THE SAILOR BOY.
Yarmouth is the principal trade sea-port town in the county of
Norfolk. Fishermen reside in the towns and villages around, and among
the number was a poor man and his wife; they had an only son, and when
ten years old his father died. The poor widow, in the death of her
husband, lost the means of support. After some time she said to her
boy, "Johnny, I do not see how I shall support you." "Then, mother, I
will go to se
," he replied. His mother was loth to part with Johnny,
for he was a good son and was very kind to her. But she at last
consented on his going to sea.
John began to make preparations. One day he went down to the beach
hoping to find a chance among some of the captains to sail. He went to
the owner of one and asked if he wanted a boy. "No," he abruptly
replied "I have boys enough." He tried a second but without success.
John now began to weep. After some time he saw on the quay the captain
of a trading vessel to St. Petersburg, and John asked him if "a boy
was wanted." "Oh, yes," said the captain, "but I never take a boy or a
man without a character." John had a Testament among his things, which
he took out and said to the captain, "I suppose this won't do." The
captain took it, and on opening the first page, saw written, "_John
Read, given as a reward for his good behaviour and diligence in
learning, at the Sabbath School_." The captain said, "Yes, my boy,
this will do; I would rather have this recommendation than any other,"
adding, "you may go on board directly." John's heart leaped for joy,
as, with his bundle under his arm, he jumped on board the vessel.
The vessel was soon under weigh, and for some time the sky was bright,
and the wind was fair. When they reached the Baltic Sea a storm came
on, the wind raged furiously, all hands were employed to save the
vessel. But the storm increased, and the captain thought all would be
lost. While things were in this state the little sailor boy was
missing. One of the crew told the captain he was down in the cabin.
When sent for he came up with his Testament in his hand and asked the
captain if he might read. His request was granted. He then knelt down
and rend the sixtieth and sixty-first Psalms. While he was reading the
wind began to abate, (the storms in the Baltic abate as suddenly as
they come on.) The captain was much moved, and said he believed the
boy's reading was heard in Heaven.