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: The tempest had raged for six days, and on the seventh seemed to increase. The ship had been so far driven from its course, that no one on board knew where we were. Everyone was exhausted with fatigue and watching. The shattered vessel began to leak in many places, the oaths of the sailors were changed to prayers, and each thought only how to save his own life. "Children," said I, to my terrified boys, who were clinging round me, "God can save us if he will. To him nothing is impossible; but if he thinks it good to call us to him, let us not murmur; we shall not be separated." My excellent wife dried her tears, and from that moment became more tranquil. We knelt down to pray for the help of our Heavenly Father; and the fervor and emotion of my innocent boys proved to me that even children can pray, and find in prayer consolation and peace.
Many years ago, an English translation of the first part of this charming tale appeared; and few books have obtained such deserved popularity. The gradual progress of the family from utter destitution and misery, to happiness and abundance, arising from their own labor, perseverance, and obedience, together with the effect produced on the different characters of the sons by the stirring adventures they met with, created a deep and absorbing interest. Every young reader patronized either the noble Fritz, the studious Ernest, or the generous Jack, and regarded him as a familiar personal acquaintance. . . .