. I was there two years, when the war broke out.
"One day, a few months afterward I was passing by a recruiting office,
and went in. I heard them say they wanted a drummer. I offered; they
laughed and said I was too little; but they brought me a drum and I beat
it for them. They agreed to take me. So the old stars and stripes was
the ship for me to stand by."
The colonel was silent; he seemed to be in deep thought. "How do you
ever expect," he said, "to find your father? You do not even know his
"I don't know, sir, but I am sure I shall find him, somehow. My father
will be certain to know that I am the right boy, when he does find me,
for I have something to show him that was my mother's," and he drew
forth a little canvas bag, sewed tightly all around, and suspended from
his neck by a string.
"In this," he said, "is a pretty bracelet that my mother always wore on
her arm. Father Jack took it off after she died, to keep for me. He said
I must never open it until I found my father, and that I must wear it so
around my neck, that it might be safe."
"A bracelet, did you say?" exclaimed the colonel, "let me have it--I
must see it at once!"
With both his small hands clasped around it, the little boy stood
looking into Colonel B.'s face; then, slipping the string from over his
head, he silently placed it in his hand. To rip open the canvas was but
the work of a moment.
"I think I know this bracelet," stammered Colonel B. "If it be as I hope
and believe, within the locket we will find two names,--_Wilhelmina and
Carleton; date, May 26, 1849"_
[Illustration: "_He silently placed it in his hand_."]
There were the names as he said. Colonel B. clasped the boy to his
heart, crying brokenly, "My son! my son!"
I must now go back in my story. In the first year of his married life,
Colonel B. and his lovely young wife sailed for Europe, expecting to
remain several years in Southern Europe, on account of the delicate
health of his wife. He was engaged in merchandise in the city of
Baltimore. The sudden death of his business partner compelled his return
to America, leaving his wife with her mother in Italy.
Soon after he left, his mother-in-law died. Mrs. B. then prepared to
return to Baltimore at once, and took passage on the ill-fated steamer
which was lost. Vainly he made inquiries; no tidings came of her. At
last he gave her up as dead; he almost lost his reason from grief and
Fourteen years had passed; he did not know that God in his mercy had
spared to him a precious link with the young life so lost and mourned.
Restless, and almost aimless, he removed to Michigan. When the war broke
out, he was among the first to join the army.
There stood the boy, tears streaming down his cheeks. "Father," he said,
"you have found me at last, just as Father Jack said. You are a great
gentleman, while I am only a poor drummer boy. But I have been an honest
boy, and tried my best to do what was right. You won't be ashamed of me,
"I am proud to call you my son, and thank God for bringing you to me
just as you are."
My little hero is now a grown man; and as the boy was so is the man.
"Stand by the ship," the motto which served him so well while a boy, is
his motto still.
A FAITHFUL SHEPHERD BOY
Gerhardt was a German shepherd boy, and a noble fellow he was, although
he was very poor.
One day he was watching his flock, which was feeding in a valley on the
borders of a forest, when a hunter came out of the woods and asked:--
"How far is it to the nearest village?"
"Six miles, sir," replied the boy; "but the road is only a sheep track,
and very easily missed."
The hunter looked at the crooked track and said:--
"My lad, I am very hungry and thirsty; I have lost my companions and
missed my way; leave your sheep and show me the road. I will pay you
"I cannot leave my sheep, sir," replied Gerhardt. "They will stray into
the forest, and may be eaten by wolves or stolen by robbers."
"Well, what of that?" queried the hunter. "They are not your sheep. The
loss of one or more wouldn't be much to your master, and I'll give you
more than you have earned in a whole year."
"I cannot go, sir," rejoined Gerhardt, very firmly. "My master pays me
for my time, and he trusts me with his sheep; if I were to sell my time,
which does not belong to me, and the sheep should get lost, it would be
the same as if I stole them."
"Well," said the hunter, "will you trust your sheep with me while you go
to the village and get some food, drink, and a guide? I will take care
of them for you."
The boy shook his head. "The sheep do not know your voice, and--" he
"And what? Can't you trust me? Do I look like a dishonest man?" asked
the hunter, angrily.
"Sir," said the boy, "you tried to make me false to my trust, and wanted
me to break my word to my master; how do I know that you would keep your
word to me?"
The hunter laughed, for he felt that the lad had fairly cornered him. He
"I see, my lad, that you are a good, faithful boy. I will not forget
you. Show me the road and I will try to make it out myself."
Gerhardt then offered the contents of his bag to the hungry man, who,
coarse as it was, ate it gladly. Presently his attendants came up, and
then Gerhardt, to his surprise, found that the hunter was the grand
duke, who owned all the country round.
The duke was so pleased with the boy's honesty, that he sent for him
shortly after that, and had him educated.
In after years Gerhardt became a great and powerful man, but he
remained honest and true to his dying day.
[Illustration: "_Presently his attendants came up."_]
DICK HARRIS; OR, THE BOY-MAN
Dick Harris was called a clever boy, and no one believed this more
firmly than he. He was only fourteen years of age, and yet he dearly
loved to be thought a man.
As he was about to leave school, his friends often asked him what he
intended to be. Dick could not tell; only, that it must be something
great. Now while Dick had learned some good thing in school, he had also
learned many evil habits--among them the practice of smoking.
Dick's father smoked. He saw men smoking in the streets, and so he
thought it would be manly to smoke. Along with some of his schoolmates,
he used to hide himself and take his turn of the one pipe or cigar which
they had among them. As they were afraid of being found out, they hid
the pipe when any one came near.
His father, who although he smoked himself, forbade Dick doing so, asked
him one day why his clothes smelled so of tobacco smoke.
"Some of my schoolmates smoke, father."
"But do you smoke?"
"Take care you don't then; it's all very well for men, but I won't have
any of my children smoking."
Dick went away, as the Bible says, "with a lie in his right hand."
And yet he wanted to be a man. Now look at that, my lads. What is it
that makes a man--I mean a true man? There are many things. The Bible
says that the glory of young men is their strength--strength of body,
and strength of mind.
Would Dick get this kind of glory by smoking? He certainly would not
strengthen his body, for it has been proved again and again that boys
who smoke weaken their bodies.
Tobacco is a poison--slower perhaps than strong drink, but quite as
sure; and although it may not kill you outright, because the quantity
taken is not large enough, yet it pollutes the blood, injures the brain
and stomach, and paralyzes many of the healthy functions of the body.
The result is stunted growth and general weakness. A boy who smokes much
never can have the glory of bodily strength.
Dick found this out for himself, to his bitter regret. And besides this,
do you think that his conduct showed strength of mind? He began the
practice of smoking, not because he believed it to be right, but because
_men_ smoked. He was only a boy, yet he wished to appear _a man_--that
is, to appear what he was _not_.
What could be more weak than for a boy to have no reason for doing a
thing than that _men do it?_ But it led to something worse. He was
smoking on the sly, and to conceal it he became a liar. He lied in the
school by his conduct, he lied at home by his words.
We could have respected him, although we pitied him, had he smoked
openly and taken the consequences; but who can respect a coward? He is
not worthy of the name of _man_. Dick continued to smoke after he left
school, and was apprenticed in a large warehouse.
[Illustration: "_Became the associate of fast young men and learned to
Here again the old desire to be like men influenced him. They had
cigars, he must have one; they smoked, he must do so. This conduct had
its invariable effects. He became the associate of "fast" young men--got
into debt--learned to drink--stayed out late at night--and before his
apprenticeship had ended, was ruined in health; and but for the
indulgence of his employers would have been discharged in disgrace. Was
that acting the part of a man?
This happened many years ago. Last week amidst a crowd who surrounded a
polling booth, there stood a man about forty years of age--he looked
twenty years older. On his head was a battered hat; he wore a seedy,
black coat; both his hands were in his pockets, and in his mouth the
stump of a cigar which had been half-smoked by another man; his face was
bloated, his eyes bleared and languid. Even the vulgar crowd looked at
him with contempt.
I looked into his face thinking there was in it a resemblance to one I
had known. Slowly and painfully came the sad truth, that the drunken
creature was Dick Harris; he had become a man but he was a lost man.
It has often been said, "How great a matter a little fire kindleth." The
spark which kindled a blaze among Dick's evil passions, was the spark
which lit the tobacco pipe at school. Bad habits are easily acquired,
but they are hard to get rid of. See what smoking had done for Dick. It
led him to drink, and the two habits have left him a wreck.
But you say to me, "There are many thousands who smoke, and yet are
strong men." It is so. But in almost all cases these strong smokers did
not begin the habit while they were boys; if they had done so, the
likelihood is, they never would have become strong men. Besides, how
much stronger they might have been if they had never smoked!
[Illustration: "_The drunken creature was Dick Harris_."]
Many who smoke and still appear strong, have nevertheless undermined
their constitution, and when an unusual strain comes upon it there is a
"But again," you say, "all who smoke do not learn to drink, and so lose
true manhood." That may be; and yet there is a significant fact that a
confirmed drunkard who does not smoke can scarcely be found. It has
recently been shown that the great majority of those who break their
temperance pledge are smokers.
Smoking and drinking are branches of the same deadly tree whose leaves
curse the nation.
And now, my lads, "Quit you like men, be strong." The next time any one
says to you, "Have a cigar," say "No!"
If he says it is manly to smoke, say "No; it is manly to exercise
self-control; to act from principle; to have cleanly habits; to be
unselfish; to pay one's debts; to be sober; and to have the approval of
one's conscience. Now, I might lose all these elements of manhood if I
learned to smoke."
THE WAY OF SAFETY.
Dear grandma is one of those who "being dead yet speaketh."
She was not a preacher, or a lecturer--much less a censurer or reprover;
but she was that most agreeable of teachers to childhood and youth, a
story-teller. Yet, let no one suppose that she told us tales of fairy
lore or ingenious romance, as pernicious as they are false. Not so; the
stories to which we listened with so much delight, were all true, and
all from the capacious store-house of her own memory.
We had returned from the church one Sabbath afternoon, and as usual,
hastened to grandma to repeat as much as we could remember of the
sermon. The text was that solemn command of the wise man: "My son, if
sinners entice thee, consent thou not;" and our pastor had made it the
ground-work of a powerful exhortation to the young especially, to beware
of the many temptations, snares, and allurements which they should meet;
and warned them of the consequences of yielding to the seductive
influences by which they might be surrounded.
"That reminds me of a young man whom I knew before any of you were
born," grandma remarked, when we had reported as much as we could
remember of the sermon. "You have heard me speak of Jacob Wise?" she
said, addressing my father.
"Yes, mother," he replied, "please tell the children about him. I am
sure your account of his experience will be a very suitable addition to
our afternoon sermon."
"O yes, grandma, please do!" we exclaimed; and, drawing our seats around
her, we prepared for what we knew would be a treat. The good old lady
did not need to be urged, but, after pausing a moment to collect her
thoughts, began as follows:--
"Jacob Wise was the son of a near neighbor when I was a happy wife in my
Western home. His father was a plain, practical man, respected for his
uprightness, good sense, and piety; and he brought up his son in his own
sound principles, at the same time giving him all the education that was
within his reach.
"When Jacob was about fourteen years of age, he was sent to Louisville
for the benefit of a year's instruction in a large school there.
"There were, also, other sons and daughters around his father's hearth.
It therefore appeared expedient that Jacob should be allowed to develop
his taste for commercial pursuits.
"The first circumstances of any note, that I remember, which
particularly marked his character, occurred at the time of his first
practical acquaintance with business.
"While in Louisville, he received much attention from the family of a
wealthy man who kept a large store in the city; and when, at the close
of his school term, he was offered a place behind the counter of his
friend, he found no difficulty in obtaining his father's permission to
accept of it.
"The merchant, Mr. Rankin, was a smooth, bland, good-tempered man, and
in his intercourse with the world maintained outwardly a fair and honest
"But Jacob had not been many weeks in intimate connection with him
before he discovered that his dealings were not all conducted with
scrupulous adherence to divine law; neither was a conscientious regard
to his neighbor's interests a very deep-seated principle. This caused
the lad much uneasiness; and a feeling of nervous disquiet took
possession of the hitherto happy boy.
"He hesitated as to which was the more honorable course: to obey his
employer without question, or to sacrifice his own ideas of strict
"But he was not long left in doubt. One day a carriage drove to the
door, and a richly dressed lady entered the store, and asked to be shown
some children's necklaces. Jacob, who attended in that department, was
proceeding to wait on her, when Mr. Rankin came forward smiling, and
with the ease and courtesy for which he was noted, took the lad's place,
and spread before the lady an assortment of glittering trinkets which,
judging from her gay appearance, he knew would please her eye.
[Illustration: "_To all this Jacob listened with grief and
"An animated dialogue ensued between the merchant and his customer,
respecting the style and value of the various articles under view. The
lady was made to believe that this elegant display had been imported
with great cost and difficulty from the manufacturing cities of Europe,
and, in consequence of the immense and rapid demand for them, the
obliging trader had been satisfied with moderate profit, and was now
willing to dispose of the remainder of the stock at fabulously low
[Illustration: "_Thought it quite impossible that they could agree_."]
"To all this, which he knew to be utterly and shamelessly false, Jacob
listened with equal grief and astonishment, and it was with difficulty
that he restrained his honest indignation as he saw one after another of
the tinsel gewgaws transferred to the shopping bag of the deceived
customer at prices which were five times their value, while she was
duped with the flattering persuasion that she was receiving unequaled
"All doubts as to the unlawfulness of his remaining another hour under
the roof where this swindling transaction had taken place, were
immediately removed from the mind of the noble and upright youth.
"When Mr. Rankin returned after having very politely attended the lady
to her carriage, and placed the parcel containing her purchases by her
side, he was met by Jacob, who, with an air of grave rebuke rarely
assumed by lads of his years, informed him that from what he had seen of
his method of conducting business he thought it quite impossible that
they could agree.
"He was, therefore, resolved to return without delay to his father's
house, and he was glad that the terms upon which he had entered the
establishment left him free to do so.
"The firm and fearless bearing of the boy awed the man of unjust
practices, and he neither attempted to vindicate his own meanness nor to
oppose the departure of his right-minded assistant. At once Jacob
returned to the old homestead, his character more permanently formed by
the ordeal through which he had passed."
"But do you think, grandma," inquired Henry, "that Jacob would have
acted so independently if he had had no home to return to?"
"Yes, dear, I think he would," was the prompt reply. "He had learned to
obey the commands of God and to believe His promises. He knew that the
injunction, 'Come out from among them,' was followed by the assurance,
'I will receive you,' and such was his trust in his heavenly Father's
word that no thought for his future provision would have interfered with
the performance of what he deemed to be his duty."
"Well, grandma," said Henry, "I like the stand taken by the honest boy.
Please go on with the story."
"Jacob remained at home for the next three years, making himself useful
in teaching his younger brothers and sisters, besides assisting his
father in the management of his affairs. In the meantime his own
education was advancing. Nor was he without receiving many offers of
clerkship in the neighboring cities, whither the good report of his
honesty and integrity had come.
"But a cousin of his father, who was a merchant of some eminence in New
Orleans, had proposed to take him into his counting house in a
confidential capacity when he should reach a more mature age, and for
this important post he was qualifying himself.
"Accordingly, when he was eighteen years of age, at the request of his
relative, he again left home. This time his departure was a more serious
affair than it had been when, a few years before, he left for school in
"Now he was going to a large and populous city, where fashion and vice
walked hand in hand, and where snares and pitfalls were spread for the
simple and unwary, with scarcely a finger-mark cautioning them to
"All the neighborhood was moved with anxiety and friendly interest for
the youth, and the last Sabbath of his attendance at our rural church,
the good pastor made an earnest and affectionate address from the same
text which the minister presented to-day.
"Our friend's journey to the great maritime city of the South was not
without incident. Mr. Wise accompanied his son to Louisville, and, after
the necessary preliminary arrangements, went with him on board the boat
that was to bear him down the broad waters of the Mississippi.
"The parting advice and benediction of his father were then given. He
reminded him of the subject of his pastor's last sermon, and closed by
giving him, as the motto of his life, the imperative charge, 'Come out
from among them.'
"Then, as he desired to return home by daylight, and the boat was not to
start for a couple of hours, he once more committed his son to the care
and guidance of heaven, and left him, with a calm trust that he would be
kept in the way of safety.
"After a pleasant trip on board the 'Southern Belle,' our young friend
arrived in New Orleans.
"Jacob was much pleased with his new situation. He found his relative a
man of the most honorable character. Accommodations were procured for
him in a first-class boarding-house, where none but persons of the best
standing were admitted. And, whether owing to his attractions of mind or
person, the sterling worth of his character, or the independent position
of his family, or perhaps all these combined, he soon found himself an
object of marked interest and attention to all with whom he came in
[Illustration: _The Steamboat Trip Down the Mississippi._]
"Naturally of a social disposition, and disposed to look at everything
in the most favorable light, Jacob saw none of those vicious traits and
habits which he had been cautioned to shun.
"He did not partake of the mirthful spirit by which the unwary are
enticed into scenes of folly, neither did he deny himself innocent
"And now to the unsophisticated youth, life presented the fairest
aspect. His religious duties were carefully attended to, and in the
faithful discharge of his business engagements no one could be more
careful and punctual. His evenings were devoted to the society of those
who were congenial to him. But it was not long before the hidden thorns
of the flowers that strewed his path began to make themselves felt, nor
was it without pain that conscience awoke him from the repose in which
he had been lulling himself.
"Among the many charming sojourners at the establishment in which he had
taken up his abode, was the family of a wealthy planter, who had come to
the city for the winter. Mr. and Mrs. De Veaux were a lively and
fashionable couple, and their children partook of the gay and careless
temperament of their parents.
"Isabel, the eldest, was now in her sixteenth year, and the faultless
beauty of her face and figure was only equaled by the child-like
sweetness of her disposition. She had been brought up without much
restriction or control, and now that she was entering society for the
first time, being gay, spirited, and witty, she flung herself into the
enjoyments of fashionable pleasure with all the zest of her nature.
"The winter glided along with its witching gayeties, and, though the
young Christian was never tempted to join the giddy multitude in their
unlawful pastimes, yet his views were more lax than they had been.
"With the hope of his presence having a restraining effect upon the fair
being who had touched the tenderest chords of his nature, he suffered
himself to be led into scenes such as sober conscience could not
"At length, however, the alarm came that was to disturb his security. A
sermon was to be preached by a celebrated minister before the members of
the 'Young Men's Christian Association.' Jacob attended, and heard with
startled interest the minister deliver, as his text, the very same verse
which the pious pastor of his country home had made the subject of the
last discourse he had heard from him: 'My son, when sinners entice thee
consent thou not.'
"The young man of irreproachable life had no idea that this exhortation
could be applied to his case; he had been careful that 'sinners' were
granted no opportunity of enticing him.
"But to many of the young men present, who were not so cautious, he
hoped the sermon would prove of benefit. So he settled himself
comfortably to listen to the brilliant orator.
"But his self-complacency did not last long. It was that very class to
which he belonged, that the preacher addressed. He exposed the cunning
temptations of Satan, and told how he labored to lead even those who
hated vice, to join in the pleasures of the world, without requiring
them to commit one apparent sin.
"Thus the enemy sought to lead even the Christian, and to turn his heart
from God, from holiness, and from heaven.
"Painfully solemn were the feelings with which Jacob left the house of
God at the close of the service. The film had passed from his eyes, and
he saw that while his outward walk had been strictly correct, his heart
had wandered from its true allegiance.
"When he reached home he found a gay party of young people, dancing and
making merry in the brilliantly lighted parlors. But the sickening
sensations that ran through his frame, at the thought of time thus
wasted, and creatures fashioned in their Maker's image perverting their
fine intelligences, showed the change that had been made in his views
within the last hour.
"He went at once to his chamber, and with earnest prayer, he gave
himself anew to his Master.
"He decided at once that Isabel must be given up, with all her
attractions. How lone and cheerless the future appeared. Casting himself
upon his knees, he prayed for help to bear the blow which had descended
upon his hopes.
"With Jacob Wise, to know his duty was to do it. Having felt the evil
influence of intimate association with light and giddy worldlings, he
determined to change his boarding place to some more retired spot where
no similar temptation should waylay him. And so, the next morning, he
called on his pastor, stated the circumstances in which he was placed,
and asked his help in obtaining board in some private family connected
with the church.
[Illustration: "_The next morning he called on his Pastor_."]
"The minister sympathized with his young friend, and after a few
minutes' thought, mentioned a pious couple of his charge, whose only son
had lately gone from home, and into whose vacant room he thought it
likely Jacob might be admitted.
"It was as he had hoped. When Mrs. Bennet heard the case, she was glad
to be able to give a home to the young man. No other difficulty now
remained but his parting with Isabel.
"He found her seated at the piano, and a long conversation ensued, in
which opinions and sentiments entirely opposite were maintained by each.
On subjects of vital importance they were disagreed. So that finally
they, whose hearts had received their first tender impressions from each
other, with an apparent calmness inconsistent with their true feelings,
separated, to meet no more."
Grandma paused, and for several minutes no one seemed disposed to speak.
Each of us was looking into his own heart to see if there were grace
enough there to bear us conquerors through such trials as might be in
store for us. The silence was broken by Henry, inquiring the sequel of
the young Christian's career.
"Well," said grandma, "Jacob continued to live a consistent, Christian
life. He visited his parents every summer, gladdening their hearts by
the purity and simplicity of his life.
"When he had been six or seven years in New Orleans, he was taken into
partnership by his kinsman and employer; and shortly after he married
the daughter of his pastor, whose sweet companionship was a great help
to him in his Christian life.
"It is a long time since I have had an opportunity of hearing of Jacob
Wise; but I dare say, if still living, he is an example of moral
dignity, truth, and uprightness, and an honor to the church of which he
has been, from childhood, a steady and consistent member."
"Hurrah! hurrah! Such a splendid morning for skating; clear as jelly and
as cold as ice cream. Come ahead, boys; there's no telling how long this
weather will last."
So said Roger to his two friends, whom he met on his way to the park.
His eyes sparkled, his cheeks were almost as bright as the scarlet
muffler he wore around his neck, and the dangling skates told for
themselves the expedition upon which he was bound. The other boys
readily agreed to join him, and after running home for their skates, the
party started off in such high spirits that the conductor of the car
which they entered, begged them to be a little more quiet.
"Not quite so noisy, please, young gentlemen," he said, as they paid
"Pshaw!" said Roger, while Bob made a face when his back was turned to
them, giving Frank an opportunity of noticing the large patch on his
overcoat. He made some funny speech about it, at which the others
laughed heartily. It usually does boys good to laugh, unless the laugh
be at the expense of some one else. A good-natured laugh is good for the
After a while the car stopped for another passenger; the conductor
assisted the person in getting on, and Roger, thinking more time was
taken than usual, called out:--
"Hurry up, hurry up--no time to lose!"
The new-comer was a boy about his own age, but sadly deformed; he was a
hunchback, and had a pale, delicate face, which spoke of sorrow and
"Now do move up," said the conductor, as the boys sat still, not
offering to make room; but when he spoke, they all crowded together,
giving much more room than was necessary,--the three together trying to
occupy the space that one would comfortably fill. They continued talking
and joking noisily, until the car stopped at the entrance of the park.
Bob and Frank pushed out ahead of all the other passengers. Roger was
pushing out after them when the conductor laid his hand on his shoulder.
"Don't crowd, don't crowd; plenty of time, young man."
This expostulation came too late, for Roger in his impatience to get
out, unheeding of what he was doing, caught one of his skates in the
scarf of the crippled boy, who had been sitting next to him. He gave his
skate strap a rude pull, knocking the boy rather roughly, and stepping
on a lady's toes.
[Illustration: "_It wasn't my fault, was it_?"]
"Bother take it!" he exclaimed impatiently, and giving the scarf another
jerk, ruder than before, he succeeded in disentangling it; then he
rushed out, hurried over to the boys who awaited him on the pavement,
where they stood stamping their feet and whistling. Roger made no reply
to the crippled boy, who said to him gently:--
"It wasn't my fault, was it?"
"That hunchback caught his scarf in my skate. I thought it never would
come out," he exclaimed. "It's kept me all this time!"
"Hush, Roger," interrupted Frank in a low tone of voice.
The boy was just behind them; he had evidently heard what had been said,
for his pale face turned scarlet, and lingering behind to see which path
the boys intended taking, he walked off in the opposite direction, and
they soon lost sight of him.
Roger was hasty and impulsive, but his nature was kindly, after all; and
when his skates were fairly on, the ice tried, and the first excitement
of the pleasure over, he thought of his unfeeling speech, and the pale,
sad face of the boy rose before him.
"Was it my fault?" The question rang in his ears. Was it the boy's fault
that his legs were crooked, and his back misshapen and awkward? Was it
his fault that he must go through life, receiving pity or contempt from
his more fortunate fellow-creatures, whose limbs were better formed than
The more Roger thought, the ruder his treatment of the poor lad now
seemed, and putting himself in the boy's place, he felt that such words
would have cut him to the quick.
"I say," said Bob, who had been cutting his initials on a smooth, glassy
spot of ice: "I say, Roger, what makes you so glum? Why, I declare,
there's the little hunchback sitting over there on the bank, looking at
Roger looked in that direction, and saw him sitting alone, his only
enjoyment consisting in seeing without at all engaging in the pleasure
"What can a poor fellow like that do with himself I wonder?" added Bob.
"I don't suppose he can skate or do anything else without making a show
"That's so," said Roger thoughtfully, wondering how he could make up
for his rudeness, or take back his own words. He concluded to let it all
pass for this time. In future he would be more careful, and less hasty
in speaking; for Roger did not have sufficient manliness to go over to
where the boy was sitting, and say frankly; "I beg your pardon for my
The boys proposed a game of tag. Roger was a splendid skater; he engaged
in the game with great zest: his spirits rose, and the crippled boy and
the reproaches of his conscience passed entirely out of his mind as he
skated on, knowing that he could keep his balance as well and strike
out, perhaps, better than any fellow on the pond.
The swiftest and strongest, however, are not always the most successful,
and as he swooped around, curving in very near the shore, a strap gave
way, and before Roger could help himself, it tripped him, and he
sprawled at full length on the ice.
The boys shouted; some laughed, but a fall is such a common occurrence
that no one was very much concerned until Roger attempted to spring up
again, to show them all that he didn't mind it in the least,--he would
be all right again in a minute. Then he tried to stand; but when an
awful pain shot up from his ankle, then he realized that it was quite
impossible to stand.
They ran to his assistance, but before they reached him, a soft hand was
held out to him, and a gentle voice asked:
"Have you hurt yourself badly?" Roger saw the deformed boy standing by
his side, and then remembered that he had seen him sitting near by on
[Illustration: "_The deformed boy knelt on the ice_."]
"I think I must have sprained my ankle," he replied.
The deformed boy knelt on the ice, and while the others clustered
around, asking questions and offering suggestions, he quietly unbuckled
his skates for him.
"I'll have to get home, I suppose," said Roger faintly; "but, boys,
don't let this spoil your fun--don't come with me."
"May I go with you?" said the deformed boy. "I am not going to stay
here any longer."
Roger thanked him, and a policeman coming up at that moment to inquire
about the accident, a carriage was procured, Roger was put in, the
deformed boy followed, and Roger was driven home.
"My fun is spoiled for this winter," he said, with a moan. "I know a
fellow who sprained his ankle last year, and the doctor says perhaps he
will never be able to skate again. What an unlucky thing for me!--it
wasn't my fault either."
"No," added the deformed boy gently. "It was not your fault; and it was
not my fault that my nurse let me fall when I was a baby and injured my
back. I sometimes think it would have been better if she had killed me
outright, though strong and well-formed people think it wicked for me to
The color which had left Roger's pale cheeks from his pain, rushed back
for a moment, as he held out his hand and said:--
"I was a brute to you in the car this morning, but I didn't think what I
was doing. Will you excuse me?"
"I know you didn't. Please don't say anything more about it. It is hard
to pity the suffering of others unless we have felt pain ourselves."
Roger's sprain prevented him from skating again that season, and taught
him also a lesson which let us hope he will remember all his lifetime.
[Illustration: Bert in bed.]
Bert was determined to go. He wouldn't ask his father, for he was very
sure his father would say, No. He didn't quite like to disobey a
positive command, so he would say nothing at all about the matter.
Bert was thirteen years old, and it was high time that he began to
exercise his own judgment, at least when his own affairs were
concerned,--so Bert thought.
He would like to know what harm his going down to the river for a quiet
moonlight swim could possibly do to anybody. He would try it, at all
events. Ned Sellars would be there, and Frank Peters. They didn't seem
to care whether their parents liked it or not. Bert couldn't feel so,
exactly; but, still, where was the sense in a boy's going to his father
every time he turned round?
He was going. He had fully made up his mind to that. He went up to bed
at the usual time, however, but his mother coming into his little
bedroom about half an hour afterward, was surprised to find him almost
hidden by blanket and quilt, though it was a warm night in August.
"Why, Bert, you'll smother. Do let me pull off some of these clothes."
But Bert held them tightly down. "I ain't cold, mother. I mean I ain't
"Are you sick?"
"Two blankets and a quilt," laughed his mother, as she turned away. "I
don't know what you're made of, Bert."
"And jacket and pants and stockings and shoes," thought Bert, as he
snapped his fingers very softly under the weight of bedclothes.
The beautiful moon looked in at the little window. There had been times
when Bert, gazing at her pure, pale face, had marveled that any boy
could have the heart to do wrong when her soft light was shining on him;
but to-night she seemed to say, "Come on, come on. I tell no tales. The
night indoors is warm and stifling. The river is cool and clear. My
beams are there before you. Come on, come on!"
It seemed as if the hours had never lagged so heavily. Eleven o'clock
was the time agreed upon.
Twice Bert found himself napping. Suppose he should go to sleep. The
idea was not to be entertained for a moment. He sat up in the bed and
listened, listened, listened, until at length the welcome strokes
greeted his ear. He was tired and sleepy and stupid and very warm. He
opened his door softly, and went down stairs. He did not dare unlock
the front door, for grandpa's room was just across the hall, and grandpa
always slept with one eye open. He crept through the kitchen, and found
himself in the shed. Was ever anything more fortunate? The outer door
[Illustration: "_He opened the door softly, and went down stairs_."]
He took his hat from the nail, and just then a plaintive "mew" greeted
"Hush! Be still, Cuff," said he, in a whisper.
But Cuff wouldn't be still. She was very glad to see him, and was
determined to tell him so.
"Mew, me-aw," called Billy, the mocking-bird, from his cage above.
"Dear me," thought Bert, "they'll wake father up as sure as the world."
But it was not unusual for Billy to sing in the night. Indeed, his
midnight music was sometimes overpowering. Bert stood very still for a
moment, but could hear no one stirring. He walked on a few steps, Cuff
purring loudly, and rubbing her soft gray sides against him.
[Illustration: _The Cat_]
"Bow, wow, wow, wow," barked the faithful watch-dog.
"Be quiet, Prince. Stop your noise!"
Prince knew his young master's voice, and, like Cuff, was delighted to
be near him, and so gave expression to his feelings in a succession of
loud quick barks.
[Illustration: _"Me-aw," called Billy_.]
"Hadn't you better go down, John?" asked Bert's mother, anxiously. "I'm
afraid some one is trying to get in."
"They can't get farther than the shed," was the careless reply. "I left
In a few moments all was quiet again. Prince lay down at Bert's feet,
and Cuff stretched herself out beside him. Time was passing. The boys
would surely be there before him. Very carefully he crept toward the
door, hardly daring to breathe, in his anxiety.
[Illustration: "_Bow, wow, wow_."]
But Prince had not been asleep. No, indeed! Restarted up at the first
sound of his master's footsteps. It was very evident that something
unusual was going on, and he was determined to be "in it."
"I must run as fast as I can," said Bert to himself. "Hit or miss,
there's nothing else for me to do."
He was preparing to suit the action to the word, when Snow, the old
family horse, who for a few days past had been allowed to wander about
among the clover fields, put her white nose just inside the door and
gave a loud and fiercely prolonged neigh.
"What next!" muttered Bert, between his teeth. "I shall expect to see
some of the cows soon. I don't care if all the animals on the place
He was walking defiantly from the door, when he heard his mother's voice
at her window. "I never can sleep, John, with a horse crying around. I
wish you'd go down to see what the trouble is. And do lock the shed
door. I haven't slept five minutes to-night."
[Illustration: "_The old family horse_."]
What was Bert to do now? To go forward in the moonlight, with his mother
watching from above, would be foolish, indeed. To remain in the shed, to
be discovered by his father, seemed equally unwise.
[Illustration: "_Bert came into the shed, and watched his father as he
mended an old harness_."]
He had very little time to think about the matter, for at that moment
he heard the well-known footsteps on the stairs. He darted over to the
shed closet, shut the door, and tremblingly awaited the result.
And the result was that, after standing painfully still for about ten
minutes, during which Prince's significant sniffs and growls had thrice
driven him to the very verge of disclosure, he was left unmolested in
the dark old closet. He opened the door; but the shed seemed darker yet.
No loving cat or friendly dog was there to cheer or to betray. Nothing
but thick, black darkness. Was it possible that the moon was still
He wondered if the boys were having a good time. He would open the door
and go to them as soon as he dared. But while he was thinking and
wondering, waiting until he was sure his father and mother were asleep
again, the old clock rang out the hour of twelve. Midnight! It was of no
use to go then; the boys would be gone.
And so Bert crept up stairs to his room, cross and dissatisfied, feeling
that the fates were against him.
He was late to breakfast the next morning. His mother laughingly
inquired if the weight of his bedclothes had affected his hearing.
"Yes'm--no'm. I mean--I guess not," he replied absently.
It was a rainy morning, and the weather was disagreeably warm. After
breakfast Bert came into the shed, and watched his father as he mended
an old harness.
"What sort of boy is that Ned Sellars?" inquired his father at length.
"I don't know. I think he's a pretty good boy. Why?"
"I passed the house this morning. Some one was getting a terrible
flogging, and I think it must have been Ned."
"What for? Do you know?"
"Yes. They spoke very loud, and I couldn't help hearing. It was for
running off last night. Going swimming, I believe."
[Illustration: "_Some one was getting a terrible fogging_."]
Bert's eyes flashed.
"That's just like his father," said he, indignantly. "He never wants Ned
to have any fun."
There was no reply. Some hidden feeling, he could hardly tell what,
prompted Bert's next question.
"Would you flog me, father, if I went swimming without leave?"
"That depends upon circumstances," replied his father, looking
searchingly into his face. "If my boy was mean enough to skulk out of
the house at night, when I supposed him to be abed and asleep, it is
just possible that I might not consider him worth flogging."
How Bert's cheeks burned. He had never looked at the matter in just that
light before. "_Never_ be a sneak, my son. It is cowardly and
Bert made no answer, but his thoughts were busy. Was he not every whit
as mean and cowardly as if he had really gone with his unfortunate
friend? Yes, verily.
And then he thought of his father. How _good_ he was--never denying him
any reasonable pleasure; nay, often denying himself for his sake. Bert
seemed to realize his father's goodness now as never before.
As he thought of this two large tears rolled down his sunburnt cheeks.
"What is it, my boy?"
He brushed them away hastily.
"Father," said he, "I've been a sneak; but I _won't_ be a coward. I was
going with the boys last night."
"Yes. I should have gone if it hadn't been for the dog, and the cat,
and--all the rest of them. 'Twasn't any goodness of mine that kept me at
His father was silent.
"I wish you'd say something, father," cried poor Bert, impatiently. "I
s'pose you don't think I'm worth flogging; but"--
"My dear boy," said his father, "I knew your footsteps in the shed last
night. I knew perfectly well who was hidden in the old closet."
"Why didn't you say so?" inquired astonished Bert, tremblingly.
"Because I preferred to let you go. I thought, if my boy wanted to
deceive me, he should, at least, imagine that he had that pleasure."
"Yes, you should have gone, Bert. Very likely I might have gone with
you; but you would not have known it."
Bert hadn't a word to say.
"I pitied you, too. I knew that, after the fun was over, there must come
the settling with your conscience. I was sure you had a conscience,
The boy tried to speak, but no words came.
"I was disappointed in you, Bert. I was very much disappointed in you."
Down went Bert's head into his hands.
"But now," continued his father, placing one hand upon his shoulder,
"now I have my honest boy again, and I am proud of him. I do consider
you worth a dozen floggings, Bert; but I have no disposition to give
them to you."
Bert wrung his father's hand and rushed out into the rain. Cuff came
running to meet him, and Prince barked with pleasure at his approach.
Billy whistled and sung in his cage above, and old Snow's voice was
heard in the field close by.
Bert loved them and they knew it. It was some minutes, however, before
he noticed them now; and when he did, it was not in his accustomed merry
"Just like the monitors at school," said he, seriously. "Making such a
fuss that a fellow can't go wrong, if he wants to." And he took Cuff up
in his lap, and patted Prince's shaggy coat.
Bert's monitors still watch him with affectionate interest; but never
again, I am happy to say, has he felt the least inclination to disturb
their midnight slumbers.
A MORNING THOUGHT
With every rising of the sun
Think of your life as just begun.
The past has shrivelled and buried deep,
All yesterdays. There let them sleep,
Nor seek to summon back one ghost
Of that innumerable host.
Concern yourself with but to-day,
Woo it, and teach it to obey
Your will and wish. Since time began
To-day has been the friend of man;
But in his blindness and his sorrow
He looks to yesterday and to-morrow.
[Illustration: "_Laid the pile of bills on the counting room desk_."]
THE TWO CLERKS
Boys are apt to think that their parents and teachers are too strict;
that they ought not to be obliged to get such perfect lessons, or to go
to Sabbath school, to be so punctual and so particular. They wonder why
they are not allowed a great many amusements and indulgences which they
would like so much.
"What's the use?" they often discontentedly ask.
Well, boys, there is a _great deal_ of use in being brought up right;
and the discipline which sometimes seems to you so hard, is precisely
what your parents see that you need in order to make you worth anything.
I will tell you an incident, to illustrate it, which has just come to my
William was the oldest child of a widowed mother, and she looked upon
him, under God, as her future staff and support. He was trained to
industrious habits, and in the fear of God. The day-school and Sabbath
school seldom saw his seat vacant. Idleness, that rust which eats into
character, had no opportunity to fasten upon him.
By and by he got through school and succeeded in securing a situation
in a store in the city.
William soon found himself in quite altered circumstances; the stir and
bustle of the streets was very unlike the quiet of his village home;
then the tall stores, loft upon loft, piled with goods--boxes and bales
now, instead of books and bat; the strange faces of the clerks, and the
easy manners and handsome appearance of the rich boy, Ashton, just above
him in the store,--all these contributed not a little to his sense of
the newness and strangeness of his position.
William looked at Ashton almost with admiration, and thought how new and
awkward everything was to himself, and how tired he got standing so many
hours on duty, and crowding his way through the busy thoroughfares. But
his good habits soon made him many friends. The older clerks liked his
obliging and active spirit, and all had a good word for his punctuality.
But William had his trials. One morning he was sent to the bank for
money; and returning, laid the pile on the counting room desk. His
master was gone, and there was no one in the room but Ashton. Mr. Thomas
soon came back.
"Two dollars are missing," said he, counting the money.
The blood mounted to poor William's face, but he answered firmly:--
"I laid it all on your desk, sir."
Mr. Thomas looked steadily into the boy's face, and seeing nothing but
an honest purpose there, said, "Another time put the money into my
hands, my boy."
When the busy season came on, one of the head clerks was taken sick, and
William rendered himself useful to the bookkeeper by helping him add
some of his tall columns. Oh, how glad he was now for his drilling in
arithmetic, as the bookkeeper thanked him for his valuable help.
[Illustration: _William Helped the Bookkeeper_]
Ashton often asked William to go and ride, or to visit the oyster
saloons, or the bowling alley, or the theatre. To all invitations of
this kind, William had but one answer. He always said he had no time, or
money to spare for such things. After the day's work was done, he loved
to get back to his chamber to read. He did not crave perpetual
excitement, or any more eating and drinking than was supplied at his
Not so with Ashton. This young man had indulgent parents, and a plenty
of money, or it seemed so to William; and yet he ate it, or drank it, or
spent it in other things, as fast and so soon that he was often
borrowing from the other clerks.
Ashton joked William upon his "stiff notions," but the truth was that
William was far the happier of the two.
At last a half bale of goods was missing; searching inquiries were made,
and the theft was traced to Ashton. O the shame and disgrace of the
discovery! but alas, it was not his first theft. Ashton had been in the
habit of stealing little sums in order to get the means to gratify his
taste for pleasure; and now that his guilt had come to light, he ran
off, and before his parents were aware of it, fled to a far country, an
outcast from his beautiful home, from his afflicted friends, and from
all the comforts and blessings of a virtuous life.
William is rapidly rising in the confidence and respect of his
employers, fearing God, and faithful in duty.
[Illustration: "_An outcast from his beautiful home_."]
[Illustration: _The Fatal Ten Minutes' Delay_]
[Illustration: "_Ten minutes more to sleep in his chair_."]
TEN MINUTES' DELAY
All well-informed people are familiar with the sad account of the death
of the young Prince Napoleon, who fell pierced by nineteen wounds at the
hands of the Zulus, in South Africa, June 1, 1879.
Many will remember that Capt. Carey, in his published report, mentioned
that after they had selected the camping ground,--the object for which
the squad of six had been detailed,--and had had coffee and rested, he
suggested that they should remount and return to camp. But the young
prince, who commanded the squad, said,--
"No, let's wait ten minutes."
Just as they were preparing to remount, at the expiration of that ten
minutes, a body of Zulus came on them, and all fled but the prince,
whose horse broke from him. After a desperate resistance, he fell,
covered with wounds, and died "in the tall grass of the douga."
I presume all do not know that this pleading for ten minutes' delay was
a habit of the young prince from early childhood.
A correspondent of a leading Paris journal interviewed the empress as
she was about leaving for the scene of the tragedy that had wrecked all
her earthly hopes, and drew her into conversation on the subject of her
She talked freely during the interview, but with an evident anguish of
spirit, which seemed only the more sad from her effort at control.
During this interview, while speaking of the childhood of her son, the
prince, she unconsciously revealed the trait in his character that had
caused all this woe,--to her, wrecked hopes and a broken heart; to him,
the probable loss of a throne, an earthly future, and his life.
After describing her as still lovely in her lonely grief, the writer
from whom we quote said:--
"The empress had now risen and stood, slightly trembling with emotion,
when, stepping rapidly and gracefully across the room, she opened a
cabinet, from which she took a pocketbook, and read therefrom on a leaf,
'Going with Carey,'--the last words ever written by the prince; then she
added,--'Of all that Captain Carey has ever written in regard to my son,
those fatal ten minutes alone, I hold to be true. It was ever his
habit,' she continued, 'to plead for ten minutes' delay; so much so that
I used to tell him they ought to call him Monsieur Dix Minutes.'
"'He always begged for ten minutes more sleep in the morning; ten
minutes more at night to sleep in his chair; and when too much overcome
with sleep to speak, he would hold up his two little hands, the ten
fingers representing the ten minutes more for which he pleaded.'"
The habit of procrastination is a deadly foe to all prosperity in
temporal or in moral affairs. We ought to do every duty as soon as it
can be done.
* * * * *
I have a secret which I should like to whisper to the boys and girls if
they will put their ears down close enough. I don't want father and
mother to hear--for it is to be a surprise on them.
You have long wanted your own way. You have become tired of hearing
mother say, "Come right home after school." "Don't be late." "Be sure to
tell the teacher." It is "Do this" and "Don't do that" all the time. You
are sick of it, and would like to have your own way. Well, put your ears
down while I whisper one word, "Obey."
Oh, you think I am making fun. No, I am not. I know a boy who decided to
do just what his father said. He never offered excuses, never tried to
get out of work, until finally his father came to trust him perfectly.
His father said, "I know that Harlie will do what is right." When he
went out nights, or to school, or to play, his father never said a word,
for he had come to have perfect confidence in his boy.
Honestly, obedience is the road to freedom. If you want to have your own
way, just begin to obey.
"I think I am sure of one premium at least," said Edward, as he stood
among his schoolfellows.
It was examination day, and many a young heart was beating quick with
the hope of approbation and reward, or with the fear of disgrace.
Some had looked forward to this day, and applied to their tasks, knowing
how carefully they would be examined, and commended or punished
according as they deserved.
Others had chosen to forget that such a day must come, and idled away
the time which they would now have given a great deal to have at their
In the center of the schoolroom was placed a long table, covered with
books of various sizes and of different value. There were Bibles and
Testaments, both large and small, the histories of Rome, of Greece, and
of England. There were volumes elegantly bound and pamphlets just
The school was extensive, and it was desired that every one who had
exerted himself to the best of his ability, however little that might
be, should carry home with him some mark of encouragement, to remind him
that diligence and perseverance were not overlooked.
Like the servants to whom the Lord intrusted the talents, some had five,
and some had but one, yet these last could not be excused for hiding and
neglecting it because it was small; even the youngest and the simplest
child at school may make something of the reason and opportunities which
the Lord has given him to improve.
With anxious hearts and earnest faces, the boys arranged themselves
around the table; and were examined with great care and patience by
their teachers, as to the progress they had made in their studies.
Now, Edward had set his heart on one particular premium, the Roman
History, neatly bound, and making two very pretty volumes, which he
thought would handsomely fill up a vacant space on his book-shelves.
He allowed himself to think of this until no other prize was of any
value in his sight. This is a great fault, often committed by children,
and grown people too; instead of thankfully receiving whatever the
bounty of Providence assigns them, they would choose for themselves;
they become discontented and unhappy in the midst of blessings, because
the wisdom of God sees fit to withhold some one thing that their folly
deems necessary to their happiness.
Edward passed his examination with much credit, and one of the first
premiums was adjudged to him; but instead of the Roman History, a very
neat Bible, in excellent large type, was placed in his hands.
[Illustration: _The Teacher Presents the Bible_]
Many of his school-mates had longed for that Bible, but Edward did not
care for it.
The eyes of the foolish boy filled with tears, as he saw the elegant
History of Rome presented to another, who, perhaps would gladly have
exchanged with him.