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Creator in the days of thy youth ;' «The mercy of the Lord is for everlasting upon those that fear Him, and to those that remember His commandments to do them ;' 'God giveth grace to the lowly.'”

“Oh! I am so glad of these,” continued Frank; “what lovely books! They shall be kept for Sunday. I shall never use them any other day; for my other Bible and Hymn Books will be very nice for the weekdays; won't they, mother? But these must all be covered, mustn't they? or their beautiful bindings may be spoilt ; and I wouldn't have that happen for any thing. Oh! I will take such care of them. Dear, kind Mrs. Barnard ! They shall be the very first things to go into the private locker. I'm sure I never thought of all these good gifts coming to me when I wanted to be a sailor. I thought boys began at sea with next to nothing, and got on by degrees.”

“Some poor lads have to do that, Frank,” returned his mother; “but you have met with such friends, my dear, that I have no words to speak what I feel. I hope you will always remember how good our Merciful Father has been to us in raising up such friends, and do nothing to forfeit their good opinion."

After tea Mr. Ford wished them " Good-night;" and it needed a night's rest to calm the excitement caused by all these wonderful events—these unlookedfor surprises.

As Frank took off his jacket, the little note fell out; and as he read it, he was fain to stop several times to wipe the tears from his eyes. It was chiefly relating-to his dear mother; and although it contained such comforting intelligence, which he alone was to know, yet it was written so touchingly that his tears flowed fast, and by the time he had finished its contents, he had fairly given way, and was indulging in a downright good cry.

He refolded his letter, put it smoothly under his bolster, where it was to remain until morning, when it would be carefully stowed away in that invaluable "private locker."

CHAPTER VII.

OUTWARD BOUND.—MR. FORD THE CARRIER.

EFORE the day came

for the Liverpool journey,

Mr. Robinson wrote to make an appointment at his office in Water Lane. So Frank and his mother went there first; and Frank “signed Articles," binding himself as apprentice for four years to the owners of

the ship “Speedwell,” now about to sail for Bombay.

Mr. Robinson kindly gave Mrs. Wentworth a sovereign in advance of the first year of Frank's pay, wherewith to procure all sorts of little articles, of which the boy would stand in need when away from the watchful care of his mother; and then he told her of the precautions against danger provided now for all the ships of which he was part owner.

He thought she would

[graphic]

be pleased to know that every thing was done that could be done to ensure safety, humanly speaking. He said every vessel, before leaving port, was inspected as carefully and minutely as if it were an emigrant ship, and was not permitted to leave dock until it was certified that means for the preservation of the passengers and crew existed on board—boats, belts, mattrasses, rafts-every thing, in short, that could add to their security.

From the office they went about their shopping, ạnd wound up a very fatiguing day by having a very delicious meat tea at Mrs. Robinson's; and, it being quite dark when Mr. Ford called for them, Frank fell fast asleep in the van, and never woke to say a word to any body, until Punch, of his own accord, pulled up at the gate of the widow's cottage.

The few intervening days were all too short, and the dulness of the weather was depressing ; but Mrs. Wentworth schooled her heart, smothered her grief, that it might not fret her boy, and on the morning of Frank's departure she appeared the most cheerful

But she dared not trust herself to accompany him to Liverpool, to see the great ship tugged out of dock, with her only son on board. She had not sufficient command of her feelings for that; so all leave-taking was done at home, and Mr. Ford came directly after breakfast, and conveyed Frank and his well-packed sea-chest from the humble home where he had spent so many happy days.

The kind old man saw the tears welling into Frank's eyes, as he turned with a heavy sigh from

person there.

watching the last flutter of his mother's kerchief, who was standing at the garden gate with his two dear sisters, and waving her loving adieu.

The old man saw the suffused eyes, and set about to divert his attention by chatting cheerfully of his prospects, his voyage, and his return; so that Frank had no leisure for brooding over the pain of parting, the tearful gaze, the tender kisses, the loving words, and the earnest blessings. But they were all deeply impressed upon his heart and mind, to bring forth fruit in due season ; to urge him on in the path of dutyto comfort him under trouble-to cheer him in times of difficulty and danger.

The parting had been still more distressing to those left behind. Mrs. Wentworth and her daughters had done their best to send their darling away in good spirits, and he had seen no signs of their sorrow. But when the last word had been spoken, the last look taken, they went their several ways, each to indulge in the grief which then, in spite of all efforts at resignation, seemed for a time to overwhelm them.

It is a good thing to be able to exert oneself when assailed by grief—when troubled by losses or partings. Time alleviates all such distresses, and we can soon think calmly over a trouble, which, at the time of its occurrence, seemed almost greater than we could bear. God has mercifully and wisely ordered this; blessed be His holy name!

Whenever they sat together in the evenings, or at their meals, Mrs. Wentworth tried to dispel the sinking at her heart by speaking only of the advantages her

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