Child's Morality Story
An Emperor's Kindness
Adapted From Antique British Book
© James Dearmore, 2009
[Gospel Web Globe]

From Graphic Stories for Boys and Girls — published in England in the 1800's --- A series of morality stories -- stories of interest for children, youths, and even adults.

Joseph II, Emperor of Austria, was a generous, warm-hearted man, who took great delight in doing acts of kindness. One time, as he was passing through the streets of Vienna, dressed as a private gentleman, his attention was attracted to a boy about twelve years old, who timidly drew near, and seemed anxious to speak to him.

"What do you wish, my little friend?" said the gentleman. His voice was so tender, and he had such a kindly look in his eyes that the boy had courage to say:

"O sir, you are very good to speak to me so kindly. I believe you will not refuse to do something for me."

"I should be sorry to refuse you," replied the gentleman; "but why are you begging? You appear to be something better than a beggar."

"I am not a beggar, sir," replied the boy, as a tear trickled down his cheek. "My father was a brave officer in the army. Owing to illness he was obliged to leave the service, and was granted a pension by the emperor. With this pension he supported our family; but a few months ago he died, and we are left very poor indeed."

"Poor child! "said the gentleman. "Is your mother living?"

"Yes, sir, she is; and I have two brothers who are at home with her now. She bas been unable to leave her bed for weeks; and one of us must watch beside her, while the others go out to beg." Saying this, the poor boy tried very hard to keep the great tears from falling, but they would come in spite of all he could do to stop them.

"Well, well, my boy," said the gentleman, "do not feel so unhappy; I shall see what can be done to help you. Is there a doctor to be found near you?"

"There are two, sir, only a little way from where we live."

"That is well. Now you go at once and have one of them to visit your mother. Here is money, not only for the doctor, but for other things to feed you and make you comfortable."

"0 sir," said the boy, as he looked upon the gentleman in amazement, "how can I thank you enough? This money will save my mother's life, and keep my brothers from want."

"Never mind, my child ; go and get the doctor."

The boy obeyed, and the good emperor having learned where their home was, bent his steps in that direction, and soon arrived there.

The room in which he found the poor woman was very poor indeed. She was lying on a low bedstead, and though still young, her face was pale and thin from sickness and want. Very little furniture of any kind was to be seen, for the mother had sold nearly all she had to obtain bread for her children.

When the emperor entered the room, the widow and the children looked at him in astonishment. They did not know he was their emperor.

"I am a doctor, madam," said he, bowing respectfully; "your neighbours have informed me of your illness, and I am come to offer what service may be in my power."

"Alas! Sir," she answered with some hesitation, "I have no meansd of paying you for your attention."

"Do not distress yourself on thata account; I shall be fully repaid if I have the happiness of restoring you to health."

The emperor inquired all about her Illness, after which he wrote a few lines and placed them on a chair.

"I will leave you this prescription, madam, and on my next visit, I hope to find you much better." He then withdrew. Soon after, the eldest son of the widow came in with a real doctor.

"0 mother!" cried the boy," a kind, good gentleman has given me all this!" and he placed in his mother's hand the money which the emperor had given him. "There now, don't cry, mother; this money will pay the doctor and buy everything till you are well and strong again."

"A doctor has already been here, and has left his prescription. See, there it is," and she pointed to the paper on the chair. The boy took the paper, and no sooner had he glanced at its contents, than he uttered a cry of joy.

"0 mother! It's the best prescription a doctor ever wrote; it's an order for a pension, mother --- a pension for you --- signed by the emperor himself."

The widow and her children were taken under the care of the emperor, and a splendid career was opened up for the boys, who were as brave as their father, and as gentle as their mother. - End of Story

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