"I DON'T want to, I don't want to go to bed," said little Clarence, and he burst into an outright fit of crying, as soon as his mother had said, " Come, my little son, it is quite bedtime."

"I wish there was no such thing as bed," sobbed Clarence. "I always hate to go to bed. I wish that I were a man, and then I would sit up all the time."

"Why, you foolish little boy; I guess that you would soon be sorry enough if you really couldn't go to bed."

"No, mamma," urged the child passionately, "I wouldn't be sorry a bit, I know I wouldn't; I know that it would be just the nicest thing in the world."

Mamma paused with the lamp in her hand, which she had taken up to light him to his pleasant little room. What could mamma be thinking of?  Clarence looked in her face. It was very calm, but a little grave.

"Well, Clarence," she said, "I am so tired of having you make this same trouble so often, when you are told to go to bed, that I have decided you shall do as you wish tonight. You need not go to bed."

"What, not at all!" exclaimed Clarence in a tone of delight; "really true, mamma, do you mean I may sit up all night, this once? "

"Yes, my son; you may sit up all night, since it is such a dreadful thing to go to bed."

"Oh, isn't it jolly! Thank you, mamma.  Only think what a grand time I have to do everything in!"

So the little boy got out his box of watercolors, and busied himself a long time in coloring some engravings which his mother had given him for that purpose. When he grew tired of his pictures, he took up a book that he liked to read very much, because the words were all short and the letters were large and plain.

While he was reading, his two sisters left the room, and as they did so they each stopped and kissed him goodnight. He straightened himself up considerably in his chair, as he turned to his book, for wasn't he doing just what his brothers, Charles and James, did in the evening? And it was nice to read late at night; yes, he was pretty certain that he liked sitting up.

But, somehow, the reading made his eyes ache after awhile; and then, too, he kept gaping. He would get his kitten and have some fun with her. He went out into the kitchen, but the girl had gone to bed and the room was dark. Calling his kitty, she quickly sprang out of the dark, and he caught her in his arms.

When he returned to the sitting room, his brothers had both gone to bed. How strange everything seemed! Then the clock struck eleven. Just as he had counted the last stroke, his papa folded up the newspaper which he had been reading, and with a pleasant, " Goodnight, Clarence," went out of the room. Mamma took the lamp from the table and set it up on the high mantelshelf. Then she crossed the room to where Clarence sat with his kitten in his arms, and stooping down, kissed the little boy, and saying, "Goodnight," left him alone.

When his mamma had gone, he tried to think of all the nice things that he used to imagine he would do if he could only sit up long enough. Somehow not one of them seemed pleasant. He thought he would whittle, and he took his knife and a little stick out of his pocket. But what if he should cut himself as he sometimes had done, and no one there to do up his finger. 

Perhaps he would bleed to death! He had heard of people bleeding to death. Then he thought he would whistle. He tried to begin; but it made such a noise he had to stop. How dreadfully still everything was!

Oh how lonely and wretched he felt! How long must he sit up? He had forgotten to ask mamma. His poor head felt so heavy, he wished he could lie down on the floor. But then he knew he would go to sleep, and what was the use of a boy's sitting up if he did not keep awake. He wished it was morning. Just then the clock struck; he counted, twelve! It was so dismal to have to sit here, with everybody fast asleep. He thought of his own pretty room and his little white bed so soft and warm, and he could not keep back the great sobs.

He could bear it no longer! Putting his kitty down, he crept softly to his mother's door and gave a timid little knock. In a moment mamma opened the door, and Clarence threw himself into her arms, with tears and sobs and yet with such joy and gladness as he had never felt before. "Dear mamma, oh how glad I am you woke up. I was afraid you were so sound asleep that you wouldn't hear me. Please let me go to bed; I will never, never again-- 

"Never mind tonight, Clarie," said kind mamma, as she quickly undressed him and tucked him in his bed. Then mamma left the room. Now that he was so happy in bed, he meant to think about it all, but somehow he didn't.

The very next thing he knew, mamma's voice had awakened him, and the sunshine was streaming merrily across the carpet.

"How does my little boy feel this morning?" said his mother.

"O mamma, I am sure that I shall never again want to sit up all night; why, you don't know how dreadful it was, when everybody was gone to bed and I was left there alone. Tell me, mamma, why did I not have a good time, as I expected I should? I didn't enjoy myself a bit."

"Because my child, you insisted on having your own will gratified, though it was in opposition to the judgment and wishes of your mother, who knows much better than her little boy what things are calculated to make him happy. And if you do not learn to trust mother's love and wisdom in things that you have not tried, just as grown-up Christians have to learn to trust their Saviour, you will see many more miserable evenings than the one in which you tried 

'sitting up.'" 

Christian Weekly.