BOB THE CABIN BOY
A FEW months since, a vessel sailed from England with a captain whose habitual blasphemy, drunkenness, and tyranny so disgusted the crew, that some of the most fatal consequences might have taken place, but for his sudden and alarming illness. The mate took charge of the ship, and the captain, greatly afflicted in his cabin, was left by the unanimous voice of a hardened crew, to perish. He had continued nearly a week in this neglected state, no one venturing to visit him, when the heart of a poor boy on board was touched with his sufferings, and he determined to enter the cabin and speak to him. He descended the companion-ladder, and opening the state-room door, called out, "Captain, how are you?" A surly voice replied, "What's that to you? be off." Next morning, however, he went down again. "Captain, hope you are better." "O Bob, I'm very bad; been very ill all night." "Captain, please to let me wash your hands and face; will refresh you very much." The captain nodded assent. Having performed this kind office, the boy said, "Please, master, let me shave you." He was permitted to do this also; and, having adjusted the bed-clothes, he grew bolder, and proposed some tea. The kindness of this poor boy found its way to his heart; and, in spite of all his daring, independent spirit, his bowels melted, and his iron face displayed the starting tear.