William drank in the old man’s words, and could have listened longer, but it was growing late. The good watchman must be at his post; and even while speaking he was putting on his overcoat, and, taking up his lantern, was soon prepared to traverse his nightly round.
Having promised he would return William safely, he proposed that they should leave together; but not before Mrs. Burton had wrapped up half a dozen nice rolls, which she gave him; and William, looking up in the old man’s face, said, “You will not forsake me?”
“No, boy, no, that I won’t,” was his reply; “but try to do all that conscience tells you is your duty, and then you will have a better Friend, worth more than a whole host of mortal men.”
GLEAMS OF SUNSHINE.
The night passed by, and although William had not slept during its early hours, he rose as soon as it was light, and after offering an earnest prayer that Heaven would shield him from temptation that day, he wrote a letter to his friend George. We will not detail what the epistle contained, but merely mention that, after stating many circumstances that had occurred, it ended by telling what a kind friend had been raised up for him in the old watchman. He did not conceal the fact of his being very unhappy; but while he told of his comfortless home, he also declared his resolution to try to be contented with his present lot and like his trade. Thomas Burton had told him that his heavenly Father had allotted to every one his proper place, and to murmur would be sinful. He concluded by saying that he would be diligent and faithful, trying in all things to please his master, until his term of apprenticeship should have expired. “Then, dear George, I will go back to M——. I never shall want to stay in a big city; for although there are many fine things here, finer than I ever saw in our little village, there is more wickedness, and it is harder to be good where there is so much bad example.”
At this moment his mistress called him to come and make the fire, and hastily directing and sealing his letter, he thrust it into his pocket and proceeded to do her bidding.