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to be an apprentice, be still continued to be regular in his attendance at church, and he always joined in the prayers and the psalms with great devotion, and took pains to profit, as much as possible, by the instruction which he heard. He begged for God's grace to lead him to what was right; and it was thus that his mind was so directed to what was good, that all his conduct was that of a Christian,a faithful, honest, and upright Christian. I do not know that he was ever absent from church during all the time he was an apprentice, but he was always to be seen in the pew with his master's family. It was very different with Thomas Idle, as you will see in the next part.
Whilst the industrious apprentice is at church, and joining, like a Christian, in the service, the idle one is gambling on a tomb-stone in the churchyard: he has got among a set of idle and wicked companions, who seem to be going, like himself, the way to their ruin. Now I should hope that few people would be so dreadfully wicked as to go such lengths as this bad young man did: but let every one be careful and watchful! Where there is no religion within, there is no saying how far
the depravity of the heart will carry us. Let every youth have a terror of gambling! No good ever yet came of it. Let every youth remember to keep the Sabbath-day huly! Sabbath breaking is a step to every crime. The idle apprentice was, in his youth, both a gambler and a Sabbath-breaker; and we shall see what became of him at last. Whilst he is engaged in play with his miserable companions, he is trying to cheat them, and they are quarrelling with one another; gambling generally leads to quarrels, and anger, and hatred; and the countenances of these wretched creatures pretty clearly shew what is passing within. In such an awful place as a church-yard, where every thing around might well turn our thoughts to something solemn and sacred, these miserable youths regard none of these things, but have their thoughts wholly engaged in their dreadful employment. Every thing about a church should impress the mind with a religious feeling, and should command respect but to be playing in the church-yard during service-time, shews such a comple want of all that is right, that it ought to be checked by every possible means that can be thought of.
The parish beadle is determined to do his duty; and he is lifting up his stick to lay it on the back of Thomas Idle. But the gamblers are all so busy that they do not see how near he is to them, and are not at all aware of the punishment that awaits them.
Young Goodchild has been so steady and attentive to business, and has, in every respect, conducted himself so well, that his master is willing to trust him in any thing. He lets him keep the books, and give and receive orders; and if a porter brings in a bale of goods, you will see him pay almost as much respect to Mr. Goodchild, as he would to Mr. West himself; and this shews how well the apprentice had behaved himself, and how he had gained the confidence of his master, and what attention he had received from him; for it is soon known all-over a warehouse or a shop, by the master's manner, what is his opinion of the character of any of the young men who are employed by him: and the porters and messengers, and all the people about him, will pay respect accordingly. If you ever saw Mr. West and Goodchild together, you would find out, at once, what a good opinion the master had of his apprentice. He trusts him with his keys, or his money, or any thing else; because he believes him to be a thoroughly conscientious, and honest young man. But Goodchild does not grow vain and conceited, because he is trusted, but is very modest and humble. He knows that it is the bounden duty of every Christian to be upright
and honest; and he therefore does not consider it a matter to be proud of; and you may see, by his very countenance and manner, the humbleness of his mind.
It now began to be thought, by some people, that when Goodchild's time was out, his master would take him into partnership. A pair of gloves happened one day to lie on the table, when Mr. West was talking to Goodchild, and leaning on his shoulder. A shopman, who saw them, said, that they lay together like a "hand in hand," and that this put him in mind of a partnership. How this turned out, we shall see presently; but it is certain that Goodchild was a great favourite. And some people would say, that if he got a share of the business, he would marry Miss West, his master's eldest daughter. We may, perhaps, hear more of this it is, however, certain, that he was in great favour with his master, and with every part of the family, in consequence of his steady conduct, as well as his kind and obliging manner.
Jack Idle continues to go on as ill as possible; he has quite tired out his kind master's patience;
he lives among profligate companions, and is constantly getting into some scene of wickedness. His master tries to teach him what is good, but he will not listen. He minds nothing that is said to him; and at length he is sent to sea for the sake of being taken away from the temptations of the city, and from the companions of his riots,-and in hopes that the strict discipline of a sea life may be the means of leading him to give up his bad practices.
In the picture, we see him in a boat, going to the ship in which he is to sail. There is a dead body hanging on a gibbet at a distance, and one of the watermen is pointing to it to shew Jack Idle what he is likely to come to; and another boy is holding up to him a cat-o-nine-tails to give him to understand what sort of discipline he is to expect on board a ship, if he does not behave himself properly. Near him sits his poor mother, all in tears, to think of the sad fate of her son. But this wicked boy neither minds the whip, nor the gallows, nor his poor mother's sorrows: he snaps his fingers, as much as to say, that he cared for none of them. You see the indentures which he has forfeited, thrown into the river, as if he was perfectly indifferent about what became of him, not having the least desire to settle in a respectable and honest way of business and the frightful countenance of this wretched youth, and the scorn which he seems to shew towards the distress of his widowed mother, give us reason to fear that he will go on to the end of his life as badly as he has begun. How frightful wickedness makes the countenance look! There is an old saying, that "nothing makes a man so ugly as vice; nothing renders the countenance so hideous as villainy."
(To be continued.)