ONE night, about forty years ago, when the snow was flying thick and fast through the streets of a great city, a lady was coming home through the storm. Just as she came near her own door, then she was startled by seeing a barefoot, ragged boy run down the steps, and tossed up his hat, with a shout of laughter.

It was bitterly cold, and the boy's tattered clothes left his feet and legs and toe naked. He had an empty basket slung by a strap around his neck, and he certainly looked a forlorn object. The lady couldn't understand why he should be so jolly, and she had the curiosity to ask him what it meant.

"I shouldn't think you would feel like laughing," she said. "You must be very cold, my boy. And I see you have nothing in your basket."

"That's just it," the boy answered, eagerly.

"I've sold my oranges, every single one of 'em, and they all fetched a good price. That's what made me laugh."

"Then I suppose you'll spend the money to buy yourself some shoes," said the lady. "You need them sadly."

"Oh, I don't mind about shoes," was the answer.

"It's to pay my mother's rent, and I've got it here, all right."

He could not keep down his delight; and the lady was so interested by it that she brought him into the house, and made him tell her all about himself and his mother. It was not much to tell; only how his mother was sick, and couldn't work, and how, Will-that was the boy-somehow or other, continued to pay the rent of a room, and kept her in food and fire. He was fourteen years old, and had never been to school, but he taught himself to read and write; and he had supported his mother ever since his father died, two years ago.

The lady thought, as she listened, that there was the making of a man in this brave, unselfish fellow, and she determined to give him a better chance. Some warm clothes for himself, and some comforts for his mother came first; then, employment for him, with regular wages; and then, because the man in him shone out so brightly, an opportunity for education. It was forty years ago; and what do you think the boy is now? A member of Congress, who has filled any number of honorable positions, and whose word, men say, is better than another man's oath. I must not tell you his name; but I tell you his true story for an example and an encouragement.