ill have an enduring


Once there was a good boy who had a kind-hearted mother. One afternoon
she said: “Here, Peter, are some cakes I want you to take to the poor
old blind man who is very ill, and who lives a mile and a half away
from town. If you go quickly and do not stop to play, you will be
home before it is dark.” Peter took the cakes to the poor old blind
man, who said, “You are a kind-hearted boy; thank your mother for
me.” Light-hearted because he had made the blind man happy, Peter
was walking home when suddenly he noticed a little stream of water
trickling through the great bank on the side of the road. This was in
Holland, where much of the land is below the level of the sea, and
where dikes are built by the people to keep back the sea. Every boy
in Holland knows the danger of even a small leak in the dike. Peter
understood at once that this tiny stream would soon make a large hole
and the whole city would be flooded. In a moment he saw what he must
do. He climbed down the side of the dike and thrust his chubby little
hand and finger into the tiny hole and stopped the flowing of the
water. Then he cried out for help, but no one heard him; no one came
to help. It grew dark, and cold; he was hungry; his arm ached and it
began to grow stiff and numb. He shouted again: “O mother! mother!” But
his mother thought Peter must be spending the night with the blind
man, and did not know of his danger. Peter thought how warm and cozy
all at home were sleeping in their beds, and he said to himself, “I
will not let them be drowned!” So that good boy stayed there all night
long, holding back the water. Early next morning, a minister on his way
to visit the sick, heard a groan, saw the boy, and called out to him,
“What is the matter, my boy? Are you hurt? Why are you sitting there?”
When Peter told him what he had done, the minister said, “I will hold
my hand there while you run quickly to the town and get help.” Very
soon men came and repaired the leak in the dike, but all knew that
Peter, by his courage and faithfulness, had saved the town of Haarlem
that night.


Once there was a terrible battle in Germany, and thousands of soldiers
were scattered over the country. A captain who had many men and horses
to feed was told by his colonel to get food from the farmers near-by.
The captain walked for some time through the broad valley, and at last
knocked at the door of a small cottage. A man, old and lame and leaning
on a stick, opened the door. “Good morning,” said the captain. “Will
you please show me a field where my soldiers can cut grain for our
army? We cannot pay for it.” The old man led the soldiers through the
valley for about a mile, when they saw a field of rich barley waving in
the breeze.

“That is just what we want,” said the captain. “No, not yet,” said the
old man; “follow me a little farther.” After some time they came to
a second field of barley. The soldiers got off their horses, cut the
grain, tied the sheaves, and rode away with them. Then the captain said
to the old man, “Why did you make us come so far? The first field of
barley was better than this one.” “That is true, sir,” answered the old
man, “but it was not mine!”–_Adapted from “Ethics for Children” by E.
L. Cabot._


Once in far-away Japan there lived a rich man who owned a large
ranch–not of alfalfa, or wheat, or other grain–but of rice. One
afternoon he stood looking over his large fields of rice, saying, “What
a rich man this great harvest makes me!” Suddenly he felt an earthquake
and saw that the waves of the sea were running away from the land and
rolling far out. He knew that it would only be a little while before
the waves would return in a great flood, which would overflow the
little strip of land along the seashore, in the valley below the high
plain on which his ranch was situated, and all the people in the little
village would be drowned. It was a holiday and the people in their
merrymaking and fun and laughter had not noticed the earthquake. The
rich man cried to his servants, “Bring torches! make haste! set fire
to the rice!” Then he and his servants set on fire stack after stack
of the rice. In a moment the flames and smoke rose high, the big bell
from the village pealed the fire-signal, and all the boys and girls and
men and women ran up the hill as fast as they could to see the fire,
and to try to save the rice-crop of the rich man. When they saw him
setting fire to his rice, they shouted, “Look, he is mad; he is setting
fire to his rice.” “Look!” shouted the old man. They looked and saw the
raging and surging waves of the sea come rolling in. They looked again
a few moments later and saw nothing but the straw which had been the
thatched roofs of their homes tossing on the waters and their whole
village blotted out by the sea. “That is why I set fire to my rice,”
said the old Japanese. “If I had not done that you would have all been
drowned in those waves!” He stood among them almost as poor as any of
them, but he had the consciousness that by the sacrifice of his fortune
he had saved four hundred lives that day.–_Adapted from “Gleanings in
Buddha-fields,” by L. Hearn._


One cold winter day long ago a Russian nobleman and his wife were
traveling across the plains of Russia in a sleigh drawn by six horses,
and their two servants on horseback were riding beside them. Suddenly
they heard the howling of a great pack of wolves that had been driven
by cold and hunger from the mountains. The nobleman at once ordered
one of the servants to ride on faster to the town and bring them other
horses while he drove those he had more swiftly. The wolves came nearer
and nearer. The other servant begged his master to allow him to loose
his horse for the wolves to devour, hoping in this way to save time.
But as soon as the servant sprang into the sleigh the frightened horse
was torn into a thousand pieces by the fierce wolves, and they were
back again more bloodthirsty than before. While the servant fought
them off from the back of the sleigh the nobleman cut loose one after
another of the horses, until he had but two left. Then the servant
said, “I will spring among them and that will give you time to escape!”
“No! no!” cried the nobleman. “See the lights of the city in the
distance. We are almost safe!” But the wolves were again upon them
and there seemed no other way, so the servant sprang from the sleigh,
fought and drove back the wolves as far as he could to save all the
time possible, but at last he was overcome by their great numbers and
was devoured. A few moments later the Russian nobleman and his wife,
with the two horses and the sleigh, passed in through the gate of
the city in safety, conscious that they had been saved only by the
great self-sacrifice of their faithful servant. For a long time after
travelers on that road saw a cross, which the nobleman had erected on
the spot where his servant had given up his life, and on the cross were
these words: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down
his life for his friends.”



Once there was a terrible storm at sea, and a steamship was dashed
upon the rocks and split in two. One-half of the ship was washed away,
and those of the passengers who were still alive, were clinging to the
other half upon the low rocks, lashed by the angry waves. About a mile
away in a lighthouse a brave girl, named Grace Darling, the daughter of
the lighthouse-keeper, heard, above the noise of the winds and waves,
the screams and cries of the drowning men, and when daylight dawned she
could see the wreck and the men clinging to the masts. “Let us go out
in the lifeboat and save them?” she cried. But her father, who knew the
danger in such a storm, replied, “It is of no use. We can never reach
them!” “We can never stay here and see them die, father,” Grace said;
“let us try to save them.” So the heavy lighthouse boat was launched,
and with Grace pulling at one oar, and her father at the other, they
reached the wreck and rescued, one by one, the worn-out men, whom they
rowed safely to the lighthouse. Then Grace became as tender a nurse
as she had been brave as a sailor, for she cared most kindly for the
shipwrecked men until the storm ceased and they were strong enough to
go to their own homes. The heroism of this young woman became known
everywhere. Thousands sang her praises. Artists visited the lighthouse
to take her portrait. Three thousand dollars were subscribed and
presented to her. Distinguished people sent her letters of gratitude.
But through all such praise Grace Darling remained as modest as she
was brave, saying, “I did not suppose I had done anything worthy of so
much notice.” When a few years afterward she died, over her grave, in a
little churchyard by the sea, not far from the lighthouse, a monument
was raised in her honor, where it stands to-day. It is a marble statue
of a woman lying at rest with a boat’s oar held fast in her right hand.


One spring day, a young surveyor, eighteen years of age, was eating
his dinner with some companions in a forest in Virginia. Suddenly the
sylvan stillness was startled by the piercing shrieks of a woman. The
young surveyor sprang to his feet and leaped to the woman’s side. “My
boy! My boy! Oh, my darling boy is drowning and they will not let me
rescue him,” screamed the frantic mother as she tried to escape from
the men who held her from springing into the rapids. “No, we will not
let her go,” cried the men, “for she would be instantly killed on the
sharp rocks and could not rescue her boy!” “Why does not one of you
rescue him then?” said the manly fellow of eighteen. “We are not ready
to die yet,” the men replied. “O sir, won’t you do something?” cried
the mother to the young surveyor. For an instant he stood measuring the
rocks and the whirling rapids with his eye, and then, throwing off his
coat, he plunged into the roaring torrent where he had caught sight
of the drowning boy. With stout heart and steady hand he struggled
against the seething waters which each moment threatened to engulf him
or dash him to pieces against the sharp-pointed rocks. Just as they
thought both would go over the falls the young engineer clutched the
little fellow and swam with him to the shore. Then, amid the praises
of those who had witnessed his heroism, mingled with the gratitude of
the overjoyed mother, he placed the unconscious but saved little boy in
her arms. “God will reward you, young man,” said the mother; “God will
reward you some day for your heroism, and many will praise you for what
you have done this day!” And so it was; for this young surveyor who
saved the little boy was George Washington.


One day as Abraham Lincoln was riding along a country road on
horseback, in company with some friends, he saw a pig stuck fast in a
deep place filled with mud, struggling to keep from going in deeper.
The poor pig was squealing in terror, and the comical sight filled the
friends with laughter and delight. After Lincoln had ridden on a little
distance, he turned back his horse, saying, “Gentlemen, excuse me a few
moments,” and rode back as fast as he could to the place where the poor
creature was, got down from his horse, and drew the pig out of the mud.
When he rejoined his companions they asked, “Why did you go back?” He
told them what he had done, adding, “I couldn’t sleep well to-night, if
I hadn’t done that thing.”


The minister of a church in London was called one day to see a
street-sweeper in his parish who was ill. Asking him if any one had
been to see him, to the surprise of the minister, the sweeper replied,
“Yes, Mr. Gladstone came to see me.”

“Which Mr. Gladstone?” asked the minister.

“Mr. Gladstone, he told me his name was,” replied the poor sick boy.

“But how came he to see you?” said the minister.

“Well,” answered the boy, “he always had a nice word for me when he
passed my crossing, and when I was not there he missed me. He asked my
mate, who had taken my place, where I was, and when he heard I was ill
he asked for my address, and he put it down on paper. So he called to
see me.”

“And what did he do?” asked the minister.

“He brought me some nice oranges,” answered the boy, “and then he read
to me some Bible and prayed, and it was so good!”

To a man like Gladstone, living humbly, simply, and sincerely, it is
as important and as interesting a deed to do a kindness to a poor
street-sweeper, and to comfort his heart with sympathy and love, as to
form a cabinet to govern the English Empire. In such service the words
of George Herbert have their full realization:

A servant with this clause
Makes drudgery divine;
Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws,
Makes that and th’ action fine.


One evening, in the year 1861, as General Joseph Garibaldi, the Italian
patriot, fighting to make his beloved Italy free, united, and happy,
was going to his headquarters, he met a Sardinian shepherd lamenting
the loss of a lamb out of his flock. The great-hearted general at
once returned to camp and announced to his officers his intention of
scouring the mountains in search of the missing sheep. His soldiers,
inspired by his tenderness on the field of peace as they had been by
his valor on the field of battle, at once organized a grand expedition.
Lanterns were brought and old officers of many a campaign started off
full of enthusiasm to hunt for the lost lamb. But no lamb was found,
and the soldiers returned to their beds in the camp. The next morning
the servant of General Garibaldi found him in bed fast asleep. When
he was awakened the general rubbed his eyes. And so did the servant,
when he saw the old warrior bring the lost lamb from under the covering
where it had been kept warm, and request him to carry it back in safety
to the shepherd.

The man who had endured hardship and persecution, cold and hunger,
nakedness and exile to make his native land free, had thought it a
worthy task to keep up his search throughout the long night for the
lost sheep until he had found it.


Thomas Hovenden, the artist, who painted “Breaking the Home Ties,”
“Jerusalem, the Golden,” and “John Brown” which were exhibited at the
World’s Fair in Chicago, was one day standing in a railway depot just
as an engine was dashing into the station. He saw just in front of the
iron-horse some mother’s darling little boy, and instantly, without a
moment’s hesitation, he dropped his satchel and sprang in front of the
engine. He snatched the little boy in his arms, only to be crushed and
ground beneath the wheels of the conscienceless monster.

Great as are the exhibitions of his artistic genius in the paintings
he has left us to admire, Thomas Hovenden never made a more wonderful
picture in his life. Such a picture of unselfishness, heroism, and
Christlike abandon to save a child, is a picture to be admired in
heaven–a picture worthy to hang in the palace of God.


Kenneth Oliver, a boy of eleven years of age, who lived in Tampico,
Ill., returning home from school one afternoon, saw a little girl only
seven years old playing on the railroad track. Suddenly he noticed
a heavy freight-train coming on, at full speed, drawn by two great
engines. The little girl did not see or hear the train, and was playing
on, entirely unconscious of her danger. The boy quickly ran to the
track, took hold of the child, and dragged her to one side of the
rails, but he missed his footing, and the boy and girl rolled down
the embankment together just as the train dashed past. It was not an
instant too soon, for the edge of the pilot-beam struck the girl,
bruising her, and missed killing the boy by an inch. The boy thought
nothing of his danger. The tumble down the bank into the ditch seemed
like a joke to the two children, although they felt the effects of
their somersaults for some time afterward. The little girl’s mother,
full of gratitude, told what this boy hero had done; all the country
round soon sang his praises; and not long after he received a medal
and two thousand dollars from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission. It
had always been his wish to go to college. This enabled him to get his
wish, for the money was enough to pay for his education.


One day in the town of Weser, in Germany, a boy was playing with his
little sister, four years old. Suddenly the boy saw rushing down the
hill a mad dog followed by men, trying to stop it. In a moment the boy
saw that the dog was running directly toward his little sister. Not
thinking for a moment of his own danger, or escape, this brave boy in a
flash threw off his coat, wrapped it around his arm, and boldly faced
the fierce dog. Holding out his arm, shielded by the coat, the boy
turned the dog’s attention to himself, so that the wild beast jumped
at him and worried him until the men came up and killed the dog. The
men said, “Why did you not run away from the dog? You could easily have
done it.” “Yes,” answered the boy, “but if I had he would have attacked
my sister. I thought I would let the dog tear my coat instead of her!”


Jennie Clark, a little girl only eleven years old, who lived in Ohio,
was walking along a railroad track one hot summer afternoon when she
noticed that a wooden bridge over a deep ravine was on fire, evidently
caught from a spark from an engine. She knew that in a few moments an
excursion train to the World’s Fair was due to pass over the bridge. As
quick as a flash the little heroine snatched off her red petticoat, and
ran swiftly up the track toward the approaching train, waving her red
petticoat as a danger-signal. The engineer saw the warning and stopped
the train in time to save the lives of the passengers. Among the
hundreds of passengers who were saved were a number of Frenchmen who,
on their return to France, told this story of the brave little American
girl who had saved the train. The story reached the ears of President
Carnot, who, after communicating with President McKinley, bestowed upon
her the Cross of the Legion of Honor. This young girl of Ohio, who so
courageously gave herself in such heroic service, was the youngest
person in the world to wear the Cross of the Legion of Honor, France’s
highest award for heroic service in time of war and peace!


Billy Rough was a crippled newsboy who owned a news-stand on a busy
street corner in Gary, Ind. But, though a cripple, Billy was such
a cheerful soul that he did far more than sell newspapers. He gave
away sunshine. He knew his customers and was interested in all their
affairs. As he handed them their papers he asked, with neighborly
cheerfulness, about their welfare. If the crippled boy had troubles
himself, no one ever knew of them. He was far more anxious to help
others bear their burdens than to add to them by any tales of his own
woes. One day he read in the newspaper of a young girl who had been
terribly burned as the result of a motorcycle accident. The doctors
said her life could only be saved by grafting some one else’s skin
upon the burned flesh. Billy Rough said to himself: “I’m only a poor
cripple. My life is not of much account. I will offer my skin.” He was
told that amputation would be necessary and very dangerous. He said:
“If it will save the girl, take it off. I’ll save money. I’ll only have
to buy one shoe. The leg is of no use to me. Maybe it’ll help her.
I’d like to be of some use to some one.” He saved her life, but lost
his own, for soon after the grafting, he died, saying: “I’m glad I
done it. Yes, I’m going, but I was some good in the world after all.”
The Mayor of Gary, impressed with this heroic self-sacrifice, issued
a proclamation announcing that contributions for a memorial would be
received. Nine hundred dollars, which had been sent in for his use
before he died, were turned over to the memorial committee. A statue in
Jefferson Park, a bronze tablet in the building where his news-stand
stood, and an endowed room in the Gary Hospital where he lay before his
death, all testify that the name of Billy Rough, the crippled newsboy
and hero of Gary, will have an enduring place in the annals of American