WOULD you like to hear the story of a brave, unselfish boy? I cannot tell you his name or the name of his native town. Somewhere near the bold shores and blue waters of Lake Michigan, he grew up from infancy to boyhood, and his heart was full of hopeful joy, with the promise of a long and useful life before him. 

With a younger brother he went out upon the lake. He did not say  "good-bye" to any one, for good. With all the earnestness of his young heart he enjoyed the bright hours of the morning as they passed away. But a storm had been gathering strength, and clouds, hidden by forest-covered bluffs, had risen unperceived. A strange dimness crept over the noonday, and, in a moment as it were, a tempest had burst upon them with all its power, and their frail boat was tossed like a play_ thing upon the great waves that had been lashed into fury by the wind. 

In the boat was one life preserver, only one. 

With loving touch, he belted it about his younger brother, and, with cheerful words and a sad smile, he told him how to push off for the shore, where friends and neighbors, all in vain, reached out their hands, and sent their voices, drowned by the storm roar, to the perishing boys. 

So one was saved. He reached the helping hands of those who waded out, breast deep, among the dashing waves and brought him to the land. 

And only one. They saw a hand through the wild, rushing rain, wave to them all a tender, mute farewell, and a pale face sink beneath the rocking, foaming waters of the lake. 

Dear children, there are better things than a long life, and there are sadder things than an early death. There is a way of giving our lives that does not take us down to death. If we give of our strength to aid the weary, our time of rest for the comfort of afflicted ones, or even our Comforts, perhaps, that the destitute may be better supplied, God will be as well pleased with us as though we gave our lives. 

It is not what we get, but what we give, that will decide for us when we are weighed in the balances of God. There are those who always have something to give. 

It may be only a beautiful flower, 

It may be only the work of an hour, 

It may be only a lifting hand, 

Only a sentiment, free and grand, 

Only a word when the rest deride, 

And pass us by with a step of pride; 

It may be little, but helps to live, 

Always something they have to give. 

—Mary Brainard.