[Morality] “You Will Be Wanted” (from Youth’s Companion, November 22, 1849; p. 119)
Take courage, young man. What if you are but an humble and obscure apprentice—a poor, neglected orphan; a scorner and a by-word of the thoughtless and gay, who despise virtue in rags, because of its tatters. Have you an intelligent mind, all untutored though it may be? Have you a virtuous aim, a pure desire and an honest heart? Depend upon it, one of these days you will be wanted. The time may not be long deferred. You may grow to manhood and even reach your prime, ere the call is made; but virtuous aims, pure desires, and honest hearts are too few not to be wanted. Your virtues shall not always wrap you about as with a mantle; obscurity shall not always veil you from the multitude. Be chivalric in your combat with circumstances. Be active, however small be your sphere of action. It will surely enlarge with every moment, and your influence will have constant increase.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle,
Be a hero in the strife.
Work on, for surely you will be wanted, and then comes your reward. Lean upon the sacred verity—“I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” Never despair, for the lives of good men abundantly testify that often when the clouds are blackest, and the tempest is fiercest, and hope is faintest, a “still small voice” will be heard, saying, “come hither, you are wanted,” and all your powers will find employment. Therefore, take heart, young man, for ere long you will be wanted.