With The Boys


WE all admire the hopeful boy,—one who always whistles his merriest tunes on a cloudy day, 

or when every one else is out of sorts. 

When things go wrong, he sets to work to right them; if this effort proves a failure, he whistles till he doesn't mind it much. 

He is usually a boy with a large heart and generous sympathies. 

In the boys' vocabulary, however, no word stands so prominent as bravery. 

The very thought of a daring general who braves danger and death for the cause he deems right, of the fireman who risks life to rescue others, of the impetuous hero of history ....—thrills the boy with admiration. 

No praise is so desired by him as to be called brave, no epithet so dreaded as that of coward. 

But did it ever occur to you, boys, that he is a coward who most fears to be called one, and that the genuine coward is the first to suspect another of that weakness? 

Many a boy has grown to manhood longing for an opportunity to manifest the unusual bravery of which he fancies himself the possessor, while in the little acts of life he shows himself a cringing coward. 

He longs to face some unknown danger, while he lacks courage to meet the sneer of a classmate. 

Boys, the real test of bravery is not in moments of excitement, when a wild impulse sweeps all before it, and the world gazes in breathless admiration; but when alone the hero meets a little foe which seems scarcely worth the effort of subduing, or when he chooses the unpopular side in spite of ridicule. 

It is the spirit of Henry Clay when he exclaimed, "I would rather be right than be president." 

'Strength is another element of character much admired by boys. 

I often smile to see a little fellow so gallantly pronounce himself mother's or sister's protector, and to notice the conscious pride with which they lean upon him. 

You love power, and we do not blame you; but, boys, remember it is base cowardice to use that power over anything weaker than yourself. 

Be brave, and strong, and true, boys; don't allow your mind and heart to be narrowed by selfishness. 

One simple rule let me give you, and I hold you will need no other not contained in the "Book of books": "Think nothing, speak nothing, and do nothing, which you would be ashamed to have your mother know. 

This, if carefully carried out, will make you "every inch a man!" 

In the following piece of poetry from the Youth's Companion, is presented a picture of manliness which all the boys would be the better for imitating :— 

She sat on the porch in the sunshine, 

As I went down the street,— 

A woman whose hair was silver

But whose face was blossomed sweet, 

Making me think of a garden, 

Where, in spite of the frost and snow 

Of bleak November weather, 

Late, fragrant lilies blow. 

I heard a footstep behind me, 

And the sound of a merry laugh, 

And I knew the heart it came from 

Would be like a comforting staff 

In the time and hour of trouble, 

Hopeful and brave and strong; 

One of the hearts to lean on 

When we think that things go wrong. 

I turned at the click of the gate latch, 

And met his manly look; 

A face like his gives me pleasure, 

Like the page of an open book. 

It told of a steadfast purpose, 

Of a brave and daring will— 

A face with a promise in it, 

That, God grant, the years fulfill. 

He went up the pathway singing; 

I saw the woman's eyes 

Grow bright with a wordless welcome, 

As sunshine warms the skies. 

He cried, and bent to kiss 

The loving face that was lifted 

For what some mothers miss. 

That boy will do to depend on, 

I hold that this is true— 

From lads in love with their mothers 

Our bravest heroes grew. 

Earth's grandest hearts have been loving hearts, 

Since time and earth began! 

And the boy who kissed his mother 

Is every inch a man! 

L. M. S. 


THE following advice of Daniel Webster to his grandson is valuable to every young person. 

It was written about four years before Mr. Webster's 

death:—"Two or three things I wish now to impress on your mind. 

First, you cannot learn without your own efforts. 

All the teachers in the world can never make a scholar of you, if you do not apply yourself with all your might. 

In the second place, be of good character and good behavior,—a boy of strict truth and honor and conscience in all things. 

Have but one rule, and let that be always to act right and fear nothing—but wrongdoing. Finally, 

'Remember your Creator in the days of your youth.' 

You are old enough to know that God has made you and given you a mind and faculties, and will surely call you to account. 

Honor and obey your parents, love your sister and brother, he gentle and kind to all, avoid peevishness and fretfulness, be patient under restraint. 

Look forward constantly to your approaching manhood, and put off every day, more and more, all that is frivolous and childish."