Down by the sea-coast is the pleasant town of Saco, where Mr. Aimes has resided for many years. Once a year he had all his little nephews and nieces visit him. It was their holiday, and they would think and talk about the visit for a long time previous to going there. Their uncle took much pleasure in making them happy as possible while they were with him. He owned a pleasure sail boat which he always kept in good order. On this occasion he had it all clean and prepared for the young friends, as he knew they lotted much on having a sail. As his boat was small, he took part of them at a time and went out with them himself, a short distance, and sailed around the island, and returned. In the picture you see them just going out, with their uncle at the helm, while three of the nephews are on the beach enjoying the scene.
But I must tell you children to be very careful when you go on the water to sail. There are some things which it is necessary for you to know, as a great many accidents occur on the water for the want of right management. When you go to sail, be sure and have persons with you who understand all about a boat, and how to manage in the time of a squall. Always keep your seats in the boat, and not be running about in it. Never get to rocking a boat in the water. A great many people have lost their lives by so doing. Sailing on the water may be very pleasant and agreeable to you if you go with those who understand all about the harbor, and are skilled in guiding the boat on the dangerous sea.
Yarmouth is the principal trade seaport town in the county of Norfolk. Fishermen reside in the towns and villages around, and among the number was a poor man and his wife; they had an only son, and when ten years old his father died. The poor widow, in the death of her husband, lost the means of support. After some time she said to her boy, “Johnny, I do not see how I shall support you.” “Then, mother, I will go to sea,” he replied. His mother was loth to part with Johnny, for he was a good son and was very kind to her. But she at last consented on his going to sea.
John began to make preparations. One day he went down to the beach hoping to find a chance among some of the captains to sail. He went to the owner of one and asked if he wanted a boy. “No,” he abruptly replied, “I have boys enough.” He tried a second but without success. John now began to weep. After some time he saw on the quay the captain of a trading vessel to St. Petersburg, and John asked him if “a boy was wanted.” “Oh, yes,” said the captain, “but I never take a boy or a man without a character.” John had a Testament among his things, which he took out and said to the captain, “I suppose this won’t do.” The captain took it, and on opening the first page, saw written, “John Read, given as a reward for his good behavior and diligence in learning, at the Sabbath School.” The captain said, “Yes, my boy, this will do; I would rather have this recommendation than any other,” adding, “you may go on board directly.” John’s heart leaped for joy, as, with his bundle under his arm, he jumped on board the vessel.