Spare Moments.

A LEAN, awkward boy came one morning to

the door of the principal of a celebrated

school, and asked to see him. The servant

eyed his poor clothes, and thinking he looked

more like a beggar than anything else, told

him to go round to the kitchen. The boy

did as he was bidden, and soon appeared at the

back door.

"I should like to see Mr. ," said he,

"You want a breakfast, more like," said

the servant girl, "and I can give you that

without troubling him."

"Thank you," said the boy, "I have no

objections to a bit of bread; but I should like

to see Mr. , if he can see me."

"Some old clothes, may be, you want,"

remarked the servant, again eyeing the boy's

patched trousers. "I guess he's none to

spare; he gives away a sight," and without

minding the boy's request, she went about

her work.

"Can I see Mr. ?" again asked the

boy after finishing his bread and butter.

"Well, he' s in the library; if he must be

disturbed, he must; but he does like to be

alone sometimes," said the girl, in a peevish

tone. She seemed to think it very foolish to

admit such an ill-looking fellow into her master's

presence; however, she wiped her

hands, and bade him follow. Opening the

library door, she said:

"Here is somebody, sir, who is very anxious

to see you, and so I let him in."

I don' t know how the boy introduced himself,

or how he opened his business, but I

know that after talking awhile, the principal

put aside the volume he was studying, and

took up some Greek books and began to examine

the new-comer. The examination lasted

some time. Every question which the principal

asked, the boy could answer as readily

as could be.

"Upon my word," exclaimed the principal,

"you certainly do well;" looking at the boy

from head to foot over his spectacles. "Why,

my boy, where did you pick up so much?"

"In my spare moments," answered the boy.

Here he was, poor, hard-working, with but

few opportunities for schooling, yet almost fitted

for college, by simply improving his spare

moments. Truly, are not spare moments the

"gold dust of time"? How precious they

should be!

What account can you give of your spare

moments? What can you show for them?

Look and see. This boy can tell you how

very much can be laid up by simply improving

them; and there are many, many other

boys, I am afraid, in the jail, in the house of

correction, in the forecastle of a whale ship,

in the tippling shop, who, if you should ask

them when they began their sinful course,

might answer, "In my spare moments."

"In my spare moments I gambled for marbles."

"In my spare moments I began to smoke and drink."

 "It was in my spare moments that I began to

 steal  chestnuts from the old woman's stand."

 "It was in my spare moments that I gathered 

wicked associates."

O, be very careful how you spend you

spare moments! Temptation always hunt

you out in small seasons like these, when you

are not busy; he gets into your hearts, if he

possibly can, in just such gaps. There he

hides himself, planning all sorts of mischief

Take care of your spare moments.

Young Pilgrim